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  • "swyck" started this thread

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Thursday, August 2nd 2012, 8:12pm

Photorealism vs playability

I saw this post and it reminded me of a few thoughts I had around BF3 and other games.
Photorealism in games
I agreed with the poster that more photorealism isn't needed to make a game fun to play. I'd go even further and say it can be a detriment.

Many competitive players already turn down their graphics settings, even when they theoretically can run at higher settings. I love great graphics but should developers of these games take a step back and think about how realistic the graphics should be?

What I'm thinking about is that resources dedicated to turning out ever more realistic graphics, e.g. individual leaves and grass blades, detailed wood grain, etc., could instead of be used to improve game play. I'm thinking things like netcode, hit registration, map glitches, and so on. Not to mention thinking of ways to defeat hackers. I'd also think that less detailed graphics would help on both the server and client side, lowering resource requirements leaving more processing power available for critical game calculations.

I'm not talking about going back to cartoonish stick figures or 2D Mario brothers, but IMO Pixar quality graphics would look great, are 3D, and IMO you don't need every leaf or blade of grass to be rendered. Me I'd rather have a more playable game where things work, even if some things are abstracted.

Again I'm not saying great graphics aren't a good thing. I'm saying that a playable game is more desirable than a better looking game. Also more realistic doesn't equal better looking.
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Thursday, August 2nd 2012, 8:35pm

I'd be content if they'd turn off the fucking lens flare.

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Thursday, August 2nd 2012, 8:53pm

I fully agree. And this goes beyond just photorealism; physics are also a large factor.

The best example in my experience was/is that I have always prefered Counterstrike 1.6 over Counterstrike Source. They made a few changes that I never liked. For example the addition of barrels that could be shot around the map and roll about, they might have been "realistic" but they just became an annoyance to me. Similar to the physics model that reduced the runspeed of everything so it felt like you were wearing heavy equipment, compared to the more "light as a feather" CS1.6 feeling.

It's true that hardly anyone plays BF3 at max settings, unless you a) Don't play with a competetive drive or b) Have a monster setup; but I don't see this as a huge issue since BF3 allows a lower setting. But there are plenty of games that seem to forsake gameplay for graphics; because graphics seem to sale.

@Contortrix: Agreed, this is one of the realism settings I hate the most in BF3. Especially on maps like Sharqi Peninsula where TDM matches can be decided by which side fights into the sun or has the sun in their backs.

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Thursday, August 2nd 2012, 8:55pm

Damn it, I actually wrote a post about this on another forum a few days ago. So I won't write all I have to say again :D

Basically, having good graphics depends on the game. But, when you go for the fancy high graphics you need to remember than seeing other players becomes harder, and in FPS games that is extremely important. Because of this, all players would have to be limited to one graphic setting, because lowering the settings would give an advantage to the player doing so.

If you take two examples, Arma 2 and TF2, having similar graphics in both games wouldn't work. Arma 2 was built to be as realistic as possible, and in TF2 you're supposed to have great visibility and be able to pick off your targets fast. Of course you can't completely hide in bushes or tall grass in Arma 2 like you could do in real life, and that's something I'd want to see in future games: not just higher polycounts and better shaders, but interactive and dynamic environment. With lots of detail.

But until we hit the point where such detail is possible, I think having "worse" or stylized graphics will be better for gaming. If developers scrapped the fancy graphics every single serious player is going to turn off/low anyway, they could spend their time focusing on the actual gameplay.

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Thursday, August 2nd 2012, 8:56pm

I'd be content if they'd turn off the fucking lens flare.


