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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Do Sandboxes Overwhelm You With Choices?

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135 posts found
  chaintm

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/02/04
Posts: 977

"Shutting down threads sense 2004"

5/03/13 6:37:06 PM#61

Simple for me,

Skyrim is not an MMO but if you think of it as one, the Skyrim game can be said to be a theme park for there is an actual plot line. However, I can vier from that plot line anytime i wish , I can go anywhere I want and find something totally out of the blue to do.

MMO's in general have "attempted" to do this but failed for a few reasons...

1. The "zone" mentality of what level something is by it's location needs to go "bye bye!"

2. Quest given by level only restrictions, "bah let us do any level quest, live and learn is the way baby!"

3. See that mountain? "Yeah I see it, and i shouldn't have to go threw square foot game space requires X-mulitple mobs per squar footage, Fill the game up with mobs and if all the players kill them and spawns are slow you did your job, time for players to go wondering further!"

4. Your worlds are too small or too big, "Now see if you go with #3, now your world needs to be huge!, so the developer will say "are you crazy ? Do you know the time it will take to content that up?" I say stop being lazy, you want an MMO that last? learn from the best!"

Well I could go on and on here and yes if I had the time and money I would make a killer MMO ;) just saying!

"The monster created isn't by the company that makes the game, it's by the fans that make it something it never was"

  Squeak69

Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/13
Posts: 960

cheese cheese wheres da bloody cheese

5/03/13 6:39:08 PM#62
Originally posted by chaintm

Simple for me,

Skyrim is not an MMO but if you think of it as one, the Skyrim game can be said to be a theme park for there is an actual plot line. However, I can vier from that plot line anytime i wish , I can go anywhere I want and find something totally out of the blue to do.

MMO's in general have "attempted" to do this but failed for a few reasons...

1. The "zone" mentality of what level something is by it's location needs to go "bye bye!"

2. Quest given by level only restrictions, "bah let us do any level quest, live and learn is the way baby!"

3. See that mountain? "Yeah I see it, and i shouldn't have to go threw square foot game space requires X-mulitple mobs per squar footage, Fill the game up with mobs and if all the players kill them and spawns are slow you did your job, time for players to go wondering further!"

4. Your worlds are too small or too big, "Now see if you go with #3, now your world needs to be huge!, so the developer will say "are you crazy ? Do you know the time it will take to content that up?" I say stop being lazy, you want an MMO that last? learn from the best!"

Well I could go on and on here and yes if I had the time and money I would make a killer MMO ;) just saying!

i like to refer to the elder scroll series as a theme park that you can pick which ride you take first

F2P may be the way of the future, but ya know they dont make them like they used to
Proper Grammer & spelling are extra, corrections will be LOL at.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

5/03/13 8:12:48 PM#63
Originally posted by Squeak69

why is he talking so slow, oh wait you must be like a tourist or something who thinks talking slower will make you saying it wrong make more ence.

anyway, i reallity theme park often give the exact same amount of choices that a sand box dose, it just also give a story you can follow to.

lets review, what peple claim a sand box should be is.

ability to roam anywhere freely ( open world)

crafting

player based economy ( no matter how messed up)

buil;ding ( ok this is one i think is required in sandbox for some reason other dont agree)

hmmmm looking at this list and i know ill get hanged for this, dousnt that descibe WoW minus the building aspect.

just saying alot of those "theme park" MMOs you can do this stuff in, heck i tend to do most of this stuff in them, my faverite kind of MMO is one that has both good story elements and sand boxy style game play o the side.

That's part of why most players' definition of sandbox is terrible.

The other part being that obviously the terms "sandbox" and "themepark" were used because sandboxes involve sand (player authorship; the player can change the world by manipulating the "sand") and themeparks involve rides (dev authorship; the devs populate the world with "rides".)  So the key differentiator is who's authoring the experience.

So the thing that makes a sandbox a sandbox is (wait for it...) the sand.  Elements of the game which are player-authored; player-manipulated; player-created.

Obviously a game must have some dev authorship to even function as a game.  EVE's developers set a lot of game rules to ensure the game actually works, and even a more sandboxy game like UO has many fixed systems players don't control.  These game rules make the game more themepark-like, but obviously nobody's necessarily pushing for a "pure" sandbox, and by calling a game sandbox you're merely describing a game which generally has more player authorship than usual.

