Author Topic: Graphics-A Discussion.  (Read 6446 times)

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Offline Liberator

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I'm sorry if things aren't going well for you blackhole.

I'll say it again.  Technical capabilities aside, and certain devs take fire for this, the modern marketplace in the frontline of interactive entertainment is to make they're universes as dark and dramatic as possible.  This is bad from multiple standpoints, but firstly and foremost among them is that they all begin to look the same. 

It all becomes a case of "Oh look!  Yet another emotionally tortured anti-hero in armor that I can't see cause it's too dark and gritty!"  I'm not saying I want the Gears series or "Doom" to turn into "Hello Kitty Island Adventure!"  But I find them less interesting because my eyes are doing what everyone's eyes are and I can't see them as well as I used to.

That's one of the reasons I enjoy Warcraft so much, the world is dark and has dramatic things going on it, but the world itself is colorful and engaging, not Burned Out Cityscape #63 or Industrial Corridor #10 or something, you can tell the most dramatic, epic story in the world with Ocean Group VA's and Hollywood "A" Listers, but if the graphics and visuals don't act in support of this story by engaging the eye of the player it'll all be for nought.  Best example I can think of outside of Warcraft is Beyond Good and Evil, that was a dark, dangerous place without being dark and depressing, the world is vividly colored if not bright and some of the design work lends itself to  and reinforces the oppressive atmosphere in the narrative.  Also, if there's nothing left for me to save, why am I playing the game in the first place?  If the world ended and we're still fighting, it's just a grudge match at that point, and while grudge matches are fun, I don't wanna spend $40 and 20+ hours of my life getting to the conclusion in burned out cinder after dark, dank cave after abandoned apartment building.

In summary:

Do I think game engine technology has reached it's zenith?  It's close, there's only so much you can simulate on an inherently 2D surface.  I do think that they'll continue to become more efficient and that eventually we'll be able to have photo-realistic characters rendered real-time.

Do I think that the designers are utilizing this power?  I'm ambivalent, certainly they are utilizing the full technological power they are given, but overall the quality of storytelling, graphically at least, has declined in the current generation of game makers.
So as through a glass, and darkly
The age long strife I see
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Many names, but always me.

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Offline MR_T3D

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I'll be honest, those BR screens looked a lot more like the UT3 engine than the crytek.
yeah, i think thats because the amazingness of cryengines is their foliage, and real time editing, thier urban enviroments are just good, looking at HD footage of cryengine3 in urban setting reminded me a lot of inFAMOUS visually.
ALSO: i'm just going to say i liked BF:BC's graphics, its a war-based game and it has a nice bit of 'dirt' to the look, i know someone :nervous: didn't, but i will agree with 1943, that game just doesn't look nice.
An intersting perspective, liberator, not going to disagree, but you kindof slide off topic into story,  as opposed to visuals/graphics. 

 

Offline Davros

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Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
that cant be ingame
consoles cant do 3,130 x 1,848 pixels

 

Offline Wobble73

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Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
that cant be ingame
consoles cant do 3,130 x 1,848 pixels
If you are talking about

clicky

Then......


I think it's a panorama composited of screenshots, thus the resolution.

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Offline Ghostavo

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Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
And even then, there is clearly room for improvement.

You know, like waves.
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Offline CP5670

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Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
Water waves? I thought that stuff was sand or dirt. :p

The best water effects I've seen are probably in Bioshock and Red Alert 3.

 

Offline Ghostavo

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Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
I have no idea what that surface is to be honest. It looks like the skin of an orange to me.

Regardless, the waves apply to sand as well.
"Closing the Box" - a campaign in the making :nervous:

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Offline mxlm

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Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
I'll say it again.  Technical capabilities aside, and certain devs take fire for this, the modern marketplace in the frontline of interactive entertainment is to make they're universes as dark and dramatic as possible.  This is bad from multiple standpoints, but firstly and foremost among them is that they all begin to look the same. 

