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Graphics: Realistic vs. Stylized

SorninSornin Richmond, BCPosts: 1,133Member

In Foundational Principle #12 - Speed Matters, Andrew basically stated that gameplay will trump graphics, so the graphics must be done in such a way so as to not hamper gameplay when potentially hundreds of players are duking it out. This likely means that, on a technical level, the graphics in Camelot Unchained will not be state-of-the-art, as those games have the luxury of being single-player games with a predictable amount of stuff going on. Anyway, all of that makes sense and I agree that keeping the number of polygons and quality of textures and lighting to a reasonable level is a good thing.

This leads into whether such a game would benefit more from going with a stylized approach to graphics, such as Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning or World of Warcraft, or with more realistic graphics, such as Dark Age of Camelot or EverQuest II.

In my opinion, stylized graphics age better and look better at lower levels of technical detail than realistic graphics. It is likely due to them naturally appearing fantastatical, so we do not gauge them against reality, whereas games that try to look realistic naturally draw that comparison and quickly look shoddy.

World of Warcraft is nearly a decade old and still looks all right (barring the avatars, which look pretty terrible), for what amounts to a dinosaur in video games. Granted, updates to the engine have helped, but compare it to EverQuest II, which looks even more plastic and bland than it did at launch. Everquest II had more polygons, better lighting, realistic cloth effects, etc., but after a few years it looked tired.

Anyway, if Camelot Unchained is going with the approach of keeping the technical detail lower so as to allow massive battles, I hope they do not try to make things look too realistic. While I certainly do not want to play a cartoon, I think something a bit stylized would serve the game better in the long run than trying to look too realistic.

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Comments

  • RaagnarzRaagnarz North Las Vegas, NVPosts: 268Member Uncommon

    Stylized graphics in general do exactly what this game needs. Allows tons of players to be on screen at once while still looking decent. What I don't want to see though it an attempt to copy the wow/warhammer style. You can have stylized without having pixar cartoon as your sole inspritation. It seems everything that thinks stylized thinks in WoW terms (See Wildstar or endless other art style copies of WoW).

     

    You can't do the photorealistic style and keep things moving along as a playable pace for large warfare. That being said we don't need a saturday morning cartoon (remember those old all you old shits on this board lol?) for our game either. I'd like to see a more realistic stylized art direction personally.

  • Plastic-MetalPlastic-Metal Highland Heights, KYPosts: 405Member
    Stylized all the way.  High polygon character (x75) running around on the screen, plus particle effects is a no win situation. 

    My name is Plastic-Metal and my name is an oxymoron.

    image

  • RealLifeGobboRealLifeGobbo Yorktown, VAPosts: 218Member

    I have always been a fan of the tabletop Warhammer universe and so I am bias to that style.  Warcraft (the first RTS game) was initally going to be a game set in the Warhammer world, but later the Warhammer people backed out.  Blizzard decided to press, even with the Warhammer-styled graphics and well the rest is history.  It always makes me sad whenever people say WAR looked like WoW, but in fact it was the exact opposite!  I could do a similar comparsion with StarCraft, but you get the point.

    Long story short, I enjoy the high-fantasy look that Warhammer has, but I also like the hybrid of the two, like in Skyrim.  I never had the problem with DAoC's graphics, but I know some people, that's all they care about.  IMHO, I am more interested in the gameplay, than pretty graphics.

    Aspiring Game Musician <<>> Inquiring ears, feel free to visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/vagarylabs

  • Plastic-MetalPlastic-Metal Highland Heights, KYPosts: 405Member
    Originally posted by RealLifeGobbo

    I have always been a fan of the tabletop Warhammer universe and so I am bias to that style.  Warcraft (the first RTS game) was initally going to be a game set in the Warhammer world, but later the Warhammer people backed out.  Blizzard decided to press, even with the Warhammer-styled graphics and well the rest is history.  It always makes me sad whenever people say WAR looked like WoW, but in fact it was the exact opposite!  I could do a similar comparsion with StarCraft, but you get the point.

