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Why must there be only Sand Boxes and Theme Parks?

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  • NightHaveNNightHaveN Member UncommonPosts: 1,051
    Game makes make games to make money... of course. I don't think you work for free.

    The current model of MMOS is around WOW which took the PC market by storm. Not only it proves to those that said at the time the PC gaming was declining to the consoles, that not only they sold 12 million boxes, but have that huge player base paying a subscription fee too.

    Then companies jumped in, rushing products trying to get a piece of the pie, and we know how it ended.

    Imo the sandboxed will only fill a niche market, like Wildstar did. MMOS have gone the easy way with fool proof spec system, easy to level crafting for a reason. Most players want the games to be easy, want them to play solo. They don't want to spend brain time to analyse which combinations or stats are the best. They eat things given in a silver platter.

    And sadly since those people are the majority, games will adjust to them.
  • BoneserinoBoneserino Member UncommonPosts: 1,764
    Originally posted by aesperus

    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.

     

    Yes it seems the spectrum of MMO gaming is very narrowly focused at both ends.   What baffles me is why there isn't more content in the middle of the spectrum.

     

    I like certain themepark elements in an MMO and also a little Sandbox also.  What seems to be missing in these games is just a little deeper level of mechanics and or gameplay.   And by that I mean a game with more options in how to accomplish something.   Smarter AI would go a long way in this regard.   Just increasing levels of complexity ( ie Repop crafting for example)  doesn't really do it for me.  It should be varied, and encourage you to analyze problems and look for solutions, rather that just power your way through levels.   The questing mechanic in MMO's is sorely in need of an overhaul in my opinion.

     

    Just some little changes and innovations in MMO design would make a huge difference in gameplay.   Yet something seems to be holding us back, but please don't tell me it is greedy corporate suits.   Even the Indies seem to be having a hard time shaking the status quo.

    So far the game that has done it best, to date, is Project Gorgon, IMO.    At least I felt the effort was there to mix it up a bit.  Sadly, average graphics won't get you far in this age of PC gaming.

    FFA Nonconsentual Full Loot PvP ...You know you want it!!

  • JaedorJaedor Member UncommonPosts: 1,173

    Sandbox and Themepark are like opposing ends of the current mmo spectrum. I expect mmos coming out in the near future to be some hybrid of this spectrum until the spectrum is changed from a 2-D model to a 3-D one.

  • MaquiameMaquiame Member UncommonPosts: 1,073
    Originally posted by Axehilt
    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 I'm talking about is scale, while there may be some examples already none of them are on the scale i am talking about.

    Also do any of them allow players to "be' the individual units that you would see in an RTS and what I mean by that is taking an individual unit and customizing them like an mmorpg thus making it your own.

    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!

  • Four0SixFour0Six Member UncommonPosts: 1,175
    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?

    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.

    There used to be a "middle ground". I find it funny that you say this would be the WoW killer, when it was WoW that killed the middle ground games.

    Games like City of Heroes that had Story Arcs, short sequenced missions that told a short story. But you didn't have a story that went from 1 to 50. You also had scanner missions that you could access.

    But has been said almost as many times as Blizz has earned dollars from WoW, "the gamer population that plays MMORPG's changed with WoW". That pop is bigger and has more dollars to spend. From there it is simple economics to see what you will get.

    Since WoW there have been several "sandpark" experiences. They never do well.

    As far as "fun" goes, many many do not find it fun to log into a game and have to spend an hour figuring out what to do, that is just a waste of time, here is where questing on rails appeals to them.

    Yes, as a tabletop gamer, of several systems, GW does suck things dry, consumers, business that sell their products, their own staff. But I don't think that actually has much to do with what you want from a game.

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member EpicPosts: 8,541
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Axehilt
    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 I'm talking about is scale, while there may be some examples already none of them are on the scale i am talking about.

    Also do any of them allow players to "be' the individual units that you would see in an RTS and what I mean by that is taking an individual unit and customizing them like an mmorpg thus making it your own.

    This is the first time you have given any detail about what you want to make. An MMO thats not a themepark or sandbox. Ok. so now your playing a RTS game, you take over a single unit and customize it. Now what? Why did you do that. Whats the game???

