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Old 02-27-2011, 03:07 PM   #21
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Your post and some comments on the AG review are in fact saying that for many people modern graphics would detract from the experience of playing Gemini Rue. Why? The story, the characters, voiceacting, everything would still be great and have much better graphics to boot. And a less cumbersome interface.
Fien, you are begging the question by assuming that higher resolution would mean better graphics. Low resolution is a restriction, and graphics artists have developed styles that fit within that restriction, taking advantage of its limits. Those styles have their own appeal, and saying that art in some unspecified different art style would be better is completely subjective.

I'm not saying Gemini Rue would necessarily be a worse game with higher-resolution graphics, but it would necessarily be a different game. You couldn't just take the same art and triple the resolution: that would look terrible. Low resolution helps "trick" the eye by hiding artifacts of the drawing. Joshua's style is pretty sketchy, and the downsampling converts some of his scribbles into realistic texture. He would at least have to retouch every screen if he was aiming for a higher resolution.

But there's more to it than that. In low-resolution, elements that are realistic and ones that are quite stylized don't clash as badly as when you can see them more clearly. And when you can see more detail, the artist has to provide more detail, or the screens look bare and simplistic. That affects how foreground elements stand out from or blend into the background, and that in turn means the screen composition may need to change. Sprites (moving characters etc.) will probably need softer edges, not to mention the animation must be very different.

So what we're really talking about is a game with completely different graphics. Now, we can imagine those graphics to be as good or bad, artistically speaking, as we wish. Without a specific proposal for what the graphics would look like, it's a moot discussion. What I do know is that within the style he has chosen, Joshua's graphics are, both artistically and functionally, very good - if not perhaps 100% perfect. Personally I have a hard time believing he would be more successful and effective in a high-resolution style, but if he was I would have no objections to it.

If we take for granted that fewer restrictions and more "realism" is always better, why stop at higher resolution? Shouldn't all adventures be 3D games? Shouldn't all comic books be photo-realistic, and shouldn't all cartoons really be live-action or CGI movies instead?
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Old 02-27-2011, 04:21 PM   #22
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What these low resolution games do for me is triggering my imagination. I think the lack of detail causes my brain to fill in the picture myself.

Same goes for text adventures, but even more so.
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Old 02-27-2011, 05:05 PM   #23
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GEMINI RUE seems to present an antiquated view of the future, the cyberpunk view born in the 80s and continued into the 90s. The graphics match that, aligning both the viewpoint of the era with graphics from that era.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Also, to Fien, I wasn't arguing that modern graphics would detract from the experience in the article comments. If the backgrounds were painted at 1680x1050 by an experienced sci-fi illustrator then sure, that could turn out to be more effective than low-res, pixelated backgrounds, but you've got to take into account the product. It's a one-man indie game and as such, the creator chose a style that was A) possible to achieve and B) fits the theme perfectly.
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Old 02-28-2011, 01:23 AM   #24
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Three posters responding to me... gee, I must have touched a nerve.

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Fien, you are begging the question by assuming that higher resolution would mean better graphics.
People use the word graphics in different ways. By “better graphics” I simply meant more modern = more high-tech. For you, graphics include both technology and art style. Quibbling over words aside (have you read my comment on the AG review?), I agree with most of what you said. Yes, change one of the ingredients and the end result will be different. Yes, my opinion is just an opinion. No, I certainly don’t equate high-tech with “realism”. For instance, a cut scene with real actors can be realistic and very low-tech at the same time.

My point was that I am surprised that the retro-look immediately appeals to so many posters. I wonder if those are the same people whose top ten consists of Sierra and LA games, who find Mystian adventures with their pretty screens and lack of dialogues boring? Like Jelena said, “old-school graphics are associated with quality”. Well, maybe I have played too many adventures because I haven’t forgotten the bad ones. I still play and love old adventures from the 80's and 90's, *in spite of* the low-tech. Take GK1. Great game. When I replayed it two years ago, I found the graphics immensely offputting at first. Annoying even: There was supposed to be a dragon symbol on this clock in granny’s attic which was totally unrecognizable thanks to the low resolution.

