- The Last of Us co-creator Bruce Straley recently said on Twitter that linear games are easier to develop in contrast to non-linear titles.
- Many prominent figures, such as Alex Hutchinson and David Goldfarb, in the gaming industry, have supported the statement by the developer.
- Alex Hutchinson called linear games “less interesting as games in general,” while David had opposite remarks concerning linear games.
- However, commenters and game developers are divided on what type of games are better in quality, delving the community into arguments.
The Last of Us co-director Bruce Straley has expressed that linear games are easier to develop in contrast to non-linear projects. The well-known developer alludes to the idea that creating non-open-world games is less complicated, which appears to be a silent but accepted truth by many in the industry.
linear games are just easier to make.
there. I said it.
— Bruce Straley (@bruce_straley) March 2, 2023
Bruce Straley boasts years of experience and many breathtaking projects under his belt. Moreover, the ex-Naughty Dog game developer is responsible for shaping The Last of Us franchise, one of the best linear world and story-driven experiences in the gaming industry.
So, his words are accepted to be very valuable by young game developers and the gaming industry in general. Nevertheless, the prominent figure has split many users on Twitter, with most divided on which type of games are better in general.
The viral tweet appears to be supported by even more accredited names in the game development sphere. Many notable game designers have tuned in to the thread to share their opinions, with most agreeing that linear projects are easier for developers to create.
The creative director behind popular Assassin’s Creed III and Far Cry 4 releases, Alex Hutchinson, also shared his views on the topic calling linear entries “less interesting as games in general.” The stellar figure noted his polemical statement while agreeing with The Last of Us co-creator.
Eh, the need to generalize is always a problem. You could say in terms of gameplay experience yes, but as games as a whole means the overall experience, which is purely subjective. And that can include the story experience as well, which is likely easier to deliver linear
— Dreamer (@Ladder_of_Glass) March 2, 2023
However, his words seem to have caused many readers to speak out against the spicy take, leaving people divided on a spectrum. For instance, one user replied, “You have Far cry in your resume, your opinion is invalid,” while many others opted for a more constructive breakdown of his words.
David Goldfarb, the current co-founder of The Outsiders and a prominent name behind the development of PAYDAY 2 and Battlefield Bad Company 2, also shared his opinions in the thread.
David notes that many crafted linear experiences tend to be quality targets, which holds up some weight considering the emergence of bland open-world games that emerged in the last decade.
tend to agree but it is a function of quality targets also
— David Goldfarb (@locust9) March 2, 2023
Some commenters are questioning the lack of Linear experiences by AAA studios compared to the release of open-world games. Many have argued that a cheap, well-made eight to ten-hour linear experience is more gratifying as opposed to an empty open world costing over 50 USD to purchase.
I think there’s room for both and studios should continue to make both as everyone has different tastes.
— Spriggan113 (@DonteJMoody) March 2, 2023
Others have adopted a more neutral approach, asking everyone not to generalize a whole type. According to some users, both linear and non-linear titles are able to pull the strings of our hearts and enthrall us in their stories, and both feature merits and demerits worth tackling.
Open-world games are able to leave a more lasting impact only if they are developed right. Red Dead Redemption 2 and Witcher 3 are one of the biggest examples. However, they also require a big budget, a higher expertise ceiling, and a very long development cycle lasting almost a generation.
On the other hand, Linear games can be charming bite-sized pieces that are more replayable at times, allowing us to live through epic retellings of hearty tales without high system specs and cost. Titles like Portal 2, and the BioShock series, among many others, stand as one of the most triumphant examples in the industry.
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