Thinking on the endgame

TerraBladeTerraBlade Join Date: 2015-05-25 Member: 204886Members Posts: 179 Advanced user
First off, yes this game is still quite in the early development phases (even if the goal is a 2015 release). However I keep feeling that to give feedback I need to have some idea as to what the eventual end goal is. Will it be to assemble an escape craft to try to head back to Earth? To neutralize whatever caused the Aurora to crash for the actual colonization ship to be safe? To know what the hopeful 'win' condition, if any, would really help me come up with ideas as for what suggestions for the game to make.

For instance if the end goal were to be eventual escape of the planet, then I would suggest making the locations of components to be researched/salvaged be randomized in biomes and location. If it were to be the neutralization of whatever caused the initial crash, then having an idea of what caused the crash might lead to better feedback as to what we would want to see (please not a giant underwater space cannon).
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  • FluffersFluffers United States Join Date: 2015-05-22 Member: 204749Members Posts: 188 Advanced user
    Whatever it is, it can NOT be a concrete conclusion. In my opinion, subnautica really should stay a sanbox survival all the way.

    However, that's not to say that there can't be an endgame. Although, when it comes to sandbox games, any "endgame" is just having a lot of things that can protect you from a lot of things that are stronger than things earlier in the game. After the Aurora explodes, you're faced with the Reapers. I like that kind of game progression, similar to Terarria where killing certain bosses unlocks harder parts of the game. You can keep the sandbox feel while having sweet sweet progress. When you gain access to the Aurora, you gain access to signals that take you to ancient ruins (I might or might not be wrong about that), so maybe the next step is finding one in the great depths? And once you find it, it's guarded by the horrifyingly large Sea Emperors.

    That's just one example that I came up with off the top of my head though, obviously there's a lot of different approaches to it. My main point is that I'd really like to see continual progress through exploration like that, as you discover more and more amazing things you're faced with more and more horrifying creatures of the sea. At least that's how I see it, others might not feel the same way and I'm ok with that.
    SalmonJEDl
  • TerraBladeTerraBlade Join Date: 2015-05-25 Member: 204886Members Posts: 179 Advanced user
    Fluffers wrote: »
    Whatever it is, it can NOT be a concrete conclusion. In my opinion, subnautica really should stay a sanbox survival all the way.

    Why not? There are plenty of games that have concrete conclusions while still being a sandbox. Fallout: New Vegas for example off the top of my head. What would be so bad about a concrete conclusion?
    HexaphobiaconscioussoulFogerist
  • BingohasBingohas UK Join Date: 2015-04-20 Member: 203667Members Posts: 12 Fully active user
    @TerraBlade

    F:NV is an RPG with a focus on story and side missions, and Subnautica is a survival exploration game. Big difference on how the endgame should play out.
    The wonderful world of Subnautica

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  • SalmonJEDlSalmonJEDl Finland Join Date: 2015-05-14 Member: 204465Members Posts: 163 Advanced user
    @Fluffers Exactly.

    We should never reach conclusive 'the end'. It would just feel weird in this kind of endless exploration game. There could be some kind of endgame goal, but even after that there should be a reason for the main character to remain on the planet. Getting off from there is a big no-no for me.
    TerraBlade wrote: »
    (please not a giant underwater space cannon).
    This.
    HexaphobiaFluffersZ0mbieHDredterrier
  • TerraBladeTerraBlade Join Date: 2015-05-25 Member: 204886Members Posts: 179 Advanced user
    Bingohas wrote: »
    @TerraBlade

    F:NV is an RPG with a focus on story and side missions, and Subnautica is a survival exploration game. Big difference on how the endgame should play out.

    What are you talking about? This is still a RPG, just instead of building up stats you are building gear to better enable your survival or to reach places you couldn't before. In essence, any game where you take the role of somebody is a 'role' playing game. I also doubt you will need, or want, every piece of gear you will be able to research or craft which would in turn relegate their acquisition as a 'side mission'.

    However this right here is also what I'm talking about. Will this be a game with no definitive end, or will it have an end to it's 'story'. Survival stories usually end in rescue with movies and books. But at the same time, we know there is a second ship coming eventually from the intro. Or will this be like minecraft where while there is an end goal...well it's weird and kinda out of left field and doesn't explain anything.

    Personally I would like to have a definitive end. But that is who I am, I work better and just have the mindset of needing an overall goal to reach for. While I am certainly capable of enjoying the trip, having a goal and a 'the end' just feels satisfying to me. It doesn't have to be apparent at first to what the end goal is, but it needs to be there and it needs to be definitively an end goal.

