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I have a notion that it's possible to have a "somewhat directed sandbox" game. I'm working on a combat/survival open world game with a procedurally generated tech tree to go along with the procedurally generated world. There is a "difficulty direction" (down) and the farther you go that way, the environment becomes exponentially more difficult, while the items/powerups become exponentially more powerful. (With the environment gaining power faster than the player, of course.)

This gives just enough structure for players to escape the Second Life trap. (What happens to people who have no needs/problems in a virtual world? They go right up the Maslow Need Hierarchy -- to Sex.)

Hopefully, this will provide the right kind of structure to let players game-balance the game themselves. (And give them enough scope to invent their way into and out of corners.)

Interesting. Welp, looks like I'm going to have to resort to adding sex to the game. :) But seriously, the idea of a "direction" for difficulty had only vaguely occurred in my mind (for whatever reason, I am drawn to games where you ascend or descend to progress, most notably Spelunky).

I'd be interested in seeing a voxel game involving defensive architecture (preparing for disasters). When I started playing Minecraft, I was interested in making buildings, lighted streets, etc that would make it easier to survive at night.

It turned out to be somewhat pointless because once you know how, you can easily skip the night phase altogether. A game where you can't do that might be interesting.

Also: preparing for floods. What happens when the river overflows or the storm surge hits?

Yep, a survival type game would be well suited to the engine. It is definitely part of the long term plans. In the long run I would like to have a world with some simple towns and people can move about and raid towns and so forth and quests kind of emerge from those circumstances. Maybe a bit like Mount and Blade, but in a more seamless world.

There are lots of fighting games and I don't think that's what makes voxel games unique. The cool thing about voxels is the environment. A player-vs-environment game puts the environment front and center, instead of making it the backdrop.

Another idea: build a sand castle and see how long you can hold out against the rising tide. No bad guys involved, just waves. Almost a literal sandbox game.

Welp, looks like I'm going to have to resort to adding sex to the game. :)

Hey, it works in Minecraft. (But in Minecraft, you have to earn it.)

sex in Minecraft

I didn't expect I'll be googling that phrase ever in my life. :o.

I was referring simply to having children, but apparently, people have taken things a bit farther. (I hope in jest.)

Skyrim and Fallout 3 and 4 are basically somewhat directed sandbox games. There is a main questline you can follow, but most players just immediately take off to go exploring that cool thing in the distance. Then die because the mobs are too high level :) . And that gives you incentive to level up, which frames your interaction with the world.

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