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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » What is a sandbox? What is a themepark? How I see it.

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47 posts found
  paulytheb

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/06/12
Posts: 212

 
OP  8/09/12 1:06:26 PM#21
Originally posted by angzt

sorry, but housing and stuff are basically irrelevant for a sandbox.

UO or EQ were no sandbox games. they were themeparks.

What the what?

Housing and stuff? Ok. I said Ownership. Eve does this with players controlling sections of space. It is the same thing as a house.Just a different way of doing it.

 

I never said EQ was a sandbox, I said EQ2 had a good start to how housing should be. Integrated to the whole game.

 

And someone didn't play UO at launch evidently. UO most certainly was a Sandbox. The quests and themepark style non pvp world were added much later. Though I don't consider PVP to be essential to a Sandbox.

( Note to self-Don't say anything bad about Drizzt.)

An acerbic sense of humor is NOT allowed here.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

8/09/12 1:12:55 PM#22
Originally posted by paulytheb

What the what?

There ya go.  You offer your definition, find someone (there's always someone) who'll disagree with it, and you're off and running.  Have fun.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Larsa

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

8/09/12 1:15:18 PM#23


Originally posted by paulytheb

...
Sandbox- 1) Ownership 2) Player Based Economy 3) Randomness
Themepark- 1)World On Rails 2)Gold Sink Based Economy 3)Persistant World
...



I wouldn't know why randomness is in any way a sandbox feature. Likewise, to use the word "persistent" to describe a themepark like you do is contrary to the common usage.

Just four your information, I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. I do not claim to have a valid definition of what makes a sandbox or not. For practical reasons however, i.e. to decide what games to put on the list, I use features frequently found in sandbox games. If a game has almost all the features I put it on the list, if not then not. :)

You find the list of features I use at the above link.

I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  paulytheb

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/06/12
Posts: 212

 
OP  8/09/12 1:15:56 PM#24
Originally posted by Asuran24
To me sandboxes are far less directed play, and far less dev directed or created content, as such they are much more inclusive to allowing for vast arrays of styles of play to be enjoyed in the game. Where as to me themeparks are extremely directed in play style with quests, content, and such pushing the player thru events leading to a predetermined place. Alot of the time themeparks lend themselves to only a handful of playstyles, as well as are heavily dev developed for content with little room for players to create their own. Both hafve their marits as a themepark can entertain players much quicker yet without regular content updates they eb to halt relatively quick, while sandboxes take much longer for players to get to point where they are able to just jump into the entertainment, but have vastly more longevity to their player's enjoyment of the content created in the game.

 

Thanks you. I didn't really cover free form advancement. I think there is room for any style of advancement be it levels or skills or something new in both types of game.

Under the umbrella of my 3 sandbox basic parts I think together , they allow for multiple styles of play.

 

I can't respond to everyone personally, thank you all again for contributing.

( Note to self-Don't say anything bad about Drizzt.)

An acerbic sense of humor is NOT allowed here.

  davestr1zl

Novice Member

Joined: 8/04/11
Posts: 220

8/09/12 1:17:33 PM#25

The way I see it is themeparks should have a focus on directed developer-created content, while sandboxes have a focus on player-created/driven content.

Generaly speaking sandboxes will therefore have features and mechanics that allow player-created content to both exist and thrive - such as being nonlinear, and examples like what are listed in the OP (player driven economies/crafting, ownership of land and control of territory, etc).

  User Deleted
8/09/12 1:35:35 PM#26

My personal defintions for the 2 sub genres is as follows:

 

Sandbox - Open world, no hand-holding, non-linear world where content is not spoon fed but instead player  centric.  Meaning the player has freedom of choice i.e. Player [A] might choose to head north and explore the world and kill monsters along the way and player [B]  might choose to group up with a friend and run to the closest dungeon or forest spawn location and grind monsters to level up. levels are either optional or a base to guage player skill, however levels are usually non existant. Usually the world is not zoned but if it s then there are no artifcial barriers to limite freedom of movement.  Basically boils down to freedom of choice and linear gameplay.

