Pros and Cons: Linear or Open World Storyline

I have recently been making concepts for a game idea, I have a theme and a map idea, however, I don’t know whether I should use a Linear or an Open Game storyline. I was wondering what the pros and cons are for each as I feel they could both fit the theme of the game. The game will be a shooter (either FPS or TPS) and the genre I guess can be best summed up as the middle ground between Call of duty, and Skyrim (Sorry if this is confusing). Anyway, I would like to know which one (open worlds or linear storylines and gameplay) is:

  • Easier to script.
  • Better with Co-op
  • More opportunities for monetisation
  • More enjoyable from a player’s position.
  • More immersive storyline

If you have any tips or know any answers to these questions (subjectively or objectively) please let me know, if you need more information on the topic just tell me below and I’ll be sure to add some more.
Thank you in advance!

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Open world makes things actually more complicated, a lot more, because you will need a lot more work to make an immersive environment on it, open world terrain is not easy to make on studio and it takes a lot of time, the assets like rocks, trees and etc will not feel that good quality because you will have to optimize them a lot to make sure you put enough of them around the map, not counting buildings and a lot of more assets.

Now lets put that amount of work on a linear space, you can make a really good immersive map with a lot of details in an small space and it will probably be better for CO-OP like warframe (Warframe sandbox mode its not really that Co-op than it linear counterpart tbh)


Pretty much everything is easier if it’s open world in my opinion

1] Easier to Script
Open world is generally less connected with everything as “one”, Most common combinaisons would be Quest completeds (such as certain item gathering) or a certain objective like reaching a zone, Talk to a NPC or Killing 10 goblins, The main difference is that open world can pretty much make the player’s own experience & story according to his actions, so it’s feels much more natural this way.

2] Better with Co-op
Won’t develop this section even though i love teamwork types, both of them doesn’t make much difference aside the fact it would be actually kinda hard to do a progression of storyline with a player since activity may vary, most players doesn’t try the game with a friend and a random co-op is often not recommended due that he either wants everything for himself or does not talk at all.

3] More opportunities for monetisation
“Unfortunately”, open world have more way to sell out either as a p2w or additional features.

4] Enjoyable as a player
Linear is mostly the case since it have something solid/logic, worked on better (focused), and immersive overall, it could eventually get emotional, scary or sad to a extent, this could also apply on a Open World version but there would be a few details that will not make it as impactful.

The choice is questionnable due to the lifespan, a Open World could possibly possess a infinite one.

5] More immersive storyline
As mentionned, i believe linear is much better, but lots of issue comes in (as a roblox game)

The best plan would probably to make a Open World with some kind of “Chapters” worked on, you can put them in form as “Primary Quests” which they would be much more important in the game and make it pretty long, with this option it would give the minimum of a true adventure feels, it’s good enough to even give NPC a certain value and apparitions.

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Overall, your response is pretty accurate, but there’s a couple things I disagree with.

It’s way easier to script a linear game because you can just store which part of the story they’re on, I’m not sure how having everything less connected makes it easier at all. It might feel more natural to a player, but that definitely doesn’t make it easier to script and a well made linear story can also feel pretty natural.

If you just did it with people at the same part of the story or later (someone can come back and help you out, but you can’t skip ahead to help someone out) then activity wouldn’t be as huge of an issue.

You can add unimportant stuff to buy in a linear quest, it just won’t affect as much (or pay to skip main story-line stuff I guess), this isn’t really specific to open world or linear.

I agree, both can be enjoyable but open world games usually last longer while linear games usually have more impactful or exciting bits while the game does last.


Open worlds focused on PvE are a massive undertaking for one person. Is there a particular reason you’ve asked about the scripting as opposed to the building or design? Everything adds up. If you haven’t made open world games (by yourself) before, take the amount of work you expect to do and multiply it at least fivefold to get an idea for the time commitment.

Linear and co-op go well together. In open worlds your players will often be separated from each other, as they will likely want to be in different places.

Open world is easier to monetize because of its replay value. Players will see more value in a purchase if it’s going to last them an “indefinite” amount of time. That being said, there are ways to make this work for linear. For example, Undead Nation (rest in peace) had players cycling through the same campaign over and over again and yet players continued to buy its power up gamepasses several years after its release. Though in that case the gameplay was the real appeal and not the plot.

Enjoyability is going to be subjective. Some people want a short and sweet campaign. Others want to get as much gameplay time as possible. Can’t please everyone.

More immersive? Linear! With a linear story you can finely craft each moment of the experience whereas with open world there’s more room for the player to ‘play the wrong way’ and accidentally ruin the experience for themselves.


In my experience,

Open World

Open world is harder to get involved in a storyline, a bit less immersive, but easier to make co-op as people don’t have to be in the same part of the story to be running around together. I don’t script much, but I assume it’d be harder to script just as more scripting would go into side quests and such.

I usually find as a player linear games are easier when trying get involved with a storyline as you’re directed in one or two directions instead of getting distracted while having to run across the map for a side quest. It’s also more fun to start with a friend and so can become a more fun co-op, but also has the draw back of inviting a friend when you’re later in the game.

In all with the experience I have in gaming in general, monetization can be made both ways so long as you’re smart about it. Open world will require more effort to set up in the beginning, but will pay out more in the long run as you can always edit it to add more side quests without interrupting a main story point. Open world will also likely be harder to optimize, but the game itself will last longer in the market and be more enjoyable with updates due to the fact when you finish the story you can still explore without losing interest as much. (Think jailbreak vs obbys)


My bad, missing stuff as i tried to not make a heavy post, tl;dr the connection was about the way you’d script the game (That’s a personal opinion, i’m not a advanced scripted but it should be noticeable why it’s inexistant in roblox)

mega big trouble to do that unless these are very big chapters, other option would be the Matchmaking from searching globally on all servers with the upcoming update release feature

i still assume that open world is better for selling (lmao buying skipping main storyline, mega cool idea & big oopsie to buy that as it’s ruin the whole experience, can even possibly say the whole game since it’s missing a “part” of the game, the story is pretty much the core)