Submitted by TRGMatt 874d ago | opinion piece

Visual Quality Is Losing Its Relevance In Game Design

Graphical prowess has always been at the forefront of game development. Little wonder, consumers tend to gravitate toward games that are visually appealing. That is, until Android, Apple, and Facebook entered the market. (PS3)

NewMonday  +   874d ago
hope the new generation doesn't get carried away by trying to be realistic.

the sense of art is more important and more attractive

would like to see more character and design used in games like Team Fortress, Borderlands, NiNoKuni, Brink( the looks are the one great thing about it IMOO) and BioShock Infinit
ape007  +   874d ago
agree 110%
guitarded77  +   874d ago
I agree for the most part... there are times when realism will be essential to the game, so as long as it's in context... whatever works. I don't want every game cel-shaded or steam punk either.
rainslacker  +   874d ago
It's not even so much context, as it is consistency. You could make Ratchet and Clank with photo-realistic graphics and characters, and it would still be alright so long as it was consistent all the way through.

But if you took Gears of War with photo-realistic graphics and then threw in some cartoony Japanese style annoying side kick animal, it just wouldn't feel right.
zerocrossing  +   874d ago
Graphics are the icing on the cake IMO, it may make a game look pretty but it does very little when what's beneath is bland and stale.
Drakesfortune  +   874d ago
Like Crysis, pretty but boring....
piroh  +   874d ago
well said
kevnb  +   874d ago
the first crysis was incredible, it wasnt just a game that looked good. It was a sandbox where things could happen that other games still dont replicate. Crysis 2 and 3 are just pretty but average shooters.
Derekvinyard13  +   874d ago
Very true
Blastoise  +   874d ago
Yeah man totally agree. Give me Journey, Wind Waker & Ni No Kuni kind of artstyles over Crysis 3 anyday!
Veni Vidi Vici  +   874d ago
I agree with you on art being more important but I'd say immersion is just as important as the art; at least to me it is.

I'd take something like the Oculus Rift with graphics from 3 years ago over some slightly better graphics that we'll see in the next gen.
TopDudeMan  +   874d ago
I'm not really big on alternative graphics styles. The graphics don't need to be arty or mind-blowingly realistic. I just want the game to be fun to play.
Y_5150  +   874d ago
I've heard from someone that he likes games like call of duty because it's realistic.

Although I very much disagree with him, but there is a big market for "realistic" games out there. I for one would love to have very beautiful worlds and games that has a crisp cartoon flavor to it.
TopDudeMan  +   874d ago
A game that recently amazed me graphically was sleeping dogs on the PC. It really really really looked good and realistic. But gameplay will always come first for me.
Pinkamena_Diane_Pie  +   874d ago
No matter how much you polish a turd, it's still a turd... it's great if you can make the game look good, but if it's at the sacrifice of good gamplay, interesting story and characters... then it's all for nothing.
Ashunderfire86  +   874d ago
Just to let you know, more Ram compared to 512MB equals more power. This means that game developers can now do graphics, physics, gameplay and etc without sacrificing any of them to make a great game. Thanks to PS4, Piston(steambox), and most likely the Next Xbox having 8 gigs of Ram, the possibilities could be endless. Witcher 3(open world) is a great example to this, even though we saw early footage gameplay in DirectX 9, we have yet to see the game in DirectX 11 filled with new technology the developers will put in.
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wampdog29  +   874d ago
LOL you think having more RAM means nothing will get sacrificed? Money and time are the top most limiting factors in anything including game design and development.
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Ashunderfire86  +   874d ago

Even the game developers are saying this too. Yeah game development cost and etc still will have sacrifices, but they are becoming easier and less taxing. This means that they can include more things in these games. Soon it wouldn't take too long to develop a game. They can make FPS longer like 20 hours or longer(example)and still will be able include multiplayer. Most people don't realize by the way, that FPS these 2 generations(xbox to 360 example) is much longer than the last PS1, Sega Saturn, and N64 generation. Those games were 2 hours shorter than a 5 hour Call of Duty game. I blame it on the critics for making us think that FPS is way too short. The first game critics started the talk about FPS being short as 5 hours to 10 hours, was Unreal 2 for PC. It was 10 hours of gameplay, campared to Unreal Gold, which was the longest FPS shooter I ever played. It had 40 levels!!!! It took me about 30 hours or so to beat. Unreal Gold was a game ahead of its time with great graphics, very huge open levels(bigger levels than Crysis 3), and one of the best A.I. with no sacifice. It was this game that define the longevity of FPS, many of us forgot this. I digress

Well all else to say is, that this years E3 will be the best E3 in years. Prepared to be amazed!!! We are looking at the new norm of gaming.
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1up  +   874d ago
ram dosnt relate to better physics, that would be graphics chipset or cpu, same goes for lighting, anti-analyzing, particles.
ram relates to larger maps, textures, and just the overall amount of random objects on the screen at once.
TheModernKamikaze  +   874d ago
That's all based on how the developer is really inspired, and dedicated to making a game.

