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How Attractive Visuals Correlate to Player Satisfaction

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by RJ-MacReady, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    This thread is about the fact that there's something people don't want to talk about. We know that game design includes all the things game design includes. Okay, great. But not as many people are willing to think of the game's artwork as an element of the game's design, at least not in my perception. It has an influence on the player's enjoyment and satisfaction with the game, it offers another layer of communication in the game loop... and yet, I still see games with graphics that are programmer art or so hard on the eyes you have to go to your happy place to test them out. And the design focused creators don't see this as an issue. On Kongregate otherwise decent ideas, I'll see them foiled by their awful graphical representation. Then the poor graphics fail to create a proper game environment, then the creator I believe doesn't know exactly what his presentation is supposed to be like and then I think that games don't reach their full potential. You can't just go around all willy nilly making video games without some concept of how the visuals are going to impact the player, that's what I'm saying.

    And if you do so, you do so to your own detriment, and shouldn't be surprised when your works are snubbed/glossed over.

    It shouldn't be about blaming the players, for being "graphics whores" or "visual"... it should be about wanting to make something that everybody can enjoy and I think that's lost in the shuffle too often.

    Also, think of it this way... you can make games for the love of games but it's always going to be a competition between your games and other games. So if you make the same game as someone else, but your game doesn't look as good... guess which one they're going to play. Sad, but true.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
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  2. GarBenjamin

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    I agree with a lot of this but I don't think it is so absolute as that. There will be (1) people (probably many people) who will always choose the better looking game. There will be (2) others who will happily try both games and see which one is best. And even (3) people who will choose the worse looking game thinking all of the work on the other game went into the presentation. I know I can't be the only gamer who is like this. I am solidly category 2 and often category 3. I try not to be in #3 but too many games have proven the point.

    These days mobile games are really driving the point home. It is quite amazing how excellent most of the mobile games look yet the ones I tried based on high reviews (to see what all the fuss was about) were so very basic in game-play and overall execution they often seemed like early WIP demos to me. I know that is what mobile gamers want though. Ultra basic quick to pick up games to fill a few minutes here and there. I don't doubt such games do help to create an expectation of higher quality graphics but I also think any gamer (or at least any experienced gamer) will eventually come to the conclusion that a game is not guaranteed to be a bad game because the graphics are poor (from a purely artistic viewpoint) the same way a game is not guaranteed to be a great game just because the graphics are superb (again in a purely artistic sense).

    Graphics / animations (or rather lack thereof) doing a bad job on feedback now that is always bad. It can happen in a game with the worst graphics or a game with the best graphics.
     
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  3. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I think this is again all going back to graphics quality is more important to some people and less important to others. And although I have done no research to find any official research I suspect that people who are artists likely favor games that have awesome visuals more than the general population. I don't know for sure other than I have noticed artists are generally the people most outspoken about the importance of great graphics.

    I think high quality artsy graphics are cool and I respect the skills of artists. Have a lot of respect for their artistic abilities! And given the same exact game one version with superb quality art looking like a living painting and a version with programmer art I would probably go with the artist's version.

    It is not a guarantee though. I think maybe I am into the whole retro gaming scene way more than most people here. So maybe that is why I see things differently. But I am not the only one for sure. Heck even the old Spectrum is making a comeback with all of its games: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...en-21st-century-makeover-plays-old-games.html

    Of course, even that article chose two of the best looking games for screenshots. Lol But that doesn't change the fact there has been a huge retro movement going on for at least 6 years now. In reality... us core retro gamers never left and have always played old games on emulators, remakes by Indy Devs (you know shareware, PD) and such. It is just the mainstream started picking up on it. Then it turned into big business sadly like everything else.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  4. RockoDyne

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    My biggest issue with this thread is you presuppose that bad visuals exist because the developers didn't care. as opposed to being the product of constrained resources. No dev wants to ship with bad visuals, but they do it anyway because that's the best they can do with the time they were able to do it in.