  • MaquiameMaquiame Member UncommonPosts: 1,073
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Axehilt
    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 I'm talking about is scale, while there may be some examples already none of them are on the scale i am talking about.

    Also do any of them allow players to "be' the individual units that you would see in an RTS and what I mean by that is taking an individual unit and customizing them like an mmorpg thus making it your own.

    This is the first time you have given any detail about what you want to make. An MMO thats not a themepark or sandbox. Ok. so now your playing a RTS game, you take over a single unit and customize it. Now what? Why did you do that. Whats the game???

    1. I don't want to make it

    2. I've already explained what I was talking about in earlier posts. Please reread them.

    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 Axehilt
    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 I'm talking about is scale, while there may be some examples already none of them are on the scale i am talking about.

    Also do any of them allow players to "be' the individual units that you would see in an RTS and what I mean by that is taking an individual unit and customizing them like an mmorpg thus making it your own.

    This is the first time you have given any detail about what you want to make. An MMO thats not a themepark or sandbox. Ok. so now your playing a RTS game, you take over a single unit and customize it. Now what? Why did you do that. Whats the game???

    1. I don't want to make it

    2. I've already explained what I was talking about in earlier posts. Please reread them.

    I have and you have given no detail. Just vague comments. Im done, this thread seems to be talking in a circle of no points. I have never seen so many words typed that gave no info lol. 

  • BoneserinoBoneserino Member UncommonPosts: 1,764
    Originally posted by Nanfoodle
    Originally posted by Maquiame
    Originally posted by Axehilt
    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 I'm talking about is scale, while there may be some examples already none of them are on the scale i am talking about.

    Also do any of them allow players to "be' the individual units that you would see in an RTS and what I mean by that is taking an individual unit and customizing them like an mmorpg thus making it your own.

    This is the first time you have given any detail about what you want to make. An MMO thats not a themepark or sandbox. Ok. so now your playing a RTS game, you take over a single unit and customize it. Now what? Why did you do that. Whats the game???

    I loved Age of Empires, really my first online gaming experience.

    But I don't think the RTS genre blends well with an MMO setting.   IMO small groups and short game play works best here.  I mean playing a 1 hour game of AoE was exhausting.   And once someone gains the upper hand, it is essentially over.

    RTS games should be just that.   Real time.  Not persistent world.  Nobody can play 24 hours per day, and there is no way to skirt that issue.

    FFA Nonconsentual Full Loot PvP ...You know you want it!!

  • JemcrystalJemcrystal Member UncommonPosts: 1,939
    What else is there for a 3d fancy mmorpg besides sandbox or themepark?  That's like saying there must be something other than hot and cold. 


  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Member RarePosts: 1,985
    Originally posted by Jemcrystal
    What else is there for a 3d fancy mmorpg besides sandbox or themepark?  That's like saying there must be something other than hot and cold. 

    I was considering Myst Online: Uru.  MMOadventure game.  Is it a themepark, or something else?  It's certainly not a sandbox, nor a sandpark.  It's basically linear, though it has branching points where you can decide which world to go try to solve the puzzles in. But it doesn't really have quests, which are a characteristic feature of themeparks.  Maybe it's even further than normal themeparks onto the themepark end of the spectrum?  I'm not sure.

    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • sunandshadowsunandshadow Member RarePosts: 1,985
    Originally posted by Four0Six

    Since WoW there have been several "sandpark" experiences. They never do well.

    Titles?  To me a sandpark game absolutely must have both story (i.e. quests and NPCs) and sim-style crafting play.  The only semi-qualifying game I've encountered is Ryzom.  I'd love to have more examples of this genre to research if you know any that fit my definition of sandpark.

    I want to help design and develop a PvE-focused, solo-friendly, sandpark MMO which combines crafting, monster hunting, and story.  So PM me if you are starting one.
  • AxehiltAxehilt Member RarePosts: 10,504
    Originally posted by Maquiame

    What I'm talking about is scale, while there may be some examples already none of them are on the scale i am talking about.

    Also do any of them allow players to "be' the individual units that you would see in an RTS and what I mean by that is taking an individual unit and customizing them like an mmorpg thus making it your own.

