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Why are sandboxes ugly?

2

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  • GrakulenGrakulen Staff Writer St. Charles, MOPosts: 460MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Art is expensive and a lot of the games that people equate with sandbox are pretty low budget in comparison to those good looking theme parks.
  • KangaroomouseKangaroomouse MonacoPosts: 394Member

     

    Because there are no good looking game engines that supports real-time deformable terrain. Voxels or marching cubes only get you so far. Look at landmark, it looks terrible and performance is abysmal. That is from a top studio and most sandboxes are developed with much lower budgets.

    ----

    Maybe some day we will find a technical solution to this problem. Right now we don't have one other than throwing GPU cycles at it.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,773Member Uncommon

    I wouldn't say that Uncharted Waters Online looks great, as the graphics are somewhat dated by now.  But it doesn't look bad, either--and it looks vastly better than Minecraft.

    Sandbox games are supposed to have more variety in what goes on than theme park games, as in theme park games, you're expected to do just about every single thing and repeat a bunch of them, while in sandbox games, you're not.  But more variety means more graphics to make.  Make more artwork on a fixed budget and you end up with each piece of artwork looking uglier.

  • ApraxisApraxis RegensburgPosts: 1,515Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Ltd is the fastest way to level in wow

    You mean the LFD Tool? The insta get me in a dungeon and a group tool? Or differently put a lobby based themepark.

    Edit: It was not part of WoW as i played it.. it was not part of Vanilla.. and in that time question was the way to go.. especially that instances started at lvl 15-18, and there was always room between instances, which usually was filled with questing. Though most Quests lead you to instances, too. So it is more or less the same. But that may have changed over the time.

    Edit End.

    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    In a sandbox I want all the quests and the ease of lfd of the theme park. I want the option to follow a path some days or be known as the master cake and castle builder other days.

    Ok.. you want a Themepark with some themes offering Castle Building, and the other Giovanni bake the best cake. Well.. it is still then a themepark, it is separated content.. that's is basicly the opposite of a sandbox, at least as i do see a sandobx.

    But that one is rather easy.

    a) Themeparks like Wildstar with some Themes offering contained sandbox, or better building/creating features. As it is already with Wildstar and their instanced build your home, garage and garden theme.

    or

    b) play different games(not even neccesarily a MMO) games with the minigames you like

    But a MMO sandbox is more of a evolving world, which is affected from all player, and not only one. This may include that some interfere your gameplay in one way or the other (and this does not mean neccesarily pvp, aka combat with other players). A Virtual World, where the players have different tools to shape the world, and different pathes/roles to play in that world.

    As i already said.. the difference from sandbox and themepark is not so much the content, or the single features, or gameplay.. it is much more how that content, that gameplay, those features are presented and mixed together. Themeparks separate things in tiny parts for (often, not always) casual fun. Whereas in a sandbox all are side by side and everyone can choose their gameplay, content, whatever.. but all will affect the others and the world. The one is together and against, the other is more like everyone on their own(this can be a small, or in case of raids big groups, or even just a single player)

    But that may be the fundamental difference between themeparks and sandboxes.. maybe it is my opinion about sandboxes, and it is more a virtual world of what i think, and not a sandbox.. though a true virutal world have to have sandbox features/tools.

    But well.. this discussion is rather off topic. But i guess the OP question is already answered anyway.

  • kakasakikakasaki Lockhart, TXPosts: 1,205Member

    First, can we all come to an agreement as to was a sandbox game is??? Cause from all the years I've been playing MMOs and frequenting game sites, there has never been an agreement....

    Also, graphics aren't everything. I would happily trade beautiful graphics for more choice and play depth in my MMOs...

    A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true...

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Posts: 5,314Member Uncommon
    If you think adding all the quests that a theme park has to a sandbox game makes the game a theme park then we are at an impasse. I think it is simply a sandbox game with even more choice.

    Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  • QuesaQuesa Sacramento, CAPosts: 1,246Member
    Originally posted by Distopia
    Archeage?

    The only things AA has going for it in the 'sandbox' area is the skill tree freedom and the ability to progress in different ways.

