Video/computer games graphics.
Is it just me or does anyone else think that games aren't looking any better anymore? I was watching that new MGS4 trailer and I thought that it looked decent at best. Same goes for GT5 Prologue and the awful aliasing. Also, take a look at Resistance 2 and Gears of War 2, they are marginally better looking than their prequels.
Is this it? We're at a cockblock in terms of graphics?
Maybe now game devs won't be so fascinated with graphics and start focusing on game play again?
Well, you'd notice the graphics if you look at the games from the past..like the other day I saw UT2004 again, couldn't believe how it looked like.
I guess, we have to wait until the Unreal engine 4 comes out.
Were kind of at the point where games cant get much better graphically with the current style of technology. Until another huge technological leap takes place things will stay almost the same.
Console games are never going to look special to us PC gamers though, since even compared to my year old 8800GTX the console hardware is actually a generation behind that. Now that ATI can't compete with nVidia anymore, don't expect PC games to start looking better either.
Originally Posted by Jyuu
A few years back I believe we were still in the transitional period from 2D to 3D games, where developers were still learning, tweaking and perfecting their 3D graphics, introducing new special effects/shaders and rendering methods. Right now though we're at a time when graphical features have become standardised across almost every game.
My personal opinion is that developers have spent the last 5 years perfecting shader techniques, to increase the quality of textures and special effects. I think that we're at a point that those things can't really get any better. What I believe the developers and hardware manufacturers have to focus on now are:
- increasing polycounts (hence increasing geometrical complexity of scenes)
- perfecting new animation methods, to increase realism. This is my strongest point, as no matter how good a game looks the animations have always ruined the realism. Call of Duty 4 GREATLY improved on this, with the smoothest and most realistic animations I've ever seen in a game, now other developers need to do the same.
- anti-aliasing needs to become a standard. 4x at the very least. People who don't use it have NO IDEA how much better it can make a game look.
Originally Posted by Jyuu
Its not just you Jyuu, I was looking a screen shots of MGS4 the other day and I notice just how low poly it was. I have to agree with MD here, it seems like developers are spending a lot of time on shaders, mapping and lighting effects (which can't be argued with, they look fantastic) but the models themselves are not much better than they were a couple of years ago.
Originally Posted by MadDogMike
As for sequels looking not much better than their prequels, I don't find it that suprising, its very expensive to build a game from the ground up, so it makes sense that they would just build on the existing game engine and just tweak it with the extra time they have. To build a game from the ground up takes years of work, thats why developers use existing engines like HAVOK. The problem here is that these engines are already a couple of years old and have their limitations (imagine trying to build a next gen game with the old quake engine). As for MGS4, apparently they are using the PS3 to its full potential, they even had to cut loads of stuff because of hardware limitations.
This is also indication that developers are getting better and faster at unlocking the full potential of hardware and that without a major technological leap, things aren't going to get much better.
Better animation, well thats up to the developer, but all that does is improve the way models move, not look.
Originally Posted by MadDogMike
Increased poly counts and X4 AA as standard? I can handle that, you can handle that, Jyuu can almost definately handle that, but my brother who only has a cheap off the shelf PC with a 7300LE (I think thats what he has) and my step sister who has a rubbish laptop and who plays lots of free downloadable MMOs, would never be able to cope with it.
Lighting, texture effects (bump mapping, etc...), AA, ASF and all the extra bells and whistles can be turned off because they are calculated after the model has been rendered so by turning them off, they just don't happen and this frees up resouces.
To have higher poly models would put a much larger strain on the computer as its more calculations to do. Sure you could have an option to turn down the poly count, but then the developers would have to remodel the entire game, not to mention that even creating models of the current standard for an entire game takes a lot of time and resources. Its much easier to use effects to make the model look more detailed (me and Jyuu had an argument about this I while ago, I can't remember what the technique was called though, its used in supreme comander). The caves in Oblivion look really good with max settings but actually if you look closely, they are really simple models.
As for X4 AA as standard, I hope you mean that the option to have X4 AA should be standard, because making all games use 4AA as a requirement will really hurt users with lower spec machines.
I'm talking about console games mainly, which were the only ones that Jyuu mentioned. Also, people have to upgrade their computer SOME TIME. Developers won't cater for them forever, they will just have to accept the fact that without spending more money their computer won't play games.
It's my opinion that making games look realistic is VERY dependent on the animation. You could make a 1,000,000 poly count model, but if it doesn't move like a real person then it's not a real person. Animation is a big part of the illusion of making games look realistic. If we're not talking about making games look realistic, just making them look good, then that's a different story entirely. We can do that with current hardware easily.
You say that people will have to upgrade their computer sometime. For 99% of people this means throwing their current PC (along with the screen the mouse the keyboard the speakers and all their personal and bank details that are still on the hard disk) in the trash and buying another £400 pile of junk off the shelf. People don't realise that if you want a PC that plays today's games and you are not willing to actually upgrade what you already have (even if the only parts you keep are the case and the peripherals), then you have to spend at least £1200 ($2400, but these are UK prices).
The fact is that game developers won't keep writing games for those people with low end computers forever. Once the majority of people have upgraded, those who haven't are left behind. That's how it's always been. Look at Crysis, that game runs bad even on top of the range hardware. They're already starting to leave those people behind. Call me selfish, but I wish it would happen sooner.