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6526  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Graphical realism, can we ever achieve it? on: February 07, 2010, 11:46:24 PM
The thing with light is that it's sort of a bell curve, in my eyes. If you just eschew major lighting at all and, you know, do whatever PSX RPGs did, it looks more unrealistic than "All of these soldiers are covered in vasoline for some reason" style lighting. You don't have a lot of the details that would make it look real, but it doesn't look bizarre.

You mention raytracing, though. That's actually a huge, huge advantage of doing pre-rendered backdrops. You CAN raytrace those because they're still shots, then have the end product be really high res. Riven, by and large, looks fucking gorgeous and if they remade it with HD renders...

I'd also argue that the level of realism Riven did was necessary, partially because of how tightly constructed the game was. Every detail was relevant and I think taking a more stylized reality approach like they did with Myst would have somehow... distracted (DIStracted. Not DEtracted) from that.
6527  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Graphical realism, can we ever achieve it? on: February 07, 2010, 06:54:48 PM
Of all the FPSes I've played, the moment where you step off the Vortex Rikers ship in Unreal for the first time stands out as the one moment where the visuals in a game really impressed me. Not because of the realism -- Unreal was never particularly realistic looking. Especially not in 2005 -- but because of just how the entire scene/level was composed.

http://ve3dmedia.ign.com/ve3d/image/article/745/745255/new-crysis-dx10-screenshot-20061110001326035.jpg So something like Crysis, despite being more visually advanced... Wow, a fucking jungle. Hooray?

Also you can really notice in this SCREENSHOTS FROM AN EARLY PRE-RELEASE VERSION KTHX what I said about lighting here. Yeah, you have shadows outdoors on a sunny day. Nobody's denying that. But look at the shadows on the guys hand. You don't really get THAT without spotlights. Also, the bloom, which looks nothing like real life... Just lots of little details.

http://pcmedia.ign.com/pc/image/article/830/830713/crysis-20071026034201128_640w.jpg Of course, the wonky lighting's fixed here, but uh... Do I really need to say anything else?

I think devs have this tendency to do stuff that they think would look realistic and go too far in that direction and get weird. "Metal reflects, right? MAKE IT SHINIER." And so on.

Quote
We need more creativity, not better tech.

Yes. The reason video cards are advancing faster than general CPUs is that, because they're specialized, you can basically keep glueing more... registers or transistors or whatever to them.

http://www.legitreviews.com/images/reviews/1100/nvidia_fermi_1.jpg which is why GPUs are now the size of phones.

Also, speaking of Avatar. You ever notice how goofy it looks in still shots?

http://moviesmedia.ign.com/movies/image/article/105/1051181/avatar-20091202004832109_640w.jpg
http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/io9/2009/10/ae3ae1e288fc49a2138b0e6dd02eeb27.jpg
http://i.thisislondon.co.uk/i/pix/galleries/films/avatar/avtar2_600x449.jpg
6528  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Graphical realism, can we ever achieve it? on: February 07, 2010, 04:58:29 PM
I think it's less a matter of "can" and more a matter of "should."

Granted, if you mean literal photograph quality, no. Even if you can do it perfectly from a technical standpoint -- which should be totally possible -- you'd still have humans creating the art assets. Even the *best* realism painters can't get things looking photographic.

I think the biggest issue, technically, is light. Luminosity's sort of fuzzy and weird because it has nothing to do with the physical details of an object. You want realistic pores on all your characters? Fine. Just fiddle with bump mapping and up the poly count. No big deal. Lighting's harder than that though.

Lighting's also one of the hardest things when it comes to like, painting or drawing anyway.

Specifically, you can have animotronics and puppets that don't look very realistic, that get very uncanny valley, that just... get odd, but you can tell their physical objects. Again, it's the lighting. You can do a completely realistic 3D rendering of a person but the lighting's what'll give it away.

Personally I feel the main issue with lighting right now is that stuff looks too shiny in games. Actually objects are not that shiny. Like that one Medal of Honor game where everyone looked doused in vasoline.

Anyway. As for my original comment.

I don't think there's a lot of merit in getting super-realistic. The obvious reason is that it kind of looks boring after awhile. The less obvious aspect is that videogame designers have a very peculiar idea of what realistic looks like and assume it means making everything dark.

Reason two. If you compare movies to like, soaps or talk shows, movies are filmed on that film/with that framerate/fuck it I don't watch TV thing where they're a little blurrier, not quite as sharp, not quite as realistic looking. Stylistically I always assumed this was to give the film a sort of painterly effect. To make it look less real. I think the same principle works for videogames and as such you don't need the same level of super detail.

Reason three. Increasing details can make things really visually confusing. I'm pretty sure I've used this example before, but X3 and Frontier: Elite 2.

http://www.mobygames.com/images/i/11/42/177342.png <- X3 is very detailed but it's a greebley, visually confusing mess and I can't tell what the hell is going on.

http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/original/1178465496-01.png <- FE2. Really simple, almost abstract graphics, but you can tell what you're looking at without having to think about it.

Of course, this isn't just realism that does this. As I've said before, I have a small TV and found certain levels in Odin sphere unplayable because the visual style in the game was just too busy for a TV that size.

Fourth. Okay. I think it takes a little too long to do hyper-realism. I think if the industry tends that way it'll possibly scare off new artists since hyper-realism is harder, too.

Third, it's a lot easier to fuck up realism and get something ugly looking than with more abstract visuals.