  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,904Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by flizzer
    Originally posted by Distopia
    Archeage?

    Sandpark not sandbox.

     

    This has been a complaint of mine for ages also.  I don't see any acceptable options at the moment.  I dislike looking at boxy voxel games despite the sandbox quality of many of these titles. 

    Of course..silly me ...

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

    It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  • Vermillion_RaventhalVermillion_Raventhal Oxon Hill, MDPosts: 1,147Member Uncommon
    What Sandbox that has been released by a mainstream developers or large budget? SWG which art style is hit or miss with people.
  • AzrileAzrile Houston, MDPosts: 2,582Member
    Originally posted by kakasaki

    First, can we all come to an agreement as to was a sandbox game is??? Cause from all the years I've been playing MMOs and frequenting game sites, there has never been an agreement....

    Also, graphics aren't everything. I would happily trade beautiful graphics for more choice and play depth in my MMOs...

    For me, graphics have to be acceptable...  but the part of the graphics that really needs to work is the combat animations.  And the other part is feedback via animations.  I like games where my character, and the NPC I am fighting react to the fight and give feedback about how the battle is going without having to stare at numbers.  It is very easy to have two ´was hit´ animations, one for minor hits, one for crit hits.

    The problem with the last 5 years of MMOs is that the Dev companies have focused on the ´screenshot´ art, and not the animation and playable art.   Like having a 10k poly dagger and then having the combat animation be .5 seconds slow and your dagger swing be 5 feet away from the NPC but still record a hit.

  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member
    Originally posted by Azrile
    Originally posted by kakasaki

    First, can we all come to an agreement as to was a sandbox game is??? Cause from all the years I've been playing MMOs and frequenting game sites, there has never been an agreement....

    Also, graphics aren't everything. I would happily trade beautiful graphics for more choice and play depth in my MMOs...

    For me, graphics have to be acceptable...  but the part of the graphics that really needs to work is the combat animations.  And the other part is feedback via animations.  I like games where my character, and the NPC I am fighting react to the fight and give feedback about how the battle is going without having to stare at numbers.  It is very easy to have two ´was hit´ animations, one for minor hits, one for crit hits.

    The problem with the last 5 years of MMOs is that the Dev companies have focused on the ´screenshot´ art, and not the animation and playable art.   Like having a 10k poly dagger and then having the combat animation be .5 seconds slow and your dagger swing be 5 feet away from the NPC but still record a hit.

    Get your graphics out of my sandbox definition. Yes they are graphics not aesthetics, learn the difference because next you'll tell me "EVE-Online would be awesome if it had hands on combat" which sounds nice in theory but would murder the server or cause widespread hacking (they regularly kill server nodes, even reinforced ones, during major fleet engagements with the current system, what do you think the extra input from thousands of people would do to the server?).

    There's a reason most sandboxes have shit combat systems and why games like minecraft also look like arse: The type of graphics engine required to have destructible terrain in combat cannot be scaled up too far without A) murdering the server and B) murdering your average gamer PC, just look at EQN and Landmark.... and then realize that for a long, long time that is how good a sandbox will look that also has hands on combat (the former is not a sandbox yes but it does feature destructible terrain which is a hallmark of real sandboxes, one which is utterly lacking in most good looking sandboxes currently with good reason).

    image
  • ApraxisApraxis RegensburgPosts: 1,515Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Dihoru
    Originally posted by Azrile
    Originally posted by kakasaki

    First, can we all come to an agreement as to was a sandbox game is??? Cause from all the years I've been playing MMOs and frequenting game sites, there has never been an agreement....

    Also, graphics aren't everything. I would happily trade beautiful graphics for more choice and play depth in my MMOs...

    For me, graphics have to be acceptable...  but the part of the graphics that really needs to work is the combat animations.  And the other part is feedback via animations.  I like games where my character, and the NPC I am fighting react to the fight and give feedback about how the battle is going without having to stare at numbers.  It is very easy to have two ´was hit´ animations, one for minor hits, one for crit hits.

