Maximum Color

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JEBWrench:

Tin Man:

JEBWrench:
I haven't seen a lot of Crysis 2, but I'm assuming this is an April Fool's joke from what I've seen of it in action...

What?

From all I saw of it in action, it looked like a whole bunch of blue with more blue thrown in.

You must not've seen much.

Shamus is right, I completely agree with him this time around (except for the part of ME2).

My PC could be considered crap by now, heck, I just replayed the first Crysis just to get in tone for Crysis 2 and my PC could barely keep up with the action, but it still looked purty.

I was a bit skeptical about Crysis 2, for the record, Crytek did an awful job at advertising the game with bland trailers and a less than stellar multiplayer beta. I gave it a shot and I went ahead to buy it.

I was simply dazzled from the amazing visuals my PC was making, heck, while playing through the game, sometimes a thought came to my mind, "why doesn't every damn developer make their games with this engine?, I'm tired of all the samey Gears of War esque UE3 games".

The game ran surprisingly smooth (for my standards) and the game looked a lot much better than many other games. Sometimes I thought "wow, if this scene would've been rendered with the UE3, it would've brought my PC down to it's kneels".

But Shamus said it better than me, rather than having every single developer switching to new engines, they should bring more colors and life to what they already have.

And yes, I loved Crysis 2, despite it's shortcomings.

Soviet Heavy:
I really didn't like the Art design for Mass Effect 2. Even on supposedly "lush" planets like Horizon or Jacob's loyalty mission, everything was through an ugly red filter. Everything in the game was either through a red filter or a silver one, such as on the Normandy or Zakera Ward.

And Afterlife? That nightclub hurts my eyes.

Are you sure your monitor wasn't just fucked? I didn't get any red or silver filter thingys going on

Woodsey:
OT: Personally, I thought ME2 had a lot of striking colour.

I thought so too, I thought it fit with the sci fi setting. Despite what people might say about Crysis as a whole, I will have to agree that visually it's very well done, not just graphically but colours. I honestly wish they would stop this CoD "Zomg this is realistic!!1!" horse shit.

SupahGamuh:
Shamus is right, I completely agree with him this time around (except for the part of ME2).

My PC could be considered crap by now, heck, I just replayed the first Crysis just to get in tone for Crysis 2 and my PC could barely keep up with the action, but it still looked purty.

I was a bit skeptical about Crysis 2, for the record, Crytek did an awful job at advertising the game with bland trailers and a less than stellar multiplayer beta. I gave it a shot and I went ahead to buy it.

I was simply dazzled from the amazing visuals my PC was making, heck, while playing through the game, sometimes a thought came to my mind, "why doesn't every damn developer make their games with this engine?, I'm tired of all the samey Gears of War esque UE3 games".

The game ran surprisingly smooth (for my standards) and the game looked a lot much better than many other games. Sometimes I thought "wow, if this scene would've been rendered with the UE3, it would've brought my PC down to it's kneels".

But Shamus said it better than me, rather than having every single developer switching to new engines, they should bring more colors and life to what they already have.

And yes, I loved Crysis 2, despite it's shortcomings.

Want me to blow your mind right now?.........

Bioshock, American McGee, Borderlands, and last but not least, Mirrors Edge, all use the Unreal Engine. There are pretty games out there. Its easy to overlook them to promote how bad some others look.

Deshara:

Defense:
Maybe instead of having color, we could have atmosphere instead? I like the use of pastel in games and all, but it's a bad move when it doesn't fit with the theme of the game.

I think a bigger issue is being strictly bound by realism. I'd take Gran Pulse over another WWII war torn beachhead area any day of the week.

Realism isn't what's bad. It's good realism we need to see

It's just my opinion bro. I don't mind having human characters and realistic looking clouds. I think people generally agree with me when the architecture and fauna of the game is better when it's bizarre instead of a copypaste of the deli shop down the street.

draythefingerless:
Want me to blow your mind right now?.........

Bioshock, American McGee, Borderlands, and last but not least, Mirrors Edge, all use the Unreal Engine. There are pretty games out there. Its easy to overlook them to promote how bad some others look.

Yeah... those too... well...

Alraight, okay, those game do have more variety in their color schemes, I know, first hand, that they all look great (except Mirrors Edge wich I haven't played it yet and American McGee's wich, well, hasn't been released yet) and I may add Arkham Asylum to that list of yours. Maybe I overreacted saying UE3 in every sentence I wrote, but that wasn't the point, heck, I'm learning how to use the UE3.

I was just saying that we need more color in our gaming lives, not more shades of grey and brown. And for the record, I can't wait for Brink to get released and that game looks like it's going to have some impressive and colorful art assets.

