Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I don't want "more realistic graphic", I want more realistic movement

What PS3 and XBox 360 are striving for is more realistic graphics. Look, for example, at this comparison of PS2 and PS3 graphics engines from Sony's E3 keynote (confusingly titled "Gameplay Innovation" although it has nothing to do with gameplay whatsoever, only with graphics). Notice that they are saying, among other things, "PS2 only allowed you to move the analog controller in 8 basic directions" which is bizarre and simply not true. Well, EA, if you really mean this, you are basically saying "Look, our PS3 games will be better than our PS2 games because our PS2 programming sucked". But now back to the point...

The presented animations are definitely more realistic than on PS2. No, strike that, that's not true. They are not realistic at all. They are "less unrealistic". If you look at the gameplay demo at the end, it only takes you two seconds to see that these characters are definitely not real people. You don't have to know anything about gaming hardware, programming or animation to plainly see that this is a computer animation, less realistic than your average current Hollywood CGI sequence and not resembling real human movement.

For me (remember, this is all subjective), this is countrerproductive. "Foot planting", "responsiveness" and other things they show are steps in the right direction but they still have VERY LONG WAY to go before the result resembles real world environment. I'd much rather see simple stick figures with hyperrealistic movement than million polygons moving in stiff and unrealistic way. But looking at what Sony and Microsoft are doing, I am probably in minority.

UPDATE: This article (and accompanying video) seems to be the step in the right direction. Of course, I am not sure how much of it is plain old hype.

9 comments:

pinus said...

C'mon fuxoft, as if you didn't know why is this the case. While "better graphics" only requires a more powerful processor, and changing a line in the code from

polygons_to_be_split_into = 10^6;

to

polygons_to_be_split_into = 10^7;

better movement does not require better hardware at all. It requires clever and better programmers. These are scarce and do not generate any revenue to Intel/AMD... It's sooo obvious.

Anonymous said...

Indiana Jones 2007?

Anonymous said...

Simulating realistic movement of human-like bodies is still impossible.

You can use two methods - record real movements with motion capture or simulate whole body as one big physics object (with weight, pistons, bones, joints etc.). The second method needs lots of computing power and we don't have enough today. That's why actual games use mostly the motion capture method. They record all complex movements and then they switch between them and combine this switching with some simple computed movements. The switch should be smooth, but as you can see on the video, it's clearly visible.

But I hopen it'll change. We had whole physics simulation of rolling ball, then realistic simulation of vehicles, I'm sure we will have simulation of moving bodies and humans. It will be more simplier with specialized hardware support - look at the Cell Factor Trailer ( http://youtube.com/watch?v=gSeW9NejxLo&search=physx ) with PhysX card. It'll allow more complex models and I'm sure you'll be fully satisfied in 3-5 years.

Lemondale said...

So what seems to be your decision? Which one (or two? :) of them is going to be your next toy?

Fuxoft said...

lemondale: Well, so far it looks like Nintendo Wii for me. I am really TIRED of everyone boasting about their number of polygons and not giving shit about new ideas. And its controllers mean that maybe my girlfriend will also like to play with it. :) I've played with XBox 360 and it looked to me like standard PC with many restrictions added. And I haven't seen or touched PS3 so far, of course...

Eso said...

What about this movement:

http://n-joy.tiscali.cz/go/hry/?where=cat&autoplay=1&search=Heavy+Rain

Is it enough realistic for you?

Fuxoft said...

eso: But that's Motion Capture, isn't it??

Eso said...

fuxoft: It's not clear, but definitely it's not pre-rendered:

http://games.tiscali.cz/news/news.asp?id=18171

Anonymous said...

eso: you were blinded by the beautiness of that virtual girl. Her movements look interesting, but you can see immediately she's not human.
Human being is not guided puppet without weight, all visible movements come from concrete muscles and bones hidden under skin. If you don't simulate real physics, you can't get real look. Human brain is smart enough to see any weird difference....