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McBadgere
I'm not entirely sure where to put this topic, but it's something that I've been wondering for a while...

This word, immersion...I get it...I really do...I've lost hours playing Oblivion...Looked up and two hours have gone...

But then I've switched it off and gone and done the washing up...

I keep seeing this complaint about loading times...It's usually no more than 10 seconds on my PS3...And from what I've seen, the PC version is waaay faster than that...So why is it a problem?...

You're not in Cyrodil...In the rain...Facing a smelly Ogre on the road to Bruma...Shooting lightning out of your fingers...Wearing skimpy furs...You're at home (or someone's home)...In front of a screen...Maybe with headphones...And you've probably had to press something on a Mod somewhere...It's warm, maybe the fire/radiators/insert-heating-type-here's on...You may have had some tea/coffee/7up etc...This may cause you to go to the loo?...

That's a question for you "Total Immersion" people actuall...Do you make your character spend time...Going to the loo?...Not a piss-take question...Well it is...Technically...Not a...Mockery question...It's a genuine ask...

Indeed you may even be called away to cook tea for the family...

See what I mean?...

How does a few seconds of loading...Or a suddenly appearing tree/dodgy mountain or lack of limbs flying off, really matter in the context of a game?...

And before anyone accuses me of not being able to immerse myself...I am trying to write something with the characters I've created and the backstories I've come up with as I've played them...Just before I've had to deal with an airlock in the plumbing...

See what I mean?...
Thomas Kaira
Load screens, minor pop-ins, wonky ragdolls, etc. I have come to accept as limitations all games are hindered by, so they don't affect immersion much for me.

Things that do affect immersion are bad writing (NPC Conversations), quests bugging out (Ahdarji's Heirloom, Unexpected Voyage, etc.), over-aggressive wildlife (boars are actually more live-and-let-live creatures, for instance), total equipment scaling (bandits in glass armor), and of course the ever popular crash-to-desktop.

So far, everything except the last I am certain has been addressed in Skyrim. CTDs are unique to everyone, so I will need to figure that out when Skyrim actually comes out.
McBadgere
*Bump*... tongue.gif ...
SubRosa
I am in pretty much the same immersion boat as TK. Load screens do not bother me (heck, I have played games like Wing Commander 3, where the load times between levels/missions was over a minute. People complain about having to wait 3 seconds?). Other game functions do not bother me. For me immersion means getting inside my character's head, and feeling the things they do. Be it wonder, serenity, or fury.

I have never seen how having to eat a loaf of bread and drink a bottle of ale every 8 hours was going to make me get in my character's head any more. Nor stopping to pee every hour (Did I mention I play female characters wink.gif). To me that is just making busy work to do in the game, not playing the game. And to be honest, I can eat, drink, and pee already. I do not need a game for those things. I play games so I can shoot arrows at unearthly monsters, sneak into castles, pick the pockets of guards, summon bears, etc... The things that I cannot do IRL.
Lady Saga
QUOTE(McBadgere @ Oct 30 2011, 08:02 AM) *

I keep seeing this complaint about loading times...It's usually no more than 10 seconds on my PS3...And from what I've seen, the PC version is waaay faster than that...So why is it a problem?...


Personally I never complain about load times. I'm on PS3 as well, load times aren't that bad on this system, I've seen much worse (Grand Theft Auto on PS2? Sheesh!)

I sometimes change the channel when the game is loading up. Matter of fact, I'm doing this right now. smile.gif My internet is on my TV, so I can switch from the game to this channel, read a message here on one of the boards, switch back to the game, etc.

QUOTE

That's a question for you "Total Immersion" people actuall...Do you make your character spend time...Going to the loo?...Not a piss-take question...Well it is...Technically...Not a...Mockery question...It's a genuine ask...


