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Give Me Back My Sandbox

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naokaji 16th September 2008, 13:13 Quote
I fully agree, I'm surprised Spore wasnt mentioned though as it basically promised to be one huge sandox with lots of freedom of choice but didnt really end up that way.
gmarappledude2 16th September 2008, 13:17 Quote
I am even more suprised Second Life wasn't mentioned. 99.9% of the content is player created content. When you play second life you can do almost anything, build stuff, open a shop, sit at home watching movies (thats a little sad though), get a job, roam around, meet people, attend concerts, etc... I don't think there are any experiences closer to a sandbox than this, Real Life excluded of course.
proxess 16th September 2008, 13:37 Quote
What you need is Ultima Online... the great grand daddy of MMO!! It's still rolling you know! Just play Pangaea-world!True roleplay (not that pseudo stuff on WoW). You shall feel fulfilled!
Mentai 16th September 2008, 13:40 Quote
The problem I see with 2nd life is that it is too much like real life. When everything you do is on the same scale as IRL, what's the point? At least with sim city it takes it to a more macro scale. TBH I quite like my story driven linear games, though I do wish there were more variety, especially in the MMO sector, please reward exploration. I love exploring MMO worlds, but they don't make it easy at lower levels =/
AlexB 16th September 2008, 13:49 Quote
There are loads of sandbox games.. have people gone mad?
E-Jungle 16th September 2008, 13:58 Quote
Takes me back to The Incredible Machine (affectionately called TIM) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Incredible_Machine
Hours of gameplay just building machines, letting them run, changing them and move on when you had enough of that machine.
I do remember some missions/scoring system but basically you could build everything you want and experiment all you wanted :)
Played hours and hours of SimCity as well, and loved it. Been playing a lot of classics lately because the newer games could not fulfill my gaming needs (they do look pretty).
EnglishLion 16th September 2008, 14:02 Quote
I personally like the GTA style of gameplay. Feel free to roam and explore, missions if you like (although they fit a storyline it's not entirely linear). Then you've got all the additional things to do / collect etc - if you like.
Lex 16th September 2008, 14:14 Quote
The best column in a long time. Was a pleasure to read and pretty much opened my eyes (even more). Maybe I'll uninstall wow after this.

More like these, fight the powah!
OnyxLilninja 16th September 2008, 14:24 Quote
good column I agree

Good mention of EvE Online, I think thats getting towards the dream of the sandbox game that I had imagined playing Frontier Elite II on my Amiga.
Veles 16th September 2008, 14:30 Quote
EVE Online is pretty damn freeform IMO. The missions in EVE are only a very tiny optional part of the game, if you want to run missions, then that's great, you can run them, but unlike a lot of MMOs they aren't the main event at all.

PotBS is similar, but it does have a bigger focus on quests, they are a significant part of the game, but you can play through it as there is plenty of other stuff to do besides running quests.

Puzzle Pirates is pretty sandboxy, was one of the best MMOs IMO until the economy was screwed up.

TBH I get bored without any direction a lot of the time, most sandbox games just aren't well designed enough to keep me occupied in them for long enough. Although something like X3 or Morrowind I can get completely entralled in. I still haven't completed the main quest for Morrowind or Oblivion yet, I keep getting distracted with something, and even though it's very quest based I think they're usually quite clever quests and it's a pretty sandboxy game.
Silver51 16th September 2008, 14:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by article
...For me, (and I do realise I'm alone here) the worst outcome of all this is quests in MMO games. It's pretty much why I don't play them any more. The promise and premise of an MMO is awesome, but often the reality is nothing more than a tedious level grind with neatly packaged quests....

Pretty much sums up how I've felt about MMO's for some time.

Stats grinding creates an impossible (moving) goal which only serves to keep players paying to go up one more level. "Just one more level, then I'll go to bed."

I'd like to see sandbox to make it's way into other genres though. Abandoning the corridor shooter and end of level boss staples that have been around since forever.
Xtrafresh 16th September 2008, 14:36 Quote
I agree to some extent, but i must say that without incentives of some kind (highscores, titles, ingame rewards, or simply fame) i am quickly overcome with a feeling of pointlessness.

