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Mr Tyro

Graphics in games

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Do you think that sometimes the graphics affect the gameplay of your game. Some people say that its not how good your graphics are but your gameplay that makes the game. Can the graphics effect that game play with that game. Take for example the game Splinter Cell in the game you use shadows to tell were people are and those shadows are part of the graphics. Without the shadows you might now have such a good splinter cell. I think that sometimes the graphics can sort of effect your gameplay if you use your graphics to your adavantage. What do you guys think about graphics with in a game in realation with the gameplay of the game. Keep it civil

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This subject has been covered time and time again. It's a vrey tired question.

I dare say that requesting this topic be "kept civil" may be too much to ask.

Because we're in the Design forum, I'll say that you should first and foremost, come up with a lucid game design -- something that's playable and worth the investment of time and energy to develop. From there, you build (or have others build if you're a multi-million dollar game studio) graphical content to support your design.

All other factors being equal, the game with the better graphics wins. But that's only after all other factors are equal.

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I agree that this subject has been covered multiple times, so I'll keep this brief as my opinion is fairly straight-forward:

The graphics that pose part of the user interface - that is, anything that informs the player of the state of the game - does form part of the gameplay, whereas the rest of the graphics is just embellishment. The user inteface graphics must take importance over the shine, although the shine is useful to make your game more appealing.

So in the Splinter Cell example the shadows are part of the user interface because they can inform the player on the position of enemies. An example of embellishment graphics could be the pretty scrolling background in a 2D scrolling shooter. If the background is too detailed it could interfere with the recoginition of bullets and enemies, so in that case a more simpler graphical style might be better (unless of course you want the enemies to be camouflaged).

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Though I too have answered this question many times, I will try to give my shortened version. I believe graphics are inescapably intertwined with gameplay, and attempts to divide things into "important" and "useless" will always be picked apart by those with differing opinions. Along the same lines, in this particular corner of the internet, you will find an unfortunate majority of bitter, art-handicapped programmers who want to believe that graphics are a malevolent tool weilded by the evil Corporations to enslave the masses to their will and force them to buy Bad Retail Clones instead of the Original Creative Games made by solo programmers. Wait... was that civil? ;)

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Guest Anonymous Poster


Graphics are a form of output. Data Visualization is how well data is transmitted effectively to the player. If the graphics do not transmit the required game data to the player, then it doesnt matter how good the game is.
If the player gets headaches or motion sickness or there are other constant distractions it detracts from the game experience.

Good graphics that transmit mood and thematic information important to the game
add to the players game experience. Clear presentation of data needed by the player is the fisrt requirement of 'good' graphics. Feedback to player inputs is usally a very important part of the data the player needs.

A good game mechanics can live up to its potential with sufficiently good graphics. A good game with poor graphics when good data visualization is required will not live up to the games potential.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
ofcourse good graphics doesn't have to be photorealistic, they need to serve its purpose though.

Realistic looking graphics adds to the immersion however and can thus enhance a game greatly, the same is true for sound and music. (music is a great way to try to trigger different emotions)

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Graphics can affect the gameplay. If you went through FEAR and re-colored all the bad-guys to have neon orange poka-dots, I think that would signifigantly take away from the fright factor of the gameplay (and being afraid is, at least in theory, part of that game). Little things help alot too, like the red-flashes on the screen when you're hit in an FPS indicating roughly where your enemy is. Smoke grenades and similiar rely fairly heavily on graphics, and provide gameplay.

Regardless, if you want your game to seem really fun, get an artist worth their salt.

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