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What does Sandbox mean to you?


Pthigrivi
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What features would you prefer in default stock Sandbox?  

65 members have voted

  1. 1. List all applicable:

    • All vehicle parts unlocked
      62
    • All colony parts unlocked
      60
    • All KSC buildings fully upgraded
      60
    • All Kerbal skills/abilities unlocked
      55
    • All planetary/stellar visibility unlocked (no hidden planets)
      47
    • All resource maps unlocked (no scanning required)
      31
    • No money required for building (or any abstract resource)
      55
    • No money or resources needed to build on Kerbin
      53
    • No resources needed to build at colonies
      35
    • Can spawn colonies anywhere in kerbol system
      23
    • Can spawn colonies anywhere
      24
    • Can spawn vessels or stations anywhere in kerbol system
      24
    • Can spawn vessels and stations anywhere
      27
    • Can spawn new crew for free at KSC
      52
    • Can spawn crew for free at colonies
      35
    • Can spawn crew anywhere
      25
    • Am I missing something? (Please specify)
      11


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4 hours ago, shdwlrd said:

You're missing the point, sandbox has nothing to do with building. Sandbox is about choice on how to play the game. 

Open world is sandbox because you can choose where you want to go and in what order to do the goals/missions.

MMO is sandbox because you can choose to stack bodies. You can choose to craft items. You can choose to mine. You can choose to become a merchant. You can choose to become a trader.

RTS is sandbox because you can choose your tactics. You can choose your forces. You can choose what to attack or defend.

City/Colony builders are sandbox because you can choose the layout of your roads. You can choose how to layout your buildings. You can choose what services to provide. You can choose what your taxes are. You can choose what maps to use. 

Factory builders are sandbox because you can choose your layout. You can choose what you want to upgrade. You can choose what to export. You can choose what rates you want.

Survival games are sandbox because you can choose what resources to gather. You can choose what to attack or avoid. You can choose where and what to build. You can choose what to equip your character with. You can choose what to build with.

Flight/driving sims are sandbox because you can choose your vehicle. You can choose your route. You can choose your upgrades. You can choose your tactics. You can choose how to pilot the vehicle. You can choose to crash.

RPGs are sandbox because you can choose you character. You can choose your team. You can choose your skills. You can choose your powers. You can choose your attacks.

Shooters can be sandbox because you can choose your weapons. You can choose your tactics.

Now, do all games in these genres fall into the sandbox definition? No, there will always be exceptions. I've played shooters that are very linear. I've played RPGs that are linear. I've played flight/driving sims that are linear. I've played builders that are linear.

Also, if you noticed that I bolded choice and choose a lot. That's because it's the primary component to sandbox games. You can choose to play how you want.

Nowhere in the definition for sandbox does it say there must not be limits. Nowhere does it say there can't be goals. Nowhere does it say there can't be progressions. Nowhere does it say you can't have locked items/skills. Nowhere does it say you can't have rules and boundaries.

So sandbox as a genre has games where you have a choice on how to play. Sandbox in a game means the same thing, you have the choice to play how you want. But remember, it doesn't say that there can't be rules or boundaries you have to abide by.

Give me a game you define as a non sandbox game and I will break down how it is by your definition. 

Because I’m impatient and I’m going to bed soon, I’ll just be blunt. Your definition is a logical fallacy. 
 

Composition/Division:

You assumed that one part of something has to be applied to all, or other, parts of it; or that the whole must apply to its parts.

Often when something is true for the part it does also apply to the whole, or vice versa, but the crucial difference is whether there exists good evidence to show that this is the case. Because we observe consistencies in things, our thinking can become biased so that we presume consistency to exist where it does not.

Example: Daniel was a precocious child and had a liking for logic. He reasoned that atoms are invisible, and that he was made of atoms and therefore invisible too. Unfortunately, despite his thinky skills, he lost the game of hide and go seek.

Edited by James M
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"Sandbox  Aerospace was the only mode available until career mode was introduced in version 0.22."
"functions more as a pure exploration"
"The Science game mode is one of the three modes available in Kerbal Space Program. It is an intermediate choice between "freestyle" Sandbox Aerospace mode, and the heavily resource dependent Career mode."

I've stopped using the S-word.  Try assuming for the moment the term was just a misnomer and that the original game was "Aerospace" (spirit and intention). 