No quite directly on topic, but I am kind of amused that he speaks really highly of crytek throughout the article, how good of a job they did with the visuals of the game, and then ends by strongly suggesting that other companies not give them money.

Crimsane:

JEBWrench:

Tin Man:

What?

From all I saw of it in action, it looked like a whole bunch of blue with more blue thrown in.

You must not've seen much.

I did in fact say I hadn't seen much. :P

SupahGamuh:
Maybe I overreacted saying UE3 in every sentence I wrote

You did have a point, though. Most UE3 games have this almost "neon glow" post-process effect that gets a little tiring to look at for extended periods of time, at least for me. However, I'll admit it really suits sci-fi games like Mass Effect.

I could see it in Batman: Arkham Asylum too. It was tolerable, but it didn't "feel" quite right to me.

Of course there are games where it is either not present or not noticeable (again, to me) - Mirror's Edge, Borderlands - but sadly, they are in the minority.

Also, FYI, Bioshock uses UE2.

I have yet to play Crysis 2, but the original certainly had great use of colour, too; and while the screenshots of Crysis 2 seem to show less colour in some areas (it's in a city, of course there's going to be concrete, rocks and asphalt everywhere), they don't seem to have changed their use of colour significantly (this is a good thing); the grey and brown parts only serve to make the brighter colours, where they are used, stand out even more.

note - zeno clash made excellent use of colour.

/fanboyism.

Not to be picky, but isn't the overwhelming trend of modern video games to have that washed out brown and grey color pallet almost entirely the fault of the same guys that just made crysis 2 and developed the new Crytek engine? I thought that so many modern games used those monotone washed out color pallets in large part because that was part of how the licensed Unreal or Crytek engine, that they used to build them, worked. You could increase the colors in the engine, but it was awfully time consuming and expensive, so few did it. The only major exception in modern FPS's is TF2, who's cartoony style uses its own engine and color mechanisms.

I mean it's fantastic that their new engine so clearly permits a much broader pallet to be used without major reworking. That is fantastic and I hope all of the development houses jump on it with the next generation of games. But praising them while deriding other games maker over a percieved problem that they in fact caused seems just a tad unsporting.

Or did I misunderstand what I read about this issue?

worst of all, the multiplayer in C2 has problems saving the progress I make. Some people lost like 17 levels to that.

In The Matrix, the virtual world was tinted green to help the audience keep track of what world they were in.

Oh my god. I never noticed this before, but the minute I read it I instantly thought back to the movie and realized it was true. Mind is blown.

James Charles:
"If I can deliver a bit of a beating to one of last year's sacred cows: Mass Effect 2"

We've all or should all have seen your lets play of this game Shamus, you insult ME2 is like Ruts trolling mumbles. oh but rightly so of course Sci-Fi Liner shooter with a strange plot that i still seam to want to defend.

speaking of colour, Fallout suffers imo from the worse case of brown shooteritis, simply because the world was huge and everything was grey/brown and bland, if we took a pan from two parts of the wasteland you'd struggle to tell someone which is in zone 1 and which is zone 9. its like their entire colour budget went into Oasis, which was severl shades of green instead of brown/grey, different but would have been even better if there was the odd rose bush or vibrant radioactive man eating daisy.

edit: note i dont mean make everything zany and mad, but hell the real world is a bland uninteresting mess, id rather games add some vibrancy to it sure have grey and brown but not just grey and brown.

I always give Fallout a break since the depressing brown is supposed to be a part of a post apocalyptic world. They still could do a better job of mixing it up a little, but for the most part I understand why it's that way.

Sadly it gets thrown in with so many other games that do the same thing, and it doesn't really fit the mood of the games.

faefrost:
Not to be picky, but isn't the overwhelming trend of modern video games to have that washed out brown and grey color pallet almost entirely the fault of the same guys that just made crysis 2 and developed the new Crytek engine? I thought that so many modern games used those monotone washed out color pallets in large part because that was part of how the licensed Unreal or Crytek engine, that they used to build them, worked. You could increase the colors in the engine, but it was awfully time consuming and expensive, so few did it. The only major exception in modern FPS's is TF2, who's cartoony style uses its own engine and color mechanisms.

I mean it's fantastic that their new engine so clearly permits a much broader pallet to be used without major reworking. That is fantastic and I hope all of the development houses jump on it with the next generation of games. But praising them while deriding other games maker over a percieved problem that they in fact caused seems just a tad unsporting.

Or did I misunderstand what I read about this issue?

The CryEngines (1 and 2) were not used by many games outside of Crysis and Far Cry games. The other handful of games were not that popular or are still in development (Aion being the exception).

The Unreal engine, on the other hand, has been a part of a ton of games. Many of them pretty big titles.

