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Default Things missing in Medieval-Fantasy games (dirt, sewage, tanneries,…)

February 2nd, 2022, 10:46
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
I'm afraid I've never played that one. *shrug*.
I'm sure you can think of similar examples in other games… The point is the same.
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February 2nd, 2022, 11:45
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
It depends on the game. For something like King's Bounty, where the clean and cartoony aesthetic is a major part of its style, yes, that's obviously a design choice.

But I think realism in the context of adding to immersion is what's being meant here₦ not realism just for the sake of being more realistic.

So when something is supposed to look dirty, like the sewers in a first/third person game, I can understand how it might add to the immersion if they looked more like how we imagined them to.
What would be some good examples of high fantasy games that could have benefitted from such an approach, in your opinion?

I'm currently watching a Youtube Let's Play of Call of Cthulhu (2018), which describes itself as a "role-playing survival horror video game". I mean, it's a typical modern visual novel but with some minor stats that effect dialogue or world item interaction, you get the idea. Anyway, it has everything that's being asked for by @Pladio

Throughout the game the Let's Player is congratulating the game on it's immersive environment, while simultaneously constantly criticising the gameplay and UI. It has:

Dirty grimey surroundings, befitting a fishing village in perpetual night in a horror game, where everything's rusty, broken, piled up, mucky, etc:



And it has a toilet to die for, @Pladio would be highly impressed, as was the Let's Player, as it even has a dead rat next to it:



But, of course, there's no toilet mechanic and the toilet doesn't really have any reason to be there aside from a nod to realism and aesthetics.

And this is what I assume you're talking about.

But the reason this game is going for that aesthetic is because it's a horror genre game. Surely, if you make your 'for everyone' generic fantasy RPG more 'grimey' befitting an area you think should be grimey, aren't you kinda getting people into something they weren't necessarily 'buying into'. In that, facing a demon in an RPG is supposed to be 'less frightening' than facing a demon in a horror game. By obvious design intention.

Also - Hommlet is a good example, surely, of why it's probably a bad idea to put 'all of the trades' into a high fantasy game? Unless you're actually going to do something interesting with them?

How do Bloodborne's sewers stack up?



Another game quite big on the horror aesthetic.

The title of the thread isn't about first person immersive sims, it's stating 'medieval-fantasy' specifically.

If @Pladio had specified immersive sims, then sure, I'd agree. But regular high fantasy cRPGs? I mean, where even is the heritage of that? Where would that expectation even come from?
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February 2nd, 2022, 13:56
I'm not sure why you think a shitter benefits a horror game more than a medieval-fantasy game. I don't find toilets particularly scary (most of the time).

I'm pretty sure Pladio is talking about having these things to make the game world feel more real and therefore adding to the atmosphere and immersion. As he said, "Even in fantasy settings you would have what would count as realism within the setting." So I don't think the genre matters as much as you're implying.
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February 2nd, 2022, 16:23
A bit off-topic but:

One of the things I found goofy in Fallout 3/NV/4 was the amount of trash lying around. It makes a tiny amount of sense in raider camps but no sense at all in most of the settlements. Why would people choose to live in filth in a place where Mr. Handy's still function?
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February 2nd, 2022, 18:48
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
A bit off-topic but:

One of the things I found goofy in Fallout 3/NV/4 was the amount of trash lying around. It makes a tiny amount of sense in raider camps but no sense at all in most of the settlements. Why would people choose to live in filth in a place where Mr. Handy's still function?

It's post-apoc, you know. The genre has its conventions… even when they make no sense!
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February 2nd, 2022, 19:16
Because people, for the most part, are sloppy and lazy, to the extent you'd not believe. Have you ever driven by a trailer park?? That's like current medieval living in all its' nasty glory!!~
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February 3rd, 2022, 13:47
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
If @Pladio had specified immersive sims, then sure, I'd agree. But regular high fantasy cRPGs? I mean, where even is the heritage of that? Where would that expectation even come from?
Well, when I play a RPG with a setting imitating a certain historical and geographical epoch then my initial expectation is that everything works just like it worked in reality, except implicitly or explicitly stated otherwise.

So if we have a game with a central european medieval setting, I expect everything to be like in central europe in medieval times, except implicitly or explicitly stated otherwise.
So we have the regular laws of pyhsics (e.g. every objects falls down with an acceleration of about 9.81 m/s), we have one sun and one moon, night and day, we have humans, animals and so on.

When a game is labeled as fantasy, I expect there will be some magic and also some supernatural monsters, like dragons, undead. Also there could be other human-like races like orc, elves, dwarves ect.

