DragonKnight (User)

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"I don't care about bubbles. Seriously, I don't."

Priorities, and why gaming needs better ones.

DragonKnight | 1114d ago
User blog

For the past few weeks, almost a month, there has been a very easily noticed trend in gaming news. For awhile, it's been BF3 news, then anything John Carmack of id Software had to say, then back to BF3 news; rinse and repeat ad nauseum.

That's fine and everything, except that the problem is that the discussion was always about PC this, graphics that, Ultra settings blah blah blah.

Go into the comments section, and you'll see ePenis measuring contests where PC fanboys talk incessantly about what kind of rig they have, and how their PC will output at "teh uber grfx rezolushun" and it's not really their fault. It's the developers fault.

Gaming is becoming all about the graphics. All about the damn gloss, the flash of the game. All you hear now is about tessellation, DX11, MLAA, and even light sources when talking about a game.

No one talks about the actual game anymore. It's all about how it looks, and who has the best looking version. And why is that? Because of the developers.

If you look at development this gen, you'll see that most development studios are merely followers, not innovators. Coasters, not risk-takers. If you want to be successful this gen, it takes only two things. One, make an FPS with CoD online. Two, focus on the graphics. Hell, this gen may as well have been filled with CoD and its clones but all outputted with high end graphics because that's all that seems to matter.

You RARELY hear about a game's story, or its music, or its characters anymore. And it makes games like El Shaddai, Demon/Dark Souls, or LittleBigPlanet seem like revelations in gaming because they don't focus on the graphics, they focus on style, gameplay, interaction and the like.

Having been a gamer for over 20 years, if I were to be asked what platform was the greatest for gaming of all time, I'd simply say the SNES. Sure, later consoles did have great gaming experiences, but for my money the SNES had the best and most of them all. Games back then were all about story, music, and characters. But that's nostalgia talking and we have to live in the Present.

Presently, I can't really agree with the direction gaming is going. If you make games all about the graphics, you eliminate the need for consoles altogether because PC will always surpass consoles in that arena due to having an open hardware format. Consoles are great because they have unique gaming experiences you won't find on PC, they are made to work universally rather than requiring various tweaks and setting alterations due to the unending amount of configurations out there on PC, and quite simply are far more convenient/far less of a hassle.

But games are focusing too much on flash, the substance is being drained out. It's gotten to the point where gaming may as well be CG movies rather than games because all anyone cares about is how a game looks.

Graphics are the most superficial aspect of a game. In reality, we constantly hear about how we shouldn't "judge a book by its cover" so to speak, but that's all that's been happening in gaming. It's like giving a really attractive woman a job she is dangerously underqualified for just because she's hot, versus a woman who is perfect for the job not getting it because she isn't what society deems as attractive.

Games should be about gameplay, story, music, ambiance, character development first and graphics way last.

But it looks like it'd take another game market crash like the one in 1983 to change the direction gaming is going, and I really don't want to see that happen.

Maybe I'm making more of it than it is, but I'm worried about graphics being the center of everything these days.

coolbeans  +   1114d ago
I think we're already seeing that schism in the gaming community who are focusing on either the CoD games or the next innovative game. Since the accessibility of playing online as taken off this gen, it would only make sense for publishers to want to push that aspect of gaming. I personally think that the in the next coming years we'll see more successful games that are good at what they do, whether it would be SP, MP, graphics, etc.

Graphics have certainly been a bigger priority than expected; but that's because they enhance that immersion level. Where the disconnect would be in the story, character, etc. aspect (most of the time). It's understandable because of things such as timelines and budgets. I'd say give the gaming community 1 or 2 more years to speak their mind on this issue, and we'll see both the next breed of amazing MP games AND immersive SP games on the quality level of Orwell's 1984 (since I love dystopians :P) being made in unison.
DragonKnight  +   1114d ago
I think my biggest issue is with most developers being content to be followers instead of leaders. Pushing only one aspect of a game because it's easy to since the direction of gaming has shifted. Make killer MP, sacrifice SP in the process. Make incredible graphics, cut content or make the story shallow and unfulfilling.

