you know what?...fuck it....graphics ARE important

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Graphics are not important, art design is important.

Hence why Terraria looks amazing, while having shitty graphics.

Vault101:

Sonic Doctor:
[snip.

I think theres more in Banjo Kazooie, just can;t remember

anyway, Conkers bad fur day and the banjo games are like inversions of each other

Banjo Kazooie its subtle, under the radar

Conkers bad fur day its right there, in your face

Well, sort of, but my point was a comparison of the first and second Banjo games.

There really wasn't much if any adult style jokes in the first game, at least from what I've played so far, and I'm almost half way through it.

What I was getting at was that it was, Banjo, Conker, then Banjo 2. Since the first game really has nothing adult in it and the second game does, my thinking was that somebody at Rare was trying to rope in the people that liked the first game and the people that made Conker a hit, but not get the second game an mature rating. Point: The popularity of the Conker game made them bled some of that humor over into Banjo-Tooie.

But, whatever, we are getting off topic from the point of your thread.

Where were we...ah, yes. Graphics!

I do agree in some instances that graphics are important, my whole original point was that even though the graphics of the Banjo games don't stand up by today's standards, they still stand up as great, more than playable, games today.

Rabble rabble rabble!

In the end, it's all just personal opinion. I wholly disagree with everything you said there - I was totally engaged with Doom, Deus Ex, and Half-Life, all ofhich I played 2009 onwards. So fair enough, but don't start thinking your opinion is universal.

I feel that a unified art style and good asthetics can make up for a lack of graphical fidelity. Pokemon's a good example: the graphics aren't whoosh crikey amazing but a consistant art style and cleverly utilising the asthetics make if very playable from about the Gameboy color generation onwards, I have an issue seeing the monochrome ones now a days but I respect their position in life.

Yeah people that say "game don't need graphics!" generally think graphics means something that it doesn't.

Super Mario world still has spectacular graphics. Graphics are just the images that make up the game, and they are very important. Think Saints Row would be as popular if all the games were brown and grey?

It's kind of like how people associate "realism" with that same brown and grey look even though reality contains every color we can conceive of.

I know some will say that I am talking about aesthetic and not graphics, but that's only because the definition was changed to accommodate those that used the word in a certain way. I refuse to do that.

Anybody that thinks "graphics" is a linear progression of quality doesn't understand the full spectrum of creativity.

I agree to a point. Whereas I might stop playing a game because it's graphics are ancient, a lot of the reasoning behind the abandonment of the game will have to do with how the gameplay is EQUALLY ancient.

I mean, I play Half Life 1 with ease, because it is fundamentally just another FPS (because it invented contemporary FPS controls more or less), but if I play Deus Ex the First I am in real danger if abandoning the game because not only is everything a bit unrefined (stealth really just feels like guesswork for me) the level design is also not great (just caverns behind walls instead of air ducts, for example)

Age of Empires 1 is a beautiful game, but it looks old (especially compared to AoE2) and it's gameplay feels even older!

Other games I have abandoned thanks to ancient gameplay that aged just as badly as the graphics? Try Civilization: Call to Power, or Rainbox Six, or X-Com

Deus Ex HR actually isn't that good in the graphics department. It's saved by the fact that it's got brilliant art direction. I think we're at the point right now where we can pretty much stop improving graphics, and it will not take away from the experience. The only graphics that actually bother me are ones that constantly take you out of the game because they are that bad, or you're just constantly exposed to the substandard element. Take Monster Hunster on the PSP, for instance. It only ruined my experience when I was picking herbs with not much else to do, or when the monsters glided along walls or glitched with the scenery. But when I was just swinging the sword around the the open with them, it was fine. I think that now, graphics are good enough that most games are better at immersing you than graphics are at ruining it, except that we're going to get constantly better graphics because in some games, it's the only thing that's safe enough for developers to improve without incurring wrath of some sort. So they ramp up the visuals without innovating where it counts. And that's just going to lead to games that are prohibitively expensive to produce.

