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Thread: What new games are "immersive sims"

  1. #126
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    The immersion part goes farther than just an adherence to diegetic elements, though. It's also things like level design and worldbuilding. Besides, if you go too far in that direction, you'll end up in Trespasser territory.

  2. #127
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    N'Al: lo siento mucho


  3. #128
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    The immersion part goes farther than just an adherence to diegetic elements, though. It's also things like level design and worldbuilding. Besides, if you go too far in that direction, you'll end up in Trespasser territory.
    I'm open to finding something else to call it, then. The point is diegesis is not necessarily going to be immersive, but it's a set of things can lead to whatever each person's subjective threshold for immersion is.

  4. #129
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I hope you guys realise I've been working really hard at this diegetic systemic exploitation thing, because what I really want to do is end this thread with a DiSys Ex pun.


    ...shit, I jumped the fucking gun there didn't I

  5. #130
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: Pennsylvania
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    I hope you guys realise I've been working really hard at this diegetic systemic exploitation thing, because what I really want to do is end this thread with a DiSys Ex pun.


    ...shit, I jumped the fucking gun there didn't I
    It's not too late to edit your post so that you don't give away the game, as long has no one has quoted it in a reply yet.

  6. #131
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Well, thanks a whole bunch, then!


    I'm really only half-joking. Quarter-joking, even.

  7. #132
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    I think "emergent" is just as much a problem as "immersion". For me, it's enough that the designers give me a bunch of tools and let me use them to bypass obstacles in a variety of ways and combinations. Whether or not they actually say down, thought through, and intended each and every solution I use is nowhere near as important to me as that there are a bunch of solutions.

  8. #133
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2015
    Location: A Hot Rainy Country
    If you take early examples of LGS games, their biggest difference to other games were a more believable universe. You would play Doom and it would just be a big labyrinth with resources all over the place, monsters spawned in every room to give challenge, no story whatsoever, and in the end, just a simple arcade-ish experience. The fun was just in the challenge and in making points by wiping everything out, and that's it. That's the concept of the most basic videogames, like Asteroids or Donkey Kong or whatever, you don't need context, the experience was meant to be straightly fun as a diversion from the day you were having.

    LGS on the other hand were one of the first to create believable worlds inside a game, which was revolutionary by the time and awarded their games with the label of "immersive sims". From those days to nowadays gaming evolved a lot, with arcade-ish experiences being left behind in favor of more compelling worlds, and these changes were enough to blur the boundaries of what is an immersive sim, with newer games taking a lot of aspects from what made LGS games shine back in the day, but that's just not right to define them as immersive sims, all they have become is just a product of a medium's evolution, it was bound to happen, what really matter in the end is what the developer wanted to make.

    First and foremost, the ideal immersive sim I'm seeing being talked about here is kind of impossible without extremely complex artificial intelligence and complete world freedom, something which may only be achieved when we get to the point of, how fitting, cyberpunk works, where you connect yourself to an artificial perfectly plausible world bound only to your limitless imagination, and that's just too much. We're talking about gaming here, and the first examples of immersive sims were made to be fun, even though very experimental, they still tried to be games, not some overly complex unplayable works of art trying to push the boundaries of technology while failing to entertain. So, for something to be fun, there must be some level of disbelief. In a survival game, if it took you hours of waiting and chasing to kill a boar that's going to be your meat for the day, it stops being fun, and it actually becomes an actual simulator, but then again there's real life out there to do such things, simulators will only help to get you as far as your real world money wouldn't let you. That was not the ideal of LGS, so over relying in realism and simulation strafes from the core objective of what we're trying to categorize here.