There are so few developers who actually break from that and move away from the easy success.
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coolbeans  +   1113d ago
I can't necessarily agree with that when considering the indie videogame market. The likes of Bastion, and Journey in the future, are just a few of the great titles helping gamers get their "32-bit fix". It seems that there's a better ratio of satisfying stories in highly-acclaimed indie titles than in highly-acclaimed AAA-blockbuster franchises.

It's suprising to see so many indie titles feel enigmatic, in comparison to the big hitters. Better yet, these games are usually one quarter of the price than full-priced retail games.
Ducky  +   1114d ago
"Sure, later consoles did have great gaming experiences, but for my money the SNES had the best and most of them all. Games back then were all about story, music, and characters."

... most of the games I played on SNES just had good music and difficult gameplay. (... and the music wasn't really that great either, it just got embedded in my mind over time)

Story and Character development is something that's gotten bigger recently (outside of the RPG genre).
That, and I'd say that after the core gameplay, graphics have the most impact on a game's enjoyability.

The gaming industry's priorities will always be about money, and humans tend to be visual creatures who'll look at the visuals first. That, and CoD is popular despite having pretty lackluster visuals... in fact, most of the big money makers haven't been really big in the visual department.
I've enjoyed this gen so far, as it has had a lot of fresh games and ideas... and the upcoming games seem to be about the gameplay too. Sure, devs might boast about visuals, but I wouldn't say that devs have their priorities set on visuals.

... also, you need to stop turning everything into a rant against PCs.
For example statements like the following:
"Consoles are great because they have unique gaming experiences you won't find on PC"
are completely meaningless because PCs have unique gaming experiences you won't find on consoles.
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DragonKnight  +   1114d ago
"... most of the games I played on SNES just had good music and difficult gameplay. (... and the music wasn't really that great either, it just got embedded in my mind over time)"

Then I guess you played the wrong games.

"Story and Character development is something that's gotten bigger recently (outside of the RPG genre)."

I would make a reply to that, but I would first ask for your example before I say anything.

"... also, you need to stop turning everything into a rant against PCs."

If you choose to take this as a rant against PC's, that's your choice. It isn't. That PC's have been in the news a lot, and that many PC only gamers seem touchy about anyone not jumping on the bandwagon, is the only reason anyone should make a connection between this blog and a PC rant. This is about too much emphasis on visuals. Don't blame me that the news focuses too much on BF3 and DX11 and the like.

"are completely meaningless because PCs have unique gaming experiences you won't find on consoles."

True, but you obviously are disregarding the context of my statement, as the build up to my statement was that if graphics remain the focus, then there's no need for consoles. Then I offered up reasons why consoles are needed and wanted.
kramun  +   1113d ago
You have got a chip on your shoulder about pc gamers though DragonKnight. It's quite easy to see.
Ducky  +   1113d ago
"I would make a reply to that, but I would first ask for your example before I say anything."

Well, I would assume it's apparent by looking at how games have progressed.
Games didn't originally immerse players into a compelling story-line.
Most of the action games I recall playing haven't been about story or characters.
Only games I played for the story/characters were the point-and-click adventures games or RPGs.

It was in the late 90's that storylines became more serious in my eyes as voice-acting started to be become more popular. Games like MetalGearSolid, and Half-Life showed how to do story in action games right.

When I look at the quality of writing in games, it appears to have gotten better with time. So I don't see how the past was really any better than the present.
----
"Don't blame me that the news focuses too much on BF3 and DX11 and the like."

Likewise, don't blame developpers when they're talking about the latest technologies they're using in their engines. It doesn't mean they're shifting wholeheartedly to visuals...
When Sony talks about 3D in games, do you quickly jump the gun and assume that their priorities have shifted to an old visual gimmick?

