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Old 06-03-2005, 11:17 PM   #1
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Default Something relating to Runaway 2...

This post is about graphics but I want to start by asking how well did this game do if its getting a sequel? It certainly wasn't spectacular, let alone okay... What's going on?

Anyway, I'm looking at the screenshots of the sequel and it makes me wonder. What's the point of cel-shading the thing? Seriously, the game is using a 2D interface, the 3D models seemed fake and lifeless in the first game yet they're trying to push it as an old school LucasArts adventure game. Why not just use real 2D graphics instead of emulating 2D with 3D?

Look at this;



The background looks good, but the guy looks odd and it's much more recognizable when it moves.

What's the difficulty? It can't just be money if independants can pull off something like this;



And its not just Runaway, the new Ankh game baffles me too. Character should be a very important thing in an adventure game, you can't skip around it by making a cheap 3D model. Okay my petty complaint is over.

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Old 06-03-2005, 11:41 PM   #2
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That second shot is cel-shaded. And 2D animation is a real artform and (as I've said before) at the level they're aiming at very difficult to get right. You couldn't have the detail their cel-shaded character has and do it in 2D, it'd drive the animator bonkers. If anything, a flat, 2D character on those BG's is STILL going to look like a flat 2D, block-coloured character with a painted backdrop behind them. Plus 3D is more flexible at showing movement within a 3D space.

It's not just a style choice as they're also probably looking to do more with the avatars than would be possible without blowing all of your budget on one 2D sequence.
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Old 06-04-2005, 02:14 AM   #3
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There's one obvious answer - get rid of 2D at all. 2005 and we still get 2D pre-rendered graphics in big name adventure games?

Oh I'm so hoping that Dreamfall gets it right so that nobody thinks they'll do a 2D adventure game again!

BTW, I'm really not that set against 2D games but c'mon, let's get into this millenium.

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Old 06-04-2005, 04:31 AM   #4
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Oh I don't know...2D has a certain nostalgic quaintness to it... and it's not the only 2D game in development...What about Juniper Crescent? It looks really cool, there's an article about it on this site.


http://www.adventuregamers.com/article/id,519/p,1
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Old 06-04-2005, 05:12 AM   #5
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I think modern 2D games can easily be just as fantastic as 3D games. As someone said above . . . . It's a true art in itself. I wonder how many 2D critics would refuse all recommendations to play the first two 'Broken Sword' games once they realised that they are 2D games.

In short, some of the great classics are 2D games and some of the modern (-er), 3D games are rubbish games, apart from the pretty 3D environs. Why can't both coexist ? I'm sure some modern games, if made in 2D, would have just as much chance of being regarded as 'classics', in the future, as modern 3D games.

I know that not everyone agrees, but graphics aren't everything. Then again, I'm sure 'Adventurers' reacted in a similar way when games like 'Mystery House' or 'King's Quest 1' appeared. Few would deny that 'King's Quest 1' was a good game. Yet, to some, graphics ruined the idea of what a true Adventure game was. I know people who have no time at all for the graphic Zorks, and others who love both text and graphic games in the series. It's personal preference, I suppose, but, sometimes, it's prejudice.

I know it's important to move with the times, and I'm certainly not against change (for the better). But 'New style' doesn't mean that 'Old style' is bad. Everything has it's place, and the more variety of GOOD things, the better.
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Old 06-04-2005, 05:19 AM   #6
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I think the main reason for this mass move to 3D for adventure games is because modern console gamers don't want to buy 2D games. Especially with the next gen concoles coming out.

It's sad, but it's no longer economically viable for 2D games to be made. While you and I can appreciate the subtle beauty of a 2D game, your average gamer will just view it as old-fashioned and with be uninterested.
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Old 06-04-2005, 05:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xman

It's sad, but it's no longer economically viable for 2D games to be made. While you and I can appreciate the subtle beauty of a 2D game, your average gamer will just view it as old-fashioned and with be uninterested.
I think you're probably right about console-influence. As for 'old-fashioned and uninterested', though. For the adult majority you might be correct, but, believe me, for family-orientated gamers, adults who like to play along with their children, children who like to 'drag' their adults in to play with them, and just plain second-childhood adults, like me, they're an absolute treat.

Another thing too. 2D, cartoony-graphics games frequently seem to be longer than fancy 3D games (Increasingly so). Most of them do, to me, anyway. I think that's because, with 2D games, more effort, and finance, gets to be spread across all aspects of the game (story especially), so making for a longer game. I know this isn't consistently the case. I don't pretend it is. But some 'Adventure Company' games are so short, you have to wonder how much pressure the game designers are under to produce a fast turnover of their product. Small budget, independent companies, who publish the games themselves may have more freedom to finish a game exactly how they intended to, and not become pressured to produce. Again, I know there are exceptions, and not all independently made games are 2D by any stretch of the imagination.
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Old 06-04-2005, 05:57 AM   #8
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If you want good 2D animation in a big-budget game which stands up to television animation all the way through - and not just in cutscenes - think again. It's simply not financially viable. By their very nature, most 2D cartoon games of old were reliant on a televisual standard of animation which didn't always apply constantly. The quality bar demanded of games now by presentational value is much higher than the pixellated 2D games of yore, unless you're going for a deliberately limited animation style.

