Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bad Graphics? Adventure? Say It Ain't So!!!

On the AGS forum a really insightful thread was started by Iliya about the term "Adventure Game", and whether in the current culture of big budget games with HD graphics and years of development, our AGS made games should even be called "game".

Iliya argued that instead we should call our creations "Adventure Stories", and Mark (m0ds) Lovegrove pointed out that he'd ask for "point and click adventures" at a store while omitting "games" since the employees would likely laugh at him.

Iliya then went on to post some comments that were made on Dave Gilbert's blog post on nygamedev:
  • "Wow - are the graphics really as bad as those screenshots depict?"
  • "I couldn't stand playing this for even 10 minutes ... the graphics are terrible! Looks like it was written over 20 years ago."
  • "It is like giving yourself crossed eyes for the fun of it. HORRID. My eye sight is still blurry."
  • "I can't see a game developer releasing a game that looks this bad and is so hard on the eyes"
  • "HORRIBLE!!!! I wouldn't take this game if it were FREE."

Iliya then went on to post two lines that really struck a chord with me, and I felt compelled to bring attention to this post/thread.

Iliya said, "Why is this happening? Are these comments comming from classic adventure games fans? I don't think so. And of course we don't care if they don't like classic adventure games. But these comments are ugly thing.

I don't want the games that we are making to be judged by wrong people. They are giving their comments, because we say that we create "games". No! We create stories!"

I would argue that while we do create stories, they are indeed games. The modern point-and-click genre is essentially a thing of the past with the evolution of the FPS with wonderfully rendered 3D graphics, but there is something beautifully simple and elegant about low-res or (GASP!) hi-res 640x480 resolution games.

I for one, think that Dave's creations are gorgeous and speak for the time and effort that we put into our hobbies. Yes, hobbies. We surely don't do this to get rich...

See the thread:

Dave's blog thread about budgets and games:

1 comment:

  1. Haha, "don't quote me on that"! :P My point was asking for 'point and clicks' usually gets you scoughed at in a games shop in the UK, at least in my experience.

    Even back in the day when White Label were still stocking shelves with point & clicks, the employees gave me that "you're weird" look when asking for point & clicks.

    I presume it's more the employees taste that is conflicting. I'm a little worried that asking for "adventure games" nowadays will result in you being taken to a shelf full of hidden object mystery games.

    It seems graphical point & click adventure games no longer have a shelf to themself, but sit in-between other non-adventure titles, shops often sorting them by title A-Z or developer name - so you have to know what you're looking for.

    That said, it is kind of cool to see how "adventure stories" can be found on shelves in between bigger titles. The type of shop shelfing and game arranging has changed over the years. I think I was lucky to get into it when I did, because PC games took up the majority of game shops here in the UK.

    Nowadays, you find the big rows of X-Box, PS3, Wii, DS etc shelves and then maybe one column of PC games, within which you'll find the adventure games.

    But this also shows that adventure titles are still more suited to the PC, and the main factor being smaller columns means less space to create seperate categories for PC games these days.

    Online people generally seem to know what they want and where best to get it. The popularity of graphical adventures may have waned from 2000-2007 but nowadays they are as popular as they ever were, often infiltrating news sites. Comments from those who play mostly console games are likely - because there aren't many graphical adventures dedicated to console gaming, and of course, a decent adventure game on a console still usually entails 3D motion and all the rest, so some people would be oblivious and just think it's still an FPS or something (I know I probably would).

    Maybe there's also some ignorance in comments like those above too, afterall, the majority of us are brought up with bed-time storys, vivid pictures and lots of words to read. A lot of people respect the style of interaction in point & clicks and the format isn't that dissimilar from a kids bedtime book.

    I'm not a big book fan, and I'd assume the comments above came from people who hate to read, or can't stand being subjected to a scene that doesn't change, that you can't look around in all directions rather than with a mouse pointer.

    I don't have a problem with that, and can even sympathize, but yeah even I wouldn't go so far as to say that's why graphical adventure game graphics are "no good". Since the majority are hand-drawn graphics, I think those commentors forget what kind of vision and dedication is necessary to make those kind of graphics.

    But in the same way people will get angry at music that uses instruments, prefering all the computer generated stuff - it's just the age of un-appreciation we're in. And as someone rightly mentioned, it's mostly just younger, naive people that make those kind of comments - because any adults that say that could be easily seen as being naive.

    Luckily though - plenty of people still understand and respect the nessecity of hand-drawn art, lower resolutions and such. I'd assume those people are generally more imaginative, and don't need bells and whistles to have a good time.



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