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3067

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

5/03/13 8:19:29 PM#64


Originally posted by Cecropia

Originally posted by nariusseldon

Originally posted by AlBQuirky

Originally posted by Wakygreek
I would rather have the choice and not use it then to not have the choice and wish it was there.

Exactly my thoughts on that! Let *me* decide instead of deciding for me :)

Deciding on a bunch of uninteresting choices is not fun for me.

That wouldn't be fun for anyone, obviously. Having lots of interesting choices to make is a lot of fun for people looking for more than a whack-a-mole experience.

Thank You. Eloquently stated :)

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  waynejr2

Elite Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3732

RIP City of Heroes!

5/03/13 9:15:11 PM#65
Originally posted by crasset15

Generally I'm not annoyed at all by having a million choices in an MMO. I'll just pick one that sounds fun and do it.

What does annoy me however, is when games start shoving tasks in your face which you didn't ask for, or desperately try to direct you in an open environment. Most MMOs don't do this, but games like skyrim do and it annoys me a lot.

- you hear a rumour in whiterun without talking to anyone, about some dark brotherhood kid, it gets added to your task list.

- you enter the bar in whiterun, you get a task for drinking contest, whether you accept it or not.

- you enter markarth, you see a murder, and without asking for it, another quest gets added to your journal.

- hear another rumour about some museum in dawnstar, another task.

- pick up an unusual gem, another task which you didn't ask for.

- some guy mentions something about companions, you get a task to go talk to them.

- you read a book about red eagle and get a task to find his sword, without any chance to decline it.

This list goes on and on. Bethesda must be paranoid about people missing a piece of content.

This kind of thing overwhelms me. I managed to collect nearly 20 different tasks, none of which I agreed to take, while trying to do just the main quest. Maybe it is a problem with me. I don't like having 20 different tasks in my journal at the same time. It becomes a chore to get rid of them.

 How would you feel if you went into that bar to buy a drink from the bartender and for a tip, he will tell you rumors then you get a chance to choose one or more items from that list?

  chaintm

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/02/04
Posts: 977

"Shutting down threads sense 2004"

5/03/13 9:22:07 PM#66
Originally posted by waynejr2
 How would you feel if you went into that bar to buy a drink from the bartender and for a tip, he will tell you rumors then you get a chance to choose one or more items from that list?

I think his point was it "automatically" adds these things. It wouldn't be so bad if the way things where sorted in Skyrim was done better. I know why they did it, from the aspect of your character knows, not you particularly. You can still choose not to do any of those things, but you still have them on your quest log so I really don't see the issue beyond the fact it was a pretty shitty log system they had. Well that and their inventory system, mods fix it, but you know what I mean.

As far as an actual choice, there where plenty in the game , you didn't have to do anything :) Now having multiple choices in different quest would be nice, but thats why I am looking forward to The Witcher 3 going the skyrim rout but keeping choices in the game and the word is 30+ endings? crazy!

"The monster created isn't by the company that makes the game, it's by the fans that make it something it never was"

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10552

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

 
OP  5/03/13 9:30:43 PM#67

Holy cats. This thread is more or less on topic and civil. Good job guys!

Some of the posts have touched on something that the Massively article didn't get into concerning the quality of the choices being made in a game. It does no good to offer open ended game play with many, many choices if all the choices are more or less the same or if all the choices become repetitive. At that point the player isn't overwhelmed with choice, they are overwhelmed with monotony. This applies to games in general and isn't something specific to theme parks or sandbox style games.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

5/03/13 10:45:53 PM#68
Originally posted by lizardbones

It does no good to offer open ended game play with many, many choices if all the choices are more or less the same or if all the choices become repetitive.

Could you elaborate a little on what you're thinking here?   (perhaps with examples?)

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

5/03/13 11:28:57 PM#69
Originally posted by lizardbones

Some of the posts have touched on something that the Massively article didn't get into concerning the quality of the choices being made in a game. It does no good to offer open ended game play with many, many choices if all the choices are more or less the same or if all the choices become repetitive. At that point the player isn't overwhelmed with choice, they are overwhelmed with monotony. This applies to games in general and isn't something specific to theme parks or sandbox style games.

If the choices are always the same, they're not choices.

That's part of why my post pointed out that sandbox's problem is a lack of choice, rather than choice-overload.

A repetitive choice might still be a true choice, but in most cases it's not an issue of being repetitive but being infrequent choices about repetitive or excessively time-consuming activities.

