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Why "the real world" aren't suited for games


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#1 felonius   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 02 November 2000 - 08:48 AM

There as been a period where it has been coll to make realistic games. Games that go on in the real world - or at least something that could be real. After playing a non-computer RPG this way I realized that it frankly bored be sick. I want a game fascinate me, to inspire me, to make me think about things, and make my imagination go wild. Given the fact that computers (or paper/pencil) RPGs don''t have life like AI we can''t expect to create interactive stories with the story cabailities of the hollywood movies. It is only because these capabilities that I think it is okay of movies to be in the real world. Movies really do have some powers that games don''t. We should try to imitate them. Movies have the drawback that they have a budget. Making a proper fantasy or science fiction movie is much more expensive than making a "real world" movie. This isn''t the case with computer (pencil/paper) games as the "real world" is just as expensive as a fantasy world to make. So I really don''t think there is much excuse of not letting the imagination sour. Doing something in the real world may help to make the game believable but it never really gets interesting. What movies can do is to make powerful emotional feeling come up in you. This is next to impossible in games, so I think we should avoid immitating movies with this and go where games are strong - in supernatural (fantasy, science fiction, horror, etc.) I am not saying that every "real world" game is boring. I am saying that it is much more difficult to make them fun, so instead of risking the fun of the full game it is much easier to go the supernatural way, even if it just to play a game in some unknown or imagined culture that is real world like. Jacob Marner

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#2 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1214

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Posted 02 November 2000 - 12:26 PM

quote:
Original post by felonius

There as been a period where it has been coll to make realistic games. Games that go on in the real world - or at least something that could be real.



It is always cool to base something on the real world, because all games are...

quote:

After playing a non-computer RPG this way I realized that it frankly bored be sick. I want a game fascinate me, to inspire me, to make me think about things, and make my imagination go wild.



Imagination is what I play for, but I also need immersiveness. This just doesn''t happen at the moment. Non-computer RPG[-ish]''s are actually more interactive, but requires YOU to do all of the immagining... This is why people like graphics.

quote:

Given the fact that computers (or paper/pencil) RPGs don''t have life like AI we can''t expect to create interactive stories with the story cabailities of the hollywood movies. It is only because these capabilities that I think it is okay of movies to be in the real world. Movies really do have some powers that games don''t. We should try to imitate them.



You are forgetting that the reason you need life-like AI is so that the game is NOT like a movie. Otherwise you are stuck with a totally linear story... Movies are in the real world because nobody really wants to fork out for some special effects bonanza in a fantasy plane... This is a bad thing, because I would really like to see some more Dragons in movies

quote:

Movies have the drawback that they have a budget. Making a proper fantasy or science fiction movie is much more expensive than making a "real world" movie. This isn''t the case with computer (pencil/paper) games as the "real world" is just as expensive as a fantasy world to make. So I really don''t think there is much excuse of not letting the imagination sour.



Everything has a drawback of budget. Like I said, the special effects cost money. In games the realistic aspect costs more...

quote:

Doing something in the real world may help to make the game believable but it never really gets interesting. What movies can do is to make powerful emotional feeling come up in you. This is next to impossible in games, so I think we should avoid immitating movies with this and go where games are strong - in supernatural (fantasy, science fiction, horror, etc.)



Excuse me, but everything in a game is based upon some aspect of reality. If you didn''t have a basis in reality then you would never know how to control the game. Most games require you to have a knowledge of how the world works in order to understand its mechanics. This is why games are based in reality. The more realistic, the easier to play... The story doesn''t have to be realistic though, just consistent.

quote:

I am not saying that every "real world" game is boring. I am saying that it is much more difficult to make them fun, so instead of risking the fun of the full game it is much easier to go the supernatural way, even if it just to play a game in some unknown or imagined culture that is real world like.

Jacob Marner


Real world games are easier to understand the mechanics of. Supernatural is good to a certain extent, as long as you develop the supernatural system to be consistent and lacking holes. If you fail to have a system that is consistent then people will become upset. That is why people base games in reality... There is little flaw in the law of Physics

Nuff said I think

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#3 felonius   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 02 November 2000 - 08:25 PM

quote:

Imagination is what I play for, but I also need immersiveness. This just doesn''t happen at the moment. Non-computer RPG[-ish]''s are actually more interactive, but requires YOU to do all of the immagining... This is why people like graphics.



It is true that games lac immersiveness, and that is my point. What it doesn''t have in one department must be compensated in another.

