Misguided Hyped Video Games

Whoa ! It’s all happening at the moment. Expect a few more posts .. maybe.

Just been working through my Pc Gamer indie games. Good to see a thriving world of game innovation and fun .. like “Frozzd”.

I tried to load up a game called “The Blob” (using Ogre engine) but I have not got it to run it yet for some weird reason. Nevertheless this paragraph caught my attention on the review page

Perception vs. Simulation

What’s really interesting about De Blob, as Joost points out in his Gamedev.net post, is that the actual physics simulation of the main character is a simple rigid body sphere. Even though the game feels like you’re controlling a blob of fluid, this is entirely accomplished by the presentation. The squash and stretch of the blob and the squishy-sounding audio creates the illusion. It’s a very powerful example of how our internal, mental simulation of a game world can actually be much more complex than the computer’s underlying simulation.

Exactly what I’ve been trying to tell people for ages. No wonder games like Crysis have such bad resource usage problems. The designers seem to have become confused. Or were they hassled and pressured by commercial forces ? Either way, they have forgotten that video games are based on the art of illusion. What can be accomplished in the MIND of the player is far more powerful than anything a graphics card can do. This is sort of like expecting high end audio systems to make the music sound good. If the music is no good to begin with then no amount of money thrown at it is going to make a difference.

The article continues …

Player perception is an important lesson for game developers to learn. You could enhance the fidelity of your physics simulation, or you could simply create the illusion of enhanced complexity. The flipside is possible, too, where a player could perceive a physics simulation as less complex than it really is. When you design a system, keep in mind that players spend more time playing the game in their heads than they do playing thehard-and-fast numbers inside some piece of silicon.


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