Non-linear progression

April 30, 2010

Typically, you´re confronted with a certain obstacle and you have to clear that one to proceed your adventure. There´s a spot you could shoot with an arrow, but you don´t have a bow? Get the bow. That´s how exploration in Zelda worked so far.

I´d like exploration to become more natural, more unpredictable. More free. If we take the above example: So you need a bow for shooting that certain spot, but you don´t have one. Instead of desperately looking for a bow now, you keep watching your environments. Eventually, you´ll see spot for using the hook shot. Or/and you might also find an unobtrusive small hole in some wall that you can enter. And/or there´s a spot that look like a bomb could do wonders.

Basically, you´re exploring the game as an adventurer, not as a puzzle-solver. You might not be able to walk the same path that you could have walked, if you had a bow, but you can proceed a different path. That different path might lead through completely different environments, completely different follow-up puzzles, completely different enemies and bits of story. But it´ll feel good. Because you felt like you had actually explored your environments, instead of simply being challenged of obtaining a certain item.