• Register
  • TOS
  • Privacy
  • @NeoGAF
  • Like

13ruce
Member
(03-19-2017, 12:45 AM)
13ruce's Avatar
Honestly the world is a perfect size the open parts are good it would be dumb if there was content everywhere it gives a nice sense of exploration and the world feels truly believeable.

The fault current open worlds games make is trying to put as much content or icons on the map as possible wich makes the world feel like it's fake imo.

Also the DLC promised new content in the world so i can't wait for that!

I have nearly seen the whole map and still keep exploring this game is so good.

It's good that you find wildlife/resources/enemies/npc's/koroks/shrines/sidequests and more in every place that's what makes the game so alive.

Sure you have a couple of large empty spaces but that makes the game good it would be boring to see content everywhere imo that ruins the sense of exploration and a post destroyed hyrule imo.
sanstesy
Member
(03-19-2017, 12:47 AM)
sanstesy's Avatar
Yeah, I too have to agree to disagree with the spacing of emptiness. Most of the time even if you are in a spot where there is literally nothing to do there is always sight onto something that will have some point of interest. The world is very smartly laid out and extremely vertical to the point that there is emptiness but your view is not obstructed to make it feel like it's empty. As a result you always have a clear objective in sight and the lead up to your objective becomes some sort of mini-adventure on how you get there rather than feeling like aimless wandering.

Originally Posted by Five

They're not full-blown towns. Besides maybe Hateno town, they're villages at best, and none of them have nearly enough infrastructure to avoid economic collapse.

(also I'm not a man)

In terms of population Hateno Village is not bigger than most other towns. It's just more spaced out.
Last edited by sanstesy; 03-19-2017 at 12:51 AM.
watershed
Member
(03-19-2017, 12:47 AM)
watershed's Avatar
Interesting write up. To me the game only has minor flaws compared to major, spectaculars. It's nearly a perfect game. I'm more in awe of what the developers have accomplished more than disappointed by the very little they got wrong.
Timeaisis
(03-19-2017, 12:50 AM)
Timeaisis's Avatar
I agree with the "fun per inch" principle, which is why I find many open world games boring. However, to me, BotW's exploration was simply fun. Additionally, you were never, ever forced to wander if you didn't want to. The entire main quest was obvious, direct path, requiring little exploration. For me, this was the key to my enjoyment. I never had to get lost exploring, I simply wanted to. For players less inclined, it's always simply optional.
Charamiwa
Member
(03-19-2017, 12:53 AM)
Charamiwa's Avatar
I don't see how "fun per inch" applies to a game like this. If their goal was to create a large world that feels connected as Aonuma said, then the scope is super important. Wherever I go, I can see Death Mountain in the distance. I can see Hyrule Castle looming far away, or a giant machine flying in circle. This is to me much more important than making the world as tight as possible. In a game like Ori I'm sure this is a priority, but not here.

The scope of the world matters when you encourage exploration. You want the player to see something in the distance, use his binoculars, mark it, and check the map to see how far it is. Then the player start to think about whether he wants to go there, and how.

Now of course with this kind of huge world with empty spaces it can get tricky to keep the player engaged. That's where all the systems than make you travel fast come in. Horses, climbing, paragliding, shield surfing, stasis shenanigans... The game nails that part of the design. The reason a lot of people read the "world is empty" criticism and simply don't agree with it is because they made it so fun and creative to move inside this big connected world.
Can Crusher
Member
(03-19-2017, 12:53 AM)
Can Crusher's Avatar
There's simply not enough story for me. After The Witcher 3 (+ expansions) I just can't appreciate open world games the same anymore. I demand a lot of story, a lot of characters. At the end of the day, when I've spent 60 hours on a game like this, I want to feel what I felt when I finally hanged up those swords and armor. The last thing I should think about is goddamn game systems and dungeons and puzzles and whatever.
EmCeeGramr
Mr. speaker, we are for the big
(03-19-2017, 12:53 AM)
EmCeeGramr's Avatar

Originally Posted by Five

Gerudo city is very small and the only place in the whole world where Gerudo live. There are not enough vai in the city to support the ecosystem. None of them (afaik) are farmers or builders. The one school in the whole city is just a place to learn about voe. It's a fun place to run around but it doesn't present a believable world, and presenting a believable world is the only excuse for a map as large and empty as BotW has.




They're not full-blown towns. Besides maybe Hateno town, they're villages at best, and none of them have nearly enough infrastructure to avoid economic collapse.

(also I'm not a man)

Literally the only open world game that presents a believable population, that isn't already set in a big city as its primary map (a la GTA or Assassin's Creed) would be Witcher 3.


Zelda is not trying to be realistic, and that's not why the map is like that. (It's also not that empty, I agree with the comments that the world is surprisingly hand-crafted and well thought out in regards to how the player moves through it, what they can see, where their eye is drawn, etc.)
LizardKing
Member
(03-19-2017, 12:54 AM)
LizardKing's Avatar

Originally Posted by Five

Gerudo city is very small and the only place in the whole world where Gerudo live. There are not enough vai in the city to support the ecosystem. None of them (afaik) are farmers or builders. The one school in the whole city is just a place to learn about voe. It's a fun place to run around but it doesn't present a believable world, and presenting a believable world is the only excuse for a map as large and empty as BotW has.




