Repost: Gamasutra: Game Design Essentials: 20 Open World Games

metroid1An interesting article analysing 20 open-world game which mechanics should be mere inspirations for any open-world game designer .

Game Design Essentials: 20 Open World Games

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  1. Very interesting article. It’s old, but still relevant. I’m sure the Dark Souls would be in it as of today. I will not argue about the selected games which all feel at their place here, but I’d like to add one I’ve played a lot which is very insteresting regarding this topic.

    Wonderboy III in Dragon’s Trap/Curse. It’s really a Metroid-like med-fan game with two way of unlocking areas:
    – Through items: the armor that allows you to cross lava areas, the sword which breaks specific blocks, the other one which allows you to create blocks. Every items opens new areas of the game, which lead to secret, power-up items, or make the player advance in the game itself.
    – Through transformations: the player start as a human, and is quickly transformed into a small dragon (called lizard), with its specificities (“not very” long shots). His quest will be to get back its human form, but he will go through other animal forms: mouse, piranha, lion and hawk. Each form has special abilities opening all new areas to the player of expanding already visited areas.

    These two ways of opening the world to the player are very reminiscent of what makes Symphony of the Night such a great game. At some point the player can access rooms where he can choose its form at will, giving even more freedom to explore the world. Each time you get a new item or form, all the world must be reconsidered as a possible destination, wether is it toward the game completion or just to find special items, or weapons.

    One of the greatest game ever designed IMHO

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