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kill

Realistic games? Waste of time.

31 posts in this topic

Hi, I just got this idea, I thought is worth sharing. Most 3D engines right now have one goal: make the graphics as realistic as possible. If technology develops as fast as it does now, in a couple of years 3D accelerators will be able to render enormous amounts of polygons, and this goal will be achieved. Although it will take a lot more time to design games and produce content for them, it''s still possible. But there is one little question... Why bother? A good game should take a player to its own world, a world different then the real world. Great graphics are necessary for this, no doubt, but why the hell do they try to make it look as close to the real thing as possible?! Try watching cartoons that are generated by 3D programs, they don''t require real time rendering, and the graphics kick ass, but they suck compared to the hand-drawn cartoons. So why not make the games FUN, and make technology support the game play, not the opposite, where game play supports technology? The first example that comes to my mind is Starcraft. Blizzard could make it 3D, and it would probably be pretty darn good, but why? If anyone has something to say about this, I''d really wanna see the responces.
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Hey man, u''r right.. I don''t have much too say on this subject tho, but i do agree.

Later-
Nathan S.
Dira Interactive
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With the exception of simulators, I agree that visual realisim is not as important as some designers seem to think. Would tetris _gameplay_ benifit from alpha-transparent, motion-blurred, dynamically lighted 3d graphics? Not appreciably.

There are so many interesting visual asthetics that could be explored in games. Photorealism is just one. You mention cartoons. What about a game that looks like claymation, or how about some monty-python animations? Although I never really played the game, I like the way parapa the rappa was done. Those little 2d guys, in a 3d world!

How about a game set in a cubist painting, like the recent chilli peppers music video?

- genovov



Edited by - genovov on 2/25/00 1:37:17 PM
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The reason why everyone tries to make graphics as realistic as possible is that it is really hard to do at interactive speed right now, and if you succeed you really show that you''re good at what you''re doing.

When we come to the point where it is not hard to do anymore, I think we''re going to see more creative minds, that instead try to capture the feel of cartoons etc.
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But being good at doing semi-realistic graphics at interactive speeds doesn''t mean you''ll make a good game. I see your point though.

I think it would be really cool to see a game that not only had cartoon graphics, but cartoon physics! Like you can run off a cliff and fall only when you look down. Or pull an anvil out of nowhere, and drop it on your opponent, who then has to stick his thumb in his mouth and blow to re-inflate!

That would be fun!

- genovov
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Oooh, I think EXACTLY like you! I always thought "If games are your own little world, then why does it have to be realistic?" I mean, someday I wanna even write a game with it''s own physics! And cartoon games are my personal goal. (Perhaps because I''m young and my Siblings keep the tube on Nickelodeon 24/7.) I mean, my "Dream Game" is about five cartoon Christmas lights! I also think humour is something missing from most games. (Or at least platformers, the only thing I play.) Heehee, think Pinky and the Brain Humour/Weirdness + Video Game . Whoah, I''m on a pointless rant again. Bye.

--BugSquash
Taeloid!
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Kill,

I definately agree with the "why not make the games FUN" bit and you''re probably right about 3D accelerators being able to render ultra realistic graphics in the future. But the future of computergames can take an alternate path like Virtual Reailty. If games reach this level of technology, the gamer wold rather be immersed in a game where the surroundings are realistic rather than seemingly realistic. Imagine being in the middle of a intergalactical war or even being James Bond. Even if games don''t reach Virtual Reality, commercialism will point the finger at spectacular game visuals every time. After all, its hard to market the gameplay without the player actually playing the game, or taking someones word for it, while graphics catches the eye immediately. I agree with what you said about making games fun, but people like to see things that look good...
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Only one application of a extermely realistic graphics engine: Eye-Candy.
. This doesn''t mean it shouldn''t be a goal woth achieving to me. In-engine cut-scenes would be a good use, saving memory, allowing for higher resolutions, and allowing for different characters to appear in the same or nearly the same scene depending on the situation. Also some games that lend themselves toward the "artsy" side and could benefit from a highly souped up engine.
. Still, I do have to agree that other types of rendering should be pursued. For example, many people want to accelerate 2D, especially alpha-blending, but can''t do it with DirectDraw. An engine that did this, plus possibly vector shape rendering, would be widely embraced.

Those are just a few of my ideas. How about everyone else?
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oh man, what i wouldn''t give for 2d accelerated alpha blending.
i could do it with d3d but all i want is alpha blending and i gotta init all that crap just to get it. bleh.
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Yay! Finaly some people agree with me.

