What is Game Tourism?
Game Tourism is playing a game with the primary aim of exploring its world, without engaging in any active conflict such as combat or stealth. Whether conflict is bypassed with cheats, mods, or built-in functionality, the aim is to refocus attention on the game's architecture, aesthetics, storytelling, and atmosphere. Feel free to think of it as a form of art modding or glitching.
"Then one day a decade ago something happened for the first time, for me. I was playing Oblivion on the Xbox 360, riding along on my horse on a path overlooking the Imperial City, and it just looked so lovely I felt compelled just to stop, get off my horse and stand there for a while taking in the view. I think it marked some kind of transition for me, transforming the environment from just being a space where the action took place to… well, the kind of place that you actually want to just stop and gaze out at for a while because it's beautiful. Somehow this new appreciation of the beauty of the game world made it feel more like you'd been there." -- Jeff Minter, on No Man's Sky
Why Game Tourism?
Violent conflict has been a primary focus of mainstream games for decades now. Many great works have come from exploration in this domain, but the narrow focus and creative constraints that violent conflict imposes on design mean that for a long time games left unfulfilled much of their potential to depict the breadth of human experience.
More recently games like Proteus, Dear Esther, Gone Home, and The Stanley Parable present 3D game worlds recognizably descended from first person shooter games but give players goals that completely forego violent conflict. Dubbed "walking simulators" with varying degrees of derision, the success of many such wander games suggest that people do hunger for such experiences - a world, compellingly presented, can stand on its own as an interactive statement.
Tourism looks at games that do foreground violent conflict through a filter that gives us clearer understanding of the aspects of their design that do not depend on said conflict - again, focusing on architecture, aesthetics, storytelling, and atmosphere - while also making it clear what goes missing. Celebration and analysis of these things can light the way for future exploration of our medium.
The result is often strange to play, sometimes a very non-idealized experience. The more deeply a game has combat, ambushes, tactical space etc wired into it, the more a tourist playthrough will feel the uncanniness of the conflict excised. The goal is experimental, though: not seeking to match the experience of an intentionally designed "wander game", but to subvert, to transform, to reveal the overshadowed.
Like tool-assisted speedrunning and other forms of glitching, it's also important to keep a sense of humor about this: you're hacking a game so you can enjoy it in a very specific way. That's kinda weird, right?
Games that support Tourism
In theory a huge number of games potentially support tourist play. Here's a list of the games we've documented so far. If you'd like to submit one, email us.
Unless otherwise stated, instructions are intended for the PC (Windows/Mac/Linux) versions of these games.
- Alien: Isolation
- Amnesia: The Dark Descent
- Bethesda Gamebryo-derived games: Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Skyrim, Fallout 4
- Dark Forces
- Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight
- Deus Ex
- Doom / Doom II
- Duke Nukem 3D
- Half-Life 2
- NEON Struct
- No Man's Sky
- The Novelist
- Quadrilateral Cowboy
- STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl
- System Shock
- Thief Gold / Thief 2
- Unreal Gold
Download this mod to remove the Alien from the game. Note that this is only partial tourism, as non-Alien adversaries are still present and hostile.
Amnesia: the Dark Descent
While running the game, remove the enemies by changing the name of the
enemiesfolder within the entities directory to
Steam\Steamapps\common\amnesia_the_dark_descent\entitiesis the Steam location. Full guide here.
Bethesda Gamebryo-derived games: Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Skyrim
Thanks to Jonathan Prior for this info! Thanks thecnoNSMB for confirming that this also works with Fallout 4.
tcaiat the console to toggle combat AI. Characters may turn hostile, but will not attack the player.
Morrowind only has
tai, which turns all AI off. You can stop an NPC attacking you by opening the console, clicking on the attacking NPC, and entering the StopCombat command.
Star Wars: Dark Forces
LAREDLITEduring gameplay to freeze all enemies.
Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight
Thanks to James Forbes for this info!
Press T, then Tab, then type
whiteflag onto freeze AIs.
eriamjh onenables flying mode, which may also be useful.