Maybe people are playing some sandbox title I'm unaware of.  The closest example I can think of is a game which has excessive complication as a way of inelegantly and inefficiently pursuing deep gameplay.  But that game is sort of one isolated example of bad game design and not necessarily even the most "sandbox" of sandboxes.

  Warmaker

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/07
Posts: 2233

5/03/13 11:35:21 PM#70
Originally posted by lizardbones

Yet another interesting discussion over at Massively.com, but they don't have a forum format for the interactive experience you can get here.

Do Sandboxes Overwhelm You?

To Summarize:
Sandboxes offer a lot of choice, and often they have very little direction on what to do. Does the lack of direction and number of possible directions to go overwhelm you?

This is a simple question, but I expect the answers aren't so simple.

If I can think of a good set of poll choices, I'll add a poll. That is assuming we can avoid getting the thread locked by descending into a sandbox vs theme park argument.

I've long been a fan of Sandbox play, and after experiencing the other kinds and blends of MMORPGs, my leaning towards Sandboxes has grown even more.

I will say this, especially when it came to the older MMORPGs.  There was quite alot of choices available, and it all was quite alot to handle for a new player.  UO put you right in the game.  The early years of SWG were similiar in that they literally threw you into the game right after character creation.

Not to mention that the gameplay in Sandboxes, because of the options, had a very steep learning curve compared to today's titles.

Again, it was alot to handle.

But you know what?  Players learned.  The more you played, the more nuances of the game you learned.  The more angles of the game you became interested in at least checking out and exploring, if not diving in with a full commitment.  Because in the end, once you learned what you CAN do and HOW to do it, it is then when you really appreciate all the possible options of playing and enjoying the game.

That is the heart of Sandboxes, especially old school ones.

I do think that a strong tutorial showcasing the fundamentals of each portion of the game is essential to lessen the feeling of being overwhelmed.  After those fundamentals are taught, then let the player loose and learn more on their own.

Personally, I love the freedom that the Sandboxes offered.  I loved the sheer amount of choices.  I loved not being funneled into a specific direction of play.

I loved playing unchained, basically, with the shackles off.  I loved being able to pick a direction to go on the map, and... just go, and do what I wanted to do.

"I have only two out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates, US Marine Corps, Soissons, 19 July 1918)

  Ustny

Novice Member

Joined: 5/01/13
Posts: 4

Sailor Neptune!

5/04/13 12:11:38 AM#71
Usually when we call a game a sandbox, we're referring to some kind of open world game where you can wander, free of restraints, and do anything you can think of. The Sandbox [Free] isn't quite that kind of game. Instead it straddles the border between game and art project, rewarding players for creativity while giving them near-infinite possibilities.

You don't play a character in The Sandbox, you play a god. You can paint with pixels of stone, draw towers of earth and set them to grow. You can draw just about any non-living thing you can imagine, paint it into a scene, and then bring it to life with the forces at your command. You have electricity at your fingertips, steam and oil in your grasp, and much more. It's less a sandbox than a blank canvas, waiting to be filled.

There are two ways to play (with) The Sandbox: Free Mode and Story Mode. Story Mode is misnamed; there is no story, just a complex, goal-driven training ground. The game walks you through each element so you can learn how it interacts with the others, teaching you tricks like how to use heat and electricity to boil water, or how to grow a forest using soil, seeds and rain.
  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

5/04/13 1:03:10 AM#72
Originally posted by Ustny
Usually when we call a game a sandbox, we're referring to some kind of open world game where you can wander, free of restraints, and do anything you can think of. The Sandbox [Free] isn't quite that kind of game. Instead it straddles the border between game and art project, rewarding players for creativity while giving them near-infinite possibilities.

You don't play a character in The Sandbox, you play a god. You can paint with pixels of stone, draw towers of earth and set them to grow. You can draw just about any non-living thing you can imagine, paint it into a scene, and then bring it to life with the forces at your command. You have electricity at your fingertips, steam and oil in your grasp, and much more. It's less a sandbox than a blank canvas, waiting to be filled.

There are two ways to play (with) The Sandbox: Free Mode and Story Mode. Story Mode is misnamed; there is no story, just a complex, goal-driven training ground. The game walks you through each element so you can learn how it interacts with the others, teaching you tricks like how to use heat and electricity to boil water, or how to grow a forest using soil, seeds and rain.

That sounds a lot closer to a true, actual sandbox.

