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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Why High Graphics and Realistic games sucks

DragonRouge said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:

Every former fan of the Final Fantasy series knows this dichotomy is real.  Final Fantasy games used to be excellent all around: graphics, gameplay, music, world building, story, etc...  Then Final Fantasy 13 released.  Visually it's one of the most impressive games on the PS3, and the music is excellent too.  Gameplay, world building and story are all noticeably lacking compared to earlier Final Fantasy titles.  They didn't even have towns.  That is a severe cutback.

Budgets are limited.  Companies choose how many to hire for each job to work on their games.  Currently for AAA games it is common for artists and animators to take more of the games budget than all the rest of the staff combined.  It did not used to be this way.

The "FFXIII has bad gameplay and design" is highly debatable, and the decisions made in that regard could have been more related to their goal of appealing to the western market than because of budget priorities.

Yes, budgets are limited, the point still stands. A game having great graphics doesn't mean that it has crap gameplay of that there was a consciuos decision to sacrifice gamaplay design for shiny visuals. That is more of a perception from a prejudice some people have, which for some strange reasons, hate cinematic elements in video games. 

"Development of Final Fantasy XIII was a difficult one and ridden with miscommunication between different sections of the development team. Final Fantasy XIII had the largest development team of any previous Final Fantasy game, with some of the work also done in conjunction with the Final Fantasy XV team (then-titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII). At the peak, there were over 200 people working on it, with 180 artists, 30 programmers, and 36 game designers."

" Director Motomu Toriyama has said he lamented that Final Fantasy XIII was mainly criticized for its linear game design, and explained that there were several reasons for it. With a limited amount of development time and resources, the team made the game linear to maximize players' gameplay experience and to provide the same type of gameplay experience to all players. The aim was to offer the most entertaining gameplay experience. This approach provided players with time to familiarize with the battle system and the world, but it led to players feeling like the majority of the game was a tutorial. Toriyama believes this was a big flaw in the game."

https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Final_Fantasy_XIII_development#A_problematic_development

The game's director admitted the game had significant flaws.  It's actually not debatable.  Also this was the largest team on any Final Fantasy game yet, but he still felt resources were limited.  Just look at 180 artists, 30 programmers and 36 game designers.  Most of the budget is going to artists.  There were definitely trade offs there because of the focus on art.

Last edited by The_Liquid_Laser - on 13 July 2022

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Hynad said:
Chrkeller said:

Sure and I find BotW innovative.  Open world that is non linear with the main quest is quite new.  And the environmental interactions are new to world.  There is a reason why it dominated reviews and sales.  

And I didn't say anything regarding "of the past decade."  I make a general Zelda comment, which I stand by.  

It was mZuzek who said that. And that’s who I thought I was replying to.

Either way, I fin plenty of innovation in many games. Even if none of them, including BOTW, reinvents the wheel.

But some people here are incapable of objectivity, and throw double standards left right and center. Which is annoying. 

I am not sure if that is aimed at me or not.  But I think objectivity is difficult in a hobby that is driven by subjectivity.  At the end of the day thoughts and feelings about games is a personal opinion.  There is no metric that proves what a game is or isn't.  

For me BotW has a sense of freedom never seen before in gaming.  For others is was boring and bland..  the thing is neither of us is wrong.  



DragonRouge said:
Chrkeller said:

Or like Elden Ring repeating the same bosses over and over...  

I don't get how is that related to the issue of gameplay vs graphics. It's just an instance of adding content by recycling existing elements.

Just an illustration that games have budgets and corners will be cut as applicable.  I could easily see the cost of graphics resulting in cuts elsewhere.  



Dwarf Fortress is one of my favourite games of all time. The graphics are bested by games on the Apple Lisa from 1982.
The game doesn’t even have consistent interface. But as far as creativity goes, few games top it—Think of a game that has elements in common with Crusader Kings 2, Victoria 2, and Minecraft. Minecraft actually started as a cross section of Dwarf Fortress.

Unfortunately, Dwarf Fortress is too intimidating for many gamers—despite not being even close to as difficult as its reputation. But a much less intimidating version of the game is due out on Steam next month.

