GetDotted Domains

At GetDotted, a 1 year .co.uk, .uk, .me.uk or .org.uk registration is now just £1.95 ex VAT.

Search Domains Now

Viewing Thread:
"Greater realism"

The "General Games Chat" forum, which includes Retro Game Reviews, has been archived and is now read-only. You cannot post here or create a new thread or review on this forum.

Wed 04/12/02 at 16:23
Regular
Posts: 787
Many talk of gaming realism by the more obvious features such as graphics and gameplay. But there are more subtle realisms that are not so obvious.


LOCATION
The setting of most current games is on this wonderful planet of ours, earth. This is probably because itís more fun to recreate certain aspects of earthly life rather than create a game that features nothing humans have ever done before. Just about every specialist niche in anything relating to life has been catered for by some game or other, from Zoo Tycoon and Microsoft Train Simulator to WWF Wrestling and Rally Championship. Itís an inherent human desire to play what they already know and are familiar with, thatís why FIFA football games will always sell more than any other non-existent futuristic sports game. This is the reason behind the fact that most games are set on our earth.

Total reality would require not only that all games be based on earth, space or some other realistic setting, but also that they be recognisable places. Every game must be set on a particular place in the world, no artificial places accepted, and the game must obviously show itís location. If it was set in Egypt then the areas would be hot, dusty and sandy, and all the inhabitants would wear the correct mode of dress for that country. But total reality could cause some consternation here because if it created a game involving terrorists, pretty much any setting in New York would cause quite an uproar among critics. If a terrorist game were created, it would be much better suited to fictional locations within countries. Also there are some very good games that are not set on earth. So for these reasons, total reality would not be feasible in terms of location.

To find how much reality is needed in location, it would help a lot to look to other styles of media that have accepted realism, and see what they manage to get away with. This will include film, radio and books. For any of these media types to be realistic they must contain some elements of real life, anything that the audience can relate to is what makes up their perception of realism.

Firstly lets look at Lord of the Rings, which has recently been released on all three formats. The realism in LOTR is widely accepted, despite itís fantasy setting. Why? Because it features both humans and a location that is similar to earth; trees, houses, taverns. Even though it contains ogres, goblins, wizards and loads of other weird monsters, it still manages to be realistic through itís use of familiar elements.
So lets take a more extreme title ĎThe Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. This series of books starts on earth and then ranges over the whole universe to totally fictional locations. Yet it still manages to remain realistic, or at least create a realistic perception in the minds of the viewers. Why? Because it starts in and constantly returns to well known locations on earth, and itís star is a totally fallible human. Again using familiar elements to generate realism.

So the perfect game then should stretch realism to allow for other places than earth. But for the games that use earth as a setting anyway, in some cases these should attempt to recreate real locations as this really does enhance realism, but obviously this wouldnít be applicable to all styles of game.



HISTORICAL ACCURACY
Surprisingly, historical accuracy takes quite a large degree of importance in some of the major recent games. Return to Castle Wolfenstein featured accurate representations of the German soldierís uniforms that are modelled on real uniforms from the time period that the game was set in, and most of the weapons are the ones actually used by the Germans at that time.

Another example of historical accuracy is Age of Empires and itís sequel. This is an RTS title that not only boasts accurate military units for around 8 different civilisations at the correct time period, but also provides you with real-life historical backgrounds on every unit and building. Itís worth pointing out that some historical accuracy is compromised for certain units that are purely fictional, but this is a deliberate choice so as to balance the civilisations and make the game more fun overall.

But does historical accuracy actually improve your gaming experience at all, or is it simply another pointless expense?
Turning again to television and video, youíll no doubt remember some of the older films in which you could see obvious mistakes. I can recall one particular film that showed a scene with tribal warriors racing across a large patch of land to attack some other army, but in the background behind the natives you could clearly see the second camera crew, unaware that they were imposing in the shot. That shot peopleís impression of historical accuracy and realism down to earth with a bump. Other examples could include a WW1 soldier wearing a digital watch, and a part of a sports car appearing in a Western.
The gaming equivalent to these jarring mistakes could be like the following:
You are playing a WW1 game and are fighting a Nazi officer who is chasing you with a Sten Gun. Having little success, he abandons his gun in favour of an infra-red missile launcher before leaping into his Puma assault helicopter. He then dons jeans and t-shirt, curses you with a torrent of modern swear words and drops a nuclear bomb on you, which doesnít explode, being made in Taiwan.
Although that is wildly exaggerated, you can see that unrealistic historical accuracy would severely ruin a gameís playability.

