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Author Topic: Kill the Load times  (Read 4131 times)
cosapi
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« on: June 02, 2006, 05:21:21 AM »

Is anyone else fed up with load times on console games?

I play console systems with the intention of averting the annoyances of pc's. I thought console systems were purposely designed with the intention of doing as such.

I admit, sometimes load times are not so noticable, but I believe the main culprit behind this form of unintentional gameplay obstruction is in the direction of the visuals.

Why can't developers and players realize that certain games need appropriate visuals to compliment the games setting, theme and gameplay more then the game needs expensive visuals? Appropriate visuals can be done in both 2D and 3D. I love both when they're done decently. And I hate how 3D is so often abused.

More often then not, expensive visuals abuse games at the expense of enjoyability, (see gameplay or story progress). Especially when they were focused on far too much and other aspects of the game were ignored. Primarily when these expensive visuals obstruct gameplay(playing the game).

Appropriate visuals, more often then not, compliment the gameplay. And they tend to have a uniqueness factor, instead of appearing generic.

Honestly, if the folks designing games can't so much as acknowledge there's a place for games with appropriate visuals and expensive visuals. Maybe the consumers should re-evaluate these developers positions to be making games.

A true sign of superiority is accomplishing your goals with fewer expenses at your disposal.

Not selling games based on how expensive the visuals are.
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Eusis
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2006, 05:48:49 AM »

I don't think it's the graphics (completely, at least), but the programming at fault. Something like Rogue Galaxy is considered one of the best looking PS2 games there is, if not /the/ best, and it has pretty much no noticeable load time, and the same goes for DQVIII. As well, the Jak games and to a lesser degree, although in the same fashion, the Metroid Prime games have little noticeable lag due to hiding well via doors that slowly open and the like. All of these look great, but a game like SuikV will have significantly more noticeable loads while looking nowhere as good, or having as large of enviroments as any of the previously mentioned games.

Personally, I don't mind the loads as long as it's either only one long initial load, or it's just a few short ones intersparsed. Games like KotOR and Jade Empire, whil having large enough areas that it's not very frequent, are long enough to be annoying when they happen. Even then, I tend to tolerate them of the game is enjoyable enough - which is why Morrowind on the XBox just pissed me off.

Oh, and load times are actually probably better off on the PC due to loading a game on a HD rather than reading a slower disc, but I think it's easier to deal with hiding it on a console due to each unit performing roughly the same. I may be wrong in that being the reason, however.
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Ashton
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2006, 06:22:56 AM »

Quote from: "cosapi"
"I hate technological advances and companies are conning me out of my money by making story writers program graphics. Boo hoo hoo."


Okay.
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cosapi
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2006, 06:54:47 AM »

Quote from: "Leyviur"
Quote from: "cosapi"
"I hate technological advances"



Sounds like you didn't even read my post so why even bother replying?

There have been newer games that use expensive visuals that are good

(  http://www.taleworlds.com/

Mount & Blade

Not only is the game done in 3D, but it contains twitch based medieval combat lightyears ahead of say, dungeons and dragons onlines combat.)

And there have been newer games that use appropriate visuals that are good

http://www.gameflaws.com/cavestory/

Cavestory, a prime example of true superiority.

What does the potential de-evolutionization of the videogame industry have to do with technological advances? Seems like you're just looking for something to complain about.

And speaking of companies. If you're so insistent on going that direction, since it is after all, related to the subject at hand... Why don't we talk a little about sony and square monopolizing the videogame industry by introducing in a new demographic they can continue to sell games to? A demographic who wouldn't give a game a second look unless it had expensive non-playable visuals? While killing off genres in the process.

Flooding the market with said demographic causing other companies to get hit in the crossfire and waste time being forced to make games of their own with expensive visuals.

The people and companies you suggest who're making these so called "technological advances" don't need someone like you anymore. They have their own demographic to feed off of.

And what position are you in to determine what direction technology should advance towards and what it shouldn't? Heck, the point of human society isn't to "advance technology as much as possible".


Quote from: "Leyviur"
Quote from: "cosapi"
"companies are conning me out of my money by making story writers program graphics."


Sorry, I don't play mmorpgs.
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Ashton
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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2006, 07:36:07 AM »

Quote from: "cosapi"
Seems like you're just looking for something to complain about.

Ha ha ha.
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cosapi
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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2006, 08:01:45 AM »

Quote from: "Leyviur"
Quote from: "cosapi"
Seems like you're just looking for something to complain about.

Ha ha ha.


I knew I'd have to explain it.

