[MUD-Dev] Expectations of in-game reality

Derek Licciardi kressilac at home.com
Fri Nov 16 16:40:09 New Zealand Daylight Time 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Marian Griffith

> Besides, realism is not about what is possible in our world but
> about what is consistent with the game world. And of course the
> things that are part of our collective knowledge, faerie tales and
> myths are never questioned by players. Dragons happen to be part
> of that, so their presence is generally taken for granted.  In
> fact, any attempt to "scientifically" explain dragons is likely to
> be more harmfull to the fantasy than ignoring the fact that it is
> impossible in our world.

Exactly.  Realism in games, or in movies for that matter, is not
about simulating what is real in the real world but suspending
disbelief of what is fantastic about our virtual world.  Movies have
been doing this for ages and in that respect games are no different.
When my fellow developers and I start modelling a subsystem and it
starts to get too complex to analyze we often try to do it with
smoke and mirrors.  As long as the players can't see through the
smoke and mirrors, dragons will be able to fly.  (Using smoke and
mirrors to accomplish more than is feasible admittedly is a black
art that few can do well.)  Its when related things don't work in a
consistent manner, that we encourage disbelief in our own world.  To
me suspending disbelief is very much about consistency as Marian
mentions.  If you apply your rules consistently then there is very
nearly limitless bounds on the things that can occur in your world.
Hell Star Trek has us believing that warp-travel and transporters
are technically feasible.  I'd say the producers did a real good job
applying its world rules in a consistent manner or at least in a
manner that makes it easy for us to accept those consistent
behaviors as reality.


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