Serious Vs Playful Gaming Graphics?

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by FralKritic, Jun 10, 2018.

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Would you say there is a audience for playful games with serious graphics?

  1. Nah, No way (Comment Why Not)

    2 vote(s)
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  2. Of Course

    7 vote(s)
    77.8%
  1. FralKritic

    FralKritic Villager Member

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    Let me start by defining what I mean by Serious And Playful, I will use games to give you an idea

    Serious
    Games with a life-threatening story-rich environment. By Life-threatening I mean, your choices may make you have to start over and by Story-rich, I mean the game pretty much revolves around the story, with few or no mini-games. No story, almost no game. Or should I say unique game?
    __________________________
    • Detroit: Become Human
    • Life Is Strange
    • Until Dawn
    • Call Of Duty
    • WatchDogs
    [​IMG]
    Playful
    Games with an exploration feel to them, normally slightly repetitive, but fun, especially with family. Mostly, your choices don't matter that much but are more of an optional thing on how you want things to go. If that is a good way to explain it, hope you get what I mean.
    ___________________________
    • Harvest Moon
    • The Sims (1-4)
    • Animal Crossing
    [​IMG]

    Now to the main point, why is it such a graphical difference to them, I know the brighter colors attract children, but some of these games have taking a stronger liken to adults, and I am curious, what makes it so that most of the time a games like Harvest moon (Excluding the first two Game Cube Version [Boy and Girl version]) can get away with a soft kiddie look, while if Battlefield, Until Dawn and other games did this, it will take away the fun slightly?

    Why do you think this works better?

    And do you think its room for creativity between both?

    Have you seen it work already? If so, post something you've seen where a more kiddie game had breathtaking graphics like Final Fantasy or vice versa.


    Would games like Harvest Moon be as fun with Graphics Like Detroit: Become Human?
     
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  2. TheMutantSpaceDancer

    TheMutantSpaceDancer Maker of Goof 'ems. Veteran

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    Imo a more stylized and cartooney look to a game make room for more creativity, you can make strange looking creatures, locales, and characters fairly easily with out having to worry about it looking realistic. I personally just think a goofier, unrealistic artstyle makes a game more fun for me but realisim does have it's place and it can make a tone more serious if you're going for that kind of thing, but I personally have more fun with a colorful, goofier artstyle in the same vein as The Neverhood or Crash Bandicoot. But honestly I feel anything can work well if executed correctly, (in fact a goofier game with realistic graphics would probably make it funnier due to the sight of a gruff middle aged man doing cartwheels and backflips with relative ease sound realllly funny.)
     
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  3. Philosophus Vagus

    Philosophus Vagus The drunken bird dog of rpg maker Veteran

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    I think the main reason non-linear simulation games have a 'less realistic' art style than linear story-based games is because they usually have a vaster scope than their linear counterparts and photo-realistic art is both time consuming and expensive. Most of the games you listed above have a scope limited to only a few linear areas to explore (with the exception of watchdogs) and involve a heavy reliance on dialogue and picking over the environment piece by piece to advance. As such it is helpful to have a fairly realistic style where important clues stand out from the environment, where in the more whimsical harvest moon style the entire environment stands out in a way.

    I think at the end of the day this is because those games have more ground to cover and not only would the serious graphics style be expensive and tedious to maintain but the animation is a strong necessity to making that style work. Just try to imagine for a moment a harvest moon game in the style of life is strange. Now imagine navigating the town and talking to everyone with the slow, methodical, realistic pace that that game has. Once finished cringing from the realization of how irritating that would be imagine accompanying such realistic graphics with the exaggerated, speedy movements that games like harvest moon generally use and you'll see you've just turned your cartoon farmer into a realistic speed addict.

