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Ketchaval

Everyday stuff = realism

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Hmm, I'd love to see more games include aspects of 'realism'. Not so much trying to be real, but to add -details- that make the world seem like our world with the same sorts of problems. Ie. You get in a truck to go to town. It is a country road. And the exhaust is really smoky, and the are some nasty potholes that bump you about. (Haven't we all seen hundreds of games where the cars don't backfire or pollute the environment?. This is a road in the middle of nowhere, it isn't going to be well-maintained). Or when you deal with bureaucracy, you need to fill in three copies of a form (done in a quick cut-scene). They also want a passport photograph and a urine test! (Ie. This provides a humorous reference to real-life red-tape.) Anyway I'd love to see more of this humorous / sad everyday "details" that often get left out.

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Why? I play video games just to get AWAY from that sort of crap!

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Realism does not necessarily equate to fun. I think there is too much of a drive in the industry to make games ultra-realistic when what's really important is making a game enjoybale. I want games that give me a feeling of escape, not life simulators that try to emulate reality. If I can do it in real life I probably won't enjoy doing it in a game. This is the reason I don't play sports games. I'd rather play basketball or soccer with real people and friends than play an emulated version of the same activity in a game.

As far as your suggestion of adding potholes and exhaust is concerned, that's the kind of detail that I think could benefit gameplay. Filling out paperwork however, isn't my idea of a good time, even if it's to add to the realism factor. This could be justified though if it was a significant element of the story driving the game or if the information you provided affected gameplay somehow. It could also be interesting if the player had access to drugs or other contraband items prior to being screened. So I guess it really depends on the game. Anyway, I'm starting to back paddle now.

In general realism of the mundane activities we face in the real world probably isn't worth including in a game for realism's sake alone. If designers strive to achieve greater realism than players are going to have to start eating 3 meals a day, brushing their teeth, changing clothes, using restroom facilites, etc. I can only see these activities being presented in a sand box game like the Sims.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Think of it like this, if your world is super ultra uber realistic, so much so that you cannot differentiate real life from the game, then won't it kick so much more ass to run someone over with a car or blow-up a building?

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Quote:
Original post by engineeredvision
...Filling out paperwork however, isn't my idea of a good time, even if it's to add to the realism factor. This could be justified though if it was a significant element of the story driving the game or if the information you provided affected gameplay somehow...

I think the OP said the paperwork activity would be portrayed in a cut-scene so that, while not requring the player to actually do paperwork, it "provides a humorous reference to real-life red-tape" (the OP's words quoted).

I agree with you, engineeredvision, about perhaps soliciting meticulous game play elements only when they are significant, or affect the game world.

I think the game Deus Ex (Ion Storm Austin) introduced a few tidbits of reality with some of the UI elemtns. For example, manually typing in usernames and passwords for ATMs and Terminals. And even fucntions like copy & paste worked, to apply the usernames/passwords from previously read emails.

Granted, this type of thing isn't really beaurocratic paperwork, but it does add to the immersion.

-Razorguts

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"Realisim" in graphics is something that people have been working at for a long time. Being able to add the little details (ie: potholes) that make the world more "alive" and less "sterile" is certainly a good thing, when the situation calls for it. (For many games you simply don't WANT that uber-realistic look.)

Realisim in gameplay, however, has to be handled very very carefully. Realisim is good in its place, but making the game fun MUST be top priority. (And if you're not making a game to have fun, then I don't think it's really a game any more.) Here's the thing: I think we've gotten to the point where we can make a flight simulator that act's 80-90% like the "real thing" (abstracted through a controller, of course.) That's great if you're Microsoft Flight Sim 2015. What if I want to go dogfight the Red Baron, though? Personally, I don't WANT to deal with all the problems of a sopwith camel, I want to jump in a plane a start gunning! I have had so many games in the past where I spent more time in "arcade" mode than "sim" mode.

