Jimquisition: Photorealistic Sociopathy

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Anoni Mus:

blackrave:
It is fairly simple for me
1.Story
2.Gameplay
3.Visual style
4.Animations
5.Controls
6.Graphics

Putting story over gameplay? Why even play games? Just grab a book or watch a movie since you must love cutscenes.

Yes, I don't get how someone can put story over gameplay, specially considering that story in games mostly suck.

Also, you missed sound and music, pretty important too.

No, I agree. A well made story can surpass awkward gameplay in my book, provided the story is good enough.

Some great examples include Silent Hill. The game controls very poorly, but the story is so insanely good and rich and full of meaning and depth that I don't care one bit how clunky moving around and combat are. The same applies towards many RPGs, whose mechanics I hate but whose story, world-building, and characters are so indelible to experience that I would gladly suffer through random battles and bad menus to see more.

And sometimes a great game can be ruined by a bad story (Mass Effect 3, Bionic Commando, Final Fantasy XIII, etc.)

Granted, you can have great gameplay and a bad story (Mario!) and you can have a great story and bad gameplay, but I'm of the opinion that it's all in the approach. While I'd like BOTH to be good, sometimes a great narrative can overcome bad game design, and sometimes great gameplay can overcome a stupid story.

And sometimes, just sometimes, we get something like PORTAL. Yay.

Anoni Mus:

blackrave:
It is fairly simple for me
1.Story
2.Gameplay
3.Visual style
4.Animations
5.Controls
6.Graphics

Putting story over gameplay? Why even play games? Just grab a book or watch a movie since you must love cutscenes.

Yes, I don't get how someone can put story over gameplay, specially considering that story in games mostly suck.

Easy: Because the way one experiences a story in a game is far different from a movie or a book, providing something that both movies and books cannot provide, and many enjoy that difference. Simple as that. :P

blackrave:
It is fairly simple for me
1.Story
2.Gameplay
3.Visual style
4.Animations
5.Controls
6.Graphics

Visual style, animations and graphics are all part of the same thing, visual presentation. Great graphics are a trip to the uncanny valley without good animation. Games like Witcher 2 and Metro 2033 failed to show great animation. Visual style can criple the exp. if they are the one element your game shows too much. The cheerleader, zombie game. Forgot what it was called and No More Heroes. Lots of visual style, in fact too much.

Nicolaus99:
"I think no religious statement has any place in something that isn't a church or a religious topic." - Jim Sterling

Golly gee Jim. Maybe you should go and try to do some more of that actual Journalism you were talking about earlier. Do you even know where Dan Cathy made his statement concerning his personal opinion on gay marriage? Of course not. You're too busy stroking your outrage in defense of your liberal opinions. Here, I've done it for you since you were too busy to bother:

http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=38271

Here, I'll even reference some of your fellow liberals:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/dan-cathy-chick-fil-a-president-anti-gay_n_1680984.html

He said it in an interview with "The Baptist Press: News With A Christian Perspective". A relevant place for one to speak his mind on religious opinion? Have some crow to go with that side fat you'll be scooping out and eating. Maybe you can open an episode with you stuffing some Chick Fil A into your maw.

"Oh no, I'll defend a guy on his free speech, by saying that someone else should not say something"

Oh wait, you forget the fact that he's using the money to pursue his own viewpoint.

Since you're not overtly pleasant, I can say without guilt that you should do your own damn research before running your mouth.

On topic: I liked the fact that you talked about books. You can make an engaging character with only the power of words.

I think MovieBob covered this in his"Reality Sucks" Game Overthinker video, although he said it was mostly because he didn't LIKE reality in his games because he hates the real world and prefers video games as an escape from that. Others, like Extra Credits, have said there ARE merits to photorealistic graphics, but we're not quite there yet, and it's a lot cheaper more cost-efficient to make a good-looking, yet less graphically impressive game. Really, though, I think that reality has it's place, but too many games are trying to hard to mimic the look of reality, without actually getting the appeal of reality, or using it properly in a game.

