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A Single Player RPG with Open World is a Sandbox

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  • AdamantineAdamantine Member RarePosts: 4,430

    A sandbox is a container that offers you sand to build whatever you like.

    Thus a sandbox game is a game that offers you a couple of items and rules how to interact and change these items in order to change the game world in whatever way you wish.

    Open world isnt specific to a sandbox. A themepark might be an open world as well.

    Skyrim is a very, very weak sandbox at best. Basically you can only buy certain houses, thats pretty much all.

    Please set a sig so I can read your posting even if somebody "agreed" etc with it. Thanks.
  • MMOExposedMMOExposed Member RarePosts: 7,113
    Originally posted by Xzen


    Originally posted by Sovrath


    Originally posted by PukeBucket



    Originally posted by Sovrath


    sorry but morrwind, oblivion, skyrim are sandboxes.
    I can choose to do what I want when I want. I can quest, dungeon crawl, work solely on crafting, heck, pick flowers for all I want.
    whether or not there is a class or skill system is immaterial.
    And not all mmo's have an open world. some of them lead you on a path from one place to another.
     

    I remember  a time playing MMOs when I wished all the quests were all sort of hubbed together.

    That day came and I had to admit that I was wrong about something.

    What keeps SWTOR for example from being a sandbox you can see pretty early on with the Jedi quest line. I run along for my main story and I see several padawan captured in cages. I can not interact with them. I can't free them now, I can't start the quest by just being in the area, or anything. I have to do my main quest, level up to 4, and then find the "sweet" spot to initiate saving the padawan and therefore being rewarded for it.

    It's became a horrible crutch in themepark gaming.

    I know exactly what you are talking about and I agree.

    Not only did I walk up to cages but I could walk up to the same cages and free the same people.

    Still, I did enjoy my time in SWToR so I keep my preorder.

    I just ordered the latest American McGee's Alice returns.

    Why?

    Well, I have a fondness for young goth alice making her way through a sick an twisted wonderland and cleaving her way through it as well.

    Take a game like that and take an elderscrolls game and compare them. they are very different. One leads you from one area to another and the other says "well, here you are, do what you feel you want to do and we'll see what happens.

    That's why elderscrolls games are, if one needs to put them in a category, sandboxes. And why Alice is linear and a themepark (I suppose).

    SWToR is a themepark of course. One might be able to eschew the main storyline and just do what you want but the thrust of the game is to follow your particular story.

    Same with LOTRO. I play it closer to a sandbox than a theme park but I would still call it a themepark game.

    I recall playing Lineage 2 and then trying the beta of WoW and coming back to L2 and saying "hey, I wish we had quests to give some context to why I was killing these monsters as opposed to going to a field and just 'having at it'".

    Still, in the end, L2 was, for me, the better game.

    Maybe ArcheAge will be able to mash them together and we can all finnaly get what we like all in one game.

     

    yeah but Archage will have FFA PvP. Not sure if it has full loot though, but Its very likely since it's being advertised to be a sandbox. And we know, sandbox developers are never innovating in that area

    image

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247

    Originally posted by PukeBucket

    Originally posted by azmundai

    Why do you always try to oversimplify things in your posts?

    There are no simple answers.

    ...

    The main difference for me between sandbox and themepark is freedom. themepark pigeonholes you into very specific characters that go along very specific paths within a game world. A sandbox does not do this.

    LoL Well said.

    "If they call it cranberry juice? Why is there pear consentrate in it? Why is there pineapple juice in it? Does it actually say juice? Or does it use the word cocktail?"

    That seems to come up quite often from a couple of the same posters around here.

    Agreed.  It seems like some people can't wrap their head around the fact that calling a game Sandbox and Themepark just refer to the predominant playstyle of the game. It's the same people with the same questions who either forgot the answers they got in their previous threads or dismiss the answers and make a new thread in hopes that phrasing the same question a new way will yield a different answer.

    There's also another possibility, but we're not allowed to bring that up here.

     

     

    Here's one of my favorite replies to this topic (by Brenelael):

     

    The simplest definition is...

    Sandbox - Freeform Content

    Themepark - Structured Content

    Now to understand this you have to understand what Game Content is...

    Game Content - Anything you do, see or hear within a game.

     

    All games have to have content otherwise you'd be staring at a blank screen with no sound. What defines the differences between a Sandbox and a Themepark is not whether or not there is content as some would have you believe but how the content is structured and presented to the player.

     

    There are basically two ways to present content to the player...