The ironic part being that it's probably too sandbox for the sandbox MMORPG crowd.  (Of course let's face it: if they were hardcore into the sandbox concept they'd be painting or programming or composing instead; completely freeform artistic creation being as true a sandbox experience as you can get.)

So even though that crowd recoils in disgust at themepark elements, they actually want those elements in the games they play.  Themepark elements are any pre-formed game rule established by the developers, and are pretty much required for a game to be considered a game.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10552

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

 
OP  5/04/13 7:51:36 AM#73


Originally posted by maplestone

Originally posted by lizardbones It does no good to offer open ended game play with many, many choices if all the choices are more or less the same or if all the choices become repetitive.
Could you elaborate a little on what you're thinking here?   (perhaps with examples?)



I'm sure others can do this better than me, but here goes.

Many choices, only a few possible outcomes:
WoW's skill trees offered many choices as you leveled up, and many possible paths for developing your character. However, in order to make a character that would be effective in the world or in dungeons and raids, you really needed to use a cookie cutter build. All that freedom to build a character turned into choosing which cookie cutter build you wanted to use. It was a choice, but it wasn't an interesting choice. It was at least a clear choice though. WoW's new system removes a lot of the leveling up choices, but in return, the player gets to make choices about what they want rather than what is the most effective or just going with what's required to raid.

Few choices, but meaningful outcomes:
In Deux Ex, you don't have too many choices about your character and their build. You can carry more stuff, be more stealthy or be more effective in combat. I think eventually you'll have all the available options. However, when running through the game you have very meaningful choices about how to clear an area. You can use stealth and sneak, hack consoles and turrets or just fight your way through killing everything you can. There aren't too many choices, but the choices offered very different game play and it's possible to play exactly the way you want to play. You will always have the same end result, but the path you follow will always be the one you wanted to follow.

No real choice, but holy cats it is fun:
Half Life 2 and Bioshock don't offer any real choices in the game play. You can pick your weapon, but that's about it. Even there, your choices can be taken from you and you're left with exactly what the developer wants you to have. Even so, those games are fun. A interesting combat, sense of accomplishment and a well told story make the games what they are. Incredibly fun roller coaster rides or fun houses.

Ultimate Freedom:
Minecraft is as close to ultimate freedom as I think a game can get. A lot of the game play boils down to exactly the same thing though, especially after you figure out how to survive. Collect wood, build shelter, then collect stone and build until you can have diamond armor and tools. After that you build whatever you can think of. There's no direction or difference between the choices. It's not really even choosing because a choice involves picking between available options, weighing the costs and benefits of those options. In Minecraft, unless there are rules imposed by the players themselves, it's just "Do What You Want". It's a choice, but it doesn't seem to be a game play choice.

That's all the examples I can think of regarding meaningful choices. There are many, many games I have not played, so there may be many, much better examples out there. The general idea is that the number of choices is not a representation of quality. It's how meaningful the choices are that matters. If the choice isn't going to be meaningful, it may be a lot more fun to just not have it.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  NetSage

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/20/10
Posts: 1010

5/04/13 8:19:32 AM#74
Originally posted by Ustny
Usually when we call a game a sandbox, we're referring to some kind of open world game where you can wander, free of restraints, and do anything you can think of. The Sandbox [Free] isn't quite that kind of game. Instead it straddles the border between game and art project, rewarding players for creativity while giving them near-infinite possibilities.

You don't play a character in The Sandbox, you play a god. You can paint with pixels of stone, draw towers of earth and set them to grow. You can draw just about any non-living thing you can imagine, paint it into a scene, and then bring it to life with the forces at your command. You have electricity at your fingertips, steam and oil in your grasp, and much more. It's less a sandbox than a blank canvas, waiting to be filled.

There are two ways to play (with) The Sandbox: Free Mode and Story Mode. Story Mode is misnamed; there is no story, just a complex, goal-driven training ground. The game walks you through each element so you can learn how it interacts with the others, teaching you tricks like how to use heat and electricity to boil water, or how to grow a forest using soil, seeds and rain.

Sounds more like an RTS to me.  WIth custom maps and what not.  But on second thought the forge in neverwinter is moving towards this in a way.  But, it's a themepark none the less.

  Quirhid

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5511

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

5/04/13 8:31:18 AM#75
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Ustny
Usually when we call a game a sandbox, we're referring to some kind of open world game where you can wander, free of restraints, and do anything you can think of. The Sandbox [Free] isn't quite that kind of game. Instead it straddles the border between game and art project, rewarding players for creativity while giving them near-infinite possibilities.

