Why is lofi better?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by Misty, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. Misty

    Misty Member

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    So yesterday I played Halo 5 online for the first time. I am poor but thats not the main reason I never played it online. Mainly, I never played it online due to depression, I just did not feel motivated to.

    But when I played it online yesterday I did not feel depressed. I thought it was the best Halo ever made. I played it on a Japanese level and it looked really cool.

    But then, the next room I was in there was extreme lag. Could not hardly get 1 kill, the enemy team was constantly teleporting and meleeing me from 50 feet away, my bullets were not hitting, my grenades had a 3 second lag before they appeared, when I meleed an enemy in the back it did not damage and then I just teleported to him and died, and then I raged and quit, almost literally slamming my controller onto the bed.

    The next match was not much better, I had a sucky team, my bullets seemed to register but for some reason, my grenades still had a 2 second lag. The enemy won 100 to 19. Long story short, the game started to make me sick to my stomach and I lost interest in the game. The final game I played I had a mongoose, and I would run into people at full speed and they would not die, it was stupid. By the way, my connection fluctuates between 2 MB and 5MB, and yet the game ran like I had dialup at times.

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    So then I played Banjo Kazooie, and I had a realization that lofi graphics are inherently better. But I don't actually know the scientific reason why. My other arguments was that high-polygon graphics overwhelms the artist with too many options. But I don't know if that is actually the main reason. I think that lowfi graphics are just inherently better, it doesn't matter what artist it is.

    I am not totally sure why, but I have formulated a new scientific hypothesis. Firstly, lets examine games like Yooka and Laylee and Perfect Dark Zero. Those games were based upon the same idea of earlier low-poly games, but the graphics are less compelling than the original low-poly games they were based on.

    So we should look at the difference between textures:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]



    So why does picture 2 seem more fun than picture 1? The first thing I notice is that the road in Picture 1 is just too bright. It looks like bright sand on a beach. But then, in the shadow, it just gets suddenly muted and bland.

    Second, I notice the road in picture 2 has a longer blend and gradient. The road in picture 1 has a sharper, less subtle gradient.

    I also notice the low-poly edges in picture 2, seem to make the world "Pop out". Did you see the tree in the background in picture 1? Probably not because, color of the tree texture is almost the same as the grass itself.

    (Also, one thing to note, I did feel sick to my stomach this morning while playing Banjo Kazooie, but I think it was because the sound was turned down low, for some reason when I can't hear audio at a proper volume it makes me sick to my stomach.)

    Now my main hypothesis is, the main flaw of hifi textures is they do not leave much to the imagination, that is, they cannot actually convey depth. I first noticed this in the Perfect Dark XBLA remake for Xbox 360. Originally playing Perfect Dark on PC, I noticed that the graphics of Perfect Dark 64 were horrible, but not inherently horrible. The only reason the graphics of Perfect Dark 64 were horrible, was because of the low screen resolution. They were actually inherently more pleasant than the Perfeck Dark remake.

    This is because, they redid the textures and made them more HD. They used photoshop tricks to put in shadows around the parts of the texture that were supposed to have depth. And it just looked totally off and fake, like a flat illusion. The worlds did not look 3D at all. Had they used the lofi textures of the original, our mind would have put in the depth inherently, thanks to the lofi textures.

    Sorry, I couldn't find good pics of XBLA Temple. Google sucks and people suck, all I could find was lame 144p videos showing it.

    So I took this pic of XBLA multiplayer, to compare it to Goldeneye. You can see the issues.
    [​IMG]
    The uzi looks like plastic, and the textures are so HD that it removes the depth from the level.

    Here is the original goldeneye, I couldn't find the exact picture because everyone only uploads crappy 240p videos, this is the closest 720p video I could find:
    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the picture 2 looks slightly better. But again, the videos can only show so much, when you play the game, the scene in picture 1 looks even worse. The picture of 1 has anti-aliasing applied to it from the video, making it look not as bad as it is in realtime.


    So my conclusion is that Hifi graphics look worse for 5 major reasons.

    1. It requires much higher technical skill to create, and better quality machinery. This may alienate many artists from ever attempting to make hifi graphics, and encourage only artists who have a dominant technical mind, rather than artists who have a dominant artistic mind. Thus, law of averages would just produce on average, lower quality Hifi works. Or, in other cases, Concept artists, who have to "translate" instructions to computer artists, and often stuff is lost in translation.

