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A workable definition for "immersion"

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Yes, I've used the term before in argument, yes I've seen it mocked, ermagerd ehmersjun!

 

But let's be honest here, immersion is a real thing, and it matters.

I was hoping we could finally have an open debate on how to balance game mechanics and world immersion, but before we do that, we together could come to a workable agreement on what immersion is, other than something so intensively abstract that it loses meaning and fails to convey what is, undoubtedly a serious consideration for many.

 

Well, the textbook definition is "the act of immersing something in liquid" (obviously not applicable)

But this does point to what it is meant to convey: If you're immersed in water, you are surrounded by it, it touches you from all sides, wherever you look, there is water.

 

And therein lies what so many mean by it. (I think)

 

If someone is immersed in a story or a game, that person is not distracted by anything which does not contribute directly to the experience.

 

The menus look like they could have been crafted by the craftsmen or wizards in the gameworld, the names of skills and abilities and spells sound like they could have been given by the people who inhabit this fictional world.

 

Anything which directly reconnects a player with the real world, which breaks the veneer of the illusion of this otherworldly setting, breaks immersion. An invisible wall breaks immersion: you are confronted by an arbitrary limit with no in-game limitation.

"You must gather your party before venturing forth" breaks immersion: the game narrators breaks in telling you that there is a mechanical reason why something doesn't work, it lets you know that you are playing a game.

 

And yes, obviously, you already know that, but you should be reminded as little as possible

 

that is immersion.

 

"Your vast range of training and experience has made you more skilled" is less immersion breaking than "You've levelled up" or worse "Level up"

 

The key here is balancing, of course. Sometimes conveying information to the player is best done with numbers, so they can make informed decisions. You want to know that your sword is +3, because then you know exactly how much better it is than your +1 sword.

On the flip side, you could call the first the "cold forged cutting blade of sharpness" and the latter one "decent sword"

 

But if you want to have this without the statistics showing, you need some naming conventions. All +3 swords must have the same designation (cold forged) and all +1 swords would need the same designation as well (decent)

 

That's where the balancing choice of immersion vs gameplay comes in.

I care a great deal about immersion, I think it's the difference between a functional game and one that draws me in deep (to use an appropriate metaphor)

Yes, I want the menus to look like they're part of the world, yes, I want the armour to make a clank sound as I drag it around my inventory, no, I don't want to hear skrillex or deadmau5 play as I'm exploring Glanfanthan ruins.

 

Immersion is an important part of the game, and otherwise solid arguments get ruined by bandying the term without a good definition or explanation of what you mean. Yeah?

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Immersion for me is that tunnel vision aspect I've mentioned. It's about being so focused on whatever it is I'm enjoying, that even when I notice, I don't care if swords/physics are realistic or if the town is populated by deco-npc's or not or if one could actually upload a virus with a Mac to an alien spaceship. Because I'm still having fun, even if I know something is ridiculous or inaccurate. And as Sharp said, such is a pretty personal thing in terms of threshold of tolerance.

 

I'm not sure it's something Obsidian could purposely "balance" for.  It's not a concrete enough sort of thing.


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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You do realize, Sharp_one, that that argument renders all discussion of any form of creativity completely pointless? Substitute "artistic value" or "enjoyability" or "playability" or any other such term for "immersion" and your argument will be just as valid.

 

In other words, if you really believe that, what the hell are you even doing here? Why not just go sit in glorious solitude in your personal box of personal preference.

 

I posit that it isn't purely a matter of personal preferences, only dependent on the receiver. It's a two-way street. The game does make a difference to immersion, enjoyment, gameplay, and what have you, not just the player. There are 'good games' and 'bad games.' There is 'great art' and 'crap art.' Justin Bieber is not the same as Nick Cave. Planescape: Torment is not the same as My Little Pony's Cake Shop.

 

(I just re-read the above paragraph. I can't believe I'm even having to argue something like that. Jeez, some people.)