    Freeform - This type of content does not have any predefined way to consume it. It is totally left up to the player as to the speed and order that the content is consumed.

    Structured - This type of content has a predefined path of consumption. It is designed to be consumed at a predefined speed and within a predefined order.

     

    Now as to which of the current games are sandbox or themeparks? The simplest answer is... none of them. There are no Sandboxes or Themeparks as all games have both types of content to some degree. Most games however do have more of one type than the other so they are considered to be Sandbox or Themepark because the nature of the majority of their content leans more toward one type than the other.

     

    Bren

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed Member RarePosts: 7,113
    Originally posted by Loktofeit


    Originally posted by PukeBucket


    Originally posted by azmundai


    Why do you always try to oversimplify things in your posts?
    There are no simple answers.
    ...
    The main difference for me between sandbox and themepark is freedom. themepark pigeonholes you into very specific characters that go along very specific paths within a game world. A sandbox does not do this.

    LoL Well said.

    "If they call it cranberry juice? Why is there pear consentrate in it? Why is there pineapple juice in it? Does it actually say juice? Or does it use the word cocktail?"

    That seems to come up quite often from a couple of the same posters around here.

    Agreed.  It seems like some people can't wrap their head around the fact that calling a game Sandbox and Themepark just refer to the predominant playstyle of the game. It's the same people with the same questions who either forgot the answers they got in their previous threads or dismiss the answers and make a new thread in hopes that phrasing the same question a new way will yield a different answer.

    There's also another possibility, but we're not allowed to bring that up here.

     

     

    Here's one of my favorite replies to this topic (by Brenelael):

     

    The simplest definition is...

    Sandbox - Freeform Content

    Themepark - Structured Content

    Now to understand this you have to understand what Game Content is...

    Game Content - Anything you do, see or hear within a game.

     

    All games have to have content otherwise you'd be staring at a blank screen with no sound. What defines the differences between a Sandbox and a Themepark is not whether or not there is content as some would have you believe but how the content is structured and presented to the player.

     

    There are basically two ways to present content to the player...

    Freeform - This type of content does not have any predefined way to consume it. It is totally left up to the player as to the speed and order that the content is consumed.

    Structured - This type of content has a predefined path of consumption. It is designed to be consumed at a predefined speed and within a predefined order.

     

    Now as to which of the current games are sandbox or themeparks? The simplest answer is... none of them. There are no Sandboxes or Themeparks as all games have both types of content to some degree. Most games however do have more of one type than the other so they are considered to be Sandbox or Themepark because the nature of the majority of their content leans more toward one type than the other.

     

    Bren

     

    Ok let's use your definition.

    Sandbox= freeform =Skyrim

    Skyrim = Sandbox because the contents doesn't have a predefined way of doing it.

    Let's see. I go around doing quest, some which are chained, others not so much. But the quest send me to a location to kill or Collect something from that location.

    You say there is not theme park/ sandbox. I would agree, but that's not what goes on in the gaming community. Skyrim is said to be a sandbox.

    Yet the above example, is also done in WoW and Everquest, which are both defined here by the community to be theme park.

    All games have contents, but what's stopping players from doing what they like in a theme park compared ro a sandbox?
    Skyrim vs Darksoul

    image

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247

    Originally posted by MMOExposed

     

    Ok let's use your definition. Sandbox= freeform =Skyrim Skyrim = Sandbox because the contents doesn't have a predefined way of doing it. Let's see. I go around doing quest, some which are chained, others not so much. But the quest send me to a location to kill or Collect something from that location. You say there is not theme park/ sandbox. I would agree, but that's not what goes on in the gaming community. Skyrim is said to be a sandbox. Yet the above example, is also done in WoW and Everquest, which are both defined here by the community to be theme park. All games have contents, but what's stopping players from doing what they like in a theme park compared ro a sandbox? Skyrim vs Darksoul

    It seems like some people can't wrap their head around the fact that calling a game Sandbox and Themepark just refer to the predominant playstyle of the game. It's the same people with the same questions who either forgot the answers they got in their previous threads or dismiss the answers and make a new thread in hopes that phrasing the same question a new way will yield a different answer.

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • NaqajNaqaj Member UncommonPosts: 1,673

    Originally posted by MMOExposed

     Skyrim is said to be a sandbox. 

    ... in discussions where people wonder what a sandbox is.

    This thread kinda exemplifies why people should stop using this false dichotomy. Noone even knows what it means anymore.

