|
Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » The Escapist - Death to Good Graphics

Default The Escapist - Death to Good Graphics

May 24th, 2009, 14:46
You seem to have missed my semantics post, instead going on a very impressive rave hammering the same point down again.

Then you talk about GalCiv 2 and post pretty pictures, completely ignoring the point I was making about marketing budgets for relatively small titles.

Well, if you're unwilling to grasp the basics of what I'm saying, and I'll repeat:

Yeah - it takes VASTLY longer to create VASTLY more content - but the point is, that technology isn't the problem, it's the obsessive focus on superfluous content.

Then there's little point in going on.

You add details to a model, the poly count increases and this is supposed to be an argument for poly count making the process take longer? What do you think happened ten years ago in whatever incarnation of 3D studio when you added details? Yeah, the poly count increased. It was much smaller - but then, the hardware was much less powerful and the tools available to automate many of the processes were non-existant.

The "create your art button" was amusing, but the number you enter is done when you first select a mesh. You can decide how many subdivisions you want in every single mesh - and that's basically how many polygons it's made of. You can add more objects or edit the number - and the polygons will increase. This is a process that's been there since the first rendering software started to appear.

No matter what you pretend in your head goes on when modeling an object, the process is very much the same as it's always been - the key difference is the amount of polygons and the process of applying textures and effects to those textures (materials). The effects are MUCH MUCH more elaborate today - but then again, the software is much much more powerful. This is the reason I can sit down and create a much better looking textured model in more or less the same amount of time - today - as I could in the past.

Why don't you tell us what fantastic textures you make in your company that makes ONLINE GAMBLING GAMES. Come on please, as if that had anything to do with an AAA title.

If that wasn't ridiculous enough, you have to try as many patronising insults as you can cram into a few sentences. So I've claimed animations are done with a magic button - and by saying this, you automatically ignore the core point - that animations have become much easier to handle compared to the old days, when they needed rows of video toasters working for days and weeks to animate a few seconds of a dinosaur walking around. That we have software so advanced dealing specifically with character and creature anatomy and natural movement, that didn't exist at all a handful of years ago.

You talk about animations for Altair - supporting exactly what I say. Who in the world needs 2000 animations for a character, if not the Hollywood-crazed crowd. That, again, has nothing to do with technology, it's about what they CHOOSE to focus their efforts on.

Assassin's Creed was indeed a mighty pretty game, but in terms of gameplay and variety - it was embarrasingly restrictive and primitive. They can hire as many people they want, creating as many thousands of animations they want - but that has nothing to do with technology in itself. It's a way of using their resources that's counterproductive to the actual game.

Anyway - I think we're done here. You've managed to utterly ignore the very core point I was making, and I can't really take what you say seriously, when your entire support consists of working for a company that makes gambling games.

*edit*

Actually - my time is too limited for people who ignore core points and go on as if I never made them. You're on ignore, so I can save time - as I will no doubt feel compelled to respond to whatever you come up with next.
Last edited by DArtagnan; May 24th, 2009 at 15:00.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#21

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 15,258

Default 

May 24th, 2009, 16:11
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Hold on a second, I need to pop some popcorn….
Rats, looks like the show's over. I was just starting to enjoy it…
Prime Junta is offline

Prime Junta

RPGCodex' Little BRO

#22

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 8,540

Default 

May 24th, 2009, 16:13
Yeah - it takes VASTLY longer to create VASTLY more content - but the point is, that technology isn't the problem, it's the obsessive focus on superfluous content.
I've yet to say "the technology is the problem". I said the demand for more detailed graphics results in longer dev time by greater numbers of people, people who must be paid for their time.

Who says it's superfluous? You? What if there are 50 000 or 5 million gamers who think it's important? Who is right? The answer is, from a business standpoint, whichever will result in more revenue. Which means that they aren't "ruining the industry". Because the industry is about making profit from the creation of games, preferably the types of games people want. And they vote for what they want with their wallets, and so far the vote is mostly for "pretty".

You add details to a model, the poly count increases and this is supposed to be an argument for poly count making the process take longer?
My word, basic logic, can you use it please? It takes time to add details, which you agree correspond to higher poly counts. So in order for me or any artist to create a higher detailed/poly model, they generally need to spend more time to do so, and thus the company spends more money to pay them for their time. I am flabbergasted that you could make that statement and not see the obvious. Do you think there is a special dimension outside of space-time where artists can just keep adding details without it "making the process take longer"? Or are you still on your "the software voodoo will do most of it for them!" kick?

