On Different Graphics Styles

Lately I’ve been talking about various aspects of player preferences, housing, and character customization to be specific. Today I plan to talk a little bit about preference in graphical styles. In my opinion these styles can be broken down to “cartoonish” to “realistic”. That’s a fairly broad description but I think it’s fairly hard to judge because most games fall more in the middle.

I’ll probably catch some grief for this, but when I say “cartoonish” graphics the game I would use as my primary example is World of Warcraft. Though with the upcoming release of Wildstar I’d say that this title may soon be transferred. When I talk about “realistic” design I’m talking about something that looks like Elder Scrolls Online.

When I look at graphic styles I tend to look at three main characteristics, character design, and color palette. I can’t really count world design in this because I have never seen a game that didn’t have what I’d call standard terrain. Character design and color palette are a bit more unique depending on the look that the game is going for. Now when I talk about character design I’m not talking about “Eastern vs Western” character designs, I’m talking about design.

When you compare character design between Wildstare/WoW to Elder Scrolls Online you can see the obvious differences. Body proportions and physical appearance. It’s hard to describe this in words so screenshots.  The biggest difference that can be spotted is the hands.

WoWScrnShot_051114_103140 Screenshot_20140511_103922

The other noticeable difference is the color palette. Just saying a game is cartoony based on brighter versus darker colors is not entirely accurate. I think this more of a personal opinion than any definitive proof, but when I think realistic I think of a lot of shadows and darker tones. When I see bright colors I think of all the cartoons I watched growing up in the late 80’s & 90’s.

So this whole thing boils down to what do you, as the player, prefer when you play a game. Personally I would go for a middle ground. I like the brighter/cartoony colors, but I like my characters to be more realistic. I think the most accurate representation of what I would like graphics wise is Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, and from what I’ve seen of ArcheAge. The character models are what I would consider realistic. Neither of these is a make or break factor for me though.  I prefer the realistic models over the cartoony ones, so if you offered me a choice between one or the the other I’d pick the realistic one.

A Wild Podcast Appears

So to close this up, I have a special treat. I’ve mentioned my friend Belghast a few times, and if you follow me on twitter I’ve been linking his podcast. So this past Friday I was laying around watching Netflix when I got a chat message from our friend Rae asking me if I’d fill in for them. Two of their regular co-hosts were out this weekend for family stuff and could not make it. So I got to be on their podcast. We talk about a lot of different topics, and I had a really good time. So feel free to go give it a listen.