Visual Anomalies

I recently fired up my Sony Station Pass again after about a year of letting it go, and trotted into EQ2. I grow a little weary of WoW and I needed a change and a more “realistic” looking atmosphere was the goal.

As I ran through the Commonlands and killed some mobs, I was impressed again, with the overall look of the game, and thought to myself: why in the fuck can’t we pull something like this off with WWIIOL?! Then I came to my senses and remembered what the major hurdle is: an outdated and under performing game/rendering engine. Doh!

Squirm (Kevin Rivas) and I had always complained to the powers that be, that we hated doing anything cool for the game because the aesthetics get lost in translation…from tool to engine, it just doesn’t turn out like we would have liked. The current crop of artists probably see the same thing as well but there isn’t a lot that we can do about it. WWIIOL is starting to come around to something that it should have looked like when it was released but that’s really not good enough for today’s gamer. Although you will hear folks say that graphics doesn’t matter and game play rules, you can’t get folks to even look at a game if there isn’t something “cool” to look at. The good games that have awesome gameplay and shitty graphics might get the critical acclaim, but they don’t pay the bills (in most cases).

Things like nice specular lighting, specular maps, height maps, GOOD normal maps, infantry motion capture and bloom effects…..hehe just kidding are things we should be striving for. I hate seeing a “6” for graphics when they are talking about WWIIOL. So much potential, and the talent is here to do it.

So I muddle along, hoping that OSG is everything we want it to be. I hope we artists here presently can stretch it’s limits and deliver something that will be appealing to the masses once again…much like WWIIOL was during the days of the babyshit orange forums.

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~ by roca on December 6, 2006.

4 Responses to “Visual Anomalies”

  1. I completely agree with you. Somewhere I once read that new players judge a game on visuals more than anything else. I think its 100% true.

  2. I don’t think you get that appeal to the masses under the guise of WW2OL. My thoughts are, build version 2.0 (the way it should be built) and relaunch under a different title. Let version 1.xxx die out as it stands. Make all the wrongs right, then go to press/retail. If I hit the lottery, I’ll make ‘ol Maypole an offer he can’t refuse. But then again, I’ll get struck by lightning 4 times in the same day before that happens.

  3. If you survive, you will make tons of money anyway 😀

    /agreed.

  4. I’d push for the good spec map support before better normal maps. I didn’t think spec maps were better than normal maps until I saw Paul Campion do a demonstration in one of his Gnomon DVDs where he zoomed pretty far out away from the model and toggled both of the maps on and off separately. When he’d toggle the normal map it didn’t add a noticeable realism to the object, but when he toggled the spec map on and off you really noticed it. Since then I’ve placed a lot more emphasis on creating good spec maps lol.

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