    As far as the market is concerned, graphics are there to be a selling point. They are there to entice players to come and spend some time with the game, but there are few (if any) games where the visuals are the driving force for player engagement.
     
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  5. DryTear

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    Yeah unfortunatelly, you have to get the players attention first with the graphics, and then keep them interested. Like newspaper articles.
     
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  6. GarBenjamin

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    I think "graphics" or "presentation" are maybe too generic.

    I can honestly say I have purchased most games based on their graphics. Screenshots on the back of a box, screenshots in a magazine or on a website. I didn't based on the absolute quality of the graphics or even the aesthetics of the screenshots as a whole. The graphics along with the description gave me an idea of what the game would be like. Of course, sometimes what I thought I was buying based on the screenshots turned out to be different. :(

    Another thing to consider is that people value different things in different situations. This article explains it well: http://www.technobuffalo.com/2014/0...s-vitas-focus-to-third-party-and-indie-games/

    But that is not always the case because I have about 40 PS3 games in boxed collection and another 25 games in my digital collection. The digital games are all Indy PS3 Minis I bought through PSN. There is a real shortage of good classic gaming in the Minis or I would have bought many more. Sadly too many of the devs are trying to make clones of AAA titles or bring mobile games over.

    I bought this game based on screenshots:


    And for anyone interested: http://blog.us.playstation.com/2012/01/23/the-making-of-stick-man-rescue-out-tomorrow-on-psn/
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  7. RockoDyne

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    At the very least, you don't play this for it's graphics.
     
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  8. GarBenjamin

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    The graphics (screenshots) actually inspired me to check it (Thomas Was Alone) out but I didn't get into the game. The narration and kind of living story was cool though. The game just seemed like it would be too long and too simplistic.
     
  9. RockoDyne

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    Steam has me at three hours and I finished it. Won't be any worse than one of the hobbit movies.
     
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  10. GarBenjamin

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    A lot of people enjoyed Super Meat Boy too. I also checked that out based on screenshots and didn't like it. Played maybe 5 minutes. The screenshots made me think it was a classic game but it didn't play like one. It was actually a game with those modern floaty wall hugging type physics (that I dislike greatly) and very loose feeling control presented with simple retro-inspired graphics. Now Life of a Pixel on the other hand. I bought that. It is golden!
     
  11. BeefSupreme

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    I agree that graphics are important for the reasons you state, but I'm having a hard time trying to think of games where you couldn't re-skin the graphics with boxes and have it play any differently (since I'm looking for a connection to actual mechanics, not just environmental "feel").

    I'll also admit to being a "graphics whore" myself. What can I say, I like the purdy pictars.
     
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  12. BeefSupreme

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    I wouldn't call those bad graphics though. Super minimalist, yes, but it has a 2D lighting system and the "characters" deform slightly with impact on the ground.
     
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  13. RJ-MacReady

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    You might be in the extreme minority of people who think this way, I've never heard this from anybody else.
     
  14. RJ-MacReady

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    I think we need to scrounge up ugly games. So far, nobody has mentioned anything like what I'm talking about.
     
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  15. DryTear

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    People who actually played rock simulator 2014, are the ones who get the game because of graphics, rest assured they will buy any graphically impressive game, and wont play dwarf fortress.
     
  16. DryTear

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    Picking a game is like picking cars, do you pick because its eco-friendly? or it lasts longer on the road? or is it shinier or more attractive? do you pick it because it has 15 inch wheels? or do you pick it because your friend has one aswell? or do you pick it based on the reviews? or is it because you can talk back to it? or is it because it has a rear cam? maybe its because you have a drivers license but you dont know what to do with it? Metaphor/simile.
     