They're not full-blown towns. Besides maybe Hateno town, they're villages at best, and none of them have nearly enough infrastructure to avoid economic collapse.

(also I'm not a man)

Sorry for assuming you were a guy. I don't know what your criteria for functioning towns are. There are 8 plus the bazaar and Tarrey town. Goron City, Zora's Domain, Rito Village, Korok Village, Gerudo Town, Lurelin, Kakariko, Hateno. Zelda has never had big cities, but they are all fairly robust except probably Korok Village. With the stables too that is quite a lot of settlements to explore.
Last edited by LizardKing; 03-19-2017 at 12:56 AM.
13ruce
Member
(03-19-2017, 12:57 AM)
13ruce's Avatar

Originally Posted by Five

Gerudo city is very small and the only place in the whole world where Gerudo live. There are not enough vai in the city to support the ecosystem. None of them (afaik) are farmers or builders. The one school in the whole city is just a place to learn about voe. It's a fun place to run around but it doesn't present a believable world, and presenting a believable world is the only excuse for a map as large and empty as BotW has.




They're not full-blown towns. Besides maybe Hateno town, they're villages at best, and none of them have nearly enough infrastructure to avoid economic collapse.

(also I'm not a man)

Well to be honest Breath of the Wild is a post apocalyptic setting Ganon's Guardians kill things on sight... A huge amount of deaths probably happened. It's in a world that's trying to rebuild.

Also with Ganon and all those monsters/guardians they have other issues than running a economie.

To me it's very believeable imo
Chaos17
Member
(03-19-2017, 12:58 AM)
Chaos17's Avatar
Anyone who call this game empty didn't played more than 40 hours, just take a look a random map screenshot and you can tell it's not empty at all (spolier):
https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/so1...ine__map_4.jpg
http://static.mnium.org/images/conte...venirs/1_2.jpg

All the loots are usefull in the game for crafting or making money.
Last edited by Chaos17; 03-19-2017 at 01:00 AM.
AcademicSaucer
Member
(03-19-2017, 12:59 AM)
AcademicSaucer's Avatar
I dont know , I see an economy in Zelda, the Goron have their mines, there are hylian farms , etc
Oersted
Member
(03-19-2017, 12:59 AM)
Oersted's Avatar

Originally Posted by thomasmahler

Hey GAF,

I always think it's interesting to hear from other game developers what they thought about certain games... So I wanna start a discussion by looking at Breath of the Wild from a designers perspective and after all the well deserved praise the game got, I think it's good to point out the things that I thought it didn't do so well after all is said and done.

http://m.neogaf.com/showthread.php?t=1353295

Bit late I think
bitocoder
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:01 AM)

Originally Posted by thomasmahler

Have you finished it? I completely agree that the white space is very, very important and ALTTP as well as Zelda 1 or Links Awakening have a lot of that too, but even in that white space, they usually managed to put little secrets like lifting a bush to find a hidden cave or other cool things in there. With this open world design, it often goes way too far and you just end up with vast landscapes of you just running and climbing with little to no interactivity.

There's a very fine line between 'white space' and 'white space that feels like wasted space'.

I don't want a world littered with content for the sake of having content, I want a world where it is meaningful to discover something. When I first got off the plateau one of the first things I discovered was a flaming sword in the middle of nowhere. If this game was absolutely littered with them, then what's the point of me being happy about it? The game can be barren, but I would argue clutter is worse. Much worse, both from a design perspective and a players.
LizardKing
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:04 AM)
LizardKing's Avatar

Originally Posted by bitocoder

I don't want a world littered with content for the sake of having content, I want a world where it is meaningful to discover something. When I first got off the plateau one of the first things I discovered was a flaming sword in the middle of nowhere. If this game was absolutely littered with them, then what's the point of me being happy about it? The game can be barren, but I would argue clutter is worse. Much worse, both from a design perspective and a players.

Just look at Ubisoft. Yeah I feel like some of the complaints in here are exactly BOTW's strengths. Bizarre thread.
Timeaisis
(03-19-2017, 01:04 AM)
Timeaisis's Avatar
Another comment on the emptiness point: I am always, always, finding something interesting while moving through the empty space to investigate. Whether it's a shrine, a korok puzzle, a mini game, an NPC, and enemy encampment with treasure chest, or something entirely different. The empty space is designed in a way that is nearly always leading you to something interesting to do.

So while the game might not have something to do literally every inch, the player is constantly creating new exploration objectives for themselves, almost implicitly. That, to me, is continually engaging. Although I realize it may not be for everyone else.

That is where I think the level design of BotW is fantastic.
Nitpicker_Red
Junior Member
(03-19-2017, 01:05 AM)
Nitpicker_Red's Avatar

Originally Posted by thomasmahler

So, throughout my entire time playing the game, I couldn't shake the thought that Nintendo must have decided on the size of the world at the start of the project and couldn't back-paddle afterwards simply because the world is made out of one huge terrain. Most Terrain engines don't allow you to easily modify and change sizes once various parts have already been built, since scaling the terrain would affect everything you've already built (again, I'm not saying Nintendo didn't have more sophisticated terrain tools, but that's my simple guess since the world feels way too large for its own good).