 

Themepark-  On-rails, bread-crumbed linear game world where you can only level via one method, which is usually through questing. No freedom of choice and no wondering off the beaten path because of developer implemented hurdles.  Artificial barriers that limit freedom of movement (zone walls).

 

  WhiteLantern

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/27/10
Posts: 2782

8/09/12 1:38:38 PM#27
Originally posted by Zylaxx

My personal defintions for the 2 sub genres is as follows:

 

Sandbox - Open world, no hand-holding, non-linear world where content is not spoon fed but instead player  centric.  Meaning the player has freedom of choice i.e. Player [A] might choose to head north and explore the world and kill monsters along the way and player [B]  might choose to group up with a friend and run to the closest dungeon or forest spawn location and grind monsters to level up. levels are either optional or a base to guage player skill, however levels are usually non existant. Usually the world is not zoned but if it s then there are no artifcial barriers to limite freedom of movement.  Basically boils down to freedom of choice and linear gameplay.

 

Themepark-  On-rails, bread-crumbed linear game world where you can only level via one method, which is usually through questing. No freedom of choice and no wondering off the beaten path because of developer implemented hurdles.  Artificial barriers that limit freedom of movement (zone walls).

 

Interesting themepark definition. By your standards, WoW is not a themepark.

 

 

Interesting indeed.

I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  Creslin321

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5424

8/09/12 1:45:39 PM#28

Ohhh boy this again lol :).

Honestly, I don't like to define sandbox or themepark too narrowly because then I think it gives us tunnelvision when we think of the two archetypes.  Instead, I like to view sandbox and themepark as two points on a continuum where the left end of the continuum is a completely  unguided experience, and the right end of the continuum is a completely guided experience (linear).

A pure sandbox is basically the same as a completely unguided experience, so it is at the far left of the continuum.  Like its namesake, it is a game where you can do anything you feel like...no established goals, no suggestions.  Minecraft is fairly close to a pure sandbox IMO.

A pure themepark contains a few non-linear elements, but is primarily guided...so it is close to the far right, but not all the way.  Like its namesake, it has a bunch of "rides" that players can get on.  They are free to select from a fairly restricted number of rides, but once they are on the ride...the experience is fairly guided.  The ride selection here is the non-linear, sandboxy element.  The key here though is that once you actually pick a ride, the experience is fairly guided from there on out.

Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  Muntz

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/09/09
Posts: 298

8/09/12 1:54:14 PM#29

I'll bite with my 2 cents - 

These are two loaded terms that have absolutely no concrete definition. It is difficult to settle on even a broad generalization of what each word means.  They can be used to promote ones snobbery (or feeling or beliefs): I only play pure X type of games as they are the one true time of MMORPG. 

Simular loaded words are hardcore and casual. 

I don't think these type of terms ever lead to any productive conversation in fact they go the other direction. It is better to talk about something more specific, such as, housing should be part of every MMORPG because...

  Xzen

Novice Member

Joined: 5/01/06
Posts: 2642

A sword is never a killer, it is a tool in the killer's hands.
- Seneca

8/09/12 1:54:31 PM#30

Sandbox - Has tools that let the players use their imagination to create content. In UO this came in the form of people creating their own roles to play and a sociopolitical aspect.

 

Themepark - Anything that does not have tools that let the player create content.

  heavy3p0

Novice Member

Joined: 2/28/06
Posts: 16

8/09/12 2:14:04 PM#31
I agree with Davestr1zl. For me it boils down to themeparks deliver dev created content and theme parks are player driven content.
  User Deleted
8/09/12 2:20:12 PM#32
Originally posted by WhiteLantern
Originally posted by Zylaxx

My personal defintions for the 2 sub genres is as follows:

 

Sandbox - Open world, no hand-holding, non-linear world where content is not spoon fed but instead player  centric.  Meaning the player has freedom of choice i.e. Player [A] might choose to head north and explore the world and kill monsters along the way and player [B]  might choose to group up with a friend and run to the closest dungeon or forest spawn location and grind monsters to level up. levels are either optional or a base to guage player skill, however levels are usually non existant. Usually the world is not zoned but if it s then there are no artifcial barriers to limite freedom of movement.  Basically boils down to freedom of choice and linear gameplay.

