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Sandbox Mode or Degree of Sandbox-ness

#1
So I was reading through the forums and a lot of the topics of discussion made me wonder exactly how customizable Limit Theory will be. I saw some of the graphics settings in action and I think I remember a simple difficulty bar from one of the gameplay videos, but I'd still like to know what other settings players will have access to. I know Josh's master algorithm will cover a lot of the generation of things, but the sandbox concept (no restrictions) really appeals to me. Essentially, how much control will we have over our ship and what we encounter?

Some of the potential settings that could be player controlled:
  • Frequency/Density/Chance of occurence or encounter
  • [list]
  • Resources
  • AI
  • Natural Disasters (*If they are in the game)
  • Pirates
[*]Sizes (AI and Player)[/*]
  • Factions - enormous intergalactic factions or small, divided parties? UNITE THE CLANS!
  • Ships - I imagine two enormous capital ships whose size and weapons put the death star to shame locked in a battle to the death
  • Fleets - And then I imagine several of these enormous capital ships battling each other with tons of smaller ship squadrons for support
[*]AI interaction (AI to AI and Player to AI)[/*]
  • Prices
  • Intensity of response to hostile actions/friendly actions
  • AI temperament
[*]Other[/*]
  • Tech Level - How advanced are the encountered AI?
[/list]

For Limit Theory to really have no limit, shouldn't the player be able to shape his universe to fit his imagination? However, at the same time, with more control comes less incentive to explore and discover. Also, too many settings can be overwhelming. That is why if settings like these are going to be available, I would prefer that they be unlocked through progression (the more you explore the more options you can control) and I would expect them to be presented in an "Advanced Settings" tab or as part of a separate game mode.
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Re: Degree of Sandbox-ness?

#2
i dopnt think it would be to much to ask to be able to have a sliders tab in a general world generation settings menu when you create the system for the first time. (obviously having a basic tab for simplicity sake and a more advanced tab for experienced players to Realy customize the game options.) ether way i think theres quite a lot in store for us and i can not wait to try out some of my ideas in game.
If I've rambled and gone off topic im sorry but i tend to be long winded as you might notice if you stumble across my other post XD. thanks for reading.
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Re: Degree of Sandbox-ness?

#3
I imagine that most "magic constants" that I use in my algorithms will be tweakable via some advanced settings interface. This would include control over many of the things you listed :) Yes, I want to be able to customize my universe as well!
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
Post

Sandbox Mode

#4
I completely support the fact that there should be limitations in the game that the player must advance through. That being said though, can we expect to be able to play in a sandbox mode of some sorts? So that we can basically generate a universe, and mess around in it to our liking? Generating enormous fleets for our pleasure, or unlimited resources to create a monstrosity of a spaceship, but still have the ability to play a more progress-based mode if we like.

In short, I'll draw this comparison: In minecraft there is a survival mode and a creative mode. Can we expect the same with Limit Theory?

Cheers and many thanks,
Dan

PS: A game like this has been a dream of mine for a very long time, thank you for realizing it for those of us who are hooked on space and sci-fi!
Post

Re: Sandbox Mode?

#5
Yeomans wrote:I completely support the fact that there should be limitations in the game that the player must advance through. That being said though, can we expect to be able to play in a sandbox mode of some sorts? So that we can basically generate a universe, and mess around in it to our liking? Generating enormous fleets for our pleasure, or unlimited resources to create a monstrosity of a spaceship, but still have the ability to play a more progress-based mode if we like.

In short, I'll draw this comparison: In minecraft there is a survival mode and a creative mode. Can we expect the same with Limit Theory?

Cheers and many thanks,
Dan

PS: A game like this has been a dream of mine for a very long time, thank you for realizing it for those of us who are hooked on space and sci-fi!
Hmm very interesting suggestion. It is both appealing and terrible to me at the same time. I worry that a "sandbox" mode could kill the grandeur, mystery, and overall epicness of the universe. The ability to instantly achieve anything you like would be "fun," but would somehow make it feel...well, a little bit less special when you actually achieve those things in game.

I would be more inclined to allow some kind of "passive world" option, i.e., a sandbox in the sense that noone will bother you, but you can't get anything you want at any time.

Would like to hear more thoughts on this, as I'm quite on the fence about it!
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Sandbox Mode?

#8
This brings to mind wall hacks in FPS games and the free money cheats in Sim City. Fun for about five minutes and then you realise you've ruined what makes the game fun. If Josh implements a choice of difficulty level in the game, the easiest mode could be made a kind of sandbox/trainer just by making the game very easy at that level.
Experiencing a significant gravitas shortfall
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Re: Sandbox Mode?

