View Full Version : Sub-Par graphics, congrats firaxis.


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Mr_Wonka
Feb 22, 2010, 01:37 PM
Once again Firaxis stinks it up with the graphics. imo, and I know a lot fo you wont care or will disagree, they looked aged already. The land terrian as always stinks. The tiles have a lack of variety and still doesn't blend well.

The snow-caped mountains don't even look awe awe inspiring. I think they need to make the mountains bigger because you don't get the feeling that they're even there. Go into google earth and you can see what real terrain looks like. They never get the aesthetics aspect of they're civ games down. Its a shame because it would be ultimate.

I'm won't completely write off the look of the game. Its obviously a lot better than its predecessor, but firaxis is just never up to date with graphic technology.

nzk13
Feb 22, 2010, 01:39 PM
I think it's fine, besides, firaxis being sub-par graphically is good for people with old computers, like me.

civ_king
Feb 22, 2010, 01:42 PM
The Graphics are fine it's all about the gameplay, if you want awesome graphics play an FPS

Tavenier
Feb 22, 2010, 01:42 PM
Time spend on shiny graphics is less time spend on AI.

If I want awe-inspiring graphics, I will play Mass Effect 2 and not a turn based strategy game.

bob bobato
Feb 22, 2010, 01:43 PM
Besides the hexagons, I don't see any major graphical difference between Civ4 &5. But I guess that's because there isn't very much room for improvement any more.

r_rolo1
Feb 22, 2010, 01:46 PM
Not mentioning that the graphs are normally the last thing being improved ;) Just see the diference between the first images of Civ IV and what came to shop....

Takhisis
Feb 22, 2010, 01:53 PM
@nzk13: what he means is that the models are horrible and probably in that weird cartoonish style that freaked me out when [civ4] came out. High polygon count ≠ good graphics.

Quintillus
Feb 22, 2010, 02:00 PM
Au contraire, I find the terrain graphics to be better than Civ4. Granted, I didn't find the Civ4 ones to be very appealing (I'd rather take some modded Civ3 terrains to the default Civ4 ones - although the moving sheep and such were a nice touch), and these aren't knock-your-socks-off, but I think they're an improvement. And r_rolo's right, they might yet be improved.

Takhisis has a good point too, and Stardock has a nice article somewhere about how they discovered that when designing the Twilight of Arnor expansion for GalCiv2.

I can't say I'm a fan of the leaderheads thus far, though. Guess I'm just not one for the cartoonish look. Thus far, the Civ3 leaderheads still have the crown from me, with Civ2 probably being second.

Dale
Feb 22, 2010, 02:05 PM
Once again Firaxis stinks it up with the graphics. imo, and I know a lot fo you wont care or will disagree, they looked aged already. The land terrian as always stinks. The tiles have a lack of variety and still doesn't blend well.

The snow-caped mountains don't even look awe awe inspiring. I think they need to make the mountains bigger because you don't get the feeling that they're even there. Go into google earth and you can see what real terrain looks like. They never get the aesthetics aspect of they're civ games down. Its a shame because it would be ultimate.

I'm won't completely write off the look of the game. Its obviously a lot better than its predecessor, but firaxis is just never up to date with graphic technology.

You're a bit of a tool mate, don't you realise with 6 months to go those graphics are probably alpha graphics? The art team would still be working on them. Don't people know anything about dev cycles? :rolleyes:

Mr_Wonka
Feb 22, 2010, 02:07 PM
Everyone likes to give Firaxis a free pass when it comes to the artwork. You can call me a tool, but I'm being honest.

civ_king
Feb 22, 2010, 02:16 PM
wait for the finished or even mostly finished product before bashing something, to bash something that is not even remotely a finished product is a border-line lunatic act

Mr_Wonka
Feb 22, 2010, 02:18 PM
wait for the finished or even mostly finished product before bashing something, to bash something that is not even remotely a finished product is a border-line lunatic act

you got to get your voice heard, brother.

