Re: Realism (was Re: Maximum weight)

From: Daniel Koepke (dkoepke@CALIFORNIA.COM)
Date: 09/25/97

On Thu, 25 Sep 1997, Cris Jacobin wrote:

-+        A DikuMud is a game, not a simulation.  Some people just don't
-+seem to understand that.  Lean too far toward the 'realism' side of the
-+equation, and it's less of a game.  (ie. less fun)

Not necessarily.  Such a black & white, binary view of a complex
topic like this is bound to ignore all the complexities of what
makes a MUD fun or boring or a piece of shit.  A simulation can
be a game, and a game can be a simulation.  That doesn't mean that
all simulations are games, or all games are simulations.  In the
case of DIKU and subsequently, (stock) Circle, it is far closer to
being a game than anything else.  A game, however, can be quite
pleasing even with realism.  Point in case for fans of video-games:
Goldeneye.  Very realistic in some things, and that makes it all
that much more fun (to see guys drop dead depending upon where you
shoot them is cool, anyway).

My point is simply this: you can add a lot of realism to the game
and not only keep the fun factor the same, but actually increase it.
It all depends upon how your player's (not you) define fun; but in
the case of muds (and indeed most games), challenge is one aspect
of what makes the game fun (not to the point where you frustrate
your players into leaving; a little, initial frustration at a new
challenge won't kill you or them, as long as they can eventually
overcome and they know that they can).  If a bit of realism adds
some challenge, then it might be a good thing.

Involving a bit of thought in playing muds is one of my main goals.
At present, all a player needs to do is figure out a pattern, and
then stay on that pattern.  In real life, one cannot form these
types of patterns, and that's what often makes real life exciting,
surprising, and different every day.  If we did the same thing
every day and never had to diverge from that pattern, I'm pretty
sure most of us would kill ourselves; or society as a whole
would fall apart (remember what happened in Salem during the
colonial period?  All they did was work and prey, until someone
finally went out of the pattern they had set, and it became a
big witch hunt).

BTW, there's actually a very thick, gaudy-colored line between
"realism" and "reality".  To conform to reality would put the
player in a setting modeled (exactly) after a setting in
reality; with real world physics; and real world happenings.
Such a mud is not only impossible at present, but would be
boring for the majority of people (unless they live really
exciting lives, and then, why would they need to play a mud?
and actually, if you played a mud modeled after real life, would
you then be playing a mud inside the mud, and so forth? <g> It's
a paradox!).  Realism is something that reflects reality, in a
particular way.  It doesn't necessarily have to be a clone of
*reality*, just an aspect of it, perhaps even taken out of
context to perform a completely different function in the mud
world.  In other words, just because you want *realism*, doesn't
mean you want reality.

Daniel Koepke -:- -:-  [Shadowlord/Nether]

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