The talk of visuals isn't anything new, and the fact that you're bringing it up now kinda makes you just sound like someone who doesn't like the fact that they won't be getting the new bells and whistles... and then attacks PCs because they do.
----

"True, but you obviously are disregarding the context of my statement, as the build up to my statement was that if graphics remain the focus, then there's no need for consoles. Then I offered up reasons why consoles are needed and wanted."

No, I didn't disregard the context.
If you were truly trying to show why consoles are wanted, you'd list actual advantages instead of using fluff arguments.

Saying that consoles are popular because they offer unique experiences is about as meaningful as saying that consoles are popular because they can play video games.
It isn't an inherently wrong statement itself, but it is worthless as an argument.
#2.1.2 (Edited 1113d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report
mamotte  +   1113d ago
...you didnt play enough SNES
LightofDarkness  +   1114d ago
Firstly, stop bitching about PC gaming. You've used previous blog-posts to vent your hatred of PC gamers/gaming and continually doing so only makes you pathetic. This is really a poorly concealed effort to mouth-off about PC gaming again. Your points are never really valid and yet you continually reiterate them. You come off like a child who's harbouring some pretty obvious jealousy and an inadequacy complex.

PC has plenty of unique experiences that are not present or feasible on consoles too. In fact, the only reason these "unique experiences" are not on the PC too is because the developers just didn't bother releasing a PC version. We can use controllers too. Console gamers can't use KB/M.

The only thing I dislike is when people keep posting GTAIV/ICEnhancer shots all over the place. GTA IV is still the same sucky game underneath, and all of the screenshots look roughly the same too. It's either shiny cars on what appears to be a really hot day, or shiny cars in Times Square at night.

Graphics always become the focal point of attention when something new and better comes along. If you think graphics don't affect gameplay at all, you'd be a fool. Graphics allow a game to inspire awe and immerse you. Do you think films are the same without the visuals? Video-games are a visual medium, it's practically in the name. It is one of the most obvious signs of advancement of the industry. In fact, story-telling and characterisation can only get better as graphics technology advances (facial expressions, body-language etc.).

Most of the games we play now are still using tired old gameplay systems with a few tweaks here and there, but little nuance. We're coming to end of a generation, and most of the gameplay mechanics now are so fine-tuned that it's difficult to be excited by the same gameplay with the same graphics. Which is why when something that certainly looks head and shoulders above the rest, a next generation experience, it's something to get excited over.
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DragonKnight  +   1114d ago
"Firstly, stop bitching about PC gaming. You've used previous blog-posts to vent your hatred of PC gamers/gaming and continually doing so only makes you pathetic. This is really a poorly concealed effort to mouth-off about PC gaming again. Your points are never really valid and yet you continually reiterate them. You come off like a child who's harbouring some pretty obvious jealousy and an inadequacy complex."

Firstly, shut up. Show me who gave you the authority to tell me what I can and can't say, then talk to me. Otherwise, I don't care if you don't like someone saying anything negative about PC. This isn't about PC gaming, this is about graphics. And obviously to talk about graphics recently, you have to bring up PC's. Learn context before you begin reading anything and you'll save everyone from having to read your idiotic responses.

"PC has plenty of unique experiences that are not present or feasible on consoles too."

That's a fallacy. You'd be correct if you worded your sentence in the following manner: "PC has plenty of unique experiences that are not present or feasible on consoles in a manner that would satisfy me or like minded individuals."

Crysis 2 is on console isn't it? BF3 is on consoles isn't it? Rage is on console isn't it? If they aren't feasible, they wouldn't be on consoles. Your issue is that the experience isn't to the visual level that you demand. Nothing unique about higher resolutions and better textures. All that's required for those is newer hardware. Then your "unique experience" is just as common as the letter e.

"In fact, the only reason these "unique experiences" are not on the PC too is because the developers just didn't bother releasing a PC version."

