Video Games Need 'Realism Boost'

More than good looks are needed to make a great video game, according to Glenn Entis, chief technical officer at games giant Electronic Arts. Mr Entis told the Siggraph conference that games makers had to use much more than graphics to make their creations believable, engaging and fun. Game worlds must not just look lifelike, he said, they must also react in a realistic manner too. Tools that let players create content were also becoming important, he said.

Siggraph, held in San Diego, is the world's leading computer graphics conference. During his speech, Mr. Entis warned against assuming that games which look lifelike automatically take on the characteristics of the real world. He said this problem was most acute when creating believable human video game characters.

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Realism :

7:00 am waking up, taking breakfast and read the newspaper.
7:30am go to bathroom.
8:00am - 9:00am driving in the rush hour.
9:00am drinking coffee in the work.
9:30am-12:00 "working" (reading email, browsing internet, sending a mail-chain and such).
12:00 13:00 it's time to eat some trash.
13:00-17:00 "working again".
17:00-18:00 rush hour again (all fun).
18:00-23:00 turn on tv and zapping it, take some beer (because you find that there aren't some decent in tv) and go to sleep.

Isn't this what The Sims is? And, as crazy as it seems, isn't that on the top ten sellers list for PC games still?

Dazza said,
Isn't this what The Sims is? And, as crazy as it seems, isn't that on the top ten sellers list for PC games still?

No, Sims is too false, it's way more real Animal Crossing rather Sims.

:3

Anyways Sims is quite popular with lifeless people that known little of the outside world, for example Sims in the University and they THINK that it's the real deal..

Not for me man, I just want better gameplay. These days I find myself playing SNES etc. games because the gameplay was there, I could care less about the graphics.

There is a limit to which a moving image on a 2D plane, audio from 2 to 5 locations and simple rumble/force feedback can simulate reality. It lacks completely smell, taste and g-force.

This however doesn't stop Music, TV, Film and Books. So stuff realism I say, embrace fiction or at least suspension of disbelief (un-openable doors, immovable objects).

if i wanted reality i'd go outside. i dont play games to experience reality i play them to experience what isn't possible in real life like being a soldier who stops an alien invasion, command an army in an RTS, race a car at 200mph ... strange as it may seem, not everyone is interested in emulating real life, not everyone watches big brother, not everyone likes films based on true stories. some guys like fiction and i think there's nothing wrong with it.

making the grass flow in the wind when you're shooting aliens with your sniper rifle isn't going to make me enjoy the game anymore. Things like adverts in games, any sports game, games that take less than a year to make, are probably going to annoy me, take a leaf out of bungie's book, or rare, or anyone that takes time to make quality. It doesn't surprise me that this quote came from someone at EA, they sure can shift games but don't seem to have a clue how stupid they look in most gamers eyes for being out of touch with reality themselves.

Not reality, realism.
In this context they're talking about improving the realism of the gameplay; the experience and level of immersion you get whilst playing.

The examples you've listed are childish counter-arguments to the point. Of course if a game is about killing people, no-one is going to give a **** about if the grass sways in the breeze, or makes an accurate crunching or swishing noise if you walk on it. However, if you could, say, drench said grass in gasoline, and then light it... well, that's a realistic action, and could prove a valuable addition to the gameplay itself.

However, you're right about the EA stuff. A lot of EA's games these days are just re-hashes of last year's sorts title, and from what I've played of them, they certainly need to work on this aspect of them. Tiger Woods for the Wii was sort of a step in the right direction, because the wiimote really does improve the gameplay experience of that game. Still, they managed to mess that one up by wrapping it in EA's trademark poor interface design and navigation, and horrendously unintuitive button controls.

Do what every other games developer does to make their games more "real": Slap on excessive amounts of motion blur and HDR!

The old sierra games were realistic in terms of gameplay... Well Police Quest was anyways!

I loved playing those games, and I still play them now, and they aren't even close to real graphics!

Why do games have to be real? Some of the most fun games I have ever played were old 8-bit console and early PC games. Realism does not equal fun, I play games to get away from reality myself. This is coming from EA though so I'm not surprised. They're completely clueless when it comes to making good games.