Rellik San:
I regularly have this debate with so called 'hardcore' gamers.

"Urgh... you're not hardcore, you're playing that stupid ball rolley sticky thing game, that's for kids."
"Says the man who shelled out 50 for a 6 hour wank fantasy because he's too scared to join the real army..."

Yeah! That'll teach them! Fight their sorry flawed arguments with sorry flawed arguments of your own!

Anoni Mus:
Putting story over gameplay? Why even play games? Just grab a book or watch a movie since you must love cutscenes.

Yes, I don't get how someone can put story over gameplay, specially considering that story in games mostly suck.

Also, you missed sound and music, pretty important too.

Because games can tell stories in ways that other mediums can't.

Take Journey - that game had me in floods of tears at the end and sure a film version could have had similar striking visuals, religious overtones, and Austin Wintory's beautiful score; but it was a game so it was me climbing that mountain and forming an emotional connection with my companion and that made it far more effective than a film could ever be.

Hell, Psychonauts is possibly my absolute favourite game and it's only middling in the gameplay stakes. It gains points for wonderfully inventive level, art and sound design of course, but where it really excels is the detailing in the narrative. Most people just run through the game in a few hours, and the story makes perfect sense if you do that, but the game constantly rewards you for exploring, even the most incidental characters have little plot arcs and character quirks that you can entirely miss even with multiple playthroughs. Obviously skimming through a book can have a similar sort of effect, but the way this kind of variable pacing can be a natural part of games is really interesting to me.

I don't know if I'd be able to make a straight-up prioritised list like blackrave did (and I would absolutely agree that kickass sound design is really important), but I can say that having interesting storytelling is the one way to guarantee that I will sit up and pay attention to your game. And whilst I extoll the virtues of games with interesting or well-executed game mechanics, its the ones with interesting narrative that stick with me for years.

HalfTangible:
Dammit, I was perfectly ready to thank god for you and then you go and do that chick-fil-a crap AGAIN...

First of all Jim, 'i support traditional marriage' is a political opinion, not a religious one.

Second of all, you should at LEAST hate the food served somewhere before you cut out your own fat over it >.>

Name one reason an atheist (ie non religious reason) would give to deny same sex marriage that isn't an outright lie and I might buy that. Just to curb some of the easy lies, our world is drastically overpopulated so a couple not producing offspring isn't bad in fact this needs to happen more if we're ever to reach some sustainability. Adopted children tend to do better with gay parents then straight in every peer reviewed statistical study. This isn't because gay people are better parents but only those who really thought about having children and really want them have kids and so they are self selecting. This is also due to the stricter vetting procedure of adoption. In other words gay people don't accidentally have kids and lock them in a closet for 10 years because they both can't and wouldn't bother.

Also, homosexuality is most likely a common (roughly one in ten) genetic mutation like having a longer second toes. This can be shown many ways, one of which is that homosexual men also have higher predispositions towards other specific physical traits. In other words, it is not a choice. Therefore, politically, in a society that claims universal freedom and life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, denying some people the right to love is fundamentally against the founding principles of the country and, politically speaking, only has religious rational to make the division. Given the doctrine that calls for separation of church and state the reasons and many other religious based decisions are also against the fundamental principles of yours, and nearly every other first world country, most of whom no longer consider it an issue.

Also, the idea that "games need to be photorealistic to be emotional" is akin to those idiots who think that animated movies or TV show can't reach the depth or maturity that live action can give, completely ignoring what REALLY drives the emotions in those fields.

I agree, it's complete nonsense. I've felt plenty of genuine emotional reactions to games from this generation. So many in fact that I've lost count of them.

All this photo realism things comes across as is corporations making excuses for the fact that they are running on empty.

The most pathetic thing about this issue is that so many people consider the argument relevant.
It's not. Anyone who gives this issue an excessive amount of their time in any way should find something better to do.

