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Realism - Realism isn't what we do, friend. We deal in fun.


'This should be more realistic' is a common refrain in online games. It is however not Epitaph's policy to aim for realism in all things. Epitaph is firmly situated in the 'gamist' corner of the GNS theory - when we extend out of that corner, we extend towards narrativism and not simulationism.

But it should be more realistic!

Realism on Epitaph is only part of a reason for doing anything. When we make a change to enhance realism in the game, it is only as a way to accomplish another design goal. As such, if you want to argue for realism in the game you should explain why it is going to make for a better game (and our official position is 'realism is not fun', so it'll need to be more convincing that 'realism will make the game better'.

What do you mean, realism isn't fun?

We approach the design of Epitaph from the perspective we are building a game, not a virtual world. Real combat is not fun - if you have a gun and someone else has a knife, then you are going to pull the trigger and the chances are they are going to die. That's not fun in a game - often, to make a game fun we must actively move away from realism. A realistic apocalyptic economy might be immersive, but having everyone starve to death because scavange is a one-time only activity would be very frustrating. It would be frustrating if every time you died you needed to start a new character. What we are looking for is a series of interlocking game systems, each of which is fun. If they can be realistic at the same time, so much the better - but if we can have one *or* the other, 'fun' is what we're always going to pick.

Why are you telling me this?

We value your idea reports - we really do. We appreciate that you put time and effort into constructing them, and we don't want you to put that effort in if we're just going to discard them because of a philosophical incompatibility. If you want to see change in the game, the best way to argue for it is to explain how it will make the game more entertaining - not how it will make it more realistic.

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Epitaph Black Ops - Epiphany v1.2.13 [development]. Copyright © Imaginary Realities Ltd 2009 -