Back in 2013, as part of an elevator pitch about how to improve open-world video games, among other things I suggested expanding wilderness areas:
Certain types of game terrain benefit from a sense of scale. Specifically, wilderness types of terrain. When traveling through woods and seas and deserts and plains, the repetition and vastness add to the ambiance. But, game designers seem to like cramming theirSo, now that we have all this extra computing power, how about stretching the outside of new game worlds only in wilderness areas where repetition is a virtue? … Acre after acre of trees in the Wyrmwood? Yes, thank you. Stretches of open sea where you can’t sight land? Of course. wilderness areas with frustratingly dense settlement patterns, so that you can hardly get a sense of not being right outside of town. And, that’s because you typically are right outside of town.
I reiterated this in regard to Assassin’s Creed : Black Flag in regard to the cramped feeling of the virtual sea.
Well, a prominent YouTube video game channel has noticed something I had also noticed while playing Red Dead Redemption 2: the open-world seemed remarkably uncramped. But this guy, Luke Stephens, took it one step further by actually gathering data on various open-world games and comparing them to RDR2. He discovered that Rockstar Games actually doubled the effective size of the game’s wilderness areas compared to similar games.
Take a look at the analysis. It’s fascinating.