I agree with Orient, in many cases the retro-style is a choice born out of necessity. And it isn’t just about the graphics either. The Whispered World is not low-res, but it’s essentially a tribute to the so-called classic adventure, gameplay, interface, puzzles and all. Same goes for the other Daedalic adventures. Come to think of it, their amazing stories might in fact be the most modern ingredient. Since Daedalic is now turning to casuals, I expect that will be the end of their tributes.

As much as I love all those games, I’m getting tired of retro.

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Old 02-28-2011, 01:26 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by jasonlblair View Post
GEMINI RUE seems to present an antiquated view of the future, the cyberpunk view born in the 80s and continued into the 90s. The graphics match that, aligning both the viewpoint of the era with graphics from that era.
So you wouldn't watch a remastered blu-ray movie of the 50s-60s just because "there is no alignment with the resolution of that era"?
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:57 AM   #26
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Three posters responding to me... gee, I must have touched a nerve.
Perhaps, in that it relates to how there are gamers who simply dismiss the game because the graphics are "dated" or "bad", thus missing out on a great game due to technical snobbery and confusion of raw specs with artistic accomplishment. I think we have an emotional conviction (probably mistaken) that if they would just get over their prejudice, they would come to appreciate it like we do.

Quote:
People use the word graphics in different ways. By “better graphics” I simply meant more modern = more high-tech. For you, graphics include both technology and art style. Quibbling over words aside (have you read my comment on the AG review?), I agree with most of what you said.
Yes, I read your comments. Of course, we can use "better" in a purely quantitative sense, but then I don't quite see what your argument is. If we grant that low-res is a valid artistic style with its own appeal, and that (for reasons Erwin and Jason and alcoatjez touched on) it's rather well suited for this game, why shouldn't it be the right choice? (Apart from the purely commercial argument that it might sell more if it looked more modern, which is possible but not at all certain, since retro is a pretty popular style among adventure gamers; in any case, the cost of investment probably wouldn't justify any increase.)

Quote:
Yes, change one of the ingredients and the end result will be different. Yes, my opinion is just an opinion. No, I certainly don’t equate high-tech with “realism”. For instance, a cut scene with real actors can be realistic and very low-tech at the same time.
That's why I asked what kind of graphic style you would prefer. To take two examples that share some similarities with this game, what about the graphics of Blade Runner or the white chamber? They are more "advanced", but are they more artistically successful? (Leaving aside the question of whether Joshua could realistically create a game the size of Gemini Rue with graphics like Blade Runner by himself.)

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My point was that I am surprised that the retro-look immediately appeals to so many posters. I wonder if those are the same people whose top ten consists of Sierra and LA games, who find Mystian adventures with their pretty screens and lack of dialogues boring?
Myst is not among my personal favorites, but I respect it as a good game. I don't really like the graphic style or find it pretty, though. 3D-rendered has its own limitations, and leads to a style that I find plasticky, sterile and soulless (though it got better over time).

Quote:
Like Jelena said, “old-school graphics are associated with quality”. Well, maybe I have played too many adventures because I haven’t forgotten the bad ones. I still play and love old adventures from the 80's and 90's, *in spite of* the low-tech. Take GK1. Great game. When I replayed it two years ago, I found the graphics immensely offputting at first. Annoying even: There was supposed to be a dragon symbol on this clock in granny’s attic which was totally unrecognizable thanks to the low resolution.
In my opinion, the graphics in GK1 are... variable, and the UI is pretty poor. I would not dispute that this can lead to frustration.

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I agree with Orient, in many cases the retro-style is a choice born out of necessity. And it isn’t just about the graphics either. The Whispered World is not low-res, but it’s essentially a tribute to the so-called classic adventure, gameplay, interface, puzzles and all. Same goes for the other Daedalic adventures.
This sounds like a different discussion, and I'm not sure what you're saying. Freedom in choosing graphics style is certainly limited by what is technologically possible and by budget, time, and available competence. How are the rest of what you talk about "born of necessity", though?

You talk about the "cumbersome interface" in Gemini Rue, and I agree that it is inelegant in several ways (having to right-click on a hotspot to open your inventory, lack of documented keyboard shortcuts, having to combine keyboard and mouse controls...). Are those the things you are talking about, or are you referring to having four verbs instead of just a simple one-function or two-function cursor? Because that brings us back to subjective preference and what best suits the game.

