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Open world games are too small and I hope Elder Scrolls 6 is different

Elden Ring screenshot

Elden Ring – a finite world (Image: Metro.co.uk)

A reader argues that modern open-world games, including upcoming ones Starfield should make more use of procedurally generated content.

Like many others, my previous Game of the Year is Elden Ring, which I’ve loved for many reasons, not the least of which is its great open world. I’ve always liked games like this, including Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, Fallout, and Far Cry. I’m really excited for Bethesda’s Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6, but there’s one thing I hope is different and that’s a much larger open world.

I’m actually shocked that worlds as big and detailed as Zelda and Elden Ring are ever made, but they’re still pretty limited. They don’t really take long to cross, and while they’re super impressive, when you realize it’s all done by hand, that’s kind of the problem.

It’s impossible to just hire twice as many people to make the world bigger, so I wish companies would make more use of procedural generation. This often happens in indie games, where I think it’s gotten a bad rap. Yes, it can create very generic areas, but only when used to create dungeons that you would normally expect to be complicated. But when it comes to landscapes, I think it’s much more useful.

I envision something like Minecraft, where the game world goes on almost forever, but is automatically created in a believable way as you go on. One of the best things about Elden Ring and Zelda is finding treasure in a really obscure place and feeling like you’re the only person who’s ever done it, when obviously you weren’t. But imagine if it were you! Imagine if this world was created just for you and everything you find and explore was built just for you!

I find that thought very exciting, and I think Bethesda is hinting that they’re doing something similar for Starfield. Unfortunately, I don’t really like sci-fi games, but I heard there was something similar in Mass Effect, on a much more limited scale.

I want this to be expanded for all open world game types, so you’re not so constrained, always traveling between the same few areas, and making even the biggest games feel small.

Starfield still seems to be mostly based on last-gen technology, so I’m hoping The Elder Scrolls 6 will be the one that makes proper use of procedural generation and maybe other elements of AI technology. We’ve all seen the rapid rise of AI-generated artwork, and I see amazing potential in it for video games.

A better AI can ensure that the landscapes are more realistic and the treasures are hidden in more interesting and complex ways, but in the future it should also be able to generate non-player characters, both physically and in terms of dialogue. We already have chatbots that can get eerily realistic, so incorporating this into a game should be relatively easy, especially with cloud technology.

Perhaps weapons can also be AI generated to always be unique, or animals and enemies so you never fight the exact same thing twice.

The idea of ​​having an entire world to explore that isn’t just some fancy carnival ride you’re supposed to travel through exactly as the developer intended is my dream game. We’ve already seen glimpses of what that can be, but I’m hoping that once we properly move into next-gen we’ll see a lot more.

By reader Steve Burns

The reader feature does not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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