Tuesday, October 11, 2005

SAND. All I want is sand.

Here's something that I promise to do with Vyde if and when I ever finish it:

I promise, here, with God as my witness, that I will make a sandbox mode available from the time you install the game to the time you decide to stop playing it. I will not, under any circumstances, make sandbox mode an unlockable.

Peter Molyneux, I have a bone to pick with you. After offering a sandbox mode in Black & White, you for some reason chose to make sandbox mode in Black & White 2 a condition of beating the game. This is a bad thing, considering the emphasis Black & White 2 places on real-time strategy, which happens to be my least-favorite genre of all time.

I am a man who likes his sandboxes. I treat a sandbox game like I treat a good drink: it is something you enjoy on your own terms. I do not want to have to enter a combination to get into my fridge. I do not want to have to jump over a hurdle or burn a certain number of calories in order to be granted access to what I want, when I want it.

I am a man who likes his sandboxes. I can play in a sandbox game and appreciate it for what it is. I can eye it with the same candor and objectivism that I would eye a piece of art.

I am a man who likes his sandboxes. Though I don't own one, I can appreciate people who own an aquarium. And though I don't own one, the video game whose development I'm chronicling here is inspired by, and is a tribute to those who own, ant farms.

I am a man who likes his sandboxes. I am the type of person that buys a game sight unseen, reviews be damned, simply because its precessor offered an interesting sandbox.

And for that last reason alone, you should make sandbox mode available from the start.

I really don't like RTS games, though admittedly the first 3 lands of B&W2 have been easy to win with a building strategy.


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