Musings on the Impact of Graphical Fidelity on the Modern Gameplay Experience

Discussion in 'Games, Gaming & Game-demos' started by Reciprocity, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. Reciprocity

    Reciprocity Member Guru

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    Hi all. Firstly, I haven't posted here since back in 2013 but I lurk regularly and it's nice to see many of the old familiar members are still active and visible.

    Since I currently find myself in a bit of a gaming lull (short periods are normal for me usually due to game burn-out, but this is probably the longest I've ever experienced), a thought occurred to me recently and I wondered if this feeling may be shared by others: do any of you think the ever-increasing graphical quality and fidelity of modern and next-gen games has begun to affect your overall experience with gaming in general? And for the better, the worse, or somewhere in between?

    My personal experience here is that the graphical quality in games has reached a point where I've honestly begun not to care about graphics nearly as much as I used to since so many games are employing much of the same tech and I don't often experience the same 'wow' moments that I regularly used to in spite of games appearing to approach photo realism more closely which each new generation of tech. I have always considered myself an enthusiast in this space and have gone through more hardware and spent more hours tweaking and messing around than I would care to count, always feeling the need to invest in the best hardware I could afford whenever upgrade needs presented themselves. Now as 2019 draws near to an end, though my hardware is far from obsolete, I am approaching what I would normally consider my own personal upgrade cycle. Keeping tabs on what's currently on offer, the most compelling thing I see which seems to be the thing that everyone is chasing is ray tracing tech. I've watched all the tech demos and greatly appreciate what ray tracing can do; yet, I likewise find myself utterly underwhelmed by everything currently using this tech given the usual enthusiast cost markup to make use of it. This is not intended to be a commentary on the state of gaming, nor a criticism of this tech in any way, but really registers as more of a concern on my part for the developers out there who may feel an obligation or expectation to produce games that live up to what this technology can deliver, and therefore the overall quality and enjoy ability of games we finally get as consumers may go down as a whole due to these displaced priorities which may end up favoring graphical quality.

    It seems to me that the industry has reached a point where the tech has outpaced the game development cycle, rather than the other way around as was the case in the not-too-distant past, and we're seeing developers chase the technology rather than focus on innovation, originality, and solid game play. Purely anecdotally speaking, I feel like I used to purchase on average roughly one game a month simply because there seemed to always be something interesting and new to try. I haven't purchased any games since The Division 2 when it first dropped and even then I've only played a meager amount simply because I ended up feeling like I was playing a re-skinned Division 1 with better graphics after a while. My experience with games like BF5 and others are similar; these games can be stunning to look at and represent great technical achievement, but have almost no soul.

    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. haste

    haste Master Guru

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    Fun fact, did you know that Reciprocity is a pro-gaming team? :)
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    If you want original gameplay, you need to play indie games. If you want to play a game that pushes technological/visual limits, you go for big AAA releases.
     
  3. slick3

    slick3 Ancient Guru

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    I purchased 1 month Origin Premiere yesterday; something to keep me busy until next month. I bought it primarily for FIFA 20, and I uninstalled FIFA 20 about 5 hours later. I remember thinking to myself; 'The graphics are so nice, if only the gameplay held up'. The gameplay in FIFA 20 is a joke.

    Graphics are what lure PC gamers in, gameplay is what keeps them. That's why Ubisoft releases gameplay trailers with misleading graphics even though the endgame is no where close to that. However Ubisoft does offer games with reasonably good gameplay, especially when you compare them with EA. EA is a good example where you can have close to realistic graphics, but terrible gameplay.
     
  4. cerebus23

    cerebus23 Ancient Guru

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    well all industries are stuck in bottom line shareholders wanting bigger profits and to hell with art make it as fast generic and cheap as you can.

    music industry you got step music where you plug and play sounds into a grid and make noise and add some autotune voice from any random noboby and you can create "artists" out of thin air. and computers can make the beats right down to mathematics to make sure they catchy enough but wholly forgettable.

    movies are in the same rut mostly reboots and other safe fair with the healthy does of virtue singaling to try and get some new demographics into theaters.

    and games are mirroring the movie industry safe sequels and reboots, original ips are a rarity they are a risk. and honesty there enough old abandoned titles with nostalgia built in they can milk yet and even make hits out of if they put in some effort. they complain about piracy while gouging the living hell out of customers to buff them stock reports. music industry did the same thing.

    its not all doom and gloom though, flight sims and space sims are still pushing things. flight sims that always had a high tech and $$$ bar for entry is still making pretty and complex games. DCS world, the new flight simulator. croud funding is making a game like star citizen possible, a game many deride as too open ended and eternal, but some of the tech they developed and shows at some of their shows is pushing the bounds of tech. they even developed a real hair tech that relied on tessalation i think but i think the cost of implementing it was too much so they could not implement it. and their character creation and other techs they are making seem to be on another level compared to most games, because they got that backer support to try stuff that other developers would not want to sink the time or the money into trying. bit oof a double edged sword in that it leads to wasted time and money when a tech just cant be used like the hair tech, but the number of systems and tools that are working and part of the game is impressive, so i willing to overlook a few people trying to make real hair.

    And AI? well that will not happen until computers can do quantum processing and generate complex behaviors in a parallel function and then pick one that is appropriate to the situation. kind of how your brain works. this or that behaviors is a good start but wave functions with multiple behaviors way better because it less limiting and more natural. :p i got no immediate hope that ai will go anywhere.

    gfx is the shiny of AAA though and they want safe and profits. that is going to draw the eyes and the wows if you can make a star wars game looks as great as battlefront but deep as a puddle game wise well your going to sell tons just on the look.

    yes if you want some "innovation" them play indy games. old dos games could not eye candy you but what those could do is program autistic depth into gameplay via dialogue and mechanics i.e. dwarf fortress , innovation when your mechanics of most AAA are surface level at best.
     

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