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Subject: trustworthiness vs. complexity? rss

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Virre Linwendil Annergård
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Forza Bajen!
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How complex can you make a game just to hold it trustworthiness (if it's
a game based on a true historical happenings?)?

What do you think, can it be verry complex, or is it easier to make it less complex and just don't care that much about credibility?

When I set out to create a kind of vikinggame just for you know the experience and learning curve how much should be set on makeing trustworthy?

Oh, yes and could you but thralls into such a game without makeing things to upseting?

 
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Hunga Dunga
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When does a game stop being a game and start becoming a simulation?

I think you can look at historical games in many different ways. Is the outcome historical? Are alternative outcomes credible? But these are "external" questions. For me, the most important question is, "Am I as a player, assuming a role in a historical game, faced with the same critical decisions as the historical figure I'm portraying?" If the answer is yes, it doesn't matter how complex or simple the game is (within reason!).

And, of course, it has to be fun. And hopefully, if historical, educational.

Bottom line: thralls are ok as long as the game meets the most important question!
 
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Brian Morris
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It's rather an old argument actually. Playability vs realism. At what point do you begin to sacrifice playability for the realism? I don't think there is one answer to the question though except that which is the intent of the designer. Does he was to design a game or does he want to design an accurate historical simulation of the events.

Some games are designed simply to be game. Ra is a good example. It's an auction game. It's a really great auction game in fact that I love but it is not in anyway a simulation of the history of Ancient Egypt. If you are hoping to learn something about Ancient Egyptian history you aren't going to learn it by playing Ra. However you can learn a great deal about some historical events from the games that recreate them.

A good example would be to use the Battle of Gettysburg which is one of my favorite subjects. There are a number of games that deal with this battle that do so on a scale to reflect the entire battle in a playable form. On the other end of the realism vs playability spectrum we have games that try and recreat it in detail like Terrible Swift Sword. I would list TSS as a simulation of the Battle. It's goal is to simulate or recreate the Battle of Gettysburg with great detail down to the regimental level.

On the otherhand with the old Avalon Hill Gettysburg made in 1976 I would call that a game. it deals with the battle on a divisional level and as far as being a recreation or simulation of the battle it's not exactly accurate nor does it try to be. It sacrifices accuracy and realism for playability. Last time I played the Avalon Hill game I ended up with Robert E Lee personally commanding Pickett's division holding a last stand up on Little Round Top. Not exactly realistic.

Both games are designed to approach the same historical event in a different way. One tries to simulate the battle in extreme detail and the other tries to turn it into a fun playable game for folks to play in an hour or so. Both games are fine for what they are trying to do but there is no one answer that fits the argument of realism vs playability.
 
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Oh my God They Banned Kenny
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Good points made previously. It's a tradeoff to some extent, not necessarily a 'right' or 'wrong' situation. One of the keys is to avoid 'unnecessary' complexity - i.e. complexity without a corresponding payback in terms of the experience of playing the game. Another guideline might be related to the type of decisions that the players end up making, and how that relates to the situation the actual commanders would have been in at the time of the event being 'simulated'.
 
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Hunga Dunga
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Quote:
One of the keys is to avoid 'unnecessary' complexity - i.e. complexity without a corresponding payback in terms of the experience of playing the game.

I think that sometimes it is too easy to add unnecessary complexity into a game. As you've astutely pointed out, you really have to weigh the payback.
 
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