#1 Posted by Gonmog (583 posts) -

They put the same amount of money and resources into the game play, story, and less into graphics?

The way I see it, the largest cost in games at this point is them trying to add as much detail and graphic power into the high profile games as they can. Yes we have indi games that are doing little things and having crappy looks to them.

But take a game like Dishonured. Lower the graphics form what it is to, maybe early 360/ps3 gen graphics, money would have been saved, the game play would have been the same, story the same, everything, but less crap tossed around the game.

Take your most played "AAA" title, and if the graphics in it where less, but you only played 40 bucks for it, would you still hold it in high esteem?

In some cases yes for me, in others no. In Skyrim, I got a lot of enjoyment out of seeing the awesome vistas that game could have. Take some of the graphical power out of that game, and it would not be as fun for me.

But for the Batman games, if the graphics where toned down a notch, I would still love that game for the combat, voice work, and somewhat storylines.

Really what I would like to see happen, is as game devs start to feel the squeeze from not making as much per "AAA" game that they used to, in place of putting all of there resources into tiny phone games like Epic, just put less into the graphics.

#2 Posted by Jams (2961 posts) -

I'd take Quake 3 engine era graphics if it meant more towards other parts of the game. But that'd have to mean just as good animations and "enemies on the screen at once" and that kind of thing. Graphics quality can be a bit of a broad term.

#3 Posted by RPGee (759 posts) -

I don't think this is a question personally. Yes I would pay less for a game if all they did was turn down the graphics. I don't care too much about how good a game looks, as long as it's a good playing game. Not to say that I don't like good looking games, but it doesn't really matter as much to me.

#4 Posted by Turambar (6784 posts) -

If you specifically mean worse textures, lighting, draw distance, sure. If it starts hampering AI, enemy on screen, animations, then no.

#5 Edited by Dagbiker (6976 posts) -

Its a balance, lower the graphics too much and I get taken out of the world they have created. Like wise, a bad story, or bad mechanics will also take me out of the world they have created.

Overall a good story beats good graphics. But 22 years ago, Super Mario 3 was the best looking game on the NES. Now you talk about the graphics as if they are crap.

#6 Posted by Jams (2961 posts) -

@Dagbiker said:

Its a balance lower the graphics too much and I get taken out of the world they have created. Like wise, a bad story, or bad mechanics will also take me out of the world they have created.

Overall a good story beats good graphics. But 22 years ago, Super Mario 3 was the best looking game on the NES. Now you talk about the graphics as if they are crap.

I'd say past graphic quality is inferior to current games graphics. I wouldn't say that SM3 graphics are bad. I still play early games all the time, and the things that hurts them most are the prototype style mechanics. Nothing was really fleshed out because it was all so new.

#7 Posted by crusader8463 (14422 posts) -

No. Graphics are what can get you into a games story and the even the best story in the world won't be as emotionally effectively if the whole thing looked like Pong or a NES game. If you want me to pay less then cut out the dam pointless Multiplayer that they tack onto games that never gets touched because it's terrible. Makes me sad to see time and resources wasted on a dumb multiplayer mode so they can have an extra checkbox on the back of it.

#8 Posted by Gonmog (583 posts) -

Yeah I mean just the way the textures and details in the game look. Everything else is left untouched.

#9 Edited by bananaz (256 posts) -

Considering I'm a sucker for whatever the latest $5 "hey look I'm from 1990" pixel-hipster indie-fest comes down the pike, I think I've already answered that question. On the other hand, graphics are not trivial. Rage and Crysis 2 were awesome experiences for me. Toning down the graphics for a partial refund would work out well for some games, but sometimes I'm willing to pay for a really good-looking game.

#10 Posted by pyromagnestir (4324 posts) -

I pay less for most games regardless. All it requires is a little bit of patience.