That argument works vice versa as well, so is irrelevant.

"We can use controllers too. Console gamers can't use KB/M"

Funny because my PS3 says otherwise. KB/M support, at least on the PS3, is an option the developers can choose to implement or not. Try again.

"The only thing I dislike is when people keep posting GTAIV/ICEnhancer shots all over the place. GTA IV is still the same sucky game underneath, and all of the screenshots look roughly the same too.

Agreed.

"If you think graphics don't affect gameplay at all, you'd be a fool. Graphics allow a game to inspire awe and immerse you."

You're confusing graphics and art direction and style. Take games like LBP, Okami, El Shaddai. Do they have the most photorealistic graphics and highest resolutions? Nope. Does that affect their gameplay? Hell no. Would those games be better with better graphics? No. So explain yourself then.

"Do you think films are the same without the visuals?"

Another fallacy. Movies are non-interactive and have limitations on how they can inspire emotion when compared to a video game. You don't drive the story of a movie forward, you simply watch it unfold.

"In fact, story-telling and characterisation can only get better as graphics technology advances (facial expressions, body-language etc.)."

In a sense, yes. But in a larger sense, if you don't have a good base, graphics won't make a difference. The best looking game with the worst story and the worst characters will not be helped by said graphics. An unenjoyable experience that looks good is still an unenjoyable experience.

And since when is visuals the only aspect of a "next generation experience"

Shouldn't an "experience" encompass more than just what you see with your eyes?
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LightofDarkness  +   1113d ago
"Firstly, shut up... you'll save everyone from having to read your idiotic responses."

Way to prove my point for me with that childish little retort. I would give you a pass on context, but in the context of your PREVIOUS posts (see what I did there?) it seems you have a vendetta against PC gamers/gaming. You certainly have a way of arguing yourself into a hole.

As for this little correction you made: "PC has plenty of unique experiences that are not present or feasible on consoles in a manner that would satisfy me or like minded individuals."

....? I'm sorry, was my language unclear? Have I stumbled into a congressional debate about the most pedantic way to be politically correct? How about arguing the point rather than arguing semantics. And your counter "point" is hilariously off-base.

"Crysis 2 is on console isn't it? BF3 is on consoles isn't it? Rage is on console isn't it? If they aren't feasible, they wouldn't be on consoles. Your issue is that the experience isn't to the visual level that you demand."

No one said anything about graphics. This comment displays EXACTLY how ignorant you are to PC gaming. Do you see Starcraft 2 on consoles? Flight Simulator X? How about genuine modding capabilities? You see, feasibility is a CONTEXTUAL (see?) term, meaning that which is achievable within pre-defined constraints. Some games do not just play better with keyboard and mouse or a flight stick, some games REQUIRE those methods in order to be the same game and to remain fun. This is also mostly true with controller based games.

The PS3 does not support KB/M across all titles or even some titles, I think maybe one title actually supports it (UT3). When only one developer/game ever uses it, I would hardly call it support.

"You're confusing graphics and art direction and style. Take games like LBP, Okami, El Shaddai." No, I think you are. Art direction and style fall under the umbrella term "graphics." The term "Graphics" describes all that is the product of the pictorial arts. That would include textures, writings, logos etc. as well as 3D character models, the game world, all visuals produced via vector data etc. You think graphics only refers to the underlying technologies, but it does not. Those technologies are created for the production of graphics. Unless you think graphics can only be called so when they are attempting to be life-like?

Moreover, what you consider fallacies are not so, they are comparisons. Comparisons have contrasts too. That does not make them fallacious. Did you read a website about fallacies and think you've got it down?