The "create your art button" was amusing, but the number you enter is done when you first select a mesh. You can decide how many subdivisions you want in every single mesh - and that's basically how many polygons it's made of.
Are you talking about Level of Detail modifiers? Because I'm liking this part "but the number you enter is done when you first select a mesh. " When you first select a what? An existing complex mesh, which has already been created by an artist? Or are you talking about the simple primitive creation tools in something like Max, things which let you create boxes and cylinders?

I'm not following, there is no button to "create Altair with X polygons", the artist does the work of creating the details and the polycount is the consequence. He can then apply a LOD modifier to auto-generate lower levels of detail for in-game LODing….but that isn't what we're talking about.

So elaborate, please.

You can add more objects or edit the number - and the polygons will increase. This is a process that's been there since the first rendering software started to appear.
And what exactly do you think goes into the process of "adding more objects", please, elaborate.

the process is very much the same as it's always been - the key difference is the amount of polygons and the process of applying textures and effects to those textures (materials).
Glad we agree, yes, the key difference is the amount of work and thus time an artist needs to spend.

The effects are MUCH MUCH more elaborate today - but then again, the software is much much more powerful. This is the reason I can sit down and create a much better looking textured model in more or less the same amount of time - today - as I could in the past.
Pics please. Because the general consensus is that a GoW model takes longer to make than a Quake 1 model did, and a GoW level a lot longer than a Q1 level. Clearly, this is because they are doing it wrong. Game ready model with all the textures, animations etc setup please.

Why don't you tell us what fantastic textures you make in your company that makes ONLINE GAMBLING GAMES. Come on please, as if that had anything to do with an AAA title.
We have a department devoted to high polygon modelling, they create characters and meshes which we render out into 2D stills and animations to create a lot of our art. We also have teams of people doing the hand rendered (painted) stuff. Clearly though, I have no experience with how more complex art takes more time, because I work in online gambling.

The difference is in the gameplay focus, not the process. I understand how the scaling of content affects the scaling of time.

So I've claimed animations are done with a magic button - and by saying this, you automatically ignore the core point - that animations have become much easier to handle compared to the old days, when they needed rows of video toasters working for days and weeks to animate a few seconds of a dinosaur walking around.
You don't even understand this much. The rows of computers were rendering out the frames AFTER they were animated. Teams of artists sit, create models, setup animations then hand it out to the rendering farm for it to churn away processing that and rendering it via filters and the like. Because that rendering couldn't occur in real time so it was rendered frame by frame (slowly) and recorded, for later playback in real time.

The fact that the rendering has gotten speedier and more powerful due to increased processor power doesn't make it "easier" for the artists. As with the video game industry, more powerful techniques mean larger teams setting up all that data for the rendering farms to render.

You talk about animations for Altair - supporting exactly what I say. Who in the world needs 2000 animations for a character, if not the Hollywood-crazed crowd. That, again, has nothing to do with technology, it's about what they CHOOSE to focus their efforts on.
Read that link I posted, one of the primary things complained about in the comments was the animations. The market demands better and better looking games. Blaming developers for choosing to focus on what people want is ridiculous.

Assassin's Creed was indeed a mighty pretty game, but in terms of gameplay and variety - it was embarrasingly restrictive and primitive.
Yet it was successful enough that they feel justified employing 450 people to work on the sequel. Indicative of what sells best, I would judge.

But wait, most of those employees are marketers, right? Or just to "look good for the hype"?

(Hmmm, which cupboard did I put that vodka in?)

It's a way of using their resources that's counterproductive to the actual game.
Counterproductive to what, exactly? Cause it isn't counterproductive to making a lot of money. Which means a lot of people wanted it and bought it. Clearly though, that was due mainly to hype and not how good it looked in gameplay videos and previews. And they obviously don't think the impression from people who played the game is negative overall, since they are spending that much money making a sequel.

Anyway - I think we're done here. You've managed to utterly ignore the very core point I was making
I often ignore nonsense, yes.

and I can't really take what you say seriously, when your entire support consists of working for a company that makes gambling games.
Clearly that was my entire support, yes.