#9
There have been several threads about "Starting Conditions", like this one, and most of them boil down to giving the player various degrees of
  • starting assets
  • general or local faction relation.
A "Sandbox Mode" would then be defined by giving the player a gazillion credits, good local relations, and neutral relations to the rest of the universe. No special coding required. =)

Zero Gravitas wrote:This brings to mind wall hacks in FPS games and the free money cheats in Sim City. Fun for about five minutes and then you realise you've ruined what makes the game fun. If Josh implements a choice of difficulty level in the game, the easiest mode could be made a kind of sandbox/trainer just by making the game very easy at that level.
a) That is a matter of preference.
b) Something like the game's unlimited Sandbox mode could be unlocked by ingame achievements. Once you "have won" already, what does it matter?
That would take care of those too weak to limit their amount of cheating. =)


{Sandbox threads merged}
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Sandbox Mode?

#10
Gazz wrote:a) That is a matter of preference.
Yes, and I'm stating my preference. ;)
Gazz wrote:b) Something like the game's unlimited Sandbox mode could be unlocked by ingame achievements. Once you "have won" already, what does it matter?
Perhaps once the player has achieved enough success in the game world to have amassed lots of technology and money, the game would allow the player to research and build a VR module onto his base, that he could visit to play a virtual reality version of Limit Theory within the game world. A game within the game, with unlimited money and abilities. The irony would be that in order to build the VR module, the player would have to have virtually unlimited piles of cash and technology in the normal game world. :mrgreen:
Experiencing a significant gravitas shortfall
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Re: Sandbox Mode or Degree of Sandbox-ness

#11
Oh, it would be a lot more reasonable that, I'd imagine. (but I like your way of thinking =)

Besides, someone will surely find a way to unlock this sandbox mode early, without having to go through the pain of having to actually play the game. And if not, it may have to be leaked accidentally.

If nothing else, a sandbox mode like that would be an ideal way to beta test because you need ways to set up test scenarios.
And if the work involved in making beta testing effective also produces a desirable game feature as a side effect...
There is no "I" in Tea. That would be gross.
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Re: Sandbox Mode?

#12
JoshParnell wrote:Hmm very interesting suggestion. It is both appealing and terrible to me at the same time. I worry that a "sandbox" mode could kill the grandeur, mystery, and overall epicness of the universe. The ability to instantly achieve anything you like would be "fun," but would somehow make it feel...well, a little bit less special when you actually achieve those things in game.
It may (and will) certainly feel less special to achieve something by "bypassing" the necessary development steps, but for all casual players that want to have the taste of managing a huge fleet without having the time to play it through (day job, family, ...) it may be the only option. I know I will never be able to invest more than a few hours to a game - hopefully again and again, but with long breaks that "break" a character continuity, and this demotivated me completely to start many games - knowing I'll never reach the interesting parts...

It costs basically nothing to program in the option to edit your wealth or other stats like shield strength, and will open a whole field of fun for casual players.
Possibly you may restrict that to some "roots" of universe generation (e.g. All roots beginning with a 9 - still about an infinite universe available ;) ) so that players that want to "cooperatively" discover a universe and share tips or benchmark their skills/net worth can make sure only other "real" gamers are there to be compared to.
For me, that would add at a very low development cost a real advantage and possibly help capture casual customers.
Cheers!
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Re: Sandbox Mode or Degree of Sandbox-ness

#13
I'm going to make the analogy to Minecraft. They have creative mode, and I've dabbled in it myself from time to time. I also play on hardcore and standard difficulty levels as well.

What it comes down to, is that any feature you put in the game, whether or not it 'breaks' the grandeur or allows players to 'cheat' within the game is up to player on whether to use it or not. From what I'm hearing in this thread is "This feature compromises my capability to enjoy the game without it" and it sounds to me like those people don't know how to NOT use an implemented feature.

Hell, I've even set myself artificial limits in Minecraft such as using the most basic of items in order to achieve things (wooden sword only for example).

Of course, Minecraft also had the capability to allow you build immense structures like recreating WoW or Game of Thrones within the game.
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Early Spring - 1055: Well, I made it to Boatmurdered, and my initial impressions can be set forth in three words: What. The. F*ck.
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Re: Sandbox Mode or Degree of Sandbox-ness

#14
DWMagus wrote:Hell, I've even set myself artificial limits in Minecraft such as using the most basic of items in order to achieve things (wooden sword only for example).
one of the most fun times ive had was playing by a rule set called 'man vs minecraft' its a lot of fun because of the restrictions . look it up and try it if you still play and are looking for something new to do XD.
If I've rambled and gone off topic im sorry but i tend to be long winded as you might notice if you stumble across my other post XD. thanks for reading.
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Re: Sandbox Mode or Degree of Sandbox-ness

#15
It's a matter of preference, isn't it? There are many who would play sandbox and normal game mode, and be fine with having both. And if you don't like one of them, you need not play it. And, guessing that the only story in LT is going to be sort of generated yourself by setting goals to achieve (such as wanting to be a pirate or something), it wouldn't ruin a story. As for the issue of ruining immersion in a sandbox mode, yes, it probably would. To an extent. But if you willingly play the sandbox mode, you're willingly going to sacrifice a bit of the adventure. Just stick a little warning on the button for sandbox mode, and encourage players to do normal game mode things first. A sandbox mode would be great for messing around with big battles or little scenarios that you might want to play through, without having to spend a lot of time creating them legitimately. I reckon it's a good idea.

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