"In a sense, yes. But in a larger sense, if you don't have a good base, graphics won't make a difference. The best looking game with the worst story and the worst characters will not be helped by said graphics. An unenjoyable experience that looks good is still an unenjoyable experience. " That is a poor argument, you didn't really say anything, you merely pointed out the obvious. A poor story/game is a poor story/game. However, good graphics can make good games seem better than if they had poor presentation. Haven't you ever heard that good food is "all in the presentation"? You could eat the same meal, one that is presented exquisitely on fine-bone china, while one is thrown together haphazardly into a trough or cloudy plastic bowl, and believe the former was infinitely better. There have been actual scientific tests which prove that people think the food actually tastes better due to presentation alone, and they're not wrong. It DOES taste better, because their brains tell them so. We are very visually oriented creatures, it's just human nature.
LightofDarkness  +   1113d ago
Continued...

"And since when is visuals the only aspect of a "next generation experience" " no one said it was. This is known as the "straw-man" fallacy (being pedantic sure is annoying, huh?). It's not the only aspect, but it's almost always the start. Developers are essentially laying out what it is they want to be able to do visually for the next few years, what technologies should be focussed on. Much like Doom 3. Not a great game, but it set the ball rolling for the next generation. Normal mapping, real-time lighting, per-pixel shadows, per-pixel hit-detection, greater emphasis on GPU programmability with pixel/vertex shaders and so on. The same is being done right now.
Coolmanrico  +   1114d ago
All I will say is I agree, but expect people to read it as Graphics are not important. That's always where the argument end up. You say graphics shouldn't matter as much as Game play and then some idiot think you saying graphic don't matter at all.

The truth is graphics sell games. It doesn't matter to some people if games are getting shorter or becoming more of the same, as long as the graphics are mind blowing. Anyway I'm way more impress with games that don't try to imitate life, but have their own unique art styles.
DragonKnight  +   1113d ago
Thank you. I'm glad someone gets it. Graphics do matter, but it seems like they are too much the focus of games right now. People don't talk about anything but the graphics anymore.
Rage_S90  +   1113d ago
I completely agree, bf3 is the biggest example all people talk about is the game's graphics.
dinkeldinkse  +   1113d ago
I agree,
But I think we are getting close(next 5 to 10 years)to everything looking great. The graphics of every game will look so good that it will become a nonfactor.
SilentNegotiator  +   1113d ago
"If you look at development this gen, you'll see that most development studios are merely followers, not innovators"

I would say that even my favorite shooter series this gen, mighty successful even before, have started becoming more Call of Duty like, if only in the MP.

Resistance 3 was unmistakeably COD-ized in the beta, Halo Reach's MP took a bunch of pages from COD.....two highly successful series. Do they really think making themselves like every other game out there will make them MORE successful?
StayStatic  +   1113d ago
PC troll / hate article in disguise and total console fanboy snobbery

TBH LightOfDarkness hit the nail on the head with

[quote]
"Firstly, stop bitching about PC gaming. You've used previous blog-posts to vent your hatred of PC gamers/gaming and continually doing so only makes you pathetic. This is really a poorly concealed effort to mouth-off about PC gaming again. Your points are never really valid and yet you continually reiterate them. You come off like a child who's harbouring some pretty obvious jealousy and an inadequacy complex. "
[/quote]

The bitching around here normally sounds like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watc...

and to counter the pc troll / hate / misinformed crap this pretty much covers it:

http://www.youtube.com/watc...

No need to repeat the same stuff over & over when we have it in video form.
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WarStar  +   1113d ago
yeah all the talk about graphic but man u dis respect PC
check this article to see a real games and i mean a real games that not only graphic and its pc exlusive

http://forums.n4g.com/PC-Ex...

the fact here that alot of people say pc only graphic
but PC more than that

in the article above u will see shooter game with 100 PLAYERS at once and RTS game have 51 PLAYERS at once

believe me man PC is more and more than just graphic
Hicken  +   1113d ago
Seems like you're fighting a losing battle on this one.

I agree with ya, though. I'm all for a game looking beautiful, but it's best when pretty much everything else in the game is done well first.
zerocrossing  +   1113d ago
How the hell did you get a disagree?

