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In the newest episode of Game Maker’s Toolkit host Mark Brown argued that smaller level design is in some cases better than the creation of vast open worlds. To make his point he compared the Prague location from Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and No Man’s Sky.
He made a point that while the space exploration game offered the largest world to roam in the history of video games, it didn’t have much to offer in terms of exploration. Gamers soon discovered that there were hundreds of planets that are similar to each other, all of them had same building types and little to offer in terms of variety. Brown argued that the Prague hub location in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is a good a example of how much space needs to be used and how to utilize it.
Mark thinks that the small scale of the location became its’ strength. Game Maker’s Toolkit host praised the game for incorporating small world building details to the environment. For example, players saw graffiti and movie posters that told them a bit about the world of Mankind Divided. This happened because gamers didn’t rush past them like in huge open-world games.
Brown also praised the use of environmental story telling in the RPG. For example, players could stumble upon a dead body or an abandoned apartment in complete mess and try to figure out what happened without interacting with NPC’s. The deeply detailed locations also allow finding new side quests inside buildings gamers can actually enter.
© Mark Brown, 2016 YouTube Link