Do realism in games really challenge gamers?

Altercator

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Do realism in games really challenge gamers? Do they help gamers in making tactical decisions on how to overcome whatever odds "realistic" games throw at us?

Like military shooters for example. Consider using guns "realistically" how the gun acts & weigh. If the heavy machine gun slows down the speed of the player, how would gamers use the lack of speed to their advantage. If the game jams, how should players manage their ammunition? And then there's health. If a one shot kill is considered realistic, how does this add challenge to playing through a shooter?

Or let's take further into say, medieval history. Does the "realistic" weight of armor or sword creates more challenge for the gamer? etc.

What do you think?
 

Zhukov

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Depends how it's implemented and on the other mechanics that surround it.

Umm... duh?
 

Uriain

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Using your "military shooters" example, I think that the tactical aspect of gun weight, recoil and ads speed play more of a factor into your play style vs challenge the gamer.

Some people like the "run and gun" aspect of the sub machine guns, so they choose those weapons due to their quick ads, light weight and low to moderate recoil. Others, like myself, prefer the suppressive nature of the Light Machine gun (M240 ftw) and make modifications to the weapon/play style to compensate. Not so much of a "challenge" simply because you inherently know that a Mp5 is lighter than a M60 machine gun and which one of those weapons fits your play style.

I personalyl think that "alien/future tech" weapons give you a bit more challenge, because you cannot guage the weapon based solely off its looks. An "alien ray gun" can be either a light weapon or a heavy blaster, major recoil or none at all. Those weapons when first obtained by the player give you the "challenge".
 

TehCookie

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It challenges my patience. I don't find realistic games fun, when I'm playing a shooter I want to be an unstoppable badass. Having to trudge through the game at an infuriating pace or something is more of a concentration challenge than a game challenge.
 

Ender910_v1legacy

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Realism definitely can add to the challenge of a game. Exhibit A: Red Orchestra 2. Where 66%-75% of your team is armed with just a bolt action rifle. And everything is lethal.

 

ShinyCharizard

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TehCookie said:
It challenges my patients. I don't find realistic games fun, when I'm playing a shooter I want to be an unstoppable badass. Having to trudge through the game at an infuriating pace or something is more of a concentration challenge than a game challenge.
Yep same. I have little patience for "realism" in games. I find that games that strive for realism are almost always fucking boring/frustrating.
 

TehCookie

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ShinyCharizard said:
TehCookie said:
It challenges my patients. I don't find realistic games fun, when I'm playing a shooter I want to be an unstoppable badass. Having to trudge through the game at an infuriating pace or something is more of a concentration challenge than a game challenge.
Yep same. I have little patience for "realism" in games. I find that games that strive for realism are almost always fucking boring/frustrating.
Rereading my posts... and that is why you should not always rely on spellcheck without proofreading .///.
 

The Madman

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Depends on the game and how it's implemented obviously. SWAT 4 and Red Orchestra 2 are examples of games I'd consider much improved thanks to their adherence to some semblance of realism, but it's also not always neither as well done nor even suitable for a game.
 

Clowndoe

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Well, no, it doesn't make it harder, because the other players are adhering to the same rules as you are. It just means there's a bit more of a learning curve. Which is why I find it odd that people say they'd rather be an unstoppable badass. If you're unstoppable, then the other players are unstoppable, and so you are just as stoppable as you were before. I mean, the fact that I could have died in one shot didn't stop me from clearing the Barracks (and dropping 4-5 enemies) on my own with only my bayonet and a handful of grenades.

But games like Red Orchestra do foster a greater sense of camaraderie and teamwork than other games I find (not that they don't encourage it).
 

MysticSlayer

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Clowndoe said:
If you're unstoppable, then the other players are unstoppable, and so you are just as stoppable as you were before.
I think people are talking about singleplayer when they want to be an unstoppable badass. The whole idea doesn't work very well when considering online play, as characters will either have too much health for you to feel like you're tearing through them, or the guns will be so powerful that you feel vulnerable at all times.

Anyways, I don't find realistic games more challenging. In fact, I find them much easier than the more "casual" games like Call of Duty. In those games, not only is it easy to learn the weapons (for me), there also is a great divide among the different strategies that can be used, which heavily rewards anyone who plays excessively defensive or moderately aggressive, while punishing anyone who wants to play stupidly aggressive or tactically defensive. As a result, my skill level in the games tends to be higher than the people who find it hard to learn, and since moderate aggression is my predominant style of play, my play style fits right in with the games. Only now I don't have to deal with the fact that everyone understands the weapons or that every play style is viable. That's also why I find them boring compared to the more casual games, even if I can easily go perfect in the more realistic game while barely breaking a 1.0 KDR or W/L% in a more "casual" game.
 

WouldYouKindly

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Depends on what you mean by "realism". A realistic flight sim definitely takes more effort to play than an arcade flying game. Some flight sims are just a plane short of actually being a flying lesson.

If you mean the other kind of realism that modern shooters claim they've got, then you're not talking about realism. Getting shot is not an inconvenience that will go away in 20 seconds. Granted, the accuracy of enemies is also unrealistic, so the amount of health for the PC must also be unrealistic. Let me put it this way, combat very rarely consists of a steady progression forward. It's a bit like an aerial dogfight if neither side can completely achieve fire superiority. The two sides will go back and forth trying to outflank one another. This is why being pinned down is such a bad thing. It's not that you're dying usually, quite the contrary, you're behind cover. Unfortunately, you have immensely poor situational awareness and can be easily flanked.