Also, the lack of creativity on realistic games has much more to do with the production side of development, not the creative team trading off creativity to stay realistic. The unfortunate side-effect of high fidelity are design-lawyers who use market research of existing products to dictate how elements of a game have to be. Indie companies can avoid this, but in the end, money is chief motivation of developers, they will trade off creative freedom for extra money. In the end, critics and gamers alike are far harsher on games that buck the trends than unoriginality in games. Talking, gamers tend to be much harsher with relatively benign monetization tactics in creative games than they are much more punishing monetization tactics that have been done a lot before.



I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.

The_Liquid_Laser said:
DragonRouge said:

The "FFXIII has bad gameplay and design" is highly debatable, and the decisions made in that regard could have been more related to their goal of appealing to the western market than because of budget priorities.

Yes, budgets are limited, the point still stands. A game having great graphics doesn't mean that it has crap gameplay of that there was a consciuos decision to sacrifice gamaplay design for shiny visuals. That is more of a perception from a prejudice some people have, which for some strange reasons, hate cinematic elements in video games. 

"Development of Final Fantasy XIII was a difficult one and ridden with miscommunication between different sections of the development team. Final Fantasy XIII had the largest development team of any previous Final Fantasy game, with some of the work also done in conjunction with the Final Fantasy XV team (then-titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII). At the peak, there were over 200 people working on it, with 180 artists, 30 programmers, and 36 game designers."

" Director Motomu Toriyama has said he lamented that Final Fantasy XIII was mainly criticized for its linear game design, and explained that there were several reasons for it. With a limited amount of development time and resources, the team made the game linear to maximize players' gameplay experience and to provide the same type of gameplay experience to all players. The aim was to offer the most entertaining gameplay experience. This approach provided players with time to familiarize with the battle system and the world, but it led to players feeling like the majority of the game was a tutorial. Toriyama believes this was a big flaw in the game."

https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Final_Fantasy_XIII_development#A_problematic_development

The game's director admitted the game had significant flaws.  It's actually not debatable.  Also this was the largest team on any Final Fantasy game yet, but he still felt resources were limited.  Just look at 180 artists, 30 programmers and 36 game designers.  Most of the budget is going to artists.  There were definitely trade offs there because of the focus on art.

Interesting, I didn't know that about FFXIII. Thanks for the info.



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Drakrami said:
mZuzek said:

These are bad points too. Slapping a hacking theme on an open-world isn't innovative at all. Square trying different combat systems on Final Fantasy might be "innovative" within its own series but none of these systems do much that hasn't been seen in other games before. It's funny you complain that Nintendo does "Zelda after Zelda", but then use Assassin's Creed as a good example. Also, Zelda is widely regarded as one of the most innovative games of the past decade.

I've played like 2 hours of BotW (it's in my backlog games to play), can you elaborate what's this high praise you are giving it for innovation? It's just open world Zelda, an amazing game, but what's the innovative part? Assassin's Creed is an excellent example. The 1st two ACs that came out in 2007 was very innovative for the gaming industry as a whole. AC4 (Blackflag) bought new elements and they are now basically making a sequel to that called Skull and Bones. And then they basically rebirthed the franchise with AC Origins in 2017. Tons of innovation people don't talk about and take for granted. They do have flaw of releasing a new AC every year, but that's not the main point. 

And you writing off Square's innovation is laughable, again taking things for granted. Do you know how different combat systems are from FF10 to 12 to 13? 15 is all action, if it's good or not or innovative, that's debatable. But for 16, they are again doing a totally new combat system. What's Zelda's combat system? R1 for Slash? 

You've barely even played BotW. It's universaly considered to be one of the most innovative games in the last decade because of how it's open world is structured, because of it's traversal and because of it's sophisticated physics system. The fact that you think that BotW's combat system boils down to a slash shows how little you know about the game, namely nothing, absolutely nothing. The Switch doesn't even have an R1 button.



Chrkeller said:
DragonRouge said:

I don't get how is that related to the issue of gameplay vs graphics. It's just an instance of adding content by recycling existing elements.

Just an illustration that games have budgets and corners will be cut as applicable.  I could easily see the cost of graphics resulting in cuts elsewhere.  

Oh, I get it. I still think it is not a good example. Creating more unique boss fight means more work for everyone, not just staff in charge of certain aspects of the game.



The_Liquid_Laser said:
DragonRouge said:

The "FFXIII has bad gameplay and design" is highly debatable, and the decisions made in that regard could have been more related to their goal of appealing to the western market than because of budget priorities.

