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The purpose of graphics is to enable gameplay--not to replace it.

QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,783Member Uncommon

Alternative thread title:  If the reason that a game is bad is because of graphical choices, then the graphics are bad, regardless of how pretty they are.

Basic thesis of topic:  The way that most people evaluate game graphics is all wrong.

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In many situations in game design, there aren't right and wrong answers, but only trade-offs.  That's certainly true of graphics, but not just in the ways that you might immediately think of.  I'd like to argue that, for many people, your opinion of how good a game's graphics are should depend at least as much on whether you agree with the trade-offs that the game designers chose as how pretty the game looks in screenshots.  For example:

You can make screenshots look prettier, or you can make the game load faster.

You want prettier screenshots?  You're going to need more and higher resolution textures.  You're going to need to use textures for more things, including lighting and possibly geometry.  That means more loading stuff off of the hard drive, and that, in turn, means that that you need longer and/or more frequent loading screens.  The extreme case of a seamless world mandates much less loading art assets from the hard drive, and that forces you to give up a lot in how pretty the screenshots look.

You can have prettier looking characters, or you can have the capability to draw more characters simultaneously.

Want to make your characters look prettier?  Well then, you're looking at more textures, higher resolution textures, more vertices, and generally a larger performance hit to draw each character.  The larger the performance hit to draw things, the fewer things you can draw without making performance choke.  Want to have epic battles with 50 characters on your screen at once?  They're not going to look nearly as nice as what you could do if you didn't care whether your engine could draw more than 10 at a time.

You can have prettier looking characters, or you can have more customizable characters.

If you just want to have one character and make that one character look good, that's not so hard to do.  If you want to give players a bunch of choices in each of 30 different areas, some of which are sliders, and you want to make characters look good regardless of what players choose?  Or even just look good for any player choices from a player trying to make a character that looks decent?  That's much, much harder.

You can have prettier looking terrain, or you can see terrain from farther away.

You know those trade-offs with drawing characters?  They apply to terrain as well.

You can have prettier looking screenshots, or you can have a dynamic world with day/night cycles.

If all light sources are going to always and forever going to be the same, then you can precompute a lot of lighting and store it.  If you want to have the sun move in the sky and lighting change accordingly, then you precomputing lighting for when the sun is in one place only works when the sun is in that exact spot.  That doesn't work, which forces you to do much less demanding lighting computations that can be handled on the fly.

You can have prettier looking mobs, or you can have mobs that you can tell apart.

If you have ten completely identical mobs, you can use the same art assets for all of them.  Want to be able to tell them apart rather than fighting indistinguishable masses of mobs?  Then textures or vertex data or uniforms or something is going to have to be different.  That means additional load on the video card per character (probably additional video memory required, certainly GPU time to switch resources), which reduces the amount that you have available per character to draw.

You can have a prettier looking game world, or you can have a game world that players can substantially modify.

Letting players modify things in the game world means you need more flexibility in what you can draw, which restricts your ability to make things look as good as possible.  Things in the game world that players can change are likely to limit your ability to precompute light maps and such.  And there's also the fear that players might do things to make your game world look uglier than what you would have done.

You can have a prettier looking game world, or you can have dynamic weather and seasons.

If you only have to decide what an area looks like once, you can make it look pretty good.  If it needs to be computed dynamically with a whole bunch of different possibilities, making them all look good is much harder.

You can have a prettier game world, or you can have a less repetitive game world.

The more you reuse art assets, the fewer such assets you have to make, and the more you can focus on making each one look good.  Remember how Final Fantasy XIV had the game world repeat a zillion times?  That's just taking this to an extreme in giving you pretty screenshots.

You can have prettier screenshots, or you can have smoother animations.

If you're going to compute each frame of animations manually, then the more frames you have, the less work you can put into each one--and the worse that one will look.  If you're going to generate animations procedurally with smooth functions to ensure that the animations are always smooth, any particular frame is not going to look as nice as it could have if you created each frame manually.

You can have a prettier game, or you can have a game that is faster to download and takes less space to install.

More and higher resolution textures can make a game look better.  They also bloat the game installation size, which makes the game take longer to download.

You can have prettier terrain, or you can have collision detection that closely matches what the terrain looks like.

Some shapes are simply impractical to do for collision detection.  If you want your terrain's graphics to match its collision detection, then you sometimes have to say, I can't do the collision detection for that, so I'm not going to draw it.  That means that the game won't look as good, at least if you ignore screenshots of areas where the collision detection is flagrantly wrong.

