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Old 09-04-2022, 02:27 PM   #31
doctorevilbrain
 
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Default Re: Depicting the SF sandbox

What is condition Anthony?
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Old 09-04-2022, 02:46 PM   #32
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Default Re: Depicting the SF sandbox

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What is condition Anthony?
Maybe a back-reference to
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Because RPGs have to be biased towards interesting stuff. That means you give them interesting things that they have the option to poke at, rather than having them continually poke at random things and discover that said random thing is boring.
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Old 09-04-2022, 08:27 PM   #33
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Depicting the SF sandbox

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What is condition Anthony?
As it said in the paretheses "poke at them and they're uninteresting". <shrug>I wanted some shorthand.
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Old 09-05-2022, 06:50 AM   #34
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Default Re: Depicting the SF sandbox

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To me, both Star Trek and SG-1 are fundamentally un-sandboxy, because the main characters get assigned a mission every week.
You are not wrong, but I was using them to illustrate the distinction I was making. I was not recommending them as sandbox settings.

Passive entertainment, whether novels, movies, or TV shows, cannot provide a sandbox experience because there's no element of choice. Some of them are better able to depict characters in a sandbox setting, although the idea having a plot puts some constraints on this: episodic TV is usually better at it than movies, for example. Video games (especially things like No Man's Sky) can offer a sandbox experience, depending on how keenly you feel the established limits of the behaviors the system is able to allow.

I don't play video games, so let me ask those who do: in a wide-ranging, sandboxy video game, how does one find the quests or minigames that the system is set up to provide? Is it all out-of-context clues (menus and such), or are there effective in-context pointers?
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Old 09-05-2022, 08:37 AM   #35
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Default Re: Depicting the SF sandbox

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Sorry kid, regs say one imperial port per world.
Terra, canonically, has more than one starport on the world map.

In fact, I believe there were three.
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Old 09-05-2022, 08:59 AM   #36
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Default Re: Depicting the SF sandbox

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I don't play video games, so let me ask those who do: in a wide-ranging, sandboxy video game, how does one find the quests or minigames that the system is set up to provide? Is it all out-of-context clues (menus and such), or are there effective in-context pointers?
To take the most popular sandbox game in recent memory (Elder Scrolls VI: Skyrim), the game starts you off with an introduction that lays out the situation (civil war, a dragon reappears), walks you through game play controls, and then gives you a basic quest that starts you off on the main questline... but you don't have to follow it. If you do follow it (i.e., go to Helgen), several other things open up:

By the default route, you get a view of an interesting-looking structure across the river. If you go into the Helgen general store, you can get a quest that will lead you to that dungeon, or you may strike out on your own and end up there. It's also contains a quest related to the main quest line. So there are three ways you might end up at one dungeon, and they're all in-context clues.

You also have a map, which begins with very little marked on it but does show the regions of Skyrim. As you explore, icons do show up on your compass to indicate things as you draw near them (town, ruin, fort, etc.) so you do have some out-of-context pointers, but nearly everything interesting shows up as an in-context clue: a conversation, a note, a treasure map, an interesting oddity, a crystal that inspires a demon to speak to you, that sort of thing. After that first quest, you do need to explore to find stuff to do if you don't want to follow that trail of breadcrumbs.
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Old 09-05-2022, 11:29 AM   #37
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Default Re: Depicting the SF sandbox

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Originally Posted by thrash View Post
I don't play video games, so let me ask those who do: in a wide-ranging, sandboxy video game, how does one find the quests or minigames that the system is set up to provide? Is it all out-of-context clues (menus and such), or are there effective in-context pointers?
It falls all over the spectrum. An Ubi-Soft sandbox has a map full of icons. Elden Ring lets you discover things on your own, and you can miss stuff if you go left first because the intersting thing you could have discovered isn't accessible until you have done a thing to right first.
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Old 09-05-2022, 04:56 PM   #38
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Default Re: Depicting the SF sandbox

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The point of the example, however, was to illustrate the relative difficulty of presenting the interesting adventure possibilities to the players in a SF sandbox, over its fantasy counterpart.
Here's a literary "X marks the spot" for one way of approaching this issue:

"Using deep-radar had been more of a habit than anything else. A deep-radar on high setting was an easy way to find Slaver stasis boxes, since only stasis fields and neutron stars would reflect a hyperwave pulse." -- "The Soft Weapon," Larry Niven.

[Makes me wonder, though, what deep-radar is supposed to do if it doesn't usually return a ping.]
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Old 09-05-2022, 07:13 PM   #39
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Default Re: Depicting the SF sandbox

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Here's a literary "X marks the spot" for one way of approaching this issue:

"Using deep-radar had been more of a habit than anything else. A deep-radar on high setting was an easy way to find Slaver stasis boxes, since only stasis fields and neutron stars would reflect a hyperwave pulse." -- "The Soft Weapon," Larry Niven.

[Makes me wonder, though, what deep-radar is supposed to do if it doesn't usually return a ping.]
Maybe it's the type of ping returned. Tin shacks and aircraft carriers give different types of readings don't they?
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Old 09-05-2022, 08:43 PM   #40
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Depicting the SF sandbox

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Here's a literary "X marks the spot" for one way of approaching this issue:

"Using deep-radar had been more of a habit than anything else. A deep-radar on high setting was an easy way to find Slaver stasis boxes, since only stasis fields and neutron stars would reflect a hyperwave pulse." -- "The Soft Weapon," Larry Niven.

[Makes me wonder, though, what deep-radar is supposed to do if it doesn't usually return a ping.]
The key phrase would be "on a high setting". One assmes that it detects soemthing more common on a low setting.
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