I think the main test is, when you look back a few years, can you play some of those games without immediately noticing the s*** graphics? That is when graphics are good enough, and that's starting to happen for me.

Graphics are not so much "not important", it's just they can't be relied upon.
Some developers think that making their game as pretty as possible, is the first course of action necessary for a game, and that making a game that has the highest graphics possible will keep it from failing, both sales and reviews wise. You can polish shite to a perfect shine, but in the end, it's still shite.

Yeah, graphics are an important factor in games. It's like choosing someone to go out with. We all know looks aren't important, and it's what's inside that counts most of all, but even deeper down, we know damn well that looks are still important too.

Every time I try and play Morrowind I completely lose it over how awful the character models and animations are. It's like everyone is constantly walking around with shit in their pants. I still have barely played that game.

So yes, graphics are pretty important.

I appreciate good graphics when I see them, really do. And by that I mean the whole package. Textures, animations, consitent characters etc. and ALSO the UI which -for some reason- a lot of people seem to ignore completely even though it's in the "right in your face the whole time" category.

That being said, I played Oblivion for 2 minutes and uninstalled it in disgust. Then I re-installed it and modded the crap out of it to make it bearable. Had to do the same now with Skyrim but as it's Bethesda (and I know they like to punish PC gamers for all the unspeakable evil they have done to the company in the past) I was prepared to do so. And yeah.. it looks nice now.

Suicidejim:
Yeah, graphics are an important factor in games. It's like choosing someone to go out with. We all know looks aren't important, and it's what's inside that counts most of all, but even deeper down, we know damn well that looks are still important too.

But looks start to fade after a while. In the end whats inside remains.

Of course graphics are important, without them we wouldn't be playing video games at all. heh heh, sorry..

But I assume we're talking modern high fidelity graphics, with high polygon counts, shader effects, soft lighting, soft particles, SGSSAA, Anisotropic filtering, ambient occlusion, HDRR, soft-scene reflections, Tessellation, Depth of Field and all that stuff some PC gamers (although not all of us, we're a varied breed) get wet in the pants thinking about, well..

Fuck it, yes its important, not the most important thing in the game, but its up there, top three at the very least. Having quality graphics can mean the difference between being sucked into a game, and having to fight it all the way. But of course, this also needs to be offset with a quality art-direction (I generally bundle aesthetics with graphics, although some people have them separated), you can survive with one or the other, but you really want it to be both, technically impressive and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Metro 2033, I thought, was a good example of this.

Of course.. all of this is for nothing if the gameplay mechanics suck and the level design is bland. Even with the best tech under its hood, it's still going to be boring.

Graphics are important, but having the highest polygon/pixel/normal map size/atmospherics effects/number of dynamic lights are not, unless they add to the final visual appearance.

Some very old games are grating to play now because the graphics are bad enough that you can barely tell what's going on. That said, I can still quite happily play Half Life or the first Halo or even the first Spyro The Dragon if I ever manage to find it again.
Graphics aren't the be all and end all, but they need to be good enough for everything that's happening to be clear to the player, and a good aesthetic can make a game so much more memorable than one with a poor aesthetic.

Don't confuse high poly counts with solid aesthetic design. Yes, nice graphics are important, but it can become a form of procrastination within a games company. Making high polygon models for everything takes a ton of manpower, especially for a 30+ hour epic where the player is being taken through 6 or 7 visually unique environments. It can even lead to cutting fiscal or chronological corners in other departments or developmental stages.

Are you really going to care that much if your gun has 100 or 1000 polygons as long as it looks good? Probably not. So, it IS important that a game looks good, but just remember that it shouldn't be the carrying factor for a game, nor should it be completely forgotten.

Well, the mantra that I go by is that graphics are important to an extent. As in, a PS3 game shouldn't look as if it's a PS1 game, but I don't have any qualms with the graphics of a PS1 game like Crash Bandicoot because it looks appropriate for its time and it's colourful. Also, the graphics of a game, regardless of age, shouldn't be so bad that they obscure what you're doing or are actively distracting, like the Virtual Boy.