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I'm sure that there are more examples, but that's all that I could think of off the top of my head, so I'll stop now.  But in every case above, you can make screenshots look better, or you can do something else.  In every one of those cases, I'd lean much more toward the "do something else" than what most AAA games tend to go for.

If you're of the view that prettier screenshots are more important than the "something else" in every case above, then the way you evaluate game graphics fits your preferences.  If so, then this thread isn't for you.  But thanks for reading this far anyway.

But if you want a seamless world, or a dynamic world with changing time of day and seasons, or greater character customization, or the ability for players to modify the game world, or epic battles with many players at once, that means that you want games to sacrifice prettier screenshots for the sake of something else that you think is more important.  If games do exactly that, then you should say that that makes a game's graphics better, not worse, because the game's graphics are more to your liking, even if they don't look as good in screenshots.

Now, trade-offs such as those above are not the only factor in how good a game's graphics are, of course.  Some artists are simply better at what they do than others.  Some programmers are simply more efficient than others.  Some projects simply have a bigger budget than others, and that lets you do more stuff.  Talent and resources play a big role in the quality of a game's graphics, too.

But if you want features that require making a game not look as pretty in screenshots and then a game implements exactly what you want, don't complain that the game isn't pretty enough.  And conversely, if you dislike a game because it left out features that you wanted for the sake of making the game look prettier, don't be quick to praise the graphics that just ruined the game for you.

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Comments

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    I would definitely lean towards the end of the spectrum where the graphics aren't as pretty, but the game play is enhanced when there's a decision that has to be made between the two. Of course, my wife keeps asking me what color to paint the walls, and I have to look at the walls to remind myself what color they are now, because I just don't look at them. They hold the roof up and the wind and rain don't come through them and that's the point I stop thinking about them. A nice screenshot of my walls is pretty useless to me.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • flizzerflizzer Manchester, NHPosts: 1,550Member Uncommon

    I dont find this complicated.  If I dont like the way a game looks (for instance, Wild Star), the game doesnt really matter to me.  Ill be staring at the screen, so the graphics do matter.  It seems to be a truth around here that you need to chose between graphics or gameplay. I say  nonensnse. I expect a good looking game that has great gameplay.  

     

    In my opinion, GW2 is a nice marriage of these two:  I like the graphics and I like the gameplay.  I consider WoW a failure in this department.  The gameplay is polished but the graphics are not to my liking and the reason I don't bother with the game.

     

    Of course,  opinions differ on this topic. I am no more wrong or right than someone who loves Wow and hates GW2. 

  • ThupliThupli Spokane, WAPosts: 583Member Uncommon

    ... Until we all have supercomputers and the threshold for good graphics is easy, I agree with you.

     

     

    Honestly, I don't have a problem with the graphics from the super NES game Link to the Past.  It is super fun and stylized and the gameplay is so fun it doesn't matter.  Give me an mmo with those graphics that i can mod and has some lore behind it and I am g2g!

  • ConsuetudoConsuetudo Bolingbrook, ALPosts: 136Member
    This ignores the market, and will inherently lead to niche gaming. Perhaps what made the older MMOs so fantastic was that the graphics were so primitive that element could hardly be a defining factor; now, however, graphics are actually a thing which has substance in the gamer's market. A product would never be able to become big if it didn't take a stab at offering graphics which are as pleasing to look at as the average game. And I believe that should be the focus: a gameplay-dependent thing like an MMO should not strive for graphical innovation, it should merely boast the standard graphics we are used to in the present. Graphics which are so insignificant to the point that they look dated would actually hinder the game's popularity, even if they did offer a great game. The best MMO will be one that offers passable graphics, ones that are neither too demanding nor too primitive, because they should not be an element that either adds to or detracts from an MMO. The person playing an MMO for graphics will undoubtedly be disappointed at having to actually play the game, and will probably stop playing once they leave Tortage; the person playing an MMO to enjoy the game will question how this graphically-primitive offering can be offering anything new given that it looks just like what they were playing 15 years ago, in both of which cases graphics are a distraction from gameplay. 
  • CuathonCuathon University City, NYPosts: 2,211Member

    Quizzical you take your filthy logic off of these forums! We don't like your kidn around here!

     

    On a serious note the fact of the matter is that your average pleb is too dumb and unimaginative to take advantage of advanced gameplay where as "the shiny" is totally understandable to them. Mainstream media of every kind values flash over substance. Except books I guess, but if you were a reader as a kid you know how much contempt the public holds for books, unless they are romance novels or written at a 3rd grade level.

    Gameplay matters to the largest demographic the same way a quality script matters to the movie industry.

