Effect of Graphics

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Effect of Graphics

Postby DrHoo » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:25 pm

Here's an observation about RPG that I was verifying with a little research yesterday. Although there have been many, many RPG with humor as a key part (Bard's tale) or incidental jokes (most), there aren't any "Great Classic RPGs" that have been drawn and expressed as cartoon art. They are all as realistic as the graphics of the time would allow. That doesn't mean there are no cartoon style RPGs. For instance, I think Dragon Quest has very serious games in terms of having combat, spells, party, items, crafting, big worlds, etc. all part of a well-thought out whole. The cartoons work well on the DS where most DQ games are native. There are also many, many others which are small and lesser known, especially on-line games.
Now obviously it's a stock artistic convention that heroes/heroines out saving the Universe are bigger/stronger/more beautiful/more scantily dressed (if female) than the NPCs, and obviously it's appealing to think of yourself as your bigger/stronger/etc. avatar. But does that mean a player couldn't relate to an avatar who is funny-looking? Or could it be part of the role play to say Yeah, I'm funny looking: but I can still go out and save the Universe?

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Re: Effect of Graphics

Postby fallen_hero » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:08 pm

I wonder if people cannot relate to a hero that looks funny. I mean, especially in the RPG's where you can set up your own look many, many people at least often try out things that turn out funny. And many also do a MMO as a character with a look that often isn't usual just to look a bit different and make other's smile.

So for me I would even prefer if the hero would be sort of funny. There's already enough of ever so serious stuff in real life so it would be nice if facing the hero give's you a little thumbs up.

Plus, as far as we know of the story from the very starting page of the TH homepage it would perfectly fit for me. I could easily imagine him as sort of a bit confused after all he's be through. So maybe this would even fit well for his style. And it would make him still human. After all, he's a hero but also a human being with all the problems we all have to deal with.

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Re: Effect of Graphics

Postby DrHoo » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:03 pm

Well, that was actually our aim, in a way, to put the player into the position of being a regular guy trying to live up to heroic ideals and expectations that aren't always reasonable (from the quest givers). And there were other reasons for the cartoon look, for instance that cartoons can still look good long after realistic models are starting to look corny and outdated. But a few people have assumed that if the characters are cartoons, that the game is going to be silly or "lulz" or otherwise not be something that people could take seriously. Yet comics, manga, all the graphic novels manage to be engrossing, and political cartoons are pretty serious.

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Re: Effect of Graphics

Postby fallen_hero » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:44 pm

For me it's mostly a question of what you want to express with the game. A cartoon look doesn't needfully mean it's a soft game or something just for kids. I've even seen games expressing things even with a cell-shading look / hand-drawn coming like cutscenes which were very hard to take and left things to be thought long after you've finished the game.

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Re: Effect of Graphics

Postby subbassman » Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:31 am

fallen_hero wrote:For me it's mostly a question of what you want to express with the game. A cartoon look doesn't needfully mean it's a soft game or something just for kids.


There are some cartoons that are definitely not for kids:
Beavis & Butthead, South Park, Family Guy and a couple of others.

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Re: Effect of Graphics

Postby fallen_hero » Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:28 pm

subbassman wrote:
fallen_hero wrote:For me it's mostly a question of what you want to express with the game. A cartoon look doesn't needfully mean it's a soft game or something just for kids.


There are some cartoons that are definitely not for kids:
Beavis & Butthead, South Park, Family Guy and a couple of others.


I totally agree on this one. Especially South Park looks very nice and harmless but has very hard content.
Anyway, Cartoon look still give's a game something special in my eyes. There aren't too many games in that style out there. So those fastly grab my attention.

Most people will first take a look on the screenshots IMHO. I've often noticed that people are judging a game first for the screens they see and at a second range they put a eye on the story or other details. Next to that would be setting of the game or feature details (co-op mode, multiplayer etc.)

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Re: Effect of Graphics

Postby DrHoo » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:06 pm

Exactly, everyone makes a snap judgment based on the first quick glance at something. We evolved that way for survival and still can't overcome it, even for such intellectual pursuits as games. Like the old sayings, "first impressions are most important" and "dress for success" (i.e. so you make a good first impression).

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Re: Effect of Graphics

Postby SoulSojourner » Thu Jan 28, 2016 6:53 pm

I'm actually really good about not making "snap judgments" on games. I can't speak for anyone else, but in my case, the video's/trailers are far more important than screenshots, and I will be unsatisfied if a game cannot provide me with a video that actually shows me some gameplay. I -want- to see some of the gameplay so I can get a feel for the game, without it, everything else just feels like advertising. A trailer full of cinematics is nice to watch, but it doesn't show me anything about how the game actually plays, which is frustrating. If a game looks interesting, but fails to show me any gameplay or adequate enough screenshots to display gameplay if there's no video, then I might just shrug it off, if only because it failed to do that. However, if it looks interesting enough, even if it fails to do that, I will seek a gameplay video online or watch a streamer for a bit to find out if I like it.

I can usually tell pretty quickly if a game is going to be something I won't like, but if it seems interesting enough, I'll put it on a list of "maybe's." Some games are more interesting than they seem and even videos don't do them justice. Papers Please, is a good example. I got into that game only because I watched a streamer play it, and it was funny to watch him play. Most people I have recommended it to, won't give it a chance because of the way it looks, except for the people whom I have shown in person that have watched me play it.

This is why I love Steam's broadcast feature. If a friend recommends a game to me, and I look at it, and I don't like what I see, I will ask send a request to watch them play so I can get a feel for the game myself.

As for graphics, graphics are great, and in my opinion, poor graphics can be a killer of a good RPG for many people. However, old games have more problems than "old graphics" which is why they often get turned down or don't get "re-played." A new game with "old graphics" is an entirely different thing. It lacks a lot of the issues that come with playing actual old games. A good enough RPG, in my opinion, should always be able to keep you playing no matter what the graphics look like. There are some old games I have tried that I just couldn't keep playing, and there are others that kept me interested long enough to beat them. (Planescape: Torment)

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Re: Effect of Graphics

Postby fallen_hero » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:45 am

Yeah, I can agree on the streaming thing. It's fun to watch others play. I also love to hear some commentary or joking with it.
It can help to spread the word in my eyes, Just discovered last night that there's a gaming show on german TV again after a long absence of such stuff on the normal TV stations. That was a good potion of fun. :)

@SoulSojourner: Do you also like to watch Twitch channels or is it more that you prefer to see friends playing via Steam broadcast?

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Re: Effect of Graphics

Postby SoulSojourner » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:42 pm

I -have- watched some twitch channels in the past. But it was mostly for Path of Exile when I still actively played it a lot, and I would only watch a select few streamers. Usually a guy named Willy Wonka and another named Kripparian. The latter is pretty well renowned in the world of streaming.

Otherwise, these days I generally don't. I do have friends on Steam that recommend games that they play to me sometimes though, and I check them out, and if I'm unsure about the game based on trailers/screenshots and reviews, then I'll request to watch their broadcast of a game. Sometimes I will occasionally look through broadcasts to see if there's an oddball game that doesn't sound good, but might be a hidden gem, usually I don't find anything.

Papers, Please I first discovered watching Willy Wonka on twitch. He took a break from PoE one day I guess, because when I loaded up his channel he was playing it. It was quite funny to watch and that's how I ended up playing it.

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