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Why "Next-Gen Games" Went Gray, Brown, And Grey

Philippe Ringuette-Angrignon @ Gamasutra: "We've all heard it before; since the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation, our games' color palettes have moved towards desaturated tones. I'll try to explain why this has happened, and focus on one of the less obvious reasons.

Since textures are now of higher resolution, dirty surfaces such as rusty metal, rocks, muddy grounds, damaged concrete, etc., can look pretty good. On top of that, using specular highlights implies metallic or wet materials.

Dynamic lighting coupled with normal maps leads us to make environments where surfaces are not flat; we're more likely to make damaged or rocky surfaces to get that extra detail in our environments now that our shaders allow us to, and metallic surfaces to make specular highlights and normal maps more apparent as the lighting moves over the surfaces. So by default, the new tech leads us in a certain direction. We could make some nice looking clean world, but it would imply new challenges to overcome."

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MisterNiwa3424d ago

Mirrors Edge and Uncharted, why cant games be more like them? I mean colour-wise.

This article explains the gray/brown-tones really good.

But seriously why cant we have more games with beautiful colours like Mirrors Edge, Uncharted, Crysis, Banjo Kazooie, etc.

Nelson M3424d ago (Edited 3424d ago )

Greyie Brown with a bit of Master Chump Green thrown in there
No Wonder all the Games on the Xbox look like a Smeared Turd on a Green Blanket

Foxgod3424d ago

Says the guy who adores a character with a yellow skintone and brown hair.

Foxgod3424d ago (Edited 3424d ago )

Colors depend on the setting, a warn torn world full of pain and suffering is generally greyish/brownish.
Things that have been blown up, generally dont look very colorful.

Colors are out of place in games like GeOw and Kz.

mistajeff3424d ago (Edited 3424d ago )

Gears and Killzone just have a stylish bleakness about them to reflect what's happening to the game world. Even from playing the 1st killzone they talk about how Helghan is a very ugly place, and for say Gears 2, so much of it takes place underground that it makes sense to have a sort of dreary color palette. I really don't mind in games like that, because it fits and contributes to the overall atmosphere (though I would've liked more sweeping vistas in KZ2 to show off the engine more).

Then you have something like Uncharted 2, which manages to make urban destruction look absolutely beautiful. All those little touches of color that naughty dog throws in go a long way.. and the vibrancy fits with the overall atmosphere of the game. It's good to see that devs are using the tech to create mood, tone and atmosphere, even if they sacrifice immediate aesthetic appeal to do so, because I think it pays off for games like Gears and KZ.

Nineball21123424d ago

Great post and I agree with you.

The story / background should contribute to the colors being used in a game and you summed it up very well.

+ Bubbles

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