Continuous World

Applies to: Action/Adventure computer games.

Problem: Games where you play a succession of increasingly difficult levels (LinearWorld) decrease immersion by refusing to allow you to explore. Also, you are having a story handed to you instead of helping construct one.

Solution: Hook the game levels together; when you exit one, you enter another. Allow backtracking. (Some people use Continuous World to mean SeamlessWorld; I'd like Continuous World to be a more broad definition.)

Consequences: Allows player to go back and search for things they may have missed in previous levels; increases immersion. Allows nonlinearity; a level may have three exits. Players may be able to make MeaningfulChoices about which path to take to a certain destination. Creates the risk that players might get to certain parts of the game they aren't ready for. Creates the potential for boredom: a continuous world where the player must backtrack frequently will get dull as they traverse the same terrain repeatedly. This can be fixed by warp points.

Examples: Half-Life, Quake 2, Metroid, Castlevania

CategoryGoodIdea CategoryHolisticDesignPattern?