#11 Posted by Gonmog (583 posts) -

@bananaz: Would you pay more for a game that looks like Crysis or Rage? We already pay less for our games then we did 15 years ago. The only way it has thrived is from the massive surge in game players the past 15 years. And when that bubble pops, as it seems like it will pop and aim for the mobile market, what happens?

#12 Edited by TekZero (2672 posts) -

The only games I buy are discounted year old games. I'm perfectly happy with that. Or steam sales.

#13 Posted by PillClinton (3291 posts) -

@pyromagnestir said:

I pay less for most games regardless. All it requires is a little bit of patience.

Indeed. A recent example: Darksiders 2. Wait, what, like 2-3 weeks and get it for half the price. It's a no-brainer. Also pisses off day-one buyers, myself included. /hypocrisy

#14 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -
But take a game like Dishonured. Lower the graphics form what it is to, maybe early 360/ps3 gen graphics, money would have been saved, the game play would have been the same, story the same, everything, but less crap tossed around the game.

That's not how "graphics" work. Most of what you're referring to as "graphics" are just textures on polygons and not all that taxing to render, you wouldn't really save any money by downressing textures. I'd imagine the biggest expenditure of cash in regards to making games look pretty is the man hours involved in optimization to cut load times and boost framerate. Things get cut there, anyway. Mostly postprocessing stuff like advanced antialiasing and lighting effects.

I'm also fairly certain that the general audience of AAA games wouldn't buy a graphically inferior game anyway, even if it cost less. A lower price tag might actually hurt a game like that by allowing people to (perhaps erroneously) believe that since it's cheaper, it has less "worth" than a $60 game.

#15 Posted by believer258 (11913 posts) -

To a certain point, yes, but have you ever gone back to Deus Ex 1 or something? No, I don't want to give up modern graphics for that.

However, I think that graphics have hit a point where I don't mind if they move forward anymore. I would much rather see work in things like animations and keeping cloth from clipping into anything.

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#16 Posted by AlexW00d (6275 posts) -

Dishonoured already looks like couple year old game anyway, make it look any worse and it's gonna be jarring.

#17 Posted by scarace360 (4828 posts) -

How about you cut the marketing budget a bit instead?

#18 Posted by spilledmilkfactory (1877 posts) -

I feel like I already pay less for games because they put more effort into gameplay than visuals, since most of the games I buy are indie (I get a lot of the AAA stuff from publishers as a perk of my job, but a lot of the indies can't afford to send out to us.) 2012 was the year where the indie scene really came into its own and just stomped all over the AAA market in terms of quality, at least in my opinion. The gameplay is often more simple, but more tuned and polished as well, and that's what I really appreciate.

Also, I can confirm others' comments that publishers should probably just cut back their marketing budgets if they're concerned about diminishing returns. I won't get into what I've received from some publishers, but it can get kind of ridiculous.

#19 Posted by JackOhara (227 posts) -

Gameplay is king in the majority of games, so yes, you can cut expensive development time on assets out of the equation and save a lot of cash. This is essentially what indie games do. The exception to both of these statements is something like Dear Esther.

#20 Posted by kre8havoc (173 posts) -

I admit that I like graphics. They are a part of my enjoyment of the game, so I don't mind the extra money spent to be put in them. That being said, I put gameplay over anything. I don't necessarily think a great story is needed for a game to be enjoyable. Games are a different type of experience, and a shitty story can be there as an excuse to do more of the gameplay mechanics. Super Meatboy barely had a story and I loved it, I have little idea what is going on in Boarderlands 2 (mostly because I am playing it so infrequently) and I am still loving it.

Mechanics and gameplay are really fun, great graphics really just complete the package.

I guess all I am saying is that I am enjoying games just as much as I have when I first started playing them.

#21 Posted by That1BlackGuy (217 posts) -

Well, I'm" mainly a gameplay/mechanics guy anyway so I'd say yes for the most part; graphics are great and all but I prefer presentation. You can mitigate graphics if you're utilizing a certain art style (though if you're going for photorealism in a game, don't know what to tell you).