I am not sure the two engines are connected in any way since the Unreal engine is done by US developer Epic, and the Cryengine was developed by Crytek in Germany (there is a modified Cryengine 1 done by Ubisoft Montreal which is used for the more recent Far Cry games).

Um... what?
You're suggesting appreciation for the artists now?
Why am I reminded of people who say that everything made in the source engine was cartoony because it's the source engine.
You know, like the engine creates all the models and textures with little anyone can do about it.
It's like believing meat comes out of the fridge in the super market and not from animals.

Kinda silly how someone comes out saying "hey guys, there's artists arranging this stuff" as if that's some sort of news.
But maybe to some people it is.

ryo02:

Urthman:
The colors you see in movies are carefully chosen to set mood, to draw the eye. To denote importance. To make the audience remember an otherwise unremarkable detail.

How you could omit a shout-out to Mirror's Edge at this point is beyond me.

I found the green areas in Mirrors Edge relaxing for some reason

That's because they usually were relaxing. Green was for elevators, or puzzle areas with no enemies around - places where you could relax and take a breather. The colour-coding in Mirror's Edge is really strong, brilliantly designed to let you keep running full speed and still take in the cues you needed from the environment.

Apropos of which, I just love The Runner's post on the use of colour in Mirror's Edge - not least for its spectacular collection of screenshots. Reading it after I finished playing Mirror's Edge gave me a whole new appreciation for the game's craft.

Shamus Young:

Shamus wants more games to use color like Crysis 2

I agree, whats the point of spending millions on a new game engine that can render the most beautiful 16.7 million colours the human eye can perceive if all its going to render is grey and brown?

Not saying Crysis 2 is grey and brown, just all the other multi million dollar games out there that are.

I think this is a valid argument, but I wish people would stop framing it in terms of 'color.' Games with bland environments aren't bland because they "don't use enough color," they're bland because they're bland. Desaturation is a stylistic decision, and while it's true most "realistic" games tend to abuse it, it's not necessarily awful for a game to be brown and gray. The real reason we dislike "brown-and-gray shooters" is that they're all designed that way on account of being uninspired, grimdark facsimiles of reality, which is something that we've been overexposed to in recent years.

image
This would not be improved by bringing out the greens and purples.

Stevepinto3:

In The Matrix, the virtual world was tinted green to help the audience keep track of what world they were in.

Oh my god. I never noticed this before, but the minute I read it I instantly thought back to the movie and realized it was true. Mind is blown.

This is a quite common indicator that reality isn't exactly right in the scene. Green isn't noticeable enough, but it subconsciously lets you know something is off. You can spot it in films like Fight Club.

Then again, film post-production has that annoying habit of colouring everything cyan + orange because it creates the biggest possible contrast between human skin and the background. But it makes everyone in the film look like they have spray-on tan. You can spot that in stuff like Transformers.

ryo02:

Urthman:
The colors you see in movies are carefully chosen to set mood, to draw the eye. To denote importance. To make the audience remember an otherwise unremarkable detail.

How you could omit a shout-out to Mirror's Edge at this point is beyond me.

I found the green areas in Mirrors Edge relaxing for some reason

You will like this then.

And that's why I love Halo. Grey and brown, but there's enough colour so you don't get bored.

I loved this!

Although I agree a good game needs a compeling story with interesting characters but this idea tends to over shadow the art itself. People think that as long as the things under it are good then they dont have to worry about what goes on top but artwork in itself can be deeper. Contrast, shading, subtle hints of colour or shape, they can all make for great experiences. My favourite games are ones with not JUST interesting story, characters and enjoyable gameplay but ones that ALSO use their art style to push these other things even higher.

This may be the most ive ever agreed with an article on the Escapist.

People might think im shallow but I think that why look at it as style over substance when the style ITSELF can be substance... if that makes sense.

I think it is good that a new engine is able to deliver visual effects that are nice to see. It would be interesting to see what the engine would do for a 3rd person game or a sand box world.

Stevepinto3:

In The Matrix, the virtual world was tinted green to help the audience keep track of what world they were in.

Oh my god. I never noticed this before, but the minute I read it I instantly thought back to the movie and realized it was true. Mind is blown.

They did this in Gladiator too: all of the opening in Germania was all tinted blue to make it feel cold and uninviting, and all of Rome had a very yellow filter to give off the dusty, dry, desert feel. Most movies do, and for the most part, we don`t realize it. Which is what makes it so awesome. :)

Damnit Shamus, now you made me want to play Jade Empire again. That was a truly beautiful game, remember the pirates' lair? Or the Imperial City? Or the Heaven level? Yeah, it had the graphical finesse of the last console generation, but it still had this weird charm about it. And colors, lots and lots of colors. And an end boss to whom you could surrender and get a corresponding "sacrifice" ending. Lovely game, I DEMAND A SEQUEL!

