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What determines the immersion of a RPG?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Meredoth, Oct 2, 2021.

  1. Meredoth Arcane

    Meredoth
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    I can't just write a definition, however, IMO there are a couple of things which increases the immersion.

    • Mechanics and lore being in line and making sense in the context
    • First person perspective
    • Music fitting the ambiance.
    • More realistic or gothic artstyle.
    • High lethality(except in few ocasions where low lethality makes sense)
    • Reactivity

    The first is very important. Game mechanics and lore needs to be in line in order to make the game immersive. First person perspective enhances the immersion but you still can have a very immersive game in third person. Gothic is an example. So far, the most immersion which I had in a RPG so far was with :

    • Mount & Blade : Warband - Amazingly immersive. Charging into enemies with a heavily armored horse and a spear is amazing. Conquering a city and defending it with Rhodok Sharpshooters, doing quests for noble and growing from a small mercenary band into a powerful noble or even a king is so amazing.
    • VtMB : Extremely immersive. The dark urban fantasy set in early 2000s commiefornia is vastly different than what we generally see in RPGs. The music, sound design, dialog, quest design, everything is amazing in this game.
    • Gothic 1/2/3 and Returning. I know that a lot of people consider G3 bad (IMO is just not as great as G1), but all Gothic games are very immersive.
    • Fallout New Vegas : The unique game problem is the relative low lethality. But I love FNV so much and the immersion of the game is amazing.
    Among this games, the most immersive IMO is G2 + Returning. To become a necromancer in that game, you need to :

    G2 Returning chapter 1 spoiler (open)
    ask Xardas for apprenticeship, he will think, try to warn you about the risks of dark magic, then after accepted as his apprentice, you need to train your spirit and mind to be able to understand and hold the power of dark magic. Paying high tuition fees to mages train your mana, reading books, doing alchemy, learning new languages to get enough INT to be able to understand the dark magic and then, do the initiation into the circle of darkness which involves killing a "sheep of innos" in a monastery full of powerful fire magicians. After 14 hours, I finally become a necromancer, but din't had enough resources to learn summon skeleton and arrow of darkness. BTW, to make arrow of darkness, you need a expensive black pearl. Learning the most basic dark magic spells bankrupted me. I had to sell my potions. And BTW, potions doesn't inta teleport to your belly. Potions require a drinking animation and heal/regen mana slowly in returning. There are insta regen potions(which only requires the drinking animation) but they are too expensive from merchants, are available in small quantity and the recipe for this potions are behind optional ultra powerful bosses and require mastery over alchemy and rare herbs to make. Summons? No summon cap, but each summon has a mana upkeep. You only fell like a fully fledged necromancer dozens(if not hundreds) of hours later, when you learn spear of darkness and how to summon skeleton warrior at the third circle of dark magic(yes, the game uses tier based magical progression). When you learn the 4th circle of magic, Xardas gives a robes of high dark arts which doesn't offer stats, you wear this robe because you are a pwoerful necromancer. Not the other way.



    Shotguns are extremely versatile weapons. Can be used for long range bird hunting with birdshot, with buckshot, can kill a human at about 50m and hit someone at hundreds of meters with slugs. Can be used to throw fire with dragon's breath ammo. In a futuristic game, I expect to be able to use "EMP shells" and shit like that.
     
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  2. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Ambient sounds usually increase immersion, unless it's annoying sounds that loop, like the wolf howls in the strating area of Arcanum.
    Music breaks immersion for me, at least in first person view games.

    Good point about lethality.
     
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  3. Meredoth Arcane

    Meredoth
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    Nice point, Octavius. But when I said music, the music needs to fir the ambient. For eg, in a nightclub of mid of Commiefornia in VtMB, having loud music makes sense. If you are in a desert, the ambient sound is better for immersion.
     
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  4. KeighnMcDeath RPG Codex Boomer

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    I'd be bad to ask as I get sucked into games too easily. There once was this awesome spreadsheet.....(drool).....
     
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  5. fantadomat Arcane Edgy Wumao

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    Nothing,it is game and you are aware of it. Especially rpgs,they are impossible to immerse in to.
     
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  6. Meredoth Arcane

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    Not sure if is serious.

    There are a lot of "immersive sim" RPG's... Ultima Underworld was the first one...
     
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  7. jungl Augur

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    SOUL and some simulation elements
     
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  8. fantadomat Arcane Edgy Wumao

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    Putting an immersive in the name doesn't make it immersive. The whole notion of feeling immersed while watching a monitor is laughable.
     
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  9. Meredoth Arcane

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    People get immersed in movies, books, airsoft(...)
     
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  10. Machocruz Arcane

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    Rape
     
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  11. Butter Arcane

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    Try playing above story mode. I find that a quantum of difficulty is important for immersion.
     
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  12. ChaDargo Arbiter

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    The term seems completely subjective. I don't get immersed in CoD despite how intense it can be and the attention to detail, high quality graphics. I do get immersed in blobbers, despite how strange/unreal their gameplay is and how abstract the visuals/systems are. Others probably feel the opposite.

    Whatever makes you get lost in the game, for whatever personal reason. I suppose it could mean how vivid and stylistic the are and environments are in the game, but that's not really your level of immersion. Bioshock is vivid and moody and has a cool style, but I can't get into the game at all. I think people throw the term around to mean "lots of style" but they combine it what what the word really means, "I'm really into it." Seems dumb. Stick with "I like the art design" and "the game is addictive to me because of X,Y,Z"
     
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  13. laclongquan Arcane

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    First person perspective is not a requirement. Fallout 1/2/NV as well as Bloodlines is the proof.