In RPG's this is even more apparent. Now, I don't care who you are (bar Wolverine), a nights stay at an inn is NOT going to fix a shattered rib cage. It's not realistic in the least, but I dare you to find a single gamer on the planet who would be willing to put their game on hold for 1-2 months waiting for their charecter to heal. Same goes for most mundane things in life (ie: paperwork). I somehow doubt World War 2 sims would be nearly as popular as they are now if you had to fill out all your paperwork and go through boot camp at the beginning of every game.

Realisim has it's place, yes, but the fun factor of a game should always be number 1 priority.

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I pretty much agree with the other posters in this thread... attention to detail is extremely important, but in adding detail you shouldn't let it get in the way of the big picture (the game as a whole). Things like the pool table in Duke Nukem 3D, or the vials of zyme in Deus Ex, are absolutely great, and they're not forced down the player's throat - you could easily walk right by the pool table without ever realising that there's a full physics model in place with the balls, etc.

It's a question of exploration, in more than just a spatial sense. You put in detail which the player can choose to explore and examine (e.g. reading the titles/slogans on movie posters in a cinema), and get a twofold reward in that the player both enjoys exploring the game world (fun through learning/discovery) and that their immersion is increased.

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Quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Think of it like this, if your world is super ultra uber realistic, so much so that you cannot differentiate real life from the game, then won't it kick so much more ass to run someone over with a car or blow-up a building?


Err, no? Far from it. I don't get a kick out of hurting people in real life, so why would I do it in something that *seems* like real life?

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Quote:
Original post by Ketchaval
Hmm,
I'd love to see more games include aspects of 'realism'. Not so much trying to be real, but to add -details- that make the world seem like our world with the same sorts of problems.

Ie. You get in a truck to go to town. It is a country road. And the exhaust is really smoky, and the are some nasty potholes that bump you about. (Haven't we all seen hundreds of games where the cars don't backfire or pollute the environment?. This is a road in the middle of nowhere, it isn't going to be well-maintained).

Or when you deal with bureaucracy, you need to fill in three copies of a form (done in a quick cut-scene). They also want a passport photograph and a urine test! (Ie. This provides a humorous reference to real-life red-tape.)

Anyway I'd love to see more of this humorous / sad everyday "details" that often get left out.


Well, when I play games, I don't care about these kind of things, in fact it would bore me.

When you talk about realism, I think of physics or realistic movements. Example of a game (forgot the name, it is a next gen shooter, shown at E3 2004), when some explosion happens near you, your hearing gets trebled down (just like every thing is happening behind a wall, sound effect). This is what I call realism. An other example I see often in War shooters, is that you see facial emotes of your fellow soldiers or hearing them having random conversations.

The things you mentioned are realistic, but I wouldn't miss them in a game if they aren't there.

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fun > realism

However, realism like your first example could make the game more immersive. It is a good example, but must still be used only when appropriate.

If you have a race game where players are racing custom performance vehicles designed for the open road and they must race over potholes. . . well, it would cause them to possibly lose the race. Then it becomes an issue of try and die to learn where all the potholes are and memorize the track or just another bit of obstacle avoidance (if they are clearly marked). . . but it would be really crappy obstacle avoidance compared to more flashy and fun obstacles like pillars in the middle of the track, other race cars, or oncoming traffic. However, if this was in a military game and you were racing across a jungle, it could be quite fun.

This type of terrain is often used in UT2K4 mapping as it makes for interesting terrain that can be attacked super fast by air vehicles, but is much more slow for ground vehicles. Their intent is interesting gameplay though. . . not realism.

The next idea. . . bureaucracy. 3 forms? Come on. That doesn't sound fun at all! Make the bureaucracy the realistic obstacle and then give players a way to cut through it like butter and you have something like a fun gameplay dynamic.

However, I think that the best games tend to make obstacles that are a blast to beat. When I replay games, I usually do so because they are online and thus give a different experience (to some degree) each time I play, or because the obstacles are interesting and fun to beat every time. For example, do you know the level where your gravity gun gets beefed up in Half-Life 2? That is super fun to play through. I also replay a lot of the medium difficulty maps on Jet Set Radio because they are challenging, but not so difficult that the player cannot reasonably kick butt the whole way through after they gain skill.

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