    I'm not saying you couldn't have a sim game with realistic graphics, but in order to make it look right and not be painfully slowpaced would take a lot of time, effort and creativity that I'm just not sure would be worth the returns it would bring. Games can get around that pace somewhat by including vehicles and the like but what about the crop growing? How would realistic graphics and animations jell with the one click change that harvest moon uses for their harvest systems? There is a lot more to think about here than simply "is there an audience?" as I see it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
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  4. Mystic_Enigma

    Mystic_Enigma Squirrely Sanguine Veteran

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    I myself gravitate to more cartoonish and brightly-colored settings, it just seems more fun to pick up and immerse oneself in. If such games end pulling gut-punches or otherwise get super edgy and realistic, then it'll scare me off.
     
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  5. Marsigne

    Marsigne Sephiroth Veteran

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    It's probably hard due to them being pole opposites, although hybrids do exist. An example of this is Kingdom Hearts, mainly being Playful (although this may have switched in the past iterations) alongside with Serious elements. I think there is an audience for those, but it must be well executed.
     
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  6. The Mighty Palm

    The Mighty Palm Resident Palm Tree Restaff

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    I much prefer "cartoony" or rather "stylized" games. Why?

    1. Because they have their own look. A signature art style helps a game stand out way more than any "super realistic graphics"
    2. Because they age better. Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life still looks as good as it did back then vs GTA San Andreas even though they released on the same console (PS2).
    3. Because Uncanny Valley is creepy as heck.
     
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  7. NeoFantasy

    NeoFantasy Building Worlds Veteran

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    (Sorry, this is a bit messy)
    Personally, I think the style for the Story of Seasons games (The name for the real Harvest Moon games after Natsume ran off with the rights) Has a really nice feel to it. It’s cartoony, but has unconventional shading and is more fitting for the genre than the bubbly, low-poly models Natsume is now using.

    As well I enjoy Rune Factory’s art direction as well. It’s more Anime, but the characters are extremely expressive.

    I personally feel as though an art style similar to Detroit: Become Human would deflate the purpose of such a game. Having such a realistic approache would keep me from loosing myself in the game. I will constantly be reminded of reality as opposed to temporarily believing I’m living in this happy fantasy world. The art style isn’t bright and colourful to attract children, it’s like that because it fits the purpose of the game.

    I do believe a comprisive style could work, something akin to Hidari’s work on Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. Their art style is very much anime, however, their use of colour gives the characters a warm and slightly more realistic appearance than what is currently used, thought still keeping that Anime charm.

    Or if you want to go even more realistic, I feel someone like Yusuke Kozaki (Xenoblade Chronicles, Fire Emblem: Awakening) or even better (Though unlikely) Yoshitoshi Abe (Seriel Experiment Lain, Technolyze, Haibane Renmei) Would be a perfect fit.

    As for serious games using a cartoony art style, I think it could absolutely work. With the exception of Battlefield- which is all about realistim- Cartoony graphics wouldn’t take too much away from the feel. Yes, It would take away from the immersion or feel somewhat, and going too far would ruin it. Something like K-on in The Last of us would not work. But there have been serious games that have used a cartoony art style before... Just not to the extent of that “Harvest Moon” game.

    Reiterating one of my points from above, I don’t believe it has to do with target audience, but with atmosphere. If animal crossing looked like Become human would anyone still play it? Why is this very real man talking to this very real raccoon trying to take all his money?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
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  8. Windows i7

    Windows i7 Veteran Veteran

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    Either one can be good if it fits the game. For unrealistic, I prefer certain anime styles like Persona 5, and Tales of Berseria.
     
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  9. FralKritic

    FralKritic Villager Member

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    That is true! Very good point! I think the creatures are creepier the more realistic they are, which to a degree would take away the playful or goofiness. LOL XD XD I can totally picture that gruff middle aged guy now! XD That would be hilarious!

    Ah Linear and Non-linear! Thanks, I was looking for a good way to descibe what I meant, and it wasn't coming to me.
    That's a very good point, games like harvest moon do tend to have a loooooot to do through the town, and after imagining harvest moon with super realistic graphics lagging up a storm >.< -flips game system off-

    Also I have noticed the stand out of a realistic game is a little more noticeable in comparison to playful non-linear games, very good point!

