There are many methods in order to create a sense of freedom within an environment, in this blog post we will explore different methods of creating a sense of freedom for the Burstalls project.
One way that we could create freedom within this project is by giving the player choices or at least the feeling of choice so that the player would feel freer the more they explore and get to know the level. An example of choice could be the choice to explore the basement before checking out any other room upstairs, or being able to interact with a candle in the basement. Even closing the door when leaving a room gives the player the choice to leave it open or to close it.
Non-Linear games allow the player to break free from the main quest in order to simply explore or to complete an alternative quest. This is giving the player the option to partake in other activities rather than the main quest itself, this could be anything from making an object from resources found in the level or even simply the urge to explore the entire environment to unlock all the exploration achievements before partaking on the main quest.
If the world was larger or contained an in depth story then naturally the player will feel freer. If the environment was to be small, then the creator should reflect on the level of detail within the game environment as having more details could create new pathways for the player to follow. For example if we have a small room within Burstalls solicitors then we should aim to pack this with enough detail as possible to give story to the room and thus possibly expanding the use of the room through a quest. Although, this should only be done with necessary in order to create a meaningful experience for the player as if this is overdone it could take away from the user experience.
Having some level of unpredictability within the level is something which would increase user freedoms as it means giving the player more than one focus. This means that the player will have multiple responses which can be taken further in which the player can be thrown off guard by a situation they didn’t expect. This level of unpredictability can enhance user experience but if too much is used then it can throw the user out of a state of flow and put them off continuing their experience. Players want to have a level of control within their environment but at the same time to not expect everything to be how they intended with some hidden surprises waiting for them. Once a foundation has been created then it has room for a level of unpredictability to be established.