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NEXUSKill

Is Photorealism a bad aproach?

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Ok, I'm no artist, but I started to get this weird feeling so I started asking around and almost every gamedev and gamer I know agrees...

That this image:


http://www.niubie.com/up/2008/01/imp.gif

Is far more memorable than this one:


http://i308.photobucket.com/albums/kk353/kratos-niko/Doom3_imp.jpg

Are we as an industry making a terrible mistake putting so much emphasis in Photorealistic graphics?

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More memorable perhaps, is memorable what your after though? Photorealism help with immersion, I guess it really depends on the game - both have their place.

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you simply dont get it. at the time doom was in the making they couldnt do anything more photorealistic of that.. it is not that they had a choice between the two and they decided: "oh, lets go for the big pixel guy because it will be more memorable" rolleyes.gif That was simply as photorealistic as possible at the time... nothing has really changed, only hardware.
Try to come up with a game with pixel billboard instead of normalmapped enemies and we'll see how many people will remember your game.

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Sorry, I'm not aiming at anything in particular at this moment, I was asking more in philosophic sense rather than concrete recommendations for a particular project, as for immersion, when the giant polygonal worm of Alone in the Dark 1 chased me down the tunnels of the mansion I was far more scared and immersed than when for instance, I was battling the high def normal mapped Cyberdemon at the end of Doom 3, which was rather... non-transcendent.

Even when the aesthetic composition is well crafted, like on Doom 3, Infamous, Call of Duty, I get the impression that photorealism makes things just as easy to forget as it makes them easy to accept, so is that a good thing? shouldn't we aim in the other way?

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I understand Doom 1 didn't really had a choice, my point is, now that we DO have a choice, are we choosing right?

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The reason the first image is so memorable is it's simplicity, it's got very little variation to it, so it's easier for the brain to associate with it.

For gaming, I feel it completely depends on the game. If I had to play a photo realistic Kingdom Hearts I don't think I'd throw it away. I recently picked up "Revenge of the Titans" which has very simple cartoon y graphics, but it's great for a tower defense game. Then again I wouldn't mind playing a photo realistic version, I think it would get over complicated, and not feel right. imagine playing any COD game as cartoon characters but the same story. Would you believe it more... or would you play it off as a comedy?

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you simply dont get it. at the time doom was in the making they couldnt do anything more photorealistic of that.. it is not that they had a choice between the two and they decided: "oh, lets go for the big pixel guy because it will be more memorable" rolleyes.gif That was simply as photorealistic as possible at the time... nothing has really changed, only hardware.
Try to come up with a game with pixel billboard instead of normalmapped enemies and we'll see how many people will remember your game.


It's not just the limitations of technology.

The characters of Team Fortress 2 are far more recognizable than anyone in Modern Combat.

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To be honest, that's one of the more forgettable Doom enemies. I certainly only remember it because... it's Doom.

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To me, thinking about Xmen the animated series gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. To my dad, thinking about Howdy Doody or whatever the hell they watched back then might. To my future son, thinking about playing his Xbox 1080 might.

That image is memorable to you because it has a place in your history. There's nothing more special about it than that.

Whether putting an emphasis on photorealism is a mistake, that would depend on your goals. Photorealism sells, so to a business it might not be a mistake. Other people look to create more novel types of art, so that works for them, and sometimes it ends up selling like hotcakes too. It's cool that anyone can do whatever he wants to do.

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