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KSP2 shouldn’t need Sandbox (or maybe it should?)


Pthigrivi
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28 minutes ago, Vl3d said:

No kerbals.

Please, not this. Remember, the main argument for including a sandbox mode is that cheating it in de-incentivizes people and puts sandbox in a second-class light. Removing kerbals does the same thing and also saps the spirit of the game, which I would not wish on anyone, even if I didn’t like the fact that they were using sandbox. 

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14 minutes ago, Anth12 said:

Why would I cheat or exploit the game when playing with other people? that is not what I was talking about.

It was a joke! :) I was acting like an old lady because your playtime makes me cranky.

10 minutes ago, t_v said:

Removing kerbals does the same thing and also saps the spirit of the game, which I would not wish on anyone, even if I didn’t like the fact that they were using sandbox. 

There's no reason to have kerbals in simulation mode.

Edited by Vl3d
rethunk
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Just now, Vl3d said:

There's no reason to have kerbals in simulation mode.

There is if you want it to essentially replace sandbox. People should not go though a playthrough of Kerbal Space Program without the Kerbals. 

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6 minutes ago, t_v said:
9 minutes ago, Vl3d said:

There's no reason to have kerbals in simulation mode.

There is if you want it to essentially replace sandbox. People should not go though a playthrough of Kerbal Space Program without the Kerbals. 

Most games have a story campaign and a separate no-playthrough simulation / construction / sandbox mode. It's a solved problem.

PS: fine keep kerbals in simulation mode. At least for the parachute biplanes.

Edited by Vl3d
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4 hours ago, Anth12 said:
4 hours ago, Bej Kerman said:

I still think that removing sandbox, and expecting that players still wanting it go through the process of cheating things in, is a rather transparent attempt at completely discouraging people from playing that way. That's a bad thing to do.

I still want the cheats of the debug menu in the game no matter what. I am currently putting a craft into Eve orbit with 'set orbit'

The alternative would to launch a rocket from Kerbin to Eve every time which would be a complete waste of time

No-one said cheats shouldn't be a thing, nor is "sandbox = cheat" a good analogy; it's a terrible one that only serves to make it look like a point has been made against us. Pthigrivi and Pandaman gave you likes, who knows what good they see in this (not even well-made) strawman.

Edited by Bej Kerman
https://web.archive.org/web/20220803171023/https://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/index.php?/topic/209198-ksp2-shouldn%E2%80%99t-need-sandbox-or-maybe-it-should/page/3/#comment-4160749
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Personally I like science mode in KSP1 since it's basically sandbox mode but you need to earn it.  The critical aspect is that you only have to earn each item once.  The tedium of farming contracts in career mode got old after a while.  The closest thing to passive income in career mode was setting up a massive lab ship and using the patents licensing administrative strategy.

It sounds like KSP2 might have mechanics around automating resource routes.  I really like this, since it would require significant time, resources, and mastery of game mechanics to gain a reward of passive income.  Passive resource/funding streams would encourage the player to expand and take additional risks and reduce the necessity of save scumming.

I don't think sandbox mode is a bad thing.  Different players like playing different ways and there's nothing wrong with that.  Making players use commands to replicate a sandbox mode seems like subtly shaming players into playing a specific way.

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22 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

Yes, and I hear Bej and Adsii as well. I think this is the answer to the thought experiment. Even if there is no functional difference between creating your own Sandbox by clicking a few buttons in the difficulty settings and having a “mode” listed next to Adventure mode that just clicks those buttons for you people will perceive them very differently, and will probably feel slighted by the former.

Just kudos for you to taking a flexibe viewpoint. Discussions get so much more fruitful without entrenched positions. I hope the devs are taking note of this discussion as well, not just for a "should we/should we not" discussion but also because it exposes some good insights in how people experience the game in different ways.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Kerbart said:

Just kudos for you to taking a flexibe viewpoint. Discussions get so much more fruitful without entrenched positions. I hope the devs are taking note of this discussion as well, not just for a "should we/should we not" discussion but also because it exposes some good insights in how people experience the game in different ways.