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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Immersion is a hard thing to define, imo, tho. It means different things to different people. No single game is going to provide it for the majority of people on the planet.

 

I don't like Justin Bieber, but that doesn't mean I think Justin Bieber shouldn't exist or be able to do what he does, or that he should change and make music that I personally like. A lot of mental immersion is emotion based which is always difficult to pin down ... which is why a lot of the time, more easily definable technical stuff tends to get a larger focus.


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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Well what I was trying to convey is that I believe that it is possible to identify and define at least some things which objectively contribute or detract from immersion. I was hoping we could work that out. (and gave examples of what I mean.)

 

I feel a little misunderstood. Arguing the benefits or problems of immersion will only be possible if what contributes to or detracts from it is identifiable and quantifiable.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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@JFSOOC: If you look through the definitions of immersion (and not just the first one) you'll find "deem mental involvement".  It is suspension of disbelief, tunnel vision, filtering out your surroundings. 

As to how it is achieved in games, it is a matter of balancing game mechanics with story  
 

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I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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There is 'great art' and 'crap art.' Justin Bieber is not the same as Nick Cave. Planescape: Torment is not the same as My Little Pony's Cake Shop.

I'll have you know I laughed so hard at this my coworkers jumped.


"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

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Personally, invisible walls or getting stuck on doorways doesn't usually break my immersion. I'm able to process these as part of the game without breaking my connection to the gameworld. The same goes for seeing the numerical stats for items. What does normally break my immersion in a game (or any other story for that matter) is noticing something incongruous on the narrative level or in the story-gameplay interface that inhibits my ability to empathize with the setting. That is to say, when I lose the ability to connect with the events in the game. 

 

For example, I was able to get immersed in System Shock 2 but not in Bioshock. In Bioshock, the first thing I learned about the world was that there was some magic potion that people had been drinking that gave them super powers but that also drove them violently insane with extended use. I was then promptly told to drink some of this madness-inducing, mutagenic substance so that I could continue my journey. This made my brain go, "wait, what? Why on earth would I want to do that?" I could see balconies and stuff, and it seemed like I should be able to climb up to one without ingesting something that was clearly not safe to imbibe. But no, the game insisted that I drink this noxious substance to continue, even though I could think of ways that I should be able to continue without doing so. As such, my connection to the world was broken. I could no longer understand the logic of the narrative. In System Shock 2, on the other hand, I never felt like I was being forced to do anything insane in order to continue. The levels were fairly open, and I could always get to places that I could see (I think; it's been a long time since I've played it). As such, I could get immersed in being a dude exploring doomed spaceship overrun with crazed, killer mutants because I could understand why I was doing it. In Bioshock, it felt like I was being forced down a linear route that made no sense to me.

 

Another example is from the first Knights of the Old Republic game (MINOR SPOILERS). When you're escaping from Malak's flagship, my party was mowing down all threats with no real problem. Then, during my fight with Malak, I was clearly winning until a cut scene forced me out of the fight. Then instead of cutting my way through the blast door to rescue my captured party member, the game made me run away, and all the NPC's were like, "oh, we can't go back for her, it's too dangerous. She sacrificed herself so that we could escape!" But that isn't what happened in the game. In the game, we had devastated all opposition and could easily have fought our way to rescue our captured companion. (END SPOILER) This sort of situation is what breaks immersion for me because the basic logic of the game world breaks down, and I can't empathize with the events, meaning I struggle to remain invested in them or their outcomes.

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Arguing the benefits or problems of immersion will only be possible if what contributes to or detracts from it is identifiable and quantifiable.

I don't think that's generally quantifiable in a way that's applicable as an "applies to almost everyone" control.

 

That said, there are a few general points that could be seen as immersion factors that one could list off, because they tend to be somewhat universal desires. Such as plot endings that are satisfying/make sense relative to set up, combat GUI/AI that doesn't make you pull your hair out, environments/music that make you go "neat", combat that's visceral and interesting and so on.

