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Can Illogical Videogames Still Be Enjoyable?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the crazy-like-a-fox dept.

Games 155

Thanks to Skotos for its editorial arguing that there's a certain level of 'realism' that all games must stick to in order to be enjoyable. The author starts by suggesting: "Bringing realism into a discussion that includes fireballs, trolls, energy swords, blasters, and nanotechnology is, at first glance, totally out of place", but goes on to explain: "Fun [videogame] environments both surprise and reassure us. They surprise us by working on rules that are very different from those of the real world, and reassure us by having an internal consistency and logic that is reminiscent of that we find in the real world." Are there some games which break all rules of logic and still remain addictive?

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It's the same as movies. (5, Insightful)

real_smiff (611054) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157347)

Fantasy or sci-fi movies can be great fun when they have their own internal logic (Blade Runner) or a disaster when they don't (Matrix 3).

Now off to RTFA ;)

An even more plausible question (-1)

u-238 (515248) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157348)

Can anyone care?

btw FriTS pOST boy-EEEe

Re:An even more plausible question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158089)

btw j00 F41l3d it boy-EEEe

One word.. NIGHTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8157350)

NT

.

Gaming logic (5, Interesting)

neostorm (462848) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157363)

"Are there still games that break all rules of logic ..?"

I don't know about today, but definitely in the earlier, 2D era there were plenty of games that had at least completely illogical aspects to them. I recall that being a huge draw to games for me. There have been a number of recent articles concerning this very same subject, and while some of these have expressed a desire to see more "realistic" content, I say we should try to hold onto that original nonesense to some extent.
Take, for example, Super Mario Brothers 3. As far as I know, this is held as the best 2D Mario ever conceived. The game worlds were plentiful, varied, and fresh. But take a moment to look at the actual gameplay, specifically the logic employed in it:
In order to obtain the powerup that allows mario to fly, one has to first obtain the *leaf* object. One the leaf is obtained, Mario acquires a *racoon skin cap*, and by batting the tail on the hat up and down fast enough, Mario is able to lift off the ground.
There is a certain logic in this over time as the player is introduced to the game vocabulary, and experience with past platformers gives them added intuition, (like the ability to grasp the concept of powerups and other platform style gameplay).
However the symbolism involved is just... what? Leaf? Racoon hat? What?

Beautiful!!

Of course there is the underlying logic found throughout the game that the article speaks of, and this I can agree on simply because it's a logical assumption in itself to have common and established ways for the game to communicate to the player. Otherwise there will be no progress, and then no one will play it.

Re:Gaming logic (2, Informative)

Absurd Monkey (713003) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157426)

Upon obtaining the magical leaf, Mario actually transformed into a strange human/raccoon hybrid. [snoot.org] Of course, that doesn't make it any more logical.

Re:Gaming logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158771)

It's a bit more logical, because instead of him being lifted by a hat, it's his ass that does the lifting. It would hurt like hell to be lifted up by the head.

understanding Mario logic (5, Funny)

Rhinobird (151521) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157464)

When trying to understand Mario logic it helps to eat the mushrooms.

In Japan in makes sense (2, Insightful)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157506)


The correct way to write "tanooki" is "tanuki".
In the japanese mythical stories, "tanukis" are creatures with transformation abilities.

Re:In Japan in makes sense (4, Funny)

TechniMyoko (670009) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157690)

Since you wanna be a spelling nazi, the correct way to write "tanukis" is "tanuki" tanuki is the plural of tanuki

Re:In Japan in makes sense (1)

primal39 (409681) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158967)

Since You want to be a spelling nazi, it's "want to", not "wanna".

Re:In Japan in makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8159467)

Since you're all a bunch of pedantic nitwits, STFU!

Re:In Japan in makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8161438)

Ha ha! In swoops the Grammer Nazi!

The 'y' on you should be lower case. The 's' and 'n' on 'Spelling Nazi' should be upper case. The comma and period should be inside the quotation marks.

Mod Parent Down (3, Insightful)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157844)

+4 Interesting?

You seem to have not understood what this article was all about. The main point you brought up is that a leaf that leads to a racoon suit does not seem to follow any reasonable symbolism in the real world. This type of statement shows a distinct lack of understanding. The article is discussing logical consistencies within a game. The leaf is logically consistent because whenever you get it, you are rewarded with a racoon suit. If you got the leaf and sometimes got a racoon suit and it modified the gaming experience in truly random ways, then you would have a logical inconsistency. Symbolism really has nothing to do with it in this context.

Re:Mod Parent Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8159818)

No, I understood the article just fine, but was really rambling on my own topic.

Maybe I should have elaborated when I said "There is a certain logic in this over time as the player is introduced to the game vocabulary..." which was basically meant as logic in context.

Player Vocabulary is when the player is introduced to concepts within the game that form thier own context within the game world, and the player comes to expect and use these concepts as time goes on, which I also acknowledge when I said "Of course there is the underlying logic found throughout the game that the article speaks of..."

Re:Mod Parent Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8159893)

So your bullshit post should be -1 OFF-TOPIC?

Why are you posting AC?

Re:Mod Parent Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8159943)

Sure, why not?

Why are YOU posting AC?

Re:Mod Parent Down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8160359)

You went anonymous first. I merely followed.
Now, don't you have some fries and hamburgers to make boy?

Re:Gaming logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158108)

Don't forget that Mario jumps several times higher than his own height, shoots fireballs from his nose, and breaks bricks (that float in the air) with his head.

Re:Gaming logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158975)

Quiet boy these are all normal logical things for a game character to do

Re:Gaming logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8160391)

Mario shoots fireballs from his hands.

Mario breaks bricks with his fists.

Mario is very strong and could kill you at a moment's notice. (But Mario would not do that, because Mario is the protector of all of humanity.)

Mario is an Italian plumber.

Mario is love and fear. :O

Re:Gaming logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158596)

Calvinball, anyone?

Re:Gaming logic (5, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159153)

I don't know about today, but definitely in the earlier, 2D era there were plenty of games that had at least completely illogical aspects to them

The word that you, and whomever wrote this boneheaded article, are looking for is "fantasitc." Not "illogical."

Mario can fly when he gets the leaf that gives him the racoon cap and tail--this is a fantasic (i.e., "not real") part of the game, not an illogical part.