Oh definitely. I think its always important when you're having a conversation to be genuinely open to learning something new and changing your mind, otherwise whats the point. But this thread especially was a little tongue-in-cheek, taking a somewhat extreme position just to see what the implications would be and what would emerge from the conversation.

Edited by Pthigrivi
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Just now, Pthigrivi said:

Oh definitely. I think its always important when you're having a conversation to be genuinely open to learning something new and changing your mind, otherwise whats the point. But this thread especially was a little tongue-in-cheek, taking a somewhat extreme position just to see what the implications would be and what would emerge. 

Well taken! That's the same reason I always claim that using time acceleration is heresy (My way of playing the game might not be your way and we should respect that)

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7 hours ago, Hotel26 said:

There's a reason why the two trainer wheels ("Geology" a.k.a. Science and "Economics" a.k.a. Career) were bolted onto the rear axle later, seemingly as an afterthought -- and are naturally deemed underdeveloped (being miniature and not touching the ground; which would, after all, defeat the sense & intent of being a bicycle).  They're there as guides to those learning to ride the bicycle who need the additional assistance.

Strong disagree, KSP is just one in a long list of fantastic Sims that are terrible at being games.

Both science and career are terrible not only for veteran player that want an additional challenge, but also for new players, they're poorly explained and don't reward the player to improve in any way.

They don't provide any assistance in any way.

The first suggestion I always had for new players is "forget progression and learn the game in sandbox".

 

6 hours ago, Bej Kerman said:

It also still remains that no matter how well progression is done, most of the people here who chose sandbox did it because they didn't know how well it was implemented and simply weren't interested in progression.

We can only say that after a meaningful and fun progression is added.

Right now the only objective point we have is that sandbox is the only game mode than can be considered complete.

 

6 hours ago, Bej Kerman said:

I still think that removing sandbox, and expecting that players still wanting it go through the process of cheating things in, is a rather transparent attempt at completely discouraging people from playing that way. That's a bad thing to do.

I'm not arguing for removing sandbox.

Just to provide a ton of option to build your own sandbox when choosing the game mode.

Despite everyone ignoring the matter for some reason there are at least a dozen of unanswered questions the answers of which can radically change what "sandbox" even mean.

And I'm not saying that to put sandbox as an inferior gamemode.

I'm going to use that gamemode a ton, and in different occasions I may want colonies to work normally or to have everything free without resources based on what I'm planning to do with that specific sandbox save.

 

Back to OP, the title is 100% right. We shouldn't need sandbox for the game to be even playable.

I've refunded plenty of fantastic games that were hidden behind a terrible progression systems, and without sandbox KSP would totally be in that category.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Master39 said:

I'm going to use that gamemode a ton, and in different occasions I may want colonies to work normally or to have everything free without resources based on what I'm planning to do with that specific sandbox save.

If the mods will allow me a very brief tangent when I was in architecture school some friends and I developed a technique we lovingly referred to as 'evil architecture', wherein at the beginning of a design project we would try to come up with the worst possible solution. If the assignment was a library we would design spaces that were impossible to navigate to find the book you were looking for. If it was an apartment building we'd make ludicrously long staircases and honeycombs of windowless coffins to sleep in. It was silly, but weirdly informative. You learn a lot t from deliberately trying to do things "wrong". Its like stretching before exercising, you're expanding that creative window of possibilities and learning what truly matters. 