I swear this site is going to shi* and the game industry with it the way things are going...
Hicken  +   1113d ago
I guess they think something different from what I do. I want to attribute it to them probably being new to games, as anyone who's been playing for more than the past six years should know better.

I can go back to PS2, PS1, and even SNES and enjoy the games. Although we can argue the artistic value of games like Okami and Wind Waker, they don't compare graphically to Uncharted or BF3. The music in titles like Lunar and Breath of Fire is superb, but sprites don't compare to the mo-cap characters of today, visually. The gameplay in Legend of Dragoon and Vagrant story is amazing, even if they don't look amazing in 720p.

And I can go back and enjoy ANY of these games today. People that haven't been into gaming for very long won't get that. And let's face it: the majority of people in gaming right now HAVE NOT been gaming for more than a few years.
SageHonor  +   1113d ago
Its more the fault of the gamers.... Supply and Demand.. what are people mainly buying? SHOOTERS!! What are one of the topics that gamers argue about the most? GRAPHICS! So developers eventually get these mixed signals... Can you blame them?
zerocrossing  +   1113d ago
Yes we can blame them, the consumers on the whole are mindless sheep following the latest craze or their fanboy franchise of choice, the devs talk about how great their FPS games are and how important graphics are, and what do all loyal sheep do? They follow.

Half the time all these people do is regurgitate the same crap the devs are saying. The current gen has ushered in a bunch of gamer wanabe's who only play the popular games and know nothing about the now considered "niche titles" that popularised gaming resulting in the industry becoming mainstream in the 1st place, its funny because without all the games they hate on they wouldn't even be playing games like Gears, Uncharted and COD.
Tuxedo_Mask  +   1113d ago
In a sense the growing popularity of gaming has lead to fewer high quality games in terms of innovation and depth. Graphics improve, because as a visceral attribute they can be judged solely on looks while gameplay either becomes repetitive or overly familiar. Furthermore, the cost of production leads to less risk taking on the part of the developers, causing familiar traits to appear in different games.

High quality games still exist and are still being made, but it has become harder to sift them out from the rest due to the over-saturation of the first person shooter genre and the idea that graphics and name recognition make a better game. The exception to the rule seems to be the break out hit Catherine, but its sales are still no where near that of a more common entry like Call of Duty.

Bad games have existed since the dawn of video gaming, and one of them, E.T., almost destroyed the industry. The difference from now and then seems to be a lack of courage from developers. Making a bad game in the early days didn't guarantee a lack of sales due to the absence of the internet, but now if a game scores low on Meta Critic no one will touch it. Now, with game reviews coming from not only major sites, but Billy in the basement too, developers are afraid to make a game that might just be seen as "bad" due to it being different, difficult, turn-based, or requiring basic reading skills. Thus, we are in the state we see now, and while more people are playing Call of Duty, gamers like us who remember more thought provoking games are left to treasure hunt for more stimulating titles.

As for the best game platform of all time, and I've been playing for about the same amount of time you have, I'd say it would be the PS2. I have played many great SNES games, but unfortunately I never owned one myself. We didn't have much money growing up so we skipped a gen and played NES until we eventually got an N64, but even then it was well into its lifespan before we had one. The PS2 has a very diverse library, online capability, and doubles as a DVD player, not to mention it has a lot of great RPGs, which is why it's my personal favorite.
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PCE  +   1113d ago
Consoles sure offer a "unique" experience of fast food convenience but PCs are for the quality whores that want the most out of the games they love. Consoles have no 1080p - 60FPS in the majority of AAA games, no mod support (a MAJOR downfall), closed online infrastructure, bugs and glitches in games that cannot be fixed with a custom patch. PCs are far more than about "graphics"

PC elites don't crave this "unique" experience of console gaming!!!
#13 (Edited 1113d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply

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