Video games have evolved significantly since the 60s and 70s when Space war! and Atari laid the groundwork for what would become a billion-dollar industry. That development has seen trends come and go, from an emphasis on performers in the 80s and 90s to the cover shooters of the 2000s. But there were also smaller changes, as the developers played around with minor tweaks to the game mechanics. Objective markers have had a particularly interesting past, and their development isn’t going to end anytime soon.
It is difficult to determine when precise objective markers became the norm for video games. For years, players were forced to explore their surroundings or follow some other underground direction. In the early days of the NES, that often meant moving from left to right, just as players were instructed to do in Super Mario Bros. without being asked. Until today, Super Mario Bros. have the best guide in the industry without having to tell the player what to do. Players see where they need to go and can guide themselves there.
The modern world of video games rarely needs objective markers
Video games aren’t like the ’80s, at least not at the three-player level. Exploration has always been a staple of the traditional video game experience, but the scope of the world has changed dramatically since then. Super Metroid and The Legend of Zelda is bar. Now, the world of video games can be as small as a few square miles or as wide as the universe, simply depending on the type of game. Worlds have become more complex, but also easier to navigate.
Look at Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, For example. The player’s home base, Ravenshorpe, is centrally located on the map with larger settlements scattered around. These settlements are connected by an intricate river system, which the player can sail across most of the world.
All over Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s story, players in turn allied with those settlements, trying to build a foothold for their own settlement in England. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is also one of the few games that allows the player to completely evade target markers, instead introducing an “adventure mode” that provides the player with general areas and directions to search. instead of target markers.
Fortunately, those general directions are really all one needs to deal with Valhalla’s challenges. The map is easy to use and the directions are clearly given, making it easy for players to understand where they need to go. The extra work required to find the target is also included in the discovery using this method, helping players find interesting side content and making the world feel interesting. If developers want players to appreciate the world they’ve created, the best way for them to do that is to simply make players explore without any manipulation. It actually makes for a better game in the long run.
Make more vivid video games
Perhaps the biggest benefit to dropping objective markers from the game, though, is how much more immersive it makes the world feel. Video games have become more and more complex as time goes on, and part of that complexity is noted in how cluttered the user interface can become. Health bar, ability bar, cooldown, summoner spells – each takes up screen space and it’s enough to take the player out of the experience under extreme circumstances. The objective markers are just another element of that, but they’re worth the sacrifice.
The alternative is to create task markers and the user interface in general, which is easy to turn on and off. The Skyrim mod The immersive HUD is a great example of how a UI can be there when the player wants to but disappear when the player doesn’t. Simply allowing players to switch skins – and by means of extensive target markers – is a great middle ground between sweeping changes and minor tweaks.
Two days before the release of Pokemon Legends: Arceus on Switch, reviews are pouring in and scores are soaring.
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https://gamerant.com/objective-markers-ditch/ Other games should ignore target markers