Fast Travel

In many games - especially open-world games such as Fallout or Skyrim - fast travel is a mechanic that lets players immediately jump to a previously visited location in the game world. It’s often a useful mechanic - letting the player quickly get to places they’ve already travelled to in the normal fashion - but it certainly takes away from the immersion of a game with an open world, where you’re encouraged to travel and explore. Having the character jump between locations, often skipping over areas that would normally become explored for the same journey, or not travelling though locations where an event may be expected ?

A player that wishes to remain immersed in the game has the option to simply avoid using fast travel entirely - but I think it could be made into a feature that gives the same advantages of classic fast travel systems (being able to skip long, uneventful journeys) but avoids some of it’s pitfalls (an unexplained teleport between any two locations on the map, avoiding any and all events or locations in between).

Currently, fast travel systems tend to simply be a list of locations, placed on a map, that can be traveled to near instantly - any locations or events in-between are ignored. So instead, a fast travel system could be a graph of connected locations - meaning that players would then have to pick a route between two locations to travel though it.

Alone, this isn’t much of an improvement, but it leaves much more space than the classic system - games could require that players have adequate food and resources to make the journey, or allow events to interup the player in the same way they might if the player traveled that route in a normal fashion. Routes crossing a huge distance may become impossible to travel without making sure the character has the resources to do it, meaning that travel is no longer a completely free action.