    2. Hifi graphics do not "pop out" as much as low poly graphics. There aren't as many sharp edges to define the scene.

    3. The amount of polys is just too much work to edit, even for talented artist. Thus it is harder to "tweak" the polys and get them just right. Since there are so many polys, you don't know which one's to tweak or how. So the focus of the piece is less focused and becomes more global, treating the mesh as a conglomerate rather than focusing on each individual vertex placement.

    4. With hifi textures, many artists only make medium poly scenes. Quite simply, to make a scene hifi, the first step should be to increase the polygon count, not to first increase the texture size. Early artists, could get away with low-poly scenes because, the low poly textures created a sense of fake-depth to make the scene really "pop" in 3d.

    But if you have a medium or low-poly scene, you should not increase the texture size, because increasing the texture size will expose the flat wall graphics. High resolution textures will shatter the illusion of depth. Modern artists try to counter this, by adding cheap techniques like bumpmapping. But they overdo it and it just looks bad. Bumpmapping should only be applied to rocks or bumpy surfaces like old metal. But they apply it everywhere, where it shouldn't belong, like on cracks in walls, sci-fi doors, and on the ground. And it gives this lumpy, rounded effect that sharp surfaces, like cracks in walls, or sci-fi doors, should not have.

    Once the textures reach a certain detail level, there is no way around it, you must begin to make the level more hi poly to add depth to the scene. You must either use low polygon textures and have a low polygon level, or have a high polygon level with either low or high detail textures. You cannot make a low polygon level, and put high detail textures on it.

    5. So after reading this, an artist decides to take my advice, and make a high polygon level for their high detail textures. But then it presents another problem: Visual overload. When levels are so high detail, it makes all enemies seemed camouflage, and it is hard for the brain to analayze the scene. It is hard to analyze because you are looking at a 2d TV. In reallife, your brain has depth perception, so it is easier. With low polygon, it is easier, because even though there is no 3d depth perception, everything is more clearly defined and pops out of the screen. With high poly, it overloads your brain and you cannot create a virtual depth perception with it, so it just seems chaotic, and harder to locate enemies. And then, as if some joke, they put in tiny fonts in all the xbox games nowdays, so you have to squint and move close to the screen just to read everything, it feels like the game industry is ran by amateurs who don't know what they are doing, kind of like those websites made in 1995 that had those fuchsia backgrounds with the yellow fonts, like they could care less about studying color theory or art theory, how the eyes works, user comfort or ergonomics.


    So here are my rules. I don't want my thread closed so no insulting one-liners. If you dont have anything to discuss I don't want you derailing my thread. I would rather not be bullied today so if all you have for me is one-liner insults then just go away and bother someone else. This is meant to be a serious discussion about art theory in games.
     
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  2. Cantavanda

    Cantavanda 〜Flower Prince〜

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    You've shown example of very crappy hifi.
    Skyrim is hifi, but looks pretty bad.
    UE4 (stands for unacceptable epos 4) N64 remakes by YouTubers are hifi, but look terrible too.
    It's all about how it's stylized and executed.
    Mario Oddysey looks much better than Mario 64 for example, because Nintendo is extremely good at stylizing their graphics, and making very detailed environments, but that are simple enough so you can take it all in without confusion.
    As much as we all hate it, Battlefront EA games look absolutely goregous, BUT they made the bad descision to just add TOO much too the screen, that you get confused, your eyes hurt and you don't know where to look at.
    Half-Life 2 was made in 2004, but it looks better than Skyrim to be honest, and the design of the environments are some of the best I've seen in any video game in my entire life.

    Lighting also does a crapton, poopy lighting can ruin the grahics, and oh it's so easy to mess up with today's engines.

    I also love 90s point and click games that contain pre rendered three dee models but as sprites, those have a charm, I recommend Sanitarium.

    Overall the best looking games I've played are FINAL FANTASY games. I am currently starting to play the fifteenth instalment in the series after someone gifted it to me. It looks absolutely stunning, not as photorealistic as Battlefront but it looks way more stylized.

    My favourite game of all time DARK SOULS also looks amazingly stylized, but it's very sloppily made with crappy textures, and the remaster was the worst thing that ever happened to DARK SOULS. DARK SOULS three looks very good too but it's not always pleasing to look at, just like the Battlefront situation, a ton on the screen, hard to process it all.

    I agree that lofi like Majora's Mask, Banjo Kazooie and FFVII really has a charm that can never be replicated though. But if you prefer it over good hifi, that's personal taste.
     
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  3. Misty

    Misty Member

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    Super Mario Odyssey looks nice, but it does not replace the charm of Super Mario 64. And its not nostalgia, the graphics of Super Mario 64 look inherently charming.