I''m in the process of making an engine that draws cartoon characters over a 3D frame. The character is drawn by hand, not the computer so you can get effects like Bart Simpson''s hair. (Or Lisa''s for that matter)
When I was talking to some other programmers at my work about it, they were asking me, "Why do you want to do that? There''s engines out there already." I tried to explain that it''d make the game different and give it a different feel but they''re morons, they thought I was wasting my time.

E:cb woof!
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BTW: Are there hardware 2D excelerators that''ll excelerate (and hopefully anti-alias) bezier curves or b-splines?

E:cb woof!
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I''ve always said, "The game makes the game, the graphics don''t". It''s true that a game''s graphics have a bit of impact on the game itself, but the game itself, the gameplay, is what makes a game good. I totally agree with you. However, it would be cool to play a game that looks real.

"Remember, I'm the monkey, and you're the cheese grater. So no fooling around."
-Grand Theft Auto, London
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I''d like to make a couple of points, because some things I''ve heard I can''t agree with.
1. True, a game makes a game, not the graphics. But underestimating the importance of good graphics is more then unprofessional, it''s stupid. Noone''s gonna give a damn how good your gameplay is, if you have bad graphics. My personal opinion, is that games with bad graphics don''t deserve the attention(in 95% of the cases), even if they have good gameplay.
2. There''s nothing wrong with using somebody else''s engine. In fact, if you want to make a good game, and you''re working on it alone, or with a very small team, you better get yourself an engine, or the game will never be finished. Look at half-life, one of the best FPS''s, and they licenced Quake II engine. They didn''t reinvent the wheel, they licenced it, and fine-tuned it for their games.

Even though there is a tremendous lack of gameplay, and artistic abilities, graphics are very important. In fact, if you''re making a cartoon game, you better have GREAT graphics, because the game totally depends on it.

I don''t think I know about any hardware accelerated nurbs stuff, but if u fo, please let me know, I need this stuff right now (so happens)
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As far as humor and Cartoon graphics go, I recommend you all go check out Worms2 by Microprose. This is a GREAT game!! Its also hilarious!

Then in one of the posts on this subject there was a mention of a wanting for claymation in games. Well, I remember going to a friends house a few years ago and playing an adventure game that had all claymation graphics and it was awsome! I don''t, however, remember the name of this game and thus am sadened. Sorry guys!

As far as graphics go, I feel that most/some people play games to go into a fantasy world that they can''t expierence in the real-world. Most of the original "REAL" computer games were RPG''s and they didn''t have a flashy interface. Most of them were text base. People didn''t play them because they wanted cool graphics, they wanted gameplay. It was like reading an interactive novel! Lately, the only game to completely emerse me in a game world is Baldurs Gate, not because it had flashy graphics(though they were good), but because it had a game world that was expansive and large enough to lose myself in it and forget everything about the real world. Truly a great expierence! If a game had good graphics AND good gameplay, great! But I will never substitute good graphics for a great story combined with great gameplay.

Please excuse me for writting such a lengthy post but I have been wanting to speek up about this for some time.


Brent Robinson
"What if this is as good as it gets?"
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I''m one of the people, like most of the people here, who likes games for a challange. However, when I talked to people at my work (nonprogrammers) most of them like games where you just go around and shoot everything that moves. I found that to be the attitude of most of the nonprogrammers here. Has anyone else noticed this when talking to other people in real life?

E:cb woof!
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I''d say that the most important thing about graphics is that they mustn''t be really bad. Also, clear graphics are an important part of the interface and gaming comfort. But anyways, for the cartoon games discussion - has anyone played any of the "old" Coktel Vision games (Goblii(i)ns 1-3, Woodruff)? In those adventure/puzzle games, even the problems were cartoony (for example, at one point in Gobliins2 you had to have one of your characters grab a chicken while the other knocked it on the head with a sausage to get an egg - and that wasn''t even weird).
But to the original post - I don''t think 3D accelerators/engines have been really aiming for realism lately, but rather for a maximal number of buzzwords. (dynamically bumpy-glossified octree-accelerated buzzier curves - our engine does that while maintaining 60fps!) Photorealism for games is IMO still quite a few years ahead, because it requires development of good physics engines that can handle huge amounts of things and CPUs that can handle those.
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I personally believe that although it is fun to think of a really realistic game with realistic AI and physics that in actuality it would not be fun. You''d be playing out a part of your life on a screen. I could also see this as being problematic. Games like Everquest and Ultima Online are already beginning to show how playing games can become an addictive behaviour, but if it were even more realistic then the chances of it becoming addictive are higher. You can act out your Super-Ego or Id (Freudian terms for the person inside you that you want to be) with the limitations of physics you would end up spending lots of times doing things that you would not normally do, hence making it addicting.

