|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » Realism in CRPGs

Default Realism in CRPGs

September 21st, 2013, 15:17
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.
Ihaterpg is offline

Ihaterpg

Banned

#21

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 480

Default 

September 21st, 2013, 15:47
Originally Posted by Ihaterpg View Post
Do you really think that the strongest immersion is generated by the higher realism?
You're taking my statements and try to quantify them, but that's not really what I said. I said that the parts of a game that have obvious realism tend to make players go on; btw, this isn't really congruent with the term immersion, because immersion has nothing to do with the quality of the gameplay. At any rate, I never said "moar realism = better".

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 question is: why do you feel competitive about a game? Are games with a semblance of realism thrown in more likely to evoke competition than games that are entirely abstract? I guess so. There's a reason why many succesful shooters feature soldiers as protagonists.

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: [LIST][*]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.
I'd say that's wrong. The very fact that you have disbelief in players stems from the lack of realism, starting with the fact that you're playing a game, which is the point mentioned above (that no game can claim to be entirely realistic). Therefore, we can assume that the more realism you feed a player via the game, the more likely he will believe in the events as they unfold. Or IOW, if you have a world with realistic physics where realistic mammals act in a way that's psychologically plausible, the less suspension of disbelief the player has to actively come up with.

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.
I'm not going to argue what's fun and what isn't, but depth is hardly a result of simply being unrealistic. There's a whole genre of fiction out there that dwells on imaginary people or events, but isn't fantasy.
Of course you limit your options in game design if you strive for realism, but the market doesn't seem to favor one over the other. People are usually content to not to be able to fly when they're playing a human character; in fact, they may see this as a plus.

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.
This would imply that there is only one kind of realism, which isn't true. There are varying degrees of it. To what degree realism is suited to your game, and your budget, may vary. It certainly doesn't cost more to develop a game where plate armor is stronger than leather armor rather than the other way round.

The problem is that 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.
As I said above, the problem here isn't realism in itself. Food mechanics are realistic, and they are cheap to implement, and they can add more depth to a game, but they are hardly ever seen in games.

"In Grimwhoah, you can ride on turtles."
Sacred_Path is offline

Sacred_Path

Sacred_Path's Avatar
Basement Horror

#22

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 918

Default 

September 21st, 2013, 16:11
It's your first post in this thread that is looking on the problem not only by arguing around realism, and that's fine. We overall agree that better realism <> better game and that it's more complicated than that. But even if you started your second post by highlighting it, its contents was still only around realism unlike this last post.

We certainly don't agree on all, but the important point is to agree that better realism isn't a purely positive element because of many elements like involving higher costs and gameplay constraints, and it's just an element among other in a game.

My little regret is you don't agree that how fictional is the higher realism element for being immersed into the gameplay "realism". I hoped the 10 year old game example could have convince you, apparently not.
Ihaterpg is offline

Ihaterpg

Banned

#23

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 480

Default 

September 22nd, 2013, 12:45
I think the thread would be helped if we stuck to the topic, that is realism in CRPG's. Are there any CRPG's that you think would be better if they were less realistic?

"In Grimwhoah, you can ride on turtles."
Sacred_Path is offline

Sacred_Path

Sacred_Path's Avatar
Basement Horror

#24

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 918

Default 

September 22nd, 2013, 13:11
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
But good fantasy story (be it book, film or game) has to be internally consistent and logical. So reality (broadly speaking) and fantasy aren't mutually exclusive.
Reality and fantasy are mutually exclusive.

Reality is by default consistent and logical (as consistency and logics are models built to grasp reality). Fantasy can be consistent or not.

Big confusion between credibility and realism.

Picture this:

Super villain rapes superhero's girl friend. Super villain killed adoptive parents. Super hero swears vengeance on supervillain.

Scene: supervillain knocks at super hero's door. Door opens and the super hero invites the supervillain in. Supervillain has brought food with him, tasty kryptonite cereals based and offers them to super hero who accepts to eat them right now, knowing they are full of kryptonite. Nevertheless, superhero states this wont prevent him from getting his vengeance on the villain.

Additional bit: both know that kriptonite is lethal to the super hero.

Many wont found this kind of scene credible or consitent. In all cases, there is no realism in it.

Reality is by default consistent and credible (cant do otherwise) Does not mean that credible or consistent things bear the mark of realism.
ChienAboyeur is offline

ChienAboyeur

SasqWatch

#25

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,143

Default 

September 22nd, 2013, 15:42
@ChienAboyeur

you are telling a fantasy story - a fantasy story is fantastic - sure.

The topic is not about storytelling, it is about game mechanics.

how to handle damage and weopons?
how to handle food?
how to handle wounds?
how does armour work?
Is sleeping necessary?
What about weather effects?
Is a day/night cycle useful?
Is a higher gameworld interactivity useful/interesting?
What about the day schedules of NPCs?
What about artificial borders vs. free exploring?
What about real time vs. faster time?


The question is:
Up to which point these features are useful/interesting in a CRPG and when are they becoming too detailed/tedious/complicated (too realistic) for you?