     

    Most of the attempts in this thread to define what a sandbox game is, by my understanding, are actually describing what an open-world game is. Most definitions are about freedom of choice and undirected narrative. That is a mark of an open-world game, not a sandbox.

    Sandboxes are defined through the creation aspect. Creating and shaping the game world from within the game.

    Hence why Minecraft is a sandbox, and Skyrim is not (... quite. The editor kind of blurs the line). Sandbox and open-world are not synonymus, and not interchangeable.

     

    edit: sorry soups, wasn't finished with my thought.

  • SupersoupsSupersoups Member Posts: 1,004

    Originally posted by Naqaj

    Originally posted by MMOExposed

     Skyrim is said to be a sandbox. 

    ... in discussions where people wonder what a sandbox is.

    This thread kinda exemplifies why people should stop using this false dichotomy. Noone even knows what it means anymore.

    It is because there has not been a proper sandbox in years and probably never will, that the whole meaning has become distorted in so many ways.

    image

  • someforumguysomeforumguy Member RarePosts: 4,066

    Originally posted by MMOExposed

    I made a thread recently here criticizing Skyrim, the so called Sandbox RPG that released this month.



    I notice from over the net, that many people feel that Skyrim is a Sandbox because it has a "Open World".



    But this confuses me. if Sandboxs are defined by having a "Open World" or not, than shouldnt we also consider all MMORPGs to also be Sandboxes, since they all have open persistent worlds (of course we excluding the CORPGs because thats a different genre of gaming the just share this site)

     

    based of these flawed views I have seen on this, it has to be asked again. What do you define a Sandbox RPG as?

    Cant say Player housing, because many MMO which commonly are considered Non sandbox also have this feature.

     

    well how about a Skill System?

    Truth of the matter is, a Skill System and a Class system are pretty much the same deal. But instead of having many different classes with unique skills, you have a Single parent class with many skills within it.

    Take for example Skyrim's skill system vs Rift's skill system.

    The Classes in Rift, regulate which armor and weapons I can wear, as well as which Trees I get and which spells I can possibly get.



    While in Skyrim

    I get access to all Trees, all Weapons, all Armor, and all Skills (excluding tree skills of course)



    well with the Skyrim example, thats pretty much the same thing as having 1 parent class instead of having 4 parent classes like Rift does.



    imagine if Rift had only 1 class combined. it would offer all armor,weapon, spell, trees, just like the access I get in Skyrim.



    how does this make it a sandbox?



    well maybe its the player made contents right.



    So is Eve == to NWN? or Second Life?

    fill me in here. what do you consider player made contents? players setting up a server wide event would be play made contents, correct? whats stopping you from doing that in the so called "Non Sandbox MMO"?



    Sandbox == Exploration?

    well whats stopping you from exploring in Everquest, WoW, Rift, etc?





    seems like many of these checklist limits, are mentally self inflicted.

     

    But hey, what you think?

    Skyrim is a sandbox because there is no set path to follow. You can do quests or no quests, it doesnt have influence on your character progression. Your character progression is also not restricted by a chosen class. You simply improve skills you use the most and you can chose any skill to improve.Another important feature is that you can obtain any quest item or clear any lair and the game doesnt forget you did it. When you encounter a quest npc afterwards, you can tell you already killed a npc/obtained an item/cleared a place. This is also what makes exploring meaningfull. So apart from quest stages, there isnt even an order in which you have to do things.

    In WoW, Everquest , character progression is restricted by the class you chose. And your main source of xp will be quests. A lot of content cant be accessed without doing certain quests. If you explore in these games and clear some camp with mobs that you find, then encounter a npc that has a quest for it, he wont even recognise you already killed the mobs. The exploring in these games is meaningless.

    I can go on, but most games dont even come close to offering the amount of freedom that your toon gets in Skyrim.

     

  • NaqajNaqaj Member UncommonPosts: 1,673

    Originally posted by someforumguy

    Skyrim is a sandbox because there is no set path to follow. You can do quests or no quests, it doesnt have influence on your character progression. Your character progression is also not restricted by a chosen class. You simply improve skills you use the most and you can chose any skill to improve.Another important feature is that you can obtain any quest item or clear any lair and the game doesnt forget you did it. When you encounter a quest npc afterwards, you can tell you already killed a npc/obtained an item/cleared a place. This is also what makes exploring meaningfull. So apart from quest stages, there isnt even an order in which you have to do things.

    Perfect example of what I meant in my post. I'd agree with your description 100% if you wrote "Skyrim is an open-world game".

