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A certain perplexing belief about sandboxes pervades the blog comments, forums, and general chats of MMOs: All MMO sandboxes are free-for-all PvP games. If it doesn't have free-for-all PvP, it's by definition not a sandbox because sandboxes let the players make all the rules and decisions. Free-fo...

August 8th 2014 at 12:00pm 0 Comments
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Excited about Albion Online? Ambivalent about Albion Online? Never heard of Albion Online before this very moment whilst being extremely tired of this narrative device? Whichever category describes you, you can click on past the break to get a look at a new trailer for the game, showing just wha...

August 7th 2014 at 7:00pm 0 Comments
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Games like DayZ and Rust have become a whole genre unto themselves: open-world survival sandboxes that quickly turn into simulations of human cruelty. But why is that, exactly? Why do people in a sandbox devote so much of their energy to tearing one another down with such vigor? A recent article on...

May 28th 2014 at 1:30pm 0 Comments
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Shawn and I have had several conversations about the conundrum present in Fallen Earth. Namely, that the first part of the game is really exciting because you get that cool feeling of scrounging for survival and clawing your way out of the wasteland -- but then this turns into a different game whe...

February 19th 2014 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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It's the final countdown for TUG, with less than a week to go and about $50,000 more needed as of this writing. The development team has penned a penultimate Kickstarter update for fans and would-be fans, compiling several updates and news posts for everyone to read. It covers the care and developm...

May 25th 2013 at 5:00pm 0 Comments
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You've probably heard of the paradox of choice, the idea that the human brain can't really process more than a dozen or so choices at a time under certain circumstances. We get overwhelmed by too many choices, and sometimes we withdraw from choosing altogether. It's not always true -- Ben and Jerry...

May 3rd 2013 at 8:00am 0 Comments
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What's the Storybricks team been up to lately? Oh, nothing much. A few tweaks here, an idea or two there, and a whole lot of vacationing in Norrath. What's that, you say? It turns out that Namaste Entertainment has been teaming up with SOE to work on EverQuest Next, of all things. "After several...

April 23rd 2013 at 10:30pm 0 Comments
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Camelot Unchained continues its foundational principles series of dev blogs with entry number 11, in which Mark Jacobs talks about what exactly constitutes a sandbox game and the philosophy behind the sandbox elements in Camelot Unchained. He starts off with a clarification that "CU is not a true...

March 13th 2013 at 5:00pm 0 Comments
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During a recent conversation with my fellow Some Assembly Required columnist, it became apparent that we had slightly differing opinions on the definition of player-generated content. We both agreed that it was content generated by players (obviously), but when it came to the type of content, our o...

January 4th 2013 at 12:00pm 0 Comments
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In much of the MMORPG world, NPCs are nothing more than quest-filled Pez dispensers, human vending machines doling out the standard kill-10-rats chore to each and every player who roams by. They are lifeless tools at best and forgettable backdrops at worst. But the folks working on Storybricks be...

December 27th 2012 at 2:00pm 0 Comments
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For those of you hiding out from family or working your brains instead of your stomachs on this sacred holiday on which we celebrate food or something, this edition of Ask Massively will mop up a few little questions and demands made in the comment section recently. We're addressing a potential s...

November 22nd 2012 at 4:00pm 0 Comments