    You can get a pass on graphics for casual games perhaps because its about icons more than worldscapes.

    [mod edit]
  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,734Member Uncommon

    Well, these tradeoffs are all accurately stated, but they're also stated with a rather heavy bias.  At the end of the day, the player is going to decide whether a game is a nice place to spend time in partially due to the art quality.

    There's no real "right answer", but some of the tradeoff cited actually tend to (in isolation) favor better graphics.  For example, unless a game is specifically doing something fun and clever with having tons of players/units onscreen, it's not necessarily an advantage to sacrifice a little quality for more on-screen units.

    Also it's worth noting that a lot of games pull tons of art quality out without massive technical requirements.  Stuff like Patapon, Galcon, Monaco, Castle Crashers, and Geometry Wars are only a handful of the games out there which have extremely light technical requirements but pretty awesome art styles (Monaco's terrible character class sprites notwithstanding.)

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,908Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cuathon

    Quizzical you take your filthy logic off of these forums! We don't like your kidn around here!

     

    On a serious note the fact of the matter is that your average pleb is too dumb and unimaginative to take advantage of advanced gameplay where as "the shiny" is totally understandable to them. Mainstream media of every kind values flash over substance. Except books I guess, but if you were a reader as a kid you know how much contempt the public holds for books, unless they are romance novels or written at a 3rd grade level.

    Gameplay matters to the largest demographic the same way a quality script matters to the movie industry.

    You can get a pass on graphics for casual games perhaps because its about icons more than worldscapes.

    [mod edit]

    It's sad that such a well written and thought out thread devoles to this so soon. 

    Are you a fan of older MMOs by chance? I am, however I have a hard time thinking back to one made before 04 that has what I'd consider good "game-play". They had  a far more freeform focus. Some like SWG offered a large variety in styles of game-play .

    Where all of them lacked was in offering actual execution of all those game-play options. Movement, combat, animations, adapatability; not to mention quality of content/objectives, lacked style or substance. Today if a game released like those (same combat, same execution, etc) they would be considered archaic or bland ( with the exception of possibly SWG due to so many options). In just about any MMO pre 04,  almost everything was sacrificed to make them work with massive amounts of people around.

    What they offered was a more social, and/or free atmosphere (choice), they didn't offer superior execution in game-play compared to games of today.

    If you are a fan of older MMO's. To me, this post is no different than those you are attempting to scrutinize, as you are just as guilty of confusing what good game-play means. It doesn't mean a bigger gameworld or a larger amount of poorly executed content (by todays standards). Most MMO's of today opt for a more up to date form of game-play, they may offer less variety andor freedom, that's the trade off in most of these newer titles.

     

     

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

    It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  • monstermmomonstermmo Glendale, CAPosts: 1,062Member
    Originally posted by flizzer

    I dont find this complicated.  If I dont like the way a game looks (for instance, Wild Star), the game doesnt really matter to me.  Ill be staring at the screen, so the graphics do matter.  It seems to be a truth around here that you need to chose between graphics or gameplay. I say  nonsense. I expect a good looking game that has great gameplay.   

    This.

    Alan Wake: Gorgeous graphics, love the gameplay.

    Max Payne 3: Gorgeous graphics, love the gameplay.

    Alice: Madness Returns: Incredibly gorgeous graphics, love the gameplay.

    Uncharted, God of War, Heavy Rain...

    I could make the list much longer. =p I enjoy games that don't have the best graphics but i'd still prefer better graphics.

    As far as MMO's go i understand the need for graphics to be toned down in order to be an MMO that can be played by most PC gamers rather than the one's that can afford some crazy high end machine.

    Games like World of Warcraft and Rift have done an excellent job for fitting in room for all kinds of PC builds and have beautiful graphics. Guild Wars 2 is also very beuatiful but i didn't play too much of it and i don't know how well it handles on lower end PC's.

    It's possible i'm completely missing a deeper point tho? I do agree with the title of the thread.

    Jeremiah 8:21 I weep for the hurt of my people; I stand amazed, silent, dumb with grief.
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  • NaughtyPNaughtyP Edmonton, ABPosts: 793Member

    I don't think amazing graphics are a pre-requisite for a good game. But it is still important for them to be good and (more importantly) for the art style to fit the game. Music and sound effects are still important. UI is important. Controls are important... and so on.

    Enter a whole new realm of challenge and adventure.