Seventh, stylistically you hit a point of diminishing returns. You're going to be putting in more effort but it's not going to look appreciably better. For instance, in Oblivion, everyone looks really fucking ugly despite being high-poly and detailed.

http://content.playwhat.com/files/664/gothic2_7.jpg <- gothic 2, on the other hand... people don't really look GREAT, but they're low poly, the game runs pretty fast and still looks nice, and the faces aren't completely vomit inducing.

http://files.xboxic.com/xbox-360/the-elder-scrolls-4-oblivion/face-up-close.jpg <- Oh and people have normal-colored skin in Gothic as well.

Also you can do stylized realism like with Twilight Princess and have wonderful results.

Finally, my video card sucks and I can't play a lot of modern games because of what I find to be completely superfluous visual details that don't really make the game look much better but DO make it run worse. Bloom, overuse of shaders, really high poly faces that look horrifying, etc. Back in the olden days there was more of an emphasis on efficiency. I don't want to say high-end video cards are making developers lazy because that sounds codgerly and I don't think that's true, but fuck, just since I've been talking about Exile a lot lately, there was a HUGE amount of effort put into being as efficient as possible with that.

Quote
had they tried recreating earth and humans, I think we might have had some issues.

Interesting point and I think it works. For another example, I think the aliens in ME2 look brilliant and that the humans look horrible. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjIcFATxrus I mean like here. Although I guess you can mess with your PC's face in that game so maybe the person changing the details just has some sort of fetish for thick-necked ambiguously black dudes that look like frogs.
6529  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Have health care insurance? Looking to get hitched? on: February 07, 2010, 04:30:53 PM
Is that an offer, Ryos?
6530  Media / General Games / Re: Sonic The Hedgehog 4 on: February 06, 2010, 11:33:44 PM
Tons of bad 2D sonics. Even if you disregard the fact that I sort of hate sonic I don't think anyone's going to have any fond memories of the GG or SMS titles.
6531  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Post pictures of awesome animals. on: February 06, 2010, 09:12:37 PM
I was going to post a picture of the elusive trouser snake.

Sorry Daggerstrike, should've qualified it. For something to be an awesome animal it has to be more than an inch in length.

6532  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Something's Awry in Haiti on: February 06, 2010, 04:41:51 PM
Quote
...small parts you've selectively chosen to read

Dios I can think of two posts I've written in the past week that you've only selectively read a small part of before responding to and as such your responses don't make any sense.
6533  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Pacing in RPG's on: February 06, 2010, 04:40:36 PM
Possible idea to consider, which I don't necessarily agree with: If you're aware of the pacing in a game, the pacing is done wrong.

Anyway, here's another way I see it personally. There tends to be a fairly consistent number of hours it takes me to get bored with a game. I'll call it a "mean time to boredom," although it's not so much boredom as it is losing interest. Anyway.

Typically I'll get bored with a game after about ten hours. Various things can change this amount. Slow or fast pacing, for me, doesn't really affect it as long as I am actually doing something in the game to make progress. Cyclical semi-non-action like grinding or watching a lot of cutscenes or having to repeat a particular difficult spot (especially when save points are limited) will kill my interest fast, but slow/fast pacing generally doesn't matter.

Linearity does. If a game's very linear I have a MTTB of about 5 hours. If it's LESS linear it'll pop up to about 15 hours. This, for instance, is why I never got past day six or seven on TWEWY. While the game's opening up a little in the sense that I can explore the towns, the "puzzles" remain linear and mostly just involve listening to NPCs telling me what to do.

Also MTTB generally is a yearly number so if, say, I hit the thirty hour point in some game you can probably assume that I really liked it and it took me two years to actually get that far.

Additionally, no, there HASN'T ever been a game with a plot I found interesting enough for it to compel me to finish a game just to see how it ends.
6534  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Last rebellion officially announced on: February 06, 2010, 12:42:22 PM
I honestly liked P1 a lot more than 2.
6535  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: February 06, 2010, 12:18:49 PM
Lunar. In Myght's Tower. I like how Working Designs are fuckups and took out the solution to solving that puzzle. I sort of wonder what the original script was like before they added all the retarded pop-culture references.
6536  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Pacing in RPG's on: February 06, 2010, 12:17:37 PM
TotA's problem is more that you could miss sidequests for really stupid reasons.  Like, I missed the Antlion Man sidequest becaust I turned RIGHT in that desert city instead of left and accidentally triggered the next Plot Point.

I generally don't like sidequests being relegated to the end of the game because A) I like sidequests a lot. B) I rarely, rarely ever get past the halfway point in an RPG, so C) If they're all towards the end I'm never going to see them.
6537  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Pacing in RPG's on: February 05, 2010, 10:29:08 PM
From a programmatic standpoint, most RPGs are mission based. They just hide it.
6538  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Post pictures of awesome animals. on: February 05, 2010, 03:48:56 PM
What about an Albano rabbit?

8V
6539  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Something's Awry in Haiti on: February 05, 2010, 03:29:28 AM
Isn't using your own personal problems to justify acting like a selfish dick sort of... childish, and a good reason for me not to feel particularly sympathetic about your condition? You're veering dangerously close to outright histrionics at this point. I'm trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, here, and assume it really is just some kind of coping mechanism on your part, but...
6540  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Post pictures of awesome animals. on: February 05, 2010, 03:15:38 AM
It's a giant salamander. You can tel because it's wet and likes getting groped.
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