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  17. GarBenjamin

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    I agree with you 100% on a games graphics being important. The style is important having a consistent look and style across the objects. Or at least it gives a better first impression. I also agree about a person's expectations of a game being set in large part by the graphics style and quality. And definitely agree about the feedback of the graphics. For me that is the most important thing. Do the graphics effectively communicate the information the game is trying to tell the player.

    For the record, I really enjoy computer art greatly and have spent a lot of time checking out the work of digital artists. Even watch videos of them bring their creations to life starting with a quick sketch and lining it out then color and details. All I am really saying is I see graphics kind of like the whole "don't judge a book by its cover" idiom.

    Really what most of us retro (aka classic or "old school") gamers want is the same basic games from years ago but with everything improved a bit. That is the graphics to look basically the same but be higher res with a bit more detail and perhaps a bit of extra color. The game play to be basically the same but fixed where it was bad and otherwise improved but ever so slightly. I don't think any of us really think those games had the greatest graphics of all time. lol But buried behind those primitive graphics was a decent game. And because the graphics were so primitive the actual game (play experience) became far more important. And that is why I am mentioning the retro gaming thing here.

    Anyway, here are 4 classic games from the TI-99/4a days:

    These are 4 very popular classic games. I was gonna track down the remakes for all of them but I would rather get back to work on my project. ;)

    And here is the original Moon Patrol on TI-99/4a and 3 relatively modern remakes of it:

    Of these 4 I like the graphics of the original and the one in the lower right corner the best.
    The one in the lower left corner would have been perfect for a remake except the most important object of the game (the moon buggy!) has been drastically changed. If the vehicle from the 4th image was in the 3rd image retro gamers everywhere would be thrilled (assuming the game played well). But I think #4 is pretty cool.


    Here is the TI-99/4a Tunnels of Doom and the modern remake of it:

    Blah! I don't what in hell is going on here. To me the clear winner is the original. The original is Tunnels of Doom. The graphics are very clean and crisp. The game on the right could be any 3D dungeon crawler or even some kind of Wolfenstein game for that matter. The graphics are much more detailed and look kind of messy as a result.

    Anyway, I thought I would throw these out there for you or whoever to suggest which games are examples of "ugly games".

    Or go ahead and throw out some modern games screenshots. I think this will be interesting. But we need to stop just discussing it and throw some examples up of what are excellent graphics and what are terrible graphics.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
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  18. DryTear

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    Sometimes the art distracts me from the game itself, this is why i actually like retro graphics more than todays graphics. Its not as distracting, it gets you to the point fast and quick.
     
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  19. BeefSupreme

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    I like the top right image of Moon Patrol because it has more negative space and thus higher contrast between objects.

    Both versions of Tunnels of Doom look fugly to me. The original version makes me think that their motif for door design was "carnival tent". That said, I can still tell that those are supposed to be doors (or at least shower curtains) in both versions and therefore deduce the object's function. I'm still not getting how unappealing graphics detract from the game's mechanics in that sense.
     
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  20. GarBenjamin

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    Ha ha! See it is all in the eye of the beholder. You like what is actually the simplest least detailed graphics of them all. A simple fading gradient. No secondary mountain range.

    Well I never said I agree that a games graphics detract from play mechanics. To me those are entirely two separate things. There is the game. The actual game-play experience of player, controls, play mechanics and feedback. At its simplest it is just a feedback loop. Player does something. Game responds. Game does something. Player responds.

    Most designers see it as a feedback loop on one side only. I see it as a feedback loop on both sides. Our game and the player are doing the same things. Player is interacting with the game. Communicating with the game through controls and receiving the result (feedback) through graphics and sounds. At the same time our game is interacting with the player. Communicating with the player through graphics and sounds (that is the communication method and the message could be hey I just spawned 3 more things to kill you how ya gonna deal with that sucker? Or it could be a reply to the player's last interaction) and receiving the response through the controls.

