Tuesday, March 22, 2005

On realism in games

Indeed, games tend to get more and more realistic as technology gets better. It was impossible to display a full scale pool table on a lowres IIIc-the balls would habe been 1px each. Now, HiRes+ makes this possible-but is more realism always leading to a better game?
Today, lets take Pool Deluxe from Deluxware as an example. Altough the game is still in alpha, it was released openly on 1src without an NDA-thus, there seems to be no problem with these photos!


What do you see here? The balls are extremely small! When you compare the ball size to other games like MegaSofts Biliards, the balls are much harder to see. A tester even said that he needed TealMagnify in order to identify if the ball was full or not. The developer stated that Delux's balls are realistially scaled down.
To cut a long story short-this is a perfect example of realism hindering user experience. A realistic game definiely has its merits and is interesting for all of those who want a 100% accurate gameplay, but most users just want one thing: FUN!
When we keep fun in mind, playability definiely gets smaller when you need to use TealMagnify everytime before you shoot!
Of course, a game with a totally unrealistic engine, etc will not be sucessful either-or would you want to play a pool game where balls would always hit, etc? Or would you enjoy a flight simulator where you could stop dead in the sky without stalling? No, you aren't likely to enjoy it-at least from my point of view.
Lets conclude it for now-realism is another one of these things where you need to find a sweet spot-just like features are. Too little realism, and your game sucks. Too much, and it sucks too. How do you handle realism in your developments?

2 Comments:

Blogger Brad Green said...

On a hires screen, the balls are going to be too small, and I agree, this is a problem, and I hope they will make an option to make them defaultly bigger. DeluxeWare has promised that when it is perfected for landscape, they will make the balls bigger, which is actually necessary for them to keep them true to scale. Deluxeware has a good track record for coming out with good, realistic games, and im sure they will do their best to make this one fun to play.

9:57 PM  
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10:03 AM  

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