  • KaiserPhoenixKaiserPhoenix ViennaPosts: 59Member
    animations, atmosphere, how skills connect and feel, music and sound effects are much more important to me than pure polygon count and eye candy, because you get used to the graphics in like 5-10 mins, then other things matter.
  • mmoguy43mmoguy43 , CAPosts: 2,439Member Uncommon
    I'm drawing a blank for games that went the route of more amazing that needed graphics at the cost of gameplay. As a gamer I see the graphics as adequately good without knowing how much resources were devoted to them that could have been used elsewhere.
  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,734Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cuathon

    [mod edit]

    Gameplay is better nowadays.

    Because it requires intellect.

    When I played early MMORPGs like AO, DAOC, AC1, etc, the act of playing the game was mindless repetition, whereas in well-designed modern games playing your character well is significantly more rewarding of skill (decision-making and execution.)

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • CuathonCuathon University City, NYPosts: 2,211Member
    Originally posted by Distopia
    Originally posted by Cuathon

    Quizzical you take your filthy logic off of these forums! We don't like your kidn around here!

     

    On a serious note the fact of the matter is that your average pleb is too dumb and unimaginative to take advantage of advanced gameplay where as "the shiny" is totally understandable to them. Mainstream media of every kind values flash over substance. Except books I guess, but if you were a reader as a kid you know how much contempt the public holds for books, unless they are romance novels or written at a 3rd grade level.

    Gameplay matters to the largest demographic the same way a quality script matters to the movie industry.

    You can get a pass on graphics for casual games perhaps because its about icons more than worldscapes.

    [mod edit]

    It's sad that such a well written and thought out thread devoles to this so soon. 

    Are you a fan of older MMOs by chance? I am, however I have a hard time thinking back to one made before 04 that has what I'd consider good "game-play". They had  a far more freeform focus. Some like SWG offered a large variety in styles of game-play .

    Where all of them lacked was in offering actual execution of all those game-play options. Movement, combat, animations, adapatability; not to mention quality of content/objectives, lacked style or substance. Today if a game released like those (same combat, same execution, etc) they would be considered archaic or bland ( with the exception of possibly SWG due to so many options). In just about any MMO pre 04,  almost everything was sacrificed to make them work with massive amounts of people around.

    What they offered was a more social, and/or free atmosphere (choice), they didn't offer superior execution in game-play compared to games of today.

    If you are a fan of older MMO's. To me, this post is no different than those you are attempting to scrutinize, as you are just as guilty of confusing what good game-play means. It doesn't mean a bigger gameworld or a larger amount of poorly executed content (by todays standards). Most MMO's of today opt for a more up to date form of game-play, they may offer less variety andor freedom, that's the trade off in most of these newer titles.

     

     

    The oldest MMO I ever played was WoW. It was shit. I am a fan of a lot of space empire browser games. OGame was far worse than Warring Factions or SpaceFed even though WF has almost no graphics and SpaceFed's are vastly inferior to OGame's.

    The failure of understanding you have is that you actually like sandbox MMOs. You don't. You like the IDEA of them.

     

    So many people make mistakes about what they like because they believe the lies fed to them by non-interactive media. You CANNOT have politics or combat the way its described in books or movies. The creator controls all the variables there but in the game world you have the player, often more than one, to deal with.

     

    I know the trade offs I have to make to to have the gameplay I want and I'm okay with that. I work everyday to develop improved gameplay so that someday the gameplay that you all despise so much will be good enough. Good enough that it won't put off the people I need to want to play the same kinds of games I do in order for those games to be made.

    I would be fine if developers focused on the really important gameplay. If I have to spend 2 hours doing something dull to get the most amazing gameplay in existence I will. Sadly I can't do that because not enough people are intelligence enough and exposed to the necessary environmental factors to make that sacrifice with me.

    Its not all about intelligence. Many smart people a re fine with games the way they are. Maybe they have a job that takes a lot out of them, or maybe its one of the many other social or environmental factors that stop them from making the jump. I undertstand that we all have different priorities. I'm just not happy with where that leaves me.

    There is a lot of boilerplate gameplay needed to power the systems that provide the amazingness that comes out of sandboxes. And a lot of that can be made more interesting, I still spend time on the high, and even low, level design to make that happen based on the MMO design threads I used to make here. And I work with single player exploratory strategy games to make some of that design playable.

    I do all this stuff that doesn't even involve playing a game to get to the games I want. Because if it was done even half decently it would be worth it.

    But there is only so much that can be done, and honestly, should be done. I can only think of a dozen people on this site, the premier MMO focused forum, that I would want to play an MMO with. The rest of you have what you want, are not actually interested in a real player driven game, and you are welcome to what you have. I won't fight you for any of that garbage.

