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Are Game developers sacrificing Storyline for Graphics? - Page 6

Poll Results: Are game developers sacrificing the Storyline for Graphics ?

 
  • 63% (47)
    Yes I think they are
  • 12% (9)
    No I think they are not
  • 24% (18)
    Perhaps a little bit
74 Total Votes  
post #51 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ENTERPRISE
Are Game developers sacrificing Storyline for Graphics?
I don't think they are, for two main reasons.

1. There's no need to trade-off one for the other. Having good graphics does not mean having to sacrifice story, so why would the devs do so? To have more of one, doesn't mean having to have less of the other, there's no real relationship between them as far as I can see.

2. Game's have always had fairly shallow, fairly generic storylines. When you think about it, it's like most "mainstream" Hollywood movies. There is a deficit of originality. This is because, like Hollywood's products, games are not perceived as art, they are "units" to sell and the best way to sell lots of units it to appeal to the widest audience. In attempting to appeal to the majority, you usually end up with something bland, in terms of it's artistic merit.


I don't think there's any sacrifice going on, it's just that graphics have become so good over the last couple of years, that they stand out above almost all other aspects of a game, far more than they've done before. Comparably, graphics are superior to game storylines in almost all games, not because storylines have got worse, but because graphics have got so much better.

Storylines are unlikely to improve much beyond their formulaic "safe" boundaries, because simple, easy, well known stories, wrapped up in shiny new graphics is what makes software companies rich, not creative, original, challenging storylines, that question our basic perceptions.

Stories are a form of art at their core, but not all art appeals to all people. When you find a configuration, or formula, of artistic expression that appeals to the masses, you make money selling it, by sticking to it as closely as possible. On the whole, the masses are comforted and reassured by familiarity and if you can wrap familiarity up in a shiny, pretty facade, while not essentially changing it, you'll keep them docilely suckling for more, all the while you cash in. This is the lesson that Hollywood and other groups who have industrialised artistic expression have learned.

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post #52 of 63
Thread Starter 
I agree with some of the things you say however :

Quote:
I don't think there's any sacrifice going on, it's just that graphics have become so good over the last couple of years, that they stand out above almost all other aspects of a game, far more than they've done before. Comparably, graphics are superior to game storylines in almost all games, not because storylines have got worse, but because graphics have got so much better.
I do not think that '' Sexy graphics '' are putting storylines in the shadow. IMO the storylines are there or they are not. When I play a game I can tell great graphics and a good storyline...I do not find graphics can put a storyline that is good in the shadows.

Once again I have to use Crysis as an example. Its only my opinion but that game has wonderful visuals but piss poor storyline lol.
post #53 of 63
I'm going to have to say no to this, they are but I think the trend is shifting. The better companies will always produce better games with better story lines. There will always be games out there that are merely for having fun, they don't need story lines. Like a stupid comedy movie, its doesn't need a good story to make you laugh out loud and have fun. You just have to know what your getting yourself into, buyer beware.

The voice acting and story lines have always taken a back seat to graphics and game play in this market. Crysis is one the biggest offenders of this. And on the opposite side of things I think Mass effect did A great job with the story and the voice acting, some of the finest. Bioshock, Halflife 2, are others that have gone through great effort to make sure the story doesn't take a back seat to graphics. When a game wins game of the year I think the other devs sit up and take a look at why it won. Hopefully they see that what makes a game is balance between fun, graphics, story, game play, and originality.

Honestly I think the gaming industry is just starting to produce some serious quality in with regards to game direction, story telling and personality. The cookie cutter game developers usually weed themselves out, and go bankrupt within a few years. The ones that push for quality games will be sticking around and I would be willing to bet we are on the verge of some great games from these companies. I doubt many people will be as willing to pony out that cash for cysis2 knowing how badly they optimized programmed and wrote the story for the first one.

Gamers are growing up and I think the market is starting to see the trend is shifting. If your a company going into development now I'm sure the take a serious look at who there market is before they start to develop a game. I think the older I get the less time I want to spend on a learning curve for a game. I think some people may get mislead by games said to have been "dumbed down for the xbox crowd". I don't think there being dumbed down. They just removed the learning curve and made the game accessible to many more thousands of people.

I think the Halo series had one of the best story lines in gaming history. I even emailed the bungie team after I finished playing halo 3 and thanked them for producing such a fantastic game with such a great story. Video game development is what 30 years young? I think the last decade is just a beginning to the immersive and thoughtful stories to come.

Sorry just ranting...
 
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post #54 of 63
I would have to say no, but that's just because of Oblivion.

Oblivion is far from perfect, but it is about as close as you can get once you have modded it out. If you say that the game doesn't use cutting edge graphics, you haven't tried running it with Qarl's Texture Pack and MTAEVWD. Those two combined will kill even the best computers on the market.

Graphics aside though, you can easily get hundreds of hours out of Oblivion, including an engaging storyline. If you don't like some of the more controversial decisions in their gameplay, you can change it with mods, and outside of gameplay issues oblivion is about as perfect as a game as you can get.

Of course, it wouldn't be nearly as great a game without the modding community propping it up, but the developers designed the game allowing for community expansion, so people could go and make their perfect game with what the developers left out.


As for the future, development branches are becoming more and more segregated in big companies. That is, game developers/designers will only interact at the top-most level with the graphics/engine developers. Putting a larger demand on the graphics designers in this situation has no affect on the gameplay/story development because it's two completely separate branches.

5 years ago, yeah. More effort in graphics would take a toll on gameplay, because it's one person doing the entire thing. Now there's 10 people whose only job is to do graphics. There's 10 separate people who designs gameplay and story. If suddenly it takes twice the amount of time to get those perfect graphics going, the game design is largely unaffected.

Blizzard does this already -- their cinematics department is a completely separate branch from their developmental department. The graphics for WoW won't take a nosedive because the big wigs wanted 2 extra minutes on their opening cinematic for WoTLK.

As games become more expensive to make, other companies will follow suit. So no, I don't think graphics will take a toll on gameplay -- they will just separate the two categories altogether when it's worth the money to do so.
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post #55 of 63
Well, it certainly wouldn't hurt to see another game with the epic storylines of Starcraft, Baldur's Gate, and even the original Command & Conquer series...
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post #56 of 63
Of course, most games, especially graphics intensive 3D shooters, are created not to generate interest in the game itself but to create an online multiplayer base, which will generate sales over a much longer period as everyone who gets it emails their friends to pick it up too.

Multiplayer is free advertising. Hence storyline in the "game" suffers while multiplayer benefits from the graphics.

Once MMO type offerings reach maturity from a technological standpoint and the multiplayer modes become more immersive in shooters (ie - once the storyline is relevant to multiplayer) the story will get more attention again.

tbh, though, it's tough for the software guys to keep up with Moore's law.
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post #57 of 63
One title. Prime example

Quote:
Final Fantasy VII
Untouchable story.

Don't get many of these now..
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post #58 of 63
Yeah. Just got play the Half Life series.

Valve does an awesome job with their source engine. They make it so it looks damn nice (abeit, not the best, I'm sure you know) on high hardware, and it runs sweet on lower end hardware.

Their stoy is superb....You really can't beat it...
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post #59 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by justarealguy View Post
Yeah. Just got play the Half Life series.

Valve does an awesome job with their source engine. They make it so it looks damn nice (abeit, not the best, I'm sure you know) on high hardware, and it runs sweet on lower end hardware.

Their stoy is superb....You really can't beat it...
QFT !
post #60 of 63
that hilarious i started a thread like this a looong time ago called, stories are killing games. and i got SOOO flamed it wasnt even funny. ppl were actually taking offense that i had said that.
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