And RPGs on computer do need graphics, but it is no more expensive to make supernatural graphics than real world graphics. And given that I don''t have to imagine it all I want to the artist to show it to me - which makes it easier to imagine supernatural things in computer games compared to PP RPGs.

quote:

You are forgetting that the reason you need life-like AI is so that the game is NOT like a movie. Otherwise you are stuck with a totally linear story...



I am not forgetting that. I am saying that because we don''t have life-like AI AND because games are interactive they cannot become like movies. IF we had life-like AI games could get some of same immersiveness as movies. I think we agree.

quote:

Excuse me, but everything in a game is based upon some aspect of reality. If you didn''t have a basis in reality then you would never know how to control the game. Most games require you to have a knowledge of how the world works in order to understand its mechanics. This is why games are based in reality. The more realistic, the easier to play...



To be supernatural you don''t need to "total alien" world as discussed in some previous postings. Just small changes, enough to make it interesting (e.g. aliens have been living among us in secret for decades). So we agree again. But if the game is fully realistic it is extremely easy to play - but is that fun? Why play computer games then? I have my real life. I want something different from real life. COmputers can''t provide the immersiveness of movies and book and should compensate in other areas.

quote:

The story doesn''t have to be realistic though, just consistent.



"consistant" is not good word. Rather something "believable in a consistant way under terms of the rules given my the world."
I.e. it is not enough to be consistant if it doesn''t make sense.

And that the supernatural have to believable and "consistant" goes without saying. I thought I didn''t have to say that. It has been said so many time in this forum - so I thought it was agreed upon.

Another problem with realistic world is that it never seem to get realistic enough. So if you give the impression that it is realistic you rise the expectations of your audience and they get disappointed as they try several things. If however you have set the scene in a more limited, but not realistic environment, and players know that, then they get what they expect and no less. So handling player expectations may be harder in realistic worlds.

Jacob Marner

#4 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1214

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Posted 02 November 2000 - 11:57 PM

quote:
Original post by felonius and dwarfsoft

Imagination is what I play for, but I also need immersiveness. This just doesn''t happen at the moment. Non-computer RPG[-ish]''s are actually more interactive, but requires YOU to do all of the immagining... This is why people like graphics.

It is true that games lac immersiveness, and that is my point. What it doesn''t have in one department must be compensated in another.

And RPGs on computer do need graphics, but it is no more expensive to make supernatural graphics than real world graphics. And given that I don''t have to imagine it all I want to the artist to show it to me - which makes it easier to imagine supernatural things in computer games compared to PP RPGs.



Games lack immersion, that is something that we agree on... Most of my post was actually agreeing in a disagreeing kind of way

I know games need graphics, which is why I said that graphics are what people want and which is why they don''t want PP RPG as much any more... Though I prefer a good book any day to a game (so far).

quote:

You are forgetting that the reason you need life-like AI is so that the game is NOT like a movie. Otherwise you are stuck with a totally linear story...

I am not forgetting that. I am saying that because we don''t have life-like AI AND because games are interactive they cannot become like movies. IF we had life-like AI games could get some of same immersiveness as movies. I think we agree.



They shouldn''t become like movies... That would be a lack of a grat medium... But you don''t need AI in games at all... Just think of Myst... I can''t think of anything that should really be considered AI. Sure, it could have been done better, but if you just had Isometric view with a medieval setting... The notes can tell you the story and you can make the decisions

quote:

Excuse me, but everything in a game is based upon some aspect of reality. If you didn''t have a basis in reality then you would never know how to control the game. Most games require you to have a knowledge of how the world works in order to understand its mechanics. This is why games are based in reality. The more realistic, the easier to play...

To be supernatural you don''t need to "total alien" world as discussed in some previous postings. Just small changes, enough to make it interesting (e.g. aliens have been living among us in secret for decades). So we agree again. But if the game is fully realistic it is extremely easy to play - but is that fun? Why play computer games then? I have my real life. I want something different from real life. COmputers can''t provide the immersiveness of movies and book and should compensate in other areas.



I realise that to be supernatural that you don''t need to be alien... AT ALL... That is why I said that it is based on reality. Just because a game has a basis in reality does not mean that it is immitating reality.. Just obeying laws that we can each understand and accept. If the next RPG suddenly had people walking around on the ceilings though all of the furnature was still on the ground, I would think that it would suck... . Because it lacks consistency and also is not realistic. If everything was up the other way, then if it was explained in a realistic way (so that people go "Oh yeah, that is a way of looking at it") then people might accept it. \

I play computer games because life sucks... Though because I play realistic games, I can immagine my life becoming more like that in the game... Which is why you need to be a little realistic. Otherwise people will just play it as an escape rather than a dream.