    Anyway what you are saying has been my view and point entirely. The game itself is one thing. It is this logical thing existing in code it basically is built frame by frame on the fly responding to the player and implementing its own plan. The graphics are merely the representation of the game. Changing the graphics quality does not change the game. However changing the graphics objects themselves to fit a different story can change the feel of the game. For example if instead of a moon buggy it was an astronaut running although the player would still be moving, jumping and shooting the game would feel a little different. Actually, I think many people would call it a kind of Infinite Runner game.

    I agree with you on that. I think any good game pulls you in so much to focus on the play mechanics that you do not actually notice the graphics or the sounds as far as what their quality is or perhaps even shape. A good game puts the player into a very specific state I think Gigi described it as Flow. That is as good of a term as any. In that state I believe the player no longer sees the graphics themselves. Nor do they hear the sounds themselves. Instead they see only messages coming from the game. They hear only messages coming from the game. And that is what the goal should be for any game designer.
     
  21. BeefSupreme

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    And I would actually remove the gradient and just use an outline for the mountains.

    Anyway, my comment about not understanding how bad graphics effect gameplay wasn't directed at you. I think we both see the presentation layer as something that can be separated from the mechanics. I'm just trying to figure out the point that Misterselmo is trying to make.
     
  22. Gigiwoo

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    I got advice some time ago. "Your art can be great, or it can suck. Just make sure it's consistently cohesive, throughout." So, now, I pick a theme and stick with it.

    One of my oldest apps, The Gratitude Habit looked like this:

    1_not_a_cross_small.png 2_small.png

    The art was drawn by hand, and mostly black and white. As I got better, so did the graphics, as you can see in an updated version of Good Sex, Great Marriage:

    Image1_Combined_960x640_small.png Image4_small.png

    In both apps, the art feels cohesive. Good and bad, both apps work - by which I mean people like them, make purchases, rate them highly. Recently, Gigi has begun releasing games (no more OCI!) - my art has improved, and so has my understanding of UI design.

    IMAGE_1_small.png

    Here's some principles I try to follow:
    • Simplicity
    • Clean
    • Rule of 3
    • Golden Ratio
    • Juice
    • Paradox of Choice
    It's more than just 'Make It Pretty',
    Gigi
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  23. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    Lol... that's how you make it pretty. That is a very moderate approach, simplicity, consistency.

    There's different kinds of visual appeal.

    Symmetry, for example, that's a big one.

    Fukinsei, on the other hand, says that imperfection and asymmetry is beauty:

    tmp_6143-fukinsei_by_onpix_artist-d34lmst-480366799.jpg

    You can't lose by improving.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
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  24. the_motionblur

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    http://www.ctrlpaint.com/ - the basics of design I was talking about.
    I stick to it: It's not the amount of detail that matters but solid basics and a sensible style decission.

    This is the most condensed description of an actually very complex idea I can come up with, at the moment. ;)
     
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  25. RJ-MacReady

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    I'm glad we can talk about graphics as more than just some trivial artwork, but as an important part of the game itself.
     
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  26. renman3000

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    They go hand in hand.
     
  27. illinar

    illinar

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    Sorry, I didn't read replies.

    Graphics and sound affect the feel of the game and give you something to look at.

    Gameplay affects your interaction with the game and gives you something to do.

    Both are very important and interdependent. In most cases graphics must serve gameplay. ("Gameplay first.") Good graphic design makes game mechanics more clear and gives satisfying feedback, making player's actions more rewarding.

    We all know what happens when developers are too preoccupied with graphics, but on the other hand, if graphics are not good enough, game just won't feel good to play.

    As mentioned, sound can be as powerful or even more powerful tool to provide a right feeling for the game.
     
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  28. Gigiwoo

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    Why not? It's a fair question.
    Gigi
     
  29. RJ-MacReady

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    Ain't nobody got time for that.
     
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  30. angrypenguin

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    I was reading on Coding Horror the other day that there's a growing trend towards tracking people's read count rather than their post count. I think it's a great idea.

