How Real Do Survival Games Feel to a Real Survivor?

Russ Pitts

The Boss of You
May 1, 2006
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How Real Do Survival Games Feel to a Real Survivor?

How deep survival games The Long Dark and DayZ stack up to my own experiences in the wild.

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Andy Shandy

Fucked if I know
Jun 7, 2010
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Good to see you back on the Escapist in some form :D

As for the article itself, it was a fascinating read. As someone who hasn't really done anything like your experiences but has played the odd survival game or two I did wonder just how closely they stacked up.

I'm also interested to see just how much of an impact the upcoming virtual reality tech (Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus, etc) will have on these survival games in particular. Obviously it's never likely to match up to the real thing, but seeing just how large that jump may be is intriguing.
 

marcooos

Shit Be Serial Cray
Nov 18, 2009
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Sheeeiiittt always nice to have you back Russ, really enjoyed the article as well
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

books, Books, BOOKS
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Good to see you back Russ. :D

Anyways, I really enjoyed the article. I've always wondered how close the survival games were to the actual thing. I've never gone to the woods with a group of people or by myself, but I know people who do. Their stories kind of gave me an idea of what it's like, but they don't play games so I could get an idea of how realistic it actually is in comparison.

It will be interesting to see how the latest VR tech will delivery that experience to people who have never done that before, and how the survival experience will translate. I think at this point that will be the closest the tech will come until a holodeck is created to give that full experience to people in a "safe" environment.
 

Vigormortis

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Nov 21, 2007
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You should try Project Zomboid, Russ.

It's come closer to being a realistic survival simulator than any other game I've seen. You have to contend with everything from hunger, thirst, exhaustion, excess heat or cold, inclement weather, disease, a wide array of injury types (that require specific healing methods), weight carrying limits, weapon and item fatigue, varied emotional states, farming and shelter building, line-of-sight limitations, and the ever present threat of zombies, natural disasters, and other survivors.

Granted, it's a top-down isometric game but damned if it doesn't go all out with attempting to portray a survival scenario as realistically as possible.

Regardless, very interesting article. Was a good read.
 

Hdawger

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Jun 8, 2010
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This was a great read and I would like more of them. When are we starting the Kickstarter to send Escapist staff members on dangerous expeditions for interesting stories?

Edit: Also; good to see you back Russ ;D
 

TheIceQueen

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Sep 15, 2013
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I had to do a double-take for a few moments when I first saw your name there, Russ. It's nice to see you back, even if it's only for one contribution.

And what a contribution it was! It was an interesting read and it came off very vivid.
 

Kuredan

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Dec 4, 2012
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Good to see you back, Russ. Man, you had my heart pumping with that bear story at the end!
 

tzimize

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Mar 1, 2010
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Hehe, great article. Nice mix of real life experiences and gaming experiences. Good read.
 

Excludos

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Sep 14, 2008
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That was a really good article. I haven't been in a survival situation yet, but there have been times where I've thought "Ok, its getting dangerous now" because of the weather, terrain, wildlife or otherwise. And you're right, dayz does bring me back to that loneliness and feeling of being out of your depths... you know, except for the fun part.
 

Qvar

OBJECTION!
Aug 25, 2013
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Vigormortis said:
You should try Project Zomboid, Russ.

It's come closer to being a realistic survival simulator than any other game I've seen. You have to contend with everything from hunger, thirst, exhaustion, excess heat or cold, inclement weather, disease, a wide array of injury types (that require specific healing methods), weight carrying limits, weapon and item fatigue, varied emotional states, farming and shelter building, line-of-sight limitations, and the ever present threat of zombies, natural disasters, and other survivors.
I never see Neo Scavenger mentioned. It has all you've mentioned in Project zomboid (except farming and emotional states...), but it's turn based. I've enjoyed it a lot, even if it's only in alpha (like every single survival game this days, it seems).