Yes, budgets are limited, the point still stands. A game having great graphics doesn't mean that it has crap gameplay of that there was a consciuos decision to sacrifice gamaplay design for shiny visuals. That is more of a perception from a prejudice some people have, which for some strange reasons, hate cinematic elements in video games. 

"Development of Final Fantasy XIII was a difficult one and ridden with miscommunication between different sections of the development team. Final Fantasy XIII had the largest development team of any previous Final Fantasy game, with some of the work also done in conjunction with the Final Fantasy XV team (then-titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII). At the peak, there were over 200 people working on it, with 180 artists, 30 programmers, and 36 game designers."

" Director Motomu Toriyama has said he lamented that Final Fantasy XIII was mainly criticized for its linear game design, and explained that there were several reasons for it. With a limited amount of development time and resources, the team made the game linear to maximize players' gameplay experience and to provide the same type of gameplay experience to all players. The aim was to offer the most entertaining gameplay experience. This approach provided players with time to familiarize with the battle system and the world, but it led to players feeling like the majority of the game was a tutorial. Toriyama believes this was a big flaw in the game."

https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Final_Fantasy_XIII_development#A_problematic_development

The game's director admitted the game had significant flaws.  It's actually not debatable.  Also this was the largest team on any Final Fantasy game yet, but he still felt resources were limited.  Just look at 180 artists, 30 programmers and 36 game designers.  Most of the budget is going to artists.  There were definitely trade offs there because of the focus on art.

FF X was also linear. Limitation is gaming always existed, either by budget or hardware constraints. Original Final Fantasy last 20 hours of gameay at best, FF XIII takes at least 50 to beat and likely the double of that to play everything the game has to offer

It was not only the graphics, but the game length too. This is not a consequence of graphics getting better, but from big developers trying to stand out in a competitive market.

Remember in the 90s the games teams were small and companies couldn't afford long development cycles, first because it was pointless as most of machine couldn't handle big games regardless. It started to change around PS times

During the 5th generation the hardware started to get powerful enough to justify bigger games and of course the richer developers started to hire bigger teams and give them more time to develop bigger games, as most of games were priced the same the bigger games could, potentially, provide more fun because they would last longer 

There was an very easy solution to solve this, attach gaming price to its length, but nobody seemed to care because for many the amount of fun you get playing (which is subjective) is more important than how much content the game has. Indeed if you have more fun replaying a 5-hours game 10 times than playing a 50-hours game one time, then you purchase was meaningful. But I'm starting to digress from my point 

Back to the point, when you have your competitor making a 20-hour game, what you do next is make a 25-hour game, then your competitor will make a 30-hour game and then it goes. This of course does not affect only the story, people now wants bigger maps with as many assets as possible, more enemies variety, customization and all that needs more and more time to be made. The number of bugs increase exponentially to how much freedom interaction is allowed, making the gaming development for bigger titles a hell. BOTW 2 is going to have 2008-level of graphics and will need 6 years to be release due to how hard it handle open world games levels in game of that scale. 

You can argue most of resources are going to artists, which is true, but they are not the reason for the crappy gameplay. You can't triple the size of the core gameplay team and expect the gameplay to get any better, it won't.

The only thing that will happen if you start to make weak graphics is that you could potentially make games faster, which is true. But are arts teams really the bottleneck of modern gaming development? Or is it the level design teams and gameplay teams which now have much bigger challenges to handle with maps that have dozens of characters moving in complex tridimensional spaces ?

Just for reflecting because I doubt ignoring graphics at this point will make games better.



What a big post damn

TLDR version:

- Graphics are not the reason for crappy gameplay
- To make better graphics you need more people and time (and good hardware to run them)
- To make a better gameplay more people and time might not be enough
- Unless you game has very little gameplay, something like Detroit become human, graphics and art may not be the bottleneck in the development
- Resources being allocated in arts aren't the reason for gameplay becoming worse, because throw money in development team is not enough to design better levels and maps



mZuzek said:
ConservagameR said:

Just wait until graphics become realistic enough that most studio's don't bother going any further than a select few to reach the finest of details. Then you'll have most of your creativity back.

I feel like we've already reached this point, a few years ago actually.

Graphics will always improve. We hear that same logic every new gen, then the next gen comes out and blows everyone away. There is alot more to realism that this gen cant do.