Here are ten destinations that would make wonderful open world games

Open world games take us to evocative locations, but parts of the world regularly get overlooked. We take a closer look.

05 Nov 2018

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Cast your mind back over the great games we’ve had this year and the locations they’ve brought to our screens. Sparkling New York, the stage for Marvel’s Spider-Man. The stunning wildlands of Red Dead Redemption 2. The irradiated plains of West Virginia in Fallout 76. As games technology improves, the worlds we get to explore only become more lifelike.

That got us thinking: what about locations that haven’t been done before? Well, it turns out there are plenty of cities, cultures and nations that have gone unnoticed up until now. Places that are ripe for realising as a large open world.  

Unexplored is a fresh, exciting exploration of ten destinations gamers would love to see up close.

Bringing the unexplored to life

Every game, whether it’s an AAA title or a small-scale indie, starts off life as a written idea, which is then turned into a visual concept. These visual concepts can be crucial to the design process. Sometimes, these early drawings can be the reason a game gets made at all. Multimillion-pound budgets often hinge on whether a potential publisher is impressed by one of these early drawings.

To really bring to life our unexplored locales, we’ve come up with a fictional story for each location and asked concept artists to put together a detailed sketch of a “scene” from the game.

Think of the stories as game design documents, explaining how the world would work, and what sorts of games are obvious touchpoints. The concept art immerses you further in these fictional places.

Our stories and our games are all hypothetical, but we pulled out all the stops and brought in three talented artists onboard all the same: Eva Kedves, David Tilton and Dominik Zdenković. Eva and David are both well-established in their fields, having worked on projects like Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty and Black Panther, while Dominik is a student with a very bright future in the industry.

Each artist received an initial brief detailing the location and fictional game in question. From there, they were free to use their creative license to come up with a scene they felt represented that game. 

Dominik and David’s styles are grounded in the painterly, while Eva prefers realistic photographic collages. For the purpose of this campaign, we asked her to add overpainting techniques at the end.

More and more, gaming art is getting the attention it deserves. Exhibitions like the Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt at the V&A are bringing the artform into focus and introducing it to a new audience. And, with a global gaming industry attracting players – and developers – from all over the world, there’s every reason to explore new settings at the same time.

Feeling the itch to immerse yourself in an expansive open world? Shop limited edition PS4 deals, Xbox bundles and the Nintendo Switch with Fortnite and spend the holiday season tucked indoors, playing your favourite games.   

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