    You couldn't play the game I like to play even if you wanted to.

    Do you know why the gameplay of non-WoW-likes is bad? Because no one even tried to work on it. Except perhaps SWG and sort of EvE. There are literally hundreds of free-to-play themeparks and how many of those are worth something? There are a dozen player driven and/or sandbox games and probably 1/3 of them is amazing. And that is surprising since the gameplay of all of them is all so different compared to themeparks that are all essentially the same. So I'd say they have a BETTER track record than your games.

    Imagine how good the best ones would be if there were as many of them as there are themeparks.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Cuathon
    [mod edit]

    Yeah .. gameplay is much better today than in the EQ/UO days.

    At least devs won't call "waiting" gameplay.

  • CuathonCuathon University City, NYPosts: 2,211Member
    Originally posted by Axehilt
    Originally posted by Cuathon

    [mod edit]

    Gameplay is better nowadays.

    Because it requires intellect.

    When I played early MMORPGs like AO, DAOC, AC1, etc, the act of playing the game was mindless repetition, whereas in well-designed modern games playing your character well is significantly more rewarding of skill (decision-making and execution.)

    Execution is muscle memory not intellect. We've been over this. Decision making is trivial because there is a tiny decision space. And most of the true intellectual work is done FOR YOU. By actual smart people.

    Also notice how you equated intellect with "skill." I'll concede that for the arbitrary definition of skill, mostly execution/reflexes, modern games do that better, because its all they ever do.

    Anyways we've had this out a thousand times so its not worth going over again.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Cuathon
     

    Execution is muscle memory not intellect. We've been over this. Decision making is trivial because there is a tiny decision space. And most of the true intellectual work is done FOR YOU. By actual smart people.

    Also notice how you equated intellect with "skill." I'll concede that for the arbitrary definition of skill, mostly execution/reflexes, modern games do that better, because its all they ever do.

    Anyways we've had this out a thousand times so its not worth going over again.

    As if there is any decision making back in the old days. Repeating killing the same spawn, with simple combat mechanics, requires even LESS intellect .. at least now there are multiple, more interesting skills to choose from.

    Plus, if intellect is the number one fun factor, no one will play action combat. We will all go solve differential equations.

    Making a decision of whether to pop a CD may not be intellectual, but at least it is interesting and fun (to me).

  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,514Member Common
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Cuathon
    [mod edit]

    Yeah .. gameplay is much better today than in the EQ/UO days.

    At least devs won't call "waiting" gameplay.

    Agreed.

    And I hope I wont see you in these endless threads with people wanting back travel that takes hours.

    Because even if the developers know better, some players really dont.

     

  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,514Member Common
    Originally posted by nariusseldon

    Plus, if intellect is the number one fun factor, no one will play action combat. We will all go solve differential equations.

    Uuuuh solving differential equations isnt really fun. Or entertaining. Or even challenging, after a while. That really gets as mechanical as any MMO crafting ...

    For a game that offers an intellectual challenge, I would go for chess or go. Those games are also the core examples I mention whenever somebody asks what kind of MMO combat I want.

    For my MMO is NOT action combat. Action combat in MMOs is what I'm hearing players demanding since ages on exactly this site. But I hate shooters, they bore me to death. And with MMOs, its worse. These are games played over the internet. In an action game, that means the guy with the better ping wins.

     

  • FateFatalityFateFatality AnalholePosts: 85Member

    i would like to say this, it's all wrong, what it come's down to is lazy development or lack of skills. Graphical features, are simple as on or off, let put it like this, if game uses DX11 API and uses alll graphical features, that DX11 offers it's up to consumer to cater performance of there pc, if one person has low end laptop, then he or she has the choice of lagg or high fps, for people that have high end desktops like my self, HD7970x2 Crossfired, then it’s simple as just ticken all graphical box's and maxing out the sliders .. it's not hard, all i'm saying is, none of this effect's anything, part from time, and optimization, and money, that is all. Todays mmo's can be fully graphical beast. and scale very well to lowering the demand.

     

    What people need understand, is that CPU is mainly issue that MMO’s have problem’s with, they just can’t correctly get performance from CPU.

    GPU has all grunt it’s just CPU, what needs to change is thing called GPGPU, were most of GPU is doing all work, and CPU only does requirments that’s needed by CPU, how it work’s is that GPU can do most of what CPU can do in terms of graphics, animation GFX lighting and ect. 

    But issue is that, they try to catar to low end hardware for masses were GPU is weaker then CPU. this has to change they need to idealy need to maximise GPGPU and CPU at same time were it’s option through interface is this PC low end or high end. 

