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Immersion Theory

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#1
ColorCodePurple

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Hey guys. In most cases you will find the article I have written below to be really weird,and I admit I may be completely wrong here.
However I would still love your opinions on this subject.Just keep the flaming under control.


ORIGINAL SOURCE
official facebook page


Gaming at its heart is actually a simulated reality. It is fun because it allows you to step outside your daily,boring life and jump into a more interesting one for example:a soldier fighting violent Aliens,or a superhero with electric power,or maybe a Plumber trying to save his princess from an evil villain.The success of any simulation lies in how immersed the user is in it. By immersion I mean the degree to which the senses of the user are engaged so that the user,while in that simulation is unable to differentiate reality from it. The sole objective of game developers,Console designers and anyone making anything remotely related to gaming is to increase the immersion level the game offers-Increased immersion level=Great user experience=Better ratings=more sales.There are five elements to immersion,these are like resistors connected in series in a circuit.The more of these "switches" are activated the more deeper the level of immersion goes.Basically these are actually the various senses of our mind,the same ones that allow us to feel the reality around us. That is: Seeing,touching,smelling,feeling,hearing and emotional involvement. The gaming industry has been working on Seeing (3D innovation,HD Resolution) Feeling (Motion based controllers,normal controllers) hearing (SRS,Dolby) and emotional involvement ( Story line) but it cant possibly work on smelling or touching. Atleast in the near future. As one would see,even the "switches" the gaming industry is working are far from perfect,and some of them-For example (3D TECH,HD Resolution,over expensive motion based controllers,over expensive graphic cards) are slow and expensive to develop and even slower to get adapted by gamers-also factor in fragmentation of market.hence a game developer cannot rely on these to give the immersive experience he wants. the most powerfull "Immersion switches" are emotional involvement (Better story) and a better gameplay. Hence the games that concentrate on both get the most ratings.

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Motion Controller Vs Game Controller-A fresh perspective
As I highlighted above a better controller would be the one which provides a more immersive experience to the user. It is generally believed that motion controllers are better in this area.This according to me,may not be so. Consider the Human mind for a second it moves the respective body part only by the force of will. Now lets make a seemingly hilarious assumption. in which the Human mind becomes the controller (Something like the Dualshock for instance) When you want to move something say your hands you exert a force of will to move the hands. In a game if you want to shoot an alien you exert a force of will,which translates to a specific button press and hence the shooting happens.So infact the controller is an extension of the human mind,having the simple function of translating its will into the game. Motion controllers do the same thing,but infact in genres like shooters a controller is much more effective. (For Casual games like Virtual Table tennis,and Cricket etc a motion controller provides a more immersive experience because the hand actions are similar to the real thing) and this is because it takes less time for a button press than for a hand action. Not many people have experience in wielding an SMG,and so a motion controller does not provide the same familiarity that it can provide when you play a game such as Table Tennis. If there is no familiarity there can be no immersion and therefore according to me a Controller is much more effective than a motion controller in maintream genres.

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#2
ColorCodePurple

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Oh and thanks to this article I got to try Google docs. and I was impressed. The drawings have been made by me in Google docs took 15 min for both of them and this was my first time using it
Considering it is free and in the cloud it kinda replace MS Office

Edited by ColorCodePurple, 12 January 2012 - 08:36 PM.


#3
Ne0

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Haven't read the article yet, but the drawings are horrible. You can do better mate :bigyellowgrin:

#4
devil_angel

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Poor theory and very poor execution IMO.
Sorry, but I don't even feel like explaining the misconceptions I see in the theory.
About the execution, visual presentations apart, the first paragraph just goes around in circles. Bad choice of analogies worsen things. Not everyone will understand the "Resistors in series" analogy, when you didn't even bother to explain it further. Overall, I felt that the write-up struggles to express what you wanted to tell. And from whatever I understood, the theory is....errr.....flawed...badly :|
Kudos for the effort though!