    It's one of the reasons for games like Skyrim, which is also a sandbox, I do everything BEFORE the main mission as doing anything after the big finale just feels bland and uninteresting. I do know that if Subnautica were to do anything where after you 'complete' the game you are plunked back into the ocean or just get a radio message saying you saved the day...it won't feel satisfying to me at least.
    conscioussoul
  • TerraBladeTerraBlade Join Date: 2015-05-25 Member: 204886Members Posts: 179 Advanced user
    edited May 2015
    Sorry, somehow double posted. >.<
  • sharvysharvy North Carolina Join Date: 2015-04-28 Member: 203902Members Posts: 91 Fully active user
    It should be where you fight off water caused this and find the beacon for earth( signal to others) so that way you can stay on the planet.
  • aeroripperaeroripper Join Date: 2005-02-25 Member: 42471NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation Posts: 2,417 mod
  • ReefseekerReefseeker Finland Join Date: 2015-05-21 Member: 204740Members Posts: 110 Advanced user
    edited May 2015
    I suppose if there is to be an endgame, it may well be tied to what the purpose of the expedition was/is in the first place. At the moment all I know that the planet was supposed to be "terraformed" for colonization. Now this can mean a variety of things and suggest a variety of methods, but the main point of terraforming as I understand it, is to make the living conditions of a planet/moon similar to Earth. So what needs to be terraformed then? Assuming the planet does not have stable above-water continents then lowering the sea level might be one thing. Can't really think of anything else since the planet already has a breathable atmosphere and is crawling with life.

    If we assume the survivor wishes to complete the the terraforming project he will need either a massive amount of time, or off-planet help. The latter might produce a more interesting story, the former would produce nearly endless possibilities for a sandbox. Then again these two objectives are kinda hard to separate, since even if the survivor creates a nice and livable habitat for a human colony, he would still need to contact someone off-planet to come and live there. This is the endgame I see if everything went as mankind intended. As of now there are many many other directions for the story.

    However, the sandboxy nature of this game does not necessarily require an endgame in my opinion.
    It's one of the reasons for games like Skyrim, which is also a sandbox, I do everything BEFORE the main mission as doing anything after the big finale just feels bland and uninteresting. I do know that if Subnautica were to do anything where after you 'complete' the game you are plunked back into the ocean or just get a radio message saying you saved the day...it won't feel satisfying to me at least.

    I feel the same way. I lose interest in any sandbox game once the "main" story is done. So this poses a question: do we really want an endgame? Is it necessary for this game? What alternatives are there to an endgame?

    Every game has it's own lifetime, and it drives people to play it only for a certain time. What seems to drive most people around the oceans of Subnautica besides survival is curiosity; so maybe it would be possible to build on curiosity? Make it the thing that drives people to play this game? A person's curiosity is a strong trait, and i believe it has fueled many games in the past. Think about survival (instinct?) and curiosity. Are they not at the heart of being a human being? A game that could fuel and be fueled by these might be something extraordinary.

    I see a total endgame where the player has 'saved the day' as a thing that kills curiosity. This is why I hope the developers do not aspire to have a total endgame in their first "post early access" release. It might even be a winning strategy not to have and endgame at all. The story potential of the game now is in the many mysteries that have been left hanging: just like in a good TV series. Is the player the only survivor (or the only crew member to begin with?)? What was the mysterious thing that wrecked the Aurora? Is anyone coming to help ever? What lies in the deepest crevices of the ocean?

    So what alternatives are there for an endgame?
    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
    SalmonJEDlZ0mbieHD
  • TerraBladeTerraBlade Join Date: 2015-05-25 Member: 204886Members Posts: 179 Advanced user
    Fluffers wrote: »
    I just disagree @TerraBlade, I really fee strongly about there not being a conclusive end to the game. The game is centered around exploration, not the story or any RPG-esque attributes. There aren't stats, and there's not a very large amount of items or gear you can get to better yourself. There's the radiation suit, and several items that give you specific abilities, but beyond that there's not much else. It's not like Skyrim or Fallout or Terraria where there's a plethora of weapons and gear to get, and I really think that the game shouldn't be like that at all.

    Like I said, there can be an endgame, that's the overall point of all sandboxes. I see Subnautica as more like a Minecraft-style game. A true survival sandbox. You explore, survive dangerous creatures, build things that make your survival easier, and reach harder and harder parts of the game. Even in minecraft there's a "final boss", but that isn't the end of the game, because there is no conclusive end. That's what Subnautica needs to stay as, a survival/exploration sandbox all the way to the core.

    Zelda is considered an RPG but doesn't have stats or a large amount of items either. But each item allows Link to go to places he couldn't reach before, kinda like the rad suit or the reinforcements for the Cyclops. As for story, how much or how little won't change that the should be an endgoal.

    So you explore, survive, and build...what then? You are one person, and again in most survival stories rescue or return to civilization is the endgoal. Even if it is 'head to these coordinates to trigger the ending cutscene, survival situation, or whatever else' then you still have the option to continue as you are or end the game. But we have games that have no end, and we call them mmos. The multiplayer keeping players going, hopefully, until new content is released. Otherwise many just lose interest over time and quit playing. Since there is no multiplayer, and in my opinion shouldn't ever have it, then players need something to keep them going forward which should be a concrete and definitive goal. Even if we don't know what that goal is.