    The general concept is that the currently prevalent post count system encourages people to talk, so they rush through the reading bit (or skip it entirely) to get to the posting part as soon as they can. This severely diminished the quality of conversation, though, because listening to the other people is (at least) half of being a good conversationalist. How can you contribute effectively to a discussion if you haven't even bothered to read what people have said so far?* So instead some are starting to reward time spent reading, to encourage less posts, but posts of greater value because they're made by people actively engaging with their community rather than plopping something out in a drive-by interaction.

    * This isn't a dig, it's a genuine question to which there are a number of positive answers. There are indeed plenty of cases where you can make a valuable contribution without having read the history. They're just not the norm, so it makes little sense to reward those over all else.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
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  31. RJ-MacReady

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    I've noticed that people who just skip the entire thread and post often reiterate what's been said, already. It's a major annoyance when the discussion has a potential to reach new territory, then someone just slams down the same thing that's been said and 4 people Like it... and the discussion resets. It's virtually impossible to have a real, serious conversation that ever covers new ground. It would be interesting if you had to qualify to post. Or, if people could downvote posts... while that's probably far too negative for most people's tastes, an upvote/downvote system really keeps people in check. Also encourages more people to participate in discussions they would be too timid to post in. We have threads with a couple thousand views, that could be massive numbers of up/downvotes on especially standout posts.
     
  32. angrypenguin

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    I don't necessarily think that repeating things is bad. For starters, I'll often jump in and quickly say something which might be helpful knowing full well that it may already have been said, just on the off chance it hasn't - two or three people saying something which should be said is far better than nobody saying it.

    Secondly, as I say a lot, the conclusion isn't always the important part of a conversation. There's no real reason to stop new people from having a conversation just because other people have had similar conversations in the past. Otherwise we can all shut up right now about virtually everything, because there's surprisingly little to talk about that has never been talked about before.
     
  33. RJ-MacReady

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    I tend to think everything should be going somewhere, seeking a resolution. I see covering the same ground as returning to parts of the dungeon where all the enemies have respawned, but all exp. & loot is gone.
     
  34. Deleted User

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    From my perspective, I've seen way to much "flak" given if graphics don't conform to modern AAA standards. Personally it's not something I'll risk, it doesn't have to be as shiny as the latest and greatest but in the world of 3D as a games developer you should be hugely concerned about it.

    If you're doing it for yourself, well then it doesn't really matter. If you're wanting to head down a commercial path in PC and console then yes, graphics do matter greatly and whatever I or you personally think on the subject is irrelevant. It's what your potential customer base thinks and nobody cares if you're a AAA developer or an Indie, what people care about is your end product.

    I never heard anyone say Crysis 3 looks crap, so it's not really subjective either..

    Sure there are stylistic and realistic types of games, but both need to conform to competition.
     
  35. illinar

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    I was really tired, yet I find the topic very interesting. Something I was thinking about a lot. Although I realized that my reply was too obvious to even be worth posting ... :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
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  36. GarBenjamin

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    Every game developer should focus on the graphics above all else. Even a basically empty shell of a game can be awesome if the graphics are appealing enough. Don't waste time on play mechanics, feedback and other superficial elements. Instead focus on delivering beautiful graphics and you are well on your way to success. Also it is nearly 2015 so every game should be in 3D. Nobody plays 2D games any more!

    I truly wish all game developers would follow this path to success. :)
     
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  37. RJ-MacReady

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    People do play 2D but only clean vector style art. Took me a second to detect the sarcasm, but you were almost correct in your sarcasm. Except that you start with attractive visuals, then people take you seriously. Then you blow them away with gameplay. That's how you win.

    It's sort of like if you show up to a job interview in street attire. You could be a genius, but you'll likely not be considered. You get farther with a better appearance, that's just the way it's always been.

    Just like if you submit a manuscript with a typo in the first sentence, you're F***ed. Could be the best story ever written.