Yup! They often stated that they started building the map on a walkable Kyoto, with similar size structure from the start. To fill in the gaps they also had a tool that mapped where all the testers walked to help find the places to balance.
The terrain topography seems generated at least, based on this short glimpse at their tools from their GDC.

Rassembling some data and links for future reference.


Originally Posted by thomasmahler

The same is true for the Korok Challenges: Most of these are completely mindless and similar: Find a certain rock in the world that stands out, pick it up, a Korok appears. Put a rock in the right spot in the middle of a ring of rocks, boom, a Korok appears. Jump into a ring of flowers in the water, a Korok appears. Shoot some balloons, a Korok appears... Rinse and Repeat. You'll do these exact same challenges DOZENS of times. Again, I'm guessing Nintendo just saw that their world is too big and they had to put in a lot of these repetitive, not very fun little challenges in order to at least have SOMETHING in the world instead of just traversal followed by more traversal. Why have such a huge world if you then have to fill it with repetitive content?

Just to be complete, some more Korok puzzles types:

"Finding" a place:
-Pick up a suspicious rock somewhere (on a tree, on a mountain, under a pile of leaves)
-Dive in a ring of plants floating on water
-Shoot all suspicious targets posters scattered around a camp
-Melt weird big icicles
Different variations of matching games:
-Match two blocky shapes with one loose metal block piece
-Complete suspicious rock shapes/pattern in the nature
-Match the amount of apples on suspicious aligned trees by taking the apples in excess
-Fill statues offering plates with missing apples/eggs
Different variations of putting things into holes:
-Throw a rock in a suspicious ring of rocks on water
-Solve a Cup-and-ball games with a chained metal rock
-Make a big rock roll into a cavern
Challenges:
-Reach a stump to start a speed race to a ring of light that disappears after a certain time
-Reach a windmill to start a shooting gallery (obvious baloons, or less obvious acorns dancing over a tree)
-Reach a succession of suspicious flowers appearing one after the other
-Catch an invisible running Korok based on sound and sparkles

A lot of them are less obvious environmental puzzles.

My thoughts: Most of the fun from the puzzle is actually looking for it rather than solving it. You enter a pattern of thought where you look for out-of-place suspicious environmental details (since you can't find Koroks via the item tracker). Anything that seems more like deliberate design in the world is an opportunity for a Korok puzzle. Some people say that it makes the world design feel as having some "intent" ("recognising the creator's hand" in the areas that seem less "designed"). It could also helps the brain "filter out" the less interesting parts of the world by focusing on the things that stands out due to the simpler visual style. Their position is not random either, often on the way of a point of interest, so instead of being raw "content" to fill an empty place I think they are used more as a guide to point the player in the right direction when they stray away from the main path. There still are pockets of voids that have no interest being explored that they want to steer people away from after all.
Last edited by Nitpicker_Red; 03-19-2017 at 02:05 AM. Reason: supsicious
thomasmahler
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:05 AM)
thomasmahler's Avatar

Originally Posted by Oersted

http://m.neogaf.com/showthread.php?t=1353295

Bit late I think

I listened to that discussion and to me it was just too much about the positives and not a proper 'Let's think about how to improve upon what's there!' kinda discussion, which is what I'm trying to incite with this thread.

When I'm analyzing a game, I want to first figure out the things that bothered me, that didn't work, cause I already pretty much know intrinsically what did work. And then with that result, I ought to be able to craft something better.

I dunno, maybe it comes from having been a visual artist earlier in my life - I've always been more interested in the flaws than the positives and the compliments. Getting compliments doesn't really help you getting better (apart from confirming what you got right), but having someone who understands the field point out what didn't work is insanely valuable.
Kimawolf
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:10 AM)
The combat trials also bother me as well. Could have neen rockbeasts, anything really. Easily my biggest disappointment.
yanipheonu
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:12 AM)
yanipheonu's Avatar
Good review.

My perspective so far? It's an amazing game, one of my favourites ever, but not quite 10/10. Because I'm giving them room to do even more, there's probably going be good improvements from patches, DLC, maybe even a sequel. Those could make BOTW an even better game than it already is. Excited to see what happens.
Five
Banned
(03-19-2017, 01:14 AM)

Originally Posted by EmCeeGramr

Literally the only open world game that presents a believable population, that isn't already set in a big city as its primary map (a la GTA or Assassin's Creed) would be Witcher 3.


Zelda is not trying to be realistic, and that's not why the map is like that. (It's also not that empty, I agree with the comments that the world is surprisingly hand-crafted and well thought out in regards to how the player moves through it, what they can see, where their eye is drawn, etc.)

Correct. It's very hard for a game to present a believable population. So if the reason you're making a large world is for verisimilitude but you're going to fail that for other reasons then you shouldn't try. Make it small and interesting instead.


Originally Posted by LizardKing

Sorry for assuming you were a guy. I don't know what your criteria for functioning towns are. There are 8 plus the bazaar and Tarrey town. Goron City, Zora's Domain, Rito Village, Korok Village, Gerudo Town, Lurelin, Kakariko, Hateno. Zelda has never had big cities, but they are all fairly robust except probably Korok Village. With the stables too that is quite a lot of settlements to explore.