    Hard writings, though, is definitely a top requirement. Shit writer need not apply.
    +++ Okay, Fallout 3 writing department is nothing to write home about. But I am sure plenty of F3 fans will say its writings are top notch.
    +++ And Morrowind. I personally despise MW writings, but a lot of Codexers sure seem to larp it up.
    +++ And Desu Ex. I dont think it has any writings, so to speak, but it still quite immerse.
     
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  14. Meredoth Arcane

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    Me too.

    However, I do get immersed in shooters like ArmA 3, Red Orchestra 2 and so on. My first RPG was M&M VII. If M&M VII had Diablo 3 cartoonish graphics and mechanics, I would't get immersed on it.

    Din't said that it is. Only that increases immersion.
     
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  15. laclongquan Arcane

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    If it increase immersion, FNV would be top spot, kicking F1/2 down their thrones.

    No, 1st perspective is not in the list, it seem like~
     
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  16. Fluent Augur Patron The Real Fanboy

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    Hey guys. What determines immersion in an RPG? YOU do. :) Your attitude. Your imagination. The Power is in YOU! Heh. Take care and much love all. <3
     
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  17. Rincewind Erudite

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    Not sure if you can come up with an exact formula. What makes a book immersive? It's just letters on paper (or screen), after all.

    If you define immersion as being engrossed in the experience, then I almost started agreeing with octavius on the lack of music and the importance of environmental sounds (Eye of the Beholder and Grimrock are good examples). Also agree with the points about the Gothic games (and let's not forget about ELEX).

    BUT, I found the first Witcher game quite engrossing too, which is a bit of a contradiction (constant background music, no environmental sounds, etc). Still, to me it really felt like "being in that world".

    Then what about games that have no in-game sound at all (or just very minimal), e.g. SSI games? To me, playing these games in almost complete silence here in the suburbs is quite immersive, just as reading a book. Your imagination fill the blanks.
     
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  18. Meredoth Arcane

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    Is because camera itself is only one aspects. The world, dialog, reactivity of FL 1/2 is better than FNV. See VtMB in FP and in TP.
     
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  19. d1nolore Learned

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    Games like Arcanum and BG2 were most immersive for me. I don’t think mechanics and first person perspective are much to do with it, most rpgs have average mechanics. Things like music, setting, and visuals play a much larger part.
     
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  20. Rincewind Erudite

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    Why? I'm sure it has happened to you many times that you're enjoying a game so much that you lost track of time and you're not even 100% aware of your surroundings. Sure, you never completely lose track of it that you're watching a monitor, but for a couple of minutes at a time you actually do. It's similar to watching an engrossing movie; for long stretches you're not aware that you're "just watching a screen", you're completely engrossed in the plot.

    If you really want to get technical about it: yes, your attention is alternating between being engrossed in the game/movie/whatever, and being in the room watching a screen. I guess you can call the ratio of those two states the immersion factor :smug:
     
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  21. quixotic Educated

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    “The whole notion of feeling immersed while staring at paper with words on it is laughable.”
    You see how retarded this sounds?
     
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  22. Tihskael Learned

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    Whether the game lets you bake bread or not.
     
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  23. Gangrelrumbler Arcane Patron

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    RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In
    Ultima IV was one of the most immersive RPGs for me and I think it doesn't fit any of the criteria. IMO the game being immersive is not about what to do but rather about what not to do. I will get immersed in pretty much any game there is and will stay immersed unless my immersion is broken by some stupid crap.
    Here's a list of things that will break my immersion immediately:
    -Leveled loot - this instantly pulls be out of any game
    -Leveled enemies - completely broke immersion in Witcher 3. Geralt is able to take down a griphon in prologue, yet I need to avoid some stronger drowners in later acts? Bullshit.
    -Story not taking itself seriously - the game may have humor but I won't get immersed if the main story itself is a farce
    -Dumb modern day political bullshit - this doesn't require explanation
    -Shit writing in general - if I see garbage writing I won't think of it in as "something character X said" bur rather as something written by a retard. My immersion in WoTR was constantly broken simply because of sheer amount of bad writing in the game
     
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  24. Diablo1_reborn Busin 0 Wizardry Alternative Neo fanatic Patron

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    I feel very sorry for you if you're actually not shiposting, but maybe you're just playing the wrong games, you know? Ever tried playing games like Diablo 1, Vampires BLoodlines or Silent Hill 2 with your headphones jacked in, and some beverage at hand at night?
     
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  25. Crispy Don't get old. Undisputed Queen of Faggotry

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    I think it simply comes down to believability.

    How can a fantasy or sci-fi RPG be "believable", you ask? Well, just in the same way a fantasy or sci-fi novel can suspend your disbelief: through clever and creative writing; through plausibility and just enough relation to the real world; through detail and forethought and scope of design.

    Tolkein's Middle-Earth is a "believable" world because of all the incredible detail and thought he put into it over the years. Reading his novels, obviously unless you dislike Tolkein, you almost feel like you've been transported there.

    Rarely can the same thing be said about an RPG, but it happens. Most of the true classics are "immersive" mainly because of the same reasons.
     
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