 

But trying to then isolate anything more specific is where it gets difficult (should the GUI  have 5 buttons instead of 10 buttons, should swordplay be "realistic", should the color palette be dark and gritty or colorfully garish).

 

What gives you tunnel vision in a game? What breaks that tunnel vision to the point it actually ruins the enjoyment/makes it hard to continue or quickly regain the tunnel vision? Is it something more universal or is it just a personal pet peeve?

 

I don't think I could describe what gives me tunnel vision in a game too specifically. The only thing I could maybe define is task-orientation often plays a huge part. And I don't mean furthering the plot or discovering the story or ticking quests off one by one. I mean specific task-orientation. Busy-work...where I'll often stop caring about/ignoring actual game/plot progression in favor of the busy-work. :p

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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My personal bete noire is a lack of internal consistency, implement this and i'm usually quite easily immersed.

 

No man is an island, except when he's in the bath.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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But if you're in the bath more often than not, can you be classified as an island?

 

I think what JFSOCC wants to get at is a discussion of the elements that might be widely associated with story and immersion, such that in art blues and purples are considered "sad" colors, and oranges, reds "warmer."  The eyes tend to follow lines and "paths" towards yada yada, I hate art.

In cinematography there are many tricks to evoking the right images, emotions, whathaveyou using light, shadow, color, perspective, more that I'm not going to get into because frankly, I don't know any.

 

I'm not trying to be clever in my ignorance, but I should give the thread a little effort before it gets hammered into the ground.  Is it fair to say that there are widely accepted "rules" to follow that might improve immersion in a video game?  I honestly don't know, but I'll try.

 

I supose these are all too obvious, but first thing comes to my mind is verisimilitude.  The less that I'm reminded I'm playing a video game, the better.  This means that narrative naturally flows and doesn't take enormous leaps into the inconcievable or implausible.  Characters are well-developed and act out their parts appropriately.  The setting is completely fleshed and believable (or understandable).  Music is generally conservative, but asserts its presence as the situation deserves.  Mechanics serve to enable my gameplay instead of limit it - by this I mean that mechanics serve to increase my choice of option in a given situation, as opposed to those that serve to restrict due to game constraints (invisible walls (no, not impassible terrain, I really mean invisible walls)).  These mechanics should be fairly consistent - if I can walk through doors into buildings, I don't want to see doors painted onto buildings that I can't even attempt to enter.  Perception should transition smoothly.  When I fast travel, I want to see some abstraction of having done more than a simple teleport, even if that's so simple as just indicating a passing of time, a track of steps across a map.

 

Generally speaking, I suppose the combination of narrative and my perceptions should meld well into a form that doesn't jar or otherwise assualt my suspensions of disbelief.

Sorry about that - sermon over. :cat:

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Definition?

"Imagination Cloud"
- That vivid and imaginary bubble in the back of your head when you are reading a book and see the landscape, faces etc. etc. immersion is in a way an "awake dream" as it is purely inside the mind of the eye of the beholder wherein the imagination takes place.

Immersion is fueled by the Players Imagination & the "Soul of the Child". Everyone has a little kid inside them who sees all magical colors and dragons, knights and swords. Some have an easier time to access this part of their brains and some have trouble to do it or can't do it at all because they either don't have the mindset for it or they have specific "triggers" depending on their upbringing. Some also lose their "Child Soul" as they grow up.

Some examples:

- Harry Potter: When I read Harry Potter and grew up with it, I could see Harry, Snape, all the magic and all of the things that occurred in the world of the book before the Movies were out. How? I imagined it. The words on the pages translated to my mind and took shapes and forms in the back of my head. When I really got into the book I wasn't even reading the words, I was seeing the words take place in a "movie-like" experience.

- Baldur's Gate: Same thing. The characters on the screen became obscured by my own imagination, and I was the camera in my imagination, and I was much closer to the battle, watching it unfold as my characters were blocking attacks, dodging, leaping, rolling on the ground, casting spells in the nick of time in a way more vivid fashion than the models could ever do in the game.

