Not a lot of notes this week, aside from there being a lot to discuss in general beyond what we fit in. For example, game designer Warren Spector has stated in an intervew that he’d like to design just one city block, down to ever smallest detail. Such a concept had me thinking about the recently released We Are Chicago. There’s been a lot of negative criticism towards the game for promising too large of a scope than what it can handle, as well as many other issues. It has me wondering, though, if a smaller team could create a game in the vision of a film like Boyz ‘n’ the Hood or Friday, where it’s “open world” but focused specifically on a single neighborhood, apartment building, block, or what have you. A game more focused on relationships and exploration, taking the Nemesis system from Shadow of Mordor and replacing the combat with dialogue trees.
Perhaps even that vision is too grandiose for smaller teams, though. Maybe a team the size of Ninja Theory’s on Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice could manage it, and if the subject matter were the same as We Are Chicago’s, then it is possible sponsorship and perhaps even grants could lend support to development.
Right now open-world is all about how big your world is, and that’s great for huge blockbuster games, but perhaps a more narrow focus and scope could lend to shorter, smaller experiences that still pack a lot more meaning than repetitive objective markers across a continent.
If you have any thoughts on open world game design, feel free to share them in the comments below, comment on the Facebook page or e-mail ramblepak64 at gmail dot com.
Opening theme music by my buddy Brandon, a.k.a. Fallen Prophecy.