    How we reach that goal could change with each play through. Pieces, data, or whatever it is that would point us to that goal could change and move around. Thus keeping exploration fresher. But with a static map there will be a limit to how 'sandboxy' the game really can be.

    Again, why would having a concrete end be bad for the game's exploration?
  • sayerulzsayerulz oregon Join Date: 2015-04-15 Member: 203493Members Posts: 744 Advanced user
    I feel like a concrete end would be bad for the games survival/building aspects. One the one hand, if you just get to some goal and the game ends, then it's just "oh, you worked for hours on that huge base and all those resources? well, you may as well not have bothered, it's all gone and you only needed to get X-Y-Z to compete the game". If, on the other had, the game continues after some sort of cutscene, (which, from the theme of the game, would presumably end in you calling for help/being rescued) then you wonder "why am I still here alone, didn't I just get rescued? And adding NPC humans to the game would just be terrible, nothing would ruin the game more than making it about caring for and/or trading with some sort of villagers. And a problem with any kind of ending is that it actually discourages players from doing anything outside the objectives needed to reach the "endgame". "I don't need to explore that cave, the quest is to go here and collect this". It also MASSIVELY reduces replayability, because if story is the focus, then there is less incentive to play again if you already know what will happen. In something like minecraft, with no real set goals, you can keep making tons of world, and it wont get old anytime soon, because there is always something to explore or build (especially with mods, which I really hope will be in this game). Give people, freedom, and don't make the game end.
    FluffersSalmonJEDlPunkeroZ0mbieHD
  • conscioussoulconscioussoul Canada Join Date: 2015-05-17 Member: 204607Members, Subnautica Playtester Posts: 141 Advanced user
    Fluffers wrote: »
    I really fee strongly about there not being a conclusive end to the game. The game is centered around exploration, not the story or any RPG-esque attributes. There aren't stats, and there's not a very large amount of items or gear you can get to better yourself. There's the radiation suit, and several items that give you specific abilities, but beyond that there's not much else.

    Hopefully this is only the start, since the game is in early access and is far from finished.
    As it stands right now, you are correct that there isn't a very large amount of items or gear, and the net result is (no offense) that the game becomes boring about 40 hours down the play, when you have had your sub, acquired or crafted all the possible gear, and explored most of the (fairly small) map.
    Then what?
    Fluffers wrote: »
    I see Subnautica as more like a Minecraft-style game. A true survival sandbox. You explore, survive dangerous creatures, build things that make your survival easier, and reach harder and harder parts of the game.
    Okay. So say you have done all that after a certain amount of hours of play. Then what, do you just stop playing because you get bored and switch to another game? If this is how the game is doomed to end, it's quite sad. Why not just let the story build and bring you somewhere thrilling? Nothing prevents you from delaying the story as long as you want, or not completing specific event leading you to the ending; you could also let the game run in free mode after the ending. But no ending at all? That's crap, IMO.
    Fluffers wrote: »
    Even in minecraft there's a "final boss", but that isn't the end of the game, because there is no conclusive end. That's what Subnautica needs to stay as, a survival/exploration sandbox all the way to the core.
    I think THIS is the very reason why many sandox FAIL in the end. They are interesting while the novelty of discovery is present, but as soon as you start to get accustomed to the lay of the land, it gets boring because there is no story, nothing DRIVING you.

    A sandbox only means that the game lets you do whatever you want in the order you want.
    It certainly does not mean it has no story or no ending - or better yet, multiple possible endings.
    I for one REALLY HOPE subnautica becomes story driven. Best sandbox ever created was Star control II and it was BOTH a sandbox, and story driven.
  • conscioussoulconscioussoul Canada Join Date: 2015-05-17 Member: 204607Members, Subnautica Playtester Posts: 141 Advanced user
    Reefseeker wrote: »
    I lose interest in any sandbox game once the "main" story is done. So this poses a question: do we really want an endgame? Is it necessary for this game? What alternatives are there to an endgame?

    Wait.
    Are you saying you would NOT lose interest if there were NO main story at all?
    I have a hard time believing that...

    I think what happens is the main story of course gives an ADDITIONAL drive and motivation to move forward.
    Whatever you could do without the story, you can still do with the main story.

    IMO the real problem is when the main story is too linear
    That's a bad sandbox mistake: making a linear story in a sandbox basically tells the player: "Do whatever you want in whatever order you want, but the only way to move forward is to go THIS way." Not fun.
    But a REAL story-driven sandbox is WAY more interesting. Events are planned at specific times (meteor strike, alien invasion, whatever). Other events are triggered by specific milestone; For instance discovering the sentient race might start a cascading of specific events timed over a certain amount of in-game time in the future after this encounter. You can take as long as you want to explore, but when you meet that condition, WHAM, the story advances. These events may totally be different depending on which are triggered, what part you discovered, etc.
    The "main" event is a combination of specific milestones you need to meet, and it can lead you down several different path toward different endings.
    THAT'S how a really good story-driven sandbox should be designed.
    Reefseeker wrote: »
    Every game has it's own lifetime, and it drives people to play it only for a certain time. What seems to drive most people around the oceans of Subnautica besides survival is curiosity; so maybe it would be possible to build on curiosity?
    Unfortunately, even with procedurally generated seamap and an infinite map, you'd still end up at some point seeing all the creatures, and being equipped with the top gear. There is no way around that, IMO.
    Only the story allows for a deeper experience; the more interdependant events, the more complex the chain of possible events, the richer your exploration and satisfaction and the longer you can play without being bored. And then at the end you MUST end the game, so that it doesn't end with just a bored player quitting and moving on to a different game.