"In exchange for total freedom, sandbox Aerospace will not deliver rewards, register progress, or acknowledge certain things the player does in general, such as collecting science from research modules."

Even then, since the term aerospace encompasses a lot of ground (on planet Earth), one should reach a common comprehension on that original "spirit and intention" in KSP of the creators.

Note that the Kerbolar system resembles a cleverly-graded series of puzzles in Orbital Mechanics (and Aerodynamics) and the original implementation seemed fairly clearly directed at that focus, and succeeded largely because that focus kept things simple, elegant (and provided a modular base for later expansion for a wider audience): allowing the most degrees of freedom (flexibility).

 

Edited by Hotel26
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3 hours ago, Hotel26 said:

"Sandbox  Aerospace was the only mode available until career mode was introduced in version 0.22."
"functions more as a pure exploration"
"The Science game mode is one of the three modes available in Kerbal Space Program. It is an intermediate choice between "freestyle" Sandbox Aerospace mode, and the heavily resource dependent Career mode."

I've stopped using the S-word.  Try assuming for the moment the term was just a misnomer and that the original game was "Aerospace" (spirit and intention). 

"In exchange for total freedom, sandbox Aerospace will not deliver rewards, register progress, or acknowledge certain things the player does in general, such as collecting science from research modules."

Even then, since the term aerospace encompasses a lot of ground (on planet Earth), one should reach a common comprehension on that original "spirit and intention" in KSP of the creators.

Note that the Kerbolar system resembles a cleverly-graded series of puzzles in Orbital Mechanics (and Aerodynamics) and the original implementation seemed fairly clearly directed at that focus, and succeeded largely because that focus kept things simple, elegant (and provided a modular base for later expansion for a wider audience): allowing the most degrees of freedom (flexibility).

 

Considering you’re referring to Creative mode, then the intentions were to creatively solve the astrodynamic problems (Explore Kerbol System) presented to the player without restrictions. The problem arises when we try to separate what makes KSP a sandbox game in addition to all of its other designations. It’s a sandbox game and a flight simulator with elements of RPGs with respect to the Kerbals themselves and the stories we make for them. Removing the latter two designations leaves us on the ground without Kerbals doing what? Using the tools, toys, and resources available in the VAB to make all manner of contraptions and utilizing the game’s physics simulator to play with them. This is what I was trying to boil it all down to. 

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21 hours ago, shdwlrd said:

You're missing the point, sandbox has nothing to do with building. Sandbox is about choice on how to play the game. 

Crossing back over from the other thread, I don't think it's actually about choice or linearity exactly. Most often non-sandbox games include many more opportunities for choice simply because the applied rules and goals and rewards greatly diversify the strategic decision space. Many clearly non-sandbox games are also open-world and non-linear. After some thought I would say that the difference between Sandbox and Non-Sandbox is that in a truly sandbox game all goals are set by the player, while in Non-sandbox games at least some goals are defined by the game itself. Those bespoke, overworld puzzles result in the rules of the game changing over time. Those changes are not necessarily linear and often require more choice than you'd experience without. This results in a system in which the rules of "Sandbox" are steady state and static throughout the play experience, while progression based games change the tools and abilities players have access to over the course of the play. This is however a fuzzy border. If you have to go out and prospect and harvest rare resources in order to fuel certain engines, or need to manually build and supply your own orbital construction platform rather than be automatically given a magically ready-made facility for building the largest vessels, that is, kind-of, game-like. Master39 made some great points in the other thread about how really the closer "Adventure mode" and "Sandbox mode" merge, the more goals are defined by environmental realities rather than abstract reward systems, the better the game actually is and the less separates the "Sandbox" experience from a fully realized progression. I think this is true to a point. There are however instances where the magic hand of "gaminess" provide much more efficient, nuanced, and potentially less time-consuming solutions for things like tech progression and visibility and skill unlocks than one purely based on non-abstract resources. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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53 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

the better the game actually is and the less separates the "Sandbox" experience from a fully realized progression.