Like Half Life or Metal Gear Solid.
Walker  +   874d ago
Gameplay>Story>Graphics !
#3 (Edited 874d ago ) | Agree(17) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
Trunkz Jr  +   874d ago
It's true, yet some people are too dense to follow that rule. "Omg it looks awesome holy crap omg!" game gets released, "this game sucks, horrible gameplay, lacks this and that"

We see this all the time, the Power of the PS4 isn't just for graphics, it's power can allow it to have more detail but also have more explosions, characters and everything else on the screen, towns can feel more like towns with many ppl walking around, this applies to the Wii U as well just not on such a grand level.
BanBrother  +   874d ago

Well said. Although, I'm one of those weird guys who puts story>gameplay>graphics. So long as the gameplay isn't *completely* terrible (Spec Ops).

I think Crysis 2 is a prime example that graphics don't mean anything if you have a dull story and poorly executed/bland gameplay.
Irishguy95  +   874d ago
I think a great story can compensate for a decent gameplay. But great gameplay can hold it's own. Such as Dark/Demons souls.

Graphics are always icing for me. David Cage will try to say the graphics are key for emotion. I throw FF and MGS at his face.

My favorite games = Great Gamplay + Great story.
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Blastoise  +   874d ago
Definitely. It's this reason I can still enjoy Final Fantasy VII :)
MikeMyers  +   874d ago
I agree gameplay should be first and foremost. Graphics will catch your eye at first but you have to have good gameplay and some depth.

These technical demos like Quantic Dream showed are always quite misleading. You really think characters in Killzone will look that polished? I can see it in some cutscene but not in real world applications where the gamer has full control.
green  +   874d ago
Favorite games of all time are all story driven games. If a games story is excellent, i can excuse the gameplay is if is clunky like say Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect 1. Same for gameplay like Gears of War. Great gameplay but fairly week story but still like the series.

But no matter how gorgeous a game is, if the story is not good then i wont play it.
Why o why  +   874d ago
lol, no fighting games for you then my old friend ;)
green  +   873d ago
I was a huge fan of fighting games during SNES, PS1 and PS2 era. In fact, the lack of a good fighting game is the reason i never owned the N64 or any other Nintendo console after the SNES.

Then i used to play it with a boat load of friends. favorites were, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Killer Instinct, Dead or Alive 3, Soul Blade/Caliber 1,2,3, Battle Arena Toshinden 2, tekken 3, Rival Schools, Kensei and Bloody Roar.
This gen has meant a lot of solo play because we have all grown, have jobs and are in different places so i have just reverted back to my number one love which is story driven games.

Maybe, if i played one over LIVE, i will like it but i just can't seem to get myself to purchase one this gen.

Maybe what could reignite my interest is a new fighting game IP. It just feels like i have played all the fighting games out there because they started life from generations past. They just have new moves and a splash of next gen paint.

Something new and innovative could spark my interest.
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Flavor  +   874d ago
After understanding this, perhaps people will understand why the hype over the next generation is so pointless.
Alos88  +   874d ago
There will be other things to be excited about besides a major graphical improvement.
MariaHelFutura  +   874d ago
More power allows for much more than just better graphics. Be excited.
_LarZen_  +   874d ago
Personally I think visual quality has just improved more and more in contrast to this article.
Summons75  +   874d ago
Good! I'm glad this obsession with hyper realistic graphics is starting to die. Gameplay and general game design is way more important as well is story and good character development. Sure amazing graphics are a plus but devs put that first for the very very few people who actually care (mainly reviewers because they are the first to complain about it for no reason).
Donnywho  +   874d ago
My balls are losing relevance to life's design. Seriously though, too many factors. Some areas yes, some areas absolutely not.
3-4-5  +   874d ago
When games peaked at GBA type sprites for handhelds, they were forced to give us fun gameplay.

GBA had so many quality polished games that it it rivals gaming consoles.

I would love to see more updated sprite based games just for nostalgic purposes but I also like the way they play.
MariaHelFutura  +   874d ago
When will people learn, they are all part of an equation (like the Sun and the Moon).
unicron7  +   874d ago
Yeah gameplay is everything! We should go back to playing Atari, because graphics don't matter. lol People kill me.