    Long story short, I enjoy the high-fantasy look that Warhammer has, but I also like the hybrid of the two, like in Skyrim.  I never had the problem with DAoC's graphics, but I know some people, that's all they care about.  IMHO, I am more interested in the gameplay, than pretty graphics.

    +1

    Anyone that knows that Blizzard's entire IP catalogue is the by-product of a deal gone south, yet still managed to develop millions of fanbois that swear they created the MMO industry and every game before it...  is A-Okay in my book.

    My name is Plastic-Metal and my name is an oxymoron.

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  • pokrakpokrak PoznanPosts: 101Member Uncommon

    I'm a big fan of AoC and DCUO both represent completly diferent styles of graphic and I like both of them in game play and how they looks. But if I think about what I do like to see in my dream game it will be more realistic than cartoon.... It gives more immersion to the game but I dont like to stuck in grey world if u know what I mean.

    I let my self to add poll to this topic hopefully OP don't mind it. 

  • LivnthedreamLivnthedream Salt Lake City, UTPosts: 555Member
    The project does not have the time nor cash to pump out realistic.
  • OgreRaperOgreRaper Detroit, MIPosts: 376Member
    Stylized looks better to me and it has better performance.
  • gylnnegylnne South Hutchinson, KSPosts: 320Member
    Originally posted by Livnthedream
    The project does not have the time nor cash to pump out realistic.

    Kind of a presuming statement, don't you think? Unless you work for them.:)

    I have noticed some games have a balance but seem to make the toons look better than the world. Depending on the graphics engine I hope CU create a fun rvr experience and not be ugly at the same time.:)

  • BowbowDAoCBowbowDAoC Granby, QCPosts: 470Member

    I honestly dont care about the quality of graphic (to a certain degree of course). But i do prefer the "seriousness" of what DAoC looked like, versus i.e. WoW more cartoonish style.

    Even tons of too many bright colors is kinda annoying too (to me that is).

    Thats for all the landcapes, trees, keeps etc.

    regarding the characters, i really like the seriousness of what DAoC had also, although today they could be a bit more stylised and of better graphic quality.

    So what is more immersive to me is the looks of the characters more than the surrounding.

    image

    Bowbow (kob hunter) Infecto (kob cave shammy) and Thurka (troll warrior) on Merlin/Midgard DAoC
    Thurka on WAR

    image

  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon

    I always likes Cell Shaded graphics but they seem to have become a lost art.

  • RealLifeGobboRealLifeGobbo Yorktown, VAPosts: 218Member
    Originally posted by Xobdnas

    I always likes Cell Shaded graphics but they seem to have become a lost art.

    This can be a cool artform, when it's a combination of the two.  The best game for that style IMHO is Borderlands.

    Aspiring Game Musician <<>> Inquiring ears, feel free to visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/vagarylabs

  • gylnnegylnne South Hutchinson, KSPosts: 320Member
    Originally posted by BowbowDAoC

     But i do prefer the "seriousness" of what DAoC looked like, versus i.e. WoW more cartoonish style.

    Agree Bow. I would take a game created today with the present graphics of DAOC over the WoW cartoon.

  • TimothyTierlessTimothyTierless Columnist M, ORPosts: 2,163Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by RealLifeGobbo
    Originally posted by Xobdnas I always likes Cell Shaded graphics but they seem to have become a lost art.
    This can be a cool artform, when it's a combination of the two.  The best game for that style IMHO is Borderlands.

    I love cell shaded and from what I remember they are very easy to make and run. Borderlands is a great example, I'm surprised with it's success we haven't seen more.

  • meddyckmeddyck Athens, GAPosts: 1,140Member Uncommon
    I think performance in huge battles will be more of a function of the engine they select and the client-server architecture than how realistic or cartoony the player models are. I'd prefer a more realistic, DAOC-style art direction as long as it can be done and maintain the needed performance. Mark has already stated CU won't have the ridiculous shoulder pads you see in some games, so we already know the game won't be extremely stylized.