    Super Mario Odyssey is probably a better game than Super Mario 64, but Super Mario 64 has more appealing grpahics.

    And also, what is the deal with trans-specie Bowser? (Not that I have anything against it, it just seems unique.)
    [​IMG]
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    I will tell you what I do have something against. It loaded to me a trailer for the New Star Wars. What the fudge is this?
    They aren't just pooping on my childhood. Poop is fertilizer. Poop is good for the garden. Youtube poop fertilized my childhood. This new Star Wars crap is not just pooping on my childhood, but actively steamrolling it and kicking it to the moon.

    Welcome to the world of catering to the lowest common denominator. Every dweeb, every moron, every football watching, beer drinking jock, every ghetto hoodrat and every generic business dad and soccer mom, every 12 year old cod kid, is now "hip and cool" with Star Wars. What a sick sad joke.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. chance

    chance predictably random Forum Staff Moderator

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    The best way to avoid problems is by discussing your personal preference, and asking others to discuss their personal preference. In other words, don't suggest these preferences are facts, because they aren't.

    One approach might be changing the title to (for example):

    LOFI vs. HIFI graphics -- which do you prefer?


    But that's up to you.
     
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  5. Bearman_18

    Bearman_18 Member

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    Being forced to work within limitations adds charm. But only if you get it right. In my experience, There are good and bad looking lo-poly games, same for hi-poly. I just think that we are still getting use to the medium. Video game is kind of a newborn in the grand scheme of entertainment. For visually appealing hi-poly games, look to Crysis, LoZ BOTW, the Battlefield games. etc.
    And yes, your examples could be better. Compare what you feel is the best looking hi-poly with best looking lo-poly games. And, in order to keep this as objective as possible, try to ignore nostalgia. One persons nostalgia doesn't change the visual appeal to someone who doesn't feel nostalgic. Nostalgia didn't effect the design decisions of old games.
    Frankly, if you dislike hi-poly games, that's really just your opinion. It's a valid opinion, though. One thing that personally bugs me is when a cinematic trailer has significantly better graphics than the game itself. I understand why it's done that way, though. It exists to tell a story, not to show gameplay. So I don't judge them for it.
     
  6. Misty

    Misty Member

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    I hate crysis because, at the beginning, I shot a rock, but the rock actually turned out to be a turtle, and so I hate myself every day.

    Actually, that is a lie. I knew it was a turtle, but I wanted to see if the shell was bulletproof, so I shot it, and it died, and then I cried, immediately regretted it and hating how stupid I was, and I started cutting myself actually. I know I didn't shoot a real turtle, but even shooting a virtual turtle was too much for me, I had a 2 year phase of self harm and cutting because of it.

    And strangely, in Mario I can murder hundreds of thousands of animals, including koopas, and yet feel no remorse afterwards. Strange how that works.

    Also your idea of crysis is just eh. It's easier to model natural environments and have them look decent, than it is to model hybrid or indoor environments. Crysis looks good, borderline great, but not all amazing, you can tell all the tress have the same texture, no rotted leaves, no shades of brown, just too green to believe. Same with the grass, no dry grass anywhere, its too lush to take seriously.

    Breathe of the WIlds is a downgrade of graphics of OOT. It just looks fake and plastically. And yes, I know OOT doesn't look the same as real life but there is a certain richness to the textures that Breathe of the WIlds just doesn't have. Everything in Breathe of the wilds seems to be the same luminosity, like it needed to put under a higher contrast filter. like everything just looks too samey, and washed out. Kind of like the new CGI Simpsons, or the new CGI Spongebob, that washed-out look.

    Don't even get me started on Battlefield 4, I played it, it has sandbox, barebones empty shells of a building, just randomly scattered, sometimes sinking into the terrain in a hilarious manner...very, very sloppy level design.

    Also, I notice Nintendo cheats, they put a weird yellow glow effect around the edges of objects, so it doesn't have that sickening , "no-depth, blended in", HD effect. It's especially noticeable in trees. They have to put this effect, if they didn't put the effect it would be like all the other bad looking HD games.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
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  7. Bearman_18

    Bearman_18 Member

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    That's unrelated. And don't cut yourself.
    'Cause they look less realistic.
     
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  8. Bearman_18

    Bearman_18 Member

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    Accidently posted early. meant to hit quote button... sorry I keep doing that!

    I doubt it's that easy. But it's true that trees and such look better than buildings.
    I disagree, so I guess i's just taste, then.
    I've never seen 4. Try Battlefield One. I thought It looked quite nice. The recent one, not the first one. Curse Microsofts poor console name choices!
    That's not a cheat! That's smart! It increases visual appeal, which is the point of it. So it works. Proof that we don't have far to go, if such a small change has such a drastic outcome.