You don't play a character in The Sandbox, you play a god. You can paint with pixels of stone, draw towers of earth and set them to grow. You can draw just about any non-living thing you can imagine, paint it into a scene, and then bring it to life with the forces at your command. You have electricity at your fingertips, steam and oil in your grasp, and much more. It's less a sandbox than a blank canvas, waiting to be filled.

There are two ways to play (with) The Sandbox: Free Mode and Story Mode. Story Mode is misnamed; there is no story, just a complex, goal-driven training ground. The game walks you through each element so you can learn how it interacts with the others, teaching you tricks like how to use heat and electricity to boil water, or how to grow a forest using soil, seeds and rain.

That sounds a lot closer to a true, actual sandbox.

The ironic part being that it's probably too sandbox for the sandbox MMORPG crowd.  (Of course let's face it: if they were hardcore into the sandbox concept they'd be painting or programming or composing instead; completely freeform artistic creation being as true a sandbox experience as you can get.)

So even though that crowd recoils in disgust at themepark elements, they actually want those elements in the games they play.  Themepark elements are any pre-formed game rule established by the developers, and are pretty much required for a game to be considered a game.

Nah... I disagree.

I feel somewhat constrained by the english language here, but in finnish, my native tongue, we have a different word for playing a game (pelata) and just plain playing (leikkiä). The people who enjoy sandboxes are doing the latter similarly how a child might play with dolls/action figurines without the involvement of a game.

Incidentally, I find it ironic when posters imply things like "true gamers prefer sandboxes".

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Squeak69

Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/13
Posts: 960

cheese cheese wheres da bloody cheese

5/04/13 8:52:32 AM#76
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Squeak69

why is he talking so slow, oh wait you must be like a tourist or something who thinks talking slower will make you saying it wrong make more ence.

anyway, i reallity theme park often give the exact same amount of choices that a sand box dose, it just also give a story you can follow to.

lets review, what peple claim a sand box should be is.

ability to roam anywhere freely ( open world)

crafting

player based economy ( no matter how messed up)

buil;ding ( ok this is one i think is required in sandbox for some reason other dont agree)

hmmmm looking at this list and i know ill get hanged for this, dousnt that descibe WoW minus the building aspect.

just saying alot of those "theme park" MMOs you can do this stuff in, heck i tend to do most of this stuff in them, my faverite kind of MMO is one that has both good story elements and sand boxy style game play o the side.

That's part of why most players' definition of sandbox is terrible.

The other part being that obviously the terms "sandbox" and "themepark" were used because sandboxes involve sand (player authorship; the player can change the world by manipulating the "sand") and themeparks involve rides (dev authorship; the devs populate the world with "rides".)  So the key differentiator is who's authoring the experience.

So the thing that makes a sandbox a sandbox is (wait for it...) the sand.  Elements of the game which are player-authored; player-manipulated; player-created.

Obviously a game must have some dev authorship to even function as a game.  EVE's developers set a lot of game rules to ensure the game actually works, and even a more sandboxy game like UO has many fixed systems players don't control.  These game rules make the game more themepark-like, but obviously nobody's necessarily pushing for a "pure" sandbox, and by calling a game sandbox you're merely describing a game which generally has more player authorship than usual.

thats where i disagree, a sandbox game is a openword in whicih you can reate what you want whether it be a village, or a catle or whatever, SWG is the best example of a good sandbox MMO, becuase you could create whereever you wanted.

i just dont understand how a game in which you have nothing but a crafting system and no building system is considered a sandbox, its just a open world game with a lack of content, and thats it,

saying its about autorship when you cant actully do anything more in it then you could in a theme park and in fact less most of the time is silly, thats just a excuse cause once agian all this stuff your saying gives you author ship is still once agian stuff you can do in a open world game with no content is the same as what you can do in a open world theme park.

main diff here is the tools the game give you and some of these sandbox games give you even less then the theme park ones do.

P.S. i guees a good exam,ple of a snadbox gmae in my opion that is comeing out soon or has, not tracking it myselkf much, would be archage

F2P may be the way of the future, but ya know they dont make them like they used to
Proper Grammer & spelling are extra, corrections will be LOL at.

  dumpcat

Novice Member

Joined: 3/06/12
Posts: 233

5/04/13 11:00:57 AM#77

It depends on the game. I think that when you are reading about the features it can be overwhelming, just like a new job is can feel overwhelming at first. 