    I think it's fare to assume that "immersive sims" shouldn't shun gameplay in favor of complex mechanics, but should try to make such mechanics a fun experience by being symbiotic with good gameplay, therefore one shouldn't categorize a game as immersive sim based only on gameplay parameters, both are kind of distinct in said measure, and that encompasses the First Person View rule, which I think is bound to gameplay value, more than a defining attribute of a genre. For example, through Third Person, combat is more fluid and three dimensional, especially depending on controls, than First Person. Also, First Person may end up being confusing as, unlike real life, you don't have a kind of spatial sense to understand your surroundings, more than just your vision, and some situations that are out of your control, or even actions that are unnatural in our point of view (I'm thinking about the Alien mechanic of climbing in walls and ceiling from Alien versus Predator games), may get motion sickening or confusing, for the lack of other stimuli we would have in real life. Third Person view kills such problems, helping in gameplay and even adding a layer of simulation, which I'll talk about next.

    In real life, even though we see through a "first person" perspective, the area around is communicating with us, such as our ability to feel when something or someone gets behind us, there are physical elements in our world that helps to get this "blind spots vision", which helps in situations of combat, for example, so that you're not surprised by an attack from behind. Through a First Person angle in a videogame, it's hard to give such precise simulation of your surroundings, apart from sound and maybe some visual elements to try and emulate this dimensional view we have. With Third Person you can create emulation of said sense, not only from what lies in the proximal vicinity, but also from a knowledge of your own body in relation to the environment. In real life, even if you're not seeing yourself, you know where your legs are, where your arms are, and you have a good feeling of distance to know how long your reach is, something that could be conveyed in games by a Third Person perspective, helping in gameplay and even adding a layer of simulation. So, after all, Third Person is also simulating, even if it passes through us unnoticed.

    So, back to the matter of fact, what is immersive sim is more of an ideal that comes from a game concept than what it ends up being. If you conceptualize a game to have a beliveable environment that instigates exploring, with branching roads to the same objective, a story that's told by the world and that drives your progression further, mechanics that can be used as tools, and even, that can be actual tools in the game (portal gun is a great example), hence creating emergent gameplay, complex artificial intelligence that interacts with player input, and based on Warren Spector's interviews, he focuses a lot on talking about player agency into the story, so that questions aren't answered by the author, but by the player, by what he does. All of that are pieces to create what would, today, be considered an immersive sim, but we must not forget, we're talking about a game, and more than that, we're talking about people that will have to create all of that. Sacrificing a little of those things to have a better gaming experience is no sin. Maybe the problem is production value, maybe it is technology that still isn't there to make a certain mechanic, maybe it's time retriction, maybe it's complexity of such work, maybe it wouldn't end up being fun, and you must cut those things out, still, it is something conceptualized as an immersive sim. Of course, if you cut too much it won't be an immersive sim anymore.

    Still, no conclusion at all of what is "immersive sim", I actually think you can't create a label by adding a lot of restrictions to it, because by the tiny bit of difference you have from all those rules you end up with endless arguments about the purity of such thing. Other examples are pretty narrow, like, science fiction: fiction based on science, western: work based on western north-american culture from the XIXth century, horror: terror with gore, terror: a work with suspense and mystery, often using psychological tricks to 'cause feelings of uneasiness and fear. It's all pretty straight forward.

    I'm all for standardizing the term into direct parameters though, which can be achieve by simple technology. Like: it's a game based on exploring, with an environment that shows purpose to exist, with mechanics that simulate basic world things like gravity and force, if other simulations are possible, better, with complex artificial intelligences that reacts to player input and overall open-ended approaches to objectives. That's somewhat direct, even though it can be improved. Just throwing some thoughts really.

  9. #134
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    I think "emergent" is just as much a problem as "immersion". For me, it's enough that the designers give me a bunch of tools and let me use them to bypass obstacles in a variety of ways and combinations. Whether or not they actually say down, thought through, and intended each and every solution I use is nowhere near as important to me as that there are a bunch of solutions.
    Emergence might not be as as much a separate intended goal as just a sign that the design is working well. If you have enough interesting interactions between systems, clever players can exploit use them to find solutions that the designers did not specifically intend. The goal is to build those interacting systems into the simulation in a way that produces interesting results and makes room for player creativity -- emergence is more or less an accidental byproduct.