    Yeah, I think sims could get away with it, but then at the same time, It may feel like the game is missing a story,
    if it looked like Detroit: Become human LOL XD

    Those are very well thought out points! So when planning a game, would you say it is better to use a more whimsical approach in open world non linear games; base on the huge coverage of activites, and serious realistic graphics if the game is a bit more contained; linear, typically one area per scene (excuding watchdogs like you said, cause they managed to do it a bit in open world, but to your point, there still isn't a lot to do in the open world of watchdogs, in comparison to Harvest moon or animal crossing)?

    Also thanks so much for these thoughts, they make a looooot of sense!


    This is a good point to take into consideration! especially the point of immersion! cause realistic games allow me to immerse but not really escape... which do a degree is something we all need from time to time! :D
    Thanks for your comment by the way! <3


    The last time I played Kingdow hearts, I was like 9. But looking at it now, I can see they have mixed it abit here, and I agree it looks pretty good!! Your last sentence has given me a challenge for the future, I shell try to execute something like this!
    Thanks for your comment!! <3


    I love that 2nd point a lot!! They do age better, cause If I played the new GTA, I could never play the old one base of the major graphical changed, where as they is not so with Harvest Moon and Animal crossing, both are still very good looking!!! <3 Brilliant point!

    This is another beautiful point! playing to get away from reality is like self-therapy and highly necessary in today's world! The whimsical feel can allow us to forget reality for a bit and enjoy our imagination! This is a highly good point! Those are good comparison where it worked as well, I never played Fire Emblem, but I like their graphical approach.

    When you said the realistic man and raccoon, I totally busted out laughing, this is so true, I think in the beginning it would be hilarious, but I don't believe it would keep me interested for as long as it has without that realism. Great point!


    [/QUOTE]

    I've seen Persona 5, but never played it, I shell give that a closer look, I would like to give that a try in the future after I am done my query of current projects LOL XD
    Thanks for your comment! <3
     
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  10. TheMutantSpaceDancer

    TheMutantSpaceDancer Maker of Goof 'ems. Veteran

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    My "gruff middle aged man doing athletic stuff effortlessly" makes me wanna learn how to mod Sonic Adventure DX just so I can swap Sonic's model with a low poly 3d model of a gruff man in his 40s so I can have that image be a reality.
     
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  11. FralKritic

    FralKritic Villager Member

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    You totally should!! That would have me laughing till the end of the day!! XD
     
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  12. TheMutantSpaceDancer

    TheMutantSpaceDancer Maker of Goof 'ems. Veteran

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    There already is a model of an old man in the game too so It probably wouldn't be that hard, maybe, I dunno, I don't know much about coding.
     
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  13. FralKritic

    FralKritic Villager Member

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    If you need any help with the code part, I should be able to help :D
     
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  14. Jhale M.

    Jhale M. Goddess of health, purity and truth. Veteran

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    There are some games with realistic or semi-realistic-looking graphics that are very comedic. One would be Duke Nukem. Another would be Saints Row. Grand Theft Auto might even count to an extent. I think there are some other games that are shooters with serious graphics but lots of comedic tone. Overall, mixing serious art with a comedic/non-serious game can be more impactful and I enjoy it quite a lot even though I haven't played most of the games like that. But it could also be done arguably poor, like with Super Smash Bros. Brawl (although it tries to be very serious they still made it have no voices/text and it has a lot of cartoony sound).
     
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  15. TheMutantSpaceDancer

    TheMutantSpaceDancer Maker of Goof 'ems. Veteran

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    @Jhale M. we also got Wario being able to fart on people in Brawl, though I'd argue Brawl was still made to be more cartooney than realistic, even with the artstyle, it's still more cartooney than real.
     
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  16. Jhale M.

    Jhale M. Goddess of health, purity and truth. Veteran

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    Oh I just managed to think of one more game. Metal Gear Solid has a lot of pretty non-serious or at least absurd moments. There was even a crossover with Ape Escape in Metal Gear Solid 3.
     
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