Realistic Graphics Are Broken


New member
Nov 29, 2010
Yes, great article.

Whie I'm all up for it, I think that in general the pursuit of realism produces awkward experiences. In graphics, it's just easy to do. Just raise everything: more polygons, bigger textures, more postFX (to the point where your character is apparently a cyborg with a photographic apparatus for an eye which really needs cleaning and an anti-flare coating)
It's in the field of non-graphics where stuff gets outright stupid. The simulation of flying a plane translates nicely to me sitting at my desk. I move a joystick and I press buttons. Just like the real thing. The simulation of being a soldier does not. If I want to access my real-life inventory/backpack, I just do so. Not even worth mentioning a word like "intuitive". In, say, ARMA - a "simulation" - it requires a considerable use of braincells even after having consulted a tutorial. Immersion? Poof. Another offender is almost every system of exhaustion. I just broke my ankle out of the blue, Project Zomboid, because that 154/300 in the corner should have given me the impression that I'm too overburdened to be able to run? It didn't. I don't feel weight here, you know?


Mugwamp Supreme
Nov 26, 2008
0over0 said:
This is nothing new.

They figured out long ago that graphics sell...hardware. A great story, scintillating dialogue, adequate AI--those don't sell hardware, nor are they as easy to tie to hardware, as graphics. Graphics are easy to understand--look! It looks realer! It's easy to sell--buy this upgrade kid, and we'll show you things you can't even dream of! And it makes big bucks. Plus, you can make that hardware improvement required to play the game.

You can wish all you want for another approach--and you may get your wish from time to time, but the big developers and the hardware makers are all in bed together, and if you want anything other than sloppy fourths, you're going to have to walk away and find your own party. They will not cater to you. They are interested in making money--and for the big money, they have to stroke one another...not you.
Exactly, consoles only have two things to pitch. What they're capable of (i.e. graphics, because graphics mean processing power) and the game lineup. It's games themselves that have to wory about story.

Calling a console manufacturer dumb for pitching hardware capabilities is as silly as calling a hard drive company dumb for pitching how much storage their HDD can hold and how fast it can transfer it. In essence, that's what they're selling, their hardware.


New member
Jan 7, 2011
The (bad) way that recent Call of Duty single player games and Assassin's Creed 3 try to get around the mismatch is to attempt to railroad and script every single player interaction in a mission.

Go here, do this, stand there, pull that, stay frosty, okay now this NPC will react scriptedly to what we wanted you to do... oh whoops, you caught up with the guy running away sooner than we thought you would, instadeath - AC3 actually does this!

From a gameplay perspective it's just awful. The player isn't wanted, or even really needed. You're a puppet. Dance, puppet, dance!

AC3 does at least give you some flexibility outside of missions. Which makes it even worse when they yank your leash again.