If you've ever watched someone play ARMA, you'll know it's damned realistic. Sustained fire isn't good for anything but suppression. Getting shot is a major detriment to your abilities if you aren't killed outright and a good helicopter pilot can straight up ruin your day. Surprise and getting the first shot in is vital.

I don't have any requirement for realism, but if you're going to make it a top priority of your game, do not half ass it.
 

Something Amyss

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Challenge challenges gamers. Realism is not inherently tied to challenge. You can make a really hard, super unrealistic shooter.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Realism is an aesthetic choice, not a parameter of truth. Removing the sights, implementing a diegetic HUD, adding a bloom effect, using a brown palette, making the camerawork wobbly, introducing more unpredictable AI patterns, sampling different bullet sounds, causing impact to damage differently according to weather conditions and wind direction and where the projectile hits... these are all aesthetic choices. They don't make a game truer, they bring it closer to a particular artistic vision.

Challenge is relative to your own experience.
 

Ftaghn To You Too

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Red Orchestra II becomes more challenging when you're in the Realism mode, because mistakes lead to a swifter, more painful death. On the other hand, some unrealistic games have a hyper fast pace and are incredibly challenging. If anything, I think realism is more a question of pacing than challenge.

Altercator said:
Or let's take further into say, medieval history. Does the "realistic" weight of armor or sword creates more challenge for the gamer? etc.

What do you think?
"Realistic" weights in armor and weapons are horribly unrealistic. Weapons and armor were not all that heavy.

However, in a related point, that means that realistic depictions of how armor has very few downsides do make things more difficult in a lot of cases. And realistic depictions of its weight makes combat faster and more challenging.
 

Slayer_2

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I find realism in games can really add to the experience and put you in the environment. Quake 2 is a great game, and a lot of fun, but I never will get immersed in that world like I will with Red Orchestra or Operation Flashpoint since a human jumping several meters in the air, taking multiple shots without so much as slowing down and sprinting at about 30 kilometers per hour is not really immersive for me. Some people call realism boring and tedious, but I would argue some people say the same about storylines in games, it's a matter of what you prefer.
 

Serioli

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Does being a gamer affect how you respond to realism?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7867861.stm

Pertinent quote:
'However, while the simulation worked for most people, those who played a lot of video games did rather unusual things. "If a door was on fire, they [gamers] would try and run through it, rather than look for a different exit," said Dr Smith.'
 

Bostur

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Altercator said:
Do realism in games really challenge gamers? Do they help gamers in making tactical decisions on how to overcome whatever odds "realistic" games throw at us?
No actually I think it limits good challenges to some extent. When realism doesn't need to be taken into account, designers have more freedom to craft a good balance and some challenging gameplay. Maybe there is an exception when the realism itself happens to be an enjoyable, challenging activity. A realistic pinball simulator is probably more fun than a realistic street cleaning simulator.

Realism however can add some nice immersion, and some realism is necessary because there is a limit to our imagination and how much abstraction we can handle.

People tend to be very divided in this matter. Some people like a focus on realism, and others like a focus on gamey elements. In strategy games there is a group that wants things to be historically correct, and another group who wants a well-balanced game. In shooters some people want guns that look and feel like the real thing, and others want guns that serve specific purposes and fit well into the gameplay.

In simulations realistic complexity is often thought of as an extra challenge, and it can be. But unrealistic complexity can serve the same purpose. Space craft simulators can hardly be considered realistic, but they often do have fictional complexity that seems like realism in a fictional setting.

Personally I lean towards the gamey side of things. I like well-designed gameplay challenges. But I do appreciate having immersive realism on top.
 

Lilani

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One of the biggest problems with reality is tedium. Oftentimes elements of "reality" in games are merely walls the player is constantly forced to push over on their way to what they really want. They provide no reward or entertainment in and of themselves. This is why game characters never have to stop and poop, even in the most supposedly "realistic" games. One such example of a bad element of reality is degenerating armor. Unless the game is ABOUT gathering supplies and fighting scarcity, the system is just an arbitrary wall that detracts from the overall goal of the game.

However, as I said, if the game is about fighting scarcity then it works. Minecraft is one such example. It has degenerating weapons and armor, but the entire reason the person is playing is to use what's around them to survive. The system fits perfectly well with the other mechanics.

So yes, reality can work, but it has to have a reason for being there. It shouldn't be used as a cheap way to artificially raise the difficulty of the game.
 

Bostur

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Serioli said:
Does being a gamer affect how you respond to realism?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7867861.stm

Pertinent quote:
'However, while the simulation worked for most people, those who played a lot of video games did rather unusual things. "If a door was on fire, they [gamers] would try and run through it, rather than look for a different exit," said Dr Smith.'
That was a funny read. I think gamers may need better simulations to respond seriously to them. If the fire simulation had a realistic feeling of heat maybe they wouldn't run through the burning door. ;-)

Incidentally I don't have a driver's license myself. In the few cases where I had the opportunity to drive a car in a safe environment, I got the uncomfortable feeling that I felt detached from what was going on outside. It felt too much like a game. Although lack of driving experience was probably just as big a factor as playing too many racing games.