However I still expect that objects fall down. I still expect there to be one sun. And yes, I expect humans to make dirt. So not having dirt lowers immersion, even in a fantasy game.
There could be of course exceptions. E.g. the sorceresses in The Witcher just don't have dirt on their clothes. Magic cleans them.
Or when we visit a Wizard's property where golems or other constructs are running around we can safely assume that dirt is taken care of.

Of course as @JDR13 mentioned the general art style is to consider here. My thoughts only apply if the art style is "realistic". (I have no idea what word to use.)
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February 3rd, 2022, 15:12
I think it would be beneficial to the thread if we establish which high fantasy games are the biggest offenders at missing stuff out.

Because I never felt Baldur's Gate lacked toilets. I never felt King's Bounty lacked dirt. I never felt Hommlet lacked trading emporiums. Avernum does have gunk in its sewers.

But then I suspect the high fantasy games I play aren't the ones being discussed.

Is this a Witcher 3 and Skyrim thread?
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February 3rd, 2022, 16:49
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
I think it would be beneficial to the thread if we establish which high fantasy games are the biggest offenders at missing stuff out.

Because I never felt Baldur's Gate lacked toilets. I never felt King's Bounty lacked dirt. I never felt Hommlet lacked trading emporiums. Avernum does have gunk in its sewers.

But then I suspect the high fantasy games I play aren't the ones being discussed.

Is this a Witcher 3 and Skyrim thread?
I'm not sure what you are trying to say. What is your point ?

In my opinion, it should be across all games. I referred to Medieval Fantasy games in the title and those are the ones that I've seen the least of this type of thing.

Literally playing through most games I remember playing, it's very rare.
For example Gothic 2 has sewers and other than a few boxes/barrels, the sewers are sparkly clean:
https://lparchive.org/Gothic-II/Update%2013/12-12.jpg

As someone else has said, if there were some cleaning skeletons there or something, sure. But it's just a band of thugs hiding somewhere.

Here's one of Dragon Age Inquisition - a marketplace with food stalls:
https://www.gamersheroes.com/wp-cont…on-Village.jpg

I could eat off that floor.

Simple fruit market in Leicester:
http://photos.wikimapia.org/p/00/03/74/78/82_big.jpg

Can you see, there's actually stuff on the floor. Because that's what people do, they drop stuff or simply litter..
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February 3rd, 2022, 17:39
I think @Morrandir and @Pladio explains very well what this is about.

One question: Should dirt and tanneries and whatever just be passive visual elements? Would certainly in itself add to my immersion, without affecting gameplay in any way.

Or should it be active, like having to clean away some mess before sitting down etc. I have been thinking about things like that for some time. Take for instance day/night activities, such as shopkeepers being away from their shops during night time. Realistic, yes, and some explicitely wants that. But whenever I enter a town at night and find shops emtpy, I just spool forward, if possible (like the "T" command in Skyrim). So it doesn't add to my immersion the way I play the games (but doesn't bother me as long as I can spool).

If the latter was off topic, just disregard it.

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February 3rd, 2022, 18:55
I'd say both, Pibbur. You'd have the constant dirt that simply builds up and never disperses due to neglect. Then you would have the ever-present additional dirt/grime that arrives daily, from plenty of animals and humans alike, all living in close proximity for protection and welfare. I guess back in those days people simply accepted it, yet these days most would find it intolerable and downright offensive.
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February 3rd, 2022, 23:04
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
I'm not sure what you are trying to say. What is your point ?

In my opinion, it should be across all games. I referred to Medieval Fantasy games in the title and those are the ones that I've seen the least of this type of thing.

Literally playing through most games I remember playing, it's very rare.
For example Gothic 2 has sewers and other than a few boxes/barrels, the sewers are sparkly clean:
https://lparchive.org/Gothic-II/Update%2013/12-12.jpg

As someone else has said, if there were some cleaning skeletons there or something, sure. But it's just a band of thugs hiding somewhere.

Here's one of Dragon Age Inquisition - a marketplace with food stalls:
https://www.gamersheroes.com/wp-cont…on-Village.jpg

I could eat off that floor.

Simple fruit market in Leicester:
http://photos.wikimapia.org/p/00/03/74/78/82_big.jpg

Can you see, there's actually stuff on the floor. Because that's what people do, they drop stuff or simply litter..
I haven't played either of those games I'm afraid.
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February 3rd, 2022, 23:08
Originally Posted by pibbuR View Post
One question: Should dirt and tanneries and whatever just be passive visual elements? Would certainly in itself add to my immersion, without affecting gameplay in any way.

Or should it be active.
In Avernum there was inactive grime, grime that you could move around, fungi art, and also active grime in the form of biohazard squares that had a chance to poison you each time you stepped on them.
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February 4th, 2022, 00:16
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
A bit off-topic but:

One of the things I found goofy in Fallout 3/NV/4 was the amount of trash lying around. It makes a tiny amount of sense in raider camps but no sense at all in most of the settlements. Why would people choose to live in filth in a place where Mr. Handy's still function?
I had some long debates about this topic with friends on Discord. Two of the always had spotless homes while me and one other had them messy.

