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Looking at these pictures which show off the capabilities of the Next-Gen Unreal 3 engine, I formulated the following principle, which will be known (hopefully) as the realism-paradox:

The picture quality of the games will be more and more like a movie, and after a while, the gamers will feel dissonant, since the visual language of films and video games is entirely different.

So there will be a tipping point in time, when looking at a game, the player will not be able to feel intuitively that this is a game. So the realism will take them out of the game.

Of course the images on the linked site are not enough, you need realistic movement for that to happen. Especially on faces. On film, AVATAR solved that problem. If the games can solve it too in a few years, then this paradox may show its effect.

What do you think about this concept? Am I right, or not? Let's discuss smile

edited 3rd Mar '11 3:49:38 AM by Sati1984

"We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty." - Malcolm Reynolds
2 Noelemahc3rd Mar 2011 04:30:30 AM from Moscow, Russia
So you're worried about this dipping into a form of Uncanny Valley that will make it harder to take games as games? I personally find it a little hard to swallow, especially if you've survived more than one graphical revolution (I can't count off the top of my head, but I got through... EGA to VGA, introduction of FM Vs, VGA to SVGA, introduction of true-3d, introduction of textured 3d, 3d-acceleration, voxels (anyone miss those?), DXT-compression/photorealistic textures, mocap, per-pixel lighting, bump-mapping, inverse kinematics, HBAO, and now this) - you'll adapt. Trust me.
I'm not worried, my PC was last time updated in 2004... I won't see new games in motion anytime soon I think. It's just a theory smile

But let rephrase. Hypothetical: in a few years, programmers will create an engine, in which movie-like realism is possible. If they release the game with the best, most life-like render/movement allowed by the engine, the game would be unnecessarily realistic. So they throw in tropes and deliberate non-realistic elements to convey the feel of a game.

Is this possible in your opinion?
"We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty." - Malcolm Reynolds
unnecesarily realistic
Your opinion.
5 Noelemahc3rd Mar 2011 05:28:19 AM from Moscow, Russia
This is all covered by the Uncanny Valley trope, and it's still not really feasible within the next few years - we've been hearing the same arguments for this for the last ten or so years, but are yet to see any significant video game examples.
What about LA Noire?
[up][up][up]That's kinda the point of the thread.

[up][up] The Uncanny Valley only applies to how we perceive living things. I'm talking about a (hypothetical) game as a whole.
"We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty." - Malcolm Reynolds
8 Usht3rd Mar 2011 05:55:02 AM from an arbitrary view point.
Lv. 3 Genasi Wizard
Meh, some people will love it. I personally find that once people reach that level of realism, they'd stop caring about graphics and we'll have this sudden move back into other, lower level graphic level art styles. And it will be colorful.

Regardless, I don't believe this paradox will come into play because of the HUD, that has a tendency to break it.
The thing about making witty signature lines is that it first needs to actually be witty.
9 MoeDantes3rd Mar 2011 05:55:13 AM from the Land of Classics
cuter, cuddlier Edmond
Realism-paradox? I dunno. I must admit I hate overly realistic graphics, but its mostly because they make games look like they all come from the same publisher. I mean I liked King's Field IV and all but if you were to put a screenshot of it next to The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion I wouldn't be able to tell I was looking at two different games.

Realism is a pretty stupid thing to reach for though. What the hell is the hard-on for "realism" anyway? I just got done jogging, that's all the "realism" I need! I suspect its because the developers spent all their life in a basement and are now trying to get back in touch, and they think their audience is in the same boat. Get a clue, developers: WE AREN'T!
First of all, those aren't screenshots of a game. They're carefully lit, carefully positioned photographs of 3D models designed to look as good as possible. "Bullshots". Second of all, this is still the aging Unreal 3 engine. It has its limitations. No real-time global illumination, or movable terrain (which the makers of Bioshock Infinite complained about), for instance. The demo is designed specifically to show off the strengths of the engine and hide its weaknesses. Finally, imagine how much money and time and manpower that would have to go into making an entire game look that good. In order to make that money back, the company would have to make the games appeal to as many people as possible. If every game looked like that, "niche" games would cease to exist.

edited 3rd Mar '11 6:19:36 AM by Redhead

11 RocketDude3rd Mar 2011 03:53:56 PM from AZ, United States
Face Time
^In regards to the capacity of UE 3:

I don't know where to find the one that showcases the Day/Night cycle that Black Dawn will feature.
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Revy Gonna Give It To Ya
My thoughts on the uncanny valley is that, with technology like what is used in L.A. Noire, we'll be able to start rising from the uncanny valley. It won't be about trying to convince the audiences that the images they see aren't CGI, that'll fail for the foreseeable future. But this tech WILL allow further emotional attachment to the characters to the point that it doesn't matter that they're not real because of how expressive they can be.