    Then it will go OK! this PC is more CPU then GPU so we put configration for more CPU usage over GPU usage to compsate for low end GPU, for mid range system its simple as GPGPU and useing  CPU to effeicently . then there is high end systems, that go OK GPGPU/CPU MAX . what people don’t know is gpgpu is just were most load is sent to GPU over the CPU, right. so idealy you have MORE CPU stuff sent to GPU. what this mean’s is that you can do both. sending everything to GPU and then sending rest of the features to CPU and then maximizeing the performance. it comes down to carefully picking what does best for what part of hardware GPU or CPU? then optimize it effectly. useing on the fly changes to way hardware works depending on demand of what is happening.

     

    i know my spelling is not best, or anything but i'm trying my best to explain.

     

     

    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2227038/nvidia-says-large-gpgpu-speed-up-claims-were-due-to-bad-original-code

    CHIP DESIGNER Nvidia has said that most of the outlandish performance increase figures touted by GPGPU vendors was down to poor original code rather than sheer brute force computing power provided by GPUs.

    Both AMD and Nvidia have been using real-world code examples and projects to promote the performance of their respective GPGPU accelerators for years, but now it seems some of the eye popping figures including speed ups of 100x or 200x were not down to just the computing power of GPGPUs. Sumit Gupta, GM of Nvidia's Tesla business told The INQUIRER that such figures were generally down to starting with unoptimised CPU code.

    During Intel's Xeon Phi pre-launch press conference call, the firm cast doubt on some of the orders of magnitude speed up claims that had been bandied about for years. Now Gupta told The INQUIRER that while those large speed ups did happen, it was possible because of poorly optimised code to begin with, thus the bar was set very low.

    Gupta said, "Most of the time when you saw the 100x, 200x and larger numbers those came from universities. Nvidia may have taken university work and shown it and it has an 100x on it, but really most of those gains came from academic work. Typically we find when you investigate why someone got 100x [speed up] is because they didn't have good CPU code to begin with. When you investigate why they didn't have good CPU code you find that typically they are domain scienctists not computer science guys - biologists, chemists, physics - and they wrote some C code and it wasn't good on the CPU. It turns out most of those people find it easier to code in CUDA C or CUDA Fortran than they do to use MPI or Pthreads to go to multi-core CPUs, so CUDA programming for a GPU is easier than multi-core CPU programming."

    then watch this

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imti_KuTVhE

  • JimmyYOJimmyYO Columbus, OHPosts: 520Member
    Yep sick of these games trying to coast on graphics alone. Been happening since everything after PS1.
  • CuathonCuathon University City, NYPosts: 2,211Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Cuathon
     

    Execution is muscle memory not intellect. We've been over this. Decision making is trivial because there is a tiny decision space. And most of the true intellectual work is done FOR YOU. By actual smart people.

    Also notice how you equated intellect with "skill." I'll concede that for the arbitrary definition of skill, mostly execution/reflexes, modern games do that better, because its all they ever do.

    Anyways we've had this out a thousand times so its not worth going over again.

    As if there is any decision making back in the old days. Repeating killing the same spawn, with simple combat mechanics, requires even LESS intellect .. at least now there are multiple, more interesting skills to choose from.

    Plus, if intellect is the number one fun factor, no one will play action combat. We will all go solve differential equations.

    Making a decision of whether to pop a CD may not be intellectual, but at least it is interesting and fun (to me).

    I've never said anything about the old days. I didn't even play those. WoW was my earliest, well aside from Tibia. I am talking about new, better designed, games. UO was open PvP. My design I used to talk about here doesn't have PvP at all. The games I want to play have nothing in common with your poor experience in EverQuest.

    I do do math for fun, if you must know. Lots of it. I program for fun. I figure out patterns in arithmetic. I do math all the time for fun. Most people are too dumb to do math for fun, or their brains are wired wrong, doesn't really matter what you call it. You never could accept that what was popular was 50%+ about culture. About marketing. About presentation.

  • CuathonCuathon University City, NYPosts: 2,211Member
    Originally posted by Adamantine
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Cuathon
    Of course if you ask Axehilt or Narius the gameplay is better than ever these days. God forbid a game should take some intellectual capacity.

    Yeah .. gameplay is much better today than in the EQ/UO days.

    At least devs won't call "waiting" gameplay.

    Agreed.

    And I hope I wont see you in these endless threads with people wanting back travel that takes hours.

    Because even if the developers know better, some players really dont.

