Unfinished Swan dev says true open worlds are “the opposite of fun”

Friday, 8th June 2012 01:55 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The Unfinished Swan combines exploration and linear elements in a way that makes the player feel free, even though they’re not – because freedom without constraints isn’t fun.

“We do want the game to feel like it’s really open and freeform,” creative director Ian Dallas told GiantBomb.

“We want players to feel like they’re exploring the game world, like legitimately we’re not telling them what to do. They’re actually just going out there and finding it for themselves,” he said.

“But it turns out if you make a game that’s completely open that’s the opposite of fun, it just ends up being really frustrating. The goal for us is to make it feel a little more open than it is.

“In terms of mechanics, we’re really trying to give people a toy they can use to explore the world with. We’re not telling them what to do with it,” he added.

The Unfinished Swan is set to release via the PlayStation Network later this year, the first of a three game deal with Sony during which Giant Sparrow will be “incubated” inside Sony Santa Monica, much as thatgamecompany was.



  1. TMRNetShark

    What? No you idiot… Linear gameply means the game plays out the same every time. If you make a non-linear game, then the game can play out a number of different ways. This way people can talk about the game and be like “I did x, y, and z” while another person will say “Oh yeah, I did j, x (cause that was coo), and M.”

    If gamers played only linear games, there would be nothing to talk about after they talked about the game because it’s the same for everyone. Non-linear games provides people with the option to do whatever they want and it creates some nice stories to tell your other gaming friends.

    Stop telling us what is good in video games and LISTEN to what we (the gamers) like in video games… jack ass.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Dannybuoy

    ^ I think you’re missing the point a little. I actually agree with him entirely. Also I don’t play games just so I can “tell my friends” and share my experience. I play it for myself only. If a friend happens to have played the game then yes I will discuss it but actually a linear game would allow more discussion. Why do you think book clubs are so popular throughout the world?

    #2 3 years ago
  3. roadkill

    Do you hear that people? Watch Dogs will not be fun! Do not buy it! LOL

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Gadzooks!

    What a twat this guy is. He’s saying the GTA’s, Skyrims, Minecrafts, etc are not fun. Well that’s backed up by sales and reviews isn’t it?


    #4 3 years ago
  5. Gekidami

    He’s talking about his own game and its gameplay being confusing if the game was fully open world because they dont tell players where to go and what to do.

    Just a random suggestion, but maybe people should watch the actual interview.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DrDamn

    Yep, listen to the interview and he’s clearly talking about within the context of his own game. He’s not making a general comment about open world games.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. OrbitMonkey

    lol, did someone suggest GTA, Skyrim and even the upcoming WatchDogs are non-linear?

    Riiiiight. Non of them involve a linear progression through a series of quests to progress or open new areas? :-P

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Gadzooks!

    I see. It’s VG247 selecting specific words from other peoples articles to create inflammatory site-hit pieces without context isn’t it?

    I’m getting pretty fucking sick of what these guys call Journalism.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. ManuOtaku

    #8 the tittle of this article and the way it starts, clearly shows is within the context for the above mentioned game, maybe she didnt explain better, but saying is for creating inflammatory pieces is way too much IMHO.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Gadzooks!


    The article, read without seeing the interview first, implies that all openworld/freeform games without linear constraints are not fun. It’s worded in absolutes.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. xino

    completely agree to what he says, open world games bore me so much!

    It’s like walking to a Chinese buffet all you can it.
    There’s SO much food to eat, but your stomach can only take certain food and you have to decide which taste nice. Which means you have to keep trying and eating.

    this is how open world games are too me, they are just too big and too overwhelming that sucks the fun out.

    Reason why I didn’t even bother playing Arkham City, only played 7% of the game and sold it.

    #11 3 years ago

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