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Default Realism in CRPGs

September 21st, 2013, 16:17
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
My point is more like: realistic elements engage and motivate the player, because they give you something to relate to. People start to play and keep playing because they get the opportunity to be a monster hunter, or a pilot, or a soccer manager.
Looks a lot like if all games had to be a simulation of something. The article linked/quoted by OP explains it well, the simulation part isn't linked to the gameplay and that it's important to quote it. What you highlight here is I think the "infamous" immersion which is in part linked with the management of the suspension of disbelief.

Do you really think that the strongest immersion is generated by the higher realism?

It's not true arguing, but it's what I noticed from my gameplay. When I played too long games sessions it was never because of the suspension of disbelief mechanism and realism level, but more because of competition, or action capture, or problem solving concentration. To temper I'd say that there's perhaps rather different categories of gamers and it's perhaps linked with RPG players that roleplay and identify to the character and RPG players that control and watch a character, I'm in second category.

The problem with realism isn't that it's a pointless element in games, it's that it is too over-evaluated. There's three elements:
  • The suspension of disbelief isn't purely link to higher realism, it's a subjective element that requires a strong cooperation from the player or reader. I mean suspension of disbelief is important but it doesn't involves better realism to work.
  • Higher realism put more focus on all the work around realism and remove the focus on gameplay design and adds a lot of difficulty and constraints to gemaplay design. This tends make games less deep and less fun.
  • Higher realism skyrocket budgets costs by increasing constantly the amount of details. This tends make games smaller or with with much more fillers, and less deep.

About the relative link between realism and suspension of disbelief:
The mechanism of immersion from realism is totally linked to the suspension of disbelief mechanism and it's an error to think a higher realism level purely increase its efficiency, on base it's a cooperation from player or reader which has nothing concrete. The suspension of disbelief requires a strong cooperation by the player or the reader, your are handing a book despite you are exploring a mysterious cave, you are sit with a keyboard and a mouse in hands despite sneaking in some dangerous area.

The problem is players increased their realism requirement for the same "acceptable" suspension of disbelief level. But it's not linked nor impossible it's just an ambient mood. And in my opinion it's reinforced by how easy it is to quote what's different from reality when the gameplay is a much more complex element to pinpoint or to discuss about.

But the current realism level required for an acceptable suspension of disbelief level has nothing concrete, it's purely mental and subjective stuff. Remember a game you played 10 years ago, and woo that was incredible reality picturing and simulating, play it now and it's an unrealistic crap.

About realism level escalation and gameplay depth plunge:
Each time the suspension of disbelief is broken it generates a pause in the "immersion" in the novel story or game playing and ok that can be considered as a bad point.

The problem is that this immersion doesn't make a game and that realism involves a lot of very strong design constraints. My bet is many game genres lost a lot of gameplay depth and diversity because of a higher ambient barrier of the acceptable level of realism for an acceptable suspension of disbelief level.

About realism level escalation and skyrocket budgets costs:
The realism level escalation is leading games to an impasse, more realism means more details, means more work, means more impossible budgets, means smaller games, means more focus on non gameplay elements, means less deep games, means less fun games.

Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
Even Mario has some background as a regular guy who's enamored with a princess.
I think you are mixing different elements. Thjis point is related to the story element of games. I'll skip on the subject.

Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
Of course there are completely abstract games as well, but I'd argue that they're less likely to be addictive.
Why? I don't think so, immersion from realism ie from a suspension of disbelief mechanism is broken very easily. I think that for example competition spirit and obsession is broken a lot less easily. Intense action interesting enough has a much higher immersion level than immersion from suspension of disbelief.

Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
When you read about people literally dying over a video game, they weren't usually playing Snake or Pong.
Well use the example of few guys mentally disturbed isn't a good argument… It's not an argument at all.
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