Shop More Submit  Join Login
About Varied / Hobbyist Member Mad ScientistMale/Mexico Groups :icongraphicartsgallery: GraphicArtsGallery
Artist Entrepreneurs
Recent Activity
Deviant for 5 Years
Needs Premium Membership
Statistics 469 Deviations 15,734 Comments 31,596 Pageviews

Newest Deviations

Random Favourites

Watchers

Friends

Activity


Once again I bring you a Wednesday of video games because I love video games and because being a physicist I also love trying to understand how things work. I write this a bit late today because for some unknown reason my firefox browser has been crashing randomly all day greatly slowing my work.

Now since the beginning of video games people have worried about the violence contained in some of them. Usually the concerns are centered about children who play them and the (in my opinion) irresponsible parents how let them play those games. But there is an issue that is usually ignored and that I find more interesting. Why most gamers as the normal people they are enjoy violent games. Why some games even seems to make our inner psycho appear?

There could be several reasons as there are different games with different themes, so lets just concentrate in those cases of violence and destruction without any reason. Probably the best example and most known is the game series Grand Thief Auto. Where usually the player takes the role of a criminal doing all sorts of things, most of the time really bad things. And the best example of violent behavior in this games is that usually players in this games engages in killing sprees of senseless destruction killing hundreds of innocent virtual pixelated characters. Usually the response is simple, it doesn't care because is not real is just a game. While this is true the core subject remains, why normal people engages in this behavior?

In my opinion is all about consequences or more specific the lack of them, but even more deeper we have entropy. For those who don't know, entropy is a concept in physics that describe a single law of the universe, it can be write in several ways and the technicalities are a bit complex, but the concept itself is simple. Entropy is the preference for things to happen in some preferred way and not in the other. As an example breaking a sheet of paper is easy, trying to put it together again not so much. If you let some wet clothes alone they will dry but clothes don't spontaneously get wet.

Entropy also means that some things are irreversible, we may never hear the concept but everyone understands it. That anything can be damaged beyond repair and we all fear the ultimate victory for entropy, death. It is said that even the universe itself will find it demise at the hands of the entropy. Just look for "Entropic death of the universe" for the most depressing end of the world.

But probably that's what make destruction in video games entertaining, things can be undone. In a video game you destroy, kill and do anything you want and then just load a saved file and booom... is like nothing have ever happened. Maybe that's why if you search in YouTube videos of Grand thief auto, skyrim and similar games you will see a lot of destruction without rime or reason. It's not just the lack of consequences also that they are totally reversible.

Now, can entropy be programmed in a game to see it's effect? Believe it or not such a game exists and it is Dark Souls. The game saves constantly and you don't have control over it effectively making your actions irreversible. In consequence one of the main complains about the game is that if you make a mistake, if you kill an important character, if you lose that important item you needed,  it can't be undone. Because of this with Dark souks you don't see people randomly killing computer controlled characters even I saw a lot of people that had to restart the whole game from the beginning because they have accidentally killed an important character. Ironically the only senseless violence you see is among players where permanent consequences are lacking.

So this could explain why is so easy to engage in violent destructive behavior in games, there are no consequences and the ones that exist are easily reversed. But a question remains, why we find this destruction funny and entertaining in the first place?

Usually in TV the answer given is that we see violence and we learn to enjoy and seek more of it, but for me is not a compelling answer because is incomplete, it doesn't explain why given different rules we act different. I must say here I'm entering more in the speculative terrain and clearly outside my area of study.

But as I final example about all this, if you take a little kid who we suppose has had little contact with the violence in movies, TV, etc. and you build in front of him a tower pieces being cards legos, jenga, etc. the kid almost instinctively would try to tear it down (and finding great satisfaction in it by the way), the bigger and more unstable the better.  Also there are not a lot of kids that love to build cities with their toys and then playing Godzila just to destroy it. If I'm the only who have noticed this behavior please just let me know.