And not to be a grand total PITA, but on your website:
[quote=aveyon page]
30+ Hours of gameplay, 60+ quests!
[/quit]It's the first thing on the page too, kinda contradictory to the point you are getting across. I will be sure to check it out though, i'm a geek for these games :p
drakanious 16th September 2008, 14:57 Quote
Garry's Mod FTW!
Narishma 16th September 2008, 15:32 Quote
Oblivion? GTA? Hello? There are Sandbox games around if you bother to look. Maybe what he wants is another SimCity.
badders 16th September 2008, 16:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by drakanious
Garry's Mod FTW!

+1
Star*Dagger 16th September 2008, 16:13 Quote
Author has touched upon a deeper problem in society in general, where people are too afraid to break out of the molds society has created to control them.

As far as gaming, games like X-Com and EVE are the best of the art. X-Com told a story but let you decide how to win a great war against aliens. EVE is a graduate level Way of Life (hesitate to call it a game, since it requires a great deal of intelligence and perseverance to succeed in) that rewards people who cooperate.
The great games of the past were the ones that allowed you to express yourself rather than force you to express yourself the way the devs think is best.

Enjoy

Yours in Breaking out Plasma,
Star*Dagger
cliffski 16th September 2008, 16:14 Quote
Actually I should have mentioned this company:
http://www.pocketwatchgames.com/
He does very decent sandbox games, worth a look.
MrMonroe 16th September 2008, 16:20 Quote
You're right, Space Invaders didn't have X hours of gameplay, it had X minutes of gameplay repeated an infinite number of times with different colors.

Not sure why you chose that one, but snarkiness aside, I agreed fully with the general point of the article.
capnPedro 16th September 2008, 17:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TFA
Well done! You moved the mouse! Have 6,000 platinum points!.

Yes, you finished the game, but to meet the marketing departments quota, we would like you to do the whole game on one leg, to get the special 'peg leg' achievement.

I lolled, but I'm still an achievement whore.
boiled_elephant 16th September 2008, 17:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmarappledude2
I am even more suprised Second Life wasn't mentioned. 99.9% of the content is player created content. When you play second life you can do almost anything, build stuff, open a shop, sit at home watching movies (thats a little sad though), get a job, roam around, meet people, attend concerts, etc.

That sounds interesting...
cjmUK 16th September 2008, 17:20 Quote
I agree with Cliff that there are fewer sandbox games...or perhaps it's more accurate to say that there are more linear, 'on rails' games - and I, too, don't like them.

However, I disagree that quests, achievements etc are part of the problem. Most people need an objective, but my objection comes when your mission/quest/achievement/task can only be completed in one way, using one style of play. The great bit about the early parts of Crysis were the fact that you could run & gun, use stealth, or if you creative enough, use the destructible environment to do the damage. [OK, I know the bigger plot in Crysis was still on rails, but you had some discretion]

One of the best games I ever had was Gunship on the C64. You could dictate the difficulty, choose your aircraft and payload. You had a career where you could earn medals and promotions if you wanted, and you were given a free had to accomplish the primary and secondary objectives however you wished. The career aspect of it was what appealed the most to me back the - it was the first game I came across that had this idea.

Garry's Mod is probably the most sand-boxy 'game' in recent times, to the extent that I downloaded it, play a few sick and perverted games with a few ragdolls, and then got bored and moved on.
C-Sniper 16th September 2008, 17:31 Quote
Unfortunately since Sim City was owned by EA. It has random crashes. I am hoping for the next game like Sim City to be from Monte Cristo Studios which is in the process of making Cities XL. It should be very good since they are a semi-indie developer.
CardJoe 16th September 2008, 17:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by drakanious
Garry's Mod FTW!

+2

And I have to admit Cliff that even when I was editing the article I was constantly thinking in the back of my head: "Garry's Mod or Freelancer, fool!" ;)
cjmUK 16th September 2008, 17:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
or Freelancer

Although you could do what you wanted in Freelancer (and X3 and Elite), don't you think it was a bit same-y? Although you could go anyway you wanted, the missions you got were very repetitive, IMHO - more so than most games, anyway.

I didn't get any sense of immersion...
pendragon 16th September 2008, 17:47 Quote
meh, I have to disagree with this one.. perhaps I didn't read the article closely enough, but I honestly felt like there've been too many 'sandbox' games recently ..and I like the story aspect of linear games. [shrugs] to each their own
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