Also, and this is pretty specific--I'm looking at you, Killzone--if you want me to take your game for serious, then space Nazis probably aren't the way to go. And if you do go with space Nazis, don't call them Helgast, for chrissakes (they're, like, ghastly! And from hell! Hellghastly! It's great!).

And the universe aside, wtf kind of aerial assault craft is this:



I would rather be in a flying Higgins Boat. And it doesn't even look cool.
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Offline Mika

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Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
Graphics, eh?

I admit that current rendering engines are probably quite good rendering visually beautiful environments. The problem is the art design that I find to be more and more unimaginative, or that such beautiful graphics are wasted on a mediocre game. But what do I know, haven't been able to run new games on this box. Though that might change with octacore...

It is a little bit sad that 2002-era games seem a lot more interesting than current ones with better graphics engines. KOTOR 1 (and KOTOR 2 for lesser extend) has lots of visually interesting locations, and I will probably remember some of that art for a long time. Prince of Persia Sands of Time (and Two Thrones) is still beautiful and offers some interesting views about climbing up a 1 km tall tower, something few people would ever try to do. Tomb Raiders offer lots of visually interesting environments (if the gamer can get his eyes off Lara).

Though Fallout 3 seems interesting in different ways (especially the ruined environments and the general feeling of **** has really hit the fan), I don't like the color tones or animations where characters seem to float rather than run. Mirror's Edge seemed visually interesting, but then the game part seems to be neglected. Some of the screenshots from Duke Nukem Forever seemed more vivid to me because the developers weren't afraid of using colors. The art department of Half-Life 2 deserves a special mention of creating such interesting models (is that organic or a machine?) and colorful world.

In the end it turns out that graphics are part of the gaming experience, and should suit the overall mood of it. Detailed stuff in a fast paced game is questionable, as the gamer doesn't have that much time to wonder about it. Then again bland environments in a adventure game is also bad.
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Offline TrashMan

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Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
:doubt:

You're free to disagree that it's beautiful, you're even free to disagree with the art design and color palette, but please, don't tell me that my perceptions can't possibly be correct because of something as silly as an FPS cap.

If I sit down and look at the game - take the gorgeous skybox around the destroyed ONI Alpha Site in ODST, or a cruiser overhead - and say 'wow, that's really beautiful', then it's beautiful. Not beautiful because I'm uneducated regarding framerates or upscaling or whatever. It's just beautiful.

And the scale of the vistas portrayed is truly awesome. Sometimes Crysis-level, though no doubt with more trickery.

I don't mind approaching it from the technical side, but that's rather missing the point. I imagine you'd critique the Nexus engine on much the same grounds and yet it still looks superb.

 :rolleyes:
Well..if that's your only criteria.
Infintiy engine is the best engine evar then. I still play BG2 and I find it better looking and more beautifull than H3.

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Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
People are too hung up on 3D. Bring back the sprites!

Check out this artist's blog and some of his new art for old games: http://diglett.blogspot.com/

I would love to play an X-com style game with higher resolution sprites. Not this lifeless 3d thing that permeates everywhere.
Of course it won't work for all games, not something like FPSes for example. But a lot of games would do well to borrow the techniques of the past.


And I disagree about all games trying to look dark. What about Halo? Bright colours everywhere as Yahtzee remarked. Most games try to look dark, have atmosphere, etcetera, but . . . well whatever. Atmosphere is more than graphics. Atmosphere is music, gameplay, sounds, etcetera. I only played Thief 1+2 about a half year ago, or a bit more. And that was the most atmospheric thing I've played. I don't care if the guards were low poly. It doesn't matter.



People need to realise that games are about immersion. Not about graphics. And you don't need the best graphics for the best immersion. If people want great graphics they watch a movie, because the latest games usually don't top the latest movies. But if they want immersion, interaction, they turn to games.

Games should focus on what they're good at, what separates them from other media.

 

Offline CP5670

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Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
I started playing Stalker: Clear Sky last night. I haven't gotten anywhere in it yet, but people say this game is an example of good artwork on a crappy engine.