No, I don't worry about this one. But if they're "eating", I'll tend to let them sit there while I go off and make a snack or let the cat out or whatever. When I come back, the camera will usually be in "rotate" mode. You know...where the entire room is spinning around your character? biggrin.gif

...and then while my character is sitting there and I'm maybe having a snack, sometimes there will be some conversation going on I've not heard yet in the background. I'll sit there and listen to it, eating my snack, and so will my character. smile.gif

I sometimes intentionally won't start every quest I come across. The NPC's will be chattering about this and that, and it's obviously supposed to be my que to investigate the situation, but sometimes...I'll just let it go. I won't start the quest, especially if it's something that doesn't sound like my character would want to get involved with.

I'll just let them talk, sometimes. I like hearing them banter...doing their Radiant Story bits.

QUOTE
How does a few seconds of loading...Or a suddenly appearing tree/dodgy mountain or lack of limbs flying off, really matter in the context of a game?...


Loading doesn't bother me, like I said. None of that stuff you just listed does. I grew up playing TFT, man! TFT hybrided with DnD. We used lead figureines on a hex board to simulate melee and even town situations! So not having limbs fly off in the game doesn't bother me. I have an imagination, and I still get to use it, know what I mean?

But for me to really "immerse" myself, the following conditions have to be met

1). It cannot be sunny outside. I only game if it's overcast or rainy, or night time.

2). My daughter needs to be somewhere else. At a friend's place, at her grandma's, etc. She doesn't know about my TES obsession, and right now she doesn't need to know about it. TES is 'Renee' time. That's me. I'm Renee. smile.gif

3). I have to have a particular substance available. Or a glass of red wine. I usually have a little buzz going while I game. Nothing over-the-top, just a little buzz.

4). Immersion complete!

5). Oh, and I often have the door open. I have a glass door which leads out onto a porch area. If I leave the door open, this time of year I get to hear spring peepers singing in a marsh behind my home. Spring peepers are little frogs. Summer time? There willl be crickets and katydids.

Having the sounds of birds, insects, wind, rain, frogs (etc) in the background from behind my home also adds its own sort of immersion. smile.gif Sometimes it's hard to know where the game's sounds end and where the actual forest begins.

.

.
McBadgere
I wasn't going to reply to what was said in answer, 'cause I think I said my twopenneth in October when I posted this... biggrin.gif ...But I just had to say, point 5 sounds sooo cool!!...Excellent!!... biggrin.gif ...
Lady Saga
Oh yeah, point 5 is where it's at. Where do you live, McB? Do you also get crickets and night insects singing during the summer? In Maryland, they usually start sometime in July, and by mid-August they get quite loud. This goes on until October, too, although as weather gets colder there will be less and less of them.

Oblivion has a lot of crickets at night too, depending where you're at in Cyrodiil. This is where it really gets the full-effect: playing Oblivion on a summer night....crickets in the game, crickets and katydids and even owls behind my house. LIke I said, it's sometimes hard to know where the game's noise ends and the actual forest begins.

McBadgere
I live in a rural part of North Wales in t'U.K., not exactly out in the middle of the countryside, but not exactly middle of the village either...We had very Skyrim-esque hills this last week...A surprise snowstorm when I was off to work wednesday morning...The last of the snow didn't go till yesterday...

Aaaamywho, thinking about it...We don't get that much in the way of insects at night... huh.gif ...I do hear the nearby owls sometimes when I walk to milk t'cows in t'mornings that I'm doing said chore...(No images of Robert in milking maid cap on a stool, milking by hand please! It's all machine now. biggrin.gif )...But no, no crickets at night or such like...

It is a thing to envy I tell thee!!... biggrin.gif ...
Lady Saga
Yup. I would think you wouldn't have crickets and katydid up in Wales...they're warm weather insects, and prefer a lot of humidity. They activate themselves most strongly the warmer and more humid it gets, matter of fact, so that they'll be much louder on a 80 degree night than a 60 degree one.

I envy you, man. I'm sure you get a lot of overcast weather up there, right? That's my favorite weather. smile.gif
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