Why do some games with terrible graphics still achieve success?

Ami

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for me,no matter is that Good or Bad Graphic is,there's an Element that you must have: Uniqueness of that System & Gameplay itself are the make it success.
 

ZenVirZan

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I always felt like graphics were a vehicle for whatever concept you're trying to present. The important part is that it gets the point across without being intrusive or negatively impacting the experience--you don't want the players to be lamenting the graphics, you want them to be thinking about the gameplay/story/etc. instead. Sure, you can make things fancier, but I feel like cohesion is what makes or breaks good visuals, not whether it's 3D and has 4K uncompressed textures or not.

Chasing visual fidelity leads to games that age poorly. Technology moves on and the existing games become less pretty in comparison, requiring them to rely instead of their other traits. If you have good graphics but lukewarm gameplay/narrative on release, will there be any reason in 10 years to consider playing it?
 

Seacliff

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Chasing visual fidelity leads to games that age poorly. Technology moves on and the existing games become less pretty in comparison, requiring them to rely instead of their other traits. If you have good graphics but lukewarm gameplay/narrative on release, will there be any reason in 10 years to consider playing it?
I agree with this. We are at the point where we can look back at Xbox 360 and PS3 games and wonder how we ever thought they looked realistic over a decade ago. What's worse, because some of those games pushed visuals so hard to sell people on HD gaming, they run pretty poorly on their original hardware which ages them even more.
 

CleanWater

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Graphics are good, but as some persons stated before, sometimes the experience is too shallow to have any fun with it. My PC is also isn't any high end gamer PC, I usually stick to old games that don't require much to be playable.

Remember that graphics aren't everything either. Good games also have good playability and a nice story (in the case of most RPGs).
 

XPKobold

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Much of the old 2D pixel rpg games still fit so much with the gameplay as well as story. which fits a lot more them most of the more modern games i've noticed.

Plus hence you also see why many love the older classes of the NES/SNES/GEN consoles generation games since there's so much ingenuity that fits so well with the gameplay.
 

ScorchedGround

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At this point in the conversation, I can only regurgitate what others have already said.

Aside from Diablo II, which was already mentioned, my best example would be Half-Life.
And I am talking Half-Life 1 specifically.

To me, the graphics of that game look dated, no doubt.
But they are anything but bad.
In my opinion, the gaphics carry a great portion of the game's charme.

I played the game so much that the graphics and the gold source engine became the most recognizable thing in gaming to me.

I could smell a mod made with the gold source engine from several miles away.

Even though Half-Life 2 has objectively better graphic quality than Half-Life 1,
it is my honest belief that Half-Life 1 has STILL aged better than Half-Life 2 by a long shot.

TL;DR : Most of the time, it is not about the quality of the graphics, but rather how fitting they are for what the game wants to convey in terms of narrative and atmosphere.
 

Archduke

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I think a reply has been very much summed up by most of the other people for this thread. All I will say is that no, we can't all agree that the graphics aren't spectacular. I think Streets of Rogue looks great. It looks interesting and the aesthetic, combined with the features and the gameplay, draws me in.
(aka, the marketing as mentioned by another user)
 

ScorchedGround

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@ScorchedGround you'll trip balls when you see Black Mesa then.
Yeah, I've played Black Mesa. And it's a great game.
One of the big qualities of the game is that it somewhat redeemed the Xen part of the game, which was one of the few things I could say are not great about Half-Life 1 (along with "On Rails").

However, for me it does not have the same replay value as the original.
For Black Mesa, it was mostly go in once, be amazed, and let it rest in a happy place in my memory.

Now, going back on track of this thread's original discussion, I'm not sure if this is because of the graphics. They fit well enough for game, but it doesn't have the same charme as the original game.
I mean it looks fantastic, and I love that the developers kept the original level designs in mind when making the game. It just doesn't give me the same feeling.

But then again, that might just be my nostalgia shining through.
 

Aesica

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Because graphics are only part of the equation. I still enjoy occasional NES and SNES games, as well as an old online game called Meridian 59. Ass graphics all around, but I find them all very enjoyable. Don't get me wrong, because graphics are still important, but there's a good reason why I'd rather play Final Fantasy games before 10 rather than after 10.
 

BK-tdm

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Check Tibia, i could never get into it because i despised its gameplay and then the graphics, if the gameplay wasnt so annoying and cumbersome i would have gotten into it despite its 2d super low res minecraft approach but the gameplay was atrocious when i tried it more than 10 years ago examples include:
Waiting turns for a npc vendor in an mmo, thats 10+ mins just to sell your vendor trash since it can only deal with one person at once.

You had to manually log out, closing the game with alt f4 or a disconnect left your character wandering and pvp was always on, people could kill your afk character and steal your stuff.

To repeat: pvp was always on and people could steal your stuff lv 100s hunted lv 50s, one shotting and stealing, super fair...

You needed to click a creature or player, and find the "attack" command on a right click windows list type menu, same for looting.

Full nope.

To ADD to the dislikeness i had for the game my point of comparison was Mu online which at the time looked like super hi res flashy diablo 2, yes the graphics werent pleasing but what really killed it for me was the gameplay experience, yet to this day Tibia still lives and its played by thousands.

Ill add cents to the bank all people already deposited on this thread: most people play for gameplay and feel, then looks.
 