Actually - my time is too limited for people who ignore core points and go on as if I never made them. You're on ignore, so I can save time - as I will no doubt feel compelled to respond to whatever you come up with next.
Will he or won't he stick to his guns!?! Find out in the next, exciting episode!

Indie game developer.

Dev Blog
Naked Ninja is offline

Naked Ninja

Naked Ninja's Avatar
Watchdog

#23

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 195

Default 

May 24th, 2009, 17:08
Originally Posted by Naked Ninja View Post
LOL! The models are lower poly, sure, but every single texture in WoW is hand-painted. That is even more work than if you start with photos as a base. WoW re-uses art in plenty of locations but there is still a ton of artwork in that game. Cartoon graphics does not equal easier to create graphics.
Hey, didn't you see the tongue in cheek!?

I don't believe the WoW development team was particularly large compared to newer MMOs. I saw a figure before so I had to look it up again which mentions about 100. Blizzard just seems to be the kind of company that exemplify the articles points.

Just wanted to add that Funcom's The Secret World is about 100 developers and that's a "low key" MMO.
Last edited by hishadow; May 24th, 2009 at 17:25.
hishadow is offline

hishadow

Level N+1

#24

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southern parts of Norway
Posts: 1,142

Default 

May 24th, 2009, 17:14
Hey, didn't you see the tongue in cheek!?
Lol, sorry, I didn't.

I don't believe the WoW development team was particularly large compared to newer MMOs. I say a figure before so I had to look it up again which mentions about 100. Blizzard just seems to be the kind of company that exemplify the articles points.
Yep.

The key was oftentimes a lot of dedication brute force as opposed to automated testing sweeps. "Yeah, okay, we need to have 140 testers that would commune 24/7 in shifts." The development team size ended up being over 100 guys. Especially at the beginning of Warcraft, there was no transition to "Oh, we're making an MMO, and this is how you make those," because there really wasn't "the way you made those."

There was really two or three that had any level of success in the U.S. It's kind of crazy to think back to it, but when WoW was getting ready to come out, the biggest American-made — or probably Western-made, even — MMO was EverQuest.

And I think their top at one point was like 345,000 subscribers. And here we were talking about — because of the way development had flowed, doing it like we'd done everything else — we were like, "God, we've gotta have like triple."
But this also exemplifies why devs chase it. They needed triple the subscribers of the best MMO up till that time to cover costs and make enough profit to justify it. Must have seemed like madness. 11 million subscribers later….the cost is justified and more dev houses try to follow their example.

Indie game developer.

Dev Blog
Naked Ninja is offline

Naked Ninja

Naked Ninja's Avatar
Watchdog

#25

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 195

Default 

May 24th, 2009, 20:07
The point is, the major companies put too much emphasis on graphics than instead on content.

Everyone can see this. Take the newest shooter vs. Monkey Island, for example. MI has insofar more content, that it is able to bound people even with the lack of the newest, shiny graphics.

Same goes for Plants vs. Zombies.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
Alrik Fassbauer is offline

Alrik Fassbauer

Alrik Fassbauer's Avatar
TL;DR

#26

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Old Europe
Posts: 16,062

Default 

May 24th, 2009, 20:55
Setting aside the debate over how much time and effort is actually needed to create the graphics used in today’s big titles, I’d like take another moment to comment on what I see as the reasons behind the author’s dilemma.

The market is whatever it is, and figuring that out is the trick, and for some businesses it’s the whole trick (and there’s nothing at all wrong with that). It doesn’t take any amount of expertise to size up this industry’s view of the mass market today, not for CRPGs. We all see it; we’ve all read about it; we’ve all discussed it.

But that’s an awfully simple approach to addressing “the market.” And to be fair to the marketing people working at game companies, they must be doing more than that. It takes time to make a game, after all. So they surely are doing some amount of forward thinking.

That’s where the real trick comes in, where you size up the direction of the market in order to determine the state it will be in by the time your product is ready to launch. Then there’s competition to consider, naturally. So it’s also Marketing’s job to try to determine how your competitors also see it and the kinds of products they’re also making, when they will launch, and how that will impact the market.

But it almost seems as if none of that is happening in this industry today, which brings us back around to the author’s point. The video game industry seems sort of stuck.

