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Why must there be only Sand Boxes and Theme Parks?

UnleadedRevUnleadedRev Member UncommonPosts: 568

Are game designers not creative enough or are they being strangled by the suits who think they know best, but  are detached from PC game player reality?

Game makers do not provide a public service...they make games to make money...nothing wrong with that.

Why else would they make one? 

However, someone needs to come along and create a MMO that is FUN first....then figure out how it will make money.

That would be the WoW killer that finally gets rid of all these same old same old WoW clones.

A good example would be the Warhammer and Warhammer 40K universe.

There are still mega sales and money being made, while providing tons of enjoyment, from Warhammer/40K  novels and table top games, despite horrible decisions by Games Workshop to alienate brick and mortor stores, online retailers, and offer their IP to any game maker regardless of the junk they produce under the Warhammer/40K IP.

Attempts to bring the tabletop experience to the PC and console gaming have failed, mainly due to mis management by publishers and game makers, as no one can deny the Dawn of War II series was not great, despite some obvious flaws.

It always seems despite huge sales, successful warhammer/40K game makers always go bankrupt, i.e. Relic.

Why is that? Is Games Workshop sucking them dry?

Regardless, my hope is that someone breaks this horrible template that all games seem to be stuck in and break new ground.

They can start by not making WoW clones or jumping on band wagons of the same old thing in a different wrapper.

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Comments

  • AlverantAlverant Member RarePosts: 1,207
    Making MMOs is expensive. The guys in suits don't want flops so they go with what worked in the past. They don't want to take risks by going out side the sandbox/theme park paradigm. You know I'd be willing to bet that if someone did take a chance on something innovative and/or new 90% of the people here would ridicule them for it.
  • UnleadedRevUnleadedRev Member UncommonPosts: 568
    Originally posted by Alverant
    Making MMOs is expensive. The guys in suits don't want flops so they go with what worked in the past. They don't want to take risks by going out side the sandbox/theme park paradigm. You know I'd be willing to bet that if someone did take a chance on something innovative and/or new 90% of the people here would ridicule them for it.

    You are probably right...gamers seem really into the ritual of the habitual.

  • VengeSunsoarVengeSunsoar Member RarePosts: 6,590
    Sandbox and themepark are two points on a continuum. Say it's between more choice and lesschoice. How would a game design, any game design not encompass some point on that continuum?
    Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it is bad.
  • Flyte27Flyte27 Member RarePosts: 4,574
    What else is there?  You either have a game where you are guided around and shown exactly what to do or you have a game where you are tossed in and told to entertain yourself with the tools you are given.  I would like to think outside the box, but I'm not sure what else there is.
  • RusqueRusque Member RarePosts: 2,785
    Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
    Sandbox and themepark are two points on a continuum. Say it's between more choice and lesschoice. How would a game design, any game design not encompass some point on that continuum?

    Exactly. People just like to dump things into one category or another when all MMO's fall within the two boundaries.

     

     

  • PepeqPepeq Member UncommonPosts: 1,977

    "Why must there be only Sand Boxes and Theme Parks?"

     

    Because that is the only kind of design they teach in school... 

     

    You work from a formula, you get formula back...

     

    There hasn't been any real innovation in game design for decades, just technological advances...

     

    You'd blow your mind if they actually did something original...

     

    You get exactly what you ask for...

     

    Ask this question again in 2055 and they will say "What's a Sand Box?"  "Theme Parks?"

  • KaladinKaladin Member Posts: 468
    What would you call Warhammer, GW2, and Tera? They are nowhere near sandbox, but I certainly wouldn't call them theme park as there is only one real focus for each game.

    I can fly higher than an aeroplane.
    And I have the voice of a thousand hurricanes.
    Hurt - Wars

  • ArtificeVenatusArtificeVenatus Member UncommonPosts: 1,236

     

  • KaladinKaladin Member Posts: 468
    I guess it all depends upon the definition.  in my previous post, I basically meant to define "theme park" as having multiple end games that you can choose to participate, or not participate in.  If the content is purely on rails, I suppose it would be like 1 theme park ride.