So to finish this, being a tower of legos or a video game maybe we don't find destruction entertaining because some learned crave for violence or even because we are inherently violent (even though this could be the case). But maybe knowing that in so many cases entropy wins and damage done is irreversible. Maybe that makes those rare instances were we can break something without permanent consequences entertaining, maybe as a way to challenge that unbeatable force called entropy and win (at least momentarily).
  • Mood: Tired
  • Playing: Dragon age Inquisition
  • Drinking: Tea
Blue Moon by Seigner
Blue Moon
Nope, this is not the moon, is huge lamp on the top of a building in Paris.
Loading...
Once again I bring you a Wednesday of video games because I love video games and  because being a physicist I also love trying to understand how things work. Today journal is about the invisible walls and other limiting constrains usually found in games and more interesting at least for me is what makes some of this elements acepted by gamers and why others are not.

So I wanted to share some of my ideas and don't worry this post will be short. As I said before theres nothing more important in a game that to keep the player on the right track and nothing considered more cheap that putting a invisible wall to do it.

Why an invisible wall stopping you from going somewhere is considered so terrible but a visible wall or a classical pool of lava is considered acceptable and why the same invisible wall avoiding you to fall from a ledge is acceptable in so many games specially in some RPGs and third person shooters.

Part of the answer is that a simple invisible wall feels like a lazy way to constrain the player. For example if there's a place you shouldn't go they simply put a mountain or a cliff to stop you. It works in the same way as the invisible wall but psycological for the player is not the same. if you see a mountain, cliff  or door you can try to avoid it and you feel like you are cheating the game trying to beat it going crearly where you aren't supossed to go. If there is a place you can reach but you meet an invisible wall you feel cheated by the game that is stoping you for reaching an area you could clearly be able to reach.

But why a  bottomless pit or a pool filled with lava are considered acceptable classical (if not almost cliché) means to  constrain the players. From my point of view this is because we as people have some concepts of how the physics in our world works then we expect similar behaviors in the virtual world presented by a video game or at least some self consistency within the game's world.

I think that's why physical visible barriers are preferred over invisible walls. Is interesting because after all everything in a game is not real buy still we ask for physical plausible scenarios, we play a video game and even knowing it is a virtual world we don't walk randomly into walls expecting to go through them. We expect that the game behave as the real world or at least inside the logic of the game.

Usually in most RPG you have very limited movements, you can't jump or climb most of the objects so when you meet an invisible wall on a ledge or path usually is not annoying because it fits in the limited movements of the game. In contrast in more action packed games like Destiny and some others games you can run, jump and move with a lot of liberty so when there appears a wall it feels like it is broking the freedom of movement that the game is giving you.

This is the same for so much other elements in a game, explosions, guns, movement and other things needs to looks, sound and feel real. I even think that usually we ask for more realism in games that in movies (at least in some aspects). Heroes that are damaged without even flinching, guns that never need to reload and that send people flying several meters, totally unrealistic gravity and momentum mmm.... definitely some of that movie clichés would made games much more boring.

As a side and final note, I finally get my hands Dragon Age Inquisition and is pretty awesome, it feels like an open world game at least it doesn't have all that annoying invisible walls that plague Destiny. There are some issues that are bothering me but I'm still in the early phases of the game so is too soon to start complaining. I probably won't have a full review soon but maybe in two weeks I already have something.
  • Mood: Tired
  • Playing: Dragon age Inquisition
  • Drinking: Tea
Another Wednesday journal about video games posted a little late that I almost turned it into a Thursday journal.

Next week finally is the release of Dragon Age Inquisition. An open world fantasy action RPG, with the launch date getting close I realized that the new gimmick for game developers is trying to make open world games. Destiny, Dragon Age, The Witcher and so much others are going for an open world approach even the future Legend of Zelda is said to be open world. But the latest open world games being Destiny and Sunset Overdrive doesn't seem to have succeed in being really good games.

I think the idea behind this trend is to create massive worlds that feels like they are alive and where people can lost into them. I suppose that's the whole idea of an open world game, to create a game that feels more like a mini-universe that you can explores, instead of just a simple game. Honestly with some of the upcoming games I feel more like developers are trying only to show the power of the new consoles more than really trying to create good games, but that could be only my personal impresion.

I really hope Dragon age succeed where Destiny failed, but given all the problems that Dragon Age 2 had, more than one would share my doubts with Inquisiton. So I was wondering, what makes a game open world?, and more important how "open" a game needs to be to become a good open world game.

First of all is the size of the game, and actually companies and developers always use this as a piece of marketing. I still remember one of the trailers of destiny where one of the developers said something along the lines of "you see that buildings in the distance, you'll be able to drive to that place and more". not even close to the reality of the game by the way.

