I just saw this posted on Twitter. If very small it might look as a weird alphabet for some very strange language, but it’s just a collection of the levels in Lode Runner.
Every one of those hides complexity of gameplay. Sets of rules and patterns to solve. Small worlds of sub-creation. Maps and geographies.
What happens if we link them together? We obtain an “open-world”.
When the Dwarf Fortress game was in one of its earlier configurations there were no z-levels, the whole game was played on a surface. That was a wonderful feature that was lost in the quest of complexity. In that earlier version building a fortress was like creating a painting. Every fortress its own story at a glance. Its unique style. One picture that captured and contained everything. A four dimension world that included TIME (as progress was measured from left to right).
One of the ideas I have for my pie-in-the-sky roguelike is that it will have a “world” that exists on a flat surface, with elements of an open-world (but more Dark Souls than Skyrim, as nothing is dynamic or random).
A space to explore and conquer.
(this last image is from this game I’m currently playing)