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Why Not Build a Proper Sandbox?

Posted Aug 06, 2009 by Jon Wood

Why Not Build a Proper Sandbox?

In his weekly column, Dana Massey looks at the nostalgia people feel for classic sandbox MMOs and talks about ways that developers could truly re-capture their popularity.

What is a sandbox MMO, anyway? We often hear laments of old time gamers who miss the days of old-school Ultima Online and complain that no one has dared to properly fill that void. In the decade-plus since UO's launch, the market has been dominated by level based games. As cries for a sandbox MMO continue to grow louder, I wonder if it has not been so long that the memory of what they truly were has begun to fade. So, this week, I examine what, to me, was the essence of a sandbox MMO experience and how I'd like to see one built in this modern era.

Being a true sandbox MMO is about more than just mechanics. It's a virtual world where people can truly settle into a role. It's not about combat mechanics, quests, or storyline. It's about freedom.

Read Dana Massey Asks Why Not Build a Proper Sandbox?

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