This part keeps confusing my brain. I had to read it like 20 times, but I understand

Edited by James M
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Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, James M said:

This part keeps confusing my brain. I had to read it like 20 times, but I understand

Im still working working on this thesis so I appreciate you bearing with me. Lets talk about chess as a test case. There are two kinds of rules—the basic, immutable rules of movement and capture; and dynamic, situational rules that only apply when certain conditions are met. In the first category you find things like “rooks only move orthogonally” and “when one piece ends its movement in the space of an opposing piece that piece is captured and removed from the game.” In the category of conditional rules you find things like castling, en-passant, queening, and critically: checkmate. In broad terms a sandbox game has only rules in the first category: unchanging basic structural rules, while a game proper contains at least one rule of the latter kind—conditional rules that alter the way the game is played as the situation evolves. Meeting those abstract, conditional goals opens special opportunities that can’t be accessed otherwise. 
 

Now, most of the sandboxy immutable rules are going to feel more organic and stable, which is why you want a preponderance of rules and behaviors to feel this way. But without a few well-placed curveballs and evolving, situational goals a game kind of becomes checkers—stodgy, uninteresting, and without strategic depth. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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31 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

Im still working working on this thesis so I appreciate you bearing with me. Lets talk about chess as a test case. There are two kinds of rules—the basic, immutable rules of movement and capture; and dynamic, situational rules that only apply when certain conditions are met. In the first category you find things like “rooks only move orthogonally” and “when one piece ends its movement in the space of an opposing piece that piece is captured and removed from the game.” In the category of conditional rules you find things like castling, en-passant, queening, and critically: checkmate. In broad terms a sandbox game has only rules in the first category: unchanging basic structural rules, while a game proper contains at least one rule of the latter kind—conditional rules that alter the way the game is played as the situation evolves. Meeting those abstract, conditional goals opens special opportunities that can’t be accessed otherwise. 
 

Now, most of the sandboxy immutable rules are going to feel more organic and stable, which is why you want a preponderance of rules and behaviors to feel this way. But without a few well-placed curveballs and evolving, situational goals a game kind of becomes checkers—stodgy, uninteresting, and without strategic depth. 

This makes a lot of sense! :) Thanks for the detailed explanation. So in the context of the original topic, it's important to define not only what "rules" the game mode HAS to have to function (The Immutable ones), but also the one's that make it fun (The dynamic ones)? Fun is a relative term though... What one person might view as a definitive staple in creative mode could be seen as something negative or unnecessary to another. I don't think it's possible to have a serious discussion about what dynamic rules should be in place before the immutable ones have 100% been agreed upon first. What do you think?

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12 hours ago, James M said:

This makes a lot of sense! :) Thanks for the detailed explanation. So in the context of the original topic, it's important to define not only what "rules" the game mode HAS to have to function (The Immutable ones), but also the one's that make it fun (The dynamic ones)? Fun is a relative term though... What one person might view as a definitive staple in creative mode could be seen as something negative or unnecessary to another. I don't think it's possible to have a serious discussion about what dynamic rules should be in place before the immutable ones have 100% been agreed upon first. What do you think?

Id say it's more like rules that are unchangeable vs rules that are changeable. So in the realm of unchangeable rules you'd put things like gravity, aerodynamics, even things like resource extraction and processing and the resource cost of parts. In a 'Sandbox' game none of these things would change, and there would be no additional set of rules that do change. Changeable rules would be things like part unlocks, upgrades to how efficient mining can be, population boosts, etc. Some people like to start working with a minimal part palette and slowly grow their capabilities as they explore deeper and deeper into space. They want that sense of evolution and accomplishment. Others prefer a more static set of rules without any constraints or pressures that feel 'artificial'. Both obviously are completely valid (I like both depending on my mood), but I think understanding the nature of the difference is important. 

Edited by Pthigrivi
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You call this a "mess"?

Basically, from experience, there are two kinds of sandboxes I need: one to test mods, therefore requiring on-demand spawning of colonies and craft in any location of choice (i.e. Hyperedit), and the other is the one I use for gameplay. KSP1 tech tree and restrictions have always felt non-sensical to me, and I'm just enough of an oldtimer to have caught the versions without Career.

I'm also the guy who plays citybuilders with unlimited money. Basically, I like to invent problems for myself to solve.

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2 hours ago, DDE said:

and the other is the one I use for gameplay. KSP1 tech tree and restrictions have always felt non-sensical to me, and I'm just enough of an oldtimer to have caught the versions without Career.

