One thing I’ve noticed in video games, as the systems they are on have become more and more powerful, there has been an urge to create more and more realistic games.
And realism can be good! In the right places, at the right doses, in the right game.
But, sometimes, it feels like games insert “realism” into games where it doesn’t fit.
Are you making a gritty simulationist game where getting from town to town alive is supposed to be a challenge? Then maybe all those hunger/cold/weather/camping mechanics are a good fit. They create the main challenge of the game.
Are you making a high adventure game with world-altering magic, dragons, etc. Maybe it isn’t the best fit. (I mean seriously we have spells that can nuke enemies the size of a skyscraper but no one found out how to cast a spell that can keep us warm?).
Realism shouldn’t be included in a game for realism, realism should be included in the game because it makes the mechanics of the game better, or adds to the feel of the game. Are your characters supposed to feel like they are scraping together whatever they can? Then a system of equipment degradation adds to that sense of improvised gear. But adding equipment degradation to a game where you are wielding legendary weapons… it feels very off. It just adds a nuisance layer to the mechanics that doesn’t need to be there.
What do you feel about realism in games? What is a situation where you could see implementing a simulationist mechanic? What is a situation where a simulationist mechanic felt out of place? Tell us in the comments below!