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
HiddenX is online now

HiddenX

HiddenX's Avatar
The Elder Spy
RPGWatch Donor

#26

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NRW/Germany
Posts: 4,396

Default 

September 22nd, 2013, 22:05
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
I think the thread would be helped if we stuck to the topic, that is realism in CRPG's. Are there any CRPG's that you think would be better if they were less realistic?
It pinpoints you are sticking on the equation More realism = Better game. Can't you realize it?

I won't argue again I already did.
Ihaterpg is offline

Ihaterpg

Banned

#27

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 480

Default 

September 22nd, 2013, 22:09
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
The question is:
Up to which point these features are useful/interesting in a CRPG and when are they becoming too detailed/tedious/complicated (too realistic) for you?
I still don't understand what detail, tediousness and complexity have to do with realism.

Saying "HiddenX is reading a newspaper" is in no way less realistic than saying "HiddenX is reading his copy of of the May 18 edition of the The San Francisco Chronicle". Now saying "HiddenX is driving his copy of of the May 18 edition of the The San Francisco Chronicle", that's not realistic but just as detailed.

"I am not interested in good; I am interested in new, even if this includes the possibility of it's being evil"
(LaMonte Young, 1962)
holeraw is offline

holeraw

holeraw's Avatar
V.G.A.

#28

Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 693

Default 

September 22nd, 2013, 22:22
Originally Posted by holeraw View Post
I still don't understand what detail, tediousness and complexity have to do with realism.
The word is probably wrong, replace it by "realism simulation level" or even better but then harder to understand, "credibility simulation level".
Ihaterpg is offline

Ihaterpg

Banned

#29

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 480

Default 

September 22nd, 2013, 22:23
Is this so hard to understand?

Every part of a game can be made more abstract or more realistic.
Usually the more realistic you want to become, the more details are needed.
The complexity rises.

Think about a map for example:

You can only show a color and the country name.
You can show streets.
You can show towns.
You can show terrain and rivers.


or food:
You can design eating in CRPGs
by eating abstract "rations"
by eating wildlife and vegetables that can be found
by eating wildlife, vegetables and drinking water
by eating wildlife and vegetables that can be found and cooked

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
HiddenX is online now

HiddenX

HiddenX's Avatar
The Elder Spy
RPGWatch Donor

#30

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NRW/Germany
Posts: 4,396

Default 

September 22nd, 2013, 22:39
The map example is a bit audacious because the article quoted is more about mechanism, I quote: "introduces the concept of realism in the context of a discussion about core mechanics".

But clearly the concept and analyze can be extended to more passive elements as map details or graphic details. I bet the first reaction of most players would be that for passive details more realism can only be better.

But passive details have a role in many mechanisms.
Ihaterpg is offline

Ihaterpg

Banned

#31

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 480

Default 

September 28th, 2013, 09:03
Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
Realism is what makes a game fun and motivates you to keep on playing.

Examples:

- you get better with experience, not worse
Listing that feature in a thread dedicated to realism is weird because video games have constantly been drifting from reality on that point.

When designing a game, reality is convenient because it's been studied by others who provide models, functional models. So instead of starting from zero, a designer starts with some already working models.

Though, on the matter of experience, while early games were inspired from models based on reality, it slowly drifted away.

In reality, growing more experienced simply means growing more experienced. A person builds up more experience by going through more and more experiences. There is no certainty though that the person will grow better: a person can draw the wrong conclusions from her experiences, or the experience might diminish him.

At start, RPGs applied that. Growing more experienced was no certainty of growing better. The odds of growing worse were included when a player levelled up.

Then the video games industry turned to psychology to try to attract and addict more and more customers. And it was concluded that providing a secured environment to the player was the best thing to do to get people sink hours and hours in video gaming. And buy thousands of video games in the doing.

The secured environment provides a player with an adamant causality between effort and reward.
In reality, there is no adamant causality between effort and reward. Depending on who you are, depending on where you live, you receive more or less for the same effort. PC talks would like to picture the situation as directly causal between effort and reward but in reality, it is not. Some must push more to get less.

In certain video games, drifting from reality, a player is secured: there is no question that after that level of effort, the player will get that reward. It is the recipe of many mmorpgs. The players are ensured they will grow more powerful after pushing that much hours. The quest for power is secured.

MMORPG players tend to think in terms in yields: when they spend that many hours, they can hope to move up to that level, growing more powerful in the process.

An adamant causality between effort and reward does not exist for skill based games. Playing a full week does not mean growing better. You grow more experienced but in no way, it ensures you have grown better.

Again, at start, RPGs got their inspiration from reality, they included models that represented better the relationship between effort and reward.

Then the urge of selling more games came in and psychology was used. The addiction to power was characterized and it leads to the very unreal current situation.

Nothing should prevent the quest for power: no hard cap, no soft cap. Players should be guaranteed that they will get rewarded for the effort they put in.

It is so far away from reality that actually, it might be comfortable to associate the way it works in video games with the way it works in reality.

