Graphics/Physics/Storyline

Discussion in 'Games' started by Sparky8, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. macrumors member

    #1
    Im a new new Mac owner but a long time gamer and set to do the game production mnagement course at Abertay Dundee University-Just heads up on me.

    This thread is to ask what means most to you as next gen is upon us. Improved graphics like we've seen in Gears, intelligent physics like what's being implemented into Force Unleashed or a good ol storyline be in Linear or not but keeps you gripped better than a film or book could ever do.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Chone

    #2
    Physics are the future of gaming. Games are still so primitive in terms of physics.

    The previous gen was all about graphics and bigger experiences but this one focuses not on how they look but how they move (and in the case of the Wii how YOU move :p)
     
  3. macrumors 68030

    risc

    #3
    For me it has to be graphics and physics there have always been games with good stories all the way back to Zork or Adventure. Having said that the Wii and Wii Sports in particular have shown me a next gen way of controlling a game.

    So there you go 2 different definitions for what I consider next gen both valid imo. :)
     
  4. macrumors member

    #4
    But if you think back to some of your most memorable games ( i don't know what they are so it's guess work on my part) unless they're sports titles or games like DDR and GH, i'd say its highly likely that MGS, FF and KOTOR fit in there becausse of that storyline.

    Could you say Gears is better when the campaign is so bland?

    BTW for me depending on the genre it's usually the storyline and physics battling with GFX last, not to say that isn't important
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

    #5
    I was surprised by some GameCube graphics. :/
    The Wii having widescreen has been enough but touches like the reflective surroundings in Sonic are excellent.

    Games to me have always been about pure fun and engaging storylines but I've always been a diehard Nintendo fan so they're latest move sat very well with me.

    Sonic was, I suppose, one of the first Wii games that I've owned to break the gimmick trend like Excite Truck did but the biggest problem with it was the storyline. As badly as the 3D Sonic games seemed to be received, I always enjoyed the storylines (even in Heroes!).
    Secret of the Rings was a huge disappointment to me in that department. I didn't mind the handling of "chapters" but it has made it apparent to me that a storyline is one of the most important factors in some games.

    Then again, look at Super Mario 64 and Sunshine. They're two of my favourite games but any story present is very sparse and they do not suffer because of it.

    As you may have noticed if you've read all of that, things that let me decide what makes a good game transcends the "gens".

    Also, when is the "next gen", "current gen"? Every console has been released yet people (not necessarily yourself) won't update their definitions.
     
  6. macrumors member

    #6
    I agree that generations have changed my outlook on storylines, before it was central because of the limitations of the hardware, but now because of advances i find myself craving an interesting story. Gears (i know its been ued alot ere to compare, but its perfect for it) couldve been made into an even better game but it lacked the sory and campaign. RFOM could one day be seen in a better light because of its superior length, diversity and story.

    BTW i don't really see the wii as either last or next, more current gen. The price and type of gmes are just far too different to that of the PS3 and 360. Its a second console, which isnt a shameful thing, and because of that it shouldn't be compared. How can you compare Smooth Moves to Gears.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

    #7
    All 3 of the consoles are part of the current gen and it's meaningless to compare Smooth Moves to Gears of War.
    It's like comparing Geometry Wars to Zelda.
     
  8. macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    #8
    Graphics: what matters most is art direction. Look at Paper Mario, Katamari Damacy, WoW. I couldn't care less about the most detailed, realistic graphics if they're boring to look at.

    Physics: yeah, intelligent physics can really add a lot to a game. Half-Life 2 comes to mind.

    Story: depends on the game of course. If it's a story driven game then yes, it needs a good one. :p I think this is a rare find too. I guess HL2 again comes to mind — it excelled in just about every category including characters and story. Halo too.

    I don't think I can single out any one thing. What matters most depends on the type of game. You don't need crazy physics in Paper Mario, but you do need story and good art (which is one of the main attractions of the series to me). You don't need a story in Motorstorm, but you want nice physics.
     
  9. macrumors Core

    Dagless

    #9
    For me, at the moment it's all about the story. I'm working on a huge project with a massive script, multiple plot paths branching all over the show. So needless to say I'm playing through a lot of story-heavy games for research. The same can be said for the couple of indy studios I'm working with. Theres huge pressure, both in 3D (next gen systems) and 2D (PC, DS) for a really engaging plot.

    I actually see the order of importance as, for my personal taste dev style-

    Story-gameplay-level design (utilising the gameplay elements)-sound design-art design*-expandability/upgradeable lastability

    *this is a totally common misconception. It isn't all about big graphics=best. It's about getting them big graphics looking great. Metroid Prime did a fantastic job in this department. Look into ICO, Metroid series, Viva Pinata, Yoshis Story/Island for great examples of art design that can be scaled and applied down the line. Throwing raw graphics around doesn't work. Colour themes, charactured models/environments, consistency within variation are just too important factors to skip out on.