What I think we learned here is both that there is a range of psychological expectations and motivations for playing a game like KSP, and that from a functional, nuts-and-bolts standpoint there are a series of specific and nuanced game behaviors that separate an ideal career/adventure mode from something players might consider "sandbox".  So when you click "Start Game" what should you see? While we know relatively little about Adventure mode it's been described as more like Science mode than Career mode in KSP1. Does that mean there are no contracts? No money? That remains to be seen. But I would hope it's an attempt to thoughtfully approach progression, both as a teaching tool for new players and as a motivational structure to explore planets and game systems and all the rich things they have to offer. That would probably still differ from players who've spoken up here who aren't as much interested in gaming as in freeform creative expression. I place no value judgements on those two motivations, in fact I greatly appreciate both.  What I would say though is the construction of a good game in which there are compelling resource and exploration puzzles and players need to think strategically about investing in this or that tech path based on prospecting and personal design philosophy is a much, much harder design problem than creating an array of neat parts that players can make into wild and wacky things. To go from a rich and robust KSP2 progression mode to Sandbox is an exercise in subtraction. You design a full game and then let players selectively remove game functions like unlocking the tech tree, money requirements if applicable, skills if applicable, resource costs, etc. So that devoted sandbox players don't feel put out just put a "mode" there under and Adventure mode called "Sandbox" that automatically deselects those things and also allows players to do a custom game build by checking or unchecking the game functions they're interested in. I see no harm and all gain from that. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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I quite strongly agree with this statement, as with the extra steps, it also allows for more customization. It might not work to use cheat codes, instead, they could do something like Cities: Skylines, where you can toggle each feature on and off. For example, being able to unlock all tech but still have to worry about funds, reputation, etc. would be really fun and interesting in my opinion, and it's not in KSP 1.

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12 hours ago, MechBFP said:

How is Sandbox mode with extra steps any different than starting a new game in KSP 1 and customizing your gameplay options before you start?

Literally the same thing, but okay.

Well, speaking from the point of view of KSP 1, it could be viewed literally as a "total inversion of mission" imposed by interlopers.

On 8/4/2022 at 4:04 AM, Master39 said:
On 8/3/2022 at 8:02 PM, Hotel26 said:

There's a reason why the two trainer wheels ("Geology" a.k.a. Science and "Economics" a.k.a. Career) were bolted onto the rear axle later, seemingly as an afterthought -- and are naturally deemed underdeveloped (being miniature and not touching the ground; which would, after all, defeat the sense & intent of being a bicycle).  They're there as guides to those learning to ride the bicycle who need the additional assistance.

Strong disagree, KSP is just one in a long list of fantastic Sims that are terrible at being games.

Well said!  Dealing in opinions, we strongly disagree.  And all that that means -- to the owners of the franchise -- is that both views should be catered for: remove or denigrate one (particularly the original!) with caution.

Recall that the venerable Creators of the game have stated publicly that KSP was intended to be a game, not a sim.  That was only their fun opinion, of course...

Just a reminder, then, about our heritage: [click + arrows => slideshow]

UWxSADn.jpg   vcsC5iw.jpg   LBS6XOJ.jpg   VURrFfc.jpg

 

Edited by Hotel26
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On 8/5/2022 at 5:11 AM, Hotel26 said:

is that both views should be catered for: remove or denigrate one (particularly the original!) with caution.

[snip]

I've already said in all my comments that I don't want sandbox removed.

 

I'm not arguing for the removal of sandbox.

If that's all you're going to say don't send notifications my way. Thank you.

Edited by Vanamonde
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On 8/2/2022 at 7:54 AM, Pthigrivi said:

As many have pointed out having a base game with cheat codes creates exactly what sandbox is, and given how much more complex KSP2 promises to be cheat codes would give them finer and more flexible, reversible control over the kind of sandbox experience they’re looking for. 
 

If we get what you want with no "Sandbox" Mode there shouldn't be cheat codes. These should be settings in the settings menu.

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Reminder that nobody is arguing for the removal of sandbox mode. People have different interpretations of implementation. Pthigrivi started this thread by saying that KSP 2 should be a good game even without sandbox (a.k.a it doesn’t need sandbox) and I agree with that, and pretty much everybody agrees that sandbox would still be a highly appreciated feature. 

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On 8/2/2022 at 11:53 AM, Pthigrivi said:

Very few complete, good games Ive ever played include a sandbox mode. Instead they make the game good and just dump you in, rules and all.

The initial premise is flawed.

If people want hard-core, fetch-quest modes (off topic, I would say), debate it but leave Sandbox off the table.  In particular, do not suggest Sandbox players wear a placard, "I play Sandbox.  I am a cheater" and don't use that word ("cheat") unless you really intend to denigrate the core players of the game.

