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Let's talk about "Immersion"

One of the biggest discussions that happens with games, in particular ones which are so affiliated with a universe and franchise, is of the topic of immersion. I see this word thrown around constantly, this or that ruins my immersion and shouldn't be there. I think it's time we sat down and talked about this.

Immersion is very much a cop out of a term. We're all (hopefully) aware we're playing a game, and not experiencing real life. There are characters and worlds we know and recognize, but they're being remixed into situations which never happened. The act of play itself defies immersion and very much relies on a certain distance from the thing we are playing with.

'Breaking' ones immersion is referencing a situation where something is so out of place, or so wrong that you stop focusing on the universe, or game, or story, and are entirely fixated upon an issue you have. It is the removal of you from the game as a player, and instead you are now analyzing and criticizing instead of playing. Finding something weird outside of when you're playing the game isn't breaking your immersion, it's just clashing with your expectations or desires when it comes to the experience you want to have. This is different, and this is a personal issue as opposed to a mechanical one.

The best examples of things which break your immersion are bugs, or when you're being griefed by another player. Usually you'll be shattered to the point where you'll quit or put the controller down, and you are completely removed from the gaming experience. If you're still playing however, you are still immersed in the game, just perhaps annoyed or bothered because your expectations aren't being met.

The issue with using immersion as a tool of criticism and a desire to enact change, is that it isn't actually a constructive piece of criticism when it comes to improving the gameplay experience in most cases. Having heroes that aren't specifically from an era, or battle, playing in that situation might clash with your expectations, but the game is still flowing, there are still counterplays, and it is still Star Wars. You, the player, are instead making an active choice to disagree with the game and criticize it despite it still being a perfect immersive and engaging experience (not without it's flaws). The devs often talk about it as a sandbox with action figures, for me it's just like when I had a bunch of Lego Kits and made my own adventures as a child where characters we thought died, and droids we thought destroyed, united to present a new, devastating threat.

There are better discussions which can be had, and better reasons, issues, and solutions, which can be provided; all of which should focus on the player experience and how it can be improved. Sometimes this will involve more closely aligning the game with what we see in the wider transmedial universe, but more often than not it will diverge in some way or another. If we were to have a truly accurate experience, the good guys would always win, battles would always play out the same, and our agency and ability to play and experience new and exciting scenarios would be dissolved.

I understand the frustrations and complaints that certain things within games doesn't match the expectation, or "era accurate" possibilities. However, the best way these discussions can be held is looking at a gameplay experience and how this can be improved; such as using the deploying of heroes as part of the narrative and to give an advantage to the side that needs it in that phase of the game (such as how they worked in Extraction in BF2015) , or by engineering scenarios which present an interesting tug-of-war sandbox which plays out differently each time (for example evacuating MVP heroes safely one at a time)

All in all, it'd be cool if the criticisms we put forward look towards how it feels to play and experience as a player more, and the ways we can use mechanics to do this, rather than simply saying that we don't like seeing x next to y. And if choice and the ability to do what you want is to be restricted, it should be for the improvement of the experience and enjoyment, not the detriment.

Replies

  • We can have a fair compromise and Have GA being cross era, while conquest-ish era locked

    I could go for that.
  • Dash
    11530 posts Member
    We can have a fair compromise and Have GA being cross era, while conquest-ish era locked

    That’s actually not a bad idea at all dude. +1
    Origin ID: "NWG_Dash"

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  • Immersion is best on single player focused games end of
  • We can have a fair compromise and Have GA being cross era, while conquest-ish era locked

    Conquest no Heroes = X Era Job Done
  • >complaining about immersion in a fictional universe
  • One of the biggest discussions that happens with games, in particular ones which are so affiliated with a universe and franchise, is of the topic of immersion. I see this word thrown around constantly, this or that ruins my immersion and shouldn't be there. I think it's time we sat down and talked about this.

    Immersion is very much a cop out of a term. We're all (hopefully) aware we're playing a game, and not experiencing real life. There are characters and worlds we know and recognize, but they're being remixed into situations which never happened. The act of play itself defies immersion and very much relies on a certain distance from the thing we are playing with.