An illogical part of the game would be if Mario randomly powered up, depending on some non-understandable syntax.

Of course, this being /., the fact that "illogical" isn't an antonym of "realistic" won't come across to many people.

English 101? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8159920)

Well the problem here is that you're assuming *I* was using "illogical" as an antonym of "realistic". I was referring to it in the context of the game world, and how it communicates to the player, and not in the context of reality in the every day world.

It would make less sense if it were written as "the leaf in Mario 3 causing Mario to fly with a racoon tail is 'unrealistic'" either. Of course it's not realistic. It *is* a video game, and unless it's a bouncing plumber simulation the descriptions "realistic" and "unrealistic" simply do not apply.

We're all gamers here, but we're not all english majors. We can still be friends.

Re:Gaming logic (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160218)

It never ceases to amaze me how many people fail to make the connection that these are historic Japanese cultural things. How would you expect them to react to a powdered wig that gave you impunity, a burning shotglass with three beans which made any enemy a friend, or a sword which when pulled out of the ground made you the King?

Just because you haven't read their stories doesn't make their cultural references nonsense. Grow up.

Re:Gaming logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8160476)

I know of Tanuki, but really can't place the leaf and racoon. Why not explain instead of whoring around your trollish social habits.

Re:Gaming logic (2, Informative)

ooby (729259) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160540)

"Are there still games that break all rules of logic ..?"

No. Not only are there no games that break all the rules of logic, there are no games that break any rule of logic. There never were, and I suspect that there may never be an illogical video game.

The premise for this is simple. Games are written for state machines. These machines only compute logical commands. Even the highest level programming language must break itsellf into logical machine code. Grabbing a feather to become Racoon Mario may be far from realistic, but the argument "if Mario grabs a feather then Mario becomes Racoon Mario" falls well within the rules of logic.

GTA3 (0)

bertvl (66173) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157397)

Are there some games which break all rules of logic and still remain addictive?

Grand Theft Auto III

Personally... (2, Interesting)

odorf (733882) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157404)

I find the less realistic ones more fun, Zleda, FF7, Mario and such. Games where you can do completly unrealistic things like have mushrooms fall through your head that make you grow bigger, or gamws where you play little songs on instruments and are transported to different places, not everybody likes those kinds of games. But I think they are the best.

Re:Personally... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8159973)

Zleda gamws rock!

They've got to be grokkable (5, Interesting)

Louis Guerin (728805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157416)

I've gotta go with Spock, really. Logic, even if it's not real-world logic, is a must, because it enables you to actually learn and adapt new strategies to fit a game. A game has to be predictable, not in a plot sense, but in the sense that, once immersed in the game world, you should be able to expect certain reactions and consequences from certain actions.

There's not much more satisfying than grokking a game's engine or AI or setup well enough to use its own internal logic against it. But in a legitimate way, not cheap exploits like fake-talk or rocket-jumping.

L

Re:They've got to be grokkable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8159447)

how many space sims do you know of which are based on realistic physics?

even movies tend to not accurately represent space "flight", most notably the Star Wars franchise.

Games (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157437)

Chess, Tron, and Warioware.

silly post.

Re:Games (4, Insightful)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158122)

Silly? Maybe, but let's take each of these individually. I bet we can learn something from them anyway.

Chess,

Illogical? Chess is such a logical game that it risks being boring. Except for one or two exceptions (en passant captures and castling), each piece's moves are the same throughout the game. The board remains constant. (And while there are variations from Steve Jackson Games [sjgames.com] , even they have their own internal logic.)

Tron,

That depends which version of Tron you're talking about. The premise of the movie may have been far-fetched, but the arcade game was a collection of minigames. They don't necessarily have to have anything to do with each other; the story serves as a unifying theme.

The later arcade game Discs of Tron was also very highly logical. It was a shoot-em-up with various challenge elements that had to be dealt with, including barriers appearing across the playing field and varying levels of platform.

I can't speak for Tron 2.0, but it probably has its own internal logic too. (Would some poster confirm this please?)

and Warioware.

Ah, now this is an interesting choice of game to bring up under this topic. Like Tron (the original), it's a collection of minigames. But where Tron has four games, Warioware's number in the hundreds. And it's hard to demonstrate any logic, internal or otherwise, when the games are changing so quickly.

Or rather, it's hard to find the logic in Warioware until you step back and take a look at the big picture. The mini-games are individual challenges which seemingly have nothing to do with each other. In fact, they seem intentionally disassociated from one another.

Here's a game to compare it with: Trivial Pursuit. The questions fall into categories, but they don't necessarily have anything to do with one another. The questions aren't the game. The game is an overall test of knowledge. Likewise, in Warioware, the minigames themselves aren't the game. The game is an overall test of mental agility and the ability to switch quickly from one task to another.

Trivial Pursuit : questions :: Warioware: minigames

Someone else posted, and I generally agree: the games need some sort of internal logic in order to be comprehensible. In the case of Warioware, though, the game itself is the ability to deal with the apparent illogical barrage of activities.

warioware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8160081)

I'd extend that slightly further by saying that Warioware does an very good job of communicating, but that it's drawing on the entire history of videogame-visual communication to do so.

Thus, it may be a game that has a higher amount of external logic then internal.

~Axord

This is not unique to games. It's Sci-Fi Rule #1. (4, Interesting)

MikShapi (681808) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157438)

The first and foremost rule of SciFi (and fantasy) is exactly this.

While a SciFi story tells of something that cannot happen in the real world (at least as of the time it is written), it will first set the rules, define what can and cannot be done. This can include adding technology that doesn't exist in the real world, yet-undiscovered scientific discoveries or even completely imaginary impossible concepts such as magic or the force.

But once the pieces are set, SciFi takes extraordinary care to play fair by those exact rules. The moment this unwritten law is broken, we, the spectators/readers, instantaneously lose interest.

Try and remember how you reacted in Matrix: Revolutions when we found out Neo can make a quadgizillion sentinels explode in the real world with sheer thought alone.