More often than not the unrealistic games evoke more emotions in my emotionless soul than the realistic ones, except perhaps one emotion the rage when screwing up etc in for example BF3... :)

But Bastion, BGE, Limbo, Braid, even freaking Kingdom Hearts were more emotion evoking than Crysis, CoD 99million, BF3... But will they learn no, will they understand no.
Why? They are execs leading a company with money as only driving power they don't care if a game is bad as long as it's selling and will make their upcoming titles also sell....
Whilst the smaller developers (and some unique ones like Valve) do it more (rarely only though) for conveying emotions or make good games or just have fun, money is more of a secondary positive incentive to make something great....

Thats at least how I see it, there's always exceptions to the rules however.

you're a good guy in a good position. keep bein' awesome and spreadin' the good word, Jim.

Sociopathy? Don't you mean psychopathy jim?

TitanAura:
I would rather have the freedom to do the same than suppress anyone's right to say otherwise. I believe Chick-fil-A has a right to express such an opinion even if doing so is a very very stupid thing to do indeed.

I don't recall Jim suggesting that Chick-Fil-A (or its representatives) should not have the right to express an opinion.

*facepalm*

I get the feeling that most next-gen Triple A developers have never played a game like Final Fantasy VI, which doesn't have realistic graphics but is possibly one of the emotional games I've ever played, and one of my all-time favorites.

Seriously, every new year, we get less and less memorable characters coming out for games that we accurately remember even months or years after we've put down the game. I can only think of Reznov of CoD (for his campiness and sheer likable dickishness) and the Geth from Mass Effect as memorable characters that really stand out and you can remember even after you've put down the game from this generation, but way back in the older games, I can think of Crash, Spyro, the entire cast of Final Fantasies VI and VII, and Mario and Luigi's portrayals in the Mario & Luigi GBA series.

Stop allocating money to the graphics department, and start spending more money on your story. I've seen MW3 and Battlefield 3 on my HDTV, and they look gorgeous. Now that I've stopped caring, please give me a story worth a damn.

I chuckled at "Colbert Report".

Anyway, I have to imagine this is the reaction to calling out how David Cage is kind of bad with emotions:


Which, funnily enough, proves the point almost as well as the awkward sex scenes. Unless that cop was supposed to have Tourette's, in which case, I apologize. But I think we all know that he isn't supposed to have that.

Also, great use of "Thank god for me" this week.

Sseth:
I remember back when the entire escapist thought Jim was too full of himself and everyone wanted the show cancelled when he first started making these videos. Now I rarely see anything but praise for the Jimquisition.

Eat it, disbelievers. I love this show. Great episode.

Damn straight skippy. I liked this show then and I still like it now. Suck it, haters.

pretty good episode, but I just have to say this just because.

Hatfilms Hatfilms Hatfilms oh my god Hatfilms were in this.

I agree completely. I think aesthetics are way more important than graphical fidelity and have for the longest time. I wish developers would realize this also.

I cant wait until we achieve photo realism in games, so we can stop trying to achieve photo realism in games.

Maby then the people with the money can stop showing off fancy new rendering engines in scripted events and focus on fun original idea's AND OR story's

(of the opinion a game doesn't need a story, so if your going to include one, it better be good.)

Nah. I love Bastion, Portal or BGoE just as much as I love Crysis, AssCreed or Far Cry.

The thing is, you can make a simplistic-looking, but otherwise great game on old hardware.

You want the next, better Crysis? Can't do.

I fully agree graphics isn't everything. But the point is that games shouldn't RELY on graphics and good graphics shouldn't REQUIRED of ALL games. But it's still important in some games. And yes, Crysis was awesome.