    We live in a world of snap judgements, with people's attention being drawn in 1,000 different directions. Give them even one reason to stop paying attention to you and they will. There's 6.5 billion people, it's the year 2015... Nobody is looking to find you, you have to MAKE them see you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  38. GarBenjamin

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    That is very true! All of the best 2D games are those that look like a cartoon! Still it is probably best to do 2D only for mobile or web games even with the cartoon graphics. If game devs spent less time on game design for play mechanics, AI and so forth and more time creating awesome 2D cartoons and 3D highly detailed textured models with advanced lighting they'd see a lot more success. It's what everybody wants!
     
  39. RJ-MacReady

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    Even though I detect sarcasm, you're firing on all cylinders now.

    I think games are cartoons that you can play. Shigeru Miyamoto was a cartoonist, he has created or had a part in many of the most successful games in history. WoW is a cartoon, avatars are even called toons.

    Realism in games is a cute gimmick but holy crap, people keep coming back for toons again and again and again. Home console gaming could have gone the same way as disco squares in a heartbeat. They evolved into cartoons, then evolved into a semi-realistic form.. but the realism could sink gaming if that's all we had.

    Why???

    Games are supposed to be FUN.
    Not SERIOUS.

    Most people could care less about gaming. But they'll look at a cute little frog... and say, "how's that damn thing work?" And they'll give it ten or fifteen seconds... If you don't hook them in 10 or 15 seconds, it's over.

    I've seen how people play games, they're mostly not savvy folks. If you can reach average Joe though, you will be a very successful person.

    It's all about understanding your audience, and in order to understand your audience you have to communicate with your audience, you have to go where they go and do the things that they do and see the world the way they see the world. You have to become one of them.

    My audience is going to be people who are around the age of 30 many of them are going to be single or recently in a relationship although some may be married with children, my target audience is going to be mostly hipsters or at least people who are somewhat trendy.. Interested in technology and the game development scene but not necessarily tech savvy. Predominantly people with either independent or liberal-leaning viewpoints of the world many of them non religious but possibly spiritual. People who generally don't take everything too seriously, and even though I don't do drugs many people who you might consider potheads are inside of my target demographic. I know all this because I know what kind of people tend to think the way that I do and what people tend to get along with me. I looked into their interests and I understand the kind of crap that they're interested in. He thought that the Scott Pilgrim movie was amazing, they love watching shows like the Regular Show and gravity falls, they're going to like my games.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  40. GarBenjamin

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    I have definitely noticed all classic games look like cartoons. Pac-man graphics for example actually look very much like modern day cartoony vector art. Of course the resolution of the time makes it blockier than today's vector art. Anyway, yeah all art in classic games is essentially cartoons. And taking that thinking a step further... nearly all clip art is cartoony vector art. So it seems like clip art is the key for a great game!
     
  41. RockoDyne

    RockoDyne

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    The problem with cartoony art styles is that they can suffer from poor conveyance. Is this a dagger made from meteoric iron, or is it a nice, big, black dil... er, "stress reliever."

    I suppose I just don't buy into this "games of the past were cartoons, so games of today should be cartoons" notion. The entire reason games used to be cartoon like was because they were just sigils and glyphs being rasterized through a limited color palette that were mostly bright colors. The only place you ever found any context was in the manual.
     
  42. Deleted User

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    Nobody said you can't have decent mechanics and a good looking game, also being a developer who earns money. Is there a market for 2D that would even pay the $750K a year staff costs? That's only for a small team as well, not talking more than 15 - 20 here.

    As an indie were not trying to beat the competition graphically, just use what ground they have already set. It's not like it can't be done, there's enough single enviro artists out there proving it can be done.

    So what's the suggestion here? We should all do 2D because that's not an oversaturated mobile based market is it? Or shall we all just focus on nothing but mechanics, yeah screw immersion we don't care about that crap.!

