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Firaxis Games' XCOM: Enemy Unknown announced!

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Dude... you start off with "I wouldn't say so" than say the exactly what I said... Talk about contradiction. Ok I will approach this from a different angle.

Say I show you a drawing and ask you to grade it from 1 to 10. 10 being the best grade. You would ask me who draw that. I would say why do you need to know ? You would answer, I can't tell if this is good or bad because I need to take into account the experience and training of who draw that. To this I would answer, don't you have any impression on whether or not it is good or bad by simply looking at it ? Do you or do you not like it ? to this you would answer that you can't tell unless you know who draw it.

Scenario above is a bit extreme here, but I think it illustrate my point. Whether or not a game looks good enough for your taste should not be intrinsically dependent on who made it. That said, it is normal to expect greater things from greater artist. I can see how you could be disappointed when you have been expecting more. But to declare graphic bad simply because you expected more when you would have been completely delighted if those same graphic would have come from some small indie studio is just plain wrong. You sir are not good reviewer material.

Art should either like or dislike piece of arts. Not like it if A or hate it if B. Is anything I'm saying make any sense to you ?

No, man. It's not who made the art, but with what it was made. You give me pieces of art, one by Picasso the other by Matisse, for example: one is a full-sized painting done with the highest quality paint and whatever kind of tools Picasso needed to make it the best he could (XCOM:EU in this case) and then you give me something done by Matisse on half a sheet of 8"x11" ruled paper with a pen that was running out of ink, drawn in 30 seconds on somebody's back (Xenonauts). Of course you'll expect the first one to be of higher quality: they're both by great artists, sure, but Picasso had better materials and more time to work with. I'm not saying the art in Xenonauts is the quality of somebody half-drawing on somebody's back, here, but I am trying to illustrate the point that it's the resources available that make us expect better from Firaxis.

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but I am trying to illustrate the point that it's the resources available that make us expect better from Firaxis.

Gah... I said I would not reply. But you are someone else, so I will give it a short go.

Having expectations is ok. I'm not arguing against that. Even if all of you seem to think I am. Expectations are ok. But, Letting your expectation blind you from the real worth of a piece of art is not (for better or worst).

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Way to miss the entire point of my post.

Way to miss the entire point of mine.

You also seem to underestimate the importance of talent. I have seen with my own eyes people produce mind blowing art with a piece of paper that people with the best software and hardware in the world can't even touch...

But all this is beside my point. I will try to be extra clear this time. Of course it is normal to expect big studio to perform better than say me for example. But that is entirely beside the point.

My analogy is not flawed in the slightest. The simple fact that you think it is shows me that you don't understand what I'm saying. You are basically telling me that how the picture was made and by whom as more importance than the actual quality of the picture. You are almost saying that you will enjoy crappy arts if it is made by a crappy studio with no budget and that you would hate and feel disgusted by very high level arts if made by a big enough studios that should in your opinion do better.

It's flawed, and since you clearly seemed to miss the point, let's examine why.

Take a big video game company. They have thirty employees they can place on creation of game graphics, and fifteen QA testers to ensure that there are no visual bugs. Compare them to an indie company with one artist and no dedicated QA people. The relative talent of the artists is but one consideration; the larger company is almost guaranteed to produce a superior level of graphics because of how many people it can bring to bear on the project. This is why you can't compare the creation of drawn art to the creation of game graphics; your ability to produce graphics at a high level is closely tied to how much money you possess and, by extension, how many personnel you can bring on board.

You need to get off the drawing analogies; they don't work, plain and simple. In terms of the creation process, the graphics of video games as an art form can best be compared to special effects in a movie. I can be impressed by the level of CGI detail achieved in a fan film, but if those same graphics showed up in an AAA summer blockbuster I'd likely be appalled. Expectations are entirely relative to the development studio, as the creative capability of a major Hollywood studio is much greater than that of five guys shooting a Firefly fan film in a warehouse.