    The problem with the last 5 years of MMOs is that the Dev companies have focused on the ´screenshot´ art, and not the animation and playable art.   Like having a 10k poly dagger and then having the combat animation be .5 seconds slow and your dagger swing be 5 feet away from the NPC but still record a hit.

    Get your graphics out of my sandbox definition. Yes they are graphics not aesthetics, learn the difference because next you'll tell me "EVE-Online would be awesome if it had hands on combat" which sounds nice in theory but would murder the server or cause widespread hacking (they regularly kill server nodes, even reinforced ones, during major fleet engagements with the current system, what do you think the extra input from thousands of people would do to the server?).

    There's a reason most sandboxes have shit combat systems and why games like minecraft also look like arse: The type of graphics engine required to have destructible terrain in combat cannot be scaled up too far without A) murdering the server and B) murdering your average gamer PC, just look at EQN and Landmark.... and then realize that for a long, long time that is how good a sandbox will look that also has hands on combat (the former is not a sandbox yes but it does feature destructible terrain which is a hallmark of real sandboxes, one which is utterly lacking in most good looking sandboxes currently with good reason).

    First of all you are right.. that some game mechanics, like seamless world, or 1000 player battles restrict the graphically(polygon count, texture size, and for network, hitboxes, latency, projectiles or not) quality. But nevertheless most indy sandboxes look ugly nevertheless, and not because of graphical limitation, but more because of aesthetic limitation of the development team.

    And in all honestly, everyone saying that EvE or EQN look ugly don't know what they talk. Both look very good. And just because you don't like stylized Art doesn't make EQN a bad looking game.. because it isn't. Minecraft on the other side is ugly.. because art, design, voxel count did not matter as they made the game... the priority was gameplay.. and Art, aesthetics was a afterhthough.. if at all.

  • EvilestTwinEvilestTwin New York, NYPosts: 286Member

    What about Black Desert Online?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G6EXTBrwUY

  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member
    Originally posted by EvilestTwin

    What about Black Desert Online?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G6EXTBrwUY

    Sandpark by what I know...

    image
  • JakobmillerJakobmiller jönköpingPosts: 144Member Uncommon
    Darkfall Unholy Wars may seem weird when you look on youtube.. But give that game a try and you will most likely love it.. And it's a VERY pretty game on full settings.
  • BailoPan15BailoPan15 VrakaPosts: 410Member
    Originally posted by Jakobmiller
    Darkfall Unholy Wars may seem weird when you look on youtube.. But give that game a try and you will most likely love it.. And it's a VERY pretty game on full settings.

    We have different opinion on what is pretty and what isn't. Don't get me wrong, I have a gaming rig that boasts 120  fps at ultra in Bf4 64-man map so I know pretty, and after spending so much cash on this PC, I also demand pretty - DF:UW is not pretty. Infact, it looks like 10-year old game already. And the animations, oh boy the animations are so silly it gives me eye cancer x.x 

    And yes it basically comes down to this

    Themepark - Linear but well designed and well thought out world full of eyecandy to keep people happy, created by professional artists that make a living out of this

    Sandbox - Empty world made by some players who think that a grass wall spelling the word "DICK" is the best thing ever (e.g. EQ:Next Landmark alpha). I hope you see the difference. 

     

    Also to the guy saying that eve is pretty ... idk man. Its quite generic at best. You have a static panoramic background bunch of 3D spheres that we'll call planets/moons for short with some textures on them which a 10 year old could draw. A single light source, which is the sun of the system you inhabit, although every sun shines the same way. So ... should I do that in HTML5 Canvas for you in ~30 minutes or we agree that its not that much of an eyecandy? 

  • ApraxisApraxis RegensburgPosts: 1,515Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BailoPan15
    Originally posted by Jakobmiller
    Darkfall Unholy Wars may seem weird when you look on youtube.. But give that game a try and you will most likely love it.. And it's a VERY pretty game on full settings.