    Or what we could do is make a game that is balanced, we may not get the OMG GRFX award but it would stand up to competition and avoid customers tearing you a new one.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2014
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  43. illinar

    illinar

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    I remembered something. An interesting point that we don't trust the game to have a good gameplay if it looks bad and amateur, so we would most likely avoid it if it looks that way.
     
  44. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I am saying I think everyone should focus on the graphics. If necessary one can always use free open source clip art or other free game art to save time and improve the presentation. Cartoony vector art is very popular with modern 2D games so using modern 2D vector clip art makes good sense.
     
  45. illinar

    illinar

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    I sense trolling or jealousy. Yet clean and professional (with high artistic value) vector art does fit those games best, and makes customers trust that game is made buy professionals, is well polished, and fun. Then it feels good to play, especially talking about casual gamers. That's only one of the components of those games' success.
     
  46. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    LOL. Your powers are strong Jedi. Sorry, I couldn't resist. I am just having fun. I am a game-play is king kind of person. Maybe it is because I am not an artist. Not sure. All I know is I have never not played a game because I thought it didn't look good enough. Never. That doesn't even make sense to me. Anyway, so to help me to understand the other side of the coin that graphics quality is super duper important I am trying to defend/support that argument. And also because I believe game play is most important I like the idea of everyone focusing only on graphics. :)

    I do believe graphics style is important. A common style shared among all graphic elements. Misterselmo helped me to see that is what is missing from my own graphics work. I have always thought graphics and sounds (sometimes music too) are super important. But not absolute quality of those elements. To me the importance is in communicating with the player. Feedback. But of course it is nice to have things look good.

    Anyway you get the award! This is the first time in all of my time on various forums someone has "sensed trolling". Lol
     
  47. illinar

    illinar

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    If games look bad, It would have a tough time convincing most players that it is any good. If game looks fantastic but has bad game design (is frustrating in some way), it won't get anywhere too. Successful mobile games are simplistic and pretty. They have good game design as far as I'm concerned, even though I find them boring. And for the purpose of those games graphics are more important then they are for other games. Because casual games are made for casual fun gameplay, and their aesthetics are well developed so those game feel feel good and rewarding.

    I am not a fan of those games, but people like them for good reasons.
     
  48. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    That makes sense. And I am beginning to see there are distinct types of gamers. I have personally heard a couple people say "how can you play that game? It looks like crap" and the other person say "who cares how it look? It is fun!". And it is probably based on each of our experiences here. I know far more gamers who while always appreciating an excellent looking game will try any game and judge it on how fun it is.

    And from what I have seen many gamers do not care. I remember playing KoC on FB when the graphics were very primitive. It was only after it became successful the devs updated all of the graphics. The same was true for Tibia and Runescape. They used to look like basically "programmer art". At the time they were released there were far better looking games. But people got hooked on the games anyway. As time passed and the devs were able to afford it they had the graphics updated. Because of course every dev wants their game to look as best as they can. We all do. But I just don't believe a game will live or die by how it looks.
     
  49. RJ-MacReady

    RJ-MacReady

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    That's not entirely accurate, because Tibia and Runescape's old graphics weren't bad... only bad compared to AAA games of the time. Nobody's saying graphics should be able to compete with the top guys. But they shouldn't just be god awful. There are great looking games with few players, too. This isn't an either-or situation.
     
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  50. illinar

    illinar

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    I think it largely depends on a market. In mobile market no one has time to give poor looking game a go because it is more likely that it is not good. But when it comes to projects like Runescape, that came out back when there was not a lot of options, people would be more willing to give it a go, as they would look for a game of that genre.

    Same thing with today's indie games. If idea looks compelling and fresh, people will buy into it even if it was drawn by a programmer that goes by the name Notch.

    And if I were looking for a game to kill time on my mobile (which I don't do), I would most definitely skip those that don't look like they have something unique to offer except sprites created in MS Paint.

    So it depends also on a market and genre.