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Sandbox games - an IFDB Poll

by JonathanCR
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There are two competing philosophies in game design (in games in general, not just text games). One is the story: tell a story in which the player is the protagonist. Games of this kind have strong plotting but they can often seem to force the player down pre-set rails. Japanese role-playing games typically follow this route. The alternative philosophy is the world simulation: don't tell a story at all, but simulate a world in as much detail as possible and let the player do what she likes within that world. Elite is probably the archetype of this kind of "sandbox" game, which give the player freedom, but lack structure. Most games fall somewhere between these extremes. "Interactive fiction" by its nature seems predisposed to the first of these philosophies. Typically, the player is expected to perform a series of actions which move a story along (perhaps by solving a series of puzzles or moving between a series of scenes), and the better written the game, the more unobtrusive the railroading. But I'm interested in games which take the opposite approach - which try to simulate a world (large or small) in as much detail as possible, and allow the player to do what she likes within that world. Such games will probably have few, if any, puzzles, but will engage the player through the depth and richness of the simulation itself - perhaps to such an extent that the player can tell her own story within that world. Are there any text-based games that have successfully done this?

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I-0, by Anonymous
2 votes
"You're faced with..." [+]... (No comment) [+]...

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Transparent, by Hanon Ondricek
1 vote
(No comment) [+]...

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Metamorphoses, by Emily Short
1 vote
"SOOOO much to explore and play with. At least two ways to solve any puzzle." [+]...

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Icepunk, by pageboy
1 vote
"There is a plot,..." [+]...

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Galatea, by Emily Short
1 vote
(No comment) [+]...

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Aunt Nancy's House, by Nate Schwartzman
1 vote
"No story here;..." [+]...

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Westfront PC: The Trials of Guilder, by Paul Allen Panks
1 vote
"Wander as ye will." [+]...

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