If a game is to have any kind of structure, you have to draw the line somewhere. Most game worlds aren't infinite. Those that are tend to break down into a kind of "Already seen this, not interested" repetition and lose some depth in the process. Minecraft for example has a lot of things to do, but the core survival element basically boils down to "build a wall with a lip and put torches on it" and that's it, you're safe. Really the game is pretty simple if you know the crafting recipes. But the sheer amount of stuff to do and see makes up for it.
In a lot of ways, "open world" games and "non-linearity" remind me of "realism"
Truly "realistic" bullet physics would actually be almost indistinguishable from hitscan weapons. At the ranges most gameplay occurs, a properly sighted weapon should have almost no discernable drop. Instead, we are taught to "aim high" so that it is "realistic".
Then take a game like Far Cry 2. Iti s most hindered by being a game where you spend 95% of your time going past the same few checkpoints with respawning guards or taking public transportation to different areas. That is one game that would DEFINITELY have benefited from a more "linear" design.
DOOM-era games tend to fall into the category of "linear with hidden secrets and slight path deviations". CoD falls into the category of "Hallway with the illusion of a few extra doors". Hence, CoD embraces linearity to an obscene degree so as to make the entire game, from start to finish, a "set piece" as it were. And while you clearly don't like that, a crapton of people DO (which is why CoD is so popular and CoD style SP campaigns have become pretty popular).
Its like the difference between a movie with a plot that happens to have a few scenes of action and a Michael Bay style action movie. The former makes you focus on the story with a few explosions to increase the interest. The latter is non-stop explosions and what not. Both have their appeal and while too much of the latter isn't a good thing, it is hard to deny the fun of it every so often (more often if you embrace your inner slack-jawed yokel :p).
His assessment is clearly an opinion but it isn't necessarily a bad one and certainly not a dumb one. The CoD games actually do linearity fairly well because they're a constant stream of short, sharp levels with plenty of violence and explosions and gun-wank moments. That's all they ever try to be, and they've been doing that since the first ever CoD... which I'll remind you was a PC exclusive (until it hit consoles many years later, N-Gage doesn't even count). The first CoD and the later CoDs are in terms of level design principles pretty much identical - a linear path from A to B with explosions and things going on.
And as I recall, lots of us PC gamers really liked that one...
I think gundato was using it as a sort of comparative issue with gaming - the inclusion of things like bullet drop to make things "realistic" when they're actually pushing further into "game" territory. The idea was that games should be more realistic but it ends up being a bit ridiculous. He seems to liken that to linearity by mentioning how FC2 is somewhat non-linear yet has a lot of elements which sap some of the enjoyment out of it (respawning guards etc).
Alternatively, my Scroll Lock light is on, so if that seems to be a more relevant explanation feel free to accept it.
CoD has directors, not designers.
Diablo3 is not PvE or PvP, it is PvAH. -- Tei
Too deep for me in fact
Linearity in games is simply an aspect of Planned Obsolescence. Planned obsolescence is a fact, it has been promoted especially after the financial crisis of 1920. When something lasts forever, consumers only buy a few and stop buying. So you "need" to design things which have durability limited by design.
The Light Bulb Conspiracy - 52:50 min (highly recommended)
It starts with the efforts to reduce the life cycle of a lightbulb from 2500 hours to 1000 hours, and ends with ipods whose batteries are designed to be impossible to replace and last 3 years.
Obviously it's very convenient for a game publisher to sell "games" that last for 10 hours and are not replayable. They wouldn't want you to play a game for years. Who would be buying Game + 1 ?
Diablo3 is not PvE or PvP, it is PvAH. -- Tei
You're applying the concept of planned obsolescence to media output. It doesn't work like that. It's like saying books are made to be replaced while it's only the media support (like in the physical book or cds/diskettes for games) not the story that can be designed to become obsolete.
To be able to apply the concept the product should be left unusable, and although you saw everything the game can offer you can still play it again all the times you want, the game doesn't stop working after you finish it (which should be the case if it were made with planned obsolescence in mind).
You can only stretch the concept to something like multiplayer games with subsequent releases (like call of duty games) where the game is engineered to be replaced a year later when the new game is released and the community leave one game for the other.
So no, Planned obsolescence doesn't have anything to do with linear games.