I mean, I hold my original Game Boy games close to my heart, but I sold my actual Game Boy long ago because why should I have to put up with black-and-white on that calculator-screened brick when I can play it in actual colour on a Game boy Colour or Game Boy Advance, both of which I can play in my hands without it being clunky? All right, that wasn't solely to do with graphics, but the point still stands. And the original Game Boy's still a Big Thing, having practically shaped the world of handheld gaming that we know and love today. Just that people would prefer to physically play the Game Boy Advance, just like most people would prefer to watch Chris Nolan's Batman films rather than Tim Burton's far more influential, but more flawed (to the point that you might as well have called it "The Joker, starring Batman and that random damsel who we're meant to give a crap about called Vicki Vale"), Batman.

There are some occasions where I actually prefer the retro 2D sprite-based graphics to the 3D graphics of today (or worse, those blocky polygons of the N64 and PS1 days), like Sonic the Hedgehog and Donkey Kong Country. Those just look so fucking lush and I can just as easily get immersed in their worlds as a free-roaming 3D world. Part of that reason is due to the gameplay being that good. And the music-don't forget the music, because that's a pretty important part of a game as well, probably just as much as graphics.

All in all-it depends. Yeah, they're important, but not as important as gameplay, obviously, which are the meat and potatoes of a game. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is regarded as one of the best games in history, and it's not because of Link's beautifully Lego-constructed face.

Also, aesthetic direction (someone's already mentioned this, but I just wanted to throw it in too to further support my opinions). Again, look at Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Donkey Kong Country 3, Yoshi's Island, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, and tell me with a straight face that they don't look wonderful, even today. I would much rather play any one of those games than five-shades-of-brown Call of Doody: Modern Borefare 2. And yes, I know I sounded like an immature fanboy there, but whatever. I admit that I've got a soft spot for the retro. When I play game, old or new, I don't really notice and/or care about the quality of its graphics, unless it's a real painting-like masterpiece or it's so bad that it obscures stuff.

Graphics are important yes, but for the love of god stop it with the lens flares already!

Yeah, I'm glad someone said something. It was getting a little obnoxious nowadays.

For some games, it's not to important. But honestly, would people be giving as much a shit about Watch Dogs if it didn't look as pretty as the demo made it out to be? The animation and the graphics made that game demo.

Vault101:
yes

thats right

GRAPHICS ARE IMPORTANT

"what IS this?!" you say "has Vault101 snapped and gone insane?", you know what?...mabye I have, mabye I've lost my mind and joned the COD drones, and why not? the dark side is so beutiful

you see....I hear it all the time...over and over and over and over and over with the same smug sense of absolute truth..."graphics arn't important, they don't make the game"

bullshit! I say, graphics can greatly make or break my experience

is it because I'm just a spoiled current gen gamer? who has been corrupted by High definition and anti aliasing? who could not look at a game that game out before 2007 without vomiting? ever since I played the opening to Bioshock?

well mabye

take a game like Deus Ex..brilliant game no doubt...but I can't play it, I can't lose myself in a world full of scary polygon people..I'm still in a game...I'm still surrounded by scary polygon people who will come at me in the night and shoot me or eat my face in the hopes of absorbing my high resolutions.....(just like the ones from Golden eye)

and if I were to pick up anything from thr N64 it would probably leave me feeling cold

AH! you say...what about art direction? about lovingly created works of art in your game? such as many 2D games or cell shading? and in many ways you are correct, the world in Monkey island 3 felt so real and viseral compared to the awful thing that was monkey island 4.....and I have fond memories of Donkey Kong country and Yoshis island

but somtimes its really not the same, somtimes I want to lose myself in a world...with lighting effects and all that...quirky little cartoon man running across a 2d plane doesnt really do that for me