    Physics important? Chrone, you realise physics will be just an enhancement in a minority of games? Unless you really feel like boxing yourself into the action FPS/3rd person shooter genre. Plenty of games in my Wii, 360, DS and PC library that don't need physics to be enjoyable. Physics are awesome and they are going to get oh-so excellent in upcoming games but it is never going to be too important.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    #10
    I think that when creating a game, you need to have a vision...and then use whatever aspect of game creating to really drive your point home...i think that all of these aspects are only useful when they highlight a fun idea. Then you spend your resources on the aspects that most enhance the experience. It depends on what you want to accomplish, when deciding between the three aspects.
     
  11. macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    #11
    The comment about art direction is the most dead on thing that can be said. Games can be done with minimal graphics power and look great still. Zelda: Wind Waker, Paper Mario and WoW like you mentioned, even older games like Link to the Past, Super Mario 3, all look fantastic even though they aren't super detailed 3D models and HD resolutions.

    Again, agreeing with you that you really need just one outstanding element to make a great game. An engaging story can make up for poor graphics and limited gameplay options. Super fun game play can be all you need to make a game great (one of the all time best games, Lemmings, has pretty basic graphics, no story at all, but is a blast to play). On the other hand, games that are just good to look at can be enough as well, although for me gorgeous graphics need to have at least a decent level of another element - Unreal Tournement and Quake 3 were great looking games at their times, but had good gameplay without which would they might not have succeeded.

    Physics, though, is something that I think will assist these other elements but not be enough on it's own. Great looking games where things behave realistically will be better than ones with crappy physics models, but without the graphics, gameplay, or storyline they're just simulators and there's not much fun in that.

    The area that I think will define this generation of games, at least to some degree, is AI. I'm starting to see lots of reviews about games with enemies that fight back intelligently, or computer controlled allies that are actually helpful, not hindrances. Shooters with allies who understand your verbal commands, improvise, choose to disregard your commands, take initiative, etc. will be the next gen. Not just FPS games, but RPGs, strategy games, simulators... these games can all benefit from better AI.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    #12
    For me I like Physics and Story the most but I also like good graphics. Physics is a thing that has been missing from games really up until the Xbox 360 and PS3, I can't wait until we are getting games where you have to shoot down an object to take cover behind or games that have realistic destructible environments.

    Story is a must have IMO, games without a decent story line just don't make me want to keep on playing to see what happens next. Zelda: OoT is probably my favorite game when it comes to good stories.

    Graphics IMO are not really that important, sure I like to play games that look good but if games this gen didn't end up looking any better than Resistance, I would not really care. Ōkami is a game that IMO look fantastic even though it is on the PS2, it just looks really good even though the graphics are not that great.
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    JackAxe

    #13
    I agree wtih the art direction comment. I'm personally a fan of art that really conveys the mood of the game, weather it be simple or complex.

    Without physics, I wouldn't have Wii Sports Bowling, so I would be bummed. But I also view physics as something that makes the developer's job easier once they get the kinks worked out. I hope that they'll take the time/money they've save from not needing loads of animation and put that effort towards my next rambling point.

    Story and gameplay are King! I know graphics can be important in catching a peep's eyes, but they're not what intrigue me to play the game, unless it's some kind of simulator.

    <]=)
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

    #14
    'Story-telling', or the complete lack of any writing skills evident in most games are a blight on gaming. The same is true of the pursuit of swanky, shiny graphics. Physics could be interesting if the game was designed to utilise them in it's core gameplay and not just another 'feature' to tick off on the back of the box.

    Call me crazy or a radical, but physics, graphics, sound design, story-telling et al. are secondary, if not tertiary. Surely the key factor is if the game is actually fun to play, if indeed it plays at all?
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

    #15

    No offence, but with comments/thoughts like these I hope that you are never involved in any games that I play in the future.
     
  16. macrumors member

    #16
    i'm sorry but what?????
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    #17
    I'm just odd...games have always been as much about graphics and experience as the gameplay....they go hand in hand. For me, most games these days have pretty decent story lines and gameplay...the costs of creating a game are so much that all games have a fair amount of development in them (the big ones...not the movie port type games).

    Besides this NO game these days has that radical a change in gameplay. I played the NES with the power glove so wagging something isn't really new. There are very few genres and all have been done so many times over at this point. There's such minor changes over the years, but people blow them up and say they are crazy changes, but aren't really.

    I'm still entertained though and still love playing games. So all things considered I want it to involve me visually as much as story, gameplay. Doesn't have to be photo-real to pull me in, but it needs as much time put into the visuals, because there's just as much gameplay in a text line game as a graphic one and we're all choosing graphic based consoles :)

    Paul
     
  18. macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

    #18
    I don't care the slightest about graphics. But I LOVE physics. Realistic animation and reactions are where it's at.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Chone

    #19
    You guys are missing the whole point about physics! Advancement in physics will bring new ways of play (simple games can have complex physics models and still be fun and simple) take a loot at Blast Miner for example, a simple game with great gameplay because it has a great physics system or games like Company of Heroes and Supreme Commander where every projectile is calculated, tanks move realistically and take appropiate damage based on where they are hit, it makes the game more fun because you have a lot more to deal with and makes you feel like you are really playing a war and not a complex rock paper scissors game.