I don't mind the lense flare, what really gets me is the Motion Blur. I don't know why but Motion Blur in games makes me feel really really ill after a short period of time, I don't get like that when usually playing a game or even in real life but I have motion blur on in games I can't play :pinch:

As for photorealism: I like it if a game looks pretty and heck, nice lighting ALWAYS brings out the inner photographer in me and I just have to stop and watch it for a while, but generally I'll put how playable the game is over how nice it looks. My computer is reasonably powerful so I CAN run BF3 on High with all the default tartiness turned on but it really kicks me in the frame rate. My usual setup for BF3, therefore, is the same as pretty much every other game I play: Everything on high, Antialiasing and Isotropic filtering off (My monitor has a lower-end refresh rate so I don't really notice any different with there on), motion blur off :)

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Thursday, August 2nd 2012, 8:58pm

The excessive lens flare is not even real. I'd love to see this trend disappear from FPS.
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Thursday, August 2nd 2012, 9:06pm

I don't mind the lense flare, what really gets me is the Motion Blur. I don't know why but Motion Blur in games makes me feel really really ill after a short period of time, I don't get like that when usually playing a game or even in real life but I have motion blur on in games I can't play :pinch:

As for photorealism: I like it if a game looks pretty and heck, nice lighting ALWAYS brings out the inner photographer in me and I just have to stop and watch it for a while, but generally I'll put how playable the game is over how nice it looks. My computer is reasonably powerful so I CAN run BF3 on High with all the default tartiness turned on but it really kicks me in the frame rate. My usual setup for BF3, therefore, is the same as pretty much every other game I play: Everything on high, Antialiasing and Isotropic filtering off (My monitor has a lower-end refresh rate so I don't really notice any different with there on), motion blur off :)
Isotropic filtering? Don't you mean anisotropic filtering? :P

Tip: AF has almost no effect on FPS, the difference between the highest and lowest settings in BF3 is something like 1 FPS. But it makes textures sharper when viewed from an angle, and therefore (at least for me) details and especially enemies easier to spot.


The excessive lens flare is not even real. I'd love to see this trend disappear from FPS.
Remove the lens flare, bring in the sunshafts....

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Thursday, August 2nd 2012, 9:47pm

Gameplay > Graphics... New games focus too much on graphics and forget the gameplay... BF3's graphics are pretty nice though... I'm playing on medium graphics which are almost as good as ultra, except that it doesn't add a ton of pointless haze and smoke etc which just isn't beneficial to the gaming experience.


And yeah, I turned off motion blur after like 10 minutes of multiplayer.. Almost got motion sickness oO

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Thursday, August 2nd 2012, 9:52pm

I always turn of motion blur first stop by the options menu in any game.
Whoever thought applying that technique to games was a moron.

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Thursday, August 2nd 2012, 9:54pm

I don't mind the lense flare, what really gets me is the Motion Blur. I don't know why but Motion Blur in games makes me feel really really ill after a short period of time, I don't get like that when usually playing a game or even in real life but I have motion blur on in games I can't play :pinch:

As for photorealism: I like it if a game looks pretty and heck, nice lighting ALWAYS brings out the inner photographer in me and I just have to stop and watch it for a while, but generally I'll put how playable the game is over how nice it looks. My computer is reasonably powerful so I CAN run BF3 on High with all the default tartiness turned on but it really kicks me in the frame rate. My usual setup for BF3, therefore, is the same as pretty much every other game I play: Everything on high, Antialiasing and Isotropic filtering off (My monitor has a lower-end refresh rate so I don't really notice any different with there on), motion blur off :)
Isotropic filtering? Don't you mean anisotropic filtering? :P

Tip: AF has almost no effect on FPS, the difference between the highest and lowest settings in BF3 is something like 1 FPS. But it makes textures sharper when viewed from an angle, and therefore (at least for me) details and especially enemies easier to spot.


The excessive lens flare is not even real. I'd love to see this trend disappear from FPS.
Remove the lens flare, bring in the sunshafts....


1) Anisotropic filtering, isotropic filtering. For a bloke from the North who knows nout about computers they both mean the same :D

2) Oh, so only Antialiasing affects FPS? Interesting, I was told both can knacker your FPS...I will have to try a game with this 'Anisotropic filtering' on. Thanks for the lesson in Vidya Gaem graphics :P
I'm gonna go punch my cousin now for lying to me :D

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