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Renegader_bj

Concerns About Increasing Technology in Games-Graphic and Otherwise

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I know this topic has been discussed, but it continues to to become more and more disturbing to me as a beginning programmer. Games like Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed are doubtless fun to play, but what about system requirements? What about updates? And worst of all, what about US? I am merely a beginner, but I hope to soon make my mark among the indies of the game dev world, and as a programmer, all I see are time,money,and manpower. I liken the situation to the Pirates of the Caribbean 3 mantra, "By the sweat of our brow, and by the strength of our backs". The Men and the Money are taking the place of the people who actually seem to care about the fun. And not just the fun of the game. What about the fun of the process of making the game? I know indie developers are still catered to with tools like Torque, but the odds of a one-man-band actually creating something that will get noticed is becoming increasingly more distant, because of cost of neccessary equipment alone. And just knowing that I'll never be able to something as "appealiing" as the next Halo 3, just because of graphics, is starting to suck the fun out of games AND the dev process for me. Am I alone? -Brandon

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There are lots of games that don't have expensive graphics. Darwinia, Gish, Sins of a Solar Empire, to name a few. These are games that individuals can make.

It's all well an good to complain that the current games are too hard to make. There's a reason for that. It's the same for movies, buildings, computers. They just have that amount of complexity and time needed.

Other people make do. Some of the best movies have been made on a shoestring budget. Games are made like that too.

Complaining about this sort of thing gets nowhere.


Addendum: What should be done about it?

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Plus you have to remember that graphics programming wise, almost all of those next-gen effects are well documented on Nvidia's, ATI's or some other graphics site. So after you learn the basic to intermediate shader programming, you can easily just plug in the source code you find online. I think the main things that stand in the way, are perhaps animations, ai and sound. For animations, a lot of studios are turning to packages such as Euphoria, which an independent developer cannot necessarily afford right off the bat. But I'm sure there are cheaper alternatives. Plus remember that just b/c your team is small doesn't mean you have to do EVERYTHING. You can always contract out modeling to another group of independent modelers and the same goes for creating great sound effects and music.

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Quote:
Original post by Renegader_bj
Games like Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed are doubtless fun to play...

Games like Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed are also exceptions in that they are generally critically lauded and commercially successful. The overwhelming majority of games released will either be panned by the gaming press or rejected/ignored by the buying public. There will always be a market for graphically intensive games, so whenever you have acquired the skill necessary to make them, the industry will be ready for you.

Far more importantly, however, there are dozens, hundreds of games doing incredibly well that do not involve cutting edge 3D graphics. Expand your search focus a bit and you'll find the game industry is diverse, and in fact the most growth is outside the "graphics, guns and guts" core demographic: web-based, mobile and downloadable casual games are booming!

Look at the growth of Xbox Live Arcade. Look at Sony chucking smaller, shorter, cheaper games into the PlayStation Store. Look at the Wii as a whole, and the Virtual Console...

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Realism of the graphics don't matter. The quality of the graphics is the important thing.

What does this mean? It means a clear, consistent style and quality to your graphics. 8bit graphics can be made to look 'amazing'. Why? because they bring older gamers back to the classic age, people still enjoy good, clean, simple graphics for a good, fun to play game.

Look at Defcon, the game is bright, glowing vector graphics. It looks cool, and really isn't that hard of a look to achieve. Why is it such an enjoyable graphics style? Because it fits the game setting perfectly.

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Sorry guys. I wasn't meaning to complain. I was thinking to myself at the time that it seems only the big name games, like Assassin's Creed and GTA get the attention and the money. That being said, I love a good round of Halo 3 as much as the next guy, but even if the game totally stinks, if its got the label "halo"(Mario,Zelda,etc.) on it, people are going to buy it in droves. There are AWESOME games that are done individually. That was sort of my point. I just wish these games got the recognition they deserve.

Again, sorry if my post came off as whiny. It was not the intent.

-Brandon

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Original post by Renegader_bj
I was thinking to myself at the time that it seems only the big name games, like Assassin's Creed and GTA get the attention and the money.


Yes, but you are forgetting that while they take the lion's share of the attention and money, they also take the same when it comes to funding to MAKE.

Investment return percentages are often far higher on smaller projects with a handful of programmers and artists.

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