Dying Light 2 Director Says We Need Better Worlds, Not Bigger Ones

Dying Light 2 Director Says We Need Better Worlds, Not Bigger Ones

I feel like we’re mostly past the days of open worlds that are big for the sake of being big. According to Dying Light 2’s director, Tymon Smektala, the days of ever-growing worlds could be numbered, as focus should be shifting to making those environments better.

Speaking to Official Xbox Magazine (issue 185), Smektala said that “I’m not sure [worlds] will get bigger. I think what will change is the fidelity of everything. I don’t think people really need bigger worlds, they need worlds that are of better quality and that they feel more immersed in what surrounds them.”

“You can create big worlds that don’t really impact the performance. What impacts performance is the number of NPCs you see around you, the variety of them and how they behave, and the number of animations. The improvements in the next generation will allow us to go further in that direction.”

According to Smektala, that’s the aim for Dying Light 2 – developer Techland wants “to create first-person open-world games with […] high-fidelity immersion, where you feel like you are really there.” Set primarily within a single city, I imagine it’ll be easier to achieve than if the studio were trying to bring an entire virtual country to life.

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This post originally appeared on Kotaku UK, bringing you original reporting, game culture and humour from the British isles.


  • I’ve been saying the same thing for years. It doesn’t matter how big a game world is if there is nothing fun to do in them. More fun seemless activities in a smaller space is ALWAYS more engaging than a big boring blank expanse of land.

  • This is true.

    The original Everquest still has from my experience the most developed world. Cities are well populated with npcs that do little beyond making a city feel populated. I haven’t seen a game even come close to what the original EQ achieved.

    Part of me does not think EQ will be beaten in that regard, but I do hope I am wrong because it would be great to see

  • 110% true. It’s a good approach for them to follow. Also, interactivity with the environment, that’s definitely important.

  • Sounds about right. The world of Majora’s Mask was tiny, a small hub with basically four corridors attached to it on the cardinal directions (the exception was the ocean side, which was a bit more open-ended) but NPCs with lives and schedules of their own added a huge dimension to the game.

    • Very much this. BotW is quite an enjoyable game, but it would be much better if the map was half the size and the shrines were merged into larger, but less in number, ones.

    • Actually that’s a great analogy to think about isn’t it. The worlds being created by them are all pools with the same amount of water. The smaller they are, the more depth they have, but as they make them wider and wider, they’re getting shallower and shallower…

  • It annoys me when a game has you walking around a huge city, but the only buildings with doors that you can open are the ones related to your quest.

    More immersive would be a much smaller city, but where every building and room is modeled and it’s up to you to work out which ones are relevant to you.

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