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So you wouldn't watch a remastered blu-ray movie of the 50s-60s just because "there is no alignment with the resolution of that era"?
A better example might be when they take an old movie (e.g. Disney theatrical cartoons) and filter out all the grain so the whole film is smooth as if it was done in a computer. I hate that, and would much rather watch a proper, clean print with the original film grain.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:31 AM   #27
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@Fien:i'm a guy that played the demo yesterday and immediately bought the game in limited edition.i do like 2D graphics more than 3D but as i said i've played too few of the 2D oldies and almost none of the LA and Sierra games that you mention.it doesn't matter.the game is just that good in terms of chemistry between it's ingredients.that's how i feel about this.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:35 AM   #28
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A better example might be when they take an old movie (e.g. Disney theatrical cartoons) and filter out all the grain so the whole film is smooth as if it was done in a computer. I hate that, and would much rather watch a proper, clean print with the original film grain.
Actually, I meant the same thing (I didn't express it well). Lately, I watched the Godfather series remastered blu-ray. Better picture, vibrant colors and more crispy sound. What more can you ask for?

And since they keep doing it with all good old movies, it means that the majority likes this. Both old and new audience of the film.

An ancient ornament/vase/tool doesn't have to be semi-broken/damaged/faded in order to appreciated as old.

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Old 02-28-2011, 06:43 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by After a brisk nap View Post
Perhaps, in that it relates to how there are gamers who simply dismiss the game because the graphics are "dated" or "bad", thus missing out on a great game due to technical snobbery and confusion of raw specs with artistic accomplishment. I think we have an emotional conviction (probably mistaken) that if they would just get over their prejudice, they would come to appreciate it like we do.
Okay, you've convinced me. I'm wrong.

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Old 02-28-2011, 06:57 AM   #30
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@Fien:i'm a guy that played the demo yesterday and immediately bought the game in limited edition.i do like 2D graphics more than 3D but as i said i've played too few of the 2D oldies and almost none of the LA and Sierra games that you mention.it doesn't matter.the game is just that good in terms of chemistry between it's ingredients.that's how i feel about this.
I like 2D more than 3D too. I like Gemini too. What bothers me, is that this retro-style trend is getting more and more popular at the expense of other types of adventures. Until a couple of years ago, lots of indie developers produced 1st-person adventures. Born of necessity. Now every self-respecting independent developer pays his respect to the classics and fans of 1st-person adventures have only the casuals to turn to. I want variety in my adventures. I want a bit of innovation.

Oh well. Maybe I have played too many games, maybe the perfect chemistry that used to be there for me is gone for good, maybe my adventuring days will be over soon.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:33 AM   #31
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i think it's the last thing you said that counts......i've watched too many anime from the point i started.and now i rarely find the same excitement i did when i started.its because i keep looking for sth particular and back in the day there were lots of available ones from what i looked for.now i've seen almost all of the big names hoping that there's gonna be a new big name soon.(i didn't really express it as well as i wanted but i think you get the gist)
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:11 AM   #32
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Okay, you've convinced me. I'm wrong.
God, you'll take offense at anything, won't you? For the record, that wasn't a dig at you. It referred to people making comments like "Low res graphics. No thanks. We are in 2011." Or one comment on another site that contrasted it with screens from So Blonde (the art of which is shiny, but looks - in my opinion - pretty indifferent).
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:14 AM   #33
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I'm not a fan of the old school look tbh, hate to say it puts me off but it does sadly.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:56 AM   #34
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So you wouldn't watch a remastered blu-ray movie of the 50s-60s just because "there is no alignment with the resolution of that era"?
What you present here is not analogous to what I said about GEMINI RUE. We're not talking about a remastered classic but a modern game that made the conscious decision to go with a retro-style look.

More fitting to what you present: The remastered versions of Monkey Island 1 and 2 which, yes, I bought. And though I have only played the first yet, I enjoyed the remastered version quite a bit.