    These are games with many thousands of players fighting over a single world.  Sounds like sufficient scale to me, yeah?

    As for controlling a single unit?  Well that wouldn't be an RTS.

    The defining characteristic of an RTS is that you're orchestrating this large amount of things, and there are so many decisions which could be made that it's literally impossible to make them all.  Most games are fun due to the interesting decisions they offer ("a good game is a series of interesting decisions" -Sid Meier).  RTS games go one step further, offering so many interesting decisions in so short a time that one of the decisions is "which of these decisions will I spend my limited time making?"  (Incidentally this is why Sins of a Solar Empire was a little less interesting to me; it was so sluggish that you actually could make all the decisions that mattered.)

    In Darkfall/EVE you basically control one customizable "unit" in a world with a persistent economy.  But like I said, that's not really anything close to an RTS.

    Also worth noting is that when I order a soldier across the map in an RTS game, I don't sit there watching him make the 60-120 second trip, I'm off making other more important decisions non-stop while vaguely monitoring his progress.  But in these games, I'm not only forced to make the boring trip myself, but it's taking way longer than 60 seconds, and almost no meaningful decisions can be made during the trip.  So none of the advantages of RTS gameplay, and a completely new form of boredom introduced.

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

  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,768
    Originally posted by Axehilt

    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.

    Do players actually have any control? In both, are they not restricted to what the programmers have allowed them to do?  With the exception of bugs, players can't do things that aren't specifically allowed by the intent of the programmers.  Then again, perhaps that is why players like to exploit bugs as that is real power!! lol j/k

    The whole sandbox vs themepark is bogus illusion of some imaginary choice they believe they have.  The fact that we can't get a consensus on what defines both should be a clue that they are only superficially different.

    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

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    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

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

     I mean playing a 1 hour game of AoE was exhausting.   And once someone gains the upper hand, it is essentially over.

    Yeah, these are two key parts that make RTSes fun that wouldn't translate to a persistent genre too.

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

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 17,835

    Everything in game design is like an assembly line of constraints and time lines.I think Themepark and Sandbox are titles to sort of narrow it down to just two no?What else is there besides a connect the dots game and one that gives you the sand and tools to mold the game.Combination of both i guess is the only other idea.

    I have a firm belief there are some mind boggling smart people out there in the gaming industry but those ideas are not practical to a profitable game design.So we are stuck,unless a developer can find a way to introduce  an idea cheaper and more cost effective  they will simply ignore the idea altogether.The usual "We will maybe at it later" "Or we want to do it just right and not rush it into game" LMAO ya the 5 years prior were not time enough?

    We see this all over the place,aspects we would EXPECT to see in certain games yet are not there.Then the developer makes up some fancy speeches and excuses as to why.Example we left out those ideas because we have a better idea.Sorry but NO  if i am playing a ROLE PLAYING game,i SHOULD have a HOUSE and i should be eating food.My BOW should have actual arrows in my backpack and it should look like i am loading it when using it.Your reasoning for doing it better is not doing it better it is because you were being cheap wanted no extra coding or assets to design.

     

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

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

    Everything in game design is like an assembly line of constraints and time lines.I think Themepark and Sandbox are titles to sort of narrow it down to just two no?What else is there besides a connect the dots game and one that gives you the sand and tools to mold the game.Combination of both i guess is the only other idea. 

    There is no game which isn't a combination of both.

    Sandbox vs. Themepark is a spectrum.  It's not binary.  It's all about who authored the content: player or developer.  The most-sandbox game still has developer-made content which players can't change.  The most-themepark game still has player-made content and decisions.

    Past those extremes, you're no longer a game.  You're either art (complete 'player' control) or static media (complete developer control.)

    So the two terms are mostly just two vague sections along the spectrum, since a game's features will always be some mix of player-authored and dev-authored elements.

    "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 Nanfoodle
    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. 

    This site, MMOfront, massively ... all classified MOBAs as MMOs. I will use that definition.

    Plus, you can also make games like World of Tanks, which is not a MOBA, not a themepark, or a sandbox. Again, many sites including reviewers classify WoT as a MMO.

     

     

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