Since it works that way in video games, it must work the same in reality. Rebuilding reality from a model that is everything but real.
ChienAboyeur is offline

ChienAboyeur

SasqWatch

#32

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,143

Default 

September 28th, 2013, 09:12
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
@ChienAboyeur

you are telling a fantasy story - a fantasy story is fantastic - sure.

The topic is not about storytelling, it is about game mechanics.
That is good because when I think of gaming, gameplay, I only think of game mechanics.
how to handle damage and weopons?
how to handle food?
how to handle wounds?
how does armour work?
Is sleeping necessary?
What about weather effects?
Is a day/night cycle useful?
Is a higher gameworld interactivity useful/interesting?
What about the day schedules of NPCs?
What about artificial borders vs. free exploring?
What about real time vs. faster time?


The question is:
Up to which point these features are useful/interesting in a CRPG and when are they becoming too detailed/tedious/complicated (too realistic) for you?
When taking up the angle of game mechanics, nothing compulsory to force a reality angle.

As stated, in terms of gaming, reality is convenient as it's been studied already and this provides tons of working models to tap into. It is a wonderful source of inspiration.

Once again, connecting RPGs that, for the most of them, are set in fantasy settings (fantasy broad sense here, included stuff like cyberpunk etc, everything unreal actually) to reality makes no sense.

In a game, what matters is game mechanics. If getting inspired by real models leads to good game mechanics, that is well. If not, do not let reality put itself between a good gameplay and a gamer.
ChienAboyeur is offline

ChienAboyeur

SasqWatch

#33

Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2,143

Default 

September 28th, 2013, 10:37
The whole thread relates to using the word 'realism' which can introduce many grey areas (and obviously this discussion) - Ernest Adams has by his enthusiasm, introduced an uneccesary contention with choice of words.

Personally for the whole argument i would have used the word *believable* as this negates any conflict. (and probably no discussion)

Take for example the Piranha bytes well known descriptor "a fantasy RPG set in a believable world" immediately realism does not apply as long as the game world, story, dialogue, theme, backdrop and visuals and props etc' are *symbolic* to the gamer of things that can be believed as real - especially within fantasy.
Last edited by Wulf; September 28th, 2013 at 10:39. Reason: typo
Wulf is offline

Wulf

Wulf's Avatar
Inquisitor

#34

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North-West England
Posts: 1,107

Default 

September 28th, 2013, 12:26
Believability seems like a much more muddy term IMO.

Something can be believable because

- it's realistic

- it's internally consistent

- your audience is stupid (or very young)

"In Grimwhoah, you can ride on turtles."
Sacred_Path is offline

Sacred_Path

Sacred_Path's Avatar
Basement Horror

#35

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 918

Default 

September 28th, 2013, 20:15
The problem is article linked in OP isn't at all about "believable" or not. As hiddenx tried quote multiple time and obviously gave up, it's just about an opposition between the detail level mechanisms taken from reality and mechanisms setup for the feasibility and the gameplay orientation.

It's about reality simulation vs gameplay targeted and perhaps budget targeget, I don't remember.

I really wonder who read the article, it's good stuff easy to read.
Ihaterpg is offline

Ihaterpg

Banned

#36

Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 480

Default 

September 29th, 2013, 10:28
Re:

"All games, no matter how realistic, require some abstraction and simplification of the real world"

Conclusion:

Any degree of portraying the real world has to produce some humanistic believability by its very intention.
Wulf is offline

Wulf

Wulf's Avatar
Inquisitor

#37

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North-West England
Posts: 1,107

Default 

September 29th, 2013, 13:42
Am I the only one not wanting my games to be too realistic?

I hate the need to eat in a game.
I hate to feel the pressure of time in an rpg. I want too take my time exploring and enjoying the game.
And if i want a forest to look like a real forest, i'll take a hike in a real forest.

In games i am much more interested in the story, character development and a sense of accomplicement, i really could care less wether i am able to saw wood or being able to pick up every piece of useless junk lying around in the game (skyrim!!).
Ursusdraconis is offline

Ursusdraconis

Watcher

#38

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Beneath the sea
Posts: 84

Default 

September 29th, 2013, 14:13
Originally Posted by Ihaterpg View Post
The problem is article linked in OP isn't at all about "believable" or not. As hiddenx tried quote multiple time and obviously gave up, it's just about an opposition between the detail level mechanisms taken from reality and mechanisms setup for the feasibility and the gameplay orientation.

It's about reality simulation vs gameplay targeted and perhaps budget targeget, I don't remember.

I really wonder who read the article, it's good stuff easy to read.
The gist of the article is neither about simulation nor gameplay, it's about marketing:

Every design decision you make must serve the entertainment value of the game.
IOW, you must know your audience and peddle to it. Which is certainly true for any quality product. However, the premise in the video game industry is different right now: you make a product, any product, that will reach the widest audience. Which means that you must include the features that will be liked by the most, or offend the least, potential customers.

"In Grimwhoah, you can ride on turtles."
Sacred_Path is offline

Sacred_Path

Sacred_Path's Avatar
Basement Horror

#39

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 918
RPGWatch Forums » Games » General RPG » Realism in CRPGs
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 15:16.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch