Most games these days have indicators or signs that help guide gamers along their journey. Whether those things are paths appearing in the world or waypoints themselves, these exist to guide the players. Even though these things are common, some games choose to steer clear of them.
A game that comes to mind, which I believe does not have waypoints, is Firewatch. Last year’s beautiful title put players in the middle of a stunning forest and let them explore. Developer Campo Santo, in a way, creates a deeper, more immersive experience by doing this.
Playtonic Games’ upcoming open-world platformer Yooka-Laylee will be ditching several concepts usually seen in open-world games today. In an exclusive interview with We Write Things, Playtonic’s Andy Robinson confirmed the game won’t feature a mini-map or waypoints.
“I think players will be surprised by how much freedom they have to explore and complete their adventure. Every world can be unlocked but also expanded, which will literally make the environments bigger and full of more complex challenges. Players can also choose to purchase moves with freedom and equip special Tonics which modify gameplay to suit your playstyle.
“These features allow for players to opt for the kind of experience they’d like from the game; a relaxed adventure through all the different environments, or a challenging quest to obtain every last collectible. This core idea is enforced by our player-empowering approach to UI; it’s very clean with no mini-map or waypoints to be seen. We want you to explore and discover your own secrets!” Robinson said.
It might be a bit odd for open-world veterans to not have a map for guidance. However, I think it’ll be a positive change and one folks will ultimately enjoy. With this comes a greater challenge to truly see and understand the world around you. Remembering where specific objects are is key to following instructions from characters in Yooka-Laylee.
No waypoints means true exploration will be at the center of the experience. There won’t be any signs or maps for purchase to help you find all collectibles, and this is refreshing. Gamers will finally be able to experience Yooka-Laylee when the game launches this April 11. The game will be available on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Stick around here at We Write Things for more from our interview with Playtonic.