We lost contact with the movie at that moment. It became illogical, according to the rules it itself had set forth. It lost consistency. And in doing that, it lost us. Doing that in any form of SciFi/Fantasy work - whether movie, book or video-game instantly repels the spectator because he cannot put himself in the shoes of th ehero and follow any of the plot when the director/writer throws "Oh yah, we didn't tell you but the hero can destroy all the bad guys instantaneously with a twitch of a finger"-type twists.

We lose interest. Most SciFi writers/producers are well aware of this, and have been since the birth of the genre. It's anything but new.

Re:This is not unique to games. It's Sci-Fi Rule # (5, Interesting)

shadowcabbit (466253) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157579)

But once the pieces are set, SciFi takes extraordinary care to play fair by those exact rules. The moment this unwritten law is broken, we, the spectators/readers, instantaneously lose interest.

Try and remember how you reacted in Matrix: Revolutions when we found out Neo can make a quadgizillion sentinels explode in the real world with sheer thought alone.


Playing devil's advocate here, but who says that the writer has to delineate the rules to the reader/watcher/player? The characters were going by what they thought the rules were, and something came along to break the rules, thus keeping things interesting-- and forcing the reader/viewer/player to re-evaluate what the rules are.

Personally, games that change the rules on you-- like Metroid, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and some of the really old shooters-- are my favorite types simply because it's a challenge to figure out how to adapt to a new situation and scenario. Certainly you can do that in a game like chess or Uno-- but if there's a twist to the rules that doesn't come into play for a little bit, then you have to re-evaluate your entire strategy and gameplay.

Admittedly, you don't want all the rules changing at once-- there has to be some consistency-- but that's probably what sets a good game aside from a great one. If you think of it that way, then shaking things up every once in a while is a really good thing.

Re:This is not unique to games. It's Sci-Fi Rule # (1)

zero_offset (200586) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159033)

Playing devil's advocate here, but who says that the writer has to delineate the rules to the reader/watcher/player?

I don't think he's saying you HAVE TO, I think his point was, that's generally how successful storytelling works -- and for a reason. Pare it down to the basic elements -- setup, execution, closure. This follows well if you see a game as basically an interactive kind of storytelling. That is probably generally true, even though it's easy to cite exceptions (the old arcade game Qix is a good example -- completely abstract).

Re:This is not unique to games. It's Sci-Fi Rule # (5, Insightful)

*weasel (174362) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159214)

The writer doesn't have to dilineate the rules to maintain consistency. George Lucas never established exactly what powers 'the Force' conferred on its manipulators, yet no-one was particularly bothered by the much more liberal force use in the prequels.

What a storyteller must do however, is to provide consistency and plausibility. The Wachowski brothers explained Neo's vaguely defined super-powers in the Matrix as being the result of his ability to manipulate a false-reality through a form of subconscious computer hacking. People accepted this, as they did 'the Force', without a second thought.

However, at the end of Reloaded, and repeatedly through Revolutions, Neo demonstrated super-human powers even when he was outside of the 'false' reality of the Matrix. Most people felt this 'cheated' them of cinematic weight and emotional investment. Without explanation, without clarification, of why the old rules were able to now be violated, the audience felt as if the change, the surprise, was designed solely to fool them, not to enrich the storytelling experience. This generally arouses naught but contempt in the audience.

Zion was repeatedly established as being 'reality', as being our world - and accordingly we cringed with the characters from the sentinel onslaught. The humans had only one effective weapon against the enemy, and using it would render them helpless to any second wave.

Now however, there were mecha, rocket launchers, mystical powers. Hovercraft used mounted weapons to defeat many more sentinels than the relative few that Morpheus could only repel with an EMP. The audience felt foolish that they ever regarded the sentinels as truly dangerous, now that they could be blasted out of the sky by 19th century technology.

It isn't change itself that offends the audience. It is destructive change, that which retroactively destroys the emotional value of the prior experience.

Audiences revile at the 'it was all just a dream/game/etc'-style surprise endings (e.g. 13th floor). In those types of situations, the change robs the previous content of cinematic weight. The character we used to care about and root for turns out to be nothing more than an avatar in a game, or a shadow of reality. The audience is essentially instructed that nothing in the story prior to the change mattered in any way. The participants were not real, and were not in real danger.

This starkly contrasts even fiction in which the unreality of the setting/participants/story is established at the outset. E.g. the Princess Bride, the Neverending Story. We knew that the story was a fairy tale, and were unsurprised when Wesley was allowed to cheat death in a story that otherwise contained no such fantastical diversions.

Changes in gameplay should be handled according to this well known maxim - changes should be constructive, rather than destructive.

Constructive changes will be things that do not force the fiction back to square 1.

A new level may yield a new weapon or new units that change the players tactics - but it should never render the player's previous choices moot.

Deus Ex shouldn't have a level in which the computer systems are hopelessly alien, effectively destroying any character who chose to specialize in hacking.
A roleplaying game should not hand-wave a character's capture and enslavement via cut-scene and remove all their equipment and experience -forcing them to start over.
Those changes would obviate the investment of the player.

Tetris might have a change that requires players to match blocks of colors to score, instead of making lines. This could be a constructive change to gameplay that would create more depth in gameplay. Yet if this new goal was switched to without any notification to the player, they would be justly pissed off that their carefully constructed Tetris block was not rewarded. The unforseeable, unavoidable change would have destroyed the prior effort of the player.

Changes can be good. But it, more than most other aspects of storytelling or game design, must be done well to not have a detrimental effect on the experience.

Spoiler Alert!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8160051)

Wesley was allowed to cheat death

Thanks a lot, you insensitive clod! I hadn't finished watching the movie yet.

Re:This is not unique to games. It's Sci-Fi Rule # (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 10 years ago | (#8161043)

As long as your differentiate between changes and revelations, you'll be fine.

The fact that Neo was in a computer generated world was a revelation. The fact that he could be Super Neo was a revelation. The fact that he can wish Sentinals dead is a change.

Re:This is not unique to games. It's Sci-Fi Rule # (1)

Hollinger (16202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159260)

Personally, games that change the rules on you-- like Metroid, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and some of the really old shooters-- are my favorite types simply because it's a challenge to figure out how to adapt to a new situation and scenario. Certainly you can do that in a game like chess or Uno-- but if there's a twist to the rules that doesn't come into play for a little bit, then you have to re-evaluate your entire strategy and gameplay.