    Camelot Unchained Backer
    DAOC [retired]: R11 Cleric R11 Druid R11 Minstrel R9 Eldritch R6 Sorc R6 Scout R5 Healer

  • grogstormgrogstorm Peyton, COPosts: 304Member Uncommon

    I prefer realistic over cartoon by a long shot.  But having said that, performance has to trump all in a game like this.  So whatever it takes to make the large battles work I will live with.

    Also, I do not have a problem with a fog/haze on the battlefield where only the people who are within a certain distance from me are fully visible and those beyond that threshold are only drawn in as grey figures.  With this mechanism I can see all the enemy even at long distances but the system requirements to draw them in is greatly reduced.  This fog/haze can be set so that it is not always there but when the zerg comes into view all the dust from their movement causes the visibility limitations.

    This way, if only a small group approaches I could see them all in full detail, but at some threshold the group starts to become lass details due to the haze.

    Grog

  • TumblebutzTumblebutz Henderson, NVPosts: 322Member
    Personally, I couldn't care less about the graphics.  Make the game play well and run smoothly... period.  I liked the original DAoC graphics (kind of ethereal).  I liked AoC graphics (realisting and gory).  I liked Lineage 2 graphics (b00bs!).  I like a lot of games' graphics.  But that is all secondary to how the game plays.

    Emeryc Eightdrakes - Ranger of DragonMyst Keep - Percival

    RED IS DEAD!

  • grvmpybeargrvmpybear Jacksonville, FLPosts: 90Member
    Serious stylized graphics. Nothing cartoony.

    Currently playing: GW2 (Maguuma), DAoC (Uthgard), & Aion
    Waiting For / Watching: TUG, CU, Black Desert, Archeage,Wildstar, and ESO.

  • IsawaIsawa Middle 0 Nowhere, ORPosts: 1,051Member
    I voted more stylized, because I see other resources being able to better contribute to other features within the game this way. Getting bogged down in the realistic graphics, can sometimes get a company halfing the other content.
  • StilerStiler Athens, TNPosts: 599Member

    Personally, I think you can do "stylized" witout making it "cartoony."

    For some reason after WoW people think there's only two styles, "hyper realism or cartoony" and that's it.

    i'd rather see people that have more correct porportioned arms/legs and bodies with more realistic sin texturing/detail and not super bright cartoony style.

     

  • GaoxinGaoxin BluhPosts: 196Member Uncommon
    both, because I like variety
  • icedernicedern Raleigh, NCPosts: 12Member
    DAOC has realistic graphics imo so I dont think the "stylized for performance" reason is valid.  DAOC would run on an old machine.  Realistic does not equal high graphics.  I take realistic over stylized any day
  • aRtFuLThinGaRtFuLThinG MelbournePosts: 1,133Member Uncommon

    Realistic would be too boring for the masses...

    I mean have you seen what the Early Medieval/Dark Ages wears? Raggy clothes, notched blades, dented shields and armor barely better than Gamberson in most cases... that's what realistic will look like.

    Thnk Mount & Blade's clothing/armout but even more gritty.

    Probably better to go stylized, otherwise the look and feel will be really bland.

  • ArbroathArbroath Depew, NYPosts: 175Member
    Is the complete lack of PvE in the game going to allow for better graphics since so many resources will be saved at the expense of PvE NPCs and such? I'm not actually sure on this point.

    It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom — for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself. ~Declaration of Arbroath

  • alexisevicalexisevic Rochester, NYPosts: 41Member

    Almost every other fantisty mmo released lately has gone with stylized graphics.  Its a huge turn off for me.  Realistic graphics draw you into the game, they immerse you into the world so much better.  Graphics that are stylized I just can't take seriously.

    As for stylized graphics aging better, thats probably true, but lots of games had graphics overhauls to improve the asthethics (EvE and DAoC for example).  There is no reason CU couldn't take the same approach.   

  • Father_JackFather_Jack Portland, ORPosts: 81Member
    Personally I like stylized, stay far away from the uncanny valley.  I love the look of TF2 and Pixar films like the Incredibles or UP. But not to cartoony, it's a fine line I suppose.
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