- Icewind Dale: Same thing yet again, characters having dialogues and interacting with each other where there is no dialogue. Helping one another out, bonding, questioning the implemented narrative. The characters become the story where there is no story.

So: Immersion = Imagination

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immersion is in a way an "awake dream" as it is purely inside the mind of the eye of the beholder wherein the imagination takes place.

 

[...]

 

So: Immersion = Imagination

I think I like this definition. :)

 

...I don't think it's the only definition, but I definitely like it.


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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I feel a little misunderstood. Arguing the benefits or problems of immersion will only be possible if what contributes to or detracts from it is identifiable and quantifiable.

Unfortunately it's not. I always get super immersed in Stephens Kings books but my friend says that he cannot get into them.

 

 

That does not follow. You can still have a meaningful discussion about what about them you finds immersive, and what about them jolts him out of it. When more people join the discussion, you can eventually arrive at categories like "things many people find break immersion" and "things many people find maintain immersion." Then you can discuss why things are in each category. Each individual's experience is unique, but there are still commonalities – and the artifact being immersed in (or not) will produce those commonalities. 

 

I would bet that if you got a hundred people to write down how they experienced The Lord of the Rings and Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, you would get two pretty distinct clusters of experiences.

 

At the end of that exercise, you would have a fairly good collection of identified and, if you like, even quantified factors which contribute to, or detract from immersion – even as every player's/reader's experience is unique.

 

Speaking of Stephen King, his monsters don't work for me. I usually find them ... dopey, I guess. Dumb. Un-frightening. Immersion-breaking. I get much more deeply into those of his stories that don't feature supernatural monsters. Four Seasons and Misery, for example. He writes some mean prose.

Edited by PrimeJunta
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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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For me it's a combination of internal consistency and a lack of 4th-wall breaking "you're playing a game" references.

I don't mind the combat info (Gorn attacks Kirk: 40 damage) in the dialogue window but I wouldn't want numbers above the heads in the game window.

The story needs to make sense in-world and shouldn't be too contrived to get you to go to a particular place and do a particular quest with a particular NPC in tow because "I'm coming with you so there" (I'm looking at you NWN2 OC).

 

So no invisible walls - if we're not allowed to go there, then put up a real wall.

I don't mind the +3 sword too much (I guess I'm used to it) but I do prefer the suggestion of 'decent' v. 'fine' v. 'awesome, razor-sharp sword of doom'

Good, non-intrusive (background) music to set the mood is helpful if it's appropriate to the setting (it could become louder and more foreground in a tavern with actual musicians).

Reasonable actions and responses from NPCs based in the world (again - internal consistency).

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Immersion is a real thing, but it's quite a subjective thing as is the case with any such quality that serves to describe our experience with media. That said, the boundaries of effective games are defined by the struggle for cohesion, consistency, and relevance, and I do think there are essentially objective-minded arguments to be made as to whether or not particular features serve these ends. In other words, it's worth discussing whether individual features are "immersive" in the context of a specific game (and its respective boundaries), but it's altogether pointless to argue with someone else about the "immersion" value of an entire game or of a single abstracted mechanic removed from any meaningful context. From this it follows that when someone contends that a particular feature might add "immersion" to a game, one should evaluate the degree to which the particular envisioning of the game served best by that feature matches the game's "true" boundaries. Obviously the boundaries of what belongs in a game are just as subjective as immersion, but we can at least acknowledge that disagreements over the former often underlie arguments over the latter.

Edited by mcmanusaur
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But if you're in the bath more often than not, can you be classified as an island?

 

I think what JFSOCC wants to get at is a discussion of the elements that might be widely associated with story and immersion

YES! thank you!