#22 Posted by Aetheldod (3584 posts) -

Yes yes I would ... because that would mean more stylized art styles and Im all for that , yeah the day the actually manage to make a 1:1 realistic graphics is the day I wont buy more videogames .... why would I like to play on real life? IM trying to get awy from it when I play vidjagames D:

#23 Posted by bananaz (256 posts) -

@Gonmog: Would I pay more than now? No. It's already steep for me. I actually try to plan-out what I get months in advance. Still, though, yeah. The bubble may be slowly bursting right now. It's the Hollywood problem of insane costs demanding an unreasonable turnout. There's a reason this generation is still going and why it should keep going. To control costs and work within completely reasonable technical bounds. There is no serious reason for a new generation that can't be remedied by doing something devs already know how to do. Compromise.

#24 Edited by PillClinton (3291 posts) -

@scarace360 said:

How about you cut the marketing budget a bit instead?

Holy shit, yes. Do giant entire-building-side-ads serve anyone? Like, seriously. Who sees a Homefront ad covering a bus and the building right next to it and thinks, "yeah, this excessive, garish, insulting marketing speaks to me and will influence my purchasing decisions"? I don't get it. I really don't. It seems like such an absurd waste of money and time.

#25 Edited by FengShuiGod (1486 posts) -

I don't really believe in segmenting games into disparate parts like this. It really is about the holistic experience, and that varies from game to game. Dwarf Fortress has "bad" graphics but is good, Skyrim has "good" graphics and is good. Generic but pretty shooters aren't my thing, and generic hipster indie games aren't either. Good graphics wouldn't save those games I don't like, but better graphics would make Skyrim better. I don't think better graphics would make Dwarf Fortress better. So it depends.

As for price, again, it depends. I wouldn't want worse graphics in Skyrim even if it cost less. In fact, I think it's the opposite. I would rather pay more and have better graphics. With something like CS:GO though, I am happy to pay $15 for a game with somewhat dated graphics rather than paying $30-$60 for a prettier game.

#26 Posted by Patman99 (1584 posts) -

I bought, played, and enjoyed Mount and Blade. So, yes, yes I would.

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#27 Posted by Silver-Streak (1359 posts) -

Artists are important, but I'd like to see some engineers figure out a good algorithm for procedurally generating terrain, shadows, etc. Proper procedural coding scales to the available power of the machine, even if that just higher number of surfaces per model, more complex shadows, etc, and the textures were just all scanned from real world materials.

It would probably reduce art overhead by a ton. (It would probably also put a lot of good artists out of work, which is a double edged sword.)

#28 Posted by Hunkulese (2724 posts) -

@JackOhara said:

Gameplay is king in the majority of games, so yes, you can cut expensive development time on assets out of the equation and save a lot of cash. This is essentially what indie games do. The exception to both of these statements is something like Dear Esther.

What?

#29 Posted by Silver-Streak (1359 posts) -

@Hunkulese: I believe he is stating that Dear Esther has fantastic graphics, but is an indie game that doesn't contain a lot of gameplay.

#30 Posted by Giantstalker (1652 posts) -

Considering I buy $600 video cards on a semi-annual basis... no, I would not pay less for a game if it had inferior graphics.

Let's entertain a slippery slope argument for a moment here. Why doesn't everybody take their multi-million dollar game budgets and make absurdly long text adventures?

Good, especially great, graphics often enhance or compliment gameplay; in many cases, they can even enable forms of gameplay that weren't previously possible. I'd sooner give up good sound than graphics, because that at least can be muted and substituted for something else.

#31 Posted by JackOhara (227 posts) -

@Eujin said:

@Hunkulese: I believe he is stating that Dear Esther has fantastic graphics, but is an indie game that doesn't contain a lot of gameplay.