It's a lot of places. It's a lot of small places. Each of the other species in the game have one town and one settlement or work place. That would be fine if there was no space for them to expand into, but there's miles and miles of space, so it makes no sense.

Usually in a game like this (and in previous Zelda games) towns are glossed over and given very little space because that's not what you're there for. Like in Twilight Princess the towns are just set dressing to get you from one dungeon to another, but that's not the case in Breath of the Wild. My impression from the game was that it was trying to tell me I was exploring a place people actually live and inhabit. Yet how could that be given how small all of the establishments are?

It bothers me because it doesn't seem like a particularly hard problem to solve either. Farm lands aren't hard to add to the game (yes I know Hateno and Kakariko both have small plots, but especially the latter would be woefully insufficient), and they could have made the rest of the towns be ruins from the battle. There are ruins in the game, but almost always it's a ruined temple or sacred site, not ruins of a town. Like if they copy-pasted the ruins from Castle Town to several more locations in the game that would go a long way towards explaining where all the people are.
Last edited by Five; 03-19-2017 at 01:17 AM.
thomasmahler
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:14 AM)
thomasmahler's Avatar

Originally Posted by bitocoder

I don't want a world littered with content for the sake of having content, I want a world where it is meaningful to discover something. When I first got off the plateau one of the first things I discovered was a flaming sword in the middle of nowhere. If this game was absolutely littered with them, then what's the point of me being happy about it? The game can be barren, but I would argue clutter is worse. Much worse, both from a design perspective and a players.

I'm not sure you understand exactly what I was trying to point out. Nobody is arguing that every single step you take in the world should have something for you to interact with and 'fun per inch' shouldn't be taken completely literal, the idea is more that there are many, many, many areas in BotW where you're just climbing hill after hill while watching your stamina bar, running over vast distances of nothingness with nothing to really see or interact with other than seeing a canyon in the distance that you know you'll have to run through, etc.

The horse riding felt fairly clumsy to me in this game and sometimes in those vast environments I did jump on a horse just to be able to pass an environment faster, but I think there's no denying that there's quite a bit of emptiness in the game where you don't see great vistas, where you don't get to interact with anything, where you're just supposed to run and climb for a while in order to reach something actually more interesting.

That's why I tried to point out that that usually happens with open-world terrain-based games - It's hard to put it into numbers, but I absolutely feel the world could've easily been 25-30% smaller without losing anything of value at all. You'd still get the 'white space', but you'd probably cut out a good chunk of the menial, boring travel distances that you just have to get through in order to reach a certain destination.
Hattori
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:15 AM)
Hattori's Avatar
disagree on the emptiness, not everything needs to have the "fun-per-inch" principle. There needs to be an ebb and a flow to an adventure.
Rogue Agent
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:15 AM)
Rogue Agent's Avatar

Originally Posted by Kimawolf

The combat trials also bother me as well. Could have neen rockbeasts, anything really. Easily my biggest disappointment.

I actually liked it that they were Guardian Bots since they are Sheikah technology and are only meant to test you. It made me more immersed since the whole shrine thing is Sheikah technology as well, which is why you don't see actual monsters in the shrines.
Baleoce
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:17 AM)
Baleoce's Avatar
This dev is reading my mind point for point. Literally, he has the exact same issues I have with the game. I fully admit, it's great. But what is wrong with it, really stands out.
professor denim
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:18 AM)
professor denim's Avatar
I disagree with most of your views specially the empty space, repetition, side quests and world size. Your fast travel bit doesn't make much sense.
how are you so sure on how the open world was achieved? Every inch of its layout feels real well thought out, that Nintendo achieved it on WiiU hardware is indcredible on its own.
Maybe hardware limitation is tied with samey Shrine design? Not that it particularly offended me...
thomasmahler
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:20 AM)
thomasmahler's Avatar

Originally Posted by Rogue Agent

I actually liked it that they were Guardian Bots since they are Sheikah technology and are only meant to test you. It made me more immersed since the whole shrine thing is Sheikah technology as well, which is why you don't see actual monsters in the shrines.

It's fine if you wanna stick with that theme just for the sake of contextualization, but 'A Major Test in Strength' is still just the same exact Guardian, just a little stronger this time. Sometimes there are no pillars they crash against when they're doing their spinning thing, but there's very little variety within the combat shrines.

Compare this to a challenge like defeating Ornstein and Smough in Dark Souls. THAT'S 'A Major test in Strength' -> You fight two difficult enemies at once that have different behaviors and you need to keep your eyes on both of them all the time in order to not get surprised by one of them. But there literally isn't anything like that in any of the combat shrines. They never even put any obstacles or anything in them (allowing the player to not walk into area X or Y while the enemy is allowed to, giving you a bit of a handicap), it's just always the same rectangular room with a single enemy... I have a hard time understanding how people can defend that when people point out that there's simply a lack of variety there.
phanphare
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:20 AM)
phanphare's Avatar

Originally Posted by thomasmahler

I'm not sure you understand exactly what I was trying to point out. Nobody is arguing that every single step you take in the world should have something for you to interact with and 'fun per inch' shouldn't be taken completely literal, the idea is more that there are many, many, many areas in BotW where you're just climbing hill after hill while watching your stamina bar, running over vast distances of nothingness with nothing to really see or interact with other than seeing a canyon in the distance that you know you'll have to run through, etc.

