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#1 Mar 01, 2017 1:56 AM

From: Illinois
Registered: May 12, 2010
Posts: 5,025
Gems: -495
Birthday: 30 March
Age: 32 years old
Gender: Male

Bring back mystery and self discovery in video games

This is the first of two (maybe three) threads I wanted to make on various topics of video games that have been on my mind a lot lately and I've come across a lot of good coverage on. I encourage everyone who's interested in these topics to watch the videos I link to, but not necessary to reply to any of my threads. I would love to talk about these topics with you guys if you have anything to say on the topic, but most importantly I just wanted to share the cool and interesting stuff I've found.

First thing I wanted to talk about (which the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has revitalized my interest in) was how much games (and culture) have evolved to take any sense of wonder and self discovery away and replace it all with hour (or several hour) long tutorial portions that are little more than hand holding, and take any creativity out of the experience. I encourage you guys to watch any of these three videos, but if you were to pick only one, watch the Noclip one. It's a fascinating documentary.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did and I look forward to discussing this topic with you guys!

EDIT: I realize now "self discovery" is not the word I'm looking for. I'm referring to finding things out by yourself, not finding yourself in a philosophical sense

Last edited by RangerOfIthilien (Mar 01, 2017 1:59 AM)

Level 67


#2 Mar 01, 2017 3:44 AM

From: In Eric Christian Olsen's Home
Registered: Jan 16, 2008
Posts: 1,029
Gems: 0
Birthday: 1 November
Age: 32 years old
Gender: Female

Re: Bring back mystery and self discovery in video games

These are interesting thanks for linking them!

I have changed my username from Justin Long Fanatic to EricChristianOlsenFanatic, so Justin Long Fanatic is my old name on this site, and EricChristianOlsenFanatic is my new one.


#3 Mar 02, 2017 7:00 PM

Mr. John
From: Idol Springs
Registered: Feb 12, 2010
Posts: 8,358
Gems: -2,720

Re: Bring back mystery and self discovery in video games

Rangerofthilien you are correct. I mean having a tutorial for how to play a game is grand but there should be the chance for the player to Expirience it themselves see things and do things by themselves.

You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.

Cayla Mills


#4 Mar 04, 2017 8:15 PM

From: Israel
Registered: May 10, 2014
Posts: 3,192
Gems: -15
Gender: Male

Re: Bring back mystery and self discovery in video games

Everything today is accessible and very easy to use. It's good and bad at the same time. That's why I simply go back to my old games- for instance, even Spyro. It's fun.



#5 Mar 05, 2017 12:39 AM

Award: contest mod
From: Minnesota
Registered: Jun 03, 2006
Posts: 4,346
Gems: 136
Birthday: 6 February
Gender: Male

Re: Bring back mystery and self discovery in video games

I agree wholeheartedly. This is why I loved older games and series' like Metroid and Dark Souls. Some games do it well, while others shove tutorials and hints down your throat like you don't have a brain. I'll definitely watch those videos on a slow day at work, then I might have more to contribute to the topic.

I've been pleasantly surprised by Breath of the Wild so far though! It's a very hands-off experience, which is a vast departure from hand-holdy Skyward Sword (Fi got on my nerves really fast). BotW is so open and fleshed out it gives me the same feeling of being outside and exploring nature, which is awesome.


#6 Mar 05, 2017 10:50 PM

Award: Skateboard Contest Winner
From: Norway
Registered: Jan 24, 2008
Posts: 983
Gems: 0
Birthday: 20 January
Age: 29 years old
Gender: Male

Re: Bring back mystery and self discovery in video games

I agree very much with the point you're making!

My most prominent experience with this would be Skyward Sword - how I remember first reading an interview where Eiji Aonuma talked about how they were experimenting with changing the dungeon-overworld structure, and I took it to mean they were making it more like the very first game, and perhaps making the dungeons less enclosed and linear. Then came the first screenshots:

Hidden text


And I really liked how the game looked, and thought how amazing this would be as an open, sprawling world, similar to both TLoZ and ALttP - but in 3d - a lot like Breath of the Wild, but less empty kind of open, instead more compact, with hills and trees and ruins neatly crammed together to make a truly joyous landscape to explore.

Then it turned out they'd done the complete opposite - every region of the overworld was strictly separated from every other region, and rather than being open, explorable playgrounds with mysteries to uncover, they were mostly just semi-open linear pathways with one obstacle after the other, functioning much like dungeons they contain.

Breath of the Wild does look really good, but I would still rather have something a bit more compact and labyrinthine. Too open plains kind of take away the prospect of discovering new things around every corner - things you couldn't see from a distance. Of course, it could be that such places really do exist in the game, and I just haven't seen them yet tongue


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