E2. Provide a Safe Space to Learn (Sandbox)

“I am able to learn mechanics and skills in an area where I will not be punished, allowing me to feel confident in using those skills in later gameplay, where I may have consequences.”

Players who are able to have a sandbox area where they can practice skills without facing consequences will enter gameplay more confident in their ability to play and master the game.

Having a sandbox area gives players the chance to learn the skills they need for the game. Players who are more skilled can skip the sandbox section, but players who are not as skilled have the chance to learn skills. This prevents future frustrations for players.

Examples (adhered):

  • Batman Arkham VR: After they enter the Batcave, players can choose to continue practicing with their boomerang for as long they want without consequence. In the background, Alfred also encourages the player.
  • Rockband VR: In the quick-play mode, the player can practice strumming on their guitar until they turn and nod at a band mate. This allows them to practice hearing how their guitar sounds on the stage and practice strumming notes.
  • John Wick Chronicles: The game’s menu puts players in a sandbox-like space, giving them time to understand and practice the basic controls.
  • The London Heist: In a certain scene, the player is involved in a shootout for the first time. (Prior to this point, they have only had to shoot at targets that do not shoot back.) Players can take injuries in this scene, but they cannot die and have an unlimited amount of mags, so they have the chance to practice shooting enemies and reloading their gun for a few minutes before progressing to the next scene. This helps teach them essential mechanics while also immersing them into the gameplay.
  • The Lab: In the tower defense minigame, players can practice shooting targets and balloons before starting the minigame. The minigame only starts once players shoot the enemy at the front. The target practice allows players to practice shooting without having to worry about protecting their castle.