Edited by devil_angel, 13 January 2012 - 11:41 AM.

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#5
Pyrotek

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I agree that immersion is key to a successful gaming exerience.

In terms of the 'Touch' and 'Feel', I think this is entirely down to the peripheral you're using to play a game. For example, a racing wheel gives you the 'touch' aspect because its as immersive as holding a real steering wheel in a real car. Full-fledged racing seats with rockers, vibrators will all ultimately lead to a better 'touch' and 'feel', won't they?

To be honest, I am struggling to understand your differentiation of 'touch' and 'feel'. The best I can relate is that 'touch' is more of the actual texture of something that you hold, whereas 'feel' would be phenomena that occur as a result of an action (Ex: vibrations when going over a kerb).

Having said that, a steering wheel and racing seat are clearly of no use in an FPS or RPG. The gamepad/controller is the ONLY peripheral that has transcended all genres of gaming. The next logical step then would be a peripheral that can directly tie into our brain/nervous system to simulate the real feel of something. That sounds like way into the future!

I am not sure, and science buffs can lampoon me if I'm wrong, but would something along the lines of BCI/MMI/EEG work here?

There are also other consideration on ethical/health grounds to be looked at. For example, would you want to feel a bullet-wound, or a pin-prick from a gaming machine?? It could have serious health implications.


But heck, what's technology which leaves no room to innovate? I say bring it on... Avid gamers like us are atleast the best guinea pigs to test out cool stuff on. Considering that we pay them for these 'experiments' (Kinect, Move, I'm looking at you), they should hardly mind...
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#6
ColorCodePurple

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Haven't read the article yet, but the drawings are horrible. You can do better mate :bigyellowgrin:



Poor theory and very poor execution IMO.
Sorry, but I don't even feel like explaining the misconceptions I see in the theory.
About the execution, visual presentations apart, the first paragraph just goes around in circles. Bad choice of analogies worsen things. Not everyone will understand the "Resistors in series" analogy, when you didn't even bother to explain it further. Overall, I felt that the write-up struggles to express what you wanted to tell. And from whatever I understood, the theory is....errr.....flawed...badly :|
Kudos for the effort though!


1. For the drawings,I did them in the middle of my exams and as I stated above it was my first time making drawings in Google Docs. Sorry I didn't have the time to beautify them but I still feel they communicate their meaning and hence fulfill their purpose.
2.If you didn't feel like explaining then please explain whenever you feel like it,it lends more credibility to your comment. Feel free to PM me :)
3.As for the analogy I tried for a better one but couldn't find it sorry,again feel free to recommend a better one and I will credit you. Resistor in series concept is 7nth Grade science by the way.I still get your point though and will elaborate my meaning in the main text. thanks.
4.I agree it lacks some finishing touches which I couldn't implement,maybe a writers block or maybe the subject itself is cool that way. I will however re-write this after exams if more people feel the same way you do.

Again for the flawed theory part please do me a favor explaining why unless you were just trolling.

I agree that immersion is key to a successful gaming exerience.

In terms of the 'Touch' and 'Feel', I think this is entirely down to the peripheral you're using to play a game. For example, a racing wheel gives you the 'touch' aspect because its as immersive as holding a real steering wheel in a real car. Full-fledged racing seats with rockers, vibrators will all ultimately lead to a better 'touch' and 'feel', won't they?

To be honest, I am struggling to understand your differentiation of 'touch' and 'feel'. The best I can relate is that 'touch' is more of the actual texture of something that you hold, whereas 'feel' would be phenomena that occur as a result of an action (Ex: vibrations when going over a kerb).

Having said that, a steering wheel and racing seat are clearly of no use in an FPS or RPG. The gamepad/controller is the ONLY peripheral that has transcended all genres of gaming. The next logical step then would be a peripheral that can directly tie into our brain/nervous system to simulate the real feel of something. That sounds like way into the future!

I am not sure, and science buffs can lampoon me if I'm wrong, but would something along the lines of BCI/MMI/EEG work here?

