Dead End Ahead

Member
Posts: 715
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #16
While we are veering wildly off course into LegoLand check out the sexy technology coming this fall from Lego Mindstorms
You are not a good parent unless you teach your child to build his own killer robot to take care of those school yard bullies.
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Apprentice
Posts: 18
Joined: 2005.10
Post: #17
Unfortunately, I am going to blame every indie game designer/publisher for todays sad state of video games. Competition is what drives the game industry(and all others) forward. The last game with cool play mechanics(that I had never seen before) was Katamari Damacy on the PS2. But part of the games unique-ness and playability came from the fact that it used a controller and not a keyboard(because it used the dual analog control sticks). I think at the end of the day, the use of a keyboard and mouse is detracting from alot of the possible games that can be made PC wise. I find that good game controls are the major detractor of PC gaming as a whole(sans FPS's, as the mouse keyboard set-up is only good for them really).

Also, being an indie game designer doesn't mean that you should skimp on graphics.Why should I buy a shareware game for 10-30$ when I can buy very well made games for 20$ or less(on PCs or consoles).

"I think it will reiterate that ultra-realistic graphics and a team of 250 people don't make a game great."

No it doesn't make a game great, but for example, Nintendo has a vast amout of excellent artists.They can spend the time to make great game mechanics.....but they back that up with beautifully made game art(models,textures,design). Indie game houses fail over and over from this one oversite. They skimp on good artists(note, im saying artists, not graphics). An indie game house has yet to make a game on par with any of the Zelda/Link games on nintendo.......heck, nintendo did Pikamen(?.....the little alien dudes), that was similar to a "lemmings" game style, but the game art is what set it apart.


Indie game houses need better artists! Game "box art" or previews for the game are the major things selling that game(as it makes the buyer/player give it a look in the first place) well before playing a demo enters thier mind.

sorry for ranting.
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Sage
Posts: 1,066
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #18
I disagree. The indie companies are where you'll find the potential. They're the ones who have to figure something cool out to make it into the big leagues. Companies like EA with their teams of 250 and talented artists do almost nothing besides release copies of popular sports franchises with virtually no enhancement to gameplay. Even the art hasn't increased on the games. It seems most AAA companies are happy being really creative to create a big smash hit... and then milking it with seventeen sequels just to get all the profits out of it they can.

Finally, art doesn't make video games. You can have absolutely horrific graphics and still have a very fun, enjoyable game if you are willing to let it be good. That's one of my complaints with the PS3. They're trying to sell it for the graphics. Graphics are always nice, but the gameplay is where it's at.
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Apprentice
Posts: 18
Joined: 2005.10
Post: #19
Gameplay can(and should) sell a game, but someone will never know until they try the game.Even if its a game such as pong, the play area could have nice modeled arena or whatever.....something to at least catch the eye of a potential player. Even simple games can look good.
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Sage
Posts: 1,066
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #20
MilesBaskett Wrote:Even simple games can look good.
But should they have to?

The problem is the mindset of the consumers. They want graphical increases to keep going, but honestly they can't increase at the rate that most consumers want them to. Let's get back to gameplay and stop worrying about who can put the largest number of maps on various objects (bump maps, normal maps, shadow maps, specular maps, etc) with such-and-such graphical feature. I don't care if my virtual basketball player sweats as I play if the controls are too convoluted to play for more than five minutes.

Unfortunately trying to change consumers is about as useful as yelling at a brick wall...
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Sage
Posts: 1,482
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #21
Nick Wrote:I don't care if my virtual basketball player sweats as I play...

Speaking of which, has anyone seen any of the "next gen" sports games? Man! Those are gross! Not only do they sweat, but they do so to unatural looking levels.

That's another thing that I don't like about some of the new "graphical features" you are starting to see in a lot of games. Maybe this has to do with what Nic was saying about progress not keeping up with people's expectations, but special effects in newer games are almost always overdone. Bloom is a good example. You could have a nice subtle bloom effect that gives that nice warm look, or you could give the image a ton of bloom to make sure that the player notices it even if it's to a distracting amount. HDR lighting is also a good example, a lot of games that I've seen that use it seem to abuse it. You could use the extra precision to produce more natural light by extending the dynamic range (like photographers do), or you could keep the output range the same and clip the dynamic range and a liberal amount of bloom. (Like in HL2, why does the stupid flashlight cause oversaturation when the sun doesn't. Hmmm...)

Scott Lembcke - Howling Moon Software
Author of Chipmunk Physics - A fast and simple rigid body physics library in C.
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Member
Posts: 715
Joined: 2003.04
Post: #22
New techniques and technologies get over used, until an artistic and reasonable middle ground is reached. Photoshop's lens flare for instance, Kai Power Tools effects as another instance. It goes in phases of overuse and levels out to more subtle and aesthetic use.

From this thread I can tell people around here are living a sheltered life, complaining about specific instances of gross indulgence in certain games
without giving any credit to some of the wonderful things that are going on.

Everyone who has access to a Blockbuster needs to get themselves a GamePass and rent everything on the shelves before making closed minded responses ($16 a month gets you unlimited rentals). There is a ton of good work out there and you will not see any of it if you don't put the effort toward trying to find it.

Anyone played Farcry Evolution? Yeah its a standard FPS, but the world is so populated with realistic scenery that its somewhat mind blowing as a game designer only using a Mac to even imagine how to implement it. It has game play mechanics never before available.

Anyone played Resident Evil 4? Within 15 minutes you forget about the fantastic graphics entirely and concentrate on avoiding getting killed at all cost, in under an hour you are afraid of opening the next door. Evoking irrational paranoia isn't revolutionary, but it sure is an amazing success for the game designers, who deserve every single award they've won for the game.

Games are like women (or men for the one woman in our audience), it does not matter if 99% of them are fugly beasts, its only the one in a million that stop your breath that ever matter at all. Another analogy would be digging for gold, 99.9999% of the mountain is granite, but its the nugget of shiny stuff that you are after. Seek the shiny and you will find it, sniff for crap and you will find crap.

Perhaps its not games that are stagnating, but that people with too much time to complain and not enough time actively bringing games into new frontiers that are the problem.
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Apprentice
Posts: 18
Joined: 2005.10
Post: #23
" I don't care if my virtual basketball player sweats as I play if the controls are too convoluted to play for more than five minutes."

I don't mean a game needs to look good in that way(high end graphics).....if your, or anyones game has lets say 500 poly character models, then they should be the best darn 500 poly characters you can make. I'm talking about the ingame art(models,textures, color, ect).

Here is an example picture(done by a guy named "Bobo the Seal").
http://www.bobotheseal.com/personal_work...xample.jpg

Now, this is a very low spec model....but, it does look as good as it could be. That is what I was trying to get at. Simple, but perfect(much like what you want the gameplay to be). That is one of the resons nintendo's games do so well. Play a Zelda game lately, look at those graphics, or a game like Pikamin. They have not gone overboard(no sweat or crap like that) but give solid game environments to augment the gameplay. Ingame art helps set the mood for every game. Would the old black and white pong be a better game compared to .....mario tennis? No, people only played it because thats all thier was.

What I am trying to say is:
Indie games fail, because a good 60-70% of them look like a third grader did the art(models,ect). That turns alot of people off initially, while they are still deciding if downloading some game is worth it.The best gameplay in the world can't help that. Just my opinion though, if i'm wrong then indie game houses will somehow get a larger market share and maybe help us get better games.....I just don't see that happening with game models that look worse than a PS1 game model would.
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