     

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441

    The elder scroll games are sandboxes because while there is a story you can follow you can also ignore it and do a zillion other things. 

    A buddy of mine spent 4 months in Daggerfall selling and buying houses (he is currently a Wow raider since 6 years, I guess he don't get bored easy), he never even did the first quest. He played the game altogether 1 1/2 years doing different stuff.

    The themepark single player games are closer to Baldurs gate, while you can do some off story things like sidequest you really can't play them without focusing on the main story.

  • XzenXzen Member UncommonPosts: 2,607

    Honestly I'm on the fence with Skyrim. Unless you can build things within the game world I'm going to have to say it's just open world and not sandbox.

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed Member RarePosts: 7,113
    Originally posted by Naqaj


    Originally posted by someforumguy
    Skyrim is a sandbox because there is no set path to follow. You can do quests or no quests, it doesnt have influence on your character progression. Your character progression is also not restricted by a chosen class. You simply improve skills you use the most and you can chose any skill to improve.Another important feature is that you can obtain any quest item or clear any lair and the game doesnt forget you did it. When you encounter a quest npc afterwards, you can tell you already killed a npc/obtained an item/cleared a place. This is also what makes exploring meaningfull. So apart from quest stages, there isnt even an order in which you have to do things.

    Perfect example of what I meant in my post. I'd agree with your description 100% if you wrote "Skyrim is an open-world game".

     

     

    I agree. Someforumguy said something about skyrim being a sandbox because you can choose to do quest, or not to do quest.

    Well I can say that about WoW, especially when compared to Everquest. In WoW I can Choose to do quest, to progress, or I can choose to grind npc like Everquest. Both outcomes I can progress, but it's my choice which of the two I will do.

    image

  • Z3R01Z3R01 Member UncommonPosts: 2,415

    We all know "sandbox" means something else when discussing single player games.

     

    Playing:

    Waiting on:

  • NaqajNaqaj Member UncommonPosts: 1,673

    Originally posted by Z3R01

    We all know "sandbox" means something else when discussing single player games.

    This thread seems to indicate quite a lot of people don't know, or don't agree with that.

  • StonesDKStonesDK Member UncommonPosts: 1,805

    Skyrim is a sandbox because of the potential to completely alter the game with the construction set AND the use of the console. Not because it's a vast open landscape with the ability to become a duel weilding necro alchemist monk or the ability to move objects around

  • BrenelaelBrenelael Member UncommonPosts: 3,821

    While an open world does contribute to the sandbox elements of a game it's the freedom of player choice in every aspect of game play that defines it as a sandbox. This is why Skyrim is a sandbox.

     

    Bren

    while(horse==dead)
    {
    beat();
    }

  • StonesDKStonesDK Member UncommonPosts: 1,805

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fCrhDamN82k

     

    Stuff like this is what makes Skyrim a sandbox

  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 36,348

    Originally posted by Sovrath

    sorry but morrwind, oblivion, skyrim are sandboxes.

    I can choose to do what I want when I want. I can quest, dungeon crawl, work solely on crafting, heck, pick flowers for all I want.

    whether or not there is a class or skill system is immaterial.

    And not all mmo's have an open world. some of them lead you on a path from one place to another.

     

    Well, not not really, as generally accepted by a large number of MMORPG players, sandbox games have skill based systems, and generally eschew levels or classes.

    Sure, everyone seems to have their own definition of what a sandbox is, therefore one almost has to talk about how much of a sandbox something is, because in the end you could play WOW just like you defined above, and some posters on these forums have attempted to call WOW a sandbox because you can do everything you just listed.

    I'll be playing Skyrim come Christmas and I'll let you know how close it comes to "my" definition of a sandbox.

    I'm sure you just can't wait. image

     

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  • XzenXzen Member UncommonPosts: 2,607

    Originally posted by Kyleran

    Originally posted by Sovrath

    sorry but morrwind, oblivion, skyrim are sandboxes.

    I can choose to do what I want when I want. I can quest, dungeon crawl, work solely on crafting, heck, pick flowers for all I want.

    whether or not there is a class or skill system is immaterial.

    And not all mmo's have an open world. some of them lead you on a path from one place to another.

     

    Well, not not really, as generally accepted by a large number of MMORPG players, sandbox games have skill based systems, and generally eschew levels or classes.

    Sure, everyone seems to have their own definition of what a sandbox is, therefore one almost has to talk about how much of a sandbox something is, because in the end you could play WOW just like you defined above, and some posters on these forums have attempted to call WOW a sandbox because you can do everything you just listed.

