Player direction in Survival Sandbox Games

  • Hello. I have been thinking about making a survival x sandbox game for a while now (terraria, minecraft like). I am pretty much ready to get started but I feel like I kind of have a big problem. My problem is player progression and direction in this type of game. I feel like somebody coming into one of these games for the first time might be overwhelmed and I think that is the biggest problem with this genre. I don't want players to have to have somebody else teach them the game or learn from a playthrough. Anybody should be able to get right into the action. At the same time I feel like I don't want to give to much direction and let the player choose their own path. I don't like Stardew Valley. I am aware that people might not agree with that but I feel like that has the same problem but it does try to fix it with the whole to-do list in the top right corner. I still feel like the game is not that fun because of it and I feel like the game is more fun if you know a lot about it. I would rather just learn the game instead of the game showing me. So my question is pretty simple. Is there a way to make a survival x sandbox game that simultaneously gives the player a lot of freedom and lets them learn how to progress the game at the same time.

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  • I've not played the game you mentioned but a to do list sounds good, you give the player little quests and by doing them they learn about the game. The only other way I can think of is to guide them to do things through level progression and disguise the fact that it is a tutorial, but again this is the same thing of giving them something to do to get used to the game. It's just about intuitive design right and they learn by doing without it seeming forced.

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