    As for replayability: if the story is made of different dynamic path along several different events, you can truly have a totally different experience (and story! and ending!) the next time you play.
    You can also decide to play with higher difficulty settings: hardcore, darker shaders forcing you to use flashlights and flares everywhere, less forgiving decompression mechanisms etc.
    Reefseeker wrote: »
    I see a total endgame where the player has 'saved the day' as a thing that kills curiosity.
    Curiosity as its limits, reefseeker.
    What needs to happen for the optimal game is an endgame that is calculated to happen when your curiosity is getting satisfied.

    Reefseeker wrote: »
    This is why I hope the developers do not aspire to have a total endgame in their first "post early access" release.
    It could also be because the story is the HARDEST part of game making, and it depends heavily on the available game mechanics. It make sens to first develop the basic game mechanics.

    Reefseeker wrote: »
    It might even be a winning strategy not to have and endgame at all.
    I cannot disagree more strongly.
    No endgame at all is not a winning strategy, it's one way to make sure the game will be quickly forgetten once you get bored with it.
    Nobody who ever played star control II can ever forget that master piece.
    Punkero
  • FluffersFluffers United States Join Date: 2015-05-22 Member: 204749Members Posts: 188 Advanced user
    edited May 2015
    TerraBlade wrote: »
    Again, why would having a concrete end be bad for the game's exploration?

    Well, it wouldn't really be bad for exploration, it'd be bad for the survival and building aspect, like @sayerulz said. The devs have already created moonpools and glass corridors, and are working on generic corridors that open a world of endless base possibilities, and that's when the building and sandbox aspect of the game will really become apparent.

    And actually, Skyrim and other games like it aren't sandbox games, they're open world games, which is a big difference. It's unfair to compare Subnautica to games of a different genre and gameplay design the way you did, because they're just nothing alike. Skyrim centers a lot around combat, you use combat to kill enemies, gain more currency, and unlock new loot, and that would absolutely kill Subnautica, so for the sake of discussion it's best to not compare the two. It's much more fair to compare Subnautica to a game like Minecraft, because they're extremely similar in game design. There's a massive, unexplored world, you have to eat and protect yourself to survive, you can build structures and vehicles that help you get around, and while there are things you can kill, combat isn't the focus of the game, but rather an option that you can take to remove of an immediate threat or to gain a specific resource.
    I think THIS is the very reason why many sandox FAIL in the end. They are interesting while the novelty of discovery is present, but as soon as you start to get accustomed to the lay of the land, it gets boring because there is no story, nothing DRIVING you.

    I highly disagree with this, particularly because sandbox games have always done extremely well, and the people who play them (like me) have gotten hundreds, if not thousands of hours of enjoyment out of them.
    A sandbox only means that the game lets you do whatever you want in the order you want.

    This is where a lot of people get confused, that is not what a sandbox game is, what you just explained is an open world game. A sandbox game is a game that lets you be the creator of your own destiny, and revolves around creativity with building and molding the world.

    Skyrim is an open world game, Assassins creed is an open world game. Minecraft is a sandbox, Terraria is a sandbox, and I really do think Subnautica should stay on its current course of being a sandbox. NOT an open world RPG with an ending.
    Are you saying you would NOT lose interest if there were NO main story at all?

    I wouldn't. There are plenty of people who don't like playing games for the story. It's the same reason I don't like reading fiction, and why I don't like watching movies; I don't like hearing other people's stories. They bore me, and I just don't care, I'd MUCH rather create my own story, and sandbox games let me do that. Subnautica would be one of the first sandboxes that I can think of that is both 3d and uses normal graphics (other than garry's mod), and the fact that it has no story lets me create my own story WHILE I play the game. The less story a game has, the more you can fill in with your own creative juices, and I have a LOT of creative juices.

    And, I honestly mean this in a non-offensive way, I really don't want to come off as rude, but from looking at some of your other posts, I really don't think you know what sandbox means. Open world games are ones in which you do whatever you want when you want, but they have a story and lore and quests/missions, sandboxes are games are the exact same thing, except they have no story at all, and they center around creating things. Think about what a sandbox is in real life, it's a box of sand in which you use tools (toys) to build things and create your own little story. A sandbox game is exactly that, it places you somewhere, gives you a terrain, and the tools to mold that terrain into whatever you want, and collect resources to build things.

