RMMV Guiding the Player along an Intended Direction

Black Pagan

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Hi, In my survival focused game, I am planning to guide the Player along certain routes and towards certain objects, While avoiding certain routes and certain objects. Now my issue is this - Although the Plot of the Game is quite Linear, I don't want to make it appear Linear, I want to make it feel Open-world ish, Letting the Player have a little freedom to be able to move around freely.

- How do you Guide the Player to go to Certain places in the Map other than directly telling them to do so ?

(Example : I want the Player to avoid the Marsh area and head to Desert area first when they start. But it should be apparent to the Player that this is the exact course of action without having to be conveyed through a Dialogue)

- How do i achieve the above without involving too many road blocks ?

(Example : I am planning to minimize interactive messages and Enemy Encounters. I feel punishing the Player with Forceful encounter is the worst possible way to do so, at-least in this game because Difficulty scales up drastically and I don't think Poor geared Player in my Game can survive an encounter with a Higher Level encounter)

Would like to hear your Ideas / Suggestions regarding this, Cheers.
 

duty

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Legend of Zelda titles achieve that open world tackled in a linear way by teasing inaccessible areas, and then later presenting the player with the key item to access that area.

The marsh may be blocked by some obstacle (rocks, thick vegetation, poisonous fog, etc) that cannot be cleared until the player finds the right item in the desert.

The trick is to let the player progress just a bit into the marsh (or any other part of the game world) before presenting the road block. This creates the illusion that the player can access every area from the start of the game, but without letting them REALLY access those areas.
 

Tai_MT

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The trick is often in "convincing" your player to do something without them knowing they've been convinced.

I use an "open world" format for my own game, but I engage in a lot of "eye catches" to lure the player the direction I want them to go.

Just from the beginning portion of the game, here's what I do:

There's 1 exit from the area you start in, and a tent with an open door immediately accessible. Players pretty much universally go into the tent first (you can see this in action in game design as far back as the first Zelda game on the NES. Players pick up their sword without ever thinking about why they do so. There's a cave, go in. What's inside?) Inside this Tent is a character who gives quests. The quests are "short" so as to signpost to the player to "stay in the area so you can turn the quests in". Most of my players tend to "run around" in the immediate area with the one exit for a while. Once the quests start getting "longer", the player then moves outside of the area they started in.

After exiting, they are confronted immediately with a cave entrance blocked by a soldier.

The soldier gives the player the "requirements" to get into the cave, but the player can see "civilization" on the right-hand side of their screen. What amounts to a "path" and some fencing. Most players go see what the fence is about.

They encounter another NPC who tells them about what she does and how she's an item shop. The path itself, winds further to the right.

Most players begin "following" this "old path", which is only partially existent. Looking for civilization. Where does this road go?

Partway down the path (as it turns south) there is what looks like some wreckage and bodies. The player is pretty much guaranteed to investigate. They find out it was a trade caravan.

The "road" continues south until it hits the town. The player is then given an "eye catch" with one of the buildings, which is far larger than the rest.

It's the Inn.

The Inn sits close to the "edge" of town. A player investigating the town will notice a "blocked off road" out of town to the south. A nearby NPC will tell the player that they can't move the freight for them to pass through just yet, but if they want to get over there, they should go into the forest. They are given some brief instructions on how to get to the forest.

The player, having seen this road, and an NPC telling them how to get to it, will then travel back down the road they came from and around the other side to get into the forest.

I don't tell the players to go anywhere or do anything. I use "eye catches" to lure them the directions I want them to go and selectively give them information on how to get into the areas the "eye catch" shows them.
 

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