Ravensworth said,
Why do games have to be real? Some of the most fun games I have ever played were old 8-bit console and early PC games. Realism does not equal fun, I play games to get away from reality myself. This is coming from EA though so I'm not surprised. They're completely clueless when it comes to making good games.

QFT

Ravensworth said,
Why do games have to be real? Some of the most fun games I have ever played were old 8-bit console and early PC games. Realism does not equal fun, I play games to get away from reality myself. This is coming from EA though so I'm not surprised. They're completely clueless when it comes to making good games.

Also QFT! EA need to start making fun games again, rather than making profitable games. Realism can wait...!

I think having more realistic physics is more important than interacting with every object. It adds far more depth to the game in a relevant way. It also could be turned up/down to suit the gamer.

If I crash a Formula 1 car into a tyre wall, I don't want to hit it hard and get my suspension broken off with a nice clean cut. I want the tyre wall to absorb the impact, the car to plough into it before being pushed out slightly. I want the suspension to break off, the wheel to be bent and the tyre deflated. I want a hole in the nose from the impact, and gravel sprayed across the bodywork from flying across the gravel trap at 100mph.

On another day, I might want to just drive around bouncing off the other cars and running along barriers at 200mph without any damage...

first thing they need to do is stop limiting user interaction with objects. i should be able to jump on anything, push it down, move it, turn it, put it on something else, throw it, roll it, and whatever else would be possible. I think thats what really takes away from the game. Like hl2, you can get into it pretty easy, until you go to move or pull something that just wont move. Of course this is all due to the limitations on the machines, and we wont see any of this until the machines can actually handle this.
a side note, this is all info every gamer already knew :P

[...] Of course this is all due to the limitations on the machines, and we wont see any of this until the machines can actually handle this. [...]

a machine handling moving objects... limitations... WTF?

Glassed Silver:mac

The reason such levels of interaction aren't seen in the games out at the moment isn't because of any kind of machine limitation.

The thing you have to realize is that for every object in a game environment which isn't static, some poor programming guy has had to sit down and deliberately program that object that way. There are a number of ways it can be done, most of which satisfy the more common interactions associated with that object to give it the illusion of being a completely interactive object (eg: People. I can talk to them, they can move around, etc., and depending on the type of game, I suppose I can shoot them, hence hurting them so they bleed or they die. Whatever.)
My point is this. Simulating interaction at a satisfactory level for select objects in a game environment is a monumental task on its own. However, even this task is overshadowed by the task of creating a game engine which dynamically creates and governs objects which can be interacted with in any way imaginable. Because of this, game developers will plan and only create select objects in the game which can be interacted with. In most games it just isn't cost-effective or even necessary to allow everything to be interactive, so just the elements essential to the gameplay are done.

Having said all that, the effort involved in governing dynamic objects and interactions in game environments is being reduced. Things like NaturalMotion's Euphoria engine are making significant headway in providing more dynamic environments in games, and this tech will only improve over time.

In short, I'll simply echo what Glassed Silver said.

Regardless of whether some programmer has to code it or not, that type of interactivity still relies on the power of the computer and the video card. Look at Allan Wake. It requires a quad processor to get the propper experience from it because of the interactivity with the game world is massive.

shakey said,
first thing they need to do is stop limiting user interaction with objects. i should be able to jump on anything, push it down, move it, turn it, put it on something else, throw it, roll it, and whatever else would be possible. I think thats what really takes away from the game. Like hl2, you can get into it pretty easy, until you go to move or pull something that just wont move. Of course this is all due to the limitations on the machines, and we wont see any of this until the machines can actually handle this.
a side note, this is all info every gamer already knew :P

I was quite impressed when games first started using Havok Physics, which greatly increased user interaction with objects.

While SecondLife is a complete failure of mmo it does offer interesting user created content. I think they have a lot of ideas that could be incorporated into a neater project that has a theme to it and an improved game engine.

I'm still waiting for the kinds of "superinteractive" games that are similar to the game portrayed in the .hack series of games ("The World" by CC Corporation)... Give me your member address when it becomes real! :P