Once you delve in and start learning one thing at a time, it all comes together eventually. 

My first MMO was SWG. When I logged in I had no idea what to expect form an MMO and I had no business in that game. A couple people decided to take pity on me and show me the ropes, from that point on the whole game opened up for me.

So yes and an no is my answer!

Yes they can be overwhelming, and no it just takes some patience and the ability to make friends who know what they are doing.

  Axehilt

Novice Member

Joined: 5/09/09
Posts: 7213

5/04/13 11:25:54 AM#78
Originally posted by Squeak69

thats where i disagree, a sandbox game is a openword in whicih you can reate what you want whether it be a village, or a catle or whatever, SWG is the best example of a good sandbox MMO, becuase you could create whereever you wanted.

i just dont understand how a game in which you have nothing but a crafting system and no building system is considered a sandbox, its just a open world game with a lack of content, and thats it,

saying its about autorship when you cant actully do anything more in it then you could in a theme park and in fact less most of the time is silly, thats just a excuse cause once agian all this stuff your saying gives you author ship is still once agian stuff you can do in a open world game with no content is the same as what you can do in a open world theme park.

main diff here is the tools the game give you and some of these sandbox games give you even less then the theme park ones do.

P.S. i guees a good exam,ple of a snadbox gmae in my opion that is comeing out soon or has, not tracking it myselkf much, would be archage

How does your description conflict with what I described?  You describe a system of player authorship, in a game where parts of it are dev-authored (the specific range of "sand" elements, and their parameters.)  And because it's considerably more player authoring than usual, we describe it as a sandbox.

Crafting is building, so depending on how much of the game world you're crafting, a game is more or less a sandbox.

Sandboxes are about the sand, whether or not the games you're thinking of have it.  It's the defining element.  The reason we call it sandbox!

So a sandbox can be terrible at giving players sand in the same way a themepark can be terrible at giving players rides.  That doesn't change the fundamental definitions or traits of either; bad games are just bad games.

  mmoguy43

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2300

5/04/13 11:59:14 AM#79
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Squeak69

why is he talking so slow, oh wait you must be like a tourist or something who thinks talking slower will make you saying it wrong make more ence.

anyway, i reallity theme park often give the exact same amount of choices that a sand box dose, it just also give a story you can follow to.

lets review, what peple claim a sand box should be is.

ability to roam anywhere freely ( open world)

crafting

player based economy ( no matter how messed up)

buil;ding ( ok this is one i think is required in sandbox for some reason other dont agree)

hmmmm looking at this list and i know ill get hanged for this, dousnt that descibe WoW minus the building aspect.

just saying alot of those "theme park" MMOs you can do this stuff in, heck i tend to do most of this stuff in them, my faverite kind of MMO is one that has both good story elements and sand boxy style game play o the side.

That's part of why most players' definition of sandbox is terrible.

The other part being that obviously the terms "sandbox" and "themepark" were used because sandboxes involve sand (player authorship; the player can change the world by manipulating the "sand") and themeparks involve rides (dev authorship; the devs populate the world with "rides".)  So the key differentiator is who's authoring the experience.

So the thing that makes a sandbox a sandbox is (wait for it...) the sand.  Elements of the game which are player-authored; player-manipulated; player-created.

Obviously a game must have some dev authorship to even function as a game.  EVE's developers set a lot of game rules to ensure the game actually works, and even a more sandboxy game like UO has many fixed systems players don't control.  These game rules make the game more themepark-like, but obviously nobody's necessarily pushing for a "pure" sandbox, and by calling a game sandbox you're merely describing a game which generally has more player authorship than usual.

If you count the mods, which is more player authorship that usual (a lot more than other games with mods), then you have clearly defined Skyrim as both themepark and sandbox. The dev tools being outside of the game instead of inside but result it greater freedom of artistic expression.

Words fail, especially the word sandbox. Time to start using freedombox...

Let's build the ultimate MMO 1 feature at a time
http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/398555/page/1

  atticusbc

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/22/07
Posts: 1059

I hated hipsters before hating hipsters was cool.

5/04/13 12:01:33 PM#80

i think a true sandbox wouldn't actually give you any choices. you wouldn't log in and have x, y, and z options. you'd log in and have a world to do what you wanted in. and if you don't know what you want to do, and aren't willing to go for it then you shouldn't be playing sandboxes.

EDIT: typos

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