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Ashaman73

Making the wilderness interesting

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Think of a wilderness, the space between towns and dungeons, in a rpg game.

What would make it interesting for you and not just plain boring ? Edited by Ashaman73

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Add bugs and plants. Make them react to player. Scaring butterflies off flowers can sometimes amuse me for hours. Joking aside, it really adds a lot to have other interactive elements in wilderness than just animals that try to attack you.

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I liked the wilderness in Red Dead Redemption. The ambient creatures gave more of a sense that things were living there. However some of the animals were too aggressive. They were also the only real danger in the wilderness and easily avoidable while on horseback which was more often the case than not. A few more basic survival elements in there might've been nice.

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Skyrim's wilderness is pretty kickass.
Unfortunately, Skyrim is "over-populated". You are always one stretch away from discovering something, and I think that removes the awe factor (that and the compass telling you something's nearby!).

I'd really love to lose myself in a neverending forest and come across a deserted/ruined cabin with some lore (a letter adressed to a stranger) that could indirectly toss me into a subquest. Basically, anything that rewards exploring off the beaten path.

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If your wilderness isn't interesting and traveling through it is just filler between the real content then you might consider removing it entirely.

Some things you could add to make it more interesting include random (and preferably varied) encounters, optional side quests, and interesting scenery -- some interactive (even if really pointless) elements such as the above-mentioned scattering bugs could help with this, as could some unique pieces of scenery along the way.

You could include some sort of achievement for visiting x amount (and/or all) "tourist attractions".

If a player feels they have discovered something rare or unique (even if that discovery is otherwise useless) they will usually feel a sense of satisfaction.

Consider some way of skipping or reducing the duration of tedious travel time. Teleports might skip travel, or a horse rather than walking might make it faster.

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For me the main joy of wandering in the wilderness is:
1. The chance of finding some unmarked quest or secret content.
2. Great views.
3. Random encounters.

It's even better if the "random encounters" have some procedural element to them, e.g. carnivore attacking herbivores, normally non-hostile herbivore attacking if it's young are nearby, etc.

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Make them react to player. Scaring butterflies off flowers can sometimes amuse me for hours.

I will keep this in mind, more of a gimik, but at least entertaining.


I liked the wilderness in Red Dead Redemption.

Never played RDR, but from what I watch on youtube, it seems to be quite large. My wilderness is a lot smaller.


I'd really love to lose myself in a neverending forest and come across a deserted/ruined cabin with some lore

I think that this would be the ultimate goal, but the content creation to archive this is just too expensive at the moment. Maybe a procedural approach, hmmm.


1. The chance of finding some unmarked quest or secret content.
2. Great views.
3. Random encounters.

This is in line with what Orymus sugguested. But there are already other parts in the level which fullfill this task,hmm..


If your wilderness isn't interesting and traveling through it is just filler between the real content then you might consider removing it entirely.

I think that I will start with removing most of the wilderness until I have the time to create one of the sugguested secret locations/random encounters.

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I might modify my statement a little... a wilderness doesn't necessarily have to have all those elements, but I feel that it should at least offer the promise of those things. If you know nothing will happen for the next 2 minutes walking, it's annoying. If you're constantly looking out expecting something may happen, it can be fun. So offer tunnels, canyons, hills, leaves blowing in the mid-ground to keep the player alert. But yeah... don't put too much empty pointless space in. And let people skip past it later, e.g. teleport to discovered waypoints.

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I find that what makes a wilderness interesting for me is a huge variety in shapes and colors of the world. i didn't like skyrim's wilderness because it all felt the same. Make it diffrent, make it vibrant, and if you can, make it huge. If you can make it large, add survival elements, possibly similar to DayZ.

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I might modify my statement a little... a wilderness doesn't necessarily have to have all those elements, but I feel that it should at least offer the promise of those things. If you know nothing will happen for the next 2 minutes walking, it's annoying. If you're constantly looking out expecting something may happen, it can be fun. So offer tunnels, canyons, hills, leaves blowing in the mid-ground to keep the player alert. But yeah... don't put too much empty pointless space in. And let people skip past it later, e.g. teleport to discovered waypoints.


I find that what makes a wilderness interesting for me is a huge variety in shapes and colors of the world. i didn't like skyrim's wilderness because it all felt the same. Make it diffrent, make it vibrant, and if you can, make it huge. If you can make it large, add survival elements, possibly similar to DayZ.


These quotes really hit home with me. The fact that the wilderness in a game should be ever changing, as in seasonal wilderness, would definitely bring me in. AI when it comes to animals I'd like to see a breathing world without the need of the player to discover it. Animals hunting, plants growing while animals eat them, etc.

Variety is the spice of life. Rain forests, coniferous forests, deserts, snow wastelands. These all interest me very much, and to have a living breathing world that is not a ruins or temple every 3 minutes really would to me make the play experience one of a kind.

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