How come a game with the same level graphic is either very playable and acceptable if made by a small studio and a complete atrocity if made by a big studio ? Sorry... I can't process this logic. It is one thing to call the art not good enough for A studio and amassing for B studio. You may boycott a game with good arts because you think that the studio who made it could have done better and you don't want to encourage a lazy attitude. I can understand that. You are making a statement. But the Art is either bad or good. It can't be both. The game is not unplayable or disgusted looking or anything. It's just not the glistering gem of perfection you expected the studio to give you.

You seem to have gotten it into your head that I'm saying that the graphics of the indie studio are objectively better because they have less resources to work with; I am not.

What I am saying is that my expectations of graphical fidelity from an indie studio are lower than they are for an AAA company, because the indie studio has less to work with. As I noted in my very last post, which you seemed to ignore:

The graphics may still be considered a drawback, as well they should, but disappointment with the way the studio handled graphics is not a valid complaint here because the studio did as well as they possibly could.

If an indie game has poor graphics, than I will recognize that it does. However, I'm more likely to not hold the inferior graphics against the indie devs because it's quite likely the best they could do. If an AAA game has bad graphics, I'm going to hold those inferior graphics against the developer, because they can do better.

Here an other example. Your 4 years old son draw you a picture with his crayons. The quality is what you would expect from a 4 years old. Now you will of course praise the picture in front of your kid and post it on the fridge for a while or something. But it's actually not good art here. It's good enough for a 4 years old. But this wont get displayed in a art museum or anything. It wont get a million hits on reddit or something. When you take the art aside, the truth of the matter is that the art quality and complexity is poor. But you you sing praises of it ? The point is to encourage your son and boost his self esteem. You may be genuinely be impressed with the work of your son. But what is impressing you here is the progress of your son and the skills he may have for his age. It's not because it is the best art you ever seen in your life. Alternatively, it might be the thought behind it that touches you. That your son toke the time to make a draw just for you as a gift. But in the end. With all those consideration aside. When you take an objective look at the drawing, you think it's good or bad according to your personal tastes in aesthetics. As simple as that.

Again, I wasn't saying that indie developers produce better graphics. You've completely misrepresented my argument.

Gah... I said I would not reply. But you are someone else, so I will give it a short go.

Having expectations is ok. I'm not arguing against that. Even if all of you seem to think I am. Expectations are ok. But, Letting your expectation blind you from the real worth of a piece of art is not (for better or worst).

An inherent part of any art piece's worth is how much effort you put into it. If you're someone who has the ability to create a CGI clip that receives a 10 out of 10 on an arbitrary grading system, and you create one that receives a 7 out of 10, do you think people who are aware of your capability will be impressed by the fact that it's still objectively better than the work of an inferior artist? They'll compare it to your other work, or the work of less capable creators which is nonetheless on an equal level with yours, and be disappointed.

More skilled or capable creators are held to a higher standard in any field.

Edited by TheTuninator

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Way to miss the entire point of mine.

Ok so I say you miss the point and you say I miss the point. I wager we could "ping pong" this for 30 posts in a row. I think it's best to stop this here and accept that we don't undertand each others point of view on this even if we both think that we do and that it;s the other who do not.

It's flawed, and since you clearly seemed to miss the point, let's examine why.

It's not, see next quote.

What I am saying is that my expectations of graphical fidelity from an indie studio are lower than they are for an AAA company, because the indie studio has less to work with. As I noted in my very last post, which you seemed to ignore:

Who is talking about expectations ? You are. I have been talking about true artistic worth of a piece all along. Not expectations...

You seem to have gotten it into your head that I'm saying that the graphics of the indie studio are objectively better because they have less resources to work with; I am not.

That is not what I am saying. I saying that your enjoyment of graphic is directly dependent on who makes it. If it was an indie studio you will play the game with a smile and praise the studio. If it was a big studio you will throw up, throw the game out the window and flame the studio responsible. I am saying that this mentality is wrong.

