Details....
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  • Based on these videos it seems like there might something of a trend for current open world games to lack the kind of small incidental details that really add to the overall sense of immersion. Pretty interesting how the some of the focus has changed, at least in the games above, from immersive world building to very pretty and vast but somehow less dynamic and reactive worlds.

    Often there are great quality of life improvements in sequels that actually make the game more playable and understandable but depth somehow gets lost. Morrowind - Skyrim comes to mind here as another possible example.

    The interesting thing about the examples above of details in old games, is that you often don't really notice when they're gone. They are small things that you might take for granted at the time, little bits of behavior created that you might experience for only a fraction of the playtime. But added together they help the player to get lost in that world. There were times in GTA V where I was confused that I couldn't do something, throwing a brick, or holding someone at gunpoint. At the time I didn't even realise it was something lost from the previous iteration, made me thought I had it confused with another game, or just imagined or dreamed that I was able to do that.

    If anyone finds similar videos or thinks of other examples of a drain in detail compared to previous iterations of games then chuck em in here. I really hope that with the upcoming generations of consoles with presumably much greater CPU horsepower will tempt devs to once again go down the rabbit hole of implementing excessive amounts of detail and AI behaviour.
  • 5 is certainly a far cry from 2, detail wise.
  • Oh Lord, what have I done?
  • regmcfly
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    I have no fucks for FC2 but they certainly added some systems to that rather than just make a fun shooter like latter ones.

    GTAIV tho. Oh baby *vince McMahon falling off chair gif*
  • I have nothing to offer but it's an interesting subject for sure.
  • Paul the sparky
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    I don't know what it is about game development but everything seems to start from a blank slate instead of building on the foundations of previous iterations. Different game engines mayber? I'd like to hear from people that work in the industry on this if anyone has any links.
  • Those two sets of examples are both running on the same engines. RAGE and Dunia, the latter is a modified CryEngine.
  • regmcfly
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    I don't know what it is about game development but everything seems to start from a blank slate instead of building on the foundations of previous iterations. Different game engines mayber? I'd like to hear from people that work in the industry on this if anyone has any links.

    I'm coming from speculation town here but I can imagine getting a team all fired up on a new project would be about "doing something new" and so on.

    Unless you had to turn out a new Ezio AC between 2009-2011
  • Paul the sparky
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    Then I can't understand why/how stuff regresses. Like, you'd start with that base and see what extra you can squeeze from the engine innit?
  • Then I can't understand why/how stuff regresses. Like, you'd start with that base and see what extra you can squeeze from the engine innit?

    Yeah, at the start of the project I imagine it is.  Prototypes and design docs laid out with loads of plans and improvements.  It’ll then get passed on upstairs, through the finance department, off to focus testing, back to financing who’ll feed back to the board that it’s a great idea but it just needs to be simpler, with better graphics, a bigger map and use that budget you had laid aside for AI and emergent mechanics and give it to the art department for more texture artists.  Oh and it must must must be out between mid October and late November otherwise forget it.
  • Maps got bigger, content team didn’t scale at same rate, so density goes down.
  • djchump wrote:
    Maps got bigger, content team didn’t scale at same rate, so density goes down.

    That’ll do, makes sense.  Close thread.
  • regmcfly
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    I think the GDC(?) talk from last year on BOTW was fascinating, where the systems were trialled in an OG Zelda format, then extrapolated out to a world, and really from there it didn't matter what happened!
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    I’d have liked it if they’d kept the smaller world in Zelda myself.
  • The only added hills and skies in GTA V and they already did them in Red Dead. The hills have skies, maybe they sucked up all the physics.
  • The game had to work as an MMO as well though.
    Different design brief with a different result.
  • Very true. GTA IV online was great but maybe not scalable enough.
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    Is that FC2 when it shipped, or modded to fuck on PC?
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    I mean I hated it either way, but still curious.
  • Paul the sparky
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    acemuzzy wrote:
    Is that FC2 when it shipped, or modded to fuck on PC?

    I wondered that too. Because the AI didn't react like that when I played, just instantly turned and shot at me, the bastards.
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    djchump wrote:
    Maps got bigger, content team didn’t scale at same rate, so density goes down.

    But the physics engine stuff is going to be the same regardless of the map size isn't it? Like, the tree will burn in a certain way wether there's three of them on the map or 300?