Alternatively, a total reality game would include every last detail, whether it be the type and model of vehicles in the game, or the dress of game characters. This appears to present no immediate problems in theory, but put into practise would make for a very dull game. You would be strictly limited to the resources available in the gameís time period, and absolutely nothing else. This is partly why Age of Empires makes a conscious decision not to strictly adhere to historical accuracy, so it can liven the game considerably and let you enjoy it far more.

As with most game elements then, the mix is somewhere in between for the perfect game. Historical accuracy definitely enhances a game, but has to be limited strictly to believability status if it doesnít want to rob other game elements.


Thanks for reading
Thu 05/12/02 at 13:12
Regular
"Stud-muffin!!"
Posts: 563
Good posts guys. I wasn't condoning realism, just saying that it is good in small amounts.
Wed 04/12/02 at 17:08
Regular
"Beaten with sticks"
Posts: 638
The reason we play games is to, in the time that we are engrossed, feel like we are somebody else or someone more powerfull than ourselves. If games got to realistic we would loose our passion for games and thus kill the industry.
Wed 04/12/02 at 16:55
Regular
"Z will be here soon"
Posts: 7,562
But if all games were realistic we wouldnt be blessed with any RPGs, all games would be as serious as serious sam, except thats crap and not really real.

If developers were intent on making things seem real there wouldnt be any fantasy games, but then again we wouldnt be burdened with gravity defying racers such as Extreme G.

The realistic games dont really need to get alot realer, I think they are fine as they are.

Perhaps in resident evil, instead of zombies that are not real, we should face arthritic old people who claw you with their bony fingers and hack at your kneecaps with their walking stick.

Or maybe in carmageddon, instead of running zombies over to gain extra time, you could run over deers. The RSPCA would love that wouldnt they!

Or in a music generator, to improve the sense of realism, the screen could flash with a message saying, "You'll never be a real DJ!"

Or in the Sims you could get arrested by the police and taken to prison after been charged with invasion of privacy.

What im tryin to say is games need to have that little something which prvents them from been real life, otherwise it isnt a game and it isnt fun.
Wed 04/12/02 at 16:23
Regular
"Stud-muffin!!"
Posts: 563
Many talk of gaming realism by the more obvious features such as graphics and gameplay. But there are more subtle realisms that are not so obvious.


LOCATION
The setting of most current games is on this wonderful planet of ours, earth. This is probably because itís more fun to recreate certain aspects of earthly life rather than create a game that features nothing humans have ever done before. Just about every specialist niche in anything relating to life has been catered for by some game or other, from Zoo Tycoon and Microsoft Train Simulator to WWF Wrestling and Rally Championship. Itís an inherent human desire to play what they already know and are familiar with, thatís why FIFA football games will always sell more than any other non-existent futuristic sports game. This is the reason behind the fact that most games are set on our earth.

Total reality would require not only that all games be based on earth, space or some other realistic setting, but also that they be recognisable places. Every game must be set on a particular place in the world, no artificial places accepted, and the game must obviously show itís location. If it was set in Egypt then the areas would be hot, dusty and sandy, and all the inhabitants would wear the correct mode of dress for that country. But total reality could cause some consternation here because if it created a game involving terrorists, pretty much any setting in New York would cause quite an uproar among critics. If a terrorist game were created, it would be much better suited to fictional locations within countries. Also there are some very good games that are not set on earth. So for these reasons, total reality would not be feasible in terms of location.