 

Themepark-  On-rails, bread-crumbed linear game world where you can only level via one method, which is usually through questing. No freedom of choice and no wondering off the beaten path because of developer implemented hurdles.  Artificial barriers that limit freedom of movement (zone walls).

 

Interesting themepark definition. By your standards, WoW is not a themepark.

 

 

Interesting indeed.

Wow is the epitome of thempark.  In fact the phrase "bread-crumbing" was opined by the developers way back in Alpha.  WoW is linear from zone to zone.  Sure you may have a choice as to which zone to go but only sofar as to the level of the mobs in question, you still can't go from character creation to say Howling Fjord (without using scroll of rez of course).  You are set upon a linear path.  WoW doesnt give me the freedom of choice to wield a longbow as a mage type character, and lastly WoW usses artifical barriers all over the place to limit and constrict movement.  SO I dont see how and where you get that I think WoW is anything but a themepark of the utmost design.

  Larsa

Novice Member

Joined: 2/14/04
Posts: 992

8/09/12 2:29:57 PM#33
Originally posted by WhiteLantern
Originally posted by Zylaxx

My personal defintions for the 2 sub genres is as follows:

 

Sandbox - Open world, no hand-holding, non-linear world where content is not spoon fed but instead player  centric.  Meaning the player has freedom of choice i.e. Player [A] might choose to head north and explore the world and kill monsters along the way and player [B]  might choose to group up with a friend and run to the closest dungeon or forest spawn location and grind monsters to level up. levels are either optional or a base to guage player skill, however levels are usually non existant. Usually the world is not zoned but if it s then there are no artifcial barriers to limite freedom of movement.  Basically boils down to freedom of choice and linear gameplay.

 

Themepark-  On-rails, bread-crumbed linear game world where you can only level via one method, which is usually through questing. No freedom of choice and no wondering off the beaten path because of developer implemented hurdles.  Artificial barriers that limit freedom of movement (zone walls).

 

Interesting themepark definition. By your standards, WoW is not a themepark.

 

 

Interesting indeed.

That's the so-called GW2 effect. We had threads how the game redefined the genre, redefined the payment models, redefined how combat works, in fact redefined the whole gaming industry.

It also redefined the English language. :)

I maintain this List of Sandbox MMORPGs. Please post or send PM for corrections and suggestions.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

8/09/12 2:58:12 PM#34

What a messy inaccurate definition.

Sandboxes have sand.

Themeparks have rides.

Sand is stuff you can manipulate -- it's player-authored, player-manipulated, or player-created mechanics.

Rides are stuff you can't manipulate -- all the dev-authored stuff (dungeons, abiltiies, monsters, the world, etc.)

Obviously nearly every game has both sand and rides, but it's the core focus of a game which determines what the game is labelled.

Linearity has nothing to do with it.  It's not like Six Flags or Disneyland are linear, so the term itself invokes no sense of linearity.

  Elikal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/09/06
Posts: 8067

“No path is darker then when your eyes are shut.” -Flemeth

8/09/12 4:12:43 PM#35

Tahah... somehow it reminded of of Sue Sylvester from Glee. "And that's how I C it!" XD

lol

 

Buuut, as to the article, I think it's a good summary. ;)

A forum is a place where people can discuss about different opinions. So what I don't get is, how people react offended when they come to a forum and then find... well different opinions. If a different opinion offends you, what are you even doing here?