    I can fly higher than an aeroplane.
    And I have the voice of a thousand hurricanes.
    Hurt - Wars

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member EpicPosts: 8,541
    IMO the next MMO to make it big, will be an MMO that blends the best of Sandbox and Themepark into one game. In a way that makes Sandbox gamers want to play the themepark elements and the themepark gamers dont even know they have been messing around in a sandbox till its pointed out. I think such a game is in the works but I dont want to derail this thread.
  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504

    1. Hot and cold describes an amount of heat.  Sandbox and themepark describe an amount of player control.  

    A game will always have some measure of player control, just as objects always have some measure of heat.

     

    The spectrum of entertainment:

    • Zero player control: things like reading a book or watching a movie.  (These aren't games because the viewer has no control.)
    • Some player control: themepark games.
    • Average player control: most games fall in the middle here.
    • Lots of player control: sandbox games.
    • Full player control: things like making art or writing music.  (These aren't games because there aren't rules.)

    2. So this thread is like calling artists uncreative for failing to invent new colors.

    3. Uh, Relic is still going.  THQ is the company that went bankrupt.

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,774
    Originally posted by UnleadedRev

    Are game designers not creative enough or are they being strangled by the suits who think they know best, but  are detached from PC game player reality?

    What are you talking about?

    You haven't seen MOBAs, instanced games, single player games with MMO elements, and other stuff?

  • MaquiameMaquiame Member UncommonPosts: 1,073
    Originally posted by Enbysra

    Define Sandbox.

     

    Now define Themepark.

     

    Now, if you remove those entirely, what do you have? 

     

    You did not think this through did you?

     

    If you do have some alternative to these, please, do tell.

    An mmo that embraces RTS and 4X genres along with the game Risk

     

    Nations vs Nations conquering the world piece by piece. Technology Apochs and the like from RTS games.

     

    Tell me you wouldn't play a mmo version of Starcraft, Age of Empires or Sins of a Solar Empire...

    image

    Any mmo worth its salt should be like a good prostitute when it comes to its game world- One hell of a faker, and a damn good shaker!

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member EpicPosts: 8,541
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Enbysra

    Define Sandbox.

     

    Now define Themepark.

     

    Now, if you remove those entirely, what do you have? 

     

    You did not think this through did you?

     

    If you do have some alternative to these, please, do tell.

    An mmo that embraces RTS and 4X genres along with the game Risk

     

    Nations vs Nations conquering the world piece by piece. Technology Apochs and the like from RTS games.

     

    Tell me you wouldn't play a mmo version of Starcraft, Age of Empires or Sins of a Solar Empire...

    The games you listed have online play, how would you make them an MMO but not Sandbox or Themepark?

  • stevebombsquadstevebombsquad Member UncommonPosts: 884
    Originally posted by Kaladin
    What would you call Warhammer, GW2, and Tera? They are nowhere near sandbox, but I certainly wouldn't call them theme park as there is only one real focus for each game.

    Theme parks.....

    James T. Kirk: All she's got isn't good enough! What else ya got?

  • MaquiameMaquiame Member UncommonPosts: 1,073
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Enbysra

    Define Sandbox.

     

    Now define Themepark.

     

    Now, if you remove those entirely, what do you have? 

     

    You did not think this through did you?

     

    If you do have some alternative to these, please, do tell.

    An mmo that embraces RTS and 4X genres along with the game Risk

     

    Nations vs Nations conquering the world piece by piece. Technology Apochs and the like from RTS games.

     

    Tell me you wouldn't play a mmo version of Starcraft, Age of Empires or Sins of a Solar Empire...

    The games you listed have online play, how would you make them an MMO but not Sandbox or Themepark?

    They wouldn't be either the only "thing" sandbox about them is the fact that you would be taking over individual characters. Most sandboxes do not have goals other than the players making their own goal. Most themeparks are making you follow on an established path. The ultimate point of the game is Expanding, Exploring, Exterminating and  Exploiting. On the surface to lure MMO players in the game looks like a sandbox but looking at it from a greater scope it plays like an RTS/4X game.

     

    The key point is we are all part of -one- nation looking to establish its dominance. Imagine Daoc with the same realm vs realm setup but instead of constant tug of war a world map that looks like a RISK map with other factions all working to conquer the world.

