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February 2nd, 2008, 20:26
Originally Posted by Jaz View Post
It has nothing to do with not-so-shiny graphics… it's not the level of eye candy, t's the point of view that ultimately makes or breaks the intimate impact of a game on me.
That could explain why I found Zanzarah so immersive … I *really* had the feeling as if I was walking within a forest or wood … including the occational ability to lose my way.

It really *felt* like a wood … I've never seen this before. Even in Gothic, which is in my personal list what comes closest to Zanzarah in terms of immersion - a forest never felt so "thick", so dense. So … alive.

It was like … A level designer places a lawn and some trees in a special way. He or she usually has a "design goal" in mind. Usually this "design goal" is bound with the layout or/and the goal of the mission itself. Place a few big rocks for hiding. Put some trees there for hiding, too.

Zanzarah, and in part Gothic 1, never felt this way. Everything felt naturally, because I was … "moved" into the feeling as if everything just had grown so … Trees can grow in a huge variety of shapes, rocks erode during time, meanwhile some softer stone materials evolve in rounder rocks and some harder stone materials result in more edgy rocks … I have so far never had the feeling that an designer had tried to capture the feeling of walking through a dense forest with the tools of level-designing. Just the emotional feeling, the emotional immersion wasn't there.

To me, games tend too much to focus on just what's rationally perceivable … The cliché says that men are rather rational, meanwhile women are rather emotional … and games are to 95 % made by men - I was just about to say "for men", but tjat's not right, although the number of male gamers is still quite high.

In FPS games, in RTS games, everything where there's combat … that's a thing you use your logic for. It's a men's thing, because combat requires strategy which requires logic to be successful.

There is almost no really emotional experience of games, and I believe that this is why FPS and RTS games can be usually found in second-hand shops in huge quantities and adventure games are there almost non-existend: There is no emotional bonding (as i call it), no emotional experience that lets the game be kept in the gamer's minds.

As long as there's logic used (FPS, RTS), there's a point where you might master the game … And from this point on the game loses its … "charm", its replayability value, its … experience. Its athmosphere. Its reason to buy it, ultimatively.

And when you've mastered a game, then it becomes boring, because now you know how it goes.

But … - emotional experiences imho bind the gamers - like readers of good books. They want to read it again and again because of the shivers that run down the spine. Or the tragedy of a love that can't be, or that something is foul in the state of Denmark. Or the resurrection of a fallen, mechanised Dark Lord of the Sith. Or the blossoming of a bloom in the spring.

Games don't focus on emotions. They focus far to much (imho) on aspects of logic and ratio. And this is imho to be expected, because games are to 905 % made by men.

There are no true storytellers in the gaming industry. There's too much logic involved. Imho.
“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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