I don't think people are taking that literally, or at least I wasn't, just disagreeing with the notion that there's too much empty space. for me if there was too much empty space I would have burned out on the game within 5-10 hours but I did not.
LizardKing
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:23 AM)
LizardKing's Avatar

Originally Posted by Five

Correct. It's very hard for a game to present a believable population. So if the reason you're making a large world is for verisimilitude but you're going to fail that for other reasons then you shouldn't try. Make it small and interesting instead.




It's a lot of places. It's a lot of small places. Each of the other species in the game have one town and one settlement or work place. That would be fine if there was no space for them to expand into, but there's miles and miles of space, so it makes no sense.

Usually in a game like this (and in previous Zelda games) towns are glossed over and given very little space because that's not what you're there for. Like in Twilight Princess the towns are just set dressing to get you from one dungeon to another, but that's not the case in Breath of the Wild. My impression from the game was that it was trying to tell me I was exploring a place people actually live and inhabit. Yet how could that be given how small all of the establishments are?

It bothers me because it doesn't seem like a particularly hard problem to solve either. Farm lands aren't hard to add to the game (yes I know Hateno and Kakariko both have small plots, but especially the latter would be woefully insufficient), and they could have made the rest of the towns be ruins from the battle. There are ruins in the game, but almost always it's a ruined temple or sacred site, not ruins of a town. Like if they copy-pasted the ruins from Castle Town to several more locations in the game that would go a long way towards explaining where all the people are.

I don't understand why they would need to expand just because there is space without people. That's realistic, there is plenty of space without people irl. And anyway Nintendo never puts anything into a game to be realistic. Everything, including the NPC's, are there for a purpose. They have quests or a gameplay element to them. They aren't going to just litter the landscape with people you can't talk to like other games that attempt the realism angle. Their first thought is ok how does this work into the gameplay. So each town has a relatively small amount of inhabitants that all have a purpose and are interactive.
wildemu
Junior Member
(03-19-2017, 01:23 AM)
OP, I agree with all your points and it is why I dropped the game. I am curious why do you still consider it so great when it has such deep flaws?
xdr
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:24 AM)
xdr's Avatar
I didn't like Ori (didn't like the controls), I deeply love the Zelda series, but damn I 100% agree with your post, nothing to add.
thomasmahler
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:25 AM)
thomasmahler's Avatar

Originally Posted by professor denim

I disagree with most of your views specially the empty space, repetition, side quests and world size. Your fast travel bit doesn't make much sense.
how are you so sure on how the open world was achieved? Every inch of its layout feels real well thought out, that Nintendo achieved it on WiiU hardware is indcredible on its own.
Maybe hardware limitation is tied with samey Shrine design? Not that it particularly offended me...

I don't care about the hardware limitations. I care about the game design that's presented here. And I don't think any of the things I pointed out have anything to do with the WiiU / Switch not having enough beefy hardware at all. If you think something I'm saying doesn't make sense, point out why you think it doesn't?
Jintor
Lit himself on fire to get
a mod to tag him
(03-19-2017, 01:25 AM)
Jintor's Avatar

Originally Posted by thomasmahler

I'm not sure you understand exactly what I was trying to point out. Nobody is arguing that every single step you take in the world should have something for you to interact with and 'fun per inch' shouldn't be taken completely literal, the idea is more that there are many, many, many areas in BotW where you're just climbing hill after hill while watching your stamina bar, running over vast distances of nothingness with nothing to really see or interact with other than seeing a canyon in the distance that you know you'll have to run through, etc.

The horse riding felt fairly clumsy to me in this game and sometimes in those vast environments I did jump on a horse just to be able to pass an environment faster, but I think there's no denying that there's quite a bit of emptiness in the game where you don't see great vistas, where you don't get to interact with anything, where you're just supposed to run and climb for a while in order to reach something actually more interesting.

I just don't really agree with this assertion is the thing. Certainly there are areas in the game where there is 'nothing to do', but I find the empty space between korok points for example to usually be very minor. Even in areas where I eventually end up finding nothing there is a lot of 'what is over that hill? Why is there a tree in the middle of nowhere? What if I check out this burnt out house?' that a) usually rewards me or reacts in some way for bothering to look and b) is usually within less than a minute of travel time so I don't get bored.

It's nothing like what i recall of The Witcher 3, for example, where despite having a massive large gameworld with often fairly involved quests (well, at least having a lot of writing and scripting) also has vast chunks of land where there is literally nothing of interest.
EmCeeGramr
Mr. speaker, we are for the big
(03-19-2017, 01:26 AM)
EmCeeGramr's Avatar

Originally Posted by Five

There are ruins in the game, but almost always it's a ruined temple or sacred site, not ruins of a town. Like if they copy-pasted the ruins from Castle Town to several more locations in the game that would go a long way towards explaining where all the people are.

I can think of three destroyed settlements off the top of my head apart from Castle Town: Mabe Village, Rauru Settlement, and Deya Village.
Rogue Agent
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:28 AM)
Rogue Agent's Avatar

Originally Posted by thomasmahler

It's fine if you wanna stick with that theme just for the sake of contextualization, but 'A Major Test in Strength' is still just the same exact Guardian, just a little stronger this time. Sometimes there are no pillars they crash against when they're doing their spinning thing, but there's very little variety within the combat shrines.