I'm not saying it COULDN'T be done - Alien Hominid is an excellent shooter based on Flash animation, but don't expect animation to the standards you see on television, to which any big budget 2D game would be compared.

I personally would love to see one happen, and think a 2D game to a professional quality would be beautiful to see. It's just 2D is so much more limiting to file size in terms of animation (requiring frames for each seperate movement), and in todays high-resolution games pixel animation simply isn't an option outside of something which RELIES on that style for a clear design reason.
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Old 06-04-2005, 08:45 AM   #9
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I thought Autumn Moon announced recently that they, too, would be using 3D models on 2D backgrounds (same as Runaway) because it's more cost effective?

Quote:
This post is about graphics but I want to start by asking how well did this game do if its getting a sequel?
Well enough to warrant a sequel.

I think it's a misconception that Runaway didn't do well. We actually asked a rep from TriSynergy about this at E3 and he said from his perspective, it sold very well in the US. Maybe our idea of good sales is not the same as the publisher's and developer's idea of good sales - but then, the publishers and developers are the ones worrying about the money end, so whether or not the fans think a game did well is pretty much irrelevant. I say count our blessings - those that enjoyed the first game are happy to get a second, and those who didn't aren't losing anything by the fact that Runaway did well enough for Pendulo to make Runaway 2.

EDIT: By the way, I really don't see a difference in the pictures in the first post. If anything, I think Brian looks more organic to the environment than the vampire does.

Last edited by fov; 06-04-2005 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 06-04-2005, 08:51 AM   #10
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Would've sold even more if GMX lived up to their UK press advertising. I don't think anyone really found out why it was never released here.

Quote:
I thought Autumn Moon announced recently that they, too, would be using 3D models on 2D backgrounds (same as Runaway) because it's more cost effective?
Precisely.
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Old 06-04-2005, 08:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques l'aliéné
I think you're probably right about console-influence. As for 'old-fashioned and uninterested', though. For the adult majority you might be correct, but, believe me, for family-orientated gamers, adults who like to play along with their children, children who like to 'drag' their adults in to play with them, and just plain second-childhood adults, like me, they're an absolute treat.

Another thing too. 2D, cartoony-graphics games frequently seem to be longer than fancy 3D games (Increasingly so). Most of them do, to me, anyway. I think that's because, with 2D games, more effort, and finance, gets to be spread across all aspects of the game (story especially), so making for a longer game. I know this isn't consistently the case. I don't pretend it is. But some 'Adventure Company' games are so short, you have to wonder how much pressure the game designers are under to produce a fast turnover of their product. Small budget, independent companies, who publish the games themselves may have more freedom to finish a game exactly how they intended to, and not become pressured to produce. Again, I know there are exceptions, and not all independently made games are 2D by any stretch of the imagination.
Good 2D is far more expensive than good 3D. With 3D you create a model and animate it. With 2D you have to draw every single frame.
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Old 06-05-2005, 06:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sethsez
Good 2D is far more expensive than good 3D. With 3D you create a model and animate it. With 2D you have to draw every single frame.
Not necessarily. You can do a lot with Vector graphics. Software like Toonboom and Moho allow you to draw a character once, and animate it by just dragging the outlines of the image over the screen. Buy you're right; 2D animation is still more expensive because it takes more time.

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Old 06-08-2005, 06:40 PM   #13
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Default Too lucky...

The Germans are so lucky to get Runaway 2 first. Maybe the reason no publisher in North America has stepped up to the plate is because either ours or Germany's Runaway 2 will be better (graphic-wise) making advertisements "sucky". Then it will cause WWIII! Hmmm... nahhhhhhhh. Maybe noone wants to screw up Rujnaway 2's advertisments. But whatever, I'm just scepticle.




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Old 06-08-2005, 07:43 PM   #14
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Welcome to the forum, DMA.

Germany has been getting a lot of adventure games first... which is really a testament to the good work dtp has been doing. Anyone curious about why Germany seems to get all the love may find this interview with Chris Kellner interesting. I know it made me wish I lived there.

I have no doubt that Runaway 2 will make it over to North America. But I may start to get antsy if there still hasn't been a publisher announcement by the time all the Germans are playing it.
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Old 06-08-2005, 09:12 PM   #15
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I'd much rather have a nice looking character than an elaborate background. But then that brings up the argument whether we want well rounded characters in adventures or to explore the environment.

Explore a well rounded lady.
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Old 06-10-2005, 02:47 PM   #16
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Thanks 4 the friendly greeting fov
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Old 06-10-2005, 04:26 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squarejawhero
That second shot is cel-shaded.
I don't think so. Autumn Moon are going to go with cel-shaded characters for A Vampyre Story, but the demo they did (which is where all screenshots are from) used actual cel-animated sprites.
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Old 06-10-2005, 06:09 PM   #18
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I happen to LOVE 2D adventure games. I love FMV ones even better. I'm hoping for a revival!
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Old 06-10-2005, 09:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by temporaryscars
I love FMV ones even better. I'm hoping for a revival!
You just have to wait 'till technology catches up and zillions of polygons are able to mimic a human actor.
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Old 06-10-2005, 10:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samIamsad
You just have to wait 'till technology catches up and zillions of polygons are able to mimic a human actor.
Ugh, but I don't want it to be high tech! I wan't grainy video and bad acting!
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