Here's an example.

When someone complains about a game being too easy when a game's clearly fun. They're just looking for something to complain about because they otherwise can't comprehend any reasonable argument.

It's like trying to hate something for the sake of hating it as if to add some importance to their lives which I imagine they find a lacking satisfaction of.

My points are valid and they're not from some "jaded old video game player" mentality, or rose tintend glasses.

(Spoilers)

Code:
Games that have aged well aren't covered in the rose tinted warranty when you find out said glasses aren't needed and you mistake them for broken.


Some games just play better with appropriately done visuals that don't obstruct gameplay.
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Ryos
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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2006, 08:57:01 AM »

The only console game I remember from recent years with ridiculous load times is Magna Carta.  But maybe RPGs just don't demand as many resources as most. :P

Edit: just remembered Suikoden V is supposed to be bad, but I haven't played it yet.
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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2006, 11:25:05 AM »

I am the most impatient son of a bitch to have ever walked the world, yet I had absolutely no problem with the loading times on Suikoden V.  After everyone here went on and on about how it took forever for battles to load, I chuckled when it took all of seven seconds.  If people are that desperate for immediate action, I say go play Ace Combat Zero. :P

And I cannot believe someone used Cave Story as an example of good graphics.  Yeah, it looks okay...for something some random asshole brewed up on their spare time.  If I had laid down cash for that, I'd have set fire to the store I bought it from.

I have to say, in all my time overseeing these boards (not to mention the years I was just a normal peon), I've never seen someone make the argument that they couldn't get into games because they looked too good.  Kudos for being an original.
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Jimmy
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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2006, 12:13:13 PM »

Quote from: "cosapi"
Is anyone else fed up with load times on console games?

Not really. The GameCube has hardly anything in the way of load times and the PS2 is a major improvement over the PS1. Like someone said above, Magna Carta is the only game I can think of that has longer load times, and even they aren't that bad. But still a valid argument you have thus far.

Quote
Appropriate visuals, more often then not, compliment the gameplay. And they tend to have a uniqueness factor, instead of appearing generic.

Honestly, if the folks designing games can't so much as acknowledge there's a place for games with appropriate visuals and expensive visuals. Maybe the consumers should re-evaluate these developers positions to be making games.

Here is where your argument loses credibility. Who are you to say what the "appropriate" visuals for a game are? What the hell do you even mean by "appropriate?" And those examples you give in your following post are extremely poor. You mention the expensive 3D visuals and then don't even go into detail of how expensive they were to create, instead you talk about combat. Do you know how much they cost? And Cave Story is a freeware game, so you can't tell me the developers wouldn't have made the game look better if they had the funding to do so. Not to mention both examples given are largely based on your own flawed opinion. Flawed because you aren't detailing why the visuals are expensive OR[/b] appropriate.

Quote
And speaking of companies. If you're so insistent on going that direction, since it is after all, related to the subject at hand... Why don't we talk a little about sony and square monopolizing the videogame industry by introducing in a new demographic they can continue to sell games to? A demographic who wouldn't give a game a second look unless it had expensive non-playable visuals? While killing off genres in the process.

Graphics are a major selling point for a game, and the two companies you've mentioned are, you know, companies. They have to make money to survive, and if graphics sell then it makes all the sense in the world to make games with expensive visuals. And you can't blame them really, it gives them a 1UP over the competition, and the video game industry is very competitive. You're also nailing one of the major innovators of storytelling, graphics, and gameplay in the industry for monopolizing while neglecting the fact that company has pretty much single-handedly carried the RPG genre on its shoulders since the days of the SNES. You talk about how they're killing genres (again you're argument is flawed because you don't even detail what genres they're killing) but I think it's safe to say if Square Enix were to suddenly evaporate and go out of business the RPG genre would largely die out and then you'd definitely be stuck with games that sacrifice storytelling for expensive visuals.

Quote
And what position are you in to determine what direction technology should advance towards and what it shouldn't? Heck, the point of human society isn't to "advance technology as much as possible".

I think you should be telling yourself that. I give you props for being an idealist, but please don't be a whiner. Yes, all you're doing is whining since the only arguments you've offered are poor and you're not going to win anyone over to your cause with them.

Okay, I'm done aside from this:

I think Cave Story sucks.
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Dade
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2006, 12:39:06 PM »

Am I just really really stupid now, or is the basic argument of this thread just about bitching?
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cosapi
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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2006, 01:05:18 PM »

Quote from: "The Darkrider"
I am the most impatient son of a bitch to have ever walked the world, yet I had absolutely no problem with the loading times on Suikoden V. After everyone here went on and on about how it took forever for battles to load, I chuckled when it took all of seven seconds.
 