Download my mod that makes the player undetectable, which means enemies will never attack. Copy the
Tourism.ufile to your
DeusEx\System\folder and run in-game by typing
open 01_NYC_UNATCOIsland?mutator=Tourism.Tourismat the console. NOTE: This mod is experimental and not fully tested - use at your own risk, though any danger to your install is quite low. Let me know if you run into progression-blocking problems with this! Once it's been better tested I'll do a proper release with a README and such.
Doom / Doom II
Run the game from the command line with the
-nomonstersswitch. Note that this makes Doom 2 MAP07 and MAP32 uncompleteable without other cheats.
This works for all classic Doom games (Ultimate Doom, Doom II, Final Doom), and should work for most Doom engine games such as Heretic, Hexen, Chex Quest, Strife.
Duke Nukem 3D
dnmonstersto deactivate monsters. Monsters will spawn, but won't attack and will blink out of existence as soon as the player sees them.
Open the console by pressing
~, and type
notarget. Enemies will still be present but will not attack, with the exception of "brush entity" turrets such as tanks and alien gun emplacements. Besides these there are still many environmental hazards in the game that will kill you, so if you want to play through in peace you can also type
godat the console to make yourself invulnerable. Note that you may need to first type
sv_cheats 1and reload your game before you can activate god mode.
Open the console by pressing
sv_cheats 1at the console to enable cheat codes, and type
notargetto disable AI's ability to target (aggressively or otherwise) the player. This may break some scripted sequences, such as the early part where Barney gives you the crowbar - he will act as if you're ignoring him. Type
notargetagain to re-enable as needed.
ai_disabledisables AI entirely, but this breaks more sequences than
The developer implemented tourism as a difficulty mode, simply select Tourist difficulty when starting a new game.
No Man's Sky
Since the 1.1 Foundation Update, you can select "Creative Mode" at the launch screen. In this mode, you cannot take damage and do not consume resources of any sort. You must still collect upgrades and blueprints to reach red, green, and blue star systems but the galaxy is much easier to explore freely in this mode.
As with NEON STRUCT, select "Story" difficulty and you won't have to worry about the game's stealth elements.
Select "Tourist" in the Start New Career screen. Thanks for the shout-out, Brendon!
Download my enemy-removing mod and see instructions in the README for how to run it. QuakeC source code is included in the download, as well as versions of this mod compiled for Quake's two retail expansions: Scourge of Armagon and Dissolution of Eternity.
In "Travelling Mode", you move through stages normally but cannot die. Unlock Travelling mode for each stage by completing it once in regular gameplay.
You can also unlock the "Immortal" invincibility cheat by clearing the game in all Direct Assault modes. See this FAQ for details.
The colorfully-named Wuss Mode: Monsters Won't Attack mod "renders nearly all enemies in the main story non-hostile during regular gameplay".
STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl
The Traveler Mod "removes all damage from anomalies and radiation, and gives you friendship with all factions and creatures. Even the mutants are friendly with all the factions." Note: the version of the Traveler Mod (1.0) on NexusMods and other sites does not work properly with the Steam version of STALKER - the game will crash when you attemp to load any savegame made with this version. The version linked on this page is a fixed version, which I've dubbed version 1.01.
System Shock 1 has a very unique difficulty system: at the beginning of the game you can select the difficulty of individual elements, including combat! Setting Combat to difficulty 0 makes the enemies stand around passively, allowing you to explore and complete the game unharmed.
Thief Gold / Thief 2
Download my mod which makes the player neutral, which means enemies will never attack. See the README for instructions on use and technical details.
Download my enemy-removing mod and see the README for instructions on use and technical details. UnrealScript source code is included in the download. Note that this requires the 227i patch from OldUnreal.com, which also makes the game run quite well on modern systems. In summer of 2015 I streamed a playthrough using this mod, with level design commentary.
The "cakewalk" difficulty enables a cheats menu, which toggles invincibility on by default and also contains options for passive enemies.
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