    And that is only with RTS, think about the uses you can give to physics in an action game, imagine being able to destroy the enviroment at will and use it for attacking your enemies (for example a superhero game). Racing games can get more fun with dirt that behaves like real dirt or crashes that tear up circuit and cars in a more fun way (watching crashes is fun in Burnout but it could be even funner with more realistic physics). Simulation racing games will only get better (and don't go around saying sim games are not fun because I've had tons of fun with GT3/GT4 and so have other people).

    Have you even looked at Force Unleashed? It's using physics not only for aesthetic or realism purposes but for GAMEPLAY additions... Physics can change a lot about a way a game is played by making it dynamic and letting you interact with your enviroment. And Blast Miner (and to a point Elebits) has proved that simple games can also become entirely new experiences just because of physics.

    I honestly believe physics are going to be the revolution in this generation, the possibilities are mind boggling. I don't like pretty graphics as much especially when things are so static and plastic looking, physics can make a PS2 game look fantastic simply because everything moves so beautifully, so you see, physics are also a way of making the experience more interactive, more immersive and more fun.

    Trying seeing physics as an extension and essential part of gameplay not an extension to graphics :p
     
  20. macrumors Core

    Dagless

    #20
    You probably missed the lectures on making games *too* realistic.

    Okay, you're in WW2 in some tank. Well you could just blow up houses and trundle through the wreckage and beat the game. Or you could play it how games work, in that a player is forced into a corridor or somewhere they can't just shoot through/bulldoze to test their skills and get better at the game.

    A great example would be the later half of Half Life 2 with the RPG. You have a rocket launcher that in theory could blast through a wall. So why not forget the level design and just clear a path through the houses or that town-hall looking place?

    Like you said - this will make sims better. Games are not sims. You can't just blow through a wall and reach the goal, you press A to use a health pack, you get shot countless times, you jump much higher than in real life, firing bullets doesn't make the player go deaf... Games are games and sims are sims. Wonder why the only "sim" genres span into racing and flying and not "fun" genres?
     
  21. macrumors 604

    zap2

    #21
    Well the Wii is a currant gen sysystem...just like ps3 and xbox 360. Lower price is a good thing and WW:SS isn't a type of game u compare to GoW...but Metriod P3 is...u wouldn`t compare Viva Pinta to LoZ:TP, would u?
     
  22. macrumors Core

    Dagless

    #22
    Easy - WarioWare is addictively fun, GoW is a long pace game. That's how you compare. I couldn't be bothered learning the controls for GoW so my gaming ended whilst I took the tutorial path at the start. Nothing pulled me in. Wario Ware pulled me in with the ridiculousness the game possesses. The humour and easy controls brought in my friends and family whilst my bro sat up in his room alone on GoW.

    It's a second console? I know there was a lot of prediction and speculation about the Wii coming in first place because of it's "second console" styling. Has this come into fruition? Seems to me (again this is just from my personal experience) in the UK that it's more the army of non-gamers rather than people getting one to sit alongside a 360 or PS3. How can something this insanely fun to play and addictive be second to a system as lacklustre as a PS3?
     
  23. macrumors 68000

    #23
    It depends on the type of game. For example, take 2 of my favourite franchises - Unreal Tournament and Final Fantasy. Physics have no ground in a Final Fantasy game, as a RPG, whereas Unreal Tournament doesn't even contemplate the concept of story.
     
  24. macrumors member

    #24
    The wii is not in the same market as the ps3 and 360, that has to be obvious. Its price point and motion controls place it away from the other 2, You cant compare a 3rd party game anymore because its so vastly different. Im not saying this is a bad thing and im not saying it will be a failure (because it wont) im just saying it how it is. Its intellogent in truth, multi plat games have rarely prospered on the cube so it was intelligent to go down this path

    From what ive seen around me (obviously cant be said for everyone) peope who buy the wii seem to be those who buy a 360 or ps3 anyway. Non gamers dont generally buy a wii, they just play it.

    Your opinion is subjective when compring the PS3, you dont like it (i like all 3 consoles) but that doesnt ake the wii better, its different.

    As my sig says i own a 360 and a wii just to be clear.
     
  25. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    #25
    I don't see physics as the way of the future - sure, its nice to have all things fall/explode/react realistically, but after a while, no matter how much you blow things up, etc. what's going to keep you interested in playing the game?

    Its the storyline - but more than that as well. AI is going to be huge, interactivity and the ability of the game to adapt as you play. Why do you think online gaming is so big? Because you're playing against other gamers who are doing their own thing. So for single player gaming, good adaptive game play will be the way to go.

    D
     

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