    We have different opinion on what is pretty and what isn't. Don't get me wrong, I have a gaming rig that boasts 120  fps at ultra in Bf4 64-man map so I know pretty, and after spending so much cash on this PC, I also demand pretty - DF:UW is not pretty. Infact, it looks like 10-year old game already. And the animations, oh boy the animations are so silly it gives me eye cancer x.x 

    And yes it basically comes down to this

    Themepark - Linear but well designed and well thought out world full of eyecandy to keep people happy, created by professional artists that make a living out of this

    Sandbox - Empty world made by some players who think that a grass wall spelling the word "DICK" is the best thing ever (e.g. EQ:Next Landmark alpha). I hope you see the difference. 

     

    Also to the guy saying that eve is pretty ... idk man. Its quite generic at best. You have a static panoramic background bunch of 3D spheres that we'll call planets/moons for short with some textures on them which a 10 year old could draw. A single light source, which is the sun of the system you inhabit, although every sun shines the same way. So ... should I do that in HTML5 Canvas for you in ~30 minutes or we agree that its not that much of an eyecandy? 

    Lol.. now you compare apples with oranges... as would one themepark look even close to BF4. If you want BF4 graphics the maximum you get out of a MMO would be like Age of Conan.. every single map/zone limited to 100 ppl, or BF style(are there still 64 vs 64 maps?) to 64 ppl. You can do that, you can then deliver BF4 grapchis(given the money and the team), but it is not what a lot of ppl expect from a MMO. (and additionally limit every server to a very tiny region like west and east coast servers, to deliver the neccesary latency)

  • ElRenmazuoElRenmazuo Alexandria, VAPosts: 4,546Member Uncommon
    There is no such thing as a sandpark, the people on this website made this stupid word up.  Archeage is a sandbox and Everquest Next is a sandbox as stated by the developers them selves.  All these people on this website feel they have entitlement like they are God of the mmo genre so if its not EXACTLY like the sandbox game they played 10 years ago its not a sandbox to them.  Dont listen to them.
  • DMKanoDMKano Gamercentral, AKPosts: 8,506Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by ElRenmazuo
    There is no such thing as a sandpark, the people on this website made this stupid word up.  Archeage is a sandbox and Everquest Next is a sandbox as stated by the developers them selves.  All these people on this website feel they have entitlement like they are God of the mmo genre so if its not EXACTLY like the sandbox game they played 10 years ago its not a sandbox to them.  Dont listen to them.

    The problem is not even developers agree on what a sandbox game is exactly.

    There is no standard accepted to define a sandbox - there are elements that are accepted as sandbox and many different games have sandbox elements.

    But if a game has some sandbox elements does it make it a sandbox game?

    IMO no.

    A true sandbox game would have tools for players to change EVERY ASPECT of the game including core game engine variables. Such MMO never existed and probably never will.

     

  • BailoPan15BailoPan15 VrakaPosts: 410Member
    Originally posted by Apraxis
    Originally posted by BailoPan15
    Originally posted by Jakobmiller
    Darkfall Unholy Wars may seem weird when you look on youtube.. But give that game a try and you will most likely love it.. And it's a VERY pretty game on full settings.

    We have different opinion on what is pretty and what isn't. Don't get me wrong, I have a gaming rig that boasts 120  fps at ultra in Bf4 64-man map so I know pretty, and after spending so much cash on this PC, I also demand pretty - DF:UW is not pretty. Infact, it looks like 10-year old game already. And the animations, oh boy the animations are so silly it gives me eye cancer x.x 

    And yes it basically comes down to this

    Themepark - Linear but well designed and well thought out world full of eyecandy to keep people happy, created by professional artists that make a living out of this

    Sandbox - Empty world made by some players who think that a grass wall spelling the word "DICK" is the best thing ever (e.g. EQ:Next Landmark alpha). I hope you see the difference. 

     

    Also to the guy saying that eve is pretty ... idk man. Its quite generic at best. You have a static panoramic background bunch of 3D spheres that we'll call planets/moons for short with some textures on them which a 10 year old could draw. A single light source, which is the sun of the system you inhabit, although every sun shines the same way. So ... should I do that in HTML5 Canvas for you in ~30 minutes or we agree that its not that much of an eyecandy? 