I'm also the guy who plays citybuilders with unlimited money. Basically, I like to invent problems for myself to solve.

The problem mainly resides with this second type of sandbox.

There simply isn't consensus for obvious reason on things like what people think is a non-sensical restriction and what is just a rule of the game they take for granted.

Some people may think colony mechanics are like the traffic in a city builder with infinite money, other people think that is exactly the kind of non-sense they want removed.

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I think there should be sandbox and with all the options in the poll, part of sandbox is making ridiculous things that are impossible in the normal game, want to cover the mun in a colony go ahead, want to make a ridiculously large space station already in orbit well why should sandbox stop you. Maybe a customizable rule set would be nice but it would have to have cheat like settings or what would the point of sandbox be?

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2 hours ago, Fullmetal Analyst said:

sandbox means all features unlocked, end of story.

Very vague, define features, and define "unlocked".

Then consider that the Devs have confirmed that colony buildings will require resources and launching rockets from them will also require resources.

Resources you'll have to mine and transport there.

Just on the question of what to do with those resource requirements has the community split, with almost exactly in half, if you go by the poll's numbers.

And that's only one of the details and the questions this thread tries to answer.

We're 11 pages and two threads into this topic and it took a lot even to acknowledge that not everyone means the same rules and the same type of gameplay when they're talking about Sandbox.

Nope, the story isn't so simple and doesn't just end like that.

 

So, what is Sandbox for you? Keeping in mind that it's not obvious at all, you need to go down to the nitty and gritty details.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I say sandbox is the same as in KSP 1,  all parts unlocked and no restriction on that you can build. 
Now I don't know how colonies will work in regard to this. Like that they need milestones to grow while in sandbox I say they will grow then large enough. 

 

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7 hours ago, Deadmeat24 said:

I thought I would make this quick if anybody was curious.

Chart of vote submissions by percentage of total votes. (Votes/Total Voters)

Omg thanks for this! I think were seeing here  two main categories with some slightly more divisive edge cases—things free at KSC vs things free everywhere. Some of the folks in the first category probably just don’t like KSP1 career and have no confidence they’d like another system. Those folks might be swayed into playing Adventure mode if it offered substantial improvements. Others Im sure just aren’t interested in progression or starting with a limited palette at all, and would rather start as if the game is ‘beaten’. The second category are the total free creative-mode types. Probably many of these are actually just looking for a test-bed environment that might be better solved with a ‘virtual simulator’ within Adventure mode that allowed you to test designs and performance consequence-free. Others just want to make bonkers over the top creations without playing the ‘game’ at all. 

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52 minutes ago, Pthigrivi said:

Some of the folks in the first category probably just don’t like KSP1 career and have no confidence they’d like another system

There is another group within that first category of people, like me, who like science and career modes but want a mode where you always have the option to launch a ridiculously overpowered and over engineered ship from Kerbin if things become bad. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/9/2022 at 7:37 PM, t_v said:

There is another group within that first category of people, like me, who like science and career modes but want a mode where you always have the option to launch a ridiculously overpowered and over engineered ship from Kerbin if things become bad. 

I think of sandbox and first example that comes to mind is Minecraft. The most common use there seems to be building monstrous or generally bonkers stuff, so you don't have to spend time finding/harvesting all the materials to do so. So I think of it as something with no limits or set goals; you are handed everything there is on offer and allowed to totally run wild.

If you want to just screw around and build some sort of total insanity, unless you really want it in your main save, sandbox is a great way to go. Like people have said, too, it's a great test bed for things too, and probably faster to execute with a clean save than with a copy of a save file with a bunch of ships.

Thinking about it, one group that would be unhappy without a true sandbox, is youtubers; I guarantee that all/most of the crazy excrements that people like Matt Lowne build are done in clean sandbox saves. There would always be workarounds if there was no sandbox, but then you are just having to jump through arbitrary hoops, whether in or out of game, in order to create one. May as well just have it from the start at that point.

Fwiw, I always play on career mode. While I have always found it rather leaves something to be desired, especially the mission system, I like having at least some non self created goals and limits/progression, so personally I am hoping for a much more engaging career mode. I fully understand though, that not everyone is that way, and I totally see why there is a need for a sandbox. Honestly, any sort of at least relatively open-ended creation simulator should really have mode that gives completely unfettered access to all the tools.

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