That's very true. I too like games that continue to reveal themselves to me as I play (various adventure games that continually introduce new equipment, or characters and maps that focus on particular skills). However, what really gets me is games that are difficult simply because they are crappily designed. Of course, I can't think of any examples. Someone post and back me up on this...

When I read the topic for the article, my first thought was that someone else had written a rant about this particular subject. I think a better phrase than illogical might be "not real," as many big-budget games are focusing more and more on realism to the point where complexity is becoming a huge issue. Did you know that Splinter Cell (an excellent game, IMHO) for XBOX has a button dedicated to bringing up the controller button map?

Returning from that sidebar, what really gets me is games that are so poorly designed that they break their own "ruleset" consistently and unfairly -- not to make the user reevaluate the rules, but simply because the designers did a poor job.

IMHO, a simple, easy to remember set of principles is what makes for an easy game. Examples:
Legend of Zelda, A Link to the Past (SNES): Any triangles formed out of scenery or objects on the screen are significant and have rewards hidden somewhere nearby.
Super Mario (all): The harder you work to find an item (i.e. the better it's hidden) the better the reward will be. The warp zones from SNES come to mind, or the extra "Shines" from Sunshine that are hidden in plain sight, but require quite a bit of problem-solving to earn.

This posted turned into my mini-rant on game design, but hey, I can be off-topic, this is /.!

Re:This is not unique to games. It's Sci-Fi Rule # (1)

mikelu (120879) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159458)

In fact, Splinter Cell is a good example of internal inconsistency.

You play a character who is supposed to be this highly trained black-ops guy...yet he CAN'T CONSISTENTLY HIT A TIN CAN AT TEN YARDS. Unless you use the sniper rifle, of course.

This basically ruined the game for me...I'd be standing next to enemies and not be able to shoot hit them on the first shot, while they have the ability to hit me repeatedly from thirty or forty yards away. It developed to the point where I was better off grabbing people to kill them, instead of trying to shoot them.

Re:This is not unique to games. It's Sci-Fi Rule # (1)

Hollinger (16202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159545)

Actually, that's true, but at least Splinter Cell's fair about it. Your aim is consistently hit-or-miss (pardon the pun) from the beginning of the game. I'd argue that the issue you've brought up with Splinter Cell is more of a game balancing issue than a rules issue, as this game (at least for me, since I'm bad at shooters) is more about the sneaking around and hiding in shadows. I actually shoot out lights more often than people when playing it, for example.

Re:This is not unique to games. It's Sci-Fi Rule # (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160866)

Were you moving? Did you let the crosshairs sit so Sam could draw a bead? I didn't find the aiming to be all that bad...

What IS an example, in SC, of bad internal consistancy, is that only some lights can be shot out.

Games are not Play: Play, Art, and Calvinball (4, Insightful)

obtuse (79208) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160302)

A game without rules or consistency is called play or perhaps art. Computers don't do this, although they can facilitate it.

Children make up games that are pretty illogical and inconsistent when playing. I'm remembering playing Dune/spaceship in the disconnected console room of a water treatment plant. It had multiple stations, lots of levers, dials, knobs and guages.

There are some Calvin & Hobbes cartoons that describe this sort of play beautifully. Google calvinball for examples. Watterson gets it.

Otherwise, games are defined by rules. Even in games whose rules change as you play, the rules are the game.

In the childrens play, it's about fantasy and exploring different roles, or just doing stuff. Convenience and other considerations facilitate this, so the dead spring back to life, roles are reversed, time is turned back as needed, and events are replayed until a satisfactory conclusion is reached, or boredom is achieved. Really, even these games have more rules than it appears, it's just that those rules are inconsistent over time, because they change quickly, and without any acknowledgement.

Art is similar. In art, each piece can have its own dynamic rules. Those rules can be photorealism, or a coloring book page filled in by someone enjoying the color and texture of a red crayon, and ignoring the lines completely. Much art is play.

This is also why playing games with children can be so exhausting for adults. It can be difficult switching gears so quickly. For kids, each one is in his own fantasy world, and any part of the game that is convenient is ignored, until that becomes impossible.

"No, I don't want to die. It's your turn to die."

Re:This is not unique to games. It's Sci-Fi Rule # (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157656)

"Oh yah, we didn't tell you but the hero can destroy all the bad guys instantaneously with a twitch of a finger"

He no longer needs the weirding module.

Re:This is not unique to games. It's Sci-Fi Rule # (1)

Reapy (688651) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158619)

I agree to some extent, and maybe I'm wrong to extend this to fantasy also, but usually when it comes to breaking the rules, that is what the story is all about.

Little guy who was weak, learns new powers, while he learns about the world around him (convienent way for the readers to learn as well). Then you have a few set rules that CANT BE BROKEN, those are they way things are.

Then the character breaks them, because hes special. To me, that's what happens in the great majority of the books I've read.

Re:This is not unique to games. It's Sci-Fi Rule # (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159233)

Try and remember how you reacted in Matrix: Revolutions when we found out Neo can make a quadgizillion sentinels explode in the real world with sheer thought alone.

"Oh, THAT's what the Archectect meant..."

There was a stated change in the fundamental nature of the hero, followed by a display of said fundamental difference.

The Matrix was a let-down in Reloaded, not Revolutions. It's literary treason to have one episode/chapter be about accomplishing a goal (save Trinity), and the very next episode have that goal nullified as a secondary occurance.

A blind Neo and a crippled (but not dead) Trinity would have more than sufficed for the "heroic sacrafice" part of the Heroic Cycle they were going for. Killing off the focal couple was, IMO, their unforgivable betrayal of the audience and the major reason why the last move was such a let down.

Re:This is not unique to games. It's Sci-Fi Rule # (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159717)

Try and remember how you reacted in Matrix: Revolutions when we found out Neo can make a quadgizillion sentinels explode in the real world with sheer thought alone.

This reminded me of a perfect example of logical incosistancy.

In the second matrix, Trinity is falling off that building. So Neo flys off to save her, and "catches" her flying at a speed so fast, that the buildings next to him explode.

If Trinity wasn't turned into a find red mist when Neo "caught" her, then surely she wasn't in any danger from hitting the ground.

