Originally Posted by nathris
Not even remotely close, and we never will be. Even if we had the power to display realistic graphics in real time it would take a team of 1000 graphics designers 5 years and close to a billion dollars just to make 1 game.
Personally I'm sick of this push towards realism. We need to freeze, or even drop the polygon count and instead focus on artistic styling and, believe it or not, gameplay and story.
Agree we're not remotely close, but never will be?
Definitely not from an individual artistically generated point of view - as you say it would take way too long.
But perhaps design tools will be developed that can map 3d objects/environments to incredible degrees of accuracy then generate them in the game/application?
Or automatic/semi random generation of environments based on parameters designated by the artists/designers.
Coupled with future tech I'm sure we'll (one day) see photo-realistic virtual environments, but whether they're even games any more, who knows? I definitely see it as being very far off (not even my lifetime), but to say 'never' I don't think so.
And yes, I agree about your last point. Some of the most visually impressive games I've played have been impressive due to art direction and design (Trine 2 for example) other than the raw 'realism' of it.
Take Crysis 2 for example, while I played it through and sometimes was very impressed with some of the graphical technology (mainly the effects like their implementation of depth of field, some lighting effects, other camera effects), it was all within a very bland and dull environment artistically, and not very realistic even then.
I still like a game with great graphics, but if it doesn't have a good story or gameplay then it's a much worse situation than a game with great story and gameplay but rudimentary graphics.