  10. #135
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Landahn
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    N'Al: lo siento mucho
    I wub u

  11. #136
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Emergence may be an over-rated criteria. It is important that the game allows for creative play, but I don’t think emergent gameplay is necessary to give players creative freedom. There are a lot of opportunities for creative gameplay in the Dishonored games, although at no time did I feel like I had discovered something the designers didn’t intend or anticipate.

    My first taste of “emergent” gameplay in a first person game was bunny hopping and rocket jumping in Quake. Once everyone started to do it, it ruined online play for me. In single-player games, the first time I did something you might consider emergent was taking advantage of high-respawn areas in SS2 to accumulate loot from hybrids. But I don’t count that as creative problem solving, it was being gamey, and it was immersion-breaking.

    Deus Ex was full of opportunities to be gamey and exploit the bugs and weaknesses in the game’s systems. That led to all kinds of amusing stuff, like LAM climbing your way to see Max Chen on top of the building in HK, tricking the AI into doing all manner of nonsensical things like attacking the cleaner bot in HQ or opening locked doors for you, killing people with candy bars, and generally causing mayhem with NPCs. But I don’t think this stuff is core to the Deus Ex experience.

    I think there is also a point where designing for too much player freedom and creativity takes the challenge out of the game. If there are many ways to accomplish an objective, all effective, so your choices come down to whim, then accomplishing the objective isn’t as satisfying. Likewise, there is a point where making the game world too rich and too detailed with too much to do can detract from the story and your sense of progression. I’ll use Mankind Divided as my example for this. The game gives you almost too many tools and no reason to specialize. Also, Prague is so full of side quests and points of interest that you can spend hours faffing about crossing off things on a todo list without advancing the plot. Although Deus Ex gave you some places to explore and side quests for the sake of world building, you were never that far from the main plot. So I would say that if a game gives you so much player agency that you can spend chunks of time where you don’t feel like you’re on a mission and acting with a purpose that serves the game’s story, it shouldn’t qualify as an immersive sim.
    Last edited by heywood; 24th May 2017 at 15:28.

  12. #137
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    You can kill someone with a candy bar in DX1? Sweet.

    Having recently replayed SS2 and DX1, it's almost weird how focused those games are, especially DX1. Your given motivation is ambrosia/grey death from the opening mission until just before the Area 51 ending mission. I remembered it as being more convoluted than it really is.

  13. #138
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Qantas
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    You can kill someone with a candy bar in DX1? Sweet.
    LOL

    With an upgraded microfibral muscle aug, I've taken enemies out by throwing boxes at them. But apparently any physics object will do. Somewhere there is a video of somebody taking out an enemy by throwing a candy bar at the top of their head.

  14. #139
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Yup, I'd agree that emergence is a happenstance of a systems-based approach. Most successful game designs would have to account for things that could break the design, though -- for instance, giving every wall or door in a game a damage threshold beyond which it would break -- if I had a foot-thick titanium door that resisted all efforts to crack it open, I'd just blast a nearby concrete wall until it fell down. To account for that, the designer would have to make the room beyond the door also encased in something unbreakable.

    Unpredictability isn't a successful criterion either -- once something happens often enough, it becomes predictable. A game can't have an infinite number of system interactions or outcomes (yet).

  15. #140
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Yup, I'd agree that emergence is a happenstance of a systems-based approach. Most successful game designs would have to account for things that could break the design, though -- for instance, giving every wall or door in a game a damage threshold beyond which it would break -- if I had a foot-thick titanium door that resisted all efforts to crack it open, I'd just blast a nearby concrete wall until it fell down. To account for that, the designer would have to make the room beyond the door also encased in something unbreakable.

    Unpredictability isn't a successful criterion either -- once something happens often enough, it becomes predictable. A game can't have an infinite number of system interactions or outcomes (yet).
    That doesn't stop games like No Man's Sky from claiming they do.

  16. #141
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Such INUSTICE!

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