Game Guidance – Non-verbal guidance systems in Open-world Games

How can game designers create an intuitive guidance system for open-world games?

Open-world games claim that players can operate in complete freedom – nevertheless, control strategies of the designers do exist. These (ideally latent) intentions are suggestively communicated to the player through a variety of different verbal and nonverbal clues, which together form the guidance systems. However, designers do not always succeed in conveying their intentions to the player. This is often down to the incorrect or invariant use of the guidance systems. This master thesis analyses and compares various digital game guidance systems in open-world games according to their cognitive and semiotic impact. The findings should help game designers recognize options for intervention and generate higher usability in the gaming experience.

René Bauer, Prof. Ulrich Götz, Dr. Mela Kocher