When asked to name the most important ingredient in an open world game, Red Faction developer Volition took a sly dig at certain rival developers.
You recently had the chance to ask some questions of Volition’s Sean Kennedy. Reader “Mike720” asked: What’s the most important part of an open world game to get right?
Kennedy says the secret is “making it fun”, something he’s not sure other developers truly understand.
“Honestly, I would say the most important part of an open world game is to make sure you create a world where anywhere the player turns there will always be something to do, something to engage the player. Sure you can create a city that is beautiful, that looks like a real world place, one that has a gritty life like look to it, but if that city doesn’t constantly provide the player with things to do, give them engaging content and a reason to be there, what’s the point Very quickly gamers will see past all that flash and glitz and realize promises were not fulfilled and they will leave you for something that will provide them with the fun they were seeking.
That right there is the single most important thing when building an open world to me: making it fun.
It can be easy to get caught up in the creation of a world and overlook making sure you are giving the player things to do everywhere that are fun. You can give the player all the freedom they could want in your world, but what’s the good of that freedom if that world is not brimming with things to do. Things that keep the player coming back to your game over and over again.”
Beautiful, real world, gritty and without things to do? I wonder what he could possibly be talking about…