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hardcore_gamer

No game allows you to do anything you want

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"This game allows you to do anything you want"

"This game is great because it allows you to do anything"

"A sandbox game is a game where you can go and do anything"

Sounds familiar? This is what I often hear people say when they talk about sandbox or open worlds games, and it often drives me nuts. There is no game that allows you to do anything that you want. People seem to think that just the mere lack of an official end goal or game objective is somehow the same as the player being able to do anything he wants, which it really isn't. Even a game that has no end objective still needs to have game mechanics and features if the player is to have anything to do. Imagine if all you could do in Minecraft was digging holes. It would still be a sandbox game, but there would be jackshit to actually do in it.

Why do people think that a game simply being sandbox means the player can do anything???

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hardcore_gamer said:

"This game allows you to do almost anything you want"

"This game is great because it allows you to do almost anything"

"A sandbox game is a game where you can go and do almost anything"


There.

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I like Grand Theft Auto because it is a game which leaves me largely free to create my own narrative using the game's varied mechanics.

:D

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scalliano said:

I like Grand Theft Auto because it is a game which leaves me largely free to create my own narrative using the game's varied mechanics.

:D

When I first play a new GTA title I'm spouting stuff like the first three sentences of the op, but after some time with the game I get to the point where I can see the limits of the world clearly until I can't unsee them. If this period of time is longer than a month or two than I feel I've got my money's worth.

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OMG Sold. You had me at sandbox! What's the game? Does it have grappling hooks? Does it have guns and cars?

In all seriousness, I'm beginning to like open world games less and less. I really need an end game. I have too many games and I just don't want to spend 200 hours in a game when I can complete 20 in that time. When I had less games, I'd sink that much time into them.

There are non sandbox games that let you do what you want.

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In my opinion, there's some confusion when people think about "sandbox games".

I have a friend, a good friend. He's an avid Minecraft player, and one of the "arguments" he uses when talking about how great is Minecraft is "the ability to do what you want". Yeah, up to a certain point.

In my opinion, games shouldn't be as realistic as they can. Can the in-game character sneeze? Go to the bathroom to take a shit? Do you control how they use the paper so they don't contaminate his pants with the recently-cleaned crap? Of course not, who the hell would want that? We have had a couple of threads lately focusing on simulators (and I'm sure you can find plenty more in the rest of the web), and there seems to be a consensus: they are not fun. Why? I don't know, probably because games shouldn't be realistic -they should be fun.

Now, you can of course create a "God game" (Spore, anyone?), but chances are very few people are going to enjoy it.

In my particular case, I play games to get away from reality (at least temporarily), not the oppossite.

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And yet people play games like the Sims where they put out the trash, go to parties, clean their house, get a pet, start a family... That game never made any type of sense to me.

Those games give you a lot of freedom but there will be limits, its only logical.

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Minecraft is the only game that allowed me to do anything i want,unlike GTA :
* Building whatever i want
* Survive the way i want
* Customize the game the way i want ... etc

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Well yes you can do whatever you want within the scope of the game. If you're going to have a game that lets you do as much as possible, youre going to need some context to give you ideas. Otherwise your game would be a blank canvass and your choices of what to do would be limited to what you're capable of creating on your own, without the game jogging your creative side. I think with a game as open ended as that many people would be turned off by the heavy workload ahead of them. I suspect a lot of people would copy each other just to get to a usable foundation, which the game creator should have made himself.

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Another quality hardcore_gamer thread. Most games allow me to do far more of what I want than real life does. Or at least in most cases I can do what I can't or shouldn't in real life.

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Gamers used to be savvy. When developers say their game "lets you do whatever you want", gamers used to understand the context within which it was said. What happened between then and now, I'm not sure.

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Bucket said:

Gamers used to be savvy. When developers say their game "lets you do whatever you want", gamers used to understand the context within which it was said. What happened between then and now, I'm not sure.


Indeed, and the last 6 years seem to have been the worst... and not only for gaming.

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I don't think people want a game where you can literally do whatever you want, because a lot of real life tasks are uninteresting and not worth emulating in a game.

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I like sandbox games. I'm interested to see how they will evolve over time. I like games where you can create your own narrative; they have a lot of replay value.

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My friend is so into games it's frightening. The last time we went for a long country walk was in Wentworth, a quiet, country village with plenty of fields and woodland. He started getting paranoid about the water in the small Wentworth dam in case there were piranhas and crocodiles in there (in England, in January, in temperatures close to 0 Celsius), or snipers aiming at us from the trees, or robed satanists conducting sacrifices in broad daylight in open fields. I'm dead serious. Maybe it's better that games and real life do not cross. In fact, the more time you spend in the real world, the sillier games look. Who wants to ogle Lara Croft when they've got a nice girlfriend? Who can actually explain to women why people ogle Lara Croft?

We were driving through the Hope Valley looking at the scenery and I said "When we're playing Terraria and Minecraft, jumping up mountains and chopping trees down in five seconds, this is what real life is like." It seemed quite funny until we made the arduous climb to Castleton keep. If games were accurate reflections of real life, your characters would be like we were: sweating, bright red, with my mate making weird noises as he breathed.