Just my .02 cents.

- Zeke Templin
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I think you all kind of missed something here. Not everyone has a state of the art computer. most people that i know only have a P200 with 32mb ram. not everyone has a PIII 750 with a g-force card. besides, people want to play realistic games now, and not wait a few years. graphics don''t make the game, but they sure help it get noticed.

- Moe -

ps-don''t flame me that bad, im only a newbie
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Well...I would love to have realistic graphics in a game like carmageddon.You see,to me,games give me the ability to do stuff that I could not do in real life.All of us have our urges to do something but there would be consequences to them in real life.Take my example of carmageddon. I LOVE this game because of the pure and sensless violence in it! (I''m not an evil person! I can''t even hurt a fly) but I can''t go out into the world ,take my car and just start running down pedestrians!!! I could however do that on my computer! And the more realistic the graphics the better! Same goes to flight simulators.I know I''ll never become an airforce pilot,but I love playing Falcon4 becasue it brings me as close to the real thing as possible.And the more realistic it gets the better! FPS games too!
My point is,some games HAVE to be realistic (flight simulators) while others don''t (RPG''s) It really depends on your game and taste.
That''s my 2 cents.
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The technology to create a 3D cartoon game basically exists now. Just write a polygon renderer that draws the models fully lit, and draws a black outline around the model, and around the edges of polygons that have sharp angles (like the chin, arms, etc.).

Also, about graphics vs gameplay, it basically depends on the genre. Action games get greatly enhanced by good graphics. RPGs do to some extent. Adventure games do not. I base this on my experience with several adventure games, including most of the original Sierra adventures using the SCI (Sierra Creative Interpreter, the game creation system) that King''s Quest, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, and Police Quest were programmed with. Those are the most fun adventures I''ve ever played. The most recent adventure I played was Twinsen''s Oddysey, a 3D adventure with beautiful graphics. It was well done, but not nearly as fun.

~CGameProgrammer( );

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I''ve seen those (generated cartoons) and they suck. They''re still limited to the 3D object (can''t do Bart or Lisa''s hair) and the edges are jaged. Not to mention they need a very fast computer to use.

My favorate games are ones where the world they exist in just couldn''t exist in real life. With high-powered spring boards, floating "islands", portals, etc. It''s fun doing something that you just can''t do normaly.

I agree with the computer requirements bit. My computer at home is a 200Mhz 603 with 48Megs ram and no graphics card (besides the one built into the motherboard) so I''m programming to that. But I plan on adding options to change the level of detail that''s drawn just in case you have a 500Mhz G4 or an 800Mhz P4.

E:cb woof!
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Geez,
It is true that graphics do play a fairly substantial part in games today, the main reason being that almost always the first thing a person will see of a game is a screenshot.
Now, if that screenshot looks bad, they will most likely think "Oh that doesn''t look very good" and pay little or no more attention to that given game. Also, if a friend asks about that such game, the person will probably say "Yeah, I saw a screenshot, it looks crap".
Bang goes some sales.
That said, graphics have to fit the enviroment and type of game - I mean there would be no point nowadays doing a 2d flight simulator, it just wouldn''t work.

I hope I''ve made a few valid points, and not offended anyone.

Take it easy,

-Mezz
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Well, if the games aren''t full of semi-realistic graphics right now, people just say "That sucks!" and dismiss it. The games of today don''t need as much of a story if they are full of great graphics. Now, I think we should take advantage of the technology we have, but we shouldn''t lose focus on the story.


----WARNING I AM GOING TO TALK LIKE I AM OLDER THAN I REALLY AM-----

I remember a few years ago a game series called "Space Quest" (Produced/made/whatever by Sierra). This series was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. I didn''t care that the game was a little old (for it''s time too). It was funny. I bought the rest of the series last year and loved playing the rest. It''s too bad that the series was so rudely interrupted where it was.

So... this brings us back to the present. Without getting into the details, I would like to say that a few of us Space Quest fans got together and have started making a game (a little over a year ago :D).

I wish that we could have a few more games that had the story as the main purchasing point, instead of "OH MAN! THAT''S GOT SWEET GRAPHICS! I WANT IT!!"


Well, I hope my first ranting went alright

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