As far as color goes, Mirror's Edge is probably the best example of a modern, highly colorful game. I don't think it actually looks that good, but I do like the fact that it has a unique art style.

Quote
The art department of Half-Life 2 deserves a special mention of creating such interesting models (is that organic or a machine?) and colorful world.

Really? Everything is brown and gray in that game. :p

Quote
Detailed stuff in a fast paced game is questionable, as the gamer doesn't have that much time to wonder about it.

Yes, this is why I think the work put into the UT2004 and UT3 maps was largely wasted. Some of those maps should have really gone into a singleplayer game.

Quote
People need to realise that games are about gameplay. Not about graphics.

Fixed. :p

In any case, people are discussing graphics here because the thread is about that, not because anyone thinks it's the most important part of a game.

  
Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
Quote
People need to realise that games are about gameplay. Not about graphics.

Fixed. :p

In any case, people are discussing graphics here because the thread is about that, not because anyone thinks it's the most important part of a game.

No I realise that. But part of the discussion about graphics is not only about art direction and quality but the necessity of quality in my opinion. Though I think I'd be in the minority since most people (ie the gaming community and industry, not the participants of this thread) seem to be obsessed with graphics. But I think there's some appeal in some retro-style gaming. Something which is largely forgotten I think. If games concentrated less on graphics and more on innovation there might be more creative and new styles of games out there.


But I don't think graphics have ever reached a plateau. People will keep improving them until they're life-like, and then improve them some more until you can put some visor over your face and not tell the difference between the game and reality.

 

Offline Liberator

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Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
That's what I've been saying Arklabeth.

The graphics need to suit the story and gameplay, you can't have one without the other.

Perfect example of this is Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3.  I went in expecting a semi-compelling story like RA2.  Instead I found a game that is lovely, the art and level of detail is quite suitable, but the game falls flat on it's face because the story(s) are barely veiled attempts to have Jenny McCarthy run around with a midriff, Gemma Atkinson happily stand there quite clearly missing HALF her uniform as well as the other 60% of the cast who seem to be there to show off they're assets not they're acting ability.  From a gameplay standpoint, it's quite fun, the co-commanders thing is cute but pointless, it just serves to reinforce the fact that they made a multi-player only game for a fandom that doesn't remember the multi-player, they remember an epic tale of the near total world takeover by an insane soviet telepath.

/sigh

I've ranted again.

Basically, my desire for video games in general is this:

BRING BACK THE EPICNESS OF OLD!
So as through a glass, and darkly
The age long strife I see
Where I fought in many guises,
Many names, but always me.

There are only 10 types of people in the world , those that understand binary and those that don't.

 

Offline Snail

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Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
My main gripe about Halo 3 was that it had no OMGWTF moments. The powering up of the Ark portal was not exciting, it was like Stonehenge on a cloudy day.

ODST was much better than Halo 3 in this department, and they used the same engine.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
The only OMGWTF moment of ODST was the realization that my Hog's gunner was actually using the AA gun for AA. I nearly dropped the controller. :P
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Graphics-A Discussion.
:doubt:

You're free to disagree that it's beautiful, you're even free to disagree with the art design and color palette, but please, don't tell me that my perceptions can't possibly be correct because of something as silly as an FPS cap.

If I sit down and look at the game - take the gorgeous skybox around the destroyed ONI Alpha Site in ODST, or a cruiser overhead - and say 'wow, that's really beautiful', then it's beautiful. Not beautiful because I'm uneducated regarding framerates or upscaling or whatever. It's just beautiful.

And the scale of the vistas portrayed is truly awesome. Sometimes Crysis-level, though no doubt with more trickery.

I don't mind approaching it from the technical side, but that's rather missing the point. I imagine you'd critique the Nexus engine on much the same grounds and yet it still looks superb.

 :rolleyes:
Well..if that's your only criteria.
Infintiy engine is the best engine evar then. I still play BG2 and I find it better looking and more beautifull than H3.

I agree, the Infinity engine was beautiful.