    That's exactly what Subnautica is, that's what the devs identify it as, and I hope that's how it stays. There can be progression, there can be missions, and there can be an endgame, but I'd really hate for there to be a conclusive end. It would completely DESTROY the point of spending hours on building big impressive seabases and other things like that, in the end it wouldn't matter how you made your seabase, what you did and how you did it, any of that, it would all be over.
    Reefseeker wrote: »
    It might even be a winning strategy not to have and endgame at all.
    I cannot disagree more strongly.
    No endgame at all is not a winning strategy, it's one way to make sure the game will be quickly forgetten once you get bored with it.

    The millions of people who have played and still play minecraft disagree =P
    SalmonJEDlFogerist
  • SalmonJEDlSalmonJEDl Finland Join Date: 2015-05-14 Member: 204465Members Posts: 163 Advanced user
    I mostly agree with @Fluffers . I actually love good storylines in games, but SN should remain a sandbox all the way. As said before, having definite goals will distract players from creating and exploring, so it would be bad for this kind of game. Conclusive ending would mean lower replay value, since there's not much reason to play after the game is completed. There shouldn't be strict objectives in the game, but there could be some story elements to discover, which would make you reach a 'half-ending'. For example, you could finally get contact with the rest of humanity, and they'll decide to send some other terraformers/scholar to the planet. That would also explain multiplayer. No one is actually coming just to rescue you, so you have still a reason to remain there (to continue researching / terraforming mission of Aurora). This type of ending wouldn't conclude the story, but instead give more reasons to stay. It's more like a milestone you can reach, but are not required to do so at all.
    And please, don't try to compare Subnautica to all those games of different genre, style and gameplay. That's not a valid argument. Even comparing this to Minecraft is little problematic. And why should SN be influenced by decisions made for other games?
    PS. I'm not sure at all if that exact ending I suggested would work, but you get the idea, right? :)
    Reefseeker
  • ReefseekerReefseeker Finland Join Date: 2015-05-21 Member: 204740Members Posts: 110 Advanced user
    edited May 2015
    Wait.
    Are you saying you would NOT lose interest if there were NO main story at all?
    I have a hard time believing that...

    No not really, but I may have accidentally mislead you to think so ;) What I mean is that main story may very well be a good element in a sandbox, but completing that story should never undermine the player's reason to exist. So it's really an endgame that bugs me. Otherwise main stories in sandbox games are well and good, like you said: "main story of course gives an ADDITIONAL drive and motivation to move forward"
    What needs to happen for the optimal game is an endgame that is calculated to happen when your curiosity is getting satisfied.

    Yes I agree, this is a trait of a good game. In sandbox games however curiosity and creativity are things that can at best carry the gaming experience past and beyond a storyline. I'm not saying that a main story shouldn't exist. A story is always needed to address the questions about existence; why am I here and what I'm supposed to do with all this time and space.

    I think Subnautica already shows promising interaction between a thrilling main storyline and sandbox experience. But even this does not mean the storyline must come to a definite end. I tend to agree much with @SalmonJEDl on the role of a main story. Reaching a "half end" is an interesting notion, and leaves room for future game expansions and perhaps even community content.
    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
    SalmonJEDl
  • TerraBladeTerraBlade Join Date: 2015-05-25 Member: 204886Members Posts: 179 Advanced user
    edited May 2015
    Fluffers wrote: »
    TerraBlade wrote: »
    Again, why would having a concrete end be bad for the game's exploration?

    Well, it wouldn't really be bad for exploration, it'd be bad for the survival and building aspect, like @sayerulz said. The devs have already created moonpools and glass corridors, and are working on generic corridors that open a world of endless base possibilities, and that's when the building and sandbox aspect of the game will really become apparent.
    That isn't a reason to discard having an ending. It doesn't even begin to explain why having an ending would be bad.
    Fluffers wrote: »
    And actually, Skyrim and other games like it aren't sandbox games, they're open world games, which is a big difference. It's unfair to compare Subnautica to games of a different genre and gameplay design the way you did, because they're just nothing alike. Skyrim centers a lot around combat, you use combat to kill enemies, gain more currency, and unlock new loot, and that would absolutely kill Subnautica, so for the sake of discussion it's best to not compare the two. It's much more fair to compare Subnautica to a game like Minecraft, because they're extremely similar in game design. There's a massive, unexplored world, you have to eat and protect yourself to survive, you can build structures and vehicles that help you get around, and while there are things you can kill, combat isn't the focus of the game, but rather an option that you can take to remove of an immediate threat or to gain a specific resource.
    It isn't unfair because nothing will ever be a one to one comparison unless you are arguing clone games. Yes skyrim has more combat, but the core elements of the game is building your story and doing things as you wish when you wish to. It is the same as Subnautica, which makes it an open world game. You can even build a house as you like in Skyrim so yes they can compare.

