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mumboi

Weather - Too much realism?

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I know there are various topics on how too much realism can be bad so I got to wondering about weather. Is it too bothersome to change clothing depending on climate? Say you''re in the far north during winter and wearing a shirt and short pants. Should the character be punished somehow for not being warmly dressed? Now the character wouldn''t die immediately but maybe stamina is slowly drained and when that reaches zero health starts to drop slowly. Same would apply to wearing too much in the south during summer (plate armour in really hot weather can''t be good). There would be different player races available. Those native to the south would require much more clothing up north but could wear a bit more in the south and vice versa. Does this fit into the category of useless realism or enhanced player strategy? =) Speaking of weather, what if rain actually caused dirt to turn to mud and helped plants grow. You may find a wagon hopelessly stuck in several feet of mud during a large downpour. A stone road may be taken next time or stronger horses/ox bought. Snow could also pile up to create drifts which would be just a dangerous as mud. Rivers would freeze and flood according to the seasons.. Well, what I''m describing is a world that dynamically changes with the seasons. Do you think this realism is pointless or would it actually add to the gameplay?

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I think when designing a game you should select things acting for player and against him. When I but rpg I dont want to bother with my body temperature, I want to kill some monsters. but if I buy Body Simulator 2001 I will be really happy choosing from 20 different drawers...

regards
Jindrich kolman

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Whenever the topic of realism crops up - I address it simply by deciding at what level it will stop adding to the gameplay. If the game somehow incorporated the clothing feature into the story or the mission than yeah sure it''s okay. It''s like this - if I were making an adventure game set in a city, I wouldn''t waste the time designing real-life traffic routines if the player is going to be able to hop into a cab and go places. Nor will I make a lot of pedestrian traffic if the player can''t talk to all of them. It''s that simple - realize what level of reality you need for your game that still helps the gameplay, not just adds to it for no particular reason. Some games may not even need a touch of anything real, others may benefit greatly from a totally interactive environment.

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- #5, "Short Circuit"
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I think that in a game atmosphere is very important, although affecting your clothing may be a tad overdone.

Anyway, back on topic weather is a key element in mood for any good game. Three examples come to mind; the opening flashbak in Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the opening flashback in FFIX, and the dreary (and foreboding) intro to super metroid.

The atmosphere gives games a cinematic quality. Rain can also be used practically in outdoor environments to create certain hazards for the player (as previously mentioned). To go even further, snow, and even hail (rain that would endanger the player) could be used to increase the immersion in a good game.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Rivers freezing and flooding, mud problems, sounds like fun. Makes the world more immersive, introduces some problems to solve, gives the player more of a sense of wonderment and adventure.

Changing clothes is probably a bit much though. Maybe the character could just change clothes automatically depending on the weather. Or maybe you would have to buy the clothes, but if you had them you would automatically wear them.

The problem I would have would be going into your inventory and having to actually click around to change clothes. Just too much tedium, especially if you travel a lot.

quote:
Original post by mumboi
I know there are various topics on how too much realism can be bad so I got to wondering about weather.
Is it too bothersome to change clothing depending on climate? Say you''re in the far north during winter and wearing a shirt and short pants. Should the character be punished somehow for not being warmly dressed? Now the character wouldn''t die immediately but maybe stamina is slowly drained and when that reaches zero health starts to drop slowly. Same would apply to wearing too much in the south during summer (plate armour in really hot weather can''t be good).
There would be different player races available. Those native to the south would require much more clothing up north but could wear a bit more in the south and vice versa.

Does this fit into the category of useless realism or enhanced player strategy? =)

Speaking of weather, what if rain actually caused dirt to turn to mud and helped plants grow. You may find a wagon hopelessly stuck in several feet of mud during a large downpour. A stone road may be taken next time or stronger horses/ox bought.
Snow could also pile up to create drifts which would be just a dangerous as mud. Rivers would freeze and flood according to the seasons..
Well, what I''m describing is a world that dynamically changes with the seasons.

Do you think this realism is pointless or would it actually add to the gameplay?


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I agree with anon, the effects of weather can be good if they change the atmosphere and affect things around the player, since it will give him something new to do or to see. Clothing may be a bit much. You could do it, but just make sure you use some sort of method that would add to the gameplay and not just make it pointless. I think automatic clothes-changing would be the best choice, unless the player is responsible for buying and choosing his own clothes in which you''d have to figure something out. Maybe you could have the character do an animation when he''s too cold or too hot, but it wouldn''t affect anything. That would be fun to watch for the player, but it wouldn''t affect game play. But even that might be more trouble than it''s worth. So long as it''s fun, and the game would be less fun without it, then throw it in. Otherwise, don''t unless you absolutely need to.

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Should you choose to include the clothing feature, the player should be given ample warning of impending climate changes ("It''s mighty cold up north; you might wanna stock up on some furs" [with apologies to PETA]). The weather feature, though, is great for RTS/RPG/deep simulation games. Another thread discussed the real impact of alien civilizations and interplanetary travel as far as not being able to manipulate mechanical devices because they were designed for different physical forms, being subject to environmental factors like lower gravity or higher radiation, or being unable to see because the atmosphere only permits infrared frequencies through. Of course, the game would need to have a massive scope for this to be a worthwhile feature, otherwise it becomes and burdensome chore.

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Okay, yeah changing clothes constantly would be damn annoying but this world is HUGE. It would take probably a day or more of walking to go across it in a straight line so frequency of changing clothes isn''t really a problem. I mean, if you go to the south chances are you won''t have the need to change for a few weeks at least.
The main problems I see are how do you determine which clothes are appropriate and how does the player figure this out?

Well, if the idea of changing in general sucks that''s fair too. I came to find opinions, not force them on people =)

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