Computers may one day be able to be more immersive than movies (I am not so sure about books) but in the end it will be through a new method of understanding how the medium is best suited to interacting with the player. Reality may be the only way to reach a common ground between the player and the game.

I NEVER SAY THAT A GAME SHOULD SIMULATE LIFE... I just say that it should be realistic. Aliens are realistic... It is probable that aliens do exist.. So therefore it is realistic. Different ways of looking at magic also render that as probable. It may just be due to some perseption, but if explained properly in the world dynamic then it could be realistic for that explanation. Realistic does not mean "Set here and now with my boring life" but means more "Has the basis of this world with these laws, so is consistent with my experiences so far" and should then be an extension upon those experiences.

quote:

The story doesn''t have to be realistic though, just consistent.

"consistant" is not good word. Rather something "believable in a consistant way under terms of the rules given my the world."
I.e. it is not enough to be consistant if it doesn''t make sense.



I don''t even think "realistic" is a good word... It is too often confused with "Reality". Believable doesn''t even have to be a description. I don''t have to believe that I can cast fireballs out of my anus, but if it is consistent within the rules of the game then it is then believable... Which is like you said. I think CONSISTENCY with your WORLD RULES is the key.. not BELIEVABILITY. Believable is a poorer word to use in place of "Consistant".

quote:

And that the supernatural have to believable and "consistant" goes without saying. I thought I didn''t have to say that. It has been said so many time in this forum - so I thought it was agreed upon.



Yeah... Sorry, but I always bring it up so that nobody forgets

quote:

Another problem with realistic world is that it never seem to get realistic enough. So if you give the impression that it is realistic you rise the expectations of your audience and they get disappointed as they try several things. If however you have set the scene in a more limited, but not realistic environment, and players know that, then they get what they expect and no less. So handling player expectations may be harder in realistic worlds.

Jacob Marner


You mean that a Realistic world never touches with reality? Well, I am not talking about Reality or getting a game totally realistic. I am talking about basing the game rules and laws in a form of reality therefore making it consistent within itself and therefore adding to immersion. I think I just highlighted all of the key points... Any Objections?

If your audience is given the impression that they can do things which are quite impossible in your game, then you are in effect lying to the audience. It is then not consistent with itself and is not following the game rules. A game can still be limited and based in reality. If a game is totally realistic then it can still be consistent with itself without making the player think that they should be able to do this and this.

One of the problems I see is that there are not enough options for the players at the moment. The player-character role should have developed a fair bit more to allow them to do more things that they want. This is something that really needs to be expanded upon, because there is far too little choice in games today.

Some Golden Rules:
...
RULE NO. <One of the rules> - Consistency is the key... Don''t lie to your audience, as they will feel cheated... This will break the immersion.
RULE NO. <Another of the rules> - Immersion is how you sell your game. The longer that you can immerse the player, the better they are likely to talk about your game. The "Wow" factor as they won''t believe that they have been playing for x hours straight
...


Anyway... I have ranted enough... It must have taken me at least 30-60 mins to write this beast.. Enjoy

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#5 felonius   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 03 November 2000 - 02:32 AM

quote:

I NEVER SAY THAT A GAME SHOULD SIMULATE LIFE... I just say that it should be realistic. Aliens are realistic... It is probable that aliens do exist.. So therefore it is realistic. Different ways of looking at magic also render that as probable. It may just be due to some perseption, but if explained properly in the world dynamic then it could be realistic for that explanation. Realistic does not mean "Set here and now with my boring life" but means more "Has the basis of this world with these laws, so is consistent with my experiences so far" and should then be an extension upon those experiences.



Hmm, I am beginning to see why we are actually discussing this and you have mentioned it yourself - it is because we use the word "realistic" differently I think.

By realistic I mean like in the real world in every way, having a plot that occur in the real world. This way a realistic game is simulating the life of some imagined character that could as well have been a real world person. I think we both agree that games should not be like that. That aliens exists could be true but I really wouldn''t put it under the term realistic, because I have seen no aliens and would have a hard time believing it if a friend of mine came by and told me this to be true. I would put The Sims under the term realistic, and Soldier of Fortune (I think, I haven''t played it), and Rainbow Six and some more. These attempt to follow ALL the rules of real life and simulate something that at least potentially could occur without being very unlikely.