    Now as for 'sandbox' vs 'open world' you have to realize that there isn't a concrete definition for either and are often interchangeably used by players, devs, reviewers, and marketers. Now if your definition of a sandbox is where the world is different every time you play ala Minecraft...then Subnautica doesn't fit that definition because it's map is static and by statements of the developers will continue to be static. Now that doesn't mean you won't get the experience of exploration, I did for many other games...but eventually you will learn the map and the charm of exploration fades. That doesn't mean there isn't anything to combat that feeling, and having objectives or items of importance being shuffled in location would be an easy trick to prolong the experience of exploration. But the end result will be you WILL learn the map. That right there is what removes, by your definition, the aspect of Subnautica being a sandbox and makes it more like a playground. Even if they add proceduaral content to the edges of the map, I would be willing to put hard money down you will know EXACTLY where the built stuff ended and the procedural began.

    Definitions vary from person to person as to how you define something. Look at steam and how people tag games, and then ask if you really agree with some of the tags given. For instance on steam Skyrim has the user tag of 'dark fantasy' to which I would object, as I certainly would not classify it as such. Subnautica hasn't ever come across as a sandbox, but a game that has a more organic 'metroidvania' feel in how you slowly unlock more areas to explore as you work towards a goal.

    How goals are handled and what you are looking for depends a lot on how much handholding the objectives feel like. If for instance you are told to go to coordinates X,Y,Z to pick something up...yeah the exploration aspect will be affected. But if you are told that there is a signal that you have to play marco-polo with to find then it would preserve the exploration aspect a little better. So again, HOW you handle the objectives will determine how much if any exploration must suffer.
    Fluffers wrote: »
    The millions of people who have played and still play minecraft disagree =P

    That again is misleading since how many are only playing vanilla Mincreaft with no mods and how many are playing modded versions? Modding a game is effectivly adding new content, which once gobbled up many players will drift away again. I have minecraft too, and it has been over a year since I last fired it up.
    conscioussoul
  • DchicoteDchicote Germany Join Date: 2015-05-26 Member: 204901Members Posts: 215 Advanced user
    We will find a mermaid and make some babys, so we create a new generation .... population
    Machine:
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    OS X 10.11.16, Boot Camp Win10
    Playing Subnautica Mac Experimental
    http://www.subnautica.keepfree.de/

  • conscioussoulconscioussoul Canada Join Date: 2015-05-17 Member: 204607Members, Subnautica Playtester Posts: 141 Advanced user
    One more argument: minecraft, spaceengineers and terraria are true sabdox as per the definition above because they use voxels. So your own imagination is indeed the only limit. Spaceengineers is even creating ways for players to program in game scenario, which moves the story element into the hand of the player.

    Subnautica, as per this definition, is then an open workd, but is NOT a sandbox. It does not have voxel based construction. Although you can terraform sand and rocks, and hopefully plant flora, your base is still made up of very big already made components, with always the same look. Bases and transports are, at best, modular. You can't build your own sub out of blocks.

    This is why you WILL get bored eventually, if there isn't a story behind it...
  • TerraBladeTerraBlade Join Date: 2015-05-25 Member: 204886Members Posts: 179 Advanced user
    SalmonJEDl wrote: »
    I mostly agree with @Fluffers . I actually love good storylines in games, but SN should remain a sandbox all the way. As said before, having definite goals will distract players from creating and exploring, so it would be bad for this kind of game. Conclusive ending would mean lower replay value, since there's not much reason to play after the game is completed. There shouldn't be strict objectives in the game, but there could be some story elements to discover, which would make you reach a 'half-ending'. For example, you could finally get contact with the rest of humanity, and they'll decide to send some other terraformers/scholar to the planet. That would also explain multiplayer. No one is actually coming just to rescue you, so you have still a reason to remain there (to continue researching / terraforming mission of Aurora). This type of ending wouldn't conclude the story, but instead give more reasons to stay. It's more like a milestone you can reach, but are not required to do so at all.
    And please, don't try to compare Subnautica to all those games of different genre, style and gameplay. That's not a valid argument. Even comparing this to Minecraft is little problematic. And why should SN be influenced by decisions made for other games?
    PS. I'm not sure at all if that exact ending I suggested would work, but you get the idea, right? :)

    The problem with doing a 'half ending' is that you run the huge and very likely risk of having it being taken as a 'half assed ending'. Because either you put in a worthy story that will then have an unsatisfying conclusion, or the story is an obvious excuse and would then reek of laziness. I would be more sympathetic to the idea if you had some games which managed to do this, and do it well mind you. Pointing to Minecraft is an example of laziness in my book, not on your part but of the developers, because not only does the ending feel out of place but it doesn't make any sense. It's one of those 'we need to end this somehow...ah lets just throw something on screen as an ending' kind of deals.