    'Breaking' ones immersion is referencing a situation where something is so out of place, or so wrong that you stop focusing on the universe, or game, or story, and are entirely fixated upon an issue you have. It is the removal of you from the game as a player, and instead you are now analyzing and criticizing instead of playing. Finding something weird outside of when you're playing the game isn't breaking your immersion, it's just clashing with your expectations or desires when it comes to the experience you want to have. This is different, and this is a personal issue as opposed to a mechanical one.

    The best examples of things which break your immersion are bugs, or when you're being griefed by another player. Usually you'll be shattered to the point where you'll quit or put the controller down, and you are completely removed from the gaming experience. If you're still playing however, you are still immersed in the game, just perhaps annoyed or bothered because your expectations aren't being met.

    The issue with using immersion as a tool of criticism and a desire to enact change, is that it isn't actually a constructive piece of criticism when it comes to improving the gameplay experience in most cases. Having heroes that aren't specifically from an era, or battle, playing in that situation might clash with your expectations, but the game is still flowing, there are still counterplays, and it is still Star Wars. You, the player, are instead making an active choice to disagree with the game and criticize it despite it still being a perfect immersive and engaging experience (not without it's flaws). The devs often talk about it as a sandbox with action figures, for me it's just like when I had a bunch of Lego Kits and made my own adventures as a child where characters we thought died, and droids we thought destroyed, united to present a new, devastating threat.

    There are better discussions which can be had, and better reasons, issues, and solutions, which can be provided; all of which should focus on the player experience and how it can be improved. Sometimes this will involve more closely aligning the game with what we see in the wider transmedial universe, but more often than not it will diverge in some way or another. If we were to have a truly accurate experience, the good guys would always win, battles would always play out the same, and our agency and ability to play and experience new and exciting scenarios would be dissolved.

    I understand the frustrations and complaints that certain things within games doesn't match the expectation, or "era accurate" possibilities. However, the best way these discussions can be held is looking at a gameplay experience and how this can be improved; such as using the deploying of heroes as part of the narrative and to give an advantage to the side that needs it in that phase of the game (such as how they worked in Extraction in BF2015) , or by engineering scenarios which present an interesting tug-of-war sandbox which plays out differently each time (for example evacuating MVP heroes safely one at a time)

    All in all, it'd be cool if the criticisms we put forward look towards how it feels to play and experience as a player more, and the ways we can use mechanics to do this, rather than simply saying that we don't like seeing x next to y. And if choice and the ability to do what you want is to be restricted, it should be for the improvement of the experience and enjoyment, not the detriment.

    Impressive, most impressive...
  • We can have a fair compromise and Have GA being cross era, while conquest-ish era locked

    PSN: BucksawBoushh
  • Sorry, you broke my immersion with this post and thus you are RONG RONG RONG!
  • Alex64
    5845 posts Member
    Isn't to put the controller down situation too dramatic?
  • If you truly wanna talk about it, I’m down, since I enjoyed reading your post. But if you’re gonna turn into one of those obnoxious ”muh immersion”-kind of posters, with no other interest than to troll and provoke, I’m not wasting my time on it.
  • There are some modes that seem to be made with an intent of immersion in the canonical source material of this huge and beloved franchise (eg GA & SA), and some that play to a more whimsical experience (HvV, HS). I would like to see greater adherence to the source in the big war scenario modes, but understand we are limited by EA's lackluster showing in content investment.

    There's no issue with asking for immersion in this universe because the weapons, ships, heroes, etc are ripe for production, but the developers are truly ill-equipped to provide on that expectation for whatever reason. The gameplay can be bettered and varied to your standards while sticking to canon, and the most fanatical among us are justified in expecting as much given Disney's production investment in SW. In my opinion, pleasing that base is smarter in the long run because it ensures continuity of interest. That's what proper immersion with the appropriate resource investment will bring.

    Bottom line- dedicated players of this game are probably more interested in Star Wars than you're crediting them. It's reasonable that they expect a mode like Galactic Assault to stick with era appropriate assets only because the setting suggests it. Since those are lacking in number, we have cross-era. Like @Starwarsfanboosk_com suggested, let's compromise and keep GA as is and tighten up the upcoming non-linear mode with era locks.
  • t3hBar0n wrote: »
    Sorry, you broke my immersion with this post and thus you are RONG RONG RONG!

    Lol
    You guys are gonna make me rich......
    Xbox G-tag
    XJO461
    That Specialist rework was disappointing.
    nceaq2h23fqj.png



  • I think we confuse Immersion with Authenticity. Era-Locked would give you an "authentic" experience, not immersive. The game already is immersive. It's Star Wars settings, weapons, characters, etc....Seeing Spider-Man on Hoth would break immersion. Seeing Rey on Hoth is not authentic to that battle in this universe, but it is a Star Wars character in a Star Wars setting. There are many Star Wars games that mash characters up and put characters in places they don't "belong".

    For those wanting Authentic to Era battles, I agree the new mode or a second version of GA could be just that. I'm very interested to see how the Era Authentic weekend goes.

    If you are looking for a totally authentic Star Wars game....check out Super Star Wars....I mean Star Wars on NES, no....um....Super Empire Strikes back??? Well...I'm sure there is one out there somewhere.....
  • We can have a fair compromise and Have GA being cross era, while conquest-ish era locked

    Plus, I think 2 heroes per side would make conquest much more tactical.
  • I need a summarized version.
    Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/TroopperFoFo/ .
    Battlefront 2 , Battlefield and more.
  • millenials do not like reading, it seems ;)
  • If you truly wanna talk about it, I’m down, since I enjoyed reading your post. But if you’re gonna turn into one of those obnoxious ”muh immersion”-kind of posters, with no other interest than to troll and provoke, I’m not wasting my time on it.

    I have a degree in game design so I'm sincere when I say I want to talk about it :smile: I've actually got a game I did the music and sound design for on the Nintendo Switch, and I'm about to make something in the global game jam too! The reason I bring up this topic is because among game developers and game academics (yes, they exist), this term is seldom used correctly or justifiably when breaking down the play experience.

    I don't care for provocation or trolling, it's a waste of everyone's time. I, like many of you here, care deeply about improving a game's experience. There's a lot I love about this game, and much I would adjust if I could get into that repository and tinker in that Frostbite Engine.
    Szavwa wrote: »
    There are some modes that seem to be made with an intent of immersion in the canonical source material of this huge and beloved franchise (eg GA & SA), and some that play to a more whimsical experience (HvV, HS). I would like to see greater adherence to the source in the big war scenario modes, but understand we are limited by EA's lackluster showing in content investment.

    There's no issue with asking for immersion in this universe because the weapons, ships, heroes, etc are ripe for production, but the developers are truly ill-equipped to provide on that expectation for whatever reason. The gameplay can be bettered and varied to your standards while sticking to canon, and the most fanatical among us are justified in expecting as much given Disney's production investment in SW. In my opinion, pleasing that base is smarter in the long run because it ensures continuity of interest. That's what proper immersion with the appropriate resource investment will bring.

    Bottom line- dedicated players of this game are probably more interested in Star Wars than you're crediting them. It's reasonable that they expect a mode like Galactic Assault to stick with era appropriate assets only because the setting suggests it. Since those are lacking in number, we have cross-era. Like @Starwarsfanboosk_com suggested, let's compromise and keep GA as is and tighten up the upcoming non-linear mode with era locks.

    To an extent you're right, but I think you also have a skewed perception of the players that make up the base for this game. The hardcore star wars fans are actually a minority, albeit an incredibly passionate and vocal one. A good 80% of the playerbase are people who will never come to the forums or speak up on reddit or the likes. They're kids or adults who play a little every few days. As such, some decisions are made for this part of the game's community, especially to try and help these players be able to choose their experience when they sit down. With the current restrictions of not having a server browser or having a reliable way to play a certain mode or era, restricting the heroes back in GA may make it so that a lot of these players don't actually get the chance to play who and what they want in the limited time they have to play.

    Combine that with some of the gameplay balance issues and you'll see that switching off the ability to select certain heroes in the game's current state would likely do more harm than good. What we need to focus on are the steps that need to occur first so that we can then have "era accurate" battles. Things like a server browser, the ability to see and queue for what games are currently up in your region. This would then allow for playlists of certain era's, or at least some improvements to how the current rotation works to ensure players are getting to do what they want. Finally; some actual hero adjustments (especially for the ST) would need to be made.

    For starters, it should probably only be Rey/Finn vs Kylo/Phasma. Phasma definitely could use some adjustments still to her Staff Strikes (I think a toggleable ability that makes her into a melee character would be cool, with more control and momentum with her attacks to track her targets, and the ability to block sabers would also help) This would in turn help with that health card she has, which could actually then come in use for Staff Strike kills. The biggest issue I have is that there really needs to be a closer look into how adept a hero is at attacking vs defending, and what the spread of attack/defend maps there are for that era. The First Order only defends one map - Starkiller Base, and attacks the other three. Phasma is currently very much a "hold a position" character, which is very ill-suited to attacking on the very open maps that make up the First Order's rotation. She can hold Starkiller Base and Maz's Castle when she gets in it, and sort of work as a ranged character, but that's about it.

    If these sorts of adjustments are made then I think era locking will be a lot more reasonable. I'm sure they're going to keep testing in in future timed events as well to see how it plays out and what people think when you actually experience it.

    I'm interested to see what happens with the new game mode and how they'll approach it. As it has a mix of attack/defend for both sides it should help a lot with these balance issues assuming both sides have access to the same number of heroes and hero roles.
  • I need a summarized version.

    I'd make a youtube video but I'm already procrastinating far too much. I think the best summary I could give without shedding too much detail is; it's very important to consider the wider implications and game feel that comes with calls for greater authenticity. And the use of the phrase "breaking immersion" is often used incorrectly.

    I know it's a lot of text but I'd really appreciate it if you managed to read through it and chime in with your thoughts :smile:
  • Liz4rD wrote: »
    millenials do not like reading, it seems ;)

    Repeat it me with an interpretive dance please.
    Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/user/TroopperFoFo/ .
    Battlefront 2 , Battlefield and more.
  • If you truly wanna talk about it, I’m down, since I enjoyed reading your post. But if you’re gonna turn into one of those obnoxious ”muh immersion”-kind of posters, with no other interest than to troll and provoke, I’m not wasting my time on it.

    I have a degree in game design so I'm sincere when I say I want to talk about it :smile: I've actually got a game I did the music and sound design for on the Nintendo Switch, and I'm about to make something in the global game jam too! The reason I bring up this topic is because among game developers and game academics (yes, they exist), this term is seldom used correctly or justifiably when breaking down the play experience.

    Respect. I agree with a lot of what you say actually, and I too have a problem with the term. I still have a different view on some of it though. I don’t have time right now, but will try to get to it later.

    And I’m perfectly aware that game academics exist ;) in fact, some of them are getting their education not far from where I work...
  • Liz4rD wrote: »
    millenials do not like reading, it seems ;)

    Repeat it me with an interpretive dance please.

    As you wish, lol

    Millenials do not like reading, it seems ;)

    https://media1.tenor.com/images/6b9e869a215ea6f98a73299a044506b7/tenor.gif?itemid=5072870

    :*
  • Liz4rD wrote: »
    Liz4rD wrote: »
    millenials do not like reading, it seems ;)

    Repeat it me with an interpretive dance please.

    As you wish, lol

    Millenials do not like reading, it seems ;)

    https://media1.tenor.com/images/6b9e869a215ea6f98a73299a044506b7/tenor.gif?itemid=5072870

    :*

    * Generation Z
    PSN: BucksawBoushh
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