I suppose these are all too obvious, but first thing comes to my mind is verisimilitude.  The less that I'm reminded I'm playing a video game, the better.  This means that narrative naturally flows and doesn't take enormous leaps into the inconceivable or implausible.  Characters are well-developed and act out their parts appropriately.  The setting is completely fleshed and believable (or understandable).  Music is generally conservative, but asserts its presence as the situation deserves.  Mechanics serve to enable my gameplay instead of limit it - by this I mean that mechanics serve to increase my choice of option in a given situation, as opposed to those that serve to restrict due to game constraints (invisible walls (no, not impassible terrain, I really mean invisible walls)).  These mechanics should be fairly consistent - if I can walk through doors into buildings, I don't want to see doors painted onto buildings that I can't even attempt to enter.  Perception should transition smoothly.  When I fast travel, I want to see some abstraction of having done more than a simple teleport, even if that's so simple as just indicating a passing of time, a track of steps across a map.

 

Generally speaking, I suppose the combination of narrative and my perceptions should meld well into a form that doesn't jar or otherwise assault my suspensions of disbelief.

Sorry about that - sermon over. :cat:

This is pretty much exactly what I mean, thank you for your sermon ;)

 

 

Speaking of Stephen King, his monsters don't work for me. I usually find them ... dopey, I guess. Dumb. Un-frightening. Immersion-breaking. I get much more deeply into those of his stories that don't feature supernatural monsters. Four Seasons and Misery, for example. He writes some mean prose.

Great post. As too the quoted part, I couldn't agree more. I think the only thing I really like from mr King is Shawshank Redemption. The The monsters there are real people, the horrors there conceivably happen in reality.

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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A "tool" for developers I suppose:

Make the world feel real within itself, kind of like how our parents managed to make the worlds feel "real" when they told us bedtime stories with different voices. Or dressing up as Santa Claus during Christmas.

Gamers are children and Developers are parents :p Doesn't mean the game needs to be all "PC" (Political Correct). The world needs to be believable, and that is why I am advocating the game to be designed primarily as Hardcore as it possibly can get (and I think Josh said they are designing it to be a hard game and then they'll tune/adjust the lower difficulties later), because I believe it'll be easier for Obsidian to tell an immersive and believable story from that mindset too.

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When we speak immersion it should also be noted that there is several types of immersion, which make it hard to tell what kind games and functions are immersive 

 

Wikipedia quote

 

 

According to Ernest W. Adams, author and consultant on game design,[1] immersion can be separated into three main categories:

  • Tactical immersion Tactical immersion is experienced when performing tactile operations that involve skill. Players feel "in the zone" while perfecting actions that result in success.
  • Strategic immersion Strategic immersion is more cerebral, and is associated with mental challenge. Chess players experience strategic immersion when choosing a correct solution among a broad array of possibilities.
  • Narrative immersion Narrative immersion occurs when players become invested in a story, and is similar to what is experienced while reading a book or watching a movie.

Staffan Björk and Jussi Holopainen, in Patterns In Game Design,[2] divide immersion into similar categories, but call them sensory-motoric immersion, cognitive immersion and emotional immersion, respectively. In addition to these, they add a new category:

  • Spatial immersion Spatial immersion occurs when a player feels the simulated world is perceptually convincing. The player feels that he or she is really "there" and that a simulated world looks and feels "real".
Edited by Elerond
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I apologise if I'm mauling anyone's words, but I believe I can summarise the points so far:

 

Immersion is that quality of an experience which determines the extent to which the individual feels the experience is significant. This significance is felt initially in a conscious way, but will ideally become pre-conscious in due course.

 

Immersion is ultimately about the processing of the experience. It needs to resonate with the thought processes of the individual. This is aided by verisimilitude in sensory input, but is not completed by verisimilitude. The thought process of the individual is governed by the presentation of problems and its congruence with the individual's problem solving strategies. It is also governed by the emotional congruence of those problems to the individual. The latter function of emotional reaction is improved more by sensory verisimilitude.

 

I suggest that sensory accuracy is not enough for the simple reason that experiences in real life are not always immersive.

