Maximum Color

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008Zulu:

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?

Actually, it is because of a limitation of those engines. Keeping the color range narrow and very washed-out hides a lot of flaws and limitations in your rendering. One big thing that could be gained from next-gen hardware would be enough graphical power to throw color around more easily.

I noticed the movie Sucker Punch did something similar, using dark, faded out colouring in "reality" and a much more vibrant, colour filled palette in the bourdel scenes, then going all out in the fantastic battles. It's so masterfully crafter that I was sorry I didn't bring a camera into the cinema to take still frame pictures and then hang them all over my room.

Shamus Young:
Experienced Points: Maximum Color

Shamus wants more games to use color like Crysis 2

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Color is one of those elements that cannot happen accidentally, and that's why it usually doesn't. If the people creating your characters and the people creating your environments aren't communicating specifically about color schemes and motifs, it's just not going to work out. Either everyone decides to make their pet projects "pop" with vibrant colors, making the game look like someone coated the world with Skittles and cocaine, or everyone plays it safe, and you end up with nine shades of brown.

I think the other issue is that artists are afraid that highly-saturated, contrasting colors will ruin the realism of a game environment. People don't go to war in marching band uniforms, right? The problem is that the game world lacks a lot of the other visual cues that helps us parse out all the information we receive into an coherent picture of reality. Bland worlds may "look" real, but they don't feel real, because we're not getting the same sense of visual comprehension the real world gives us.

Textures are important, don't get me wrong. We've come light years on making sure different surfaces "feel" different in games. But I agree that this has just caused us to ignore the more basic elements that are basic for a reason--they're the foundation, not an afterthought.

I'm with you here, Shamus. I am at the point now that I cringe a little every time I read a "we're developing our own engine..." My vision isn't that great and the fidelity we have in graphics now gives me all I can use or really appreciate.

More development $$$ poured into incremental increases doesn't pay off for me. As long as I look forward at a screen, no peripheral vision cues, the graphics hit a ceiling for me to benefit from.

Color intensity, dynamics and artwork last longer in my awareness.

Plus once I'm on the ride in a game, my focus invariably narrows to my target or goal of the moment. The grays and browns all muddle to invisibility, no matter how photo realistic they might be.

Here's hoping that trend has peaked and LESS realistic looking and colorful environments are being recognized as more fun to look at and play within.

BloodSquirrel:
Actually, it is because of a limitation of those engines. Keeping the color range narrow and very washed-out hides a lot of flaws and limitations in your rendering. One big thing that could be gained from next-gen hardware would be enough graphical power to throw color around more easily.

Game engines are right now at the time and level to render colour as easily as brown and grey. The engine THQ uses for its upcoming Space Marine game, the game itself is dark and gritty, but compare the surrounding features to the stark blue of the Ultramarines armour.

If your using grey and brown to hide the flaws in your games, then I must wonder about the many games released over the last 7 or 8 years that used alot of brown and grey to hide all the game's problems.

this is April Fools joke, right?

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