Correct, and 'What?' is not a question

#32 Posted by jakob187 (21671 posts) -

As it has always been said, good art direction can work miracles with graphics that are two decades old. Therefore, of course I'd have no problem with this.

#33 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Turambar said:

If you specifically mean worse textures, lighting, draw distance, sure. If it starts hampering AI, enemy on screen, animations, then no.

Why animation but not lighting? Generally speaking, animation has very little affect on gameplay, but light has the potential to do a lot to gameplay. Just look at how Scout Snipers have to train in real life on how to conceal themselves in urban environments, especially windows/openings in buildings.

Also, not really. I like my games to be pretty, to be immersive, and to be fun. Not just one of those things. There's a reason I can't stand Minecraft's default textures, and why as soon as my 680 arrives I'm installing the incredible Sonic Ether's Incredible Shaders for it. Visuals are a big thing for me. They won't make a bad game good, but I might play through a mediocre game just to enjoy the pretties.

#34 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (787 posts) -

I am okay with this.

#35 Posted by Turambar (6784 posts) -
@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Turambar said:

If you specifically mean worse textures, lighting, draw distance, sure. If it starts hampering AI, enemy on screen, animations, then no.

Why animation but not lighting? Generally speaking, animation has very little affect on gameplay, but light has the potential to do a lot to gameplay. Just look at how Scout Snipers have to train in real life on how to conceal themselves in urban environments, especially windows/openings in buildings.

Also, not really. I like my games to be pretty, to be immersive, and to be fun. Not just one of those things. There's a reason I can't stand Minecraft's default textures, and why as soon as my 680 arrives I'm installing the incredible Sonic Ether's Incredible Shaders for it. Visuals are a big thing for me. They won't make a bad game good, but I might play through a mediocre game just to enjoy the pretties.

Because I have my own priorities when it comes to aesthetics.
#36 Posted by NyxFe (248 posts) -

I absolutely would. Visuals are almost entirely irrelevant in regards to the majority of games I've played. I don't mind when games look amazing (The Witcher, Metro 2033 come to mind) but without compelling game play who really cares? I can stare at beautiful art all day if I really want to, without a desire to want to move around inside it. If the artistic merit of the game is relevant to it's design, than I see no issue, but nine times out of ten it's just an attempt to "look realistic".

Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I've played text adventures better than most modern games. I've played games of Dungeons and Dragons on a tabletop that are better than most modern games. They both have zero graphics. Unless you count my friends sitting around a table.

I also am not bothered by "outdated" graphics as it seems many are. I can just as easily play Vagrant Story or any other older game even when it has polygonal graphics as I can Dishonored or X-Com.

#37 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

I'm all for flexible prices for games as 60 bucks is a tad too much. If you're low on cash you can always download games on the consoles or in steam

#38 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@Turambar said:

@MordeaniisChaos said:

@Turambar said:

If you specifically mean worse textures, lighting, draw distance, sure. If it starts hampering AI, enemy on screen, animations, then no.

Why animation but not lighting? Generally speaking, animation has very little affect on gameplay, but light has the potential to do a lot to gameplay. Just look at how Scout Snipers have to train in real life on how to conceal themselves in urban environments, especially windows/openings in buildings.

Also, not really. I like my games to be pretty, to be immersive, and to be fun. Not just one of those things. There's a reason I can't stand Minecraft's default textures, and why as soon as my 680 arrives I'm installing the incredible Sonic Ether's Incredible Shaders for it. Visuals are a big thing for me. They won't make a bad game good, but I might play through a mediocre game just to enjoy the pretties.

Because I have my own priorities when it comes to aesthetics.

Well my point is more "animation are just graphics, so if the graphics are lacking, that includes animations." Plus, animation quality is largely dependent on poly counts. You can do basic pixar stuff with a low poly count, but beyond things being "smooth" you won't see any impressive depth to the animation, just style to it.