I'm stoked for a more powerful machine. Means more players online, more stuff going on onscreen, more gameplay options, and yes BETTER LOOKING GAMES. So I like my games to get better visual quality with each generation....it's honestly to be expected.
SAE  +   874d ago
Exactly. People sometimes hate what's good for them..
Why o why  +   874d ago
true.....some people hated paracetamol. ...., the internet even. Graphical improvements go hand in hand with gameplay improvements. Stories can also be better told. Try playing some of those old greats and see how dead some of them are in all aspects from gameplay, story and graphics. Each should be improved. Lets not kid ourselves here...graphics is what makes us buy new consoles every gen. If there was no real improvement to a consoles graphical prowess we'd be pissed
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Psychotica  +   874d ago
I know when I look back on games I used to play many years ago, I can't believe I played them because they are ugly as sin. However I played hundreds of hours with some of them, some more than games I play today, and they cost a whole lot less back then
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lovegames718  +   874d ago
Some of my favorite games this gen. are some of the best looking in their genre such as GOW. Uncharted, Killzone, Mlb The Show 13, Heavy Rain and so forth. All these games have great graphics that did not hinder game play or fun factor. As a matter of fact these same great grpahics are what enhanced the game play and made them more awesome.

Of course you have awesome games like Ni No Kuni, Journey, Demon Souls, Dark souls that are my favorite too and may not be super realistic but they are also beautiful games and look awesome!!!!

Sony has showed me that there is no need to sacrifice grpahis for gameplay. We are in 2013 so lets not let devs pull a wool over our eyes we can easily have the best of both worlds as has been done many times already! Great gameplay and good graphics rule!
momthemeatloaf  +   874d ago
I blame this generation of gamers, which is mostly ages 18-24 for putting too much influence and hype into graphics. The current generation now which is the one behind that generation prefers simplistic and challenging games like you see on phones and tablets.

We all like beautiful looking games but it shouldn't matter if the game is good.

I want a bit of both. But I'd take gameplay over graphics any day. Minecraft is arguably the greatest game this generation.

People scoffing at Wii u specs justifies my point.
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gamernova  +   874d ago
I want games that have it all; end of story.
D_RoyJenkins  +   874d ago
I hope visual design strives to be more realistic. Dynamic lighting, collision effects, high quality textures, etc.
Hicken  +   874d ago
No, it not losing its relevance. In fact, this most recent generation has seen probably too much focus on it. While its importance may increase or fade over time, it's not really going anywhere.
mamotte  +   874d ago
Yeah, right. That's why, according to N4G, the WiiU has lost the generation for being underpowered.

Because graphics "is losing it's relevance". -jiggles-
Nodoze  +   874d ago
Please let the 'next gen' usher in the use of things like Anti Aliasing and anistropic filtering. Things that have been common place in PC gaming for over a decade. There is no excuse anymore for screen tearing, aliased/jaggies, etc.

Also please do away with LOADING. We are an instant generation, we do not want to wait for something to load.
smashcrashbash  +   874d ago
Speak for yourself. Some games wouldn't have been as epic without visually stunning visuals.How would God of War or Shadow of the Colossus have been if it had nothing but cheap effects? Everyone wants the game to be good despite what Nintendo fanboys claim but we also want it to look good too.No matter what people pretend to say they want their games to look good.Look how fast people pulled out the 'Wii U games look better then the PS3 and 360 ones' speeches and getting angry every time people said the Wii U wasn't that big a step forward.

We don't have to have every blade of grass look realistic but we are not going back to stick figures and square trees just because deluded people keep saying graphics and visuals don't matter.Things like Cole's electricity arcing through puddles, Kratos's shadow changing position in the light and his foot steps in the blood and Drake's clothes getting damp from the water are all visual qualities that immerse us into the experience. Visuals are equally as important as gameplay, story and control and none of them should be ignored.Even indie developers who make games like Outland, Flower and Journey know the value of making a game visually stimulating. Like I have said before just because you are okay with eating cheap hamburger games doesn't negate the relevance of the juicy steak games.
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Outside_ofthe_Box  +   874d ago
You could have made your point equally as strong without the Ninty fans jab.

I agree nonetheless. People keep saying that they don't care about graphics, but they do. If not I guess they should have no problem going back to graphics like this: http://www.ps3hax.net/wp-co...

So that way developers can put their FULL money and effort in to things that actually matter right? lol
Tyre  +   874d ago
Don't be delusional, graphics matter and always will. It is not the most important thing but that was never the case. They do make it more easy on the eyes. But the new hardware makes a whole new way of gameplay possible via physics/no more load times/seemless worlds/character/world etc etc

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