Adventure Forums - View Single Post - (Historical) accuracy in games
View Single Post
Old 03-31-2004, 01:58 AM   #16
mycroft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 693
Default I know I'll probably get flamed for this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Singer
Hmm, I'm not sure which question you're really asking, mycroft. Are you talking about realism or accuracy? Most of your examples are about accuracy, but your reference to Rennes-le-Chateau is a question of realism. There's a difference between inaccuracy and creating fiction.
I believe that realism and accuracy are not unrelated. Accuracy leads to realism in a majority of cases. Take visual accuracy for one, the usage of 256 colours to represent the entities onscreen is relatively less accurate than the usage of millions of colours. The usage of specular highlights to model shiny objects makes them look more real. This increase in visual accuracy directly results in increased realism. Historical/factual inaccuracy is not entirely different. But there is a strong factor at play here...you (obviously) have to know the historical/scientific fact in order to appreciate the realism that the accuracy leads to. However, since we're all used to visual perception, a million coloured entity seems more real than a 256 coloured one to everyone.

The only instance where an increased accuracy will probably inhibit realism(or the suspension of disbelief anyways), is in the case where the game capitalises on cliches. Take Road to India as an example. It features the most inaccurate representation of New Delhi I've ever seen. But since it is known as the mystic land and all, the inaccuracies aid in the suspension of disbelief rather than working against it. I'm sure none of the players would like to see billboards of Pepsi and McDonalds in an exotic land like India.

I agree that the Rennes-le-Chateau question seems rather inappropriate in retrospect. I had the page loaded and it seemed like a good idea at the time. But while looking at the page, I realised that I probably would have appreciated the game a little more had I previously known about Le Serpent Rouge and other subtle enigmas that the game refers to. However, I probably would have also noticed any inaccuracies(liberties that Jensen may have taken for gameplay considerations). The snake scale bothered Bastich because he knew that snakes do not leave scales. People(I, for one) who did not know this fact were not bothered by it.

How do the recoil physics of a WWII gun matter when one does not know how the gun was supposed to perform ? Isn't such accuracy superflous to the unwary player? What good is such accuracy which can only be appreciated by historians or scientists ?

I've read that this year's GDC had the speakers talking about the long development cycles of games. Does this (presumambly redundant) quest for accuracy too have some role to play ?

The point that actually lead me to this was that I was thinking of a game set in the Victorian era. In order to have a proper sense of realism, the game should get most of the major (historical)details right (i.e it should be accurate). The dress, the mannerisms of the people, the architecture, the weather, the coinage, the art, the popular culture, the commerce and economy, the current affairs etc. of the place and the era. But the more I thought about it, the more level of iterations seemed possible. Upto a point when it seemed highly impractical to be concerned about the trivial details. I mean, do players really know the difference between a Florin and a Farthing ? What use is my research into the coinage system prevalent then, when it does not evoke a sense of realism? So I decided to query my fellow gamers (you) about how much they cared for accuracy.

From your responses it is clear that you'd like games to have a coarse-grained sense of accuracy. Yet you'd probably forgive the game if it, intentionally or otherwise, is not accurate in a fine-grained way. It really is a matter of degree. Yet I'd like to play a game that makes the Victorian Era come alive with all its subtle nuances; Florin, Farthing, Sovereign, Crown, Shilling and all...

Actually, I admit that the choices for the poll are rather poor and could've been better.
__________________




Last edited by mycroft; 03-31-2004 at 02:10 AM.
mycroft is offline