Thoughts on the impact of a creative ecosystem


So I made an upset sounding post on the testing thread for 246 last night. It was late and the post was a little hyperbolic in mentioning the death of the “real game”.

It garnered some interesting (discussion-worthy) responses but I don’t want to derail the test thread with it. So here’s a post for discussion of “thoughts and feelings” regarding the sudden inclusion of creative worlds in the upcoming release and the impact this will have on the boundless universe over all.

EDIT: After typing this all up, editing and reading back through, it all seems like a sort of pointless ramble. But pointless as it ultimately is I spent WAY too much time typing this up and I’m still going to share it. Sorry if it upsets anyone but in the end, it’s just one person’s opinion. If others are spending way too much time thinking about the evolution of Boundless I encourage you to take a moment and share your thoughts.


Just to be clear, I’m not bitter about the coming of creative worlds. I have heard tons of demand for something like this since I came here, and I hope that they bring new exposure to the game and also revenue that can help boundless overall to grow and improve.

I personally, as a mater of preference/opinion, have zero interest in them. This isn’t meant to invalidate anyone else’s desires to build, and only build. I dont’ see anything wrong at all with Wonderstruck wrapping up their voxel engine into a package like this, and selling it. Or even better, renting it :stuck_out_tongue:

I do have concerns about blending it into the survival game in such a way that it’s seamlessly integrated and players attempting to make their way within that path are regularly confronted with the “achievements” of creative players. And those concerns are increased by every way in which creative can be used to acquire benefits that reflect on a players survival experience.

I’m not too fond of the term “survival mode” either but without a theme or lore or what have you, if it can’t be put under “rpg” so I concede it’s the closest genre.

Anyways …

I do feel that there should be a hard separation between the two. Even if it’s something as simple as being pushed into the sanctum and selecting a creative switch/page/whatever at the warp blocks.

A solid reminder for those trying to make their way in survival that you have entered “the free zone” so that you don’t end up portaling out from a hub, staring at some marvel of voxel placement, thinking about what went into it, etc… without ever realizing it’s just a voxel painting that doesn’t really reflect on the larger game.

I realize I’m skirting dangerously close to insulting some voxel artists here so just to clarify this, and my use of the term “real game”, let me say that if this is what you want to do with your time, I don’t see anything wrong with that, nor honestly consider it a better or worse pastime. Boundless has been my first voxel building game and I’ve been introduced to a whole new form of entertainment here.

However in creative mode there’s no risk/reward. There’s no embodiment of effort. When I look at a build in the current universe I see more than just The Build. To me what can be done in creative is surely a valid hobby or pastime but it’s not a “game” in that sense. Sure there have been all kinds of discussion on economic activity vs. grinding, etc… but in the open universe every build represents a contribution to the overall ecosystem and typically the efforts of many players culminating on one or more persons having the ability to get those resources into place and produce what you see.

So to me, in that way, creative mode is sort of hollow and may as well be magica voxel or something similar. Which, again, is fine but it’s the basis for me not being behind a seamless integration of the two experiences. It’s my opinion that when placed on the same pedestal, the one experience devalues the other.

Does “player growth” happen on creative? Are you simply referring to user count here?

I suspect you’re talking about user count but waking up to this response this morning leads me (obviously) to the more philosophical side and I feel like creative bypasses a great deal of what I would call the “growth” of a character. The planning, the skilling, the economic understanding, the effort and shared experiences that, for better or for worse, are a large part of creating a sense of community.

Again, without trying to invoke right or wrong, I feel like creative is just a sort of place to flex in a particular way.

I have to agree with you here. I’m not casting shade at any player or play style. At least not intentionally.

Well put. Currently there is the issue of dividing the existing player base. Of course the overall target is for this sort of service to increase the player base and hopefully, in the end, it’s a boon for both systems. If that doesn’t happen neither I nor, IMO, any other reasonable person would “blame the players”.

Yes of course they are. A player can also interact with your build in survival by shopping there. Or by using it for it’s purpose to facilitate the farming of materials. Or for playing games that will require special per-user permissions in creative. And the player’s interest and attention reward you for their visit in the forms of footfall or other economic interaction.

And of course, while I realize this is what some people want, it also removes an entire aspect of appreciating what’s gone into the build itself. Material acquisition, character development, tooling requirements, atmospheric obstacles, etc…

This is only true (specifically that it’s ‘the same game’) if you feel that ‘the game’ is placing voxels and everything else is purely an impediment. Much more of my build is dedicated to my own advancement within the larger game than ever has been to the service or entertainment of others, and I don’t think that should be left off the table either.

Who is going to build a shop in creative? A workshop? A storage area or a leveling system? What’s the point? We build a lot of things that serve purposes other than simply showcasing our architectural interests with giant mausoleums.

And these things require materials and crafted goods that have no place on creative worlds, to serve purposes that don’t exist on creative worlds.

