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Why Is Realism Important ?

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Why Is Realism Important ?

Post  Blanci on Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:16 am

Why is realism important in AW ?
(theEther asked this recently in the cheaper landers thread. I think this is interesting general question)

Of course we cannot be very precise or demanding about realism as theres tooo many variables for a finite game but realism may be important and practically useful for several reasons.

First it is nice simply for the fact that it makes the game easy and intutive to play.  You dont need to memorise all the particular rules.

A great feature of AW is that even beginners can dive in and grab a tank and attack an infantry or a recon in the knowledge its gonna wipe it out or nearly so, whereas id be scared to attack a mech with a bazooka or a horrendous looking megatank thing. Likewise the way artillery work as indirect units which only fire over distance but are quite weak and dont counter attack. These quite complex "rules" are intuitively obvious and make the game easy to play for anyone who is more than about 3 or 5 years old. Intuition is human skill, and helps us beat the AI, albeit only the mechanics i refer to here.

A partial demonstration of this intuition would be to set up a (custom) game with all the unit images mixed up, so for example an infantry would appear as a tank and an artillery as an anti air. For normal people this would be a horrible or bizarre experience. Eventually dedicated players would absorb the bizzarreness and possibly play nearly as well as we can play now but it would make the game horribly difficult for beginners.

The game of chess suffers from this to a small degree. Some move rules are hard to learn for some kids and the game becomes slightly intellectual before anyone has even started strategising. On the other hand, some chess rules are fairly intuitive: like the small simple pawn advances one square, while the strong tower made of bricks advances on horizontal and vertical lines. The sneaky bishops slide their way diagonally and obviously knights on horses can jump over stuff.. but to precisely where who knows or cares ha ha !

Second.  people like some reflection of realism in games i guess?
Third.    it helps us beat AI
..?

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Re: Why Is Realism Important ?

Post  theether on Sun Jan 11, 2015 5:16 pm

My original question was about meant specifically on the topic of unit prices.
Maybe I should have stated that more clearly.
While it may be realistic to have a certain pricing scheme, if the game gets better by making somewhat unrealistic changes to it I'm all for it.
And if the game became too complicated to play as a consequence, then obviously it became worse instead of better.

It's hard to disagree with you about the generalized question, though, but as you posted this topic as a question I'll try to anyway Razz
One could argue that realism is just a great way to make the player understand the game.
As you said, a player can only take up so many new rules at a time.
Simple games like Go or Checkers work around this limitation with their small rulesets.

For all games that are a little more complex, you have to use what the player already knows.
Realism can be a great way to achieve that, but other options exist as well.

Chess for example may be easier to learn if you can play Checkers already.
In both games you move one piece a turn according to certain rules.
The rules for Chess may be more complex, but if you already understand the core concept, you have only the specific patterns left to learn.
And from there it's only a small step to Shogi.
This way of slowly increasing the amount of rules would make it possible to create a game without any realism that's close to AW.

Now realism is obviously a better tool, as you don't need as many tutorials to reach practically the same goal.
That said, it should always be used as a tool and not a law. (Except if your goal actually is realism)
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