On the hardware side of high technology, innovation in the small drives innovation in the large, and it’s typically engineers with a good business sense who take advantage of that. For example, they read and hear about the technical advantages that will be available with new chips, components or boards that are currently under development, and they design new systems to take advantage of it.

When they quit their jobs and start a new business to make those systems, we call them entrepreneurs (and I’ve had the good fortune to have worked for many dozens of them). Sometimes they target the mass market, but more often than not they’ve identified a market segment as their target market.

We’re not seeing much innovation here, are we? Game industry insiders refer to the current state of the mass market like it’s some kind of obvious sole consideration.* And you’re stupid if you can’t understand that.

Call me stupid then, because I’m anxiously waiting for CRPG entrepreneurs to spot their opportunity and take advantage of it. And when they do, they’ll make newer, better games, ones that won’t be all about graphics.

* In fairness to them, the folks who hold the purses today seem to see it that way too (but that's another conversation).

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
Squeek is offline

Squeek

Squeek's Avatar
connoisseur of tidbits

#27

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 1,807

Default 

May 25th, 2009, 10:52
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
The point is, the major companies put too much emphasis on graphics than instead on content.

Everyone can see this. Take the newest shooter vs. Monkey Island, for example. MI has insofar more content, that it is able to bound people even with the lack of the newest, shiny graphics.

Same goes for Plants vs. Zombies.
Yeah, that's basically what I was trying to explain to the ninja guy, who seems to have forgotten the basics of how models are actually built from the ground-up.

Anyway, something like Assassin's Creed is almost entirely focused on this kind of content - and I think Altair might be THE most sophisticated character model in a game - at least in terms of animation complexity. Hell, more than half the entire game seems to revolve around the aesthetics of that character, and how his clothes animate correctly etc. If that's what casuals start expecting, well, we can look forward to an infinite sea of wasted resources trying to uphold that ridiculous standard.

Fortunately, it seems some developers DO know how to focus on something a bit more interesting - and IIRC part of the AC team comes from the original Prince of Persia games. Incidentally, those games were exactly as hollow as AC - but they were incredibly impressive in terms of animation back then, as well. Not quite as impressive how little they've progressed in terms of actual gameplay, though. It's - what - one quarter the stealth game Thief is, and that was released in 1999 or something.

That's what's wrong with the industry - if you ask me.

Naturally, it's not wrong in terms of generating revenue - which is why the entire original article is flawed. Developers are well aware of the situation and they'll spend many years to come producing superfluous content - JUST to earn more cash.

However - they still need fortunes and MORE fortunes to convince the casual market that what they're doing is COOL.

Perhaps, if they marketed gameplay and spent resources on gameplay - they might convince the casuals that gameplay is COOL and perhaps save some money in the process?

Who knows.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#28

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 15,258

Default 

May 25th, 2009, 11:04
I don't think it's fair to label people who enjoy pretty games as casuals.
I'd define casuals as people who enjoy, say, the massive amounts of shovelware on the Wii. It's not like the group you are speaking of wants graphics instead of good gameplay, I just think they probably expect that if they're going to spend 50 or 60 bucks on a game it better look shiny and new, especially if they dropped a lot of money on a console+good TV or a good computer+monitor. I have a somewhat similar desire - I would be somewhat annoyed if a game came out today with late 1990's graphics - but I could easily accept a game around (say) Doom 3's level of graphics with no issues.

I personally would much rather have another Baldur's Gate 2-ish or PS:T-ish game (in terms of scale, scope, and quality) then SUPER AWESOME GRAPHICS PEW PEW PEW (although I enjoy games with good graphics as well). But at the end of the day, the group of gamers that most people on this board represent is such a small part of the demographic that it's hard to justify the expenses of making games that solely appeal to us - thus while we'll get Bioshock instead of System Shock 3 (well, a System Shock 3 that is of the same quality/etc as the first two).
Rithrandil is offline

Rithrandil

I bent my wookie

#29

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 2,299

Default 

May 25th, 2009, 11:14
Originally Posted by Rithrandil View Post
I don't think it's fair to label people who enjoy pretty games as casuals.
I'd define casuals as people who enjoy, say, the massive amounts of shovelware on the Wii. It's not like the group you are speaking of wants graphics instead of good gameplay, I just think they probably expect that if they're going to spend 50 or 60 bucks on a game it better look shiny and new, especially if they dropped a lot of money on a console+good TV or a good computer+monitor. I have a somewhat similar desire - I would be somewhat annoyed if a game came out today with late 1990's graphics - but I could easily accept a game around (say) Doom 3's level of graphics with no issues.
There's NOTHING wrong with being casual - and I MYSELF am a casual, like a casual book reader, a casual fan of music, and so on.

