Tainted Fate goes open world
The way I first imagined it
I wanted Tainted Fate to be a linear game gameplay-vise.
It would be divided into chapters and every chapter would have a few levels consisting of puzzles and running away from monsters in which you couldn't backtrack because the path would get obstructed or some other standard video-game trick would block your way back.
The non-linearity would come from the fact that the player would make decisions in conversations (who to kill, who to spare, what to do,...) and then depending on the decision, a certain level would load next (for example: there would be two types of level 5 and depending on what you choose to say or do in level 4, one of the level 5's would load).
The first chapter would be played with the guy in the 1930's, the second would be played with the girl in 2012, then the third chapter would be played with the guy again and so on.
That way there would be two different chapter 6's and four different chapter 7's and about 7 different endings.
Going open world
A few days ago my programmer iviay asked me if we'll need day and night cycles in the game. I immediately said no. The time of day, fog, rain, clouds and sky\water clarity would be predefined in the levels. That gives me more creative power over the look and mood of every level.
But it got me thinking. By asking a question like that, he obviously saw the open world potential of the game already.
I made this game because of a childhood love towards drawing my own imaginary mystical island maps and imagining how a castaway survivor would traverse them.
Wouldn't completely limiting the player's path and making it linear turn the game into something I myself probably wouldn't want to play?
Then I started playing Tomb Raider (the reboot). That's when the decision got cemented.
Something between Tomb Raider's semi-open and Far Cry 3's completely open island exploration would be perfect for Tainted Fate.
- There will day\night cycles with dawn and dusk (duration of a single day not decided yet)
- There will be random weather changes
- The water, fog, skybox, shadows, sun, light shafts, lens flares,.. will all change colors and intensity depending on time of day
- The player will have the option of finding shelter during the night in any of the buildings on the island
- The player will be able to sleep through the night in the shelters
- The colors and mood of the game will be different depending on the character you will be currently playing with
- There will be secrets, lovely, lovely hard to find secrets
At first the game will guide you towards objectives, but by acquiring the tools necessary to remove the obstacles obstructing your path, you will gradually unlock more of the island.
The game could also block your path to disable backtracking at some points, but later on you will acquire tools to destroy even those obstacles. For example a bunch of rocks would fall over a cave entrance after you enter it and you wouldn't be able to go back until you acquire a pickaxe.
That would allow for linear segments on the island that later connect and become part of the open world.
The engine can handle it, it would allow for far more complex puzzles, it would allow backtracking and multiple side-quests from NPCs,
and most importantly, it would be the kind of game I couldn't wait to get my hands on.
It would also require a whole lot more work. I still haven't pinpointed the enemy interaction yet - whether they'll spawn at random, or roam the island all the time, or be completely scripted, semi-scripted,... Who knows!
In the end, I think this is the way everyone else except me perceived the game will be (since the whole island is open for exploration in the pre-alpha), so to hell with it, lets make a better game :D .