Re:This is not unique to games. It's Sci-Fi Rule # (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159779)

Thanks for the fscking unwarned spoilers.

Not Sure... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8157450)

"Realism" is not "logic" is not "consistency". It's a vocabulary list. :) The article and summary seems to just confuse all these things. There isn't any connection between them.

A game can be consistent, unreal and illogical. Super Mario 64, for example.

A game can be consistent, unreal and logical. Someting like Unreal or Quake comes to mind.

You can have various combinations of the above and still have a successful game, though I'm betting an inconsistent, unreal and illogical game would not be very easy to play. :)

Re:Not Sure... (1)

sYn pHrEAk (526867) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158659)

What makes Mario 64 illogical? I can't think of anything in the game that doesn't have underlying logic to it. Granted, it's not like real world physics and doesn't use logic we might use in our everyday lives, but it does have its own logic system.

Personally, in every game I can think of, I can see logic. (Even the Sims. *cringe*) Maybe not logical physics in some games, but logical game mechanics at least. Just depends on which you're talking about it.

Re:Not Sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8160107)


A game can be consistent, unreal and illogical. Super Mario 64, for example.

A game can be consistent, unreal and logical. Someting like Unreal or Quake comes to mind.


Mario is illogical and Unreal/Quake are logical? I could understand it if those mushrooms all looked exactly alike, but did random things, but they don't. Mario has different types of mushrooms that do different things. I don't see what is illogical about it... Just think of it as a world where nanotech went horribly wrong and most everyone got turned into turtles/mushroom people. ;)

It's called Karma Whoring (5, Funny)

hankaholic (32239) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157512)

One popular site dedicated to geekish errata features a game called Karma Whoring. The rules often change, and the system slowly adapts to ensure that older methods of gaining "karma" become less and less effective over time.

However, the methods involved in gaining these "karma points" often defy logic. From bashing large corporations to posting urban legends ("X is slow because it's network-transparent!") to the foolishly mundane ("You're new here, aren't you?"), there are many methods of gaining karma.

Unfortunately, the methods involved for losing karma are nearly as abundant. From asking why people care about a given topic to using in-game artifacts known as "flames", there are many ways of reducing your supply of karma points.

Sometimes previously positive actions will lead negative results. For instance, all searches for karma start with a story relating to something called an "article". Previously one could be assured a high karma bonus by locating an article (which to many adventurers is easier said than done) and making a copy of what it contained. However, the system seems to have adapted to this method of gaining karma and now generally uses an attack (known as "redundancy") to counteract it.

Sometimes methods can have unpredictable results, depending subtly on exactly how the move was executed (such as the increasingly popular "Michael is the suxx!"). Karma Whoring has an unpredictable scoring system and changing rules, yet is played by thousands on a daily basis.

Re:It's called Karma Whoring (2, Insightful)

Doctor Cat (676482) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160989)

Thank you for the excellent example you've provided of how to play the game well. I see that your maneuever was successful and gave you a score of 5!

Well, let's say, 80% of games for example (1)

jonathan_the_ninja (704301) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157527)

are games that contain illogical content.(I know, it's probably a terrible estimate) And how many games are there that have perfect physics, and are correct logically? You tell me. I would probably say (in my opinion) that for me, it's the logical stuff that appeals to me in a game to a great degree, but it's the illogical that reminds me that it is a game, not real life, and that games are supposed to be fun.

Re:Well, let's say, 80% of games for example (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8157716)

WHAT A DOPE!!!! There are tons of games with perfect logic and physics you idiot! Just because you havent played them dosent mean they are not out there ya beatnik! What a dumb little kid....

The way you ask the question makes the problem (4, Insightful)

Funky Ferret (729392) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157611)

"logic" is a broader concept than "consistency".
When you say something is consistent, you have to establish what with, or you don't know what the claim means.
When you say it is logical, you sound like you're appealing to a universal concept - you don't have to ask what it's "logical about".

So when you talk about realism and logic in games, you don't necessarily mean correct physics or real-world stuff - but someone might. If you mean internal consistency, call it that. It's precise and accurate.

I don't think any game could be much fun without internal consistency. I can't solve any problems if I can't rely on experience in the game-world, except through fluke. The number of times I've been annoyed with a game because something works everywhere but the place you're stuck in, apparently just "because"...

That said, if I'm not looking for internal sense, I don't mind. I can bumble randomly just seeing what goes on. But that's not the same kind of game - there's no skill, no judgment, and no real rules. It's just an experience.

There's lots of games which are full of illogical things, in a broad sense, but I don't see how that matters.

Addictive vs. Enjoyable (5, Insightful)

iamjim (313916) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157632)

Realism is not required for enjoyment - as with most things in life entertaining (fiction writing in general - tv, books, etc - and paintball) - it is people doing things or thinking about things that they normally can't do. Video games allow the immagination to wander in a 'new', interactive dimension. I would argue that realism, in most cases of fiction will hinder rather than help - until you start talking about virtual sex and other reality/pleasure based 'games' where realism combined with configurable fantasy is key.

But the topic of 'fun' is what I am curious about. There is something decidedly and disturbingly addicted to making abombinable snowman smack a falling penguin with a baseball bat. It isn't particularly fun, yet it is higly addicitve. There is little-to-no skill involved, yet I have seen people 'play' for hours.

So is there a different between addictive and enjoyable? SSX is fun, hitting penguins is addictive. What do you think?

tranquility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8157649)

I would say that the game "Tranquility" might possibly fit into this category. It's available for Mac and PC and is amazingly addictive, though simple.

http://www.tqworld.com/ [tqworld.com]

You're asking the wrong people (2, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157671)

Realism in gaming is a trend thats only been started more recently in the late 1990s. Prior to 1990s, pretty much a huge majority of all games (console or PC) were insanely unrealistic. Zelda, pretty much every adventure game, Pac-Man, etc were all unrealistic yet some are still played to this day.

Even mid-1990s games avoided the "realism" fad thats still going around today. Half-Life is probably the most recent and clear example of this fact, a scientist with knowledge on weapons ranging from pistol, to rocket launchers, to alien weapons saves the world from alien invasion while fighting off U.S. military forces and special op soldiers with a crowbar in hand. Not exactly America's Army realism there.