SupahGamuh:

draythefingerless:
Want me to blow your mind right now?.........

Bioshock, American McGee, Borderlands, and last but not least, Mirrors Edge, all use the Unreal Engine. There are pretty games out there. Its easy to overlook them to promote how bad some others look.

Yeah... those too... well...

Alraight, okay, those game do have more variety in their color schemes, I know, first hand, that they all look great (except Mirrors Edge wich I haven't played it yet and American McGee's wich, well, hasn't been released yet) and I may add Arkham Asylum to that list of yours. Maybe I overreacted saying UE3 in every sentence I wrote, but that wasn't the point, heck, I'm learning how to use the UE3.

I was just saying that we need more color in our gaming lives, not more shades of grey and brown. And for the record, I can't wait for Brink to get released and that game looks like it's going to have some impressive and colorful art assets.

Make no mistake, i dont like the U3 engine that much. Nothing against, just i find other engines prettier and better, as well as easier and much more interesting. This engine is old now. It needs to be replaced, and NOT by another fucking Unreal engine. Theyll just update it with better graphics. like from U2 to U3.

You're kidding me right? Crysis 2 was the most bland colorless experience i've ever played.
If you want color in a Crysis game, play the first one.

Brink looks to be positioning itself in the colourful shooter lineup. I really like the Hyperealistic exaggerated art-style they went with.

But yeah totally agree, more inventive use of colour in games please.

I agree that Crysis 2 is unusually good looking and colourful for a DX9 game.

But I'd preferred if they'd have spent that cash on actual gameplay instead. The entirety of Crysis 2 plays like the less-than-stellar parts of the first games, in my opinion.

Sure, colour it up, but pretty graphics does not make for a good game-- however creative the lighting or contrasts be. In my opinion as a gamer, most major studios are just doing it plain wrong. Once they have the gameplay and mechanics there, they should start thinking about artwork, not this cinema-style production that seems to be going on with most major releases today. Everything is conceputalized and story-boarded; gameplay is molded to fit visual styles rather than the other way around. Even the players actions are molded to visual styles through quick-time events and heavy-handed scripting. Crysis 2 is a great example of just that; Bulletstorm springs to mind as well. Everything is a gimmick, more or less-- I suppose that's what designers convince themselves "gameplay elements" are.

At least that's the feel I get from these games. Colour isn't going to help, at least not in my case. I'm going to pick up Brink when it releases, but I'm anticipating dissapointment by forcing myself through Crysis 2 and Bulletstorm while mumbling under my breath....

What I'm most sore about is that I bought those games, thus I'm involuntarily supporting these developers and might contribute to them thinking they've got it right. I constitute a "succesful sale" in their view, no doubt. OC, I'm unlikely to buy any more games from People Can Fly or CryTek, but see if they care....

Excellent points, and I suspect that the only reason excellent use of color didn't lead to a shout out to Mirrors Edge is because that is an ENTIRE article unto itself.

The thing that depresses me is that, however much I love watching Yahtzees videos, odds are he is going to call it a, "Brown and Grey Shooter". After watching his criticism of Bulletstorm, I suspect that in a shooter, he won't call the game colorful unless its made out of care bears vomiting rainbows.

I'm more interested in the Crysis series now.

From what I'd heard, it just used its graphics to render the colour green over and over again, which I suppose is better than brown, but still. But from the posts on this thread and Shamus' article, it looks colourful and nice.

And I like colour in games.

Also: I know good graphics are just a bonus, but they are a damn nice bonus. Look at the Battlefield 3 trailers. Never before have I seen "realistic war" look so good.

*I'm talking about George Lucas, the filmmaker who was active in the 70's and 80's,

At the time Lucas was surrounded by directors, writers and editors to channel his creative mind into good films. If he had total control like he did with the prequels, the original trilogy would have failed.

"I think one of the problems... is the fact that [Lucas] doesn't have more people around him who really challenge him"
- Gary Kurtz
This had been evident to most of us after TPM released, though I confirmed it when I found a website cataloging deleted scenes from the original trilogy. Irving Kirschner was responsible for rejecting a - get this - Wampa subplot in The Empire Strikes Back. Kirschner probably argued limited time and money couldn't justify an elective and questionable sequence, and he won the argument. Incredible resources and total control fifteen years later, on the other hand, brought us something like the Gungan sea-monkey kingdom.

"Special effects are a tool. A means to tell the story. People have a tendancy to confuse them as the ends themselves. A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing."
- George Lucas, early 80's (wait, HE said that?)

Crysis 2 hurts my eyes though.

SO MUCH BLOOM

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