There are also other consideration on ethical/health grounds to be looked at. For example, would you want to feel a bullet-wound, or a pin-prick from a gaming machine?? It could have serious health implications.


But heck, what's technology which leaves no room to innovate? I say bring it on... Avid gamers like us are atleast the best guinea pigs to test out cool stuff on. Considering that we pay them for these 'experiments' (Kinect, Move, I'm looking at you), they should hardly mind...

They would. that's what I said above the more your senses are activated,the more will be the immersion. Say something you like is cooking,if you smell it you would immediately think about it and it is easier to imagine you having it as compared to simply thinking about it. I also dare using the "resistor"analogy again more the magnitude of the element of immersion (By which I mean the better the graphics,the sound) more will be the magnitude of Immersion.
For the bolded its funny but I am having the same discussion on my blogs post on facebook :bigyellowgrin: A virtual reality system (Which is the logical development along the lines of what you suggested) has many hurdles to it:Forget cost of development, business hurdles of implementing etc it would still take a lot of time to test out the technology,since in VR the immersion ought to be so large that something like an explosion could give a heart attack :P

For bold and italic: Sorry I didn't understand those abbreviations

Edited by ColorCodePurple, 14 January 2012 - 11:33 PM.


#7
Irredeemable

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You forgot another important factor:

As one of my friends here on the forum put it, "woh controller se feeling aata hai na, woh". Pick up a controller while playing killzone, and youll feel the guns are WAY heavier than something in, say, a COD game.

Also, a few years back, there was a lot of talk about incorporating smell into movies. This was around the time the final jurassic park got released.. Some prototypes were successful also I heard. After that the news just disappeared, and has never been heard of again.. Frankly I dunno what to ask google :| , does OP know anything about this?

#8
ColorCodePurple

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The same thing was attempted in spy kids 4D (recently released) it used numbered scratch cards which on scratching produced the smell.
The idea kinda bombed because scratching kind of made the thing unrealistic.
Let me verify all this in Google by today night

Sent from my HTC Desire HD using Tapatalk

#9
toknowjoyman

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Immersion is not about the technology associated with it. The will to immerse yourself into something is clearly all that is needed. Now, one can try to cheat a consumer's will by enticing the mind with technology, graphics, surround sound or even story. But simply if you offer a customer a product he wants/needs he will buy it. In this case if you offer a game that people want to play, they will readily immerse themselves into it. In filmmaking/theatre, there is a term called Suspension of Disbelief which I believe is something similar to this.

If you've played Limbo, you will instantly understand what i am unable to fully explain in other words. (Ofcourse, this is very subjective)

#10
ColorCodePurple

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You forgot another important factor:

As one of my friends here on the forum put it, "woh controller se feeling aata hai na, woh". Pick up a controller while playing killzone, and youll feel the guns are WAY heavier than something in, say, a COD game.

Also, a few years back, there was a lot of talk about incorporating smell into movies. This was around the time the final jurassic park got released.. Some prototypes were successful also I heard. After that the news just disappeared, and has never been heard of again.. Frankly I dunno what to ask google :| , does OP know anything about this?


My link

Immersion is not about the technology associated with it. The will to immerse yourself into something is clearly all that is needed. Now, one can try to cheat a consumer's will by enticing the mind with technology, graphics, surround sound or even story. But simply if you offer a customer a product he wants/needs he will buy it. In this case if you offer a game that people want to play, they will readily immerse themselves into it. In filmmaking/theatre, there is a term called Suspension of Disbelief which I believe is something similar to this.

If you've played Limbo, you will instantly understand what i am unable to fully explain in other words. (Ofcourse, this is very subjective)


No,it is not all that is needed. The will to immerse yourself is merely a Element of Immersion. If you have the will to Immerse yourself and the technology,the immersion will be more than say if you are just closing your eyes and imaging yourself in the game.

#11
AtOmX

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