To be honest, I wasn't bothered at first. But replaying any instance in that game became a chore. It was at that point I knew they likely didn't have any competent playtesters before the game was finalized.

How hard is it to suggest an alternate method of advancing characters (vampire the masquerade does it nicely) or avoiding random battles if these things are going to play such a constant role in the game? Like you know, possibly having the option to run from battles before you got sucked into one? Or have a lower chance to encounter random battles when walking on main roads.

And maybe a button that allows you to skip past sections of a game playing itself for you when you're subjected to watching it again.


Quote from: "The Darkrider"
And I cannot believe someone used Cave Story as an example of good graphics.  Yeah, it looks okay...for something some random asshole brewed up on their spare time.  If I had laid down cash for that, I'd have set fire to the store I bought it from.


Ah, but. I never once stated any particular set of visuals as "good". Good is in the eye of the beholder. To me, good is the non-anime art which was used in aria of sorrows character design. Anyways.

The creator of cavestory (Pixel) was capable of making a good game with fewer expenses at his disposal. Something a good 90% of commercial games that come out of the "industry" probably couldn't muster these days.

It proved that a single man can make a game for free that's way better than a lot of the stuff the industry can pump out with their armies of people working on games with large amounts of money to burn on said projects.


Quote from: "The Darkrider"
I have to say, in all my time overseeing these boards (not to mention the years I was just a normal peon), I've never seen someone make the argument that they couldn't get into games because they looked too good.  Kudos for being an original.


I'll explain a little more about visuals obstructing gameplay. Certain types of games can't adapt well to different environments. They just don't translate well. Survival horror games might not do so well in an environment made for an snes megaman game (although there was clocktower). Likewise, a shmup or metroidvania wouldn't have the same effect if it was in an environment similar to the style of a game like grand theft auto 3.

(Here's a blunt example)

I remember the unnerving feeling in my stomach when I saw how slow the characters "realistically", slowly, "churned", up towards a monster in suikoden 3 when attacking then casually slowly churned backwards.

Whatever happened to the uniqueness of blazing through random encounters with suikodens reality defying speed made possible accompanied by appropriate visuals. (Yes, I know this sounds like nitpicking) Part 5 almost had it, if not for the load times and generic looking combination attacks. (Yes, I'll admit, sometimes when something is too boring to watch it can affect the potential of a game, when subjected to it so often)

The visuals affect the way a game plays. These are, "video" -games- after all. Part of playing involves the game responding to what you're doing and you responding to what the game's doing. Thus a game usually has to be appeasing by an appropriate standard, otherwise the game works negatively against what it attempts to achieve.
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Jimmy
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2006, 01:23:55 PM »

I like how he ignored my post. Whoo!
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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2006, 01:51:27 PM »

BTW to the OP.  Actually 3D games have much less load times than 2D, when loading a 3D model, you need a vector map, a texture, and animation set.  Vector maps, and animations take up very little space, the texture is the culprit.  For 2D games you need to load every single possible frame you can access of that particular entity in the game, that would take WAY more time.  

I'm not saying 3D > 2D(I prefer 2D myself), but its not the graphics that are causing these load times, its really bad programming.

Also story writers for games are usually either contract workers, the producers, or the design team.  None of these people would even be considered for "programming graphics"(you don't program graphics, you draw them, programmers program an engine).
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cosapi
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« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2006, 02:26:19 PM »

Quote from: "Jimmy"
I like how he ignored my post. Whoo!


Mid-reply


Quote from: "Jimmy"

Quote
Appropriate visuals, more often then not, compliment the gameplay. And they tend to have a uniqueness factor, instead of appearing generic.

Honestly, if the folks designing games can't so much as acknowledge there's a place for games with appropriate visuals and expensive visuals. Maybe the consumers should re-evaluate these developers positions to be making games.

Here is where your argument loses credibility. Who are you to say what the "appropriate" visuals for a game are? What the hell do you even mean by "appropriate?" And those examples you give in your following post are extremely poor. You mention the expensive 3D visuals and then don't even go into detail of how expensive they were to create, instead you talk about combat. Do you know how much they cost? And Cave Story is a freeware game, so you can't tell me the developers wouldn't have made the game look better if they had the funding to do so. Not to mention both examples given are largely based on your own flawed opinion. Flawed because you aren't detailing why the visuals are expensive OR[/b] appropriate.