You mean to tell me... (1)

ooby (729259) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159048)

You're not a pie-like yellow guy popping pills and colored ghosts aren't chasing you around?

I guess it's time to put down the Quaaludes.

Let's start simple (5, Insightful)

SurgeryByNumbers (726928) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157753)

Gravity. Momentum. Lighting. I can go on. Certain basic elements are just about impossible to violate while still having a game make any kind of sense, and even then it's usually by making a game so simple that they don't apply (checkers).

This is the empty head problem, just about. By removing all bias (in this case the attachment to real world causality), you lose your frame of reference, and can't do anything!

And no, GTA3 does not come anywhere cloes to violating real-world logic: it merely relaxes some aspects of it (sometimes heavily), such as the response from law enforcement.

Violating one aspect of logic doesn't make a game fail this test. You still can have plenty to go on to jump right into the game world and have it make sense, even sans manual.

Re:Let's start simple (2, Insightful)

slycer (161341) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158871)

And all 3 of those were "Violated" by Serious Sam 2 which was quite simply one of the most ingenious and fun FPS games that I've played in some time.

Re:Let's start simple (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8159158)

Yes, but let's not forget Rez, if you've ever played it. No gravity, unified movement system, or standard enemies. Even the sound is unlike any other game I've seen.

Every game is logical in some sense (1)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157872)

I would say that basically every game has its own internal logic, by way of being written in a programming language. Those complaining about how the physics aren't realistic--well, the physics in these games can be explained (look at the program) more easily than they can even in our own world.

I for one would like to see more "abstract" games that attempt to to flout this rule. (Just because there is internally consistent logic doesn't mean that it has to make any sense to the user!)

Level of abstractness? (2, Interesting)

jakell64 (719977) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157879)

Could this also be a discussion of the acceptable level of abstraction? Lots of the games mentioned still had relatively grounded concepts guiding them: Pac Man has eating and running away from things chasing you. All of the platformers mentioned involve some physics, like gravity for instance. Puzzle games can be quite abstract, but many are still addictive and enjoyable. Tetris has "gravity" though. Would it have worked as well if the blocks fell up? Could the reasons some critically acclaimed games, like Frequency/Amplitude did so poorly is because they were too abstract with too little grounding in reality?

Certainly (1)

metroid composite (710698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8157936)

Puzzle games as a genre jump to mind; Tetris has very little grounding in reality, and neither do more modern ones I've seen like Zoo Cube. Mario and Luigi was often completely off the wall, and I'm sure there's games that beat it in silliness (I've never played Space Chanel 5, for instance). And Wario Ware, of course, is about as near to random as it gets; imagine playing pong with a watermelon as a ball and a human as a paddle...that's only the beginning for Wario Ware....

Straw man argument, tautological reasoning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158038)

A game defying all rules of logic would not be playable, but AFAIK this was never a point of contention with anyone. That premiss, BTW, to an argument concerning level-of-fun scaling inversely with level-of-reality-matching, is about as useful as the term 0 in an equation where you want to produce a non-zero number.

Maniac Mansion (3, Interesting)

MagicM (85041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158118)

Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle. Most warped type of logic in an adventure game *ever*, and yet one of the most enjoyable ones.

consistency is key (3, Insightful)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158342)

Whether the game makes sence in our real world logic, doesn't matter so much as if the rules in teh game behave the same way or at least if they don't we are given a bare minimum of explanation why.

A great example of something that doesn't make sence in our world, but is consistent and makes sence within the logic of the game is, as Poole discusses in his book Trigger Happy, is rocket jumping. In our world shooting at your feet would blow your feet off, in FPS games, however, there is (typically) no way to shoot your own legs off, which may be illogical, or unrealistic, but the effect of combining the recoil of the rocket launcher with jumping is consistent to the rules set forth within the game.

An example of inconsitency that really irritated me was in the first Soldier of Fortune game there is a level in a subway. In one area you enter the restroom and when you start to leave, a bad guy blasts through the wooden entry. Nowever else in the game can the player do this and I think that even the bad guys only do this in one other situation. It is inconsistent. Sure it was done to surpize the player, but it is a cheat if that is the only place it can be done and even if you reload the game to before that, you cannot shoot through the entry (even though if you look close enough you can see the cracks where it will be blown off). It was inconsistent and irritated me. Of course consistency is not a magic bullet. Games can be consistent and still be bad.

Re:consistency is key (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158735)

There is a similar behaviour in the RtCW Single player missions where a rocket launcher blows a hole in a wall allowing you to exit from a "secret area. There is of course only one enemy who can use his rocket launcher to explode the wall, and you cannot blow the wall up either, but it does not drastically detract from the gameplay.

Re:consistency is key (1)

bigbigbison (104532) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159771)

Well the most obvious example, and one I wish I had mentioned originally, it in Red Faction, the game that advertized the fact that you could blow holes in the walls. In reality there was really only a handfull of places where this was usefull and several where for no good reason you couldn't blow a hole in the wall except that it would have made the game much easier becasue you could make tunnels around obsticals (what, am miner make tunnels? heaven forbid!)

Popcap (1)

GregThePaladin (696772) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158521)

Bejewled isn't exactly realistic. If it were that easy to mine for diamonds...hen it'd be really easy to get diamonds.

Re:Popcap (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159104)

Exactly. Games don't even have to be based on reality to be successful and popular. E.g.,
  • Q-bert
  • Tetris
  • Bubble Bobble
  • Dig Dug
  • Doom
Other games are half realism and half fantasy. These games are extremely striking and have the potential to spark a lot of contraversy and anger.
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Lethal Inforcers
  • After Burner
  • Operation Wolf
This question is phrased too broadly. What makes a game realistic? Why is realism important? Sometimes a caricature of realism is more impactful than a simulation of reality (for example After Burner vs. Chuck Yeager's Combat Flight Simulator) and sometimes it is completely irrelevant (Checkers, Go, Solitaire). Different games for different purposes\moods\audiences.

What type of question is this? (1)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158572)

Is this question for real? It sounds like the writer grew up playing too many FPSes. There are plenty of games which have little realism.