 

In other words, to be immersed my consciousness must be presented with

 

I've been trying to do the equation for this, but realised that the forum simply won't show it properly. :) However, here are the variables I identify:

 

Immersion  = i

Verisimilitude ranges 0,1. Where 1 is perfect recreation. = v

Presentation of problems is measured as ease of the subject understanding and tackling the issue = p

Emotional relevance ranges 0,1. Where 1 is perfect emotional relevance to the subject = e

Competition is the sum total of all other potentially immersive experiences occurring at the same time = c

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Rumination: I can sometimes find myself lost while scrubbing the bathtub. Where you start out intending to just give it a quick 10 minute once over and an hour later I'm scrubbing grout with bleach and a toothbrush and woe to anyone who tries to get me to stop before I'm ready to stop. It's not that I super enjoy scrubbing the bathtub (I never start the day going "Man I can't wait to clean that tub, it's gonna be hours of fun!"), nor do I find the over-board action significant (outside of a vague sensation of completion-ism), and it certainly doesn't involve my imagination or creativity ... unless I start mixing chemicals to try to make a new soap scum cleaner perhaps.

Is that immersion? It's certainly tunnel vision. And I find that same sense of rather inexplicable and seemingly mindless obsession can apply to/add to gaming, to some degree. It's why I can spend four hours chopping wood in Skyrim to no real purpose. There needs to be more than that to the game to have a long-term impact, of course, but it's certainly part of it. I don't think I really understand it even in myself, I only know that games that don't have it, at all, tend to bore me.

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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Well, since this is more of a niche game I think Obsidian has somewhat of an idea about what people expect and are used to.

 

For me personally, I'd say immersion is more of a binary thing - either I'm engrossed in something or not. You can't "add" to the immersion. I think the goal is to point the person somewhere and have them enjoy the ride, the surroundings are of a smaller importance then.

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>> Just like we did with topics about why Baldurs Gate/Torment/Icewind Dale etc. were great and why? And we didn't came to any reasonable conclusion because people experience of what was great was often are contradicting themselves?

Some of us did. "Reasonable conclusion" is not the same thing as "complete consensus." For example, I don't think I'd be going too much out on a limb if I stated that Planescape: Torment is generally regarded to have some great writing, great setting design, and memorable characters, whereas Icewind Dale is considered to have some of the best combat encounters and most beautiful environmental art among IE games.

 

I know that every novel author who did what you propose

I do not recall proposing anything in this discussion. If you believe otherwise, hey, that's just your personal experience.

 

and included everything that made LoTR great into his book to be successful failed and wrote crap. Why? Because Tolkien didn't wrote with "this have to be immersive" in mind. He wrote a great books that people get immersed in. It doesn't work the other way around. Immersion is a result of good work not a goal itself.

 

Now, this I can agree with. To an extent, anyway: I can think of work which I find to be really good but not immersive. For example, I've gotten a great deal out of James Joyce's Ulysses, despite really struggling to get through it. I could only manage about five pages at a time. Yet it remains one of the most meaningful literary experiences I've had.

 

Speaking of Stephen King, his monsters don't work for me. I usually find them ... dopey, I guess. Dumb. Un-frightening. Immersion-breaking. I get much more deeply into those of his stories that don't feature supernatural monsters. Four Seasons and Misery, for example. He writes some mean prose.

>> This statement actually greatly proves my point. King is considered the king of horror novels, is widely known, respected, successful and accomplished author. And now you want him to change the way he writes because people find his monsters dopey, dumb, unfrightening and immersion breaking?

 

Why would I want him to change his writing? That would be silly. I'm perfectly happy to enjoy his non-supernatural-monster fiction, and just read other writers for my supernatural-monster fix.

 

i'm sure that if he did that he would be only one of the million soft cover authors who sell 10.000 copies of their books mostly to airport shops where people grab random book to have something to read and throw away after landing.

So you think the only thing Stephen King has going for him are his supernatural bugaboos? Interesting. I actually hold his writing skills in higher regard than that.

 

The same is with Obsidian and I'm certain that they do not pay attention to any of those kind of topics, they are focused on making the game good.