     

    Long travel times are an unavoidable consequence of other mechanics that produce shit tons of fun. Things can be done to mitigate this. For instance not having only 5 or six locations in the game that matter. Instant travel is a patch on a system that needed to be redone and not repaired. 90% of the mechanics you guys complain about can be resolved without fucking up the systems that make player driven games amazing. Which is what insta-travel does. Of course action MMOs cannot exist without instant travel hence the move to diablo system gameplay. There has to be something in the game besides arpg combat to make a VOW work.

    Like I told Narius. Some of you people have so little imagination that you just can't escape from the claws of EverQuest. I'm not the one trapped in the past. You guys are.

  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,908Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cuathon
    Originally posted by Distopia
    Originally posted by Cuathon

    Quizzical you take your filthy logic off of these forums! We don't like your kidn around here!

     

    On a serious note the fact of the matter is that your average pleb is too dumb and unimaginative to take advantage of advanced gameplay where as "the shiny" is totally understandable to them. Mainstream media of every kind values flash over substance. Except books I guess, but if you were a reader as a kid you know how much contempt the public holds for books, unless they are romance novels or written at a 3rd grade level.

    Gameplay matters to the largest demographic the same way a quality script matters to the movie industry.

    You can get a pass on graphics for casual games perhaps because its about icons more than worldscapes.

    Of course if you ask Axehilt or Narius the gameplay is better than ever these days. God forbid a game should take some intellectual capacity.

    It's sad that such a well written and thought out thread devoles to this so soon. 

    Are you a fan of older MMOs by chance? I am, however I have a hard time thinking back to one made before 04 that has what I'd consider good "game-play". They had  a far more freeform focus. Some like SWG offered a large variety in styles of game-play .

    Where all of them lacked was in offering actual execution of all those game-play options. Movement, combat, animations, adapatability; not to mention quality of content/objectives, lacked style or substance. Today if a game released like those (same combat, same execution, etc) they would be considered archaic or bland ( with the exception of possibly SWG due to so many options). In just about any MMO pre 04,  almost everything was sacrificed to make them work with massive amounts of people around.

    What they offered was a more social, and/or free atmosphere (choice), they didn't offer superior execution in game-play compared to games of today.

    If you are a fan of older MMO's. To me, this post is no different than those you are attempting to scrutinize, as you are just as guilty of confusing what good game-play means. It doesn't mean a bigger gameworld or a larger amount of poorly executed content (by todays standards). Most MMO's of today opt for a more up to date form of game-play, they may offer less variety andor freedom, that's the trade off in most of these newer titles.

     

     

    The oldest MMO I ever played was WoW. It was shit. I am a fan of a lot of space empire browser games. OGame was far worse than Warring Factions or SpaceFed even though WF has almost no graphics and SpaceFed's are vastly inferior to OGame's.

    The failure of understanding you have is that you actually like sandbox MMOs. You don't. You like the IDEA of them.

     

    So many people make mistakes about what they like because they believe the lies fed to them by non-interactive media. You CANNOT have politics or combat the way its described in books or movies. The creator controls all the variables there but in the game world you have the player, often more than one, to deal with.

     

    I know the trade offs I have to make to to have the gameplay I want and I'm okay with that. I work everyday to develop improved gameplay so that someday the gameplay that you all despise so much will be good enough. Good enough that it won't put off the people I need to want to play the same kinds of games I do in order for those games to be made.

    I would be fine if developers focused on the really important gameplay. If I have to spend 2 hours doing something dull to get the most amazing gameplay in existence I will. Sadly I can't do that because not enough people are intelligence enough and exposed to the necessary environmental factors to make that sacrifice with me.

    Its not all about intelligence. Many smart people a re fine with games the way they are. Maybe they have a job that takes a lot out of them, or maybe its one of the many other social or environmental factors that stop them from making the jump. I undertstand that we all have different priorities. I'm just not happy with where that leaves me.

    There is a lot of boilerplate gameplay needed to power the systems that provide the amazingness that comes out of sandboxes. And a lot of that can be made more interesting, I still spend time on the high, and even low, level design to make that happen based on the MMO design threads I used to make here. And I work with single player exploratory strategy games to make some of that design playable.

    I do all this stuff that doesn't even involve playing a game to get to the games I want. Because if it was done even half decently it would be worth it.

    But there is only so much that can be done, and honestly, should be done. I can only think of a dozen people on this site, the premier MMO focused forum, that I would want to play an MMO with. The rest of you have what you want, are not actually interested in a real player driven game, and you are welcome to what you have. I won't fight you for any of that garbage.