Examples:

Super Monkey Ball - Sure, we have monkeys and bananas in the "real world" and I suppose we could seal these monkeys in giant plastic balls but after that it just gets wierd. Hmmm... realistic? Well, I could point out that gravity still points down. That's realistic, right?

Amidar - Alright, get this one. On odd stages, you play a monkey (back with the monkey theme I see) and on even stages, you play a paint roller. Enemies that chase you will be savages for the monkey and... what would be chasing after a paint roller? Pigs! This goes to show that the programmers at Stern didn't have a drug problem. They could get all the drugs that they wanted. Here's [klov.com] a link to prove I'm not making this up.

There's many more that have very little to do with reality. Bomberman, Frequency, Tempest, er never mind. I'll stop while I can still think properly.

Re:What type of question is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158821)

Not to mention the screwed up gravity (or so it seems) in Super Monkey Ball. It seems to me that there's some sort of gravity increasing field at the edges of targets and low point value patches in monkey drop...pull you right off the edge or into that 10 point section.

Re:What type of question is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8159383)

If you re-read the post you'll find that the writer is refering to games that break internal logic, not realism. Nobody is silly enough to ask "are there any fun games that aren't realistic?" which is why the writer did not.

Try re-reading the multitude of other posts that discuss this.

It's fine, as long as it sticks to its own rules (1)

Jodiamonds (226053) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158615)

Nothing has to stick to any predefined rules, such as the universe we live in, but it DOES have to have rules. It's quite possible for a game to just make up it's own rules, slowly introduce them to the player, and THEN proceed to selectively break those rules. But even showing off how you break the rules should reinforce the rule ("look, an exception!"). Otherwise, it will be extremely random, the player will have no idea what to do, and probably have no fun.

Most illogical game (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8158717)

Are there some games which break all rules of logic and still remain addictive? Yes, the game called "dealing with women."

The Mindbenders Said It Best - (2, Funny)

wornst (317182) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158773)

Are there some games which break all rules of logic and still remain addictive? The game of love, (love), love, (love), la la la la la love.

Three games springs to mind (0)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158831)

If you ask for games that are totally irrealistic yet, awfully addictive.

1. Jazz Jackrabbit 1/2
2. Earthworm Jim
3. One Must Fall 2097

Jazz Jackrabbit.

Need I to describe ?? A standard 2D platformer where you kill baddies with big guns. The fun I always had with that game was the humor that was in it, a small childish side to it, a rabbit with a gun, running like a lightning and jumping on turtles ... not quite what I'd call realistic :) Even if you transform Jazz in a human, you end up with a Commander Keen...which isn't exactly your realistic game either :)

Earthworm Jim.

Same as Jazz I guess, very humoristic game, well thought, well done and since I don't see earthworms kicking my butt everyday, I thought it would fit well as an answer :)

One Must Fall 2097.

Now this one, as probably all /.'ers already know, is equally a classic as it is illogical.

I *never* got bored of this game, which is far more than I can say for many many games today. For some reason, I always loved this game and always will.

If you ask for real stuff, don't look there, Robots fighting each other using pilots linked to the robot... I mean...maybe in 300 years but NOT in 2097 .. :)

Of course, the "robot" theme was only used to be original compared to all the fighting games but when I look at the game overall, all is unrealistic...original and fun.

A last one I just thought of, "Stunt".

Remember that old car game ? This one ranks just as high as OMF:2097. If I could still play it, I would. (Actually...I can....just too lazy to dual boot or any other solution)

IMO, realism/simulation is one type of gaming, it reaches one type of audience.

Just as MMO has a tartet audience, or sports game, or pinball games, FPS...

It is nothing but one type of gaming, it will always have fans for it, the only reason it began in the 90s is because the developers realized there was a market for it (which also happens to be when the PC games really began to bloom)

Re:Three games springs to mind (0)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160008)

Players linked to robots fighting each other. Not realistic until 300 years?

What, have you not seen battle bots?

Re:Three games springs to mind (0)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160102)

Battle Bots, Robot Wars, of course,

But are they linked with the robot with their mind having the robot mimicking their moves and speed (..even stamina) ?

Battle Bots and the likes are closer to RC Cars than the robot depicted in OMF IMO. ..but I'll admit that 300 years was more a figure of speech than an actual hypothesis based on reality :)

What's a good word, little buddy? (1)

Decaffeinated Jedi (648571) | more than 10 years ago | (#8158971)

It's been years since I've actually played it, but I seem to recall that a decent chunk of the puzzles in LucasArts' Sam & Max Hit the Road had little or no grounding in logic or reality. Nevertheless, it was still quite enjoyable (not to mention hilarious) -- if you had a walk-through nearby.

Sports Games (1)

Quill_28 (553921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159109)

One reason why I never liked sports video games. They were so unrealistic.
I would say "Oh, that could never happen", when playing baseball, football, soccer or basketball"
Why? because I played those sports alot in real life.

Now hockey I did enjoy on the genesis because I never played it.
Same with doom, can't say I ever killed a demon with a shotgun.

Stunt Car Racer... (1)

samdu (114873) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159338)

totally flaunted the rules of physics and logic and is one of the best games ever.

Stunt Car Racer [the-underdogs.org]

Illogical versus Realistic (2, Insightful)

zero_offset (200586) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159386)

The slashdot article title is very poorly chosen. A game can be extremely logical and yet have absolutely nothing to do with realism. Tic-tac-toe is a great example. The rules are simple, very consistent, and very logical decisions can be made within the framework of the game, but it doesn't have anything to do with reality. And unfortunately for the article submitter, the original author is speaking solely about realism in the context of online role playing games.

So the answer to the slashdot article would appear to be, simply, "No." An illogical game would only be frustrating, but a logical game not based on reality can be fun (Qix is my favorite example). Probably, however, it would have to be fairly simple (again, like Qix) otherwise the player would probably lose interest before the non-reality-based rules were understood well enough to simply play for enjoyment.

Realistic Vs. Believable (1)

Thedalek (473015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159617)

Apart from sports and traditional racing games, very few games carry any degree of realism beyond some very forgiving basics (gravity, mass, etc), which are inconsistantly enforced.

