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March 22nd, 2013, 13:22
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
to me the 'theme park' term comes from how in a theme park you go from attraction to attraction, similar in a way that in 'theme park MMOs' you go to a hub of quests that are all appropriate to your level, do all the quests there that also happen to be around the area, then when you're finished you get a quest to send a letter to a dude in another town, you go there and you get a bunch of new quests, strangely all appropriate to your level again and all done around that area, repeat from level 1 to max level.
Yeah, that's not a bad analogy.

But I tend to use the term "content" - because it includes quests, dungeons, PvP battlegrounds, and all kinds of activities revolving around unique developer-created assets.

It takes a LOT of resources to maintain player interest in a themepark, because you don't give them the tools to keep the game perpetually interesting. You're obligated to provide content on a regular basis. Which is why I've never understood why developers don't do both. Have the "themepark" be the core of the experience - and then expand the gameplay towards the endgame with sandbox features. The world and the themepark will serve as the lure - to get the high amount of players.

Then I remember how much effort a sandbox takes in terms of smart game design, and it also takes courage to give control to the players - because there's always the potential of ruining the game completely - because of imbalance and griefers.

That's what makes the design part so demanding, because you have to take into account all the ways players can ruin the game for each other.

Ironically, sandboxes are usually made with small budgets and small teams - so it's no surprise that they don't do well in terms of business. Most players don't want to risk losing their investment or progress - and they certainly don't want to risk that in a bland world with minimal or subpar content.
Last edited by DArtagnan; March 22nd, 2013 at 19:45.
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