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Open World

Explore the world, meet new people and kill them for XP

A open world game gives the player the freedom to move around in a seemingly vast world and pursue other tasks beside the primary objectives.

Mechanics
Map Markers
With a large world there is always the problem that the player miss parts of the experience. It can be as simple that he runs by a abandoned tower that he wish to explore but have to run of and do a quest and then forget about the tower. For that one can place markers on the map for important places as the player detect them. As the player runs by the tower place a marker of a tower on the map. To improve the chance that the player finds them one can hint about them on the compass when the players starts to get close enough.

Revealing Markers
Even with markers there is a risk that the player never pass by the given area at all and fail to detect the marker. To avoid that one can add Viewpoints that can be used to reveal the markers around it. In Assassin's Creed there are towers that you use to see all the markers around the tower. These viewpoint often have a large detection radius or are visible from the start. As a final step in revealing the markers one can add a late game powerup that reveal all the viewpoints on the map.

Fast Travel
With a large open world it start to take time for the player to move from one place to another. Fast travel solves this by making it possible for to player to select markers on the map and move directly to that place. The game world can still simulate that time pass by but the player will skip the trip. Not all map markers have to allow fast travel and it's often not possible if the player are in combat.


Open World Games
Reference

World Sizes
Here is the world size listed for some open world games.

 Map Side Km
Name
 Yearkm2
 400Daggerfall 1996160000
 278Lord of the Rings Online 2010 77248
 197Guild Wars Nightfall 2006 38,850
 120Fuel 2009 14,440
 40Test Drive Unlimited
 2006 1,600
 36Asherons Call 1999 1296
 32Just Cause 2
 2010 1024
 23Burnout Paradise 2008 529
 22Star Wars Galaxies 2003 518
 14WOW Orginal 2004 
 18
Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
 2009 350
 9Far Cry 2 2008 81
 9Grand Theft Auto V 2013 81
 6,7Far Cry 4 2014 46
 6,5The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion 2006 42
 6,4Red Dead Redemption 2010 41
 6Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas 2004 36
 6The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim 2011 39
 3Grand Theft Auto III 2001 9

10 BIGGEST Game Worlds Of 2015 - 2015
The Largest Video Game Worlds: A Visual Comparison - 2010



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