Compare this to a challenge like defeating Ornstein and Smough in Dark Souls. THAT'S 'A Major test in Strength' -> You fight two difficult enemies at once that have different behaviors and you need to keep your eyes on both of them all the time in order to not get surprised by one of them. But there literally isn't anything like that in any of the combat shrines. They never even put any obstacles or anything in them (allowing the player to not walk into area X or Y while the enemy is allowed to, giving you a bit of a handicap), it's just always the same rectangular room with a single enemy... I have a hard time understanding how people can defend that when people point out that there's simply a lack of variety there.

Sorry, I didn't mean to defend it. I was just laying out the context there behind there not being any monsters.

I suppose they could have added different varieties in Guardian Bots for the Major tests where they would have extra attack patterns - that would add more variety. I did appreciate that some of them had shields and some of them added a bit of challenge with having more than one sword, though.

But yeah, more variety in the Guardians would be nice for these combat trials, even if the structure is exactly the same.
LizardKing
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:29 AM)
LizardKing's Avatar

Originally Posted by Jintor

I just don't really agree with this assertion is the thing. Certainly there are areas in the game where there is 'nothing to do', but I find the empty space between korok points for example to usually be very minor. Even in areas where I eventually end up finding nothing there is a lot of 'what is over that hill? Why is there a tree in the middle of nowhere? What if I check out this burnt out house?' that a) usually rewards me or reacts in some way for bothering to look and b) is usually within less than a minute of travel time so I don't get bored.

It's nothing like what i recall of The Witcher 3, for example, where despite having a massive large gameworld with often fairly involved quests (well, at least having a lot of writing and scripting) also has vast chunks of land where there is literally nothing of interest.

I agree with this post. I've never been anywhere close to running with nothing to do for even a fraction of the time in BOTW as other games like MGSV or Witcher 3. I truly feel BOTW does this better than any other open world game. At least with something interesting and not just pointless crap like Ubi games. Feel like I'm taking crazy pills with all the people agreeing. Maybe they just don't play or like open world games. I mean these criticisms are inherent in open world games and people can and do criticize literally every open world game with the same thing. One of BOTW's major heaps of praise is that it handles this better than any other open world game.

However I agree with the combat trial criticisms. They could have done better there and it wouldn't have even been too hard.
Last edited by LizardKing; 03-19-2017 at 01:33 AM.
thomasmahler
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:32 AM)
thomasmahler's Avatar

Originally Posted by wildemu

OP, I agree with all your points and it is why I dropped the game. I am curious why do you still consider it so great when it has such deep flaws?

Because the flaws haven't stopped me obsessing over the game for the last week or so and overall it's still an absolutely fantastic game that Nintendo should be extremely proud of. It's the right step forward for the Zelda series, even if they lost some of the Zelda magic and polish along the way.

If I'd have to rate Breath of the Wild, I'd still give it a solid 9 out of 10. One thing that's actually very interesting to me is that I doubt I'll play the game to completion again in a very, very long time, whereas I regularly play through games like Super Metroid, ALTTP, ALBW, Links Awakening or Zelda 1 exactly because they're so well and tightly designed. You try to play them for 20 minutes and you just get hooked and don't lose interest.

With this game, the size of the world is overwhelming and large chunks of it are - for lack of a better phrase - not really worth my time. Again, I'm also not a huge fan of open world games and I do see a lot of the typical Open World Game flaws in this game as well and that openness and often times feeling a bit bored is what'll not make me come back in some time now.
WordsintheWater
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:35 AM)
WordsintheWater's Avatar

Originally Posted by Timeaisis

Another comment on the emptiness point: I am always, always, finding something interesting while moving through the empty space to investigate. Whether it's a shrine, a korok puzzle, a mini game, an NPC, and enemy encampment with treasure chest, or something entirely different. The empty space is designed in a way that is nearly always leading you to something interesting to do.

So while the game might not have something to do literally every inch, the player is constantly creating new exploration objectives for themselves, almost implicitly. That, to me, is continually engaging. Although I realize it may not be for everyone else.

That is where I think the level design of BotW is fantastic.

Those things are cool in the beginning, but then after doing them so many times, discovering them gets so stale. My opinion on the game is getting more sour the more I press on because it feels like I've seen the tricks of those particular activities and the rewards for doing these things aren't that great anymore after you reach a certain point.

I'm still charmed with the world and the game in general, but the more it wears on, the things I thought were great to start are just annoying now.
Nick_C
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:35 AM)
Nick_C's Avatar

Originally Posted by NateDrake

Great write-up.

I now hope no site take your comments to make some outlandish headline or article.

Ori Dev Blasts Breath of the Wild Open World for Being 'Too Same-y'
LizardKing
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:36 AM)
LizardKing's Avatar

Originally Posted by thomasmahler

Because the flaws haven't stopped me obsessing over the game for the last week or so and overall it's still an absolutely fantastic game that Nintendo should be extremely proud of. It's the right step forward for the Zelda series, even if they lost some of the Zelda magic and polish along the way.

