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Thread: Open World vs Linear games

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    Otaku Luminous is off to a good start
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    Open World vs Linear games

    In the epic struggle between these two unique types of game, what is your preference, and why? Please, don't say both! You can enjoy both, but can you really love them equally? Oh wait, you can? Rats...oh..well....not in this thread you can't! Mwahahahahhaa.

    Open world games can be found in most genres, and despite sharing genres with linear titles, they both play out dramatically different. Take an RPG like Final Fantasy VII and compare it to Oblivion, and you end up with apples vs oranges.

    Linear games typically funnel the player along a predetermined path, to reach a predetermined end. The action is fast, in your face, and near constant, an example being something like the single player of Call of Duty. The upside is that there's never a dull moment, and you don't get confused running around looking for the exit; it's in front of you. Everything is balanced, since the developers know exactly where the player will be.

    Open world games take the approach of "Do what you want, however you want" You'll still have objectives, but you decide how to carry them out. An example of this would be something like Grand Theft Auto. The action can stop at some points, you oftentimes play without an objective, and you're more likely to find some unbalanced issues with this more free design. However, this is combated with the fact that you feel more in control, and generally immersed in the experience. It's good to know you can go anywhere you want.

    So, fellow AO members, if you had to pick just one type of game design, which would you go with? The open worldy type, or the roller coaster linear type?

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    Re: Open World vs Linear games

    i say open world cuz i like being able to choose weather to go with the story or just mess around and have fun i mean you can have so much more freedom in stead of just go here and kill them along the way you can choose to do that or go and kill some random guy and get cops to chase you and run that into the story mission and start a war or just drive around town and look for stuff

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    Re: Open World vs Linear games

    Instinctive Choice: Open World / Sandbox

    Adaptive Choice: Linear / Story

    Wanted Choice: A Combination of both.


    WHY:
    Now wayy back when, I really loved linear/story games. I loved the stories and the character development that could build from such. It was great, amazing, and pulled you into it...

    But seriously folks, it's about time now that we moved onto Open World/Sandbox games. We've played the stories so many times now - - but they're like storybooks for children: After you get to a certain age - you should try out USING some of the lessons you learned.
    In that manner: After you've played a certain amount of linear games (AKA FINAL FANTASY), it's about time you move on and try to play a game where you make your own story.

    Now, here's the weird part for me.
    I originally choose Open World/Sandbox games due to the freedom you get... you get to make your own story, your own history, your own "life"... something you want to be known for, not what your semi-fated-character is known for. -- BUT! The instant I start playing a story-driven game after several months of playing sandbox games, I LOOOVE it. And it just goes to show you - the linear-idea isn't a bad thing. And also that: You're never too old to read a children's book.

    But here's the problem I face:
    The biggest idea that comes from both of these, is- WHY CAN'T WE HAVE THEM COMBINED?
    A GAME THAT ALLOWS YOU TO MAKE SO MANY FREE CHOICES, BUT STICKS THE STORY TO YOU LIKE YOU WERE ACTUALLY IMPORTANT.

    Ah, but you see, there are games like that!

    (PS: MMOs don't count as a combination... it's an awful combination. Missions + unrelatable NPCs = NO linear-feel in it at all)

    You've got games like Metal Saga, where it literally is all up to you...
    You've got games like Steambot Chronicles, where you're free - and you're held by your storyline...
    You've got games like Fable, where you make small choices along the way, but it'll basically be a full-linear game in the end...
    You've got games like GTA, where they have an amazing dialogue-script that makes the story come alive, despite the fact that you're really just doing missions...
    And you've got a whole lotta' other games with all sorts of different kinds of choices.

    But all these games aren't perfect.

    Metal Saga, everything's so free like an MMO- you have no idea what to do.

    Steambot Chronicles, all the things you do are great- but the story feels like a drag to what you've done.

    Fable- it's not really a freedom of choice... it's just linear, if you look at it from a big picture... and shouldn't be considered that much of a sandbox.


    Now there are two games that stick out that actually solved the combination problem:
    Grand Theft Auto
    Mass Effect

    Grand Theft Auto took the theatrical approach... allowing it to be mission-based, but the story goes on perfectly. There's so much things to do, and there's so many interactions that it feels completely sandbox-based. And not all the stories are linear. You do have choices to do missions for people or not, and even do small mini-missions on the side. And in the end, the story is still there, with a clear path. With all these choices, you're definitely sandboxing it, but with a clear storyline - you're definitely linear. A great fusion.

    Mass Effect took a multiple-choice road... allowing you to "change" the story and events. Not every choice was significant, but it felt like you could allow your character to grow in any form you wished them to grow. The story was clear as you poked at it and warped in it... You had tons of choices, but all of them had to do with the story somehow. Making it a beautiful fusion of sandbox-based-linear-storyline.

    Now why can't other games do this? Instead of giving rather-itchy forms of fusions... why can't they just fuse them into a beautiful form?
    Look, we can have pure-sandbox.
    And we can have pure-linear.
    But why is it so hard to make a good fusion? It's such a waste that we JUST STICK to working formulas for MORE THAN 20 YEARS!

    We should already have more than a handful of good fusions by now.

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    Re: Open World vs Linear games

    I would probably say Linear games as you wont get as lost as easily as open wide game but open wide game give you more freedom in the game to do almost anything, but i have to say Linear games
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    Re: Open World vs Linear games

    I'd have to say linear games. I'm a big console rpg fan who really enjoys the classics. Though I do like it when they add in some of the features of open world.

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    Re: Open World vs Linear games

    I do like both type but if I had to make a choice it would be linear games. They are not as confusing as open world games. But open world games can extend the pleasure of the game. But over all a linear game is less likely to cause you problems and get you lost.

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    Re: Open World vs Linear games

    Well, i really noticed, playing though Final Fantasy XII, that i had to stop and remember where the story was going. it was a lot different from, say, Final Fantasy VII, where it was more linear in the aspect that you couldnt pareade around as much as you can in XII.

    For the most part, i kind of like an open game, yet one that still gives me stuff to do. like the Hunts in FFXII, (i still dare not fight the Yizamat). you cant stop playing the main story, and go out to do side quests to get more items and money.

    to me, i think that most games should have a bit of freedom. i realise that it is didderent for a game like Halo, where they want you to get a certain end, but this is made up for by multiplayer.

    In short- FPS- good with linear
    most else- open

    that's my 2 cents

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    Re: Open World vs Linear games

    Singleplayer: Linear
    When i play with or against the computer i'd like an interactive rollercoaster with a story that nearly equals a decent movie.
    Things like skirmishes etc against cpu controlled opponents dont interest me.

    Multiplayer: Open world
    The bigger the world, the more freedom there is and the more it feels like it's real to me.
    Games like Planetside, WoW, Battlefield 2 etc are just so much more fun to me when you can do whatever you like and possible WITH other people.

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