Being casual simply means you're not enthusiastic, and as such you don't invest the same amount of energy and resources into whatever hobby we're talking about.

There's no blame here.

It's a simple reality that casuals don't expect the same depth of gameplay - and that they TEND to focus on visual aesthetics before deep or evolutionary mechanics. However, it's not that they couldn't enjoy said mechanics if properly introduced. That's why I said that thing about marketing gameplay.

Developers are dead scared of caring more about gameplay than production values - and that's basically my entire point, and has been from the start.

But I understand them fully, and it's no secret that AAA developers want as big a return on their investment as possible.

I personally would much rather have another Baldur's Gate 2-ish or PS:T-ish game (in terms of scale, scope, and quality) then SUPER AWESOME GRAPHICS PEW PEW PEW (although I enjoy games with good graphics as well). But at the end of the day, the group of gamers that most people on this board represent is such a small part of the demographic that it's hard to justify the expenses of making games that solely appeal to us - thus while we'll get Bioshock instead of System Shock 3 (well, a System Shock 3 that is of the same quality/etc as the first two).
That's exactly right.

It would be hard to justify - and that's why the article is flawed.

The market has spoken and casuals don't want System Shock 3 - and that's why I would never - EVER - expect it to arrive in proper form.

But I feel it's my right to lament the loss of art, and express my frustration with how things are.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#30

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 15,258

Default 

May 25th, 2009, 11:30
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
There's NOTHING wrong with being casual - and I MYSELF am a casual, like a casual book reader, a casual fan of music, and so on.
Oh, I know. I enjoy the kind of …more artsy, high-form versions of games/books/etc, but sometimes I want to play Generic Shooter #384 or read a Stephen King book.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Being casual simply means you're not enthusiastic, and as such you don't invest the same amount of energy and resources into whatever hobby we're talking about.
Well, that's why I'm wondering if we're talking about two different groups here - I think a lot of people may fall into a third group, a "graphics whore" group if you will. They do invest a lot of resources into these things (in terms of hardware expenditures) but if a game doesn't have the latest graphical bells and whistles they won't get into it.

That's why I was arguing that casuals may be a different group entirely - such as people who buy Wii Fit or whatever demographic Nintendo appeals to nowadays.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
There's no blame here.
Didn't think there was. I don't think any of us here are … I don't know, whatever the video game equivalent of a snooty movie art house critic would be.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It's a simple reality that casuals don't expect the same depth of gameplay - and that they TEND to focus on visual aesthetics before deep or evolutionary mechanics. However, it's not that they couldn't enjoy said mechanics if properly introduced. That's why I said that thing about marketing gameplay.
Ah. Yeah, I think I make a subdivision in the casual group - the ones who really really love good graphics (and thus will buy a AAA title) and the ones who play games like Wii Fit and wouldn't want any sort of AAA title (even if it was super graphics + System Shock levels of gameplay quality)

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Developers are dead scared of caring more about gameplay than production values - and that's basically my entire point, and has been from the start.

But I understand them fully, and it's no secret that AAA developers want as big a return on their investment as possible.
Yeah - the AAA developers need to be very profitable, and I'm sure their investors and the board of directors pushes profit margin over quality. It's no different in any industry, really - I think when video games are as accepted and integrated into mainstream culture we'll be able to have the benefits of AAA production values and super awesome gameplay too. Kind of like how the Dark Knight was a really good movie even though it wasn't some indie flick.


Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
It would be hard to justify - and that's why the article is flawed.

The market has spoken and casuals don't want System Shock 3 - and that's why I would never - EVER - expect it to arrive in proper form.