If I'd have to rate Breath of the Wild, I'd still give it a solid 9 out of 10. One thing that's actually very interesting to me is that I doubt I'll play the game to completion again in a very, very long time, whereas I regularly play through games like Super Metroid, ALTTP, ALBW, Links Awakening or Zelda 1 exactly because they're so well and tightly designed. You try to play them for 20 minutes and you just get hooked and don't lose interest.

With this game, the size of the world is overwhelming and large chunks of it are - for lack of a better phrase - not really worth my time. Again, I'm also not a huge fan of open world games and I do see a lot of the typical Open World Game flaws in this game as well and that openness and often times feeling a bit bored is what'll not make me come back in some time now.

And this is what this thread comes down to. I don't think anyone is saying this has been completely fixed in BOTW but many feel it handles these things better than any open world game has done before. It's pretty inherent to the genre and just as some feel a platinum action game is too hectic, some can feel this is too slow. You're more critiquing the genre than the game.
Affeinvasion
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:38 AM)
Affeinvasion's Avatar
I would happily take half the shrines and double the dungeons. Dungeons are my favorite part of Zelda games and botw just barely scratches that itch for me.
bitocoder
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:38 AM)

Originally Posted by thomasmahler

I'm not sure you understand exactly what I was trying to point out. Nobody is arguing that every single step you take in the world should have something for you to interact with and 'fun per inch' shouldn't be taken completely literal, the idea is more that there are many, many, many areas in BotW where you're just climbing hill after hill while watching your stamina bar, running over vast distances of nothingness with nothing to really see or interact with other than seeing a canyon in the distance that you know you'll have to run through, etc.

The horse riding felt fairly clumsy to me in this game and sometimes in those vast environments I did jump on a horse just to be able to pass an environment faster, but I think there's no denying that there's quite a bit of emptiness in the game where you don't see great vistas, where you don't get to interact with anything, where you're just supposed to run and climb for a while in order to reach something actually more interesting.

That's why I tried to point out that that usually happens with open-world terrain-based games - It's hard to put it into numbers, but I absolutely feel the world could've easily been 25-30% smaller without losing anything of value at all. You'd still get the 'white space', but you'd probably cut out a good chunk of the menial, boring travel distances that you just have to get through in order to reach a certain destination.

I don't think we're playing the same game. Very rarely did I walk for more then 3 minutes without encountering something. Barren landscapes might be in this game, but they're not common. At the very least almost every 20 steps is something to gather.
Ooccoo
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:40 AM)
Ooccoo's Avatar
BOTW will end up one of the most overrated games ever. Remember Bioshock Infinite?

OOT shits on it every single day. Linear design > open-world. The only games where open-world excells is with TES and GTA.
ColdPizza
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:40 AM)
I don't get this whole "the world is too big" talk. The world is as big as you want it to be depending on your play style.

I like feeling that I got way more than my money's worth with this game.
MiamiWesker
(03-19-2017, 01:41 AM)
MiamiWesker's Avatar

Originally Posted by Timeaisis

Another comment on the emptiness point: I am always, always, finding something interesting while moving through the empty space to investigate. Whether it's a shrine, a korok puzzle, a mini game, an NPC, and enemy encampment with treasure chest, or something entirely different. The empty space is designed in a way that is nearly always leading you to something interesting to do.

So while the game might not have something to do literally every inch, the player is constantly creating new exploration objectives for themselves, almost implicitly. That, to me, is continually engaging. Although I realize it may not be for everyone else.

That is where I think the level design of BotW is fantastic.

What you say is true and it's why so many praise this open world. But I want to throw this out there, while you are finding interesting things to do in the world is it better than the stuff that filled zelda games before?

In past zelda games you had insane variety, totally new gameplay mechanics in every single new location. One minute you could be in a jousting match, the next riding a canoe down a river shooting arrows, or next in a mini game soaring through the air popping balloons, that's just random crap from TP. Every zelda game has tons of unique things happening.

In BOTW it's the same few korok seeds, enemy encampments that repeat, shrines are 50/50 some great and unique some are repetitive or super simple. Because you have the same abilities the entire game you really don't actually do new things that often. This world is so big it should be the most varied zelda game of all time. It should have the most unique moments, the most enemy variety, the most cities and I feel it has some of the least of all that. What it does have is the most beautiful world and great gameplay but the stuff in it could be so much better.
lt519
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:43 AM)
lt519's Avatar

Originally Posted by maxcriden

It's a tough call for sure which of the two games I prefer, personally. As you know my wife and I played Ori thanks to your kind recommendation in January and we absolutely loved it. The movement in the game just feels so damn good, and every inch is immaculately crafted and packed with something to find, discover, or cleverly traverse. I almost feel like it's impossible to compare with BOTW. I like BOTW a whole lot and find it addictive to discover what's around the next corner, and the same goes for Ori, but the way each game goes about it is entirely different. BOTW is partly focused on interaction with the changeable systems of the environment almost and Ori is partly focused on the moves and abilities and while you have elements of each of those in both games I feel oddly Ori feels more like the traditional Nintendo game to me than BOTW does. Like the way you move and feel playing and explore feels like the evolution of what the three original Metroid games were going for. BOTW does feel like a 3D take on OG Zelda for sure, but as a 2D platformer fan Ori almost feels more like what I usually look for in a game, delivered consistently at an exceptionally high quality. BOTW has more to see and do, but the actual movement in the world doesn't feel as special to me.