Zalzany

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"Good" is subjective I love a good pixel art game here and there. Key thing isn't the graphics I loathe when people show up and go "well it looks like 1990s trash!" its like yeah I grew up in the 90s that is called retro and they did a great job at it. Also key thing is story and gameplay. If you can connect to them get the player excited about the game mechanics or story, the graphics are just window dressing.

And I played many a game with amazing graphics that bored me to tears. Heck on of the RPGM games that hooked me the most used basic RTP tilesets, and char generator, but swear that dev should write novels. Did a great job with just chat box, basic events not a single plugin to create an game you didn't want to put down.

Granted not every one can be that lucky or skilled, but point is work with your strengths if you lack on other things you might need eye candy to distract people, if you suck at eye candy you better be willing to toss some humor and pinch of drama in to keep that player hooked.
 

Wavelength

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Consider how books (stories with no graphics, most of the time at least) still achieve artistic and commercial success. Humans are really good at painting the scene with their mind's eye - and they can project all of the detail and environment they like onto a blurry 8-bit sprite with a single-color background. In fact, sometimes this can even be more appealing to players, since it gives the player more latitude to project the details that they think are right for a character or place - which might be different from what another player projects!

Whereas bad graphics in a game can break immersion because they throw something unpleasant in front of the player and basically say "this is how it is", basic graphics don't have that same drawback. Basic graphics are more like a blank slate that offer a world of possibilities, and they might not offer the same visceral grip but they allow imaginative players to go wild.

===

As a somewhat separate point, I also want to mention Return of the Obra Dinn as a recent example of a game that uses very simple graphics in very dynamic, creative ways to make them look beautiful. Most of the game's objects and environments are wireframes in a 1-bit color palette, the ship's planks are depicted as parallel lines, effects like clouds and flame are literally made with dots, and... well, the whole thing looks evocative and beautiful more often than not! It's genuinely one of the best-looking games ever made in Unity by a small indie team, and they probably did it with less work than games that look half as good.
(Don't worry about spoilers; it says "The End" in the book but this is actually just a few minutes into the game.)
 

Tiamat-86

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gameplay > story > graphics

graphics are always the last thing i care about.
in a score out of 10 graphics can only ever account for 1 point in my books.
they will never make or break a game.

bad controls and bugs/glitch can easily break a game though.
most modern games to me top out at 5s. (counting the 1 point from graphics)
graphics just doesnt mean anything if cant enjoy the gameplay or like the characters/storyline

edit:
the more i think about it the more i feel like graphics dont even account for a whole 1.
0.5 maybe
 
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kaukusaki

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When I started playing games it had ascii art. :kaoswt2: (showing my age lolol). so "bad graphics" is subjective. I'm more in the camp of is the story engaging enough and are the mechanics decent? Though I have the capability of cranking out a photo-realistic game, is it really worth the time and effort when there's SO MANY GAMES and MULTIPLE PLATFORMS to release said game on?
 

CG-Tespy

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Well, when it comes to most types of video games, graphics can naturally very well take a back seat to other things (like gameplay and story) while being successful. There are various examples of this, like Undertale and Earthbound; they both have lackluster graphics for their time, especially the former... yet they've managed to achieve great success through a combination of good stories, interesting gameplay, and (most crucial of all) marketing.



This principle applies to other mediums, too. The original One Punch Man webcomic had very amateurish art, yet even before the anime came out, it garnered quite a following.



In short... Graphics don't matter that much when other things compensate well enough, which can be easy for those good at said other things.
 

Calamitous Magic

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Many gamers are getting older too (remember those who grew up on NES and Atari are near if not past 40 now), and the older group I've noticed is tired of pretty games but shallow experiences and are willing to look past the graphics and instead look at is the game fun to play.
Ha ha ha. I'm 55, so positively ANCIENT! I'm so old I remember when my friends (who were the "rich" kids of the area) got Pong. It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen. But then, they were so posh, their (b&w) tv had a remote control - an enormous box on the end of a cord.

I didn't even own a computer until I was almost 30 (incomprehensible, I know) but I did have a Sega Mega Drive and my favourite game on that was Golden Axe Warrior. I still have them tucked away in a closet.

For me, graphics can be a deal breaker - if they really are so ugly that they stop me from getting into a game - but, on the other hand, a great story line can make slightly dodgy graphics forgiveable.

I think a lot of the criticism of RPGMaker games is based on people just churning out games with enormous maps full of badly placed walls/doors/furniture that don't even have anything in them to interact with and with a storyline that has been rehashed over and over ad nauseum without any care for crafting the game. I can still forgive a game with those kind of maps, though, if the story is great - the standard tropes are still entertaining if the characters are interesting/funny/a little out of the ordinary and the story arc is engaging.

Similarly, I have seen truly beautiful games that bore me senseless because having something glorious to look at doesn't help if the characters are loathsome and the story terrible.

Another personal limitation I have with what kind of games I can play is motion sickness. I can't play 3D first person games for love nor money - so it has to be 2D top down or Monkey Island (best games ever) type point and clicks for me, but I love those so, all good.
 

Jrrkein

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Games isn't always about graphics or other non-graphic assets, game company like kemco it always use same graphics, but what's get to people's attention is gameplay and story because it makes a huge impact to get people interested also they have different battle system and mechanic which kinda hooked people to play and download

So is there something like in your mind stating "Hmmm, this looks interesting, Imma give it a try" moments later you enjoy it because of other elements not just graphics; Perhaps the story that get you interested or gameplay mechanics
 

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