By the way, "Orbital mechanics is a core discipline within space-mission design and control.", i.e. it is a set of rules.

Edited by Hotel26
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Posted (edited)

I did say that I was aware this was a controversial opinion, and that we’d be discussing it ‘for fun.’  Its a thought experiment—can a game like KSP add Sandbox through difficulty settings alone? I think we determined even if it could it should still be listed as a “mode” so folks who prefer it don’t feel sidelined, exactly as you say. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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I've read everything that has been posted in this topic quite carefully.  (I did say "removed or denigrated" and I was addressing my remarks to everyone.  [snip]

I did understand the spirit in which you posted this (from the get-go), so have no concern there.  (How you thought it was going to be fun, is simply the case of the experienced pilot who lands gear-up one fine day: simple mistake and everybody does it sooner or later, so no bad.  ("Three greens, Pthigrivi!"))

(And making the Lego cartoon was a lot of fun, as bad as my drawing hand is.  I was laughing the whole time.)

 

Edited by Vanamonde
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Lets say they decide not to have sandbox, it wouldn't matter.

The modders who get access to KSP2 before main release would make a mod that is sandbox anyway by the time its released.

Also we would know that there was no sandbox before release and enough feedback would change their minds

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8 hours ago, Hotel26 said:

I've read everything that has been posted in this topic quite carefully.  (I did say "removed or denigrated" and I was addressing my remarks to everyone.  "Master39 doth protest too much, methinks".)

 

Sorry but you didn't read or understand me if you think I'm denigrating Sandbox players or advocating for Sandbox removal.

I've been playing nothing but sandbox for years now.

 

  • Sandbox IS the cheat mode you use to try wonky designs. Ignore this if you don't understand what it means in this context.
  • Sandbox IS the test mode you use to test landers for your progression save.
  • Sandbox IS the gamemode for when  you add external progression systems or challenges like a colony mod, life support or maybe even RSS.
  • Sandbox IS the gamemode for new players, that already have difficulties figuring out orbital mechanics and can't be bothered with science or funds on top of that.
  • Sandbox IS the gamemode for people that already finished the tech tree a thousand times and at the end of that the game is sandbox anyway.
  • Sandbox  IS the place to go if you want to follow your own set of rules and headcanon.

 

KSP progression, both science and career are simple, so simple that you can obtain all of the above with a couple of switches and nothing more: currencies disabled, tech tree disabled.

 

KSP2 is going to be a completely different beast from what we know, and each one of the uses of Sandbox I listed above requires a wildly different set of settings for all the colony, discovery and resource mining stuff. Something not as simple and easily done as a single "Moneys = false;" in some config file.

This is because while KSP1 pretended to have something going on with the contract system asking you to move around stuff or build useless satellites, bases and stations, KSP2 will have those as part of a working infrastructure network. KSP2 progression seems to be bases not on the slow and grindy farming of a pretended currency but on the player slowly building a working space infrastructure network one launch at a time, with multiple systems interacting with each other. With that you can't just flip a switch and disable the whole system like you do in KSP1.

 

So, since apparently writing it 6 times in 3 pages isn't enough to get it read, what do you want sandbox to be? How are you going to use it?

Because I know what I want, I want to be able to build catapults to send Kerbals to the abandoned airstrip island in a save, test a new Eve lander in the next, use it to set up a starting colony on Laythe only to then disable the Sandbox and start a new progression from there instead of Kerbin.

And then, when I'll have hundreds of hours in KSP2 and played the beginning over and over again I want to use the Sandbox mode to skip the initial progression, but keeping the colonial progression and discovery systems up and working.

But all of that requires Sandbox to be configurable and not just a single On/Off switch.

Edited by Master39
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10 minutes ago, Master39 said:
  • Sandbox IS the cheat mode you use to try wonky designs.

Simply incorrect. Sandbox is a mode where you're bound only by orbital mechanics as opposed to also having arbitrary monetary limits and availability of parts. That doesn't make it some kind of cheat, you're still bound by Delta-V and physical limits.

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