    Normal RTS games have me controlling one "nation" and you controlling another. That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about Starcraft where every individual piece is controlled by a player. IE: All of the terrans are actual players working together to take out those guys the Protoss or the Zerg who are also made up of players controlling an individual piece of each "nation army".

    image

    Any mmo worth its salt should be like a good prostitute when it comes to its game world- One hell of a faker, and a damn good shaker!

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member EpicPosts: 8,541
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Enbysra

    Define Sandbox.

     

    Now define Themepark.

     

    Now, if you remove those entirely, what do you have? 

     

    You did not think this through did you?

     

    If you do have some alternative to these, please, do tell.

    An mmo that embraces RTS and 4X genres along with the game Risk

     

    Nations vs Nations conquering the world piece by piece. Technology Apochs and the like from RTS games.

     

    Tell me you wouldn't play a mmo version of Starcraft, Age of Empires or Sins of a Solar Empire...

    The games you listed have online play, how would you make them an MMO but not Sandbox or Themepark?

    They wouldn't be either the only "thing" sandbox about them is the fact that you would be taking over individual characters. Most sandboxes do not have goals other than the players making their own goal. Most themeparks are making you follow on an established path. The ultimate point of the game is Expanding, Exploring, Exterminating and  Exploiting. On the surface to lure MMO players in the game looks like a sandbox but looking at it from a greater scope it plays like an RTS/4X game.

     

    But the ultimate point of the game is to take over the world, leading armies, capturing territories. Imagine a giant chess game with players in various nations and you are taking over the chess pieces individually working on a common goal of world domination.

    You just described Starcraft and AoE. Not sure I follow how you make an MMO out of that. If you played just one char and not an army, then you would have a PvP BG but it would just be the same game and you would be playing a smaller part. BG MMOs have been done and more are in development. CU is such a game.

  • KaladinKaladin Member Posts: 468
    Originally posted by stevebombsquad
    Originally posted by Kaladin
    What would you call Warhammer, GW2, and Tera? They are nowhere near sandbox, but I certainly wouldn't call them theme park as there is only one real focus for each game.

    Theme parks.....

    You missed my clarification of why I said that.

    I can fly higher than an aeroplane.
    And I have the voice of a thousand hurricanes.
    Hurt - Wars

  • AwDiddumsAwDiddums Member UncommonPosts: 416
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Enbysra

    Define Sandbox.

     

    Now define Themepark.

     

    Now, if you remove those entirely, what do you have? 

     

    You did not think this through did you?

     

    If you do have some alternative to these, please, do tell.

    An mmo that embraces RTS and 4X genres along with the game Risk

     

    Nations vs Nations conquering the world piece by piece. Technology Apochs and the like from RTS games.

     

    Tell me you wouldn't play a mmo version of Starcraft, Age of Empires or Sins of a Solar Empire...

    The games you listed have online play, how would you make them an MMO but not Sandbox or Themepark?

    They wouldn't be either the only "thing" sandbox about them is the fact that you would be taking over individual characters. Most sandboxes do not have goals other than the players making their own goal. Most themeparks are making you follow on an established path. The ultimate point of the game is Expanding, Exploring, Exterminating and  Exploiting. On the surface to lure MMO players in the game looks like a sandbox but looking at it from a greater scope it plays like an RTS/4X game.

     

    The key point is we are all part of -one- nation looking to establish its dominance. Imagine Daoc with the same realm vs realm setup but instead of constant tug of war a world map that looks like a RISK map with other factions all working to conquer the world.

    Normal RTS games have me controlling one "nation" and you controlling another. That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about Starcraft where every individual piece is controlled by a player. IE: All of the terrans are actual players working together to take out those guys the Protoss or the Zerg who are also made up of players controlling an individual piece of each "nation army".

    Exactly, you've just given examples that are not placed within Sandbox or Themepark, yet you have a poster wanting you to pick one to make it fit, why?

     

  • MaquiameMaquiame Member UncommonPosts: 1,073
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Enbysra

    Define Sandbox.

     

    Now define Themepark.

     

    Now, if you remove those entirely, what do you have? 

