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Showing posts from April, 2017

Greasing The Grind: Adding Lasting Appeal To Virtual World Sandboxes

Game design, being about entertainment, is not as much science as art.  We're coming up with interesting things that the human mind likes to chew on that "taste" good to it.  Different people find different things, "Fun," and a game designer is tasked with coming up with fun, appealing things.  As pertains to virtual world sandboxes, I identified three of them.

Challenge Appeal.

Dwarf Fortress and Fortresscraft Evolved have the same end game appeal preservation mechanic: wealth equals threat.  The more money your Dwarf Fortress is worth, the bigger the baddies who will come for you, including a bunch of snobby useless nobles who do nothing but push dwarves around and eat.  The more energy you make in Fortresscraft Evolved, the more and bigger bugs come to shut down your base.  Rimworld does something a little different based off of which AI Storyteller you choose, but it generally adds time to your wealth accumulation when deciding what kind of threats to throw a…

Virtually Recovered

This week, I sought the holy grail of missing virtual world game satisfaction by playing some of the closest pretenders to the empty throne!  Namely, Animal Crossing: New Leaf and some city-building mods for Minecraft.

I am spoiled by great big sandbox games, but they universally have retarded long-term goals.

Don't believe me?  Lets compare genre with long-term goal:
PvP MMORPG sandbox - Grinding endlessly to earn useless loot in order to gank people who have less time.Theme Park MMORPG sandbox - Grinding endlessly to earn useless loot in order to earn more useless loot than people who have less time. City-builder sandbox - Completing scenarios so you can just do it again. Minecraft-like mining and crafting sandbox - Why the Hell am I mining and crafting?Dwarf Fortress-like managerial sandbox - Losing.The Sims-like life sandbox - Dying. Why do I like these games again?  I probably just have terrible taste.  But the sad fact of the matter is that I like them so much that I don'…