Well, to be blunt. I'm refering to games being 3D for the sake of 3D when I say expensive. As in, "the entire selling point was expensive visuals". And that, more often then not seems unnecessary, thus making it inappropriate.

I honesly wish I wouldn't be allowed to be so presumptuous about said games. But I do find 3D so often abused (non-playable expensive visuals, bad targeting, sloppy combat controls, processing and loading problems). Except nintendo games. I honesly don't like nintedo that much but they have done 3D a great credit.

During the psx era, this was the "popular" thing to do. Just look at megaman legends. (MMLs was a good game but that's beside the point). I'm sure we all had a good laugh, enjoyed 3D at the time as we had previously not been so exposed to it. Shared pictures and watched clouds together.

But then it got old... But developers are -still- trying to make that next final fantasy 7. They're still trying to hit that nail as hard again. And then it just became sad. Because that's not going to happen.

We've had our fun but, isn't it time to stop messing around with what we used to call, potential? And get back to business.

Because good games come in both 2D and 3D.

Quote from: "Jimmy"

Quote
And speaking of companies. If you're so insistent on going that direction, since it is after all, related to the subject at hand... Why don't we talk a little about sony and square monopolizing the videogame industry by introducing in a new demographic they can continue to sell games to? A demographic who wouldn't give a game a second look unless it had expensive non-playable visuals? While killing off genres in the process.

Graphics are a major selling point for a game, and the two companies you've mentioned are, you know, companies. They have to make money to survive, and if graphics sell then it makes all the sense in the world to make games with expensive visuals. And you can't blame them really, it gives them a 1UP over the competition, and the video game industry is very competitive. You're also nailing one of the major innovators of storytelling, graphics, and gameplay in the industry for monopolizing while neglecting the fact that company has pretty much single-handedly carried the RPG genre on its shoulders since the days of the SNES. You talk about how they're killing genres (again you're argument is flawed because you don't even detail what genres they're killing) but I think it's safe to say if Square Enix were to suddenly evaporate and go out of business the RPG genre would largely die out and then you'd definitely be stuck with games that sacrifice storytelling for expensive visuals.



Killing genres.

Pre-maturely killing potential hand drawn 2D games/ 2D sprite based games.

Nothing is or can ever be perfected. There is always something to re-evaluate and improve on.

Sure, we have handhelds for 2D games. And I like the way alot of them are designed. But their development is dictated by a batteries life. You can only have games made a specific way. Not to mention you have to recharge the darn thing. And any self respecting person who cares about their stuff won't be leaving the house with a handheld unless it's for a vacation I imagine.

But that's beside the point. If I decide to leave the house, not only would I not want my nice stuff outside where it could get damaged, stolen or lost. But I leave the house TO leave what's at my house. I go looking for something else to do that I can't do at home.

But anyways. I would love to see what companies could produce, when they're not bound by the constricts of sacrificing potential at the expense of marketing towards those who would not give something a second glace unless it resembeled a game where the non-playable visuals are what sells it.

This is not likely to happen with the current demographic majority.

Is it any coincidence that the majority of people who dislike 2D are the ones who never had the chance to appreciate it?

Now, I know that could sound like me telling people I know what's best for them. I clearly don't, but. What becomes of those who appreciated games before the need of expensive visuals?

They know what types of games play good, and they know what types of games those are. There is still a market for such games.

It just feels like the industry is making a cheap buck at the expense of others just so they can produce some short term profit.

I really don't see where these 3D games are going. At least if developers were allowed to acknowledge the purpose of more then one form of media people might be able to rely upon the current "leader" of the console industry (sony) for what they'd need.
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« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2006, 03:14:53 PM »

Wow, you sure write a lot just to say that "2d gamez r teh best imo, 3d sux!!".

The thing is, the game industry is mainstream. It didn't use to be mainstream, but it is now. As the industry grows and gains popularity with non-hardcore gamers, publishers and developers want to get as many of those customers to buy their games as possible. And the easiest way to catch their attention is to have pretty graphics, it's that easy.

You seem to be saying that 3D graphics in some way contribute to that game turning out bad. The truth is, of course, that the fault always will lie in the underlying game design. Just as you say, "good games come both in 2d and 3d". But a bad game is a bad game, no matter what kind of graphics it employs. Do you think that a bad 3d game would magically turn into a good game if it had been made in 2d?

If you don't like 3d graphics, then perhaps you should stay away from gaming from now on? Because realistic and pretty looking graphics will only become more and more important as the game industry continues to grow.
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