For example, minecraft have rather crappy GFX according to modern standards. Yet I still enjoy the game. But I don't praise minecraft for it's GFX. I praise minecraft for it's game play and innovative features. I praise the studio for their community oriented attitude. I don't praise them for good graphics considering this game was made by one man in his apartment. I don't say "oh WOW, for the resources you had". No I whole heartily admit that minecraft isn't all that pretty looking. I don't let minecraft off easy because it is a puny indie studio. I praise minecraft for what it really done right (for real). Not just for the resources Notch had at his disposal. I praise minecraft for as a great game on equal footing as all those big studios with unbiased judgement.

That is what we are talking about here. Unbiased judgement. I have a friend who really really did not want to play minecraft. Why ? Because he saw few screenshots and thought the game looked truly horrible. He did not care if this was the creation of one man and stuff. All he knew is that it looked awful and he was NOT going to play such trash. But one day he was bored to death and really wanted to do something with someone. All his other friends were out of town and I did not feel like doing anything else that minecraft that day. Therefore, out of boredom, he decided to try out minecraft with me.

Now that friends play way way more minecraft than me. He host his own private server with several people on it. What happen ? He still think the game is ugly. But he fell in love with minecraft gameplay. Nowadays you can see him trying to get people into minecraft. He actually got many people to buy the game. But you don't ever see him praise minecraft GFX.

Now if you ask me, minecraft is not successful because it is an indie game and people have "low expectations" on what is fun and enjoyable and therefore can tolerate higher boring levels. No minecraft is successful because it deserve it.

If an indie game has poor graphics, than I will recognize that it does. However, I'm more likely to not hold the inferior graphics against the indie devs because it's quite likely the best they could do. If an AAA game has bad graphics, I'm going to hold those inferior graphics against the developer, because they can do better.

That is perfectly fine. I never said this is wrong. It is ok to demand more from bigger studio. What is not ok is to reject a game entirely just because the graphics don't meet your high expectation".

Great to hear that you wont call bad GFX good just because they came out of an indie studio. But this entire subject was first started between an anotherdevil and me. He does seem to view things this way. When you sided with him and defended his point of view, I lumped you with him and assumed you had the same views. I am sorry for that.

Again, I wasn't saying that indie developers produce better graphics. You've completely misrepresented my argument.

I never said that. This sentence right here reinforce my impression that you completely miss the point of my posts. But wait ! I said, I would not say things like that anymore. Never mind. I meant to say that we mutually don't get each others points.

An inherent part of any art piece's worth is how much effort you put into it.

False, the true worth of an art piece if the impact it have on the viewer. If someone can present you the best work of art you even seen in your entire life in 5 minutes of work. What do you care ?

That said, it is generally the works that had the most efforts put into that are the most impressive. But that is not always true. For example, even if a standard 4 years old spend 2 months on a drawing it still wont make it worthy of museum display.

But... I have a feeling that you wont agree with what I just said wont you ? I think we will have to agree to disagree on this. You keep grading art by measuring the effort put into it and I will keep grading art according to the impact it have on me and others. I guess this might be the heart of our disagreement. We do not agree on what differentiate good from bad arts. I guess this is where all this "expectations business" is coming from.

Edited by Zhab

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It is very hard to judge art, graphics, or whatever as everyone brings their own biases, ideas, and likes into the mix. I for one try not to look at anything about the art or graphics except what impression it has on me. Otherwise I would not feel I am being objective. I readily admit that the attitudes of musicians, artists, and athletes has effected how I view their work, but I try very hard not to let that be a factor. I have a feeling that is what is going on here with some of the posters.

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It is very hard to judge art, graphics, or whatever as everyone brings their own biases, ideas, and likes into the mix. I for one try not to look at anything about the art or graphics except what impression it has on me. Otherwise I would not feel I am being objective. I readily admit that the attitudes of musicians, artists, and athletes has effected how I view their work, but I try very hard not to let that be a factor. I have a feeling that is what is going on here with some of the posters.

Now that is what I'm talking about.

