Do exclusive developers push visuals more than AAA developers?

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by VFX_Veteran, Jul 6, 2015.

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  1. VFX_Veteran

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    I see these comparisons a LOT on NeoGAF and it troubles me to think that specifically PS4 gamers believe this with such conviction. In reality, is it really so? I don't think so.

    Take the latest video from NXGamer of the UC4 footage. He goes on and talks about what he feels ND is doing. Furthermore, There were links to one of the top programmers at ND preferring coding to the metal to extract out better performance for the PS4. But how much more performance is my concern? Squeezing out perhaps 30% more (just a rough value) buys you what exactly? I still see typical gaming 3d features in exclusive games as much as I see them in AAA games. Yet, PS4 gamers "bias" their compliments towards exclusive games to imply they do way more with graphics than with any AAA dev (Crytek, DICE, Rocksteady, CDPR, Ubisoft Montreal, Rockstar, etc..)

    Taken from this thread on NeoGAF concerning Naughty Dog's UC4 footage.

    The comments go on and on and on.

    Under closer inspection of this video -- I'm not seeing all the tech these guys are seeing when compared to other AAA devs. Yes, the physics is significantly obvious and ND has always had stellar animation..they certainly desevere credit for attention to detail.. but I see no advanced tech that can't be done by any AAA dev. In fact, I see more demanding features in hardware from other open world games (including the exclusive games on PS4).

    This guy's comment pretty sums up what I feel:

    Thoughts?
     
  2. London-boy

    London-boy Shifty's daddy
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    I think it mainly depends on the 'protection' first party studios get by the Mother Ship. Games like Uncharted are nurtured, taken care, thrown untold amounts of resources at, as Sony needs it to be huge and perfect. It probably also helps that ND don't have to worry about making it work on any other platform - which simply means ALL the resources are funneled into one, and only one version of the game. And they are in the position to delay a game almost as much as they want, just to get it right.

    Third parties, especially from the 'big bad' publishers like EA and Ubi, are under completely different kind of pressures. First of all, they are pushed to release the game when the Mother Ship wants it released. Second of all, they have to divide themselves (or worse, outsource!) in different teams, each working on a different platform and making sure it runs on all those platforms.

    The tech talent might be, but the environment and pressure are completely different.
     
  3. Clukos

    Clukos Bloodborne 2 when?
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    Well Naughty Dog work alongside the ICE programming team
    Technically they should be able to push the hardware the most. That doesn't mean that other developers are incompetent, ND have a resource available that nobody else has, at least in-house. Uncharted 2, Uncharted 3 and TLOU are some of the most, if not the most, technically accomplished games available on PS3.
     
  4. ThePissartist

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    You're comparing games fairly early in this generation; were there any third-party developers that had games look as good as Uncharted 2/3 on the PS3? At least I can't remember any. I was an Xbox guy last-gen and I remember being quite jealous of those games when I watched the videos.

    And besides, it's not all about "visuals" and which check-box graphical features a developer can add otherwise the greatest game, visually, would be a closed environment. Surely what Naughty Dog have done is create a very large open environment with a fantasic physics (simulated or otherwise - does it matter?) system and the best character models in a game that I've seen. If you compare it to something like Unity, that game doesn't have the environment destructability that Uncharted does, nor do the character models look as good.

    The fact that a vast majority of Neogaf users are suggesting it's a beautiful game back this up. If we were to treat subjective game visuals as a democracy, then yes, it would appeat that exclusive developers push visuals more than third-party developers on average. Obviously this isn't always the case.
     
  5. Sigfried1977

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    I'm certainly every bit as impressed with Arkham Knight as I was with Infamous Second Son (rather comparable games in terms of scope I think) And while Uncharted 4 and The Order are certainly mighty fine looking titles, they are also incredibly directed and restrictive affairs. I'm pretty sure the likes of EA or Ubisoft could pull off very comparable feats if they dropped their game design ambitions for the sake of linear spectacle. Only in terms of technology of course.
     
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  6. Clukos

    Clukos Bloodborne 2 when?
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    Add to that, that most first party studios have custom engines specifically for their games, at least for EA and Ubisoft i know that most games publiced by them have to use their own custom engines, EA has a tendency to use Frostbite for most of their AAA releases (NFS, Battlefield, Battlefront, Mirrors Edge, Mass Effect, Dragon Age etc.), that's obviously done to save costs and time, that might also be a limiting factor when comparing multi-platform publishing and first party.
     
  7. szymku

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    I think they do.
    And that's not because they are smarter or work harder. It's the matter of:
    - better support
    - focus
    - no compromises between two (or more) platforms
     
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  8. Shifty Geezer

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    For a decent comparison, we'd need to compare tech from different titles. Like for like is going to be hard to find, but general tech breakdowns of titles should be possible (if a lot of work). To argue the case for 3rd parties, one could find a multiplat title with examples of best-in-class tech for comparison.

    What absolutely has to be avoided is comparing apples to oranges. eg. "You don't get this mud deformation in Batman!" The circumstances around a choice of feature are significant beyond just a developer's ability to implement it, not least, 'there's no call for that feature in this game'! ;)

    To keep this subject meaningful, I think the aim should be to identify what credit goes where. So think of the question more as, "are multiplat devs underrated?"

    And finally, I agree with the others regards the business case for the first-party title doing more. MM's Dreams is doing something new. Chances are MM would have rolled out a conventional renderer if they didn't have the freedom and lax time constraints Sony ownership affords them and needed a product out a year ago to pay their wages. The right environment allows people to excel, and can attract a better calibre of talent, but there are many brilliant minds and artists out there and it's wrong to think they are less capable.
     
  9. DSoup

    DSoup meh
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    FTFY. Bcause with prophet-like vision, I can see where this thread will head within about 20 posts :yep2:
     
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  10. ultragpu

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    I've noticed some pc centric guys tend to focus on list wars where the more check boxes you tick no matter how insignificant they add to the overall visual, would be favored more. Sure a game like UC4 probably doesn't include every high end techs in the world but what it does is to balance everything so carefully and let the techs it's pushing be presented in a very gameplay centric manner. Also devs like ND are master of choreography, their UC set pieces are depicted and played out in such a grand and adrenaline rushing way we would literally be focused on the action, effects rather than minor tech deficiencies like few jaggies here or a lack of tessellation there. The way they utilize PS4's available resources are probably the best in the industry. In the end it's what's on the screen matters the most and UC4 sure looked the best to me regardless of the techs that it used, I think that's why people are calling them gods.
     
  11. Rikimaru

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    With conventional hardware (and similarity between platforms) used techniques became common among developers.

    But level of detail and technical consistency will be much greater in exclusives. I'm sure U4 wiil be steady 30fps.
    Most third-party is not. Some third-parties even do not enable AF!
     
  12. Clukos

    Clukos Bloodborne 2 when?
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    I agree, overall result > technology being used. That's the purpose of new rendering techniques being written in the first place, to increase the quality of the game visually overall. You have to weigh in what works and what does not for your game, and you can't throw in too many or too little. Perfect example is AC: Unity, game looks absolutely gorgeous at times and absolutely garbage at others, it runs at unacceptable levels on consoles and PCs. I am fortunate enough to own a PC that could run it pretty much maxed and almost locked 60 and i still have some annoyances like the NPC pop-in and clipping which is horrendous, and the geometry pop-in which is not great either. My point is that the overall result is not coherent, something that most first party developers get right 99% of the time.
     
  13. Billy Idol

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    Imo, we will never really find out. For this, team A should develop a title exclusively for one console full power. After shipping, team A should forget everything they learned during the development of this game, than start from scratch to build said game as a multiplatform title. After this, we would need some smart people who do an unbiased comparison, which is in many details possible, but in many different details not (for instance art decisions and so on). And I bet you will find thousands of people who like game A1 over game A2 or vice versa.

    Thus, we mathematician say that the problem you want to solve is ill-posed :))) It doesn't has a unique solution at all.

    PS: I really believe that some devs are just way better than other devs (this also does not come at a surprise imo, as in every job there are people who are better at doing things than others, and game development is no different). And for me personally this clearly shows in the games that I play. Not only in graphics alone, but also in gameplay, story and whatever you can think of. Some devs are just better than others. And yes, imo, some of those better devs are Sony exclusive devs.
     
  14. function

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    Exclusives will always demonstrate to fanboys exactly what they want to see - usually that your hardware is the best and your developers are the best.

    Similarly, your exclusives will show that other hardware is somehow worse and that multiplatform developers are lazy.

    And being exclusive, that view is protected and will never be changed. It's the perfect bubble to protect your platform-linked ego and sense of self worth with.
     
  15. VFX_Veteran

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    They may have added some nice textures/artwork and enhanced the lighting from previous games.. but I would not call those games the "most technically accomplished" when there are clearly UE and Crytek games which, let's face it, do more technically than any UC game .
     
  16. Sigfried1977

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    I always thought it was weird how the notion of console exclusives as benchmarks of technological superiority is still creeping up time and time again despite the existence of games like GTA V, Tomb Raider, MGS Ground Zeros (which looks absolutely marvellous on last gen machines) the Arkham games, or even Resident Evil 6. (the latter of which DF lambasted for its inconsistent framerate while heaving praise upon The Last of US despite its similarly wavering framerate readouts)
     
  17. Clukos

    Clukos Bloodborne 2 when?
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    All while sustaining a sub 720p presentation accompanied by a sub 30 fps framerate experience. Uncharted games managed to do everything they did while maintaining a 30 fps cap at native res of 720p plus AA. The 360/Ps3 ports of Crysis 3 are, to put it mildly, quite horrible:



    Like i said in my previous post, technology is welcome, not at any cost though (res/framerate). And while we are talking CryEngine, even the port of Crysis 2 was pretty bad on both consoles; don't expect me to applaud them for these efforts. I still played both games on PC and enjoyed them quite a bit though.
     
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  18. Billy Idol

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    You really should stop to compare console games to games you play on your PC equipped with a Titan.

    I suggest that you compare games on consoles and only on consoles. Sure, Crysis 3 maxed looks fantastic on my PC..,but has nothing to do with the graphics of the console ports...
     
    #18 Billy Idol, Jul 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015
  19. Nesh

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    In the case of the PS3 the best games visually for me did come from exclusive developers. But it wasnt because of static detail. Its the little small details that made them stand out. For example Uncharted 2 and Resident Evil 5 could compete each other in narrow environments. But ND went the extra mile to put you in crazier more dynamic looking situations which demanded more attention to other smaller details. When put together they equaled more than the sum of all parts.
    What other developer tried to use dynamic whether, dynamic daytime that affected driving and tire physics in a simulation racing that aimed 60fps?
    Uncharted, GoW 3, Killzone 2, Wipeout HD Fury and probably some others I cant think off now did some things that other games didnt do even though in terms of assets they were probably equally impressive
     
  20. Rangers

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    Yes exclusives tend to be more praised for graphics than they deserve. I think the high end stuff from the big studios (like Assassins Creed) is up there with any exclusives mostly. It stands to reason IMO, they have sheer numbers (on the development team) on their side.

    But multiplatformers dont get the console warrior backing, so their graphics are naturally not as praised.

    OTOH there's something to be said for working towards just one hardware spec vs two.
     
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