Nicolaus99:
"I think no religious statement has any place in something that isn't a church or a religious topic." - Jim Sterling

Golly gee Jim. Maybe you should go and try to do some more of that actual Journalism you were talking about earlier. Do you even know where Dan Cathy made his statement concerning his personal opinion on gay marriage? Of course not. You're too busy stroking your outrage in defense of your liberal opinions. Here, I've done it for you since you were too busy to bother:

http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=38271

Here, I'll even reference some of your fellow liberals:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/17/dan-cathy-chick-fil-a-president-anti-gay_n_1680984.html

He said it in an interview with "The Baptist Press: News With A Christian Perspective". A relevant place for one to speak his mind on religious opinion? Have some crow to go with that side fat you'll be scooping out and eating. Maybe you can open an episode with you stuffing some Chick Fil A into your maw.

I know I'm gonna regret diving in to this, but the Chick-fil-a thing is not about what someone said, it's about what he does.
Maybe, in general, it isn't right to punish a whole company for what the guy on top thinks, but there's a pretty solid reason why to make an exeption in this case. The dude doesn't just gives money to anti-gay-marrige causes, he has donated to make homosexuality illegal, and to stop the US from condemning the "Kill-the-Gays" from Uganda (I think, not great on geografy).
Think about that, he thinks that we shouldnt say that killing gays is wrong. Buying from Chick-fil-a is giving him money, giving him money is supporting murder, that's the long and the short of it.
I'm a vegetarian, and we don't even have Chick-fil-a's where I'm from, but I feel like going to the US just to not eat there, that's how bad this is.

wackelpudding:
I wouldn't say BioShock Infinite goes for a cartoony art style or something -- it's certainly not as (photo-)realistic as some of the Call of Honourfields but it goes for as realistic as its fantasy setting allows -- but this is an episode were I could've shouted "Amen!" every five seconds nonetheless. Good job!

Nah, BioShock Infinite has a conciously cartoony look. Take a look at the main girl, her anatomy isn't proper, just look at her eyes, and it isn't about fantasy, it's because a cartoony faces are easier to relate to, their expressions are more clear. And look at the art for that game in general, it's subtle, I'll give you, but it's colouring and texturing is conciously non-realistic. It fits the setting better, and photorealism would take away from the unique tone of the game

Redd the Sock:
Anyone that says you need photorealistic graphics for empotional investment, I have two words for you:

Aerith Gainsbourough

Final Fantasy VII was a game that drove a lot of emotion despite a graphics level making characters look like Lego a lot of the time. Hell, FFVI got me in a few places with fucking pixels. Just admit you'd rather be making movies and move on.

Actually the graphics is what made that game so big it was in the early days of 3D and the first time we saw a non sprite character give emotions. Better graphics can help but should never be the main appeal of a game if it is it's not a game it's a tech demo

Anyone who would tell a developer they are full of shit for wanting photo-realistic graphics is somebody that doesn't think games are art.

My entire stance on what the 2k bossfella said in one word:
Bollocks.

-|-:
Anyone who would tell a developer they are full of shit for wanting photo-realistic graphics is somebody that doesn't think games are art.

I'm pretty sure that anyone who thinks photo-realism is a requirement for something to be art has zero grasp on what art is actually.

Why is Limbo given as an example with "10%" graphics? Limbo looks great, a testament that visual expression can be achieved with good art direction. But anyway, back to our 3d world.

While playing Skyrim and The Witcher 2, I felt that the better a game looks, the harder it is to make it immersive. Why? Because of the bloody screen. I've spent my early teen life playing flight simulators and not a month goes by without me searching the internet for the latest news in head tracking gear and head mounted displays. The 3d gimmick has never caught on, and even with photorealistic graphics it would still be limiting. What we need to do is go INSIDE the game. Publishers should support the virtual helmet industry, to market cheaper and cheaper versions. Even Borderlands 1 would be THE SHIT if played on such a device. Yes, there are lots of issues regarding control and aiming, but the rewards of cracking that would be amazing. I mean ffs, the mouse is still regarded as the best way to aim a weapon in a game. Surely we can do better. The first wave of helmet games would be simulators, maybe even sparking new interest in a dying genre. But soon after, you'd have exploration games, where the environment would become more and more important.

So, to sum up, photorealism? Neah. Head mounted displays? Now you're talkin...