    I'll be playing Skyrim come Christmas and I'll let you know how close it comes to "my" definition of a sandbox.

    I'm sure you just can't wait. image

     

    Same here. I have to wait till Christmas. I'm sure Skyrim is an awesome open world RPG just like the rest of the Elder Scroll series but it's not a sandbox.

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247

    Originally posted by Kyleran

    Originally posted by Sovrath

    sorry but morrwind, oblivion, skyrim are sandboxes.

    I can choose to do what I want when I want. I can quest, dungeon crawl, work solely on crafting, heck, pick flowers for all I want.

    whether or not there is a class or skill system is immaterial.

    And not all mmo's have an open world. some of them lead you on a path from one place to another.

     

    Well, not not really, as generally accepted by a large number of MMORPG players, sandbox games have skill based systems, and generally eschew levels or classes.

    Asheron's Call and Skyrim must confuse the heck out of that 'large number of MMORPG players' then.

     

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • DistopiaDistopia Member EpicPosts: 21,182

    Originally posted by MMOExposed

    I made a thread recently here criticizing Skyrim, the so called Sandbox RPG that released this month.



    I notice from over the net, that many people feel that Skyrim is a Sandbox because it has a "Open World".

    Go look up articles from when GTA3 released years ago, even back then open world gaming like that was considered sandbox gaming, this is nothing new.

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


  • azmundaiazmundai Member UncommonPosts: 1,419


    Originally posted by CalmOceans
    Wanted to practice this document.
    I summed up the arguments of all in this thread and bunched them up in a diagram.
    Here you go lol:
    (oh yeah, darkwind = DarkFALL)

    Themepark is OP, Open World is fine. Nerf Cat.

    LFD tools are great for cramming people into content, but quality > quantity.
    I am, usually on the sandbox .. more "hardcore" side of things, but I also do just want to have fun. So lighten up already :)

  • Z3R01Z3R01 Member UncommonPosts: 2,415

    Originally posted by Naqaj

    Originally posted by Z3R01

    We all know "sandbox" means something else when discussing single player games.

    This thread seems to indicate quite a lot of people don't know, or don't agree with that.

    People like to argue and drag stuff out for no reason on this site. 

    If you've beena  gamer for any extended period of time you know when critics call a sp game like GTA or Elder scrolls a sandbox its really just an open ended game. 

     

    A true sandbox is something like Minecraft, and sorry neither of those games offer that type of flexibility and neither do the majority of mmos including games like EvE.

     

     

     

    Playing:

    Waiting on:

  • kashiegamerkashiegamer Member Posts: 263

    No one really listened to my second and third post. :(

     

    I'm a TES veteran and I tell you, WE DESCRIBED THE GAME AS OPEN-WORLD AND OPEN-ENDED BACK IN THE OLD DAYS. We didn't call it sandbox. When I get home I'll type in Morrowind's description from my CD.

     

    On the other hand, I did point out that PEOPLE STARTED TO DESCRIBE TES GAMES AS SANDBOX WHEN THEY REALIZED THE FREEDOM ITS CONSTRUCTION SET/KIT GIVES.

     

    When Bethesda ships out TES games, veterans already are expecting that they have bought two things:


    1. THE GAME (WHICH IS THE SANDBOX)

    2. THE CONSTRUCTION SET/KIT (WHICH IS THE BUCKET AND THE SHOVEL AND ALL OTHER TOOLS)

     


     


     


     


     


     


     


    ---------------------------------------------


    So for me, TES games aren't sandboxes in the purest sense of the term. On the other hand, if you look at the big picture, that when TES games are sold, people are also buying their Construction Set/Kit, this makes them sandboxes. So in a sense, IMHO, the game itself isn't the sandbox. It's the franchise.

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  • XanrnXanrn Member Posts: 154

    So by that definition any single player game with mod tools is a sandbox?

    Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2?

    Dragon Age : Origins?

    Hell before Empire Total War had a near unmoddable Campaign map.  The Total War series is a sandbox.

     

    Does content respawn in Skyrim like F3/FNV?

    Because if yes, its a goddam themepark.

    Minecraft is a sandbox, minecraft has mod tools in game.

    Skyrim is a themepark. You can't even keep a damm cave clear for more than 3? days.

     

    You go to a Themepark and you can ride any ride you want in any order. So why people use it to mean linear game play is beyond me. Unless you people have been to some really wierd Themeparks.

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