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Here an other example. Your 4 years old son draw you a picture with his crayons. The quality is what you would expect from a 4 years old. Now you will of course praise the picture in front of your kid and post it on the fridge for a while or something. But it's actually not good art here. It's good enough for a 4 years old. But this wont get displayed in a art museum or anything. It wont get a million hits on reddit or something. When you take the art aside, the truth of the matter is that the art quality and complexity is poor. But you you sing praises of it ? The point is to encourage your son and boost his self esteem. You may be genuinely be impressed with the work of your son. But what is impressing you here is the progress of your son and the skills he may have for his age. It's not because it is the best art you ever seen in your life. Alternatively, it might be the thought behind it that touches you. That your son toke the time to make a draw just for you as a gift. But in the end. With all those consideration aside. When you take an objective look at the drawing, you think it's good or bad according to your personal tastes in aesthetics. As simple as that.

The same can be said with video games. Whether the game is draw by a "4 years old" or a "master artist with 45 years of experience" should not affect your true objective opinion on the graphic. Sure you expect less from a "4 years old" and expect more from a "master artist with 45 years of experience" we all agree on that. By your true inner opinion of the art itself devoid of any other criteria should not varies.

You obviously haven't seen a lot of what they call 'modern art' =p

Also I don't normally click on random links, just because people tell me to. I know what I think, and if you are not able to get what I think after several posts then I have little want to pander to you. Sorry =p

But anyway, back on topic, new stuff on XCOM:EU

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/01/18/alien-breeds-the-evolution-of-xcom-s-enemies.aspx

It's a shame, I really liked some of the muton concept art, a lot better than the alien 'Bane' we got left with. Also the cyberdisk looks kick arse!

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I know this was a while back but i just have to say: AD Brink has a big immersion braker for me: Its litterally a floating goldmine of advanced tech and other shit you could plunder and sell. they ahve little to no military defense (the only thing they have that i can determine is internal security forces) and yet they have no pirate problems whatso ever? No one infiltrated them to scope them out prior to or during the move away from "just outside san fransico" either?

SERIOULY? no pirates whatso ever? Noone even turned pirate to loot that tech booty? I made one of my terrorist chars look as piratey as i could but it wasnt really that fullfilling.

PS. Pirate > Ninja DS.

PPS. Monkey > Robot > Cowboy DS.

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Fair enough Gorlom, and that's fine =]

As I said before, immersion is personal. Lots of people, my friends included, really liked the new COD. I didn't get into it. That's just the way it is. Same way some people like Michael Bay movies, and some don't.

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where is the snakeman? :D

Just like the guy in your avatar they belong to the X-com IP and Xenonauts would probably get in trouble for copyright infrigement if they included them.

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On the question "what genre is XCOM, what ind of player would play this?" all i heard was "sellout selllout sellout sellout." I'm very dissapointed with the answer he provided for that question. (I have no intention on letting this reflect on the game itself but the answer was horrible)

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10 points for who can tell me if this is from Halo: Reach or XCOM:EU

GasStationShotHUD_02_1280watermark.jpg

Because damn does that Muton look like a grunt, and that makes him so not scary in the slightest.

Personally if I was going to design a super soldier, I'd try and make them look as little as the most basic, insignificant, laughable enemy type from another well known, well played, console game series. But that's just me, what do I know about making games =p

GasStationShotHUD_02_1280watermark.jpg

GasStationShotHUD_02_1280watermark.thumb

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Surely the game's intended audience isn't Halo players? ;)

The games target audience is console players, and just video-game players in general. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a video game player, let along a XBOX player who hasn't played/seen HALO...

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Personally if I was going to design a super soldier, I'd try and make them look as little as the most basic, insignificant, laughable enemy type from another well known, well played, console game series. But that's just me, what do I know about making games =p

You would find that to be very very hard to do. Humanity have done so much by now that it is hard to make something truly original nowadays.

Dev: How about this design ?

Fan: Looks like game A.

Dev : Fair enough, how about this ?

Fan: Looks like game B.

Dev: ok... how about this ?

Fan: Looks like game C.

Dev: Damn... There ! This time it's original right ? RIGHT ?