I'm not sure how much sense this makes as it's pretty stream of consciousness, but I guess my only point is to agree with you that it's difficult to compare the two (and that I'm still amazed just how good Ori is - any 2D Metroid(vanished) fan should find a way to play this game - I got an XB1 for like $70 and if this is the only game I love on it I'll be totally thrilled I got one). Anyway, thanks again for the recommendation!

Of course! I think it make sense, there's a fluidity in movement that can make for a satisfying game-play loop. You can traverse from one end of Ori to the other almost without breaking momentum. Funny enough it has it's own paragliding mechanic. I think that hearkens back to 2D Mario (and Metroid) design where almost every level can be beaten at full throttle, constantly moving forward at full speed. BotW allows this in spurts, but then you have to stop and climb a mountain for 3-4 minutes again, it hurts the momentum of the game. I enjoyed the challenge of climbing mountains for the first 30-40 hours or so for exploration and to see if I could really reach that peak, but then it wore on me a little as I started to use them as a jumping off point to traverse large swaths of ground. The fact that I enjoyed that for 30-40 hours though is pretty amazing.

It isn't entirely impossible to compare 2D to 3D in that respect. Ori and BotW share a lot of mechanics and game design philosophy and I think some of that comes from Moon taking a lot of cues from Nintendo's 2D games.
Last edited by lt519; 03-19-2017 at 01:46 AM.
FeD.nL
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:43 AM)
FeD.nL's Avatar

Originally Posted by thomasmahler

I'm not sure you understand exactly what I was trying to point out. Nobody is arguing that every single step you take in the world should have something for you to interact with and 'fun per inch' shouldn't be taken completely literal, the idea is more that there are many, many, many areas in BotW where you're just climbing hill after hill while watching your stamina bar, running over vast distances of nothingness with nothing to really see or interact with other than seeing a canyon in the distance that you know you'll have to run through, etc.

The horse riding felt fairly clumsy to me in this game and sometimes in those vast environments I did jump on a horse just to be able to pass an environment faster, but I think there's no denying that there's quite a bit of emptiness in the game where you don't see great vistas, where you don't get to interact with anything, where you're just supposed to run and climb for a while in order to reach something actually more interesting.

That's why I tried to point out that that usually happens with open-world terrain-based games - It's hard to put it into numbers, but I absolutely feel the world could've easily been 25-30% smaller without losing anything of value at all. You'd still get the 'white space', but you'd probably cut out a good chunk of the menial, boring travel distances that you just have to get through in order to reach a certain destination.

But that's it with this game for me. 90% of the time the destination wasn't defined for me. It was just me exploring, enjoying the world, making up stories in my head of what might've happened to all those destroyed guardian I just passed, or if there is a shrine hidden on top of that mountain. I've never felt the distances to be too long because most of the time I wouldn't know my destination. And on the way I am interacting with the world, be it gathering ingredients, hunting down animals, looking for the optimal way up a cliff, etc.
Last edited by FeD.nL; 03-19-2017 at 02:05 AM.
Shamrock7r
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:44 AM)
Shamrock7r's Avatar
I am going to have to strongly disagree with your argument that the world is too big. I feel like Zelda's world strikes a really good balance in density of things to do, ranging in importance. Like someone else mentioned, the Korok seeds are more of a reward for just being observant and traversing to something interesting.

Because of the gliding and climbing mechanics, just finding unique ways to traverse the land is fufilling and fun in it's own right. Finding your own way to a destination is amazingly interesting and rewarding in its own right. Having quieter moments are important. I don't need to be bombarded with a puzzle or an enemy every 2 minutes. I wouldn't consider that superior gameplay design, in regards to a game like this.
jariw
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:44 AM)
jariw's Avatar

Originally Posted by thomasmahler

The problem here is that since the world is that big and a developer only has 24 hours in a day, repetition is the key to get the project to a finish line. And repetition is all over Breath of the Wild:

I don't think development resources necessarily is the reason for repeated content in this case.

I think the 13GB budget can also easily be the reason. The game has been designed to fit a 32GB Wii U model (which had something like 24 GB available for games) as an eShop title.
Dead Man Typing
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:45 AM)
Dead Man Typing's Avatar

Originally Posted by Affeinvasion

I would happily take half the shrines and double the dungeons. Dungeons are my favorite part of Zelda games and botw just barely scratches that itch for me.

I'd like more dungeons. But I'm constantly enthralled by the Shrines, don't take any away from me.

It's like somebody took a bunch of Portal style test chambers and scattered them across MGSV's game world. They're amazing and each one is unique so far. I've done 76 so far and I accidentally read on here that there are 120!.

The design of the open world is so crazy. After 55+ hours I'm still stumbling upon meaningful content. It's insane how dense the world is and at the same time can make you feel isolated.
WordsintheWater
Member
(03-19-2017, 01:45 AM)
WordsintheWater's Avatar
At the end of the day I would trade in all 120 shrines and 900 Korok seeds for 6 solidly designed dungeons.

Thread Tools