Player is not forced to follow a rigid path of progression.
Alternate name: Non-linear level design
The first video game about Non-linear gameplay was released on August 6, 1986.
These often have one main story which the player has to follow to actually complete the game, but there may be hundreds of other smaller or bigger things to do outside of it which the player can usually quite freely tackle when they wish to.
Parent groupsLevel design, Replayability
Child groupsOpen world, Open field
compare with these groups