    Also, Just Cause 3 Look really good in most areas.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
  9. Gamebot

    Gamebot Member

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    When hi-fi graphics take over the game environment but theres no story or gameplay...thats a problem.

    I would take Comander Keen over Halo anyday. Donky Kong Country 1, 2, or 3 for that matter. While the graphics are stunning ih Halo 5, the worlds/levels seem small. Plus you run and shoot. Guess wjat?! You run around and shoot some more. Boring.

    I want to explore. I want adventure. I want to imagine what it would be like to be there. Imagine the rest of the world when we are done and hope they make a second one with the same type of graphics. Like Zelda OOT.

    Even Wolfenstein 3d, ROTT, and doom were more fun. Those cardboard cutouts for characters had more character then many newer games. It's not just about looking good for me. I think its because the feel of the older characters then were faster in real time. Like the AI, you never really knew when enemise were comming for you.

    Newer games do very well portrayimg realism in characters with the hi-fi graphics. However, its like im watching several different movies with the same story line spliced together. The action sequences generally seems slow to me. Almost like obnoxious overacting because they have to make up for the graphics.


    Older games were generally more creative. They were harder to beat and you really had to remember everything. Donkey Kong Country 1, 2, and 3 were awesome. I felt graphics took over gameplay with the 64 version. Besides everybody knows Resident Evil 4 was the best one. (Ok so its an opinion but its mine)

    Just had a thought...

    Rotten tomatoes = movies
    Rotten mechanics = games
    Rotten graphics = awesome
    Anyone?
     
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  10. Bearman_18

    Bearman_18 Member

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    @Gamebot, I feel similar. I always felt as if the old graphics made for a better use of imagination on the players part. I also feel like if you're going to have hi res, then you should have a solid story to go with it.
     
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  11. Kaine

    Kaine Member

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    Why is what now??
     
  12. Misty

    Misty Member

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    In goldeneye you mostly run and shoot (although, there are some puzzles to make it more interesting). You know why it didn't get so boring? Because death was more serious, you had to start at the beginning all over. In Halo 5 your squadmates just revive you after you are down over and over.
    Also, lets be honest, the aiming of the game is total suckage. It feels like moving around some NASA robot on a space mission. Even with the autoaim the controls feel janky. And its just not that fun to shoot.

    I loved OOT but for some reason I couldn't get into Majora's Mask. It's like that inexplicable feeling of melancholic suckage that you just can't put your finger on as to why.

    They did have more character, however I think their speeds were the same. I just think they were more colourful and less camoflaged, so they seemed more interesting and less generic.

    Yeah I noticed that to. I don't think it has anything to do with the graphics, its just a "thing" they do nowadays. It was obnoxious in Call of Duty, and its obnoxious in other games too. It's like, most people have 100 games in their library. When they get bored of a game, they come back to it. I don't need my game constantly switching my characters on me. If I feel like becoming another person, that's what the 100 other games in my library are for.


    RE4 was the best one. Mainly because, Leon felt like an actual person, instead of some jocky soldier.
     
  13. CardinalCoder64

    CardinalCoder64 Member

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    Old graphics are great. I like being able to let my brain do the drawing for me, makes the experience more memorable. Not to say I don't like new graphics either, but like you said I believe there should be more to it than just the graphics. For example, Ori & the Blind Forest and The Witcher III have eye-candy graphics but they also have immersive storylines and some pretty creative mechanics, and those games did great. Games that just focus on graphics end up being bland because as my favorite saying goes: You can plate a turd gold, but it's still a turd. Graphics can't be the only thing immersing the player, it's gotta be in the story/mechanics too.
    Felt the same way tbh. OOT just has a certain charm about it that MM doesn't seem to have.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
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  14. Toque

    Toque Member

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    “Graphics can’t be the only thing”

    I can understand the developers dilemma. Games are like food. People will taste if it looks good. So as much effort as possible is placed on looking good. If no one tastes it all is lost.

    Once they taste hopefully there is enough other substance to win them over.
     
  15. Bearman_18

    Bearman_18 Member

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    The greatest quotes of all time come from these forums, gosh. Thank you cardinal.
     
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  16. CardinalCoder64

    CardinalCoder64 Member

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    My pleasure ;)
     
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  17. Bearman_18

    Bearman_18 Member

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  18. CardinalCoder64

    CardinalCoder64 Member

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    Sky's the limit my friend.
     
  19. Bearman_18

    Bearman_18 Member

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