#39 Posted by Zekhariah (697 posts) -

I don't think I would trade off any particular aspects; if any part of the package is poor (not saying every game has to be high fidelity, but there is good and bad lower graphic detail games) then it spoils the experience. Which makes graphical quality a bit difficult to define - it is only a matter of how well it works in context. I try to judge games on their own merits and against that of every other title I am interested in spending money on. Which is a bit rough for a lot of games, if your not really into being current to the podcast/youtube buzz.

In some cases, sure $60 is fine (but really, most new games can be had for sub $35 to $50 even if "AAA" - see the Wii U launch). But maybe $5 on steam for something that was more cream of the crop that year wins out, even if the graphics are a bit worse. In my case I'm playing through a 2008 JRPG rather than XCOM / dishonored, because I'm not all that confident I would feel those are full price experiences to my current tastes.

#40 Posted by Dalai (7030 posts) -

I bought a Wii so yes.

#41 Edited by hawkinson76 (370 posts) -

At this point in my life, I would not pay even $40 for a game, so I don't think your question is addressing me, because at the price I would pay for games ($25 is the absolute max) there would be far less production value, if not for other people paying $60 just to play it when it is new.

Which, I suppose, is the real question when it comes to value: How much are you willing to spend to play what everyone else is playing right now? And everyone else includes a lot of people who play for graphics, or licenses, or familiar franchises.

#42 Posted by Gonmog (583 posts) -

I would still say games like Zelda:WW looks far better then a lot of games that come out today cause of the art style. Art is above polly count and textures.

If next year we had a stream of high profile games, that ignored super detailed graphics for great art, I would be way more willing to but them then a next gen game like Watch Dogs.

Hell give me a Watch Dogs game systems as shown in the trailer in a stylized world I would buy that game in a heart beat. Would put it higher then the real game of Watch Dogs thats for sure. And that would also make the game cheaper. Less pollys to render is less work programming to make sure it runs smoothly. Less work putting in useless details that dont help game play, but just aim to make the game look more "real". And as someone else said before...when games hit the super real looking point, I think that would start to be less fun.

#43 Posted by Hizang (8532 posts) -

No, I earn enough money that game prices never bothered me. When i go and buy a new game, I never have to stop and think "Do I have enough money for this"

#44 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Too be honest the graphics of the 360 when it came out got be back into games after a 5 year hiatus. I really look good graphics and the next Xbox can't come soon enough.

#45 Posted by WickedFather (1733 posts) -

@Dalai said:

I bought a Wii so yes.

Yeah, but Wii games tend to be pricey. I'm the the pay-less boat because I've given my 360 to my mother to watch Sky while I catch up on Ps2 titles (finished Jak and Daxter, it's good, almost finished Jak 3, it's lame). But I'd pay more for games if they had no achievements. 2 quid on top for the options of that, yup. And that includes it 2nd hand as an almost online "I'll pass" option. I dropped from 360 to Paper Mario on the N64 then did some PS2 stuff and it still looked amazing. You adapt to graphics quality so quickly that it becomes the norm even if it's crap by modern standards. It's overally that matters. I'm really drunk, apologies for crapness.

#46 Posted by Sackmanjones (4705 posts) -

Graphics are way more important than people give them credit for

#47 Posted by Hunter5024 (5686 posts) -

I come to different games for different things I suppose, if Prince of Persia (08) hadnt looked so amazing then it would've diminished my enjoyment of the game a great deal and I don't think it would've been worth as high of a price, but I'd still enjoy a game like Dragon Age: Origins just as much if they were crappy sprites. It's all about knowing what's good about your game, and where to focus your resources. I suppose it is a shame when a game like Battlefield spends so much money and time perfecting it's look when really I don't think that's what anyone comes to those games for in the first place. Art style always wins out over technically impressive graphics in my book.

#48 Posted by Blimble (302 posts) -

Didn't the Witcher 2 have a pretty small budget? Cause that games looked amazing

The real problem is when companies spend stupid amounts on advertising and not the game itself