I have nothing against using realism to help characters to understand the world, but I think there should be at least something that make it deriavate from something that can occur in the real world. And this deriavation should not just be lack of reality (all games lack that) but some deriavation that is made with purpose to make it more intersting.

Movies:
I know games should be like movies, but they can at least with good AI gain many of the advantages that movies have such as more emotional believable characters. The medium differs so games should never be movies - if so they are not interactive - but movies have some qualities that games could benefit from.
And I still think this.

Myst:
What makes books and movies great for me is the characters, dialogue and the interaction between them. In games like Myst there was no characters so frankly I think it was boring. This is a matter of taste but I want something that is "alive" in the world.

quote:

One of the problems I see is that there are not enough options for the players at the moment. The player-character role should have developed a fair bit more to allow them to do more things that they want. This is something that really needs to be expanded upon, because there is far too little choice in games today.



Ahh. We might be getting somewhere. First to your definitions - I have no objections to that.

So what you are saying is that the real problem is that players don''t have options enough to want they want to. And I say: Giveng player "enough" options might actually be close to impossible. Players expect to be able to a lot of things in games in the real world. Say you make it science fiction. Here you can explain at least some things you do not support as being the way it is in this imagined reality. Or alternatively, if player don''t fully understand (but are learning about) a imagined reality they don''t really expect to be able to do certain things. For instance, in a real life game, I pass by a pizza bar, I would expect to be able to buy a pizza, but if a science fiction gmae just had some odd looking gadget/robot I would expect to be able to buy pizzas from that and I as player would be so disappointed.

One point you may have is that thing about Dreams vs.

And finally, are you ranting? I don''t think so. I know your general opinions (You DO have them written in that DOC, you know) and we generally agree on those. I am just tryig to exploit the idea that "real life" games not are the way to go to make the games that has the most fun. If this turns out to be wrong - so be it. I just have to try to put it through the grinder of the gamedev forums.

Oh, and this took me 40 minutes to write, so we are in the same boat :-)

Jacob Marner

#6 Tom   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 352

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 03:16 PM

Even "realism" in games is a matter of taste. For example, the action games you mentioned (Rainbow Six, etc.) bore me to death because of their inherent "realism." On the other hand, I can play absurd games like Unreal Tournament for hours without getting bored.

Other people are the opposite of me. If you want to design for all tastes, you need a blend of realism and fantasy. We all know this, but it''s important to point out that this blend can balance on a very thin wire.

In this respect, what about adding options to enhance the realism of a gamer''s experience? More- or less-accurate physics, and so forth. It''s something to think about.

#7 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1214

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 03:51 PM

I don''t think I could have summed it up better. I am adding that as a part of my new ranting section in the doc

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers'' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#8 Nomadic Soul   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 06 November 2000 - 04:36 PM

One word: Shenmue (or maybe two words for Japanese)

So far, no signs of magic or anything out of this world can be seen in the game. Yet, it''s on the top 10 most wanted list for DC owners. Basically, here''s what I know so far. You''re some guy, your dad just gotten beat up by this other guy, now you''re pissed and you want to get back at him. You work odd jobs here and there like forklifting for a crate company to get money and so forth to get money (i guess). Gfx looks kick ass! Story? Dunno, not much is known about it. Gameplay? It''s said to be like none other, it has a story but isn''t an rpg since the battle system is like a beatem up (well sorta but not truly like a beatem up), half-crossed into simulations since you get many chances to do odd jobs.

Other games such as Harvest Moon, the Sims, and there was once an Iron Chef game for the old SNES. Those were all kinda based towards reality and they all sold pretty good. Yeah, I do agree that realistic is kinder harder to make it fun but you just gotta strive to find that gem amongst all these other games.

#9 felonius   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 07 November 2000 - 12:36 AM

That might be a good idea, Tom.

I remember Jagged Alliance 2, where you could decide on whether you wanted the game to be realistic or scifi and if you wanted it to contain the normal set of weapons or loads of different weapons (for weapon fanatics). This was good.

I see a general approach emerging in these forums. It is: "We want more options!" Both in game style, a what to do during the game.

One thing that people doesn''t think about is that making more options takes time and given the same set of resources this means that something else is removed from the game - for instance its length.

So sometimes it may be worthwhile actually making a choice instead of just saying that the choice should be given to the player. If the player should be able to choos everything the game in question will never be complete. Ambition must be restrained to actually complete projects - this goes both for amateur and professional projects. That could be why so many professional projects actually are quite limited in ambition; simply to make sure that it actually ships at the planned deadline.

Jacob Marner




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