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June 23rd, 2009, 17:03
I found a comment over there which seems to point at a deeper problem I haven't seen before :

There seems to be just a lack of … sense of what should be thrown together and what not.

It's a little bit like the infamous "10.000 flies cannot be wrong" argument about taste.

I hope I'm allowed to quote it here :

Wulf says:

And these pictures…

I realise why my whimperings about art-direction fall on deaf ears now, and I thought Alec would have known better. All you need is a basic grasp of visual cohesion, elements that fit, and how to put those elements together.

For example, in the first shot, thoe trees are correct, they’re a little barren but they’re swamp trees, and Seyda Neen is in a swampy area (lots of swamp in Morrowind in general)!

Look at this: http://www.wildnetga.org/albums/phot…p_PIC00006.jpg

The trees in Morrowind look a little barren by coomparison, but they still look like a very basic representation of the right kind of trees for that swampy atmosphere. They could do with a bit of fluffing up and prettying, but they are swamp trees. Bethesda is shit at some things, but they understand visual cohesion.

The latter shot…

It makes me want to whine and whimper, it really does. I mean, if I’m not mistaken, aren’t those the kinds of trees one finds in temperate ones? I may be stupid, and I’m sorry if I am… but it just doesn’t look like it fits at all.

And and and… the end result is that we have an image that looks like it’s filled with oak trees… oak trees with vines hanging between them.


Doesn’t anyone else see that? The trunks are too wide.

I go on a lot of rampages about visual cohesion, most of you have probably seen one or two — such as how I twitch and cower at the lack thereof in Diablo III — and I don’t do it just for the fun of it. I’m hoping I’ll open eyes, here.

Look at he first shot too…

I may just be a fool here, but that really doesn’t right to me, comparing the width of the character with the width of the trees to get a sense of relativity, it becomes obvious. Now, if you want to turn Morrowind into a temperate zone, that’s fine… but with those wide-trunked-yet-short temperate zone trees there, having the fog and the vines accompanying that looks… silly.

I had this problem with the modding community too, not so much with the modders but with those who used the mods, who’d present a horrible mish-mash of visual inconsistencies and egotistically say it was better than Bethesda could do.

The thing is… some of them were right.

There were people who could put together a visually cohesive package and it would look incredible, because they’d have a good eye for what fits and what didn’t. It’s like cooking and having a decent palette, and if someone threw sliced bananas onto a cooked dinner, most people would react badly.

And temperate zone trees in a swamp is sliced bananas on a cooked dinner.

The only part I find galling though is that it’s presented as if it’s better than the original. Example: “Net result – some visual wierdness, but all-told a far better-looking game.” If Alex had just said that he wanted to go in a new direction and threw stuff together, fine… but to say it looks better…

So we go from ‘this’, which looks ancient but at least has a sense of visual consistency, to ‘this’, which is so jarring it actually makes me twitch.

Ideally I’d say to keep the bananas out of the cooked dinner, but people won’t do that because they like throwing random junk together and without any sense of taste (and even Wassily Kandinsky had a better sense of style than most gamers, it seems), but at least have the good taste to not present it as better than the original.

Because as long as the original that presents something cohesive and fitting the environment, and the upgrade doesn’t, then the original will be better because stylistically it looks more believable.

Drop the trees though and you miiight just have something there.

Unless you chose to animal farms and brick fortresses in the middle of swampland (even the Holy Grail made fun of that!), which is another instance of ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff.

This’ll probably be seen as a troll, but it’s not, it’s really not. The original Morrowind had a antastic look to it, and a brilliant atmosphere, and it’s so easy to break that. What I’d love to see is modders take what Bethesda did and upgrade it visually, rather than taking it in a whole new direction.

Because usually that whole new direction sucks.

Love the mods that don’t mess with the graphics, though.

Also: Lush, bright green grass around marshlands… ffffffffffff

June 23rd, 2009 at 9:58 am
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)
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