Fan: Yeah... but it just sucks now...

Dev: Damn you are right.... You know what ? I'm just going to go with a design that looks cool and work with the game's lore.

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The games target audience is console players, and just video-game players in general. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a video game player, let along a XBOX player who hasn't played/seen HALO...

I do belive Cattletech was attempting sarcasm =P

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You would find that to be very very hard to do. Humanity have done so much by now that it is hard to make something truly original nowadays.

Dev: How about this design ?

Fan: Looks like game A.

Dev : Fair enough, how about this ?

Fan: Looks like game B.

Dev: ok... how about this ?

Fan: Looks like game C.

Dev: Damn... There ! This time it's original right ? RIGHT ?

Fan: Yeah... but it just sucks now...

Dev: Damn you are right.... You know what ? I'm just going to go with a design that looks cool and work with the game's lore.

While true, you did look at the 'making of the aliens' webpage right? And of course it is possible to make new and exciting things. Just look at the slender man (not the thin men it has spawned, they looks sh!te), lots of the images on the internet are scarey as hell, and that was made in the 2000s!

So just saying that there is nothing left to do... I'm sorry but that's lack of imagination. It doesn't have to be a brand new thing, it can be a re-imagining of an old thing with a new twist. take the base aliens from Xenonauts (forget their name... damn), or the sebilians (who are like lizard men, but really awesome and with regenerating powers, etc.). They may not be super new, but at least from certain angles I hope they wont be almost carbon copies

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So just saying that there is nothing left to do... I'm sorry but that's lack of imagination.

Ok when did I say that ? I never did... In fact I have said when you are trying to tell me now... which is weird. Why are you rewording my post and posting it back at me ? I don't get it. Anyways...

The reason I told you that is because of this is:

Personally if I was going to design a super soldier, I'd try and make them look as little as the most basic, insignificant, laughable enemy type from another well known, well played, console game series. But that's just me, what do I know about making games =p

You were accusing them from being unoriginal and drawing inspiration from something else. I pointed out that it's is very hard to create something original nowadays. Even if you make something with your imagination for only inspiration, you can bet that someone will say that it looks like some mythical beast from ancient civilization somewhere on earth that you never knew existed. You accidentally made something similar. Many people think that JRR Tolkien created an original universe with lord of the rings. But in fact, his work is very very much inspired from Norse mythology. But who really knows Norse mythology nowadays ? Enough to notice the glaring similarities (beside me)? The answer is next to none. Therefor, lord of the ring pass as an original universe when it is in fact heavily inspired from Norse.

The elfs for example. Before JRR Tolkien, books talking about Elf were talking about something similar to those who help Santa or those seen in Harry Potter. JRR Tolkien did not like those elves very much and toke those from the Norse mythology. The elf we know today that are so common in movies and games have been brought back from oblivion by JRR Tolkien and I think we are all glad he did.

That certainly qualify as a kick ass way to recycle the old. No anotherdevil, I never said that there is nothing to do. I certainly did not. All I said is that there is nothing wrong in taking inspiration from someone else's work. But I admit that it might not have been very clear. I hope it was this time.

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Yeah dude, chill out.

It is perhaps a little clearer this time when you said something other than "Humanity have done so much by now that it is hard to make something truly original nowadays."

That to me sounds like 'it's next to impossible to make something original.' Especially when combining it with a hypothetical conversation that goes along the lines of 'everything has been done before, lets just do what everyone else does (aka what looks cool) =p

And since I basically said the same thing as you, and we are in agreement on that point, you could maybe keep it all nice and friendly? =]

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Yeah dude, chill out.

And since I basically said the same thing as you, and we are in agreement on that point, you could maybe keep it all nice and friendly? =]

Did I seem that aggressive ? Because I wrote that post of mine in calm and relaxed yet confused state. It was not my intent to appear frustrated, mad or hateful.

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You kind of came off a bit angry, but that's the problem with text based messaging =p

maybe try and add some emoticons? While cheesy, they do help a bit with this sort of thing

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