And the best way of making a 'good' game is to ignore what everyone else thinks is 'good?'

 

Second: do you seriously believe Stephen King ignores what his readership likes and just pursues his art in some kind of vacuum? For real?

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So you think the only thing Stephen King Torment has going for him it are is his supernatural bugaboos great writing?  :p

No, sweetypie. I listed a few other things right in the paragraph you're quoting.

 

I'm talking about what makes those games great, it's different things for different people and you cannot point fingers and say it's this, that and those two.

But what if a significant number of those people agree? 'Cuz, you know, by and large they do. As in, most people agree that Torment had great writing, memorable characters, yadda yadda yadda, and Icewind Dale had great setting art and great combat encounters, yadda yadda yadda.

 

Hell, even the disagreements can be meaningful. Once more: we do not need perfect consensus in order to be able to say something meaningful about what makes some particular game/book/movie tick.

 

Really? So what is the point of discussing things or telling what we like or dislike about the game if not to implement those ideas?

Um... understanding? Implementing those ideas in your own work? Being able to make more informed choices about what you do read/play/watch?

 

This actually explains a lot about you and few other users, who bitch over and over in topics here. You guys go 19 pages on features, just to bitch about them and argue one another, not to benefit the game in any way.

Rather funny, coming from someone who's probably one of the three most argumentative and generally negative posters currently active on these forums.

 

So why do you even talk about this? Why do you insist on participating this "immersion" discussion if you don't want it or don't need it?

I just listed some reasons above. Attempting to browbeat Stephen King into changing his writing style doesn't figure very highly among them.

 

I would like Obsidian to listen to my concerns, though, that's for sure. I think a meaningful discussion of "immersion" could help with that. It could also help my own creative efforts.

 

Yes and yes. To a degree. King will still write horror fiction, because his audience likes them, but he is the author and no one from audience should have anything to say what and how should he write.

Aww, a romantic. How sweet!

 

Obsidian will still make good characters and stories that brakes from what audience expects and the audience will love them for it.

I certainly hope so!

 

One of the rules about movies, tv shows and books is "Give them what they NEED, not what they WANT".

 

Do you think G.G. Martins "Game of Thrones" would be successful if he would listen to what his fans wants? All Starks would be alive and Geoffrey dead by the end of chapter 1.

"Listening to what the fans want" is not the same as "giving them what they say they want." You have to take it one step further, and infer from what they say what really pushes their buttons. I'm quite sure he -- like Stephen King, or Obsidian -- does just that. Giving them what they say they want is fanservice. BioWare does that. It is, indeed, a road to nowhere.

 

Do you think the answer would be "yes, do it" if Shakespear would ask the audience if he should kill the protagonists at the end in his next love story play? Of course not. We would have a "they lived happily ever after" end to Romeo and Juliet. Because if you ask, then everybody likes happy endings. Yet if you ask what movies or books they like specifiacly then you would know that's not true in all cases.

Wow, you really have NO IDEA of what Shakespeare's audiences at the time liked, do you?

 

Do you remember what happened to X-Files series after they gave the audience what they wanted? Show was dropping audience and was cancelled.

I have no idea. I only watched the first season. It was already tedious and repetitive at the end of that.

 

And finally -- you have succeeded in pretty effectively derailing this discussion. I was interested in discussing what kinds of things make a game immersive, and what kinds of things break immersion. You, on the other hand, have succeeded in turning this discussion into a meta-discussion about whether such a discussion is worth having in the first place.

 

I'll take it one level further: why do you feel this meta-discussion is worth having? Does it increase your understanding, knowledge, or ability to make informed decisions? Does it help Obsidian make a better game? Does it serve some other purpose? 'Cuz I sure lost track. From where I'm at, it would be much simpler for you to just STFU about topics that don't interest you, and leave the rest of us to our discussion. Why do you feel differently?

Edited by PrimeJunta
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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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I agree with Prime Junta. The disagreements over immersion don't make it less meaningful. They make it more meaningful, just more complex.

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"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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