But I feel it's my right to lament the loss of art, and express my frustration with how things are.
Yup. I agree. I think a great many people would accept System Shock 3 if it was marketed correctly and presented to them, but I think any developer who walked into the board room with that idea would probably get laughed at with the market the way it is right now.
Rithrandil is offline

Rithrandil

I bent my wookie

#31

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 2,299

Default 

May 25th, 2009, 11:56
Originally Posted by Rithrandil View Post
Well, that's why I'm wondering if we're talking about two different groups here - I think a lot of people may fall into a third group, a "graphics whore" group if you will. They do invest a lot of resources into these things (in terms of hardware expenditures) but if a game doesn't have the latest graphical bells and whistles they won't get into it.
Well, it's always dangerous to categorize people, and my intention was not to place anyone in tiny boxes.

In my experience, we all do the things we do for different - even when similar - reasons.

But I get your point.

That's why I was arguing that casuals may be a different group entirely - such as people who buy Wii Fit or whatever demographic Nintendo appeals to nowadays.
Well, I'm sure there are enthusiasts into the Wii, too. Also, there are many casuals who do nothing but play Bejeweled or Windows card games.

We're talking some pretty broad categories, really.

I suppose what I'm talking about in terms of being casual, is that a casual gamer doesn't care passionately - in general - about gaming and the industry as a whole. He might be in love with a particular game or genre - but he doesn't REALLY care about the design process or the realities of the industry.

Didn't think there was. I don't think any of us here are … I don't know, whatever the video game equivalent of a snooty movie art house critic would be.
Well, I have no doubt that I could be perceived that way. But at least I'm aware that my tastes aren't superior - just different.

Yeah - the AAA developers need to be very profitable, and I'm sure their investors and the board of directors pushes profit margin over quality. It's no different in any industry, really - I think when video games are as accepted and integrated into mainstream culture we'll be able to have the benefits of AAA production values and super awesome gameplay too.
Well, this is where we differ. Video games are more or less already accepted these days, and what we'll see is a very similar progression in gameplay as we've witnessed in Hollywood and the movie industry. That's my theory, at least.

Kind of like how the Dark Knight was a really good movie even though it wasn't some indie flick.
Case in point, and I think I'd best not say how I feel about the Dark Knight. Last time I was nearly crucified

In any case, yeah, there will be good games even despite the focus on production values. It's not like the human factor is entirely removed, and even the AAA people occasionally get something genuinely evolutionary crammed into their designs.

But I think it's going the wrong way, and we'll see less and less AAA games with quality gameplay. However, on the bright side - I think as AAA people move almost exclusively to consoles - there's going to be room on the PC for a nice slice of the middle-market - and it's my hope that as indie developers can succeed today, so can similar minded artists be succesful in the middle-market once people adapt to a different approach.

Yup. I agree. I think a great many people would accept System Shock 3 if it was marketed correctly and presented to them, but I think any developer who walked into the board room with that idea would probably get laughed at with the market the way it is right now.
The kind of System Shock 3 I have in mind would probably be a hit if marketed correctly - but it wouldn't be ANYWHERE near the same kind of hit as if it was System Shock 3 as EA likely has in mind.

My SS3 would demand too much of the casual player - and he'd be bored, basically.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#32

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 15,258

Default 

May 25th, 2009, 22:28
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Yeah, that's basically what I was trying to explain to the ninja guy, who seems to have forgotten the basics of how models are actually built from the ground-up.
You do realize that on the topic of how videogames or polygons work you are basically a polar bear trying to teach a chicken how to lay eggs, right? The guy develops his own game for crying out loud.
tolknaz is offline

tolknaz

Sentinel

#33

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Estonia
Posts: 369

Default 

May 26th, 2009, 02:07
Thought experiment: Would Assassin's Creed have sold as well if it had used Doom 3's level of graphics holding all of it's other components the same?
Last edited by hamsterdance; May 26th, 2009 at 02:30.
hamsterdance is offline

hamsterdance

Traveler

#34

Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1

Default 

May 26th, 2009, 09:19
I haven't played it, but I understand that one of its main draws was the way it handled crowds. The Doom 3 engine wasn't capable of doing that.
Prime Junta is offline

Prime Junta

RPGCodex' Little BRO

#35

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 8,540

Default 

May 26th, 2009, 09:47
Originally Posted by tolknaz View Post
You do realize that on the topic of how videogames or polygons work you are basically a polar bear trying to teach a chicken how to lay eggs, right? The guy develops his own game for crying out loud.
I wasn't really trying to teach him anything, but there are certain inescapable truths regarding 3D modeling, and one of them is that every single model is built from meshes - and those meshes have a number of polygons. No matter how complex, realistic, or beautiful that Altair guy is - when it all comes down to it - the wireframe is a bunch of meshes - or a single complex mesh made up of less complex meshes. When you model from the ground-up, it's very common to start with primitive cubes, spheres and so on. It makes no difference to me if someone has to blow his own horn trying to pretend that the basics aren't the basics.