    It's like you go from a mud hut to a log cabin and eventually a solid brick house with all the mod cons. But to put a second floor on it we have to make it a mud hit again. Why not just build onto the brick house?
  • Physics processing is handled by the GPU usually though, so I think they made the decision (in the case of GTA) to either tone down the Euphoria procedural stuff because they wanted more of the GPU for GFX niceness, or that they HAD to tone down the Euphoria stuff to get the level of GFX fidelity they wanted to maintain in the game.
    There can be no rebirth without a dark night of the soul, a total annihilation of all that you believed in and thought that you were. Inayat Khan
  • Dark Soldier
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    acemuzzy wrote:
    Is that FC2 when it shipped, or modded to fuck on PC?
    I wondered that too. Because the AI didn't react like that when I played, just instantly turned and shot at me, the bastards.

    Its not the base game as it was on console that's for sure. I've yarred it anyway so can report back at some point
    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, I romance a mam like oedipus
  • acemuzzy wrote:
    Is that FC2 when it shipped, or modded to fuck on PC?
    I wondered that too. Because the AI didn't react like that when I played, just instantly turned and shot at me, the bastards.

    I definitely remember seeing AI interactions such as those back in the day. I thought the AI was one of the most interesting parts of the game, I remember trying to sneak into a place and either the AI patrol cycles were really really long, or somewhat random/dynamic. I also recall plenty of tense moments as you watch a big group of them spread out and search for you. Stealth is always tricky to get right in games though I think, not easy to be sure if someone will see you.
  • Dark Soldier
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    That Far Cry 2 video is incredibly selective. Just had an hour on FC2, yes the foliage bends on impact but its so laughably bad when it boings back, the fire physics, whilst decent, work half the time, the other time a single patch sets on fire and fuck all happens. The RPG blowback leaving scorch marks didn't happen once in my game despite being in heavy grass/plant areas, 95% of trees/plant life can't be shot to break, the AI is laughable, with them primarily standing there as I shot them in the face. I shot multiple enemies in the leg/arm/shoulder and they just flinch for a second then stand upright firing They flank a bit, but so did FEARs AI (which still holds up well now).

    The lighting and reflections were jaw dropping in 2008 but are rudimentary at best now. The animations when wounded are okay, but make little sense half the time. Picking up guns is lol, a gun just fires out from you as if you've ejaculated it and your avatar vaguely sticks his hand in the direction of the new one and its picked up.

    For 2008 its impressive, to claim these details, compared to FC5, make it a more enjoyable game or whatever the point is, is ridiculous. It has some rudimentary details modern ones don't, with a map a tenth/fifteenth of the size (where there is nothing but some outposts, towns and...) that is essentially brown, with some fire.
    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, I romance a mam like oedipus
  • Dark Soldier
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    In summary, nostalgia is a hell of a drug. I forgot about the fucking awful scripted lines, the turning circle of a tank etc.
    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, I romance a mam like oedipus
  • I don't think the point was necessarily to state that the old games were more fun, just pointing out what's been lost or forgotten. And I feel like the little details that fleshed out those experiences made them more memorable, like they hold a place in your memory that feels somehow more real. I'm not convinced that FC5 will hold up any better, hopefully much worse if the dev's focus can tear it's Sauron gaze away from easy to market shinies.
  • Dark Soldier
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    Of course it won't be held in the memory as long, they aim the game at as many wallets as possible these days what with dev budgets being freaking insane these days. FC2 was a chance they took, hence half those who played it remembering it as really quite shit because they bumped the challenge and strategy through the roof. Just stating that the details shown in said video weren't really what the memories came from until held side by side for people to go 'ah see lads see it was better then look at its magnificence' which, when you try to play it now, its really fucking bad.
    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, I romance a mam like oedipus
  • Dark Soldier
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    I'm sure GTA1 probably had things in it GTA4 or 5 never had etc. Later titles don't always mean just adding stuff without taking anything away. Trees not bending on impacts, a couple of plants not breaking and some trails from an RPG burning grass is not something I miss from 5, nor do I miss 5-10 second long injury animations (which got tedious quick once you'd seen them) or guns jamming. Suited that game, they don't suit this.
    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, I romance a mam like oedipus
  • Sure things can be taken away or change, but for me it's mainly how less interesting and alive the worlds get, once you take away (or rather just not implement) such seemingly simple features. I think it's why this gen has often felt a bit underwhelming, no significant progress in creating deep interactive simulations, and in these cases it seems like regression, which is depressin' :P

    I played FC2 again not long back. Apart from the shite stuff like bad mouse sens options, and performance issues, it was still pretty enjoyable and interesting to revisit. Haven't got any of the newer FCs to compare it to though.

    Immersion vs entertainment value perhaps.
  • Dark Soldier
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    That's fair enough, it probably didn't help that I played FC2 during my unemployment wilderness and so could chuck 8 hours a day at it whilst now I'm happy with a quick hour to blast and FC5, and with it modern gaming, fills that chunk as I can turn up, do mad shit, then cya.
    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, I romance a mam like oedipus
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