The world of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands consists of 3 layers and one of them is the Overworld. This layer of the game is inspired by tabletop games.
You might have seen a glimpse of this halfway through in the Gameplay reveal where you see 2 Chibi characters from the 3rd person’s perspective walk through this giant map. This is actually one of the ways that you see your own customized character, although, on the Overworld, they kinda look like bobbleheads.
The Overworld lets you travel to each location but it’s more than a level select screen. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands’ Overworld was influenced by J-RPG. You are able to discover new areas, find loot, and run into dynamic encounters. You will find more info about that below.
Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands has a fairly linear main plot and a ton of side missions. But on top of that, you are able to discover 5 optional maps. They are connected to the main story but they also function as their own standalone plots. You can discover new areas by completing tasks on the Overworld map.
In the gameplay trailer, we already saw the chibi characters open up loot chests and collect some gold. But if you look through the environment, you also see these dice, they look important and like something you want to collect.
You can initiate or get “sucked in” the Dynamic Encounter. When they occur you are seamlessly dropped into first-person combat. There you do a small fight, get your loot, and pop back out to further explore the Overworld.
You have the ability to skip these random encounters. Your character walks faster than the enemies on the Overworld map. You can also smash the enemy on the Overworld map dealing with them in that way. However, the Developers want you to get excited to jump into these encounters. Therefore they want them to be meaningful and give you that Christmas or birthday present sensation of ‘Ah, what a nice surprise!’.
Gearbox Doesn’t want to make Random Encounters a forced thing or a distraction.
Breaking the 4th Wall
The world of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands consists of 3 layers. The first layer is from Tiny Tina’s perspective where she is playing the board game Bunkers and Badasses. Then you have the 2nd layer which is the Overworld, this is the actual board game that Tiny Tina and her friends are playing on. Then you have the 3rd layer and which is the FPS aspect of the game. The events in one of the layers can impact the others.
The Gearbox Developers have mentioned that a random Cheeto will be lying on the board. When being called out about it Tina will make up that it was always there. A giant Cheeto will fall out of the sky and block your path, and then you have to go on quests to figure out a way around it. This is just a small example of some of the things that the developers can do, which are very cool, funny, and maybe unexpected.
In the first developer interview with Matt Cox, he mentioned you can knock over the bottle caps and create shortcuts as you explore the Overworld. When you unlock all of the Bottlecap Shortcuts in the Overworld you will receive a permanent Attunement buff to your hero stats.
Gearbox experimented with different looks before settling on the design that they landed on. One had a painterly look to it, however, that didn’t reflect Tiny Tina as much. So they moved away from that. Another design was based on the board game Heroscape which is built out of hexagrams.