I do. I believe that those things drive a level of engagement, and create a sense of community. Not more or less important in any absolute sense, but different. Still, in realistic terms, more important to me.

And bluntly, though it’s a pointless exercise due to the level of integration already on display, I am in fact advocating that it should be held separate, as a standalone universe. There’s no need for it to be literally a completely separate purchase, it’s great that you can purchase access to the engine itself and then choose to use it in either way, or both. I just don’t see the need to try and blend the two totally different uses as if they are one.

This is sort of a side note, and I agree with you here. I’ve argued elsewhere that people try and read too much into this term as there are many types of MMO. This doesn’t really reflect on the points I’m trying to clarify here.

So I have to wrap this ramble up and get on with my day. I’m not really interested in arguing this out with anyone as I don’t actually see a right or wrong here. I am obviously interested in discussion on the topic and sharing of opinions so if you have something to say, please do.

In closing, it’s comments like the following that provide encouragement for my thoughts and a solid hope that the inclusion (integrated or not) of creative worlds in the boundless universe will in the end, bring an overall influx of interest and improvements that everyone can enjoy, regardless of whether they’re focused on the overall experience, or simply a particular aspect of it:

Here’s to a vibrant and growing Boundless universe for all kinds of people :beer:


This is all I read


LOL Simoyd I’m not even offended.

The preface should stand as a TL;DR and I understand that a lot of people don’t really care that much. I’d rather people skip it than get angry about it.


I know I am a newer player and I realize that others may not think that ive played enough to form an opinion but after 900 logged hours I tend to agree with you. Not so much that it would kill the “game”, but it may end up backfiring as new players go to creative worlds and see all these massive builds. If they are are not playing creative and get frustrated thinking it will be impossoble to ever build something of that magnatude because they don’t realize they are in a creative planet and not in the the normal “universe”.
For not all of the same reasons but some of the same and more opinions ill keep to myself, I agree that the two systems should be kept seperate in that you should have to in some way initiate leaving one universe to go to the other and it be clear that you are entering a creative world and what that means for gameplay while there.

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I’m ok with a separation, but it could be enough if it was some sort of an indicator on the creative portal that it’s a creative world.

I like the idea of a testing world connected to my base, planning builds and what not becomes a lot easier with unlimited resources and zero wait times, but I’d still do the actual building on survival.


That was an enjoyable read, and given that it’s mostly just offering opinions which differ from mine (but are no less valid), it was interesting to get a decent view from the ‘other side’, as it were.

There’s only one thing I’d truly contest in the whole post:

It’s just wrong. It’s like saying there’s no effort involved in painting a masterpiece if you didn’t go out and grind and mix all your own pigments.

It’s certainly not the same type of effort that you might put into a build, but it’s no less of a labour of love. It requires real thought, care, imagination and effort to bring a beautiful grand build to life. This is sometimes (although obviously not always) horribly lacking in builds I’ve seen on the live universe, where people sometimes lose focus on what might look good in order to show off how much hard work they put into the gathering phase.

But ultimately, while I may not agree with many of your conclusions about how Boundless should work, or what would be best for it, I can definitely agree on the closing statement. I really do wish that this brings people to Boundless, and that the game benefits from it.


TLDR version??

To me it seems like what you’re calling ‘planning’ is the same as what I’d consider ‘doing’ and to me that amounts to doing it twice. I see this sort of comment a lot though, regarding the test servers and external tools such as magica, so I definitely hear what you’re saying.

I personally see building more as a means to an end than as the end goal and that colors my opinion on a lot of things.

Yes I see that and just using the term “no/none” can come of as an absolute that isn’t really intended. But also it’s easy to spend way too much time dancing around the subtleties. Perhaps I should have said “no other” as in the current ecosystem those pre-requisites are something I automatically consider.

I’m one of the others you mention, my builds reflect utility first and then turn to excess before artistry. It takes all kinds …

Agreed though everyone that’s fallen in love with one aspect or another of the game surely hopes for overall success. I’ve long since gotten my ‘money’s worth’ out of boundless and even if it involved in a direction that left me out I would happily cheer the devs on to financial and creative success.

If it’s too long, Don’t read it? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I didn’t! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


This. So much this. Shooting down people who decide to build in Creative because there’s no gathering/crafting phase involved doesn’t mean there’s 0 time being spent in actually building the build. Every block still needs to be meticulously placed and/or chiseled, every block needs to be selected, and so on. The amount of effort in Creative builds are similar except there’s no crafting wait times, no resource gathering phase, and possibly (depending on world settings) flight accessibility. Otherwise building on Creative is the same as building on the current release worlds.


Right, probably the last time I’ll post specifically to clarify this point.

I don’t intend to belittle anyone’s artistry or dedication to it. I know, an entire day vanished while I worked on an extremely simple build and I’m still not 100% satisfied so I get that.

