Weekly Listener Poll January 11, 2015 by Jaded Gamer in Polls and tagged c3 “Should a game recreate a sense of simulation while playing?” Take Our Poll Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading... Related
I will break the meta by commenting without voting! This is a tough question. When I think “simulation” it usually involves some sort of first-person perspective. Like Surgeon Simulator. I mean, it’s right in the name. That doesn’t really translate to tabletop games where you essentially “play the role” of an omnipotent military commander. That doesn’t seem very realistic.
I don’t think it is necessary to create a “sense of simulation” in order to have fun. What sort of simulation is Firestorm Armada striving for? Rather, I like a game to provide a sense of “atmosphere”. Give me an interesting setting where I can muck around and tell/create a story. I don’t need to personally be in the story (I would die first despite not being black), but I do want to witness they story. I think games like Strange Aeons (super stoked for the Kickstarter stuff to arrive) do a decent job of this where a deep background is provided and you can feel like you are playing within the world but not personally getting your face chewed off by Star Spawn.
I voted “yes” because all of these games clearly simulate something, but it isn’t always clear what. As Lange touched on, the idea of a game being an actual military simulation is a bit silly, and I say this as a primarily historical wargamer who is annoyed when games take themselves too seriously. Our games do simulate stories, though, and the visual element is part of that simulation. This might seem obvious, but literature and history accomplish different goals, and a simulation of a story will satisfy different needs than a simulation of a historical theory about the past.
For example, was it realistic that my Dreg was only “knocked down” after falling three stories from one of the tallest houses in Mordheim last Friday? It doesn’t really matter, because everyone at the table saw the hunch-backed, troglodytic Pubesco lope across the narrow bridge, his warty and overgrown eyebrows raised in anticipation as he leaped for the roof, only to miss it completely. Whether you imagine this as a movie, a comic book, or even a novel, you do experience it as narrative, with a protagonist, a rising action, and a climactic moment, and not as some kind of simulation of the physics involved in the running long jump.
I voted “no” I think trying to simulate an actual situation with miniatures gets slow and boring quickly. I lump “true line of site” into that as well. I don’t like we someone hides an HQ, or Lord behind a tree to keep them from getting shot, because you can’t see them. Cover save, I get that. can’t see them, kind of annoying. I thought the purpose of the miniature games was to abstract everything to get the same basic concept without a full simulation. Miniatures are in static poses, the only thing you could simulate is a game of paintball with freeze tag mixed in.
I feel this is the same sort of discussion you could have about impressionist paintings vs photographs. Yes, a photograph can give you all of the details, but having the the idea/mood of the scene is all you are after.
I voted “no”. First off I am buzzed. Second….Within a game system like 40K and Firestorm, I am trying to maneuver my units into a position where they will cause the most damage to the enemy units based upon their stat lines verses their targets stat lines given to them by the game designers. I do not see this as a simulation to “real events” or even a sense of a simulation. It is just a game that comes down to “if I roll average, what amount of damage will this unit/character inflict.”
I said “no”. I believe it ultimately comes down to the quality of the imagination of the player. and what they aim to get out of the game. In a miniatures game, the quality of the miniatures and of the rules can only bring the game so far. There are even some among us that may seem to not care about any kind of “simulation”, but are there to smash your army as evidenced by their demeanor and their optimized army list. Most of us, however, do our best to have that “movie in your head” experience that you have mentioned.
Immersion is possible, especially when the right factors come together to get you into that state of “flow” (“in the zone or deep mental experience), but simulation (recreating reality) seems to be asking too much.