I'm not gonna lie. I sat through the whole episode and now 5 minutes later couldn't say a damn thing about it. Completely forgettable.

That's really not a good thing. I obviously speak for just myself, but where usually I find some humor and memorable points to take from it... This week, I am just struggling to try and figure out what you were trying to say? Console generation isn't over? Graphically pleasing = suck? I don't know...

A clear sign of creatively lazy developers.

Great episode Jim, thank Jim for you.

karamazovnew:
Why is Limbo given as an example with "10%" graphics? Limbo looks great, a testament that visual expression can be achieved with good art direction. But anyway, back to our 3d world.

While playing Skyrim and The Witcher 2, I felt that the better a game looks, the harder it is to make it immersive. Why? Because of the bloody screen. I've spent my early teen life playing flight simulators and not a month goes by without me searching the internet for the latest news in head tracking gear and head mounted displays. The 3d gimmick has never caught on, and even with photorealistic graphics it would still be limiting. What we need to do is go INSIDE the game. Publishers should support the virtual helmet industry, to market cheaper and cheaper versions. Even Borderlands 1 would be THE SHIT if played on such a device. Yes, there are lots of issues regarding control and aiming, but the rewards of cracking that would be amazing. I mean ffs, the mouse is still regarded as the best way to aim a weapon in a game. Surely we can do better. The first wave of helmet games would be simulators, maybe even sparking new interest in a dying genre. But soon after, you'd have exploration games, where the environment would become more and more important.

So, to sum up, photorealism? Neah. Head mounted displays? Now you're talkin...

If you haven't done it already, I suggest you take a look at this Kickstarter project:
Oculus Rift

It's mainly a kickstarter for developers (rewards include the devkit but not the "user" device alone), but they have a working prototype and apparently they managed to impress a lot of people in the industry (just watch the video). It seems exciting stuff.

I touched on a similar topic awhile back on my blog. You can read it here (if your interested):

http://caseygoddard.blogspot.jp/2011/11/under-hood.html

Basically, I think graphic showcase games are to video games as a whole, in the same way muscle cars are to automobiles in general. Yeah, they got a big engine are fun to mess around in, but the suspension and handling aren't great. They got horrible gas mileage, and you can't do a whole lot with then aside from showing off.

Samantha Burt:

-|-:
Anyone who would tell a developer they are full of shit for wanting photo-realistic graphics is somebody that doesn't think games are art.

I'm pretty sure that anyone who thinks photo-realism is a requirement for something to be art has zero grasp on what art is actually.

Sure, but that's not what I said.

Hmm... I agree on a certain scale; I generally tend to feel that game creators that "need" more processing power before they can make a good game are in some sense being lazy, not just because it suggests that all other aspects of game creation are taking the back seat to chrome, but because every generation previous tends to make not only its best games but its most technically innovative ones when it's pushed past the outer limits of what the hardware is supposedly capable of doing... And frankly, I'm not entirely convinced we're there, yet. Do today's games really look all that much better from those made in 2010?

But on the other hand, I have to wonder if good graphics have to be a crutch or a burden, if that isn't to some degree more a problem of game design/business philosophy than an inescapable problem or a technical one. It's easy to post on your box that you're using the latest version of Unreal Tech; it's easy to wow trade show audiences with a particle-effect heavy sand storm or the pores on realistically shifting and light-reflecting skin. It's harder to make it clear in an advertisement or a screen shot or even a short demo that the game has an engaging plot, or deep, sympathetic characters, or even an innovative new interface. "Indie" games have the benefit that most of their business doesn't come from trade show buzz or million-dollar advertising campaigns, but from good reviews and word-of-mouth; in the current climate, I think most AAA- and even single-A game creators feel that if people don't start champing at the bit to buy a game long before the first reviews and word-of-mouth, they've already lost.

"...flat and dry as a mummy's titts..."

That was so funny that I failed to laugh as my brain struggled to fully appreciate the hilarity of what was being said.
I still haven't laughed. I think I'm under shock.

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