     

    You did not think this through did you?

     

    If you do have some alternative to these, please, do tell.

    An mmo that embraces RTS and 4X genres along with the game Risk

     

    Nations vs Nations conquering the world piece by piece. Technology Apochs and the like from RTS games.

     

    Tell me you wouldn't play a mmo version of Starcraft, Age of Empires or Sins of a Solar Empire...

    The games you listed have online play, how would you make them an MMO but not Sandbox or Themepark?

    They wouldn't be either the only "thing" sandbox about them is the fact that you would be taking over individual characters. Most sandboxes do not have goals other than the players making their own goal. Most themeparks are making you follow on an established path. The ultimate point of the game is Expanding, Exploring, Exterminating and  Exploiting. On the surface to lure MMO players in the game looks like a sandbox but looking at it from a greater scope it plays like an RTS/4X game.

     

    But the ultimate point of the game is to take over the world, leading armies, capturing territories. Imagine a giant chess game with players in various nations and you are taking over the chess pieces individually working on a common goal of world domination.

    You just described Starcraft and AoE. Not sure I follow how you make an MMO out of that. If you played just one char and not an army, then you would have a PvP BG but it would just be the same game and you would be playing a smaller part. BG MMOs have been done and more are in development. CU is such a game.

    I doubt CU will be like that, seems to just be another Daoc to me

     

    And yes I described Starcraft and AOE that was the point

     

    The point that I'm making is that the game ultimately would be more 4x with players playing individual roles. Whether pve or pvp. PVEr's would have their place as would PVPers

     

    PVE roles = crafting, monster hunting, exploring, farming

    PVP roles = nation military,. bodyguards, mercenaries

     

    You make both depend on each other through nation pride and nation goals. The PVEr's are feeding the "war machine" that the pvpers need to operate on. The PVP players are the nation militaries responsible for conquering new territories. Afterwards the PVEr's clear these territories of any monsters, they "exploit" the mineral and other resources of these newly conquered territories which in exchange helps to bolster the "Military/PVPers" which in turn go to conquer another territory.

     

    You then end up with a system where there are no limits of options of play.  Both sides PVP/PVE feed each other content by doing the things that they like to do. They also come to depend on each other.  And if one side treats the other like crap in one particular nation, those that are part of the side that is being mistreated can defect and join another nation thus bolstering said nation.

    image

    Any mmo worth its salt should be like a good prostitute when it comes to its game world- One hell of a faker, and a damn good shaker!

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member EpicPosts: 8,541
    Originally posted by AwDiddums
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Enbysra

    Define Sandbox.

     

    Now define Themepark.

     

    Now, if you remove those entirely, what do you have? 

     

    You did not think this through did you?

     

    If you do have some alternative to these, please, do tell.

    An mmo that embraces RTS and 4X genres along with the game Risk

     

    Nations vs Nations conquering the world piece by piece. Technology Apochs and the like from RTS games.

     

    Tell me you wouldn't play a mmo version of Starcraft, Age of Empires or Sins of a Solar Empire...

    The games you listed have online play, how would you make them an MMO but not Sandbox or Themepark?

    They wouldn't be either the only "thing" sandbox about them is the fact that you would be taking over individual characters. Most sandboxes do not have goals other than the players making their own goal. Most themeparks are making you follow on an established path. The ultimate point of the game is Expanding, Exploring, Exterminating and  Exploiting. On the surface to lure MMO players in the game looks like a sandbox but looking at it from a greater scope it plays like an RTS/4X game.

     

    The key point is we are all part of -one- nation looking to establish its dominance. Imagine Daoc with the same realm vs realm setup but instead of constant tug of war a world map that looks like a RISK map with other factions all working to conquer the world.

    Normal RTS games have me controlling one "nation" and you controlling another. That is not what I am talking about. I am talking about Starcraft where every individual piece is controlled by a player. IE: All of the terrans are actual players working together to take out those guys the Protoss or the Zerg who are also made up of players controlling an individual piece of each "nation army".

    Exactly, you've just given examples that are not placed within Sandbox or Themepark, yet you have a poster wanting you to pick one to make it fit, why?