I'm not saying games need all the technical specs to look pretty, Dead Space 2 I belive is absolutly gorgeous because of its dark/lighting and veiws of space

Hafe Life 2 is a game that should be well outdated..yet strangly it doesnt feel so, theres somthing about the scource engine that games its visuals strangly unique

this may be rather hypocritical..since I would say that I wouldn't feel such a connection to the charachters of Mass Effect series if they looked like the polygon people of my nightmares

on the other hand. no doubt I'll be pointing out their puppet like movments and the strange "samey" looking faces of unimportant people

to sum up my point I'd rather take the "dumbed down" Deus Ex: Human Revoltuion, with its sleek visuals and sexy art desgin...to its much more intelligent but horrifyingly hideous precuser Deus Ex 1

and its just me...I can't really help it

I can understand where you are coming from, and you bring up a good point in the whole "how important are graphics" debate.

I personally believe that graphics are an important part of the medium, as it is a visual medium primarily. My biggest complaint/argument against this though is that there seems to be this notion that graphics are the MOST IMPORTANT part of the game. I have to disagree with this for two reasons

Firstly, not every game needs to look like Crysis on Max res settings. It doesn't suit all games. While its nice to imagine Final Fantasy XIII graphics for CoD, or Diablo cutscene graphics for MassEffect (actually Diablo cutscene quality for anything.. cause damn that would be awesome) it doesnt fit the mood of all games.

Secondly, I find that games which try and push the graphics seem to be lacking in quality lately. Once again using the FF series. As their graphical "goodness" increases, their gameplay quality decreases

If you honestly believe this? Then I truly and honestly pity you, and at the same time feel shame that you are a gamer.

I could go into a long argument about why and art design and who and how. But you know what? Here's a list of games to go buy.

Terraria, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, Orcs Must Die, Jade Empire, Tropico 4, Skydrift, Minecraft, Rock of Ages, and Saints Row 2.

You're welcome

I think the amount graphics take a toll on your gaming experience depends on when you started playing the game. Older games that I had not grown up with, can sometimes seem horrible to me, just because the graphics are terrible; however, if I had grown up with the game and loved it when it came out, the graphics are insignificant. I guess it just depends on what you are used to.

Khazoth:
If you honestly believe this? Then I truly and honestly pity you, and at the same time feel shame that you are a gamer.

I could go into a long argument about why and art design and who and how. But you know what? Here's a list of games to go buy.

Terraria, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, Orcs Must Die, Jade Empire, Tropico 4, Skydrift, Minecraft, Rock of Ages, and Saints Row 2.

You're welcome

what was wrong with the graphics in saints row 2?

anyway, Ive said before...but its not like I'm purposfully going out of my way not "not enjoy" certain games

JoesshittyOs:
Yeah, I'm glad someone said something. It was getting a little obnoxious nowadays.

For some games, it's not to important. But honestly, would people be giving as much a shit about Watch Dogs if it didn't look as pretty as the demo made it out to be? The animation and the graphics made that game demo.

honestly? the concept sold it for me....I'm a sucker for cyber punk...and theres hardly any games this generation that fall below my "acceptible" threshold

It really is true. My inner graphics whore has told me this forever.

However, terrible graphics aren't a game-ruiner (although it makes it so the game has to try waaaaaay harder to be good). We have good games with bad gameplay (Dear Esther, The Path), good games with bad/no story (Evil Genius, The Movies), and good games with bad game design choices (Myst Online, Far Cry 2), so it's not a stretch to have a good game with bad graphics (Dwarf Fortress, pretty much every good game from before 2004).

Khazoth:
If you honestly believe this? Then I truly and honestly pity you, and at the same time feel shame that you are a gamer.

I could go into a long argument about why and art design and who and how. But you know what? Here's a list of games to go buy.

Terraria, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines, Orcs Must Die, Jade Empire, Tropico 4, Skydrift, Minecraft, Rock of Ages, and Saints Row 2.