For me it comes down to a couple things. One Carnifax pointed out - people are lazy and/or don't care. All you have to do is go around and look at some homes to see how true this is. So many homes look like dumps. This may not because they are lazy but because they are overwhelmed, poor and feel they can't do anything or it doesn't make a difference, and so on.

The other things is that in a world like FO4 the priority is going to be on survival - finding clean water, finding food, having a place to sleep, avoiding raiders, super mutants, ghouls, and more.

People will be less focused on sweeping their floors and cleaning windows if they don't know where their next meal is coming from or are keep an eye out for raiders or mutants.

Also it can be exhausting living in that type of environment and few folks would have the energy to clean daily. There are Mr. Handy's but I doubt most folks could afford to have their own robot butler even if there were enough of them to go around.

That being said there might also be some folks whose mind set was such that they would try extra hard to clean. Not sure how effective it would be considering the environment though.

Regardless it makes sense to me things wouldn't be that clean. I do think, however, that people would make an effort to at least move trash piles out of the way and obvious garbage.
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February 4th, 2022, 01:36
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
I haven't played either of those games I'm afraid.
It doesn't really matter whether you've played these particular games or not. I don't know which games you have or haven't played, yet I have given you 3 examples now of games (with pictures for 2) to make the point. You either get it or don't I think at this point.

Off-topic, I highly recommend Gothic 2 - still one of the most iconic RPGs I have played. Although quite a bit dated now.
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February 4th, 2022, 15:48
In the cases of Fallout 3 and 4 cities where people are mostly safe is what I mostly meant. I don't get the dirt and grime and the lack of cleanliness. I do understand it somewhat in the more open areas that haven't been tamed. Still, they have remnants of technology and should understand basic hygiene. Pick up the pile of 200 year old garbage, which wouldn't even exist at this point due to wind/weather/erosion, etc. This is another case of picking and choosing reality points.
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February 4th, 2022, 16:27
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
In the cases of Fallout 3 and 4 cities where people are mostly safe is what I mostly meant. I don't get the dirt and grime and the lack of cleanliness. I do understand it somewhat in the more open areas that haven't been tamed. Still, they have remnants of technology and should understand basic hygiene. Pick up the pile of 200 year old garbage, which wouldn't even exist at this point due to wind/weather/erosion, etc. This is another case of picking and choosing reality points.
Yeah, I think futuristic games may have less of a 'need' for that. Although, I'm playing Outer Wilds and there it has some post-apocalyptic areas due to animal infestations and I do like the details they've added. For example, one shower, the floor was liquidy black, which in my head must have been left running whilst people evacuated and over time, the remaining water turned mouldy.

I don't have a screenshot of that one. I found a picture on Reddit though.
Don't ask me how the guy in a full suit of armour can do his business , but you can see the grime on the walls

https://www.reddit.com/r/theouterwor…for_this_game/
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February 4th, 2022, 16:29
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
In the cases of Fallout 3 and 4 cities where people are mostly safe is what I mostly meant. I don't get the dirt and grime and the lack of cleanliness. I do understand it somewhat in the more open areas that haven't been tamed. Still, they have remnants of technology and should understand basic hygiene. Pick up the pile of 200 year old garbage, which wouldn't even exist at this point due to wind/weather/erosion, etc. This is another case of picking and choosing reality points.
Yeah, I think futuristic games may have less of a 'need' for that. Although, I'm playing Outer Wilds and there it has some post-apocalyptic areas due to animal infestations and I do like the details they've added. For example, one shower, the floor was liquidy black, which in my head must have been left running whilst people evacuated and over time, the remaining water turned mouldy.

I don't have a screenshot of that one. I found a picture on Google though.
Don't ask me how the guy in a full suit of armour can do his business , but you can see the grime on the walls

https://preview.redd.it/cw29singusz3…=webp&a2724969

I like those kinds of details.
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February 4th, 2022, 19:34
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
However, in most cases wouldn't it be an intentional design choice to avoid realism?

Take King's Bounty: The Legend:



Who on earth would play that game and take from it "Gee, I wish this game had more medieval realism!" ?
Personally, I LOVED that game BECAUSE it had no realism in it !

But that comes rather from my own frustration that MOST games define "realism" as "having more blood, more gore. more violence" …

Besides, please take a look at my current ( for years now ) signature !
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February 4th, 2022, 19:37
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
For example Gothic 2 has sewers and other than a few boxes/barrels, the sewers are sparkly clean:
DDO has LOTS of sewers !
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