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Getting open world burn out as well. But, I do like where the Metal Gear series is going. It really opens up the stealth gameplay and forces you to think on your toes.

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MajorRawne said:

Who wants to ogle Lara Croft when they've got a nice girlfriend? Who can actually explain to women why people ogle Lara Croft?


"Hey honey, come here, mmkay?"
"What's up babe?"
"I need you to put on this tank top, these impractically short shorts, these raybans, these boots, and these holsters. Careful, those pistols are loaded. Oh, and then die your hair brown and put it in a ponytail."
"Uuuh... This is pretty ridiculous."
"You're right! Your boobs are too small. Here, try this Loli costume."

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Sandbox games most certainly let you do whatever you want as long as you mostly just want to do grinding, grinding, grinding, and grinding, topped off with a little more grinding.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy games like Minecraft as much as the next guy, but I still think it's really silly to think that the game is really anything besides hours and hours of digging, followed by hours and hours of building little houses and towns, brick by brick by brick. It's enjoyable and addictive, but it's a diversion and by no means a deep experience.

The same can be said of any real time sink, like Mount&Blade and Elder Scrolls (I used to be seriously into those games a few years ago). Fun or not, the fact that you've put hundreds or even thousands of hours into them doesn't automatically make them worth all of that spent time.

MajorRawne said:

My friend is so into games it's frightening. The last time we went for a long country walk was in Wentworth, a quiet, country village with plenty of fields and woodland. He started getting paranoid about the water in the small Wentworth dam in case there were piranhas and crocodiles in there (in England, in January, in temperatures close to 0 Celsius), or snipers aiming at us from the trees, or robed satanists conducting sacrifices in broad daylight in open fields. I'm dead serious.

Your friend sounds like this wonderful specimen of a human being

MajorRawne said:

We were driving through the Hope Valley looking at the scenery and I said "When we're playing Terraria and Minecraft, jumping up mountains and chopping trees down in five seconds, this is what real life is like." It seemed quite funny until we made the arduous climb to Castleton keep. If games were accurate reflections of real life, your characters would be like we were: sweating, bright red, with my mate making weird noises as he breathed.

It sounds more like you're both just out of shape - not that I'm being critical of you for it, because I'm not a very active person myself.

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sheridan said:

Fun or not, the fact that you've put hundreds or even thousands of hours into them doesn't automatically make them worth all of that spent time.


I know this is a problem for a lot of people--literally an addiction--but I've found it pretty easy to stop playing a game once it feels like a chore and I'm no longer having fun. In my 300+ hours of Skyrim and other such situations with open-world games, I generally don't regret any of it. In this way, I do find them worth the time spent. If I'm having fun, it's worth it. When it becomes a grind I generally stop playing unless I know there's going to be something actually worth the grinding afterward and not just more grinding. This is why I usually don't go for MMOs even though I love open-world games.

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It's always a judgment call. I wouldn't make sweeping statements about any form of entertainment, I mean, that's just a part of being human. But sometimes I do feel like I'm one of few people who actually feels bad if I've spent a whole day just dicking around and playing games on end.

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I think Minecraft is about the closest to a true sandbox game you're gonna get. You wanna explore, you can explore. You wanna build, you can build. You wanna fight monsters, you can fight monsters. You wanna find treasure, you can hunt for treasure. And I mean, there's enough there that you have freedom to actually choose. You don't have do do any of those things if you don't want to, and it won't limit your ability to do the other things. Obviously, even Minecraft has its limits, but still, I'd say it's about the closest you're gonna get to just doing whatever you want (and actually having choices to do what you want).

Mount&Blade is another favorite of mine that actually gets close to having true freedom. There's trading, hunting bandits, huge wars to engage in, RPG elements, one-on-one duels... Of course, I do have one issue with that game - the thing is, after a certain point, too much freedom almost becomes restrictive. You feel overwhelmed by the choices you have, so it becomes difficult to commit yourself to choices at all.

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sheridan said:

But sometimes I do feel like I'm one of few people who actually feels bad if I've spent a whole day just dicking around and playing games on end.


Yeah, I think that depends on two things: If the time you spent was enjoyed, and whether there is something else more important you should be doing. I don't see any harm at all in spending a whole day playing a game if you had fun and weren't avoiding some other responsibility.

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If we are talking about games never going to happen: I want ww2 era mmofpsrpg where you can choose do you join axis or allied forces. you have to eat/drink/sleep. If you die you start all over from training camp, so better be careful. You can take part in big battles or small border conflicts. Everything happens in real time and "what if" scenarios are possible thanks to incredible game developers. I dont know how this all would work, just a idea.

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Waffenak said:

If we are talking about games never going to happen: I want ww2 era mmofpsrpg where you can choose do you join axis or allied forces. you have to eat/drink/sleep. If you die you start all over from training camp, so better be careful. You can take part in big battles or small border conflicts. Everything happens in real time and "what if" scenarios are possible thanks to incredible game developers. I dont know how this all would work, just a idea.


This sounds like the perfect total conversion for arma 2 or arma 3, this is straight along the lines of what dayz does but then without the zombies and current day setting.

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