In the same way Bioware has said that DAI is X times bigger than DA2 but this doesn't say much given that Dragon Age 2 is really small. But I think that using just the size of the world is not a good measure, Destiny is big but it doesn't feel like an open world. There are also a lot of games that are big but are not open world.

Another example, Grand Thief Auto V is bigger than Skyrim but both games are really good open world games.

So how big needs a game to be?
First lets define big, I think most people refer to the traversable area of the game that is how much space you have to explore. So if I have to invent a metric for open world games probably I wouldn't use size alone. I think a better metric would be the ratio between the size of the game and the speed at which you can travel in it. For example Skyrim is smaller than most GTA but your fastest mean of travel are horses (and pretty slow horses by the way) so the world feels bigger. While in game like GTAV you have cars, motorcycles, even airplanes. So because you can travel much more faster the world needs to be bigger to give the sensation that you have a lot of space to explore.

In Destiny the game is big but because your floating motorcycles are really fast the world doesn't feel big enough.

A more crucial element is the freedom you have inside the game.

For one side you need to have a lot of choices about how interacting with the world. Usually this is accomplished by putting a lot of stuff to do in the game like side quests, minigames, animals, people and a lot of other thing to interact with. This is a necessary condition so the game world doesn't feel empty but it is not enough. You also need freedom of movement and choice so you can do thing when you want and where you want in the game.

Usually games like to take the sandbox approach, that is they put all the game inside a giant box and the game gives you total liberty inside this box. For example GTA, Skirim, Watch dogs and others take this approach. This is seems to have the advantage that developers can focus on building the world as they want using usually the terrain to limit to your movements and the only real walls that limit you are the walls of the box which contain the game, but the problem is that the box being so big they have to be very careful so that when the game loads sections of the world it doesn't break the experience.

Destiny and Dragon age Inquisition took a modular approach instead of a big box you have several smaller boxes separated by loading screens. I understand that the advantage of this approach is that the game loads just one section at a time allowing to add more things without overloading the system. The problem obviously is that the loading screens break the illusion of a unified world also forcing you to pass by a loading screen between one area of the world to another. This also means to have more barriers so players doesn't go where they aren't supposed to go. Also if the individual areas are too small they would feel more like a level in any other game and not like a part of big expansive world.

This actually was one of the great problems of Destiny, the maps are big but they are really limiting. First of all they have the shape of a donut and the actual area of the map open for exploration is really limited. Second the areas you can visit are filled with invisible walls and death walls. You see a building you can climb, nope there's an invisible wall to stop you. You see huge beach to explore you advance ten meters and a warning appears giving you 5 seconds to turn around before you meet instant death.

I hope Bioware doesn't make this mistake with Dragon age. I think it is unlikely because your mobility seems to be limited, you can't fly or jump really high so probably they will use simple terrain obstacles to limit players.

By the next week I will be playing Dragon Age Inquisition. If we finally had that unholy combination of the story of the first game and the gamplay of the second one, I'm sure it will be really awesome. I probably don't have a review soon but writting this I already have the theme for the next wednesday journal. One of the most terrible enemies of gamers and the greatest terror in Destiny, the invisible wall. Because there is nothing more important in a game that to keep the player on the right track and nothing considered more cheap that putting a invisible wall to do it.
  • Mood: Tired
  • Playing: Destiny
  • Drinking: Tea
Once again I bring you a Wednesday of video games because I love video games and because being a physicist I also love trying to understand how things work. I write this a bit late today because for some unknown reason my firefox browser has been crashing randomly all day greatly slowing my work.

Now since the beginning of video games people have worried about the violence contained in some of them. Usually the concerns are centered about children who play them and the (in my opinion) irresponsible parents how let them play those games. But there is an issue that is usually ignored and that I find more interesting. Why most gamers as the normal people they are enjoy violent games. Why some games even seems to make our inner psycho appear?

There could be several reasons as there are different games with different themes, so lets just concentrate in those cases of violence and destruction without any reason. Probably the best example and most known is the game series Grand Thief Auto. Where usually the player takes the role of a criminal doing all sorts of things, most of the time really bad things. And the best example of violent behavior in this games is that usually players in this games engages in killing sprees of senseless destruction killing hundreds of innocent virtual pixelated characters. Usually the response is simple, it doesn't care because is not real is just a game. While this is true the core subject remains, why normal people engages in this behavior?

