The only thing that I see that is actually true about open world out of that list is "long ways".  The rest of it, depends entirely on the game.  There's no reason we can't have an empty small game, and there's no reason we can't have a filled up large game.  -

feeling empty,  feeling forgetable / not unique, no bonds between player and world

These I would argue are not neccessarily traits of large games, they are traits of a subset of large games.  

Skyrim I felt much more connected with the world than I did in inFamous, even though my guess is that Skyrim is bigger in some respects.  

Long ways is accurate, but it's not neccesarily a bad thing.  I would argue enjoyment to some extent goes down as games just get arbitrarily larger.  

Imagine two villages at the end of a really large map, there's nothing really to do in between.  Walking from one village to the other wouldn't be the first example of fun for most people.  There is certainly some distance that the game would become almost painful to play.  If it took like 3 weeks to get from one village to the other, that would really suck if there wasn't really anything else to do.  

This fun:distance ratio can be changed though. Increasing speed of travel, including fast travel.  Even if you were to keep the distance the same, the game would feel much better because you wouldn't have to have that ridiculous chore of walking "3 weeks" to the other village.  

Another thing that can be done is adding things to do in between villages.  Skyrim for example, you could go hunting or mining without even doing anything else.  I personally had fun with this.  (Probably moreso than most people, but I enjoyed it.)  If it wasn't just strictly walking, that would make it much more enjoyable.

Of course we can always add more locations in between villages.  Find a cave, maybe another small village that has things to do.  


If it is done right, a supermassive open world game can be far more enjoyable than a small open world game.  At the same time, if a small open world game is done right, it can be far more enjoyable than a supermassive open world game.  A supermassive open world game is probably more difficult because there's a lot more balancing going on, (additionally different players respond to balancing in different ways).  For example, I enjoy walking in Skyrim to places.  I feel like an adventurer; if that's not your taste, then it's not your taste.  There are of course limits where I don't really like doing that, but I still enjoy it to some extent.  



JNK said:
mornelithe said:
Big worlds, small worlds, medium worlds, who cares? More variety = Better. If a world is too big, there are thousands of games with smaller worlds. No need to turn game design into one standardized pile of dogshit. Celebrate diversity, and encourage progress. As resources grow, so too will the depth of larger worlds. Better to have developers familiar with creating large worlds, so they can focus on filling those worlds in the future

tell me 1 aaa open world game with an smaller world released in 2015

The difficulty with "smaller" is that it is a relative statement.  There's no absolute size for what constitutes as smaller or larger.  

In some context Skyrim could be a smaller open world game, and in others it could be a supermassive open world game.