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Gamli

Names for Certain Gaming Concepts

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Gamli    100
Hi all,

I'm a new guy to these forums and I thought I'd start-off with a really basic quandary. What do you call some of these gaming concepts? is there an (un)official name for these?
[list=1][*]With respect to Dwarf Fortress / Minecraft, the act of digging out ground anywhere and building anything out of the mined stuff. This "Lego sandbox" paradigm.[*]Orchestrating gigantic and complex traps or even simulating computer logic using traps and triggers. This is present in DF, Minecraft and Evil Genius.[*]Outdoor worlds with destructible terrain where fragments and spall dynamically interact with gameplay.[*]Outdoor worlds where fluids dynamically affect the world even sometimes in a non-transient manner (flowing sand, flowing water, lava, smoke, steam, cellular automata).[*]Manipulating your outdoor environment on a massive scale such as alteration of the atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere. Your basic Sim Earth paradigm.[/list]

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jbadams    25713
As far as I'm aware there aren't universally accepted terms for those, and there's also quite a bit of overlap between the concepts.

[quote][color=#1C2837][size=2]With respect to Dwarf Fortress / Minecraft, the act of digging out ground anywhere and building anything out of the mined stuff. This "Lego sandbox" paradigm[/quote][/size][/color]
I think everyone would agree that these are "sandbox" games -- but that alone isn't a unique descriptor that would allow them to be identified -- Grand Theft Auto is also often touted as a sandbox style game, but is very different from Dwarf Fortress or MineCraft. I've not played Minecraft, but I would also strongly identify Dwarf Fortress as a "simulation", if what I've heard is correct I believe both Dwarf Fortress and Minecraft could be described as "exploration" games.

[quote][color=#1C2837][size=2]Orchestrating gigantic and complex traps or even simulating computer logic using traps and triggers. This is present in DF, Minecraft and Evil Genius.[/size][/color][/quote]
You'' also find these mechanics is puzzle games such as [url="http://fantasticcontraption.com/"]Fantastic Contraption[/url]. Depending on the specifics of the game in question I've often seen this type of gameplay labelled as "physics puzzle", "logic puzzle" or "trap-builder".


The remaining 3 all strike me as "simulation".

I don't know how useful that might or might not be, but that's the first terms that come to mind when I try to describe those.

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Gamli    100
Yeah as I thought there isn't a lot of clarity on these emerging elements yet. Would like to continue this discussion.[list=1][*]Most of the feedback I get agrees this is a [b]sandbox[/b] game, but as jbadams says it is a vague term. Sandbox seems to imply an isolated and contained environment with no outside influences, whereas I notice a paradigm emerging from the combination of those same sandbox elements in a limitless realistic outdoor world, destructible, permanently alterable, and having opponents with [i]home bases[/i] that scale with yours.[*]Trap-builder seems to fit from my angle, a Goldberg machine is an example of this concept.[*]Terrain-simulation?[*]This one is unique in that it interacts with all 4 other elements, for example (in order): heating, lava-traps, digging into a volcano, volcanic exhaust[*]God game seems to fit, reminds me of Populous II.[/list]
If you were to come-up with some term to describe a game espousing at least the first four (maybe fifth) elements, what would you call it?
I came up with Spatially Unrestricted Sandbox Environment, but I think SUSE is trademarked, lol, so that's one fail so far.

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Wavinator    2017
You might find <A HREF="http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3357/formal_abstract_design_tools.php?page=1">this link</A> useful from an article written many years ago. It talks about the need for a common language similar to what the movie industry has.

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