To find how much reality is needed in location, it would help a lot to look to other styles of media that have accepted realism, and see what they manage to get away with. This will include film, radio and books. For any of these media types to be realistic they must contain some elements of real life, anything that the audience can relate to is what makes up their perception of realism.

Firstly lets look at Lord of the Rings, which has recently been released on all three formats. The realism in LOTR is widely accepted, despite itís fantasy setting. Why? Because it features both humans and a location that is similar to earth; trees, houses, taverns. Even though it contains ogres, goblins, wizards and loads of other weird monsters, it still manages to be realistic through itís use of familiar elements.
So lets take a more extreme title ĎThe Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. This series of books starts on earth and then ranges over the whole universe to totally fictional locations. Yet it still manages to remain realistic, or at least create a realistic perception in the minds of the viewers. Why? Because it starts in and constantly returns to well known locations on earth, and itís star is a totally fallible human. Again using familiar elements to generate realism.

So the perfect game then should stretch realism to allow for other places than earth. But for the games that use earth as a setting anyway, in some cases these should attempt to recreate real locations as this really does enhance realism, but obviously this wouldnít be applicable to all styles of game.



HISTORICAL ACCURACY
Surprisingly, historical accuracy takes quite a large degree of importance in some of the major recent games. Return to Castle Wolfenstein featured accurate representations of the German soldierís uniforms that are modelled on real uniforms from the time period that the game was set in, and most of the weapons are the ones actually used by the Germans at that time.

Another example of historical accuracy is Age of Empires and itís sequel. This is an RTS title that not only boasts accurate military units for around 8 different civilisations at the correct time period, but also provides you with real-life historical backgrounds on every unit and building. Itís worth pointing out that some historical accuracy is compromised for certain units that are purely fictional, but this is a deliberate choice so as to balance the civilisations and make the game more fun overall.

But does historical accuracy actually improve your gaming experience at all, or is it simply another pointless expense?
Turning again to television and video, youíll no doubt remember some of the older films in which you could see obvious mistakes. I can recall one particular film that showed a scene with tribal warriors racing across a large patch of land to attack some other army, but in the background behind the natives you could clearly see the second camera crew, unaware that they were imposing in the shot. That shot peopleís impression of historical accuracy and realism down to earth with a bump. Other examples could include a WW1 soldier wearing a digital watch, and a part of a sports car appearing in a Western.
The gaming equivalent to these jarring mistakes could be like the following:
You are playing a WW1 game and are fighting a Nazi officer who is chasing you with a Sten Gun. Having little success, he abandons his gun in favour of an infra-red missile launcher before leaping into his Puma assault helicopter. He then dons jeans and t-shirt, curses you with a torrent of modern swear words and drops a nuclear bomb on you, which doesnít explode, being made in Taiwan.
Although that is wildly exaggerated, you can see that unrealistic historical accuracy would severely ruin a gameís playability.

Alternatively, a total reality game would include every last detail, whether it be the type and model of vehicles in the game, or the dress of game characters. This appears to present no immediate problems in theory, but put into practise would make for a very dull game. You would be strictly limited to the resources available in the gameís time period, and absolutely nothing else. This is partly why Age of Empires makes a conscious decision not to strictly adhere to historical accuracy, so it can liven the game considerably and let you enjoy it far more.

As with most game elements then, the mix is somewhere in between for the perfect game. Historical accuracy definitely enhances a game, but has to be limited strictly to believability status if it doesnít want to rob other game elements.


Thanks for reading

Freeola & GetDotted are rated 5 Stars

Check out some of our customer reviews below:

First Class!
I feel that your service on this occasion was absolutely first class - a model of excellence. After this, I hope to stay with Freeola for a long time!
Many thanks!!
Registered my website with Freeola Sites on Tuesday. Now have full and comprehensive Google coverage for my site. Great stuff!!
John Shepherd

View More Reviews

Need some help? Give us a call on 01376 55 60 60

Go to Support Centre
Feedback Close Feedback

It appears you are using an old browser, as such, some parts of the Freeola and Getdotted site will not work as intended. Using the latest version of your browser, or another browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Opera will provide a better, safer browsing experience for you.