Read my entire response and you'll see I'm not picking sides. I'm exploring the idea behind the retro-style, not advocating or condemning either side of the argument.
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Old 02-28-2011, 10:14 AM   #35
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Actually, I meant the same thing (I didn't express it well). Lately, I watched the Godfather series remastered blu-ray. Better picture, vibrant colors and more crispy sound. What more can you ask for?

And since they keep doing it with all good old movies, it means that the majority likes this. Both old and new audience of the film.

An ancient ornament/vase/tool doesn't have to be semi-broken/damaged/faded in order to appreciated as old.
Your comparison makes little sense. Old movies are remastered to look as closely as possible to how they looked in cinemas back when they were released. Except for Star Wars and some Director's Cuts they don't have changed color palettes, new special effects, new scenes introduced etc.

And in those few special cases the changes introduced usually result in controversy and a good amount of backlash - people normally want the films to stay as they were at the the time of the initial run. Even if the original director changes his/hers mind later on.

Also, this:
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We're not talking about a remastered classic but a modern game that made the conscious decision to go with a retro-style look.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:10 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by jasonlblair View Post
What you present here is not analogous to what I said about GEMINI RUE. We're not talking about a remastered classic but a modern game that made the conscious decision to go with a retro-style look.

More fitting to what you present: The remastered versions of Monkey Island 1 and 2 which, yes, I bought. And though I have only played the first yet, I enjoyed the remastered version quite a bit.

Read my entire response and you'll see I'm not picking sides. I'm exploring the idea behind the retro-style, not advocating or condemning either side of the argument.
I am not saying you are picking sides. I just wondered. Your example with Monkey Island fits much better, but this also isn't totally analogous since the remastered version offered changes (at least to me, maybe they are my own 'sentimental' ones). That's why I presented the movie example since they didn't change much.

Maybe I am not expressing myself well, but I am referring to the comparison of the retro-style game with its exact-total-100% modern clone with no changes whatsoever. On these (theoretical) standards I can't imagine someone choosing the retro-style one just because it fits better to its viewpoint of era.
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:52 PM   #37
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Maybe I am not expressing myself well, but I am referring to the comparison of the retro-style game with its exact-total-100% modern clone with no changes whatsoever. On these (theoretical) standards I can't imagine someone choosing the retro-style one just because it fits better to its viewpoint of era.
Cool. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't being misunderstood or misrepresenting myself.

I might be contradicting myself, but while I think GEMINI RUE's retro-style graphics befit the premise and gameplay (I daresay I might prefer them to modern graphics given the choice), I had the option of playing MONKEY ISLAND 1 with its original graphics on XBLA and didn't do so. Interesting data (to me anyway), at the very least.
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:58 PM   #38
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I like 2D more than 3D too. I like Gemini too. What bothers me, is that this retro-style trend is getting more and more popular at the expense of other types of adventures. Until a couple of years ago, lots of indie developers produced 1st-person adventures. Born of necessity. Now every self-respecting independent developer pays his respect to the classics and fans of 1st-person adventures have only the casuals to turn to. I want variety in my adventures. I want a bit of innovation.

Oh well. Maybe I have played too many games, maybe the perfect chemistry that used to be there for me is gone for good, maybe my adventuring days will be over soon.
Yea, there has to be innovation somewhere. Look at successful modern 2D platformers. They are not simply cookie cutter 1993-style platformers churned out like adventure games are. There is almost always some kind of major innovative gameplay mechanic. Braid, Limbo, Trine, Kirby, etc. If you're going to continue to make adventure games in 2D, you have to do something different.

I'm not speaking for Gemini Rue, as I haven't played it yet and do expect to enjoy it. There is still room for nostalgia pieces, along the lines of Mega Man 9 - but they should not be seen as much more than nostalgia pieces.
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:18 PM   #39
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There is still room for nostalgia pieces, along the lines of Mega Man 9 - but they should not be seen as much more than nostalgia pieces.
Why not? Just because something isn't innovative (you speak like innovation = better, it doesn't), doesn't mean it can't be as relevant as something that is.
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:26 PM   #40
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well i finished the full game last night and even if they haven't brought anything new and innovative to the table, the story is so good or at least for my tastes that i can live with that.i'd take GEMINI RUE over any other innovative game with less impressive story any day.it was a great experience!!
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