The quote in the article of "a real fireball would leave a smoke trail" reminds me of someone I knew who used to argue that centaurs didn't have arms, and pegasuses (pegasuai?) only had two sets of legs. He argued that since both were clearly mammals, they couldn't have 6 limbs. For a while, he toyed with applying the concept to angels, but then decided that they might not be mammals at all.

The point being, people don't want realism. If it was realistic, you'd never be able to hit anything with your gun, at least, not aiming with a controller. Gravity would act on your bullets, and your crosshair would be off. You wouldn't be able to jump nearly as much or as high in fighting games. Your character would have an endurance meter, and your movements would gradually get weaker and less dramatic looking.

People want something which looks convincing. While most people realize that a person can't really run up and down walls as though gravity was a petty suggestion, if they see it in a game, they want it to look believable, which is to say, consistent with the movement and style of the rest of the game.

At any rate, the article doesn't really address games which don't even relate to the real world, like Pac-Man, Tetris, or Qix.

sure (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 10 years ago | (#8159663)

Dig Dug!

psycho babble (1)

mwheeler01 (625017) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160223)

I stopped reading the article when he started talking about synapses because my eyes rolled up inside my head. I'm all for technical articles on slashdot but this article made me want to find the author and slap him for over-analyzing something that no one finds particullarly pressing in the first place (see also: art history). This is my rant and I'm sticking to it.

Consistancy is it's own logic (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160299)

As long as a game is internally consistant, that's the thing.

You're joking, right? (1)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160330)

I mean, is this difficult for someone?

Dig dug. Qix. Q-bert. Panic! Burgertime (admittedly, burgertime does have its realism moments; the last time I was being chased by a giant sunny-side-up egg, I did in fact kill it by crushing it under a gigantic slab of lettuce, though under entirely less preposterous circumstances.) Pit drop. Arcanus. Anything that "wraps" (Joust, etc.) Arkanoid. Boulderdash. Yar's revenge. Jumpman. Two levels from Pigs in Space. Various Epyx and Spinnaker games. Gyruss.

Unless by depart from our physics you mean that the yellow dot-eating circle all of a sudden can go through the big blue maze bars. I mean, that's pretty realistic, and Pac, nobody's ever heard of that game, Man.

Hint: if you want less realistic games, try playing a game on something older than a Playstation.

The 400 Project (1)

jmlyle (512574) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160576)


Game Developer magazine [gdmag.com] has a series of articles that are trying to determine the 400 rules of game design. Things are usually in the format of "Game logic should be internally consistent, except when it shouldn't." I know that sounds a little pathetic, but it's really quite interesting and far more comprehensive than I am willing to attempt to communicate right now.

Here is a little bit of info on the project, but I can't quickly locate any meaty content online....

"The 400 Project [theinspiracy.com] is an ambitious attempt to collect "The 400 Rules of Game Design." These rules are being published in the column "Better by Design" in Game Developer magazine. This web site is the first place they have been collected and will serve as their long-term home."

Internal logic (1)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160676)

It depends on the type of game and the player's expectations.

For example, SWG continues to have problems with the database. It's not as bad now, but there was a time when random items might disappear just because you left your house, or moved across server lines, or bought something from a vendor.

This sort of inconsistency resulted in major annoyance to anyone who suffered it because it was so unpredictable and arbitrary. No one was immune, but crafters were the most heavily hit.

The fact that these are bugs doesn't change the effect. People will work around bugs that are consistent (if a certain special attack never works, people won't use it). It's the lack of consistency or logic that annoys everyone the most because it can't as easily be worked around. And when it affect an "economy", it's even worse because we know it's supposed to follow certain rules.

What is WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?!?! (1)

jmlyle (512574) | more than 10 years ago | (#8160909)


This is about internal consistency. I'm sure someone can prove me wrong, but I can't imagine a game having any success (read: providing enjoyment to more than a few people) without a strong, predictive, internal consistency.

Every game spends some time teaching you it's rules, and then you play the game based on those rules. The better games will continue to refine the rules as you progress, giving you more opportunities for solutions. Things like combining tactics or maneuvers to do things you couldn't do before.

Games like Civilization have tutorial levels to teach you about the interactions that you have to manage and understand. If the world reacted randomly, it wouldn't be much fun to play.

Games like Shinobi [mobygames.com] give you situations where you can jump or kick or throw, and as you progress, you had better learn well how the bad guys move, and how your actions work, because you have to use that knowledge to jump over the wall, and throw the star to hit the guy while kicking the thing so you can land on the TINY FUCKING LEDGE (it's been 15 years and I still have a little resentment about some of those jumps).

Some more examples (1)

Doctor Cat (676482) | more than 10 years ago | (#8161224)

I've seen a number of games that cut loose all ties of "reminiscent of the real world". Even Tetris is pretty close - it has gravity, but not much else from the real world. Neither do solitaire card games, or some arcade and home computer games I recall from the 1980s. The Atari coinop vector graphics game Quantum [klov.com] is a good example. But as for defying logic, well, most videogames and computer games stick very strongly to whatever the principles of their internally defined reality are. Programming itself is sometimes referred to as "logic", making a game work consistently is kind of like "carving with the grain of the wood". I know some card games and party games that are about changing the rules of the game as you go, but even those involve following the rules about how to change the rules (even if those change over the course of the game), strictly adhering to what the rules are at any given time, etc. I guess the most willfully and deliberately illogical game I can think of is the old Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game, by Douglas Adams. At least in the early parts (I never got far), you had to perform actions that would, after you try them, happen to trigger lucky side effects you couldn't possibly have predicted from anything you were told before, you just had to try things until some combination of actions worked out for you. Though there was the internal logic of being able to try the first three steps and fail on the fourth, then try again knowing that the first three steps would lead to the same result again (even if you had to go back to a saved game to do so). I think the main purpose of having game controls, physics, etc. not behave in any kind of consistent way that you could learn or deduce and then use to try to play the game better would be in a gag game made to frustrate or annoy people until they realize it's a "joke" and give up. Even then, certain kinds of formalized behavior produce better humor and practical jokes than total randomness and total unpredictability, I would say.

What about Tic-Tac-Toe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8161496)

Um... explain what's so logical about Tic-Tac-Toe. As far as I can tell, that game follows no rules of realism or logic that I've ever heard of.

"A strange game. The only winning move is not to play."
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