I'm sure he knows a lot more about 3D modeling than I do, but just because Einstein knew more about science than most of us - it makes no sense blabbering on about how smart he is, and then try to deny the laws of gravity in an effort to appear even smarter.

Besides - he kept ignoring my point about content vs technology. It was a waste of time, basically.

The point is that in the average AAA production - and not Assassin's Creed because that's an extreme in terms of character modeling - the time it takes to do a model isn't NECESSARILY longer, and one thing to consider is that doing Quake-level models today would be lightning fast, not just because of hardware but also because of the tools available. THAT's what technology does. They could make a much more complex model in the same amount of time as they spent - back then - doing the Quake models. Those models weren't trivial and took a LOT of time, and though mr. ninja likes to pretend that the time it takes to render a complex model with textures doesn't speed up the process, it actually helps a lot when you're doing day-to-day work. Being able to see results faster makes the whole process faster, naturally.

Anyway, the problem of today isn't that technology FORCES developers to hire 450 people because the process has become so demanding. It's that they go out of their way to impress people with ridiculous levels of content. That's not SO different from what they did in the past, and I guess we could bring up something like Wing Commander 3 to demonstrate that developers always had this tendency. But the tendency, in the past, was not JUST to impress people visually - it was also to impress them with the gameplay and complexity of mechanics.

That's because gamers were enthusiasts, mostly, and basically gaming nerds. That's why Ultima 7 and stuff like that was made, because people WANTED a deeper game, and not JUST a prettier game.

This is the point I've been making, that mr. graphics guru ninja has been kind enough to ignore, so he could go on about how developers are breaking their backs during necessary slave-like 3D modeling, which MUST be a slow process.
Last edited by DArtagnan; May 26th, 2009 at 10:09.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#36

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 15,258

Default 

May 26th, 2009, 09:48
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
I haven't played it, but I understand that one of its main draws was the way it handled crowds. The Doom 3 engine wasn't capable of doing that.
That, and the view distance/detail. The cities are *huge*, and some of the sites you can see from a high vantage point are on par with a fully tweaked Gothic 3.

Shame the gameplay was so repetitive, I burned out about 2/3 through the game and never went back.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg assassins-creed-9_640w.jpg (97.7 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg assassins-creed.jpg (140.6 KB, 46 views)
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#37

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 18,308

Default 

May 26th, 2009, 10:10
AC is definitely one of the prettiest games I've played, and I was initially hoping for a lot more, given the relative freedom to explore that beautiful world.
DArtagnan is offline

DArtagnan

DArtagnan's Avatar
Waste of potential

#38

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 15,258

Default 

May 26th, 2009, 10:12
If that's your point, D'Artgagnan, you wasted your time and your original post. We all realise the existence of better technology alone doesn't force developers to use it. It's also a different direction to your original post, which suggested the hookers and blow the marketing guys are spending money on is a much bigger expense than art development.

Rather than sarcastic comments at Ninja, maybe acknowledging your original post was a bit silly might have saved all this and we can agree that, yes, if a developer re-made Quake 1 today it could be done much faster than back in the day.

-= RPGWatch =-
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
Keeper of the Watch
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#39

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,968

Default 

May 26th, 2009, 10:45
I think one just have to take a look at Duke Nukem Forever. The developers were never really pleased with the looks of their game, and - you know what - blew millions of dollars into the wind just to upgrade to the next graphics engine and satisfy their hubris.
I don't think this has anything to do with the marketing.
Hindukönig is offline

Hindukönig

Hindukönig's Avatar
SasqWatch

#40

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Halle/Saale (Germany)
Posts: 264
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » The Escapist - Death to Good Graphics
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 02:59.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch