Poll: How should PC games deliver higher-quality art assets?

A disturbing trend seems to be taking hold in the gaming industry: delays to the PC versions of cross-platform releases that otherwise come out on time for consoles. Having to wait longer than everyone else to play the latest big-name title is never fun. However, after spending hours watching blurry textures pop in and out of Rage, it’s clear that some games should be using much higher-quality art assets on the PC. Crytek released a high-res texture pack that ratcheted up the eye candy in Crysis some time after that game’s official release. Delayed PC versions of the next Batman and Assassin’s Creed games have promised improved graphical fidelity, as well.

In a perfect world, developers would have all the resources they need to make PC games look as good as they should and arrive alongside their console counterparts. Since that’s not going to happen, we’ve whipped up a new poll to gauge your interest in the likely alternatives. Would you rather see PC games released with their console kin and then updated with higher-quality art assets some months later, or are you content to wait for prettied-up PC versions even if they arrive late? Or maybe you’re all about the gameplay and don’t understand all the fuss about high-res textures. You can vote below or in the middle column on the front page.

Our last poll sought to lay out some performance expectations for AMD’s fastest Bulldozer CPU. Most of you expect to see the chip keep up with Sandy Bridge, with 40% thinking it’ll be competitive with the Core i7-2600K and another 36% expecting the fastest FX processor to pull even with the i5-2500K. Among those less optimistic about AMD’s chances, 13% expect Bulldozer to be no faster than a Core i5-2400, 4% expect it to be closer to a Phenom II X6 1100T, and just 1% see it opposite a quad-core Phenom. 6% voted for our obviously tongue-in-cheek Via QuadCore option.

Comments closed
    • EndlessWaves
    • 8 years ago

    Personally I’d go for ‘Release them with the same graphics as consoles’. I play PC primarily because of the openness of the platform (the gas devil notwithstanding), the wider range of games and the mouse and keyboard. The graphics don’t bother me and I’d happily put up with console quality now that their graphics are good enough for most art styles. (although I’d expect full resolution support, 1280×720 on a 24″ monitor wouldn’t look great, and the huge text would bother me).

    Just imagine every game doing 120fps on a graphics card low power enough to be cooled silently, it’d certainly have it’s up sides.

    • Deijya
    • 8 years ago

    I’m going to pose a few questions and see if we can all agree on something.

    On a scale of 1-5 (1 being least likely/false, 5 being most likely/true) please note how much you agree with these statements.

    1. Not everyone owns a PS3.

    2. Not everyone owns a Xbox 360.

    3. Not everyone owns a Commodore 64.

    4. Not everyone owns a Personal Computer.

    5. Gaming consoles out-sell Personal Computers.

    6. Personal Computers are for old people, like guitars and unlike Guitar Hero.

    7. (If applicable) I spend more time on my gaming console than I do on my Personal Computer.

    – If you scored 7 or 35, why did you bother?
    – If you scored 27, you don’t really have an opinion.
    – Questions 3 and 6 were outliers.
    – Here is a link that I find very interesting: [url<]http://kotaku.com/5847570/once-again-gabe-newell-says-why-pcs-are-great[/url<]

      • yogibbear
      • 8 years ago

      Errrrr I got 23… what does that mean?
      1. 5
      2. 5
      3. 5
      4. 5
      5. 1
      6. 1
      7. 1

    • LoneWolf15
    • 8 years ago

    They didn’t have my answer listed in the poll, so I’ll post it:

    Deus Ex: HR. That’s how it should be done.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    This pole is kinda just not legit. I know what you intend but it gives some level of legitimacy to the crap that they sell and we buy.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    I honestly don’t appreciate how devs can put out a busted product in this day and age.

      • AssBall
      • 8 years ago

      I have to agree. When you think back 8+ or so years games were built specifically for PC, and then the shitty bugged out messy console port was released later.

      It sucks now that it works the opposite way. I don’t like it.

    • njsutorius
    • 8 years ago

    this wont be an issue in 2014 when the new consoles come out. they will all have very high resolutions and textures.. and then the cycle will repeat its again a few years later.. I see no way around this unless a developer creates exclusive for the pc..

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    The reality is that PC gaming [b<] no longer drives the market [/b<], it is just a side-market for major publishers to pick-up extra sales. The main focus is gaming consoles, and games are going to coded for their hardware platform. There's no point for developers to spend extra time and funds to make two separate versions. The have chose a platform from the start. Gaming consoles make more fiscal sense for most genres. That's why the current batch of PC-only games only exist in genres where the control schema for consoles is hopelessly inadequate. (Strategy games, simulators, MMORPGs). This will change once consoles get official 100% mouse/keyboard support. That will be the day PC gaming will finally be resting six feet deep. FYI, I am a hardcore PC gaming, but I do not deny the reailty of what is going on. This started first with PS2, Xbox 1 and GC. The 360 and PS3 further increased the momentum. I suspect PS4 and 360's successor will be the final blow, provided that they have 100% mouse/keyboard support.

      • Arclight
      • 8 years ago

      I doubt the console gamers will pick up a mouse+keyboard so they can give up the confort of their sofa. If consoles ever had a strength, it was that people can play it casually using only one device – the controller.

      What you’re suggesting is that they get up from the sofa and replace the PC unit with a console so they can play while standing in a chair really close to the screen, as you would if your playing on the PC.

      Wouldn’t that defeat the purpose? Some games are just not ment for the console and viceversa.

      • squeeb
      • 8 years ago

      It would be nice if they’d offer full 100% K/M support, but I wonder if that day will ever come. They can do it on the current gen of hardware (USB ports hello?) and yet almost no game utilizes them (the only one that comes to mind is UT3, at least on PS3).

      UT3 offer segregated servers which was an interesting idea, but it just splits up the user base. Give us the option to choose our input method!!

        • Chrispy_
        • 8 years ago

        The day a console has mouse and keyboard support is the day it becomes a PC.

        They’re practically PC’s already, and within a year or so of the XBox360 coming out, a more powerful PC cost less.

          • l33t-g4m3r
          • 8 years ago

          Dreamcast had mouse+keyboard.

            • Chrispy_
            • 8 years ago

            And it died, horribly, which was a shame.

      • Bensam123
      • 8 years ago

      PC gaming is dead gais… like, just deal with it…

      Direction can NEVER be changed, so don’t even bother making a fuss about it. Just bend over like I do and give them some KY. You’ll learn to like it just like me.

      Putting aside the heavy sarcasm, you know consoles DON’T have keyboard/mice support for the most part because they would then be directly compared to a PC? When they get both peripherals people will look at it and compare it to their computer. The only thing powering it then is the fancy store, which Steam is remarkably close to.

      • WaltC
      • 8 years ago

      You have to understand that it is only for certain companies–like id–that PCs no longer drive their development efforts. Carmack is far more interested in consoles and iphones than he is in PCs, although if not for PCs no one would ever have heard of the guy.

      Were you under a rock when Valve and even EA, believe it or not, went on record just a few weeks ago talking about how PCs were their target platforms and *largest income producers*? It seems like a *lot* of “It’s a 10-year-old console world!” believers frequently overlook pesky factoids like these…;)

      Never mistake incompetence for malice, though. This generation of programmers simply outclasses Carmack in a number of fundamental ways, and Carmack knows it. He’s sticking to where his strengths are–on the older PC technology on which current consoles are based, and on much simpler current technology like the iPhone (for goodness’ sake.) He’s not even trying to keep up with the state of PC technology anymore, imo. I think that’s obvious by virtually everything he says and does these days.

      So as to what platform drives what game developer, it all depends on the developer.

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    Where is:
    -released before console version with better graphics e.g. The Witcher 2

    ^^ This is how it should ALWAYS be. Design for PC first. Then port it to consoles. Console gamers will lap anything up.

    As it stands this poll is rigged and there is no answer that I agree with therefore I refuse to vote and won’t vote, therefore the results of this poll are flawed.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 8 years ago

    Too bad there wasn’t a, “Release for all systems should be delayed until every version is complete and ready to go,” option. Let console gamers wait until it’s ready on PC, too. Seemingly the argument is it’s okay to make PC gamers wait or force PC gamers to use a patch, but it’s not okay to make console gamers wait? How many times do PC gamers wind up waiting after a console game’s release? Only The Witcher 2 stands out as a game that came out on PC first and consoles get some love later after the game has been suitably retooled for the console kiddie crowds.

    In truth, this is a false choice, We needn’t be in a situation of either/or. It should be as simple as this is one of the things that needs to be done unique to the PC platform, just as 360 and PS3 each have their own optimization tricks that are unique to their respective platforms. Rage, for example, had higher resolution textures on PS3 than it does on 360 due to the one blu-ray disc (perhaps the only time blu-ray has been an advantage for gaming on the PS3 in this whole generation). Did the PS3 version get delayed later than the 360 version because of the better textures?

    Why should the PC version be? The question is biased toward console gamers and none of the available answer options truly captures a nonbiased, nonconsole gamer’s perspective.

    • Bensam123
    • 8 years ago

    Where is the option for releasing games for the PC first and then porting it to the console later on?

    • Ashbringer
    • 8 years ago

    Step 1: Stop making games for consoles already. They’re old, and outdated. Anything you can do on a console, can be done on a PC made 4 years ago. For Steve sakes, you can even plug in xbox 360 and ps3 controllers right to the PC.

    Step 2: Start making awesome PC games again. Not like Rage which is taking a step back in game play and graphics.

    Step 3: Profit!

      • Dashak
      • 8 years ago

      An Nvidia 8800GTX ($500+ at the time) from four years ago can barely handle Battlefield: Bad Company 2 at 1680×1050 on medium settings. Consoles are the economical way to play games and are available to those with little knowledge of specific PC hardware.

      Are PC games better in almost every way? Yes, but consoles are cheap and available to anyone.

        • Firestarter
        • 8 years ago

        But I bet it flies at 1280×720, right? Or at least it’ll manage a lot more than the paltry 30fps that the consoles get at that resolution.

          • Dashak
          • 8 years ago

          From what I remember, no. BFBC2 was hardly playable on any of the settings I tried on one of my library’s 8800GTXs. With everything on low, it looks terrible too.

    • Arclight
    • 8 years ago

    I see many saying that they don’t care if they wait longer and i understand why. In recent times game developers treated PC versions as an after thought and yet they still asked for the full price on release.

    Oviously, when PC gamers noticed that they have to pay full price and yet receive in return a game that needs patched, improved, fixed they gave up and just waited till the game gets fixed and DLCs are released and buy it at a lower price.

    Imo if developers release the game completed (high res textures, all settings tailored for the PC – no start button, proper mouse settings and options -please let us turn off mouse acceleration!) PC gamers will buy those games at release.

    • FatherXmas
    • 8 years ago

    The problem with the first answer is that it’s to easy to not bother with making high-res art assets later. A hefty chunk of manpower for modern games isn’t the game engine or the level design but herding artists to develop the art assets. And guess who’s the first to be let go once crunch time is over?

    The problem with the second answer is it assumes that a PC version was in the original plan and budget.

    The right answer, which isn’t presented is to do high-res art assets up front because you can always down sample them for the consoles.

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFZrzg62Zj0[/url<] /thread

    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Having to wait longer than everyone else to play the latest big-name title is never fun.[/quote<] It is never unfun either, it just [i<]is[/i<], and I personally don't mind it at all.

      • volnaiskra
      • 8 years ago

      I agree. There are so many good reasons to wait before buying a game (cheaper, DLC is out, mods are out, etc.) that I have to be REALLY craving an upcoming game to buy it on release. Last game I bought at release was Portal 2. The next one will probably be Mass Effect 3.

    • blitzy
    • 8 years ago

    Realistically we probably just have to put up with lower quality assets until the next console refresh raises the bar for graphic fidelity. Its just too much extra work for very little gain, from the game developers point of view. Id rather have good gameplay than worry about the poly count, texture quality and resolution in games.

    • Jambe
    • 8 years ago

    I must be the only person who almost couldn’t care less about game delays.

    There are so many games coming out… I don’t understand how anybody [i<]couldn't[/i<] be spoiled for choice. I suppose if you only play gray-brown generic AAA manshoot titles you might get upset from time to time, but if that's the case, I pretty much despise you and your opinion anyway. *shrug* I dunno. "Gamer" culture is overflowing with entitled whinging twa... jerks. Let the studios produce the games how they want to, ffs. Praise the good bits, point out the bad bits.

    • rika13
    • 8 years ago

    I’d rather get the game out with the console versions and get a tex pack later. Not everyone has the GPU to handle big textures, it spreads the download out for people near their bandwidth caps, and it gets the game (and therefore bug/balance fixes) out sooner. Using “art direction” to lower texture needs is really half-assing it and it’s going to show rather soon.

    • Chrispy_
    • 8 years ago

    Who honestly gives a crap about texture packs?
    [list<] [*<]If a game is rubbish, it will be rubbish regardless of how pretty it is. [/*<][*<]Some of the best games in existance have had simple, unrealistic graphics. [/*<][*<]Few of the games I would consider "great" have been great because of their graphics.[/*<] [/list<] [b<]MAKE THE DAMN GAME ABOUT GAMEPLAY, YOU STUPID, SELL-OUT, SHORTSIGHTED, SO-CALLED "GAME" DEVELOPERS![/b<] Excuse the shouting, but these retards don't even realise you're talking because they're too busy ruining their new game: [i<]"Delayed Promises VII: The return of the DRM"[/i<]

      • sigher
      • 8 years ago

      If you have a PC with a graphics card that alone costs twice the price of any console, a graphics card with 50 times the capabilities and 4 times as much ram on it as any console has for graphics AND code etc. together, then you expect the game to reflect such facts, especially if initially the price of the game is similar.
      And yeah a game should be fun, but if it isn’t then we simply can decide to not buy it, but if we select one to buy it should have graphics that are up to snuff and reflect the possibilities.

      It’s not like we are forced to select between a good game or decent graphics, you can easily demand both.

    • Mystic-G
    • 8 years ago

    I say released with the console versions and high quality assets come later. Not everyone on PC should have to wait longer for a game just so some can have better eye-candy. There are those who just wanna play the game. Plus it’d give reason to go back and replay the game if you haven’t beat it already. Not to mention it might give a small boost in sales on PC if the patch is marketed with a trailer.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 8 years ago

    Where is the: “Build and release the PC version and then downgrade it for consoles later”?

      • internetsandman
      • 8 years ago

      Amen. This was going to be my reply

      • lethal
      • 8 years ago

      Crytek could put all kind of shiny stuff on Crysis 2 but that wouldn’t still fix the tiny linear maps, indestructible environments, retarded AI, lack of vehicles, etc.

      • ALiLPinkMonster
      • 8 years ago

      Probably not there because NOBODY (except for EA with BF3) does that anymore. I hope they set the standard for it though. I’m not even gonna vote on this one.

        • volnaiskra
        • 8 years ago

        It happened with Witcher 1, and is happening with Witcher 2, and as the person below said, with Crysis 1. There are rumours that it may also happen for Diablo 3.

          • EndlessWaves
          • 8 years ago

          Witcher 2? You just have to look at the inventory interface to see that it was designed primarily for consoles.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      This actually happened with crysis 1.

    • Game_boy
    • 8 years ago

    If you make games in a less realistic art style (not even cartoon, just slightly more stylised) it requires a LOT less art effort for the same quality because you won’t hit the uncanny valley.

    Games like Super Mario Sunshine looked vastly better, to me, than most X360/PS3 games simply because the art is perfectly suited to the game and isn’t limited in any way by hardware or budget. The new-gen games have on paper higher poly counts, resolutions and so on but just look like a mess if not done to AAA level with the associated costs.

      • VinnyC
      • 8 years ago

      Mario Galaxy and Galaxy 2 look rather amazing, especially considering it’s running on the Wii!

        • Game_boy
        • 8 years ago

        It’s the second part that really gets to me. The hardware shouldn’t be a factor in deciding whether something looks good, it should only be: is it good enough for the game to be immersive? And if SMG was a PS3 it needn’t look any better to do that.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      Sometimes I want to play a game that tries to approximate what real life looks like. I’m not picky though, just played through and greatly enjoyed the first Deus Ex game.

    • Derfer
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t understand this issue. Just make the assets higher res to begin with. Then cut them down for the console. Instead they make the assets low quality then they have to go back and redo them at a higher res for a delayed pc release or update. That’s a moronic waste of time and money.

      • khands
      • 8 years ago

      Agreed, it really doesn’t make much sense how they do them now. If anything, they should have to hold back the pc release while they get stuff readyfor the console release.

    • sreams
    • 8 years ago

    What about the option that game developers author for the most capable systems first, and then port to the consoles? Doesn’t it make more sense to create high resolution textures first and -then- de-res them rather than starting with low resolution textures and trying to add quality? I’m not sure why the only choices have to be those listed in this poll.

      • EndlessWaves
      • 8 years ago

      You just have to look at the average low res textures in PC games to see what a disaster trying to de-res textures can be.

    • Farting Bob
    • 8 years ago

    I dont want to have to wait for months after the consoles to get a higher res texture. I want my game now (providing its bug free or as close as it can be), the textures are just added bonuses if i like a game a month later. If it comes the same day as consoles and is buggy as hell that is bad. If it works but uses the crysis method of “high res texture pack coming in a few months” then i think we get the best of both worlds.

    • wierdo
    • 8 years ago

    What’s the point of getting it early full of bugs and ruining the experience? get it when it’s actually done right.

    And I think limiting the poll to just updating the game with art-assets is kinda cutting it short, howbout fixing glitches and more beta testing before releas as well?

    I’m talking at least a page from Blizzard’s playbook, decent enough testing and follow up support to trust in their “brand” in the market.

    • HunterZ
    • 8 years ago

    Where’s the “don’t care, since I wait for games to go on sale for $5-15” option?

    There’s just no point in paying $60 for a game when you can wait and buy it for a quarter of the price – often with all of the DLC (another $30-60 usually) included as well.

      • Theolendras
      • 8 years ago

      And with the majority of bugs already addressed !

        • Suspenders
        • 8 years ago

        Exactly. I’ve been burned too many times by games that are buggy messes at launch. Why should I pay more to be a beta tester? Better wait it out; in the end you get it cheaper and patched up.

      • ShadowTiger
      • 8 years ago

      In addition games like Oblivion and Fallout 3 have fan made texture packs. Definitely makes me want to wait a year or two before picking up a Skyrim.

    • zimpdagreene
    • 8 years ago

    I would like for them to release all PC games with high res art. Console after console pop in textures just don’t get it anymore.I would buy the game just to support ones that do. But hopefully BF3 will go that way to push the hardware and max out three or four GPU’s and eight threads. There no game that I know will do both at the same time. If so let me know.

    • Sunburn74
    • 8 years ago

    Refuse to vote. Neither of the options are very appealing.

    • Dashak
    • 8 years ago

    Games should be released when they are [i<]finished[/i<].

      • Farting Bob
      • 8 years ago

      But certain developers do need a poke every know and then to let them know that there are many who would like to play their game before retirement. Valve and Blizzard make awesome games with almost no failures, but its agony waiting for them.

        • Bensam123
        • 8 years ago

        I think that motto has become an excuse for them… not justification.

      • dpaus
      • 8 years ago

      How many DLC packs is that?

        • EndlessWaves
        • 8 years ago

        None, bring out extra content in decent value for money expansion packs or not at all.

    • VinnyC
    • 8 years ago

    How about, quit making console versions of PC games. They don’t make PC versions of actual console games like Mario or Ratchet & Clank.

      • Pettytheft
      • 8 years ago

      How about giving up millions of potential dollars to satisfy a very loud minority of gamers. That will fly over quite well with investors/sharholders.

        • CaptTomato
        • 8 years ago

        Guys, all your answers have been explained right here…..GREED is the driving force behind gaming, with only a handful of exceptions.

      • HunterZ
      • 8 years ago

      I would argue that the vast majority of games released for both console and PC these days are developed with the consoles as the primary platform(s) and the PC as a secondary market. If true, this renders your statement a non sequitur.

    • dashbarron
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t think this is besides the point or side-stepping the issue too much, but…

    Why can’t we have great high-resolution games (BF3) that start development in the PC first, consoles second?

      • ShadowTiger
      • 8 years ago

      Console games make way more money for publishers/developers, so it is in their best interest to make sure the console version has the most time spent on it.

        • sigher
        • 8 years ago

        But if you have a good PC game and you created a buzz (and make a ‘mere’ truckload of money on that) then the console version will sell better. whereas when you start on the console there might be less buzz and the PC version will be poor and have lukewarm reception and lower sales.

        Although of course it’s a different audience with different controllers so it’s never quite the same but depends on what platform the developers had in mind.

        The PC market is still pretty big though, enough money in it to develop for it I expect.

    • GasBandit
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t understand why the “in a perfect world” scenario is so farfetched. Dev houses KNOW they’re going to need higher resolution textures on the PC version, shouldn’t they be budgeting that time and effort from the onset? This is not a “SURPRISE!” situation here, it’s one easily foreseen.

    Just tired of Console concerns making PC games suck, and then developers whining about why the PC market doesn’t love them. It’s because PC gamers have been treated as a slimy sloppy-seconds afterthought to console games for all these years, you schmucks! The PC is not just another console! It’s a Personal Computer! It’s umpteen times more powerful than a PlayBox. Use those capabilities to make an awesome game, instead of just slapping an emulator wrapper on your console release and calling it a day.

      • Geistbar
      • 8 years ago

      I have to agree with this. I would have the caveat that a developer that has little or no experience with creating a PC game before could be forgiven. People tend to always underestimate the difficulties (even well known ones) in their own endeavors, if they had not experienced them before. Developers that are very familiar with PC games (Crytek, id, Epic, Bioware.. etc) do not have this excuse however. My bet is that they do, originally, budget extra time for the PC version of games, but when development issues arise (which they all but inevitably will) they shift the extra PC people over to the console versions to ensure that they still come out on time.

      With some of the truly poor ports that have been made lately, I am starting to feel that it would be better if they did not even bother. Realistically, only the companies that have been focusing primarily on PC games have been entertaining me lately. I would think that ideally, publishers will eventually decide to make (smaller budget) games specifically for PC. Indie developers have shown that this is viable, and that sometimes, the relatively small investment will make lots of money (e.g. Minecraft). The more niche, non-blockbuster style games of the past were more fun anyway, in my opinion.

      • VinnyC
      • 8 years ago

      Agreed

    • drfish
    • 8 years ago

    How about released at the same time with a little extra effort put into the PC version so its moar awesome right out of the gate?

    I don’t understand the texture thing – if I was making a game I would make the highest res textures I could ever conceive of needing FIRST and then resize them to match the ability of the platform… Am I totally off base with this thought?

      • swaaye
      • 8 years ago

      It would probably be a good idea to ask somebody in the industry.

      • delsydsoftware
      • 8 years ago

      In the days before shaders, it was much easier to just make super-high quality textures and very detailed 3d models and scale them for different hardware. All you cared about was polygon throughput and texture mapping speed, and it was reasonably easy to figure out how detailed to make your art assets to get the best mix of performance and quality.

      It’s much more difficult to do that now. Shading techniques like normal mapping take extremely high polygon count models and distill their detail down into shaded textures. The upshot is that you can use a lower polygon count model in a game and still have tons of detail, providing great performance. The downside is that you have to know the texture and shading limits of the hardware you’re developing for.

      If you want a higher res version for the PC and a version that works as well on consoles with older graphics hardware, you need to double the amount of assets converted. If you don’t nail those estimates exactly, you either get a slow-performing console title or a cruddy-looking PC version…or both. I think a lot of shops just go the lazy route and pump out one set of assets for both versions and hope that the resolution and anti-aliasing advantages of the PC will hide that fact.

        • drfish
        • 8 years ago

        *thumbs up* for you sir, thank you for a great answer.

        • Scrotos
        • 8 years ago

        See, and the thing that I don’t necessarily get is that most of the budget goes into art assets now, like, MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. Not programming–hell, oftentime you have licensed game engines and other middleware so that’s less you have to roll from the ground up.

        For the last 10 years that’s been the story, that the art assets are taking more and more time and more and more money. At this point the content creation toolchain and process should be decently understood. Normal mapping has been around in mass market games since Doom 3, 2003? This is the type of stuff that can be planned and budgeted by whoever the project manager is. The fact that this is still such a huge issue, even after the consoles have been stagnant for so many years as well, leads me to agree with delsyd that people are just being lazy or cutting corners. Especially on big-name big-money releases, we have certain expectations. And the publishers know that people will buy big-name games regardless of quality and will push the developers into cutting corners to push out the game quicker. Ship and book revenue, move on to something else, maybe do damage control after release if it’s a franchise that needs to be milked for subsequent releases.

      • WaltC
      • 8 years ago

      Very good point–that is, ideally, the way it should be done. But when you have programmer-centric developers like id software who come up with faddish buzzword notions like “megatextures”, the programmer-in-charge-of-the-whole-company starts worrying about consoles and low-rent PCs and *shudder* iPhones, and their vastly limited hardware resource environments, and the Word comes down from on high: ship with low-res enabled across all platforms! And that, as they say, is that.

      It seems to be too much trouble for some developers to tailor a game to the platform they release the game for; but it’s never too much trouble for them to *market the shit* out of their target platforms anyway, is it? I mean, who would ever buy a PC game if it said on the box:

      “Just like the console version in every way!”…?

