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lazygecko

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  1. lazygecko

    Balance between Graphics and Gameplay

    Here's an even more interesting thought experiment: can "great gameplay" still shine through completely unscathed if you strip the entire presentation down to its very bare minimum components? Ie if you took away all the animations, screen/camera shaking, particle effects/muzzle flashes/etc, kinetic sound design, and so on. Would people then be just as inclined to praise a game for its excellent gameplay in as much of an audiovisual vacuum as possible? (I guess that's kind of what competitive Q3 players do with the graphics settings...)
  2. lazygecko

    Balance between Graphics and Gameplay

    I'm not really a fan of how this type of discussion is framed as if these two elements are mutually exclusive. They intertwine and feed into eachother a lot more than you'd think. Save for the base fact that graphics serve a pure functional purpose in letting you know what is even happening on the screen, there's also lots of visual feedback elements that will make the gameplay "feel" better.
  3. lazygecko

    Mortal Kombat 11

    Most fighting game devs at the time really hadn't figured out how to design a fair AI experience either. I think SNK were equally as notorious with their games. It was all about the PvP experience anyway. Funnily enough Midway/Netherrealm went the opposite direction with MK9+ by making them much more accessible and jam-packed with single player/story-focused content, and that has really worked out well for them with making their fighting games much more approachable as a casual experience. Meanwhile, Capcom pivoted hard toward catering exclusively to the esports demographic with Street Fighter 5 to the detriment of the single player content, and that came back to bite them hard.
  4. lazygecko

    Mortal Kombat 11

    Dan Forden's MK sound is equally as iconic and influential as Street Fighter 2. The announcer styler probably laid the groundwork for announcer voices in future competitive games like arena shooters and MOBAs (Midway even did a MK crossover for the underrated Unreal Championship 2 on the OG Xbox). Then there's the rest of the voicework with the completely over the top grunts and screams, as well as instead of shouting the names of the moves SF2-style they're instead rambling with complete gibberish. Apart from the original trilogy that's one of the nice things about MK4 as well, where the voicework got even goofier.
  5. lazygecko

    Prodeus [retro FPS]

    For early polygonal 3D it does abstract a lot of innate angularity in the object geometry no matter if you're close up or not. And especially on systems like PS1 it also covers up a good portion of the unstable surface warping that would otherwise look like pure jello in higher resolutions. Not to mention other things like Z-fighting (for instance on the rail intro in Half-Life you can see Z-fighting in HD resolutions that would otherwise not have been noticed) or tiny seams between planes.
  6. lazygecko

    Prodeus [retro FPS]

    The problem is that their approach of seemingly just applying a downscaling effect to pixelate the entire screen as the final part of the visual chain is not really indicative of how old games rendered their visuals, and more importantly it just garbles the overall readability. Everything looks as it was supposed to be rendered in higher res with anti-aliasing, and then all the different objects, UI text and elements etc blend together into a muddy mess from the pixelation post processing.
  7. lazygecko

    PBR for Original Doom Textures

    I sure wonder what a low res height map without any texture filtering would look like. Sort of like voxels protruding out of the surfaces I guess?
  8. It's from one of id's earlier (pre-Doom) titles which I'm fairly sure was primarily meant as a cheat for debugging, giving you both invulnerability and noclipping at the same time among other things.
  9. lazygecko

    What are your least favorite Duke Nukem 3D levels?

    I remember watching a DN3D let's play in one of the episode 2 maps where the player would just keep running circles around the map on fast-forward until he finally found a button he's supposed to press, which had a texture nearly indistinguishable from its surroundings. So I'd probably vote that one.
  10. lazygecko

    Diablo Immortal

    I have a really hard time believing that Blizzard would lack so much self awareness that they couldn't predict the reactions to announcing a project like this in this manner at Blizzcon. It seems more likely to me that all of this was mandated by Activision's leadership shoehorning it into Blizzard's event. They're the ones out of touch with how fandom culture works, just looks at numbers without proper context, and probably thinks "mobile gaming industry is really big, Diablo is a bankable brand we have, and we also have this big convention we can unveil it at for huge media coverage. It'll be perfect!"
  11. lazygecko

    PBR for Original Doom Textures

    I was always really curious about how something like this might look by designing a modern texture pipeline over the originals. Glad that the engine finally received support and that someone went ahead and made them. It looks very jarring though with how the smooth reflection of the light is juxtaposed against the chunky upscaled textures. I'm guessing this has to do with the light source generation itself? Would there maybe be some way to modify its rendering resolution to be more in line with the texture fidelity? Perhaps even add some PS1-style dithering to the color depth. And just regarding the amount of reflections in general... I only have a fairly cursory knowledge over how all this texture tech work from modding Oblivion and Skyrim textures, but from my experience you get that kind of overly glossy look from either lacking or having very bright specular maps. When I looked at the materials archive the specular folder was empty. So if there were some specular textures as well to make the intensity of the reflections more strategic I think it could look a lot cooler and nuanced. Most of the time just editing from monochrome versions of the diffuse layers gets the job done for creating speculars.
  12. Just an inane question which popped into my head. Texture resolution was pretty much a non-factor in earlier 3D games from the early to mid 90s since they would be tiled rather than stretched across surfaces. The first games where I remember this being natively in the graphics settings was probably from 1998 onwards. I know it was technically possible to mess with mipmap settings and whatnot using console/config commands in Quake, but I wouldn't say that counts.
  13. lazygecko

    The best video game advertisements of all time!

    There's an ad for some racing game (with dinosaurs?) on either the DS or 3DS that is equally ridiculous.
  14. lazygecko

    The best video game advertisements of all time!

    Yes, that is Toby Maguire making ecstatic exertions from the bathroom.
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