    No ending Is a great page full of what bad endings can take the form of, and links to examples of what even WORSE endings can look like. Story should either be done all the way or not at all, and so far it seems that Unknown Worlds does want to tell a story.
    conscioussoul
  • sayerulzsayerulz oregon Join Date: 2015-04-15 Member: 203493Members Posts: 744 Advanced user
    I think it is interesting that you mentioned minecraft as being an example of a badly done ending, when it is the most sucesful PC game ever. So why would subnautica need an ending? Make the exploration, crafting, construction, and survival good enough, and players will not even think about an ending.
  • raven2010raven2010 USA Join Date: 2015-05-28 Member: 204980Members Posts: 43 Fully active user
    edited May 2015
    I'm sorry but the end game is very clear. fix your ship... your vessel is indeed having a bad day. but the drive systems and core some to be ok. It makes sense to rebuild the aurora. This would be a good end game considering how large the ship is, and amount of materials and crafting needed for reconstruction. unlocking new technologies and even allowing you to customize some aspects of your ship. say aquariums for creatures to return to earth because...science, even a sub bay. and what ever else the devs would like. it's pretty simple first you need to rise the aurora out of the water with scaffolding but keep the belly of the ship in water for the sub bays. with scaffolding resource heavy. then the player can start to rebuild the aurora part by part. make resources deep water difficult or unique challenges to get whatever resources needed. devs can have fun with this one. shell of the aurora first then inside customization for the players. in the meantime more impressive structural bases can be designed to hang off the scaffolding or under water bases. when you manage to restore power and computer systems to the aurora. the ships AI can inform you of it detects energy signature blah blah blah Mr. freeman. the energy signature matches what damaged the aurora upon entry. giving the player incentive to explore. to find, destroy or disable whatever leave this up to the devs haha do all of that fun and if the players wants to engage drive systems and get off planet. Endgame roll credits.. fin. and this can open up for a 2nd game. idk maybe you suck at fixing starships and you warp not home but to a different solar system in a different environment.
    TerraBlade
  • raven2010raven2010 USA Join Date: 2015-05-28 Member: 204980Members Posts: 43 Fully active user
    what shoot at the Auroras big butt and layed her down idk big sea critter that shoots lighting from its butt idk by adding ruins into the game you basically set yourself up for some kind of past civilization. so big lazer... I know its sucks but its better then finding a island and a half buried Statue of liberty with a monkey face. some art designers are going to be needed for this
  • TherunebladeTheruneblade Ostend Join Date: 2015-05-24 Member: 204849Members Posts: 1
    I would suggest multiple endings like being able to go to the aurora and get technology to build a ship to go home or if other survivers would be implemented the possibility to make a colony on the planet
  • TerraBladeTerraBlade Join Date: 2015-05-25 Member: 204886Members Posts: 179 Advanced user
    edited May 2015
    sayerulz wrote: »
    I think it is interesting that you mentioned minecraft as being an example of a badly done ending, when it is the most sucesful PC game ever. So why would subnautica need an ending? Make the exploration, crafting, construction, and survival good enough, and players will not even think about an ending.

    Just because a game has sold a lot of copies does not mean that it has a good ending and there really isn't any correlation to make that kind of point. Especially since Minecraft didn't even put in that blurb of an 'ending' until multiple builds in, and before the survival genre as it is these days really even took off as a thing. But the very reason the dragon is in Minecraft at all is the same reason I feel there should be an ending, and that is players wanted a goal to work towards. The fact that they are, somehow, going to create 'Minecraft adventures' with Telltale games (of Walking Dead fame) to produce a narrative background for Minecraft...apparently that outcry is still rather loud.
    I would suggest multiple endings like being able to go to the aurora and get technology to build a ship to go home or if other survivers would be implemented the possibility to make a colony on the planet

    That would be pretty neat if they could pull it off. I found it rather creepy that in the whole Aurora no life signs were found, or even bodies when you get there (yes I know early development). So the possibility there are survivors, somewhere in some shape, could be interesting.
    conscioussoul
  • reaperLeviathenfoodreaperLeviathenfood florida Join Date: 2015-05-19 Member: 204681Members Posts: 34 Fully active user
    When I read the explanation I immediately had a similar thought as Raven2010- that being that the Aroura could be a main focus (at least to a point). We already go to it to fix the radiation, if we progressively need deeper resources for more repairs it would give reasons to explore more. maybe heat suits for parts of the ship that are an inferno, saws for doors special conductive materials for different pieces. We could also find a myriad of blueprints in it for our own ships. But being the size of the ship we would need like 10 of any metals for a single repair forcing us to search out resources in other biomes making us explore, finally fix communications and they cant do anything anyways without finding out what cause this ship to go down because otherwise they'd die coming close as well. Then at that point we could look for scattered data capsules which may pules like a beacon when you get within maybe 30M of them (also for exploration purposes) and after you get so many you can pinpoint the cause/ w/e. Also at some point to add intensity I think the Arora should slide off the mountains and fall deeper underwater so then u have to be terrified of reapers cause they can destroy your cyclops under 100M. Then sure at some point when your communicating with other humans via satellite or w/e, you can either tell them yes its habitable and send more ppl or no don't bother coming over here because too many dangerous creatures. That could give different ending based on responses to the 'mothership' over the course of the game with the ending happening before more ppl actually arrive but with them 'on the way (takes years for the travel maybe?)' or 'never coming' the materials for repairing the ship as well as data capsules would make you need to explore and go deeper, while giving some sort of finish to your mission of coming in the first place. Im sure some pieces would be beyond fixing and need to be replaced completely, also after you've successfully completed the story mode *maybe* depending on how hard ppl want it, at that point u could find sleeper cells with living humans (last thing fixed) and thus multiplayer for the aftergame to show off cool bases.
    Maybe? lol thanks for reading, thought this might keep it open world-ish with exploring being a necessity because beacons only show up when your close, as well as multiple endings possibilities for those who asked (maybe one where they outright destroy the planet? cause lol... and then the (hopeful) feeling of contentedness for the guy who started this.
    Also apologies im getting ready to go out for dinner so I didn't proof read either
  • TerraBladeTerraBlade Join Date: 2015-05-25 Member: 204886Members Posts: 179 Advanced user
    edited May 2015
    raven2010 wrote: »
    what shoot at the Auroras big butt and layed her down idk big sea critter that shoots lighting from its butt idk by adding ruins into the game you basically set yourself up for some kind of past civilization. so big lazer... I know its sucks but its better then finding a island and a half buried Statue of liberty with a monkey face. some art designers are going to be needed for this