  Torik

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2328

8/09/12 4:29:00 PM#36
Originally posted by Zylaxx
Originally posted by WhiteLantern
Originally posted by Zylaxx

My personal defintions for the 2 sub genres is as follows:

 

Sandbox - Open world, no hand-holding, non-linear world where content is not spoon fed but instead player  centric.  Meaning the player has freedom of choice i.e. Player [A] might choose to head north and explore the world and kill monsters along the way and player [B]  might choose to group up with a friend and run to the closest dungeon or forest spawn location and grind monsters to level up. levels are either optional or a base to guage player skill, however levels are usually non existant. Usually the world is not zoned but if it s then there are no artifcial barriers to limite freedom of movement.  Basically boils down to freedom of choice and linear gameplay.

 

Themepark-  On-rails, bread-crumbed linear game world where you can only level via one method, which is usually through questing. No freedom of choice and no wondering off the beaten path because of developer implemented hurdles.  Artificial barriers that limit freedom of movement (zone walls).

 

Interesting themepark definition. By your standards, WoW is not a themepark.

 

 

Interesting indeed.

Wow is the epitome of thempark.  In fact the phrase "bread-crumbing" was opined by the developers way back in Alpha.  WoW is linear from zone to zone.  Sure you may have a choice as to which zone to go but only sofar as to the level of the mobs in question, you still can't go from character creation to say Howling Fjord (without using scroll of rez of course).  You are set upon a linear path.  WoW doesnt give me the freedom of choice to wield a longbow as a mage type character, and lastly WoW usses artifical barriers all over the place to limit and constrict movement.  SO I dont see how and where you get that I think WoW is anything but a themepark of the utmost design.

Plenty of 'sandbox' games have brea-crumbing.  It's not exclusive to themeparks.  WoW can be played non-linearily and a new character has multiple choices where they go in order to level.  A level 1 character can go to Howlcing Fjord.  You simply go to a major port city and catch the boat.  Sandbox games limit where the player can go through the use of terrain or zone boundaries. 

I can use your definition and 'prove' that EVE is a themepark because it has all those elements somewhere in it.

  sirphobos

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/10/11
Posts: 614

8/09/12 4:32:34 PM#37

Sandbox - EVE

Old school themepark - EQ

New school themepark - WoW

 

That's how I view it.

  Kiljaedenas

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/29/11
Posts: 468

To err is human, but to really f*ck things up you need a computer.

8/09/12 4:38:51 PM#38
Originally posted by Torgrim
http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/317478/Sandbox-vs-Themepark-Discussion-Thread.html

God, not another one of these...

OP, please PLEASE use the thread linked by Torgrim, everything that has been posted so far in yours has already been discussed up, down, left, right, forwards, backwards and inside out in the one he linked. Don't start another threadnaught on this.

Where's the any key?

  william0532

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 250

8/09/12 4:53:40 PM#39

Thats the problem with this discussion, first off, some a##hole defined both on wiki so now everyones an expert, when in all reality neither genre has to be confined by the rules wiki and nerds alike have created for both genres. Its funny cause grand theft auto was originally considered a sandbox, but it had a main quest line so it has to be a themepark. SWG was a sandbox and it had player housing, so all sandboxes have to have player housing lol. Sandboxes are supposed to be non linear and open, but (like some dude said earlier) eve has some story and boundries so its a themepark lol. All these stupid rules, are exactly that, stupid.

Not hard to create a game with good elements from both without being stuck by the laws of morons. Of course this generation of developers are in the same boat where every element of gaming has  been divided up between two colums sandbox vs themepark, like bioware, they obviously followed the clear cut definition of themepark, taking everything themeparks have that's good and bad, and look at the wonderful product they put out lol.

 

Some developer in the far far future will make a game by adding things that are fun, instead of coming up with the latest industry standard/definition of what they should have in place because of the "genre/gametype" tag they self impose on themselves. If bioware would have taken some of their "wall of crazy concepts"  instead of everything off their "how to clone WoW" list, maybe they could have been more successful.

 

  Badaboom

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/04/10
Posts: 2401

8/09/12 4:55:36 PM#40

A sandbox is lego.  A themepark is legoland.

Do I win anything?

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