    You couldn't play the game I like to play even if you wanted to.

    Do you know why the gameplay of non-WoW-likes is bad? Because no one even tried to work on it. Except perhaps SWG and sort of EvE. There are literally hundreds of free-to-play themeparks and how many of those are worth something? There are a dozen player driven and/or sandbox games and probably 1/3 of them is amazing. And that is surprising since the gameplay of all of them is all so different compared to themeparks that are all essentially the same. So I'd say they have a BETTER track record than your games.

    Imagine how good the best ones would be if there were as many of them as there are themeparks.

    While I made the mistake of thinking you were into the older games like I was, you're making the mistake of lumping me in with whoever you referred to as ("your games").  As a result i feel  you must have mistaken the point I was making in the post above.

    The issue here falls in line with the premise Quiz laid out. That premise is (in simple terms), no matter what demographic you're catering to you're going to be sacrificing important factors in order to cater to your audience. These open-ended sandbox games always lack mainly because the scope of the product. Even SWg had that problem, one which they could never solve, and eventually killed the game, "how do we turn what we have into great gameplay". They sacrificed great game-play for abundance from the get go, turning that around is too big an undertaking for a game/service that is losing traction.

    WOW had decent game-play but it lacked so many things I want in a long term MMO, same with AOC, same with etc... They're good distractions even TOR is, but that's all they are to me, they fill the void until I find what i want.

     Skyrim lacks solid polished game-play, it's satisfactory and doesn't hinder the experience, but by no means is it what i consider great game-play. Again great game-play is sacrificed to offer something else (some might say to offer something more, as in lots of activities to occupy your time).

    Most of the modern games that offer great game-play are shallow in most other respects, as everything was sacrificed to offer great game-play.

     

     

     

     

     

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

    It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  • AdamantineAdamantine NowherePosts: 3,514Member Common

    About the OP:

    1. Well, yeah, graphics is worthless if the game is no fun to play. I think most people will agree about that. Those who dont play shooters, not roleplaying games or MMOs.
    2. I oppose this useage of "pretty". My Lineage 2 characters have been *very* pretty back in the days. L2 was also the first 3D game where I said : OK, this is good enough. Graphics will get better than this in future, but I dont NEED better than this. The correct term to use here is realistic, or of higher resolution.
    3. Seamless worlds do NOT limit what graphics quality you can realize. Seamless means you partition your game into chunks and keep the chunks surrounding the current chunks on the backhand. There is no limit in what graphic quality you can archieve through this, though, you can always just make the partitions smaller if they dont fit into currently available memory. The limit is in how fast you can move through this world, but with current SSDs there is a lot of room for this trade offset.
    4. Many of the "issues" mentioned are just a question of memory, not of computation power. As such, they are a question of available memory, which in these days is usually plenty, and the just mentioned speed of movement / graphic quality conflict.
    5. Distant terrain doesnt necessarily need equally much computation power as characters vs character count. Thats because you can keep a lower resolution version of distant terrain and display that one. One can do the same with too many characters, however the network traffic needed for many characters inflicts harsh limits there anyway.
    6. Reusing artwork saves development time and harddisk space - it does NOT reduce archieveable graphic quality.
    7. What the whole article in general misses is a sense for development time. MMOs dont look worse than shooters because the programmers are less competent or more lazy. MMOs look worse than shooters because you can optimize graphics to look beautiful a LOT by using a multitude of maps per object - but also the development time for doing so is very high.
    But of course I fully agree that a good game is not defined by better graphics than the concurrence.
     
    Also, for the record:
    • Customizeability > better looking characters, in a MMO. Having a good looking character is worthless if everybody looks the freaking same.
    • Sliders < graphic alternatives. With the exception of some general sliders, I find it much more efficient to have nicely designed alternatives instead of trying to create them by modifying a "general" character model which quickly looks really ugly after you moved enough sliders, and ultimately has only limited possibilities to get modified, anyway.
    • Realistic viewing distances > better terrain resolution, in a MMO.
    • Telling mobs apart < meh. Who cares ? They are mobs. Unless there is actually something different about them, I dont need to be able to tell them apart.
    • Collision detection < meh. In a MMO, it just means I'll get stuck more, and people intentionally can block you from accessing important locations.
    • In general: I want graphics to be good enough. Original EverQuest is definitely not good enough. Original Lineage 2 back in the day was good enough. Vanguard: SoH is far better than just good enough.
    But thats all subjective.
     
  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    Somewhere out there, a poor peacock is going "you think your game is overemphasizing graphics ..."

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