    Lol.. now you compare apples with oranges... as would one themepark look even close to BF4. If you want BF4 graphics the maximum you get out of a MMO would be like Age of Conan.. every single map/zone limited to 100 ppl, or BF style(are there still 64 vs 64 maps?) to 64 ppl. You can do that, you can then deliver BF4 grapchis(given the money and the team), but it is not what a lot of ppl expect from a MMO. (and additionally limit every server to a very tiny region like west and east coast servers, to deliver the neccesary latency)

    I listed Bf4 as a symbol of power of my PC, that it can handle graphics and that I do pick the ULTRA option in the graphic settings on every game that I play, be it Gw2, Bf4, FIFA, Mass Effect, Skyrim or any other game that I play. Strangely enough Watch Dogs is being gay but that's some issue on AMD's side and maybe WD's bad optimizations on AMD hardware. Its a huge scandal atm, I like reading about it, it amuses me. 

    Also, Age of Conan looks bad as well. I didn't like it, even though it kept on overheating my GPU. Very weird...

  • BailoPan15BailoPan15 VrakaPosts: 410Member
    Originally posted by DMKano
    Originally posted by ElRenmazuo
    There is no such thing as a sandpark, the people on this website made this stupid word up.  Archeage is a sandbox and Everquest Next is a sandbox as stated by the developers them selves.  All these people on this website feel they have entitlement like they are God of the mmo genre so if its not EXACTLY like the sandbox game they played 10 years ago its not a sandbox to them.  Dont listen to them.

    A true sandbox game would have tools for players to change EVERY ASPECT of the game including core game engine variables. Such MMO never existed and probably never will.

    Except your very own Minecraft server xD 

  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member
    Originally posted by BailoPan15
    Originally posted by DMKano
    Originally posted by ElRenmazuo
    There is no such thing as a sandpark, the people on this website made this stupid word up.  Archeage is a sandbox and Everquest Next is a sandbox as stated by the developers them selves.  All these people on this website feel they have entitlement like they are God of the mmo genre so if its not EXACTLY like the sandbox game they played 10 years ago its not a sandbox to them.  Dont listen to them.

    A true sandbox game would have tools for players to change EVERY ASPECT of the game including core game engine variables. Such MMO never existed and probably never will.

    Except your very own Minecraft server xD 

    Which while does have a theoretical map size of several parsecs (or was it AU? cannot remember off the top of my head currently) does not have the capacity to hold even the population of Earth's number ergo it fulfills the massive part of the MMO requirement but when you can place people several AU apart you effectively get a single player experience.

    image
  • loulakiloulaki PatrasPosts: 918Member
    Originally posted by GuyClinch

     

    EQ:N is promising a lot more so lets see how that shakes out..

     

    well yes after SOE included the Storybricks team, then their MMO become more attractive except their voxel engine, the rest is crap on EQ:N... but Storybricks are working on a living world who is driven by player's actions, even the NPCs ...

     

    BlackDesert also is a sandbox like EVE, and its truly beautiful ! but it doesnt includes terraforming ...

     

    anyway creating a sandbox is risky cause it is depending on the players, and as usual we see lots of time the community to be a branch of assholes (WoW anyone?) ... so most sandbox game cant reach the budget of a AAAgame development and become lowbudget games like DarkFall Unholly Wars which has awesome mechanics but poor execution and the blame is not on devs but on their poor budget . so their game released and will remain with poor animations, mediocre graphics, only human size races in order to keep the same hitboxes etc ...

    image

  • AzrileAzrile Houston, MDPosts: 2,582Member
    Originally posted by Jakobmiller
    Darkfall Unholy Wars may seem weird when you look on youtube.. But give that game a try and you will most likely love it.. And it's a VERY pretty game on full settings.

    You have got to be joking??    The animations look like they were drawn on 100 index cards and then someone flipped through them really fast.   Absolutely horrible.

    Again.. take a screenshot and it might look good.  But play it as a game and it is terrible.

  • Saxx0nSaxx0n PR/Brand Manager BitBox Ltd. Hell, CAPosts: 817Member Uncommon

    Hideous, ain't it?

    Note* - those are all separate items in this pic and not 3D props.

    A crapton more here http://lifeisfeudal.com/screenshots

     

    These are pre alpha btw.

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