Creative still removes an entire infrastructure and set of requirements. Obviously opinions differ on the value of those activities, and I am not trying to imply that they confer any moral or artistic superiority.

Simply that they require an increased scope of activity and level of (time and effort) investment from the builder. I wouldn’t consider two similar builds done in the two separate ecosystems as equivalent efforts.

I guess that’s part of why this thread exists because I feel that should be able to be said without being seen as belittling anyone’s effort at strictly building. Even if it takes a thousand words of padding, so be it.

I mean, even as you put it, it’s the same - except for all the other stuff that goes into it.

Fair enough, right?


It’s a good thing to be concerned about but I think the two will coexist synergistically especially because there are people who value survival-style playing and people who value creative-style playing, some who love economy and some who hate it, some who care about the RPG-esque gathering and the story behind the materials some who want to skip to building. People are brought together by community and their shared interest in the details of how this building game is implemented. I think there will always be people who want to do the survival-style building and love working with others in the face of scarcity and hence the need for an economy will persist.


I’m with @Nightstar with this.

In general.

I find it a good and interesting idea to be able to visit creative worlds using in-game means rather than switching between modes in an off-line stage like game starting screen and such.

But I also feel it’s better if there is clearer border between them two: survival and creative. More “visible” transition - so players know when they cross the line between these universes.
That’s why I suggested using separate creative alt rather than skill-page to explore creative. And to get rid of portals as a way to move between the 2 modes.

Like said here:

I think one could say that players (especially new ones) could benefit from knowing clearly that they move between playing survival/progression/economy game (simulation of life in a fictional universe) and free-style playing with items from that game.


With all due respect, I had to tap out about halfway through your speech. I’ll just say that I don’t deny what you’ve experienced but disagree on… a lot of points.

This discussion has gone around so many times that I don’t think there’s anything that’s been left unsaid, and I don’t think any more minds are going to change. Granted, it’s probably been THE single most thorough and constructive debate that I’ve ever seen in the history of these forums, but…

… With the population as it’s consistently been, I also don’t think you can “kill” the “real game”. Everyone who likes it your way can still play it your way. If hardly anyone decides to vote with their feet and abandon Survival Mode, then no harm is done. If too many do, then that’s just useful input about how the game needs to change. If anything, it might reveal some weakness or weaknesses that’ve pushed out other players that might still be with us. The game’s trajectory has NOT resembled any other highly successful game I’ve ever played, so something needs to move the needle if they actually hope to preserve this thing.

I say, let’s just push the button already and see what happens.


I believe that the creative worlds shouldn’t work the same way sovereign worlds work. In my opinion, they should exist in kind of a separate universe. The existing two sets of conduits should go to survival worlds and there should be a new set of two warps added made out of “creative conduits” that have a different texture or color that can be used to travel to your home beacon/landing location in the creative universe just like how it works with the survival universe.


Yes! More doing and less thinking!



I read about half of it before I had to comment. Because from my view how someone got the blocks doesn’t matter to me in the slightest. I never think about that even for a second. As for an example @georgegroeg builds could be all made out of wood(different colors mind you to do the accents etc) and lanterns and it wouldn’t make those builds any less amazing to me. In fact in creative his builds would probably be more amazing to me since he’d have a better use of contrasts/shades etc being as all colors are unlocked.

Now for the economy. There’s a lot of people that play now that don’t care for it at all. Same with FF. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if it’s split right down the middle of the people who do and don’t participate in the economy. Even myself for a long while now I’ve pretty much stopped using the economy for anything other than buying stuff from
Exos when I don’t feel like going to them. Which is pretty much all the time now lol(not a big fan of exos for whatever reason, probably because it forces me to do something in a certain time frame instead of doing it leisurely). There was more I wanted to say about the economy but it’s slipping my mind at the moment. Hopefully it’ll come back and I’ll make another post or edit it in.


It’s definitely that time.


Definitely a big rambling post like that is an invitation for people to come share their thoughts. Even the ones that just post “Yeah, I didn’t read that.” :rofl:

Definitely enough has already been said on attempts to place one system as better or worse than the other, of even trying to state that either method has more ‘intrinsic value’. This is purely a matter of a person’s opinion, and more about what they personally like to do with their free time than anything else.

In light of all that I what I still don’t understand is the desire to have them “Seamlessly Integrated” as stated by so many players.

I don’t know any of the devs personally but I can see a technical mind being eager to take on the challenge. I just don’t see why so many players want to take on the issue and start talking about “fairness to creative players” or similar concerns.

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For me I don’t actually really care if they are seamless or not. I pretty much understand both sides. It would be nice if they were so I wouldn’t have to jump through hoops to go back and forth as I plan on being on public, sovereign, and creative. But if I end up having to jump through hoops so be it. Not like it’ll take that long to do it. I just don’t agree with this being the “death” of the game. If anything I’d think it’s going to give more life into the game. I think some people might come for the creative and feel that they need to play survival as well to see why so many play that side

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