You're welcome

>implying "Amnesia", "Tropico 4" or "Terraria" are games with bad graphics saved by good art design

And besides, if your actual graphics are pitiful enough, no amount of good design can save them. See:

lacktheknack:

And besides, if your actual graphics are pitiful enough, no amount of good design can save them. See:

>

DEAR GOD...is that what it looked like?....

the enviroments arnt so bad...but the charachter models (which are arguable just as important) are TERRIBLE

thwy should have gone cell shaded or somthing

Vault101:

lacktheknack:

And besides, if your actual graphics are pitiful enough, no amount of good design can save them. See:

>

DEAR GOD...is that what it looked like?....

the enviroments arnt so bad...but the charachter models (which are arguable just as important) are TERRIBLE

thwy should have gone cell shaded or somthing

But they had to use this newfangled technology known as "3D modeling"! How else were they supposed to keep the kids these days interested?

Plus, if you look closely at the environment, it suddenly starts to feel really unreal. Not a good sign for any game going for immersion.

lacktheknack:

But they had to use this newfangled technology known as "3D modeling"! How else were they supposed to keep the kids these days interested?

Plus, if you look closely at the environment, it suddenly starts to feel really unreal. Not a good sign for any game going for immersion.

huh..your riiiiiiight

I mean its got the art direction..but as you said it isnt enough, I mean its an adventure gaame for crying out loud..the charachters and their expressivness is vital..even the pixel art was better

SirBryghtside:
In the end, it's all just personal opinion. I wholly disagree with everything you said there - I was totally engaged with Doom, Deus Ex, and Half-Life, all ofhich I played 2009 onwards. So fair enough, but don't start thinking your opinion is universal.

never did

Nomanslander:
I say art-direction is what's important. What's the point of good graphics if you don't understand color theory, three point lighting, and building atmosphere.

This...this right here...is someone who gets it.

It's not about how "amazing" your graphical engine is. It's how you bloody use it.

I don't care if your engine can push a billion trillion polygons, textures so hi-res monitors can't handle them, and models so detailed they're mapped down to the atom. If your art direction is lazy, uncreative, and uninspired (or worse, not appropriate for your game) your game will look like shit. Simple as.

As the OP said, there's a reason games like Half-Life 2, Bioshock, and others; though they came out upwards of a decade ago; still look comparatively good today. It's because of the skill of the art team behind those games. They were able to work within the confines of their engine and craft imaginative, creative, and believable worlds.

So yes, Vault. You're at least partially right that graphics are important. However, it's not the "graphics" themselves that are key, it's how they're used.

Vault101:
snip

absolutely they are. i think the outright animosity towards attention to graphics comes from the ammount of games that look nice at the expense of any real depth. but by all means, a game with great mechanics that looks aweful is a deal breaker as well.

I think the reason you think Source engine games still look good is because they're animated really well.

I put more on things moving nicely than visuals being super great, I like my sprite games with no filters and chunky pixels and all that stuff. I just recently played Duke Nukem 3D which I never played past the shareware versions limits and it's been better than most other shooters today by a long shot.
And I recently picked up Blood a game made by the same guys put out a short time later, it's freaking amazing fun.

All I had to do were change some settings in some file that came with the GoG files and I control the games like any modern shooter. WADS, mouse, jump etc.

Kids these days... I swear.

Graphics don't mean jack if the gameplay is good.

If dated graphics ruin your experience... well... maybe you need a better hobby. Or play more J"RPG"s where the "gameplay" is more watching CG cutscenes than actual playing the game.

craddoke:
Bull - "realistic" graphics are the bane of gaming. Here are my counter-arguments:

1. Deus Ex's unsatisfying graphics were the "ultra-realistic" graphics of the 1990s. Deus Ex would have held up better if it had settled for a stylized aesthetic like other adventure and RPG games of that same period.
.

actually I think I hear apretnyl Deus Ex looked pretty avergae even for its time

games need to choose a stle that suits them...I don't want every game to be phsychonaughts or borderlnds

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