In my opinion is all about consequences or more specific the lack of them, but even more deeper we have entropy. For those who don't know, entropy is a concept in physics that describe a single law of the universe, it can be write in several ways and the technicalities are a bit complex, but the concept itself is simple. Entropy is the preference for things to happen in some preferred way and not in the other. As an example breaking a sheet of paper is easy, trying to put it together again not so much. If you let some wet clothes alone they will dry but clothes don't spontaneously get wet.

Entropy also means that some things are irreversible, we may never hear the concept but everyone understands it. That anything can be damaged beyond repair and we all fear the ultimate victory for entropy, death. It is said that even the universe itself will find it demise at the hands of the entropy. Just look for "Entropic death of the universe" for the most depressing end of the world.

But probably that's what make destruction in video games entertaining, things can be undone. In a video game you destroy, kill and do anything you want and then just load a saved file and booom... is like nothing have ever happened. Maybe that's why if you search in YouTube videos of Grand thief auto, skyrim and similar games you will see a lot of destruction without rime or reason. It's not just the lack of consequences also that they are totally reversible.

Now, can entropy be programmed in a game to see it's effect? Believe it or not such a game exists and it is Dark Souls. The game saves constantly and you don't have control over it effectively making your actions irreversible. In consequence one of the main complains about the game is that if you make a mistake, if you kill an important character, if you lose that important item you needed,  it can't be undone. Because of this with Dark souks you don't see people randomly killing computer controlled characters even I saw a lot of people that had to restart the whole game from the beginning because they have accidentally killed an important character. Ironically the only senseless violence you see is among players where permanent consequences are lacking.

So this could explain why is so easy to engage in violent destructive behavior in games, there are no consequences and the ones that exist are easily reversed. But a question remains, why we find this destruction funny and entertaining in the first place?

Usually in TV the answer given is that we see violence and we learn to enjoy and seek more of it, but for me is not a compelling answer because is incomplete, it doesn't explain why given different rules we act different. I must say here I'm entering more in the speculative terrain and clearly outside my area of study.

But as I final example about all this, if you take a little kid who we suppose has had little contact with the violence in movies, TV, etc. and you build in front of him a tower pieces being cards legos, jenga, etc. the kid almost instinctively would try to tear it down (and finding great satisfaction in it by the way), the bigger and more unstable the better.  Also there are not a lot of kids that love to build cities with their toys and then playing Godzila just to destroy it. If I'm the only who have noticed this behavior please just let me know.

So to finish this, being a tower of legos or a video game maybe we don't find destruction entertaining because some learned crave for violence or even because we are inherently violent (even though this could be the case). But maybe knowing that in so many cases entropy wins and damage done is irreversible. Maybe that makes those rare instances were we can break something without permanent consequences entertaining, maybe as a way to challenge that unbeatable force called entropy and win (at least momentarily).
  • Mood: Tired
  • Playing: Dragon age Inquisition
  • Drinking: Tea

deviantID

Seigner
Mad Scientist
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
Mexico
I'm a physics student and I like everything inside and outside this universe. I try to update this page every monday but working in science doesn't left me too much free time.

And please forgive my bad English.

Favourite genre of music: metal, rock
Favourite style of art: all of them
Operating System: Linux
MP3 player of choice: Anything I can use
Personal Quote: Human stupidity knows no limit.
Interests

AdCast - Ads from the Community

×

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:icontakashiyee:
TakashiYee Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2013
Muy feliz cumpleaños amigo, espero que te la estés pasando de pelos y que todo lo que pidas se te cumpla :D
Reply
:iconseigner:
Seigner Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
¡Muchas gracias!
Reply
:iconpikachuvz:
Pikachuvz Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I don't want to forget, sooooo, Happy (early) Birthday!
Reply
:iconseigner:
Seigner Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you very much. :D
Reply
:iconpikachuvz:
Pikachuvz Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconjuancharles:
JuanCharles Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for your fav! :)
Reply
:iconseigner:
Seigner Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're welcome.
Reply
:iconjuancharles:
JuanCharles Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
:)
Reply
:iconaritzbh:
AritzBH Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013
¡Gracias por el favorito! :)
Reply
:iconseigner:
Seigner Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No hay de que.
Reply
Add a Comment: