# Accuracy Scale?

Errant thought:

We have lots of scales, benchmarks and yard sticks for various things, but what about an accuracy or a realism scale? It would probably have to be an approximation, or something far more complex than high school algebra, but it might work.

Here’s where this comes from: When we do 3D, we cheat a lot of things. A skin shader and painted texture is a simpler way of making realistic-looking skin than doing a dermis, epidermis, fat layers, and blood vessels and then telling our poor busted computers to calculate the light bounces. A skin shader fits our visual purposes perfectly. When we do carpet pile, very rarely does one go through the trouble of making a complex particle system for it, etc.

Additionally, in video games, most are simulations of some reality or another and tend to fake a lot of mechanics. Anyone familiar with State of Decay saw arguably the most ambitious but ultimately, by contrast, arcade-style zombie sim ever. ‘Food’ was an automatic shortcut to something that raises an arbitrary measurement called ‘stamina’ that allowed you to sprint or swing your weapon, whereas anyone who’s ever gone out and done demolitions or heavy remodeling knows, you get so many swings on that sledge hammer before you rest a bit, and eating something in the midst of swinging it doesn’t automatically give you another few swings. Same thing for sprinting: run a block, munch, run another block, munch, beat a hoard of zombies to death with a fire poker. Not how human metabolism works.

Sure it mimicked realism, but how actually realistic was it?

Has anyone else ever thought similarly? :spin:

I think what you are trying to describe is really hard to boil down to a single metric. In order to have a meaningful scale, you would need to simplify so many of those complex things that you want to understand the accuracy of. Without some degree of simplification, the measurement would be just as complicated as the thing itself, and simplified down it no longer represents somehting meaningful.

This isn’t meant to be a judgement of this idea, more of a judgement on the reductionist thinking commonly associated with the scientific process. Holistic attributes are hard to quantify.

on a related note: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_cow

How realistic are zombies in the first place? (reference to “State of Decay” - a zombie-survival game, didn’t want fullquote)
If you want realism, try the bright thing on the other side of the door, heard lots of weird stuff about it.
And where do you stop realism? You find new boots in the game and wear sneakers? Get your Kinect out and get ready to untie your shoelaces. Eaten too regain stamina? Better find the next toilet, bowel movement’s not far.

I don’t want realistic, I want a fantastic retreat and depending on genre from believable to WTF!?.

You seem to mix up believable and real.
Why would I want to mimic a perfect skin, waste time and computational power, when people believe the shortcut?
One reason, proof of concept, or “because of reasons”.

And if you want to measure it everything that’s not the real world, especially in CG, be it realtime or rendered would be very low on the scale.

Sterling: You’re correct! Thus the question on it. Maybe we could call it the spherical cow scale and assign arbitrary numbers to it. Like movie reviews - how arbitrary is that crap?

More thought should be put into this. There really should be some sort of scale. And not just an arbitrary one.

Arexma: Bright thing on the other side of the door? Lost! Totally lost! Don’t tell me you’re one of those folks who goes on and on about this sunlight shit I saw in Half Life 2 once. Do you know how hard it is to do global lighting and individual light sources? They might do it in this gen, but until I see it I won’t believe it’s real.

Oh, I’m not saying I want realism all the time, every time. One of my favorite games ever will always be FFVII, and Cloud is about my size and build, but he wields a Buick on a stick. It’s far superior to awesome. Also, State of Decay was a simulator. It was supposed to simulate your sandbox in the survival of a zombpocalypse. Anyone booting is thinking, “Ha! Wouldn’t it be cool to have to put up with a bunch of different random factors rather than just shoot everything in the fucking face all the time?”

One of the reasons Fallout 3 is a piece of art - you can go stealthy, diplomacy, all that, hire folks to bodyguard, or you can get a Fatboy and an Experimental FRV (or whatever it was called) and just wail on anyone who opposes you or stands nearby those who oppose you, or lives in the same town. No, it wasn’t real, the RPG elements didn’t simulate anything (kill more people does not equal take more bullets), and it was still an incredible and engrossing experience.

But, you bring up ‘because of reasons.’ The technical aspect of a piece can sometimes be the merit in the piece. That doesn’t mean I’m a fan of Metallica, but when we’re rendering things and there’s the option to go NPR, or go for uh… PR. Or somewhere in the middle. The execution thereof, and the depth of detail thereof, is the scale I’m talking about.

Like a ship in a bottle - the ultimate in ‘because reasons.’ It would be way easier to mount a photograph in that bottle.

Close, but no cigar. When we do 3D, we cheat EVERYTHING! 3D is an ILLUSION of volume on a two dimensional plane. So the ‘realism’ you are looking for is just that: does it “look” real? Does it “read” as a sailboat or a zombie or a pinky finger or whatever the artist’s intention is?

When you start talking about whether something looks real, it becomes a property of the observer and subjective. Subjective scales, like movie reviews, are only useful to people who have similar taste and sensibility as the reviewer. Remember, at the time people thought Impressionism was grotesque and awful painting, but a later generation of critics praised it for being a more accurate representation of reality than the Baroque stuff that preceeded it.

I don’t recall who said it, but “There is no accounting for taste.” I think that’s a translation from French, if so it would mean that there is no good way to quantify or measure it.

Bah! You’re stealing the wind from my sails here!

I’m just talking a dynamically objective scale of detail. It is kind of hard to nail ‘realism’ when you’re using imaginary material presented by electrons, however, that would be included in the scale.

Meh, I think my little thought here has fallen apart and degenerated into a bottom line: Sometimes, technique is a piece’s merit. Ship in a bottle.