      Nobody, that’s who (well, almost nobody, anyway–bound to be a few weird apples in every barrel…;)) And that’s the point, isn’t it? They *know* we won’t buy it if they’re honest about it up front. So they cheat us and then come back later and tell us how it is everyone else’s fault except their own. I’ve had about enough of that sort of snotty attitude.

      Meanwhile, the companies that do invest the time and talent to optimize to the much more powerful PC environment will be the ones the to reap the rewards of same, and it is to them that I direct my business. There are literally millions of us who don’t own consoles and aren’t especially interested in $2 cell phone games…! Just how dumb can some of these companies be? The jury is still out on that one, I’m afraid.

    • kroker
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t understand why the second option is better. If the game is released with the console versions and an updated high-res pack comes later, you can simply buy the game when the high-res pack is released if that’s what you want, or buy the game when it comes out and then play it again with the improved graphics quality. This way you have two options. If the game has no replay value even with improved textures / graphics quality, then I think it’s a pretty poor game anyway and not worth the asking price.

      • alexsabree
      • 8 years ago

      My thoughts exactly

      • [TR]
      • 8 years ago

      I think there are different levels of detail through development.
      As in, artists will create a very high detail version that clearly isn’t workable in real-time but will serve as the base to step down to real-time, memory constraints levels of quality. If you’re doing things like this, it’s easy (well, easier) to get a higher detail version of a texture, 3D model, even sound, for a system where you know you can work with higher bandwidths, memory spaces or just clock speed.
      My point is you can probably get these things in place along with the rest of the “console level” content. Then, if the machine can handle it, you can crank it up and enjoy!

      • travbrad
      • 8 years ago

      The thing is, if a game is missing high quality art assets, it probably has some other fairly major problems as well. It’s not always the case, but an unfinished game is usually unfinished in multiple areas, not just textures.

        • kroker
        • 8 years ago

        Yes, if the game has serious bugs it should not be released until they are fixed, but the article specifically asked about the graphical aspect.

      • Firestarter
      • 8 years ago

      For multiplayer games, getting in while the game is brand new is a special kind of awesome. People haven’t found the single overpowered weapon/combination yet, people are still exploring, awesome stuff happens just because even hardcore gamers just don’t know the game yet, that kind of stuff. Like the awesome Battlefield 1942 Demo!

      So, I’d rather have a game that has had some polish and testing behind it so that there aren’t any show-stopping bugs when the game is still fresh. Releasing a game with sub-par art-work is not the kind of polish I’d like. Having 2 release dates doesn’t help either!

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      One of the reasons why the second option is better is poor port quality. The GUI needs to be updated for PC, as well as controls. You can’t just copy-paste a console port, unless you want to be stuck using the xbox 360 controller. Another reason is that most companies drop support immediately after release. You don’t get a bug fix patch. Of course that’s extremely immoral, but nobody is stopping them either. Waiting for a proper port, although aggravating, is usually the only way to get a good game.

      The only exception being companies that are developing the PC version simultaneously, and toning it down for consoles, which is how it should be done, but isn’t the case for most games.

        • MaxTheLimit
        • 8 years ago

        This is very much why I chose option 2. For me, nothing is more frustrating than a chopped up messy game that is a console game shoehorned to just ‘work’ on the PC. I’d rather wait for it to be done right, rather than sour my taste on the game.

      • dashbarron
      • 8 years ago

      I don’t necessarily want to or have the time to go through a game a second time, but for some titles I want to and am willing to pay full price to play them as soon as they come out. If the game came out with lower eye-candy and I knew for certain that better graphics were coming…I’d just wait for the second option; and by that time hopefully other major bugs and such are fixed.

      It makes no sense [b<] for me[/b<] to have the first option.

    • JohnC
    • 8 years ago

    Personally I’d rather wait for the “full” game, with all the high-res art assets included, instead of playing a “castrated” version sooner. A good graphics in a single-player game is as important to me as a good storyline and fun overall gameplay, and no matter how overall “good” the single-player game is, it is highly unlikely that I will be replaying it again very soon (it usually takes me many months to consider replaying the game again, same thing as with books).

      • travbrad
      • 8 years ago

      Agreed. I already sort of “wait for the full game”, in that I almost never buy games on release day. I typically wait a month or two for all the bugs to be sorted out, and usually save quite a bit of money this way too.

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