In addition, I think more people need to understand that, aesthetically, reality if often boring. Games shouldn't strive just for reality, but 'surreality' as well. And I don't mean this in relation to just extremely stylized games like Team Fortress 2 and Okami; even Modern-day FP Ses should strive for their own visual tone and style to create worlds grander than what can exist in reality.
These are the words that shall come from my mouth. I shall be known for speaking them.
[up] Agreed.

My own suspicion, however, is that the appeal of photorealism will wear off. If your not aiming for perfect photorealism, you don't need to spend the graphic resources on photorealistic precision. So eventually, you'll get many fewer photorealistic games, and a lot more stylized games.
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^^ They do. But amazingly, being neon doesn't really do justice to the scale of death and bloodshed displayed in a wartime FPS. Its like cremating something in an E-Z-Bake oven - the subject is not given proper respect, and its also less efficient than the current means.

Being subdued in colouring is a visual style, and it is appropriate for the games it is used.

^ Oh and, no. The entire history of gaming has been a continuous march towards photorealism. It is not a "fad", it is a constant. Hell, the lack of it is a major flaw with gaming.

edited 3rd Mar '11 8:07:34 PM by IndigoDingo

15 Recon53rd Mar 2011 08:15:44 PM from Southeast Asia
Avvie-free for life!
[up] Correction: There will always be some people moving in that direction but it will never be universal. Saying that stylization is a flaw in the current gaming industry is like saying surrealism is a flaw in classical art.
I have no problem with grim looking environments. They too can be beautiful. For example, the village in Resident Evil 4 barely used any colors, but it had a certain melancholy look and feel because of that reservation.

My problem is when an environment is dull and boring. Even in a realistic game like the Call of Duty series, it's perfectly possible to incorporate interesting features into the world around the player.

edited 3rd Mar '11 8:21:17 PM by Scardoll

17 MoeDantes3rd Mar 2011 08:35:23 PM from the Land of Classics
cuter, cuddlier Edmond
On the subject of classical art, its worth noting that for centuries the standard was to draw images as life-like as possible.

Once they actually got damn good at that, it became boring, which is why they started making more fucked-up images.

Video games are kind of lucky that they're already mostly there and that some developers have already seen the problem with photorealism, and that's why we have things like cell-shading.
And yet when people point out the problem with stylization, no-one listens, as we can see here.
Oh My
There's a problem with stylization?
If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
Uh, no shit? It instantly drains any and all seriousness out of a work?
Uh, no shit? It instantly drains any and all seriousness out of a work?
Uh, fuck no?

There are plenty of stylized works that are utterly depressing, yet still critically lauded. Maus is a good example.

edited 3rd Mar '11 9:46:59 PM by Scardoll

Oh My
How is that an objective problem? That is a subjective problem that I have found to not be a problem in my case.

Also that would be a lovely new thing to put in my signature. If only it was worded just slightly different so it'd make sense out of context.

edited 3rd Mar '11 9:48:30 PM by Aondeug

If someone wants to accuse us of eating coconut shells, then that's their business. We know what we're doing. - Achaan Chah
Because these works are so prevelant. Oh, wait, no they aren't

The human aspect is limitted when something doesn't look human. Having some human qualities only gets you so far, to actually gain full drama you need a realistic human.

There is a reason why the peak on the right hand side of the Uncanny valley is infinite, while the peak on the left side is limitted.

^ Just like problems with the uncanny valley.

edited 3rd Mar '11 9:51:25 PM by IndigoDingo

Always Right
lol, seriousness? You're telling me Call of Duty is serious?

And needing a "realistic" looking human just to deliver drama to the audience just shows a lack of creativity.
And yet when people point out the problem with stylization, no-one listens, as we can see here.
You never pointed out any problems. You just said that making a battlefield colorful doesn't do it justice, how doesn't it do justice? It's not dark and edgy enough?

Darker and Edgier and Real If Brown is not an indicator of seriousness, it's just the current big thing in western gaming, it worked for one or two game, and all the other developers are using a formula the know will still work for years to come.

edited 3rd Mar '11 9:53:38 PM by Signed

"Every opinion that isn't mine is subjected to Your Mileage May Vary."
25 RocketDude3rd Mar 2011 09:52:45 PM from AZ, United States
Face Time
^^...How in the fuck is Maus not prevalent?

You know what, fuck it.

edited 3rd Mar '11 9:53:15 PM by RocketDude

Tumblr | "Hipsters: the most dangerous gang in the US." - Pacific Mackerel

Total posts: 138
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