Most open-world games make the character a blank slate that players can project their own thoughts onto, although several games such as Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole offer more character development and dialogue.
Other games instead offer side-missions to the player that do not disrupt the main storyline.
Creative director Gary Penn, who previously worked on Frontier: Elite II, cited Elite as a key influence, calling it "basically Elite in a city", and mentioned other team members being influenced by Syndicate and Mercenary.
Grand Theft Auto III combined elements from previous games, and fused them together into a new immersive 3D experience that helped define open-world gaming for a new generation.
Examples of high level of autonomy in computer games can be found in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG) or in single-player games adhering to the open-world concept such as the Fallout series.
The main appeal of open-world gameplay is that they provide a simulated reality and allow players to develop their character and its behavior in the direction of their choosing.