     

    Not asking him to pick one. Asking how you make say Starcraft an MMO without being a themepark or sandbox. At best I dont think you know what a MMO is and maybe describing a MOG not an MMO but at this point no onehas been clear on how or what would go into your game to make it a MMO but not Sandbox or Themepark. 

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon Member EpicPosts: 27,774
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Enbysra

    Define Sandbox.

     

    Now define Themepark.

     

    Now, if you remove those entirely, what do you have? 

     

    You did not think this through did you?

     

    If you do have some alternative to these, please, do tell.

    An mmo that embraces RTS and 4X genres along with the game Risk

     

    Nations vs Nations conquering the world piece by piece. Technology Apochs and the like from RTS games.

     

    Tell me you wouldn't play a mmo version of Starcraft, Age of Empires or Sins of a Solar Empire...

    The games you listed have online play, how would you make them an MMO but not Sandbox or Themepark?

    make them into a MOBA. Make them into an instanced games ... plenty of ways. It has been done before.

     

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member EpicPosts: 8,541
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Enbysra

    Define Sandbox.

     

    Now define Themepark.

     

    Now, if you remove those entirely, what do you have? 

     

    You did not think this through did you?

     

    If you do have some alternative to these, please, do tell.

    An mmo that embraces RTS and 4X genres along with the game Risk

     

    Nations vs Nations conquering the world piece by piece. Technology Apochs and the like from RTS games.

     

    Tell me you wouldn't play a mmo version of Starcraft, Age of Empires or Sins of a Solar Empire...

    The games you listed have online play, how would you make them an MMO but not Sandbox or Themepark?

    make them into a MOBA. Make them into an instanced games ... plenty of ways. It has been done before.

     

    MOBA is not a MMO its a MOBA. I think thats where the confusion is in this thread. Using the wrong terms. 

  • aesperusaesperus Member UncommonPosts: 5,135

    This is like asking why are you always served food or drinks to eat. There's a spectrum. And things fall within that spectrum. As long as you are being served content (or in the above example, food), there is a limited number of extremes in which that content can be delivered.

    On one extreme you have sandboxes (maximum freedom in gameplay) on the other you have themepark (heavily guided gameplay). They are the basic (and yet opposite) perspectives on content within gameplay.

    That said, developers have done a lot to mix aspects of both within some games. Which is where we get terms like 'sandpark' and 'themebox', amongst others. However, as long there is a video game being played, the gameplay will always be labeled based on whether it has more or less open content. There are certainly other labels that get placed on games, many of them, but by bringing up the terms sandbox or themepark you immediately steer the labels towards how open the content is, instead of the nature of that content (what genre it's in). Etc.

  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504
    Originally posted by Maquiame

    An mmo that embraces RTS and 4X genres along with the game Risk 

    Nations vs Nations conquering the world piece by piece. Technology Apochs and the like from RTS games. 

    Tell me you wouldn't play a mmo version of Starcraft, Age of Empires or Sins of a Solar Empire...

    First, the game you're imagining (and the ones you named) are all some mix of themepark and sandbox elements.  Themepark and sandbox are words which describe an amount of player control, and every game exists somewhere on the spectrum of player control.

    So you haven't designed something which isn't sandbox or themepark, you've simply designed a new type of game.

    Second, you haven't actually designed a new type of game.  MMORTSes have been done.  The major variants are Travian, Clash of Clans, and Shattered Galaxy.  In fact if you trace the Travian variant back it goes all the way to Solar Realms Elite (1990) which was played as a BBS door game.

    Third, by being MMORTSes, they actually lose critical pieces of RTS identity.  Shattered Galaxy is the closest to playing like a typical RTS (16 vs. 16 players controlling 6-12 units apiece, but with no economic gameplay).  But most MMORTSes (Travian/Clash clones) play very different, focusing far more on strategy and far less on tactics than typical RTSes.  So what you're proposing has existed for quite a while, but are never all that similar to the RTSes they're inspired by.

    (Coincidentally I've worked on a couple Age of Empires games and Rise of Nations.)

    "What is truly revealing is his implication that believing something to be true is the same as it being true. [continue]" -John Oliver

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