    What I mean by 'not a big laser cannon' is I don't want to just swim to a pointand find the cannon just to basically pull the plug, set the bomb, or do whatever simple one step task to take it out. IF it is a cannon I want it to be at the center of an ancient structure that needs planning, tools, and maybe even some puzzle solving to get to. Basically, if this is the 'big boss' of the game I want it to be the ultimate in dives, or even requiring multiple dives/steps, to complete. Preferably with multiple ways to make it through the structure short of outright blowing it up.

    Personally I feel the game demands some ancient structures (ever dived around man made structures? It's surreal) but not everyone agrees. But I don't want the cannon, or whatever, to come out of left field completely. That was all I meant by my statement.
  • sayerulzsayerulz oregon Join Date: 2015-04-15 Member: 203493Members Posts: 744 Advanced user
    You still have yet to adress the issue that having an ending will totally undo all the work that a player has put into bases and construction. Not only that, but while people have mentioned that you could encourage exploration by putting things you need in a certain area, I don't think that that is the best way to get players to explore. Not only would making it so that you need certain resources to advance to the next step in repairing the Aurora or whatever just encourage players to go to areas in a certain order, get what they need, then leave, but it would also feel like it would take away from the players freedom, which is ultimately the point of a sanbox game: to let players make their own story.
    SalmonJEDl
  • TerraBladeTerraBlade Join Date: 2015-05-25 Member: 204886Members Posts: 179 Advanced user
    edited May 2015
    sayerulz wrote: »
    You still have yet to adress the issue that having an ending will totally undo all the work that a player has put into bases and construction. Not only that, but while people have mentioned that you could encourage exploration by putting things you need in a certain area, I don't think that that is the best way to get players to explore. Not only would making it so that you need certain resources to advance to the next step in repairing the Aurora or whatever just encourage players to go to areas in a certain order, get what they need, then leave, but it would also feel like it would take away from the players freedom, which is ultimately the point of a sanbox game: to let players make their own story.

    Having to restart isn't always a bad thing. People build magnificant sand castles on the beach knowing that the tide and wind will eventually erase their work. This allows you to rebuild and maybe do things differently. Even if there were no ending, you still would probably get the urge to do something new with your base or build a new one somewhere else; and since it is at this point single player...who are you going to show off the base to outside of screenshots?

    As for exploration, there are many many ways to keep things fresh. Maybe in this game the part you need is in the lava zone to complete task A and maybe it's in the Aurora itself on the subsequent playthrough. As it is, you already need to go to certain zones to get what you need. I have to go to the stalkers to get teeth and to the mushroom forest to get lithium to build a Cyclops. I also know that if there is a greater chance of getting gold somewhere, then the best bet is to go to that biome to get it. How is that any different then what you are arguing against?

    There is also probability that can be added. In the original Payday: The Heist there was a heist that if you remain undetected to bypass security you could open the vault and get to the goods. Trick was, remaining undetected was difficult, and even if you did you had the chance of the code you were given failing to open the vault. So then you had to track down the manager, and even then if by the whims of the RNG that failed to get you the code you then had to find the owner's son to get the code all before you got into the vault. Let alone surviving long enough to get the loot and then escape.

    Translated to Subnautica, maybe you need to go to an area to check out a signal. Maybe it's a 50/50 chance there is something there, if not you might have to search other areas of the sea without a guiding signal. Then you need to recover it and plug it in, and maybe it's a 50/50 it will work. Now it's shorted out, so you need to scrounge up the resources to make a new one. All of this does promote exploration and finding resources, because you don't know what will become useful or not. This being all before the normal gear you will presumably want to build, upgrade, and use. Even then before the possibility to have multiple ways to reach the same objective, or that each objective must be done in order if at all.
    conscioussoul
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