Takhisis
Feb 22, 2010, 02:22 PM
This is a famous alpha build:
http://www.myextralife.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/starcraft_alpha_build.jpgSo I wouldn't trust alphas too much, they might be using civ4 terrain until they have a definitive version of their own.

hewhoknowsall
Feb 22, 2010, 02:27 PM
To be honest, the alpha of Civ 5 is worse than the Civ Rev graphics.

ori
Feb 22, 2010, 02:37 PM
please refrain from name calling

nzk13
Feb 22, 2010, 02:54 PM
What game is that in the spoiler, Takhisis?

civ_king
Feb 22, 2010, 02:58 PM
What game is that in the spoiler, Takhisis?

A game developed by Blizzard and people say being Korean is a cheat code to it and it has major cult status in South Korea

nzk13
Feb 22, 2010, 03:03 PM
StarCraft?

Kaleidoscope
Feb 22, 2010, 03:15 PM
What game is that in the spoiler, Takhisis?

You seriously don't recognise the most popular RTS that has ever been released? The RTS that has professional leagues and entire TV stations dedicated solely to broadcasting its matches?

It's Dawn of War, dude!

civ_king
Feb 22, 2010, 03:19 PM
StarCraft?

Mazel Tov!

Takhisis
Feb 22, 2010, 03:20 PM
StarCraft?
If you check the pic's location, it's
http://www.myextralife.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/starcraft_alpha_build.jpg
You seriously don't recognise the most popular RTS that has ever been released? The RTS that has professional leagues and entire TV stations dedicated solely to broadcasting its matches?

It's Dawn of War, dude!
:lmao: Wahahahahahaha!!!

xienwolf
Feb 22, 2010, 03:41 PM
Time spend on shiny graphics is less time spend on AI.

If I want awe-inspiring graphics, I will play Mass Effect 2 and not a turn based strategy game.

/sigh... I see this mistake made SO many places. But I thought that the modding-centric CivFanatics would be immune to it.

It is INSANELY rare for someone to be good at both graphics AND coding AI.

It is absolutely UNHEARD OF for a company to slap both of those in the job description of a single individual.


Someone hired professionally to churn out graphics will NEVER be expected within that same job to even TOUCH the AI code, let alone understand any of it.

Takhisis
Feb 22, 2010, 03:47 PM
You hire a programmer and a graphics guy then, xienwolf 's right, people don't do both unless it's amateur/low budget.

Yakk
Feb 22, 2010, 04:28 PM
While programmers aren't fungible, money is.

And money produces programmers.

So yes, time spent on polished graphics can take away from time spent on polished AI.

Generally, graphics polish is done in order to make your product "seem professional" to a casual glance, which has the nice bonus of locking out the "less professional" competition. Of course, the same is true of marketing dollars. :)

Dale
Feb 22, 2010, 04:43 PM
While programmers aren't fungible, money is.

And money produces programmers.

So yes, time spent on polished graphics can take away from time spent on polished AI.

Generally, graphics polish is done in order to make your product "seem professional" to a casual glance, which has the nice bonus of locking out the "less professional" competition. Of course, the same is true of marketing dollars. :)

The budget is worked out and allocated well before production begins. Art would've been allocated some percentage, coding some other percentage, administration another percentage, etc etc. If you hire another artist, it takes away from the artist percentage only, not the coding percentage. So your comment is totally wrong.

How do I know? I work in the industry.

DPyro
Feb 22, 2010, 04:46 PM
Once again Firaxis stinks it up with the graphics. imo, and I know a lot fo you wont care or will disagree, they looked aged already. The land terrian as always stinks. The tiles have a lack of variety and still doesn't blend well.

The snow-caped mountains don't even look awe awe inspiring. I think they need to make the mountains bigger because you don't get the feeling that they're even there. Go into google earth and you can see what real terrain looks like. They never get the aesthetics aspect of they're civ games down. Its a shame because it would be ultimate.

I'm won't completely write off the look of the game. Its obviously a lot better than its predecessor, but firaxis is just never up to date with graphic technology.

I have to agree with the OP. I'm not asking for super million-poly terrain with Crysis shaders, but the terrains need to blend together a lot smoother. A desert should be randomly curved, not a just a perturbation of a box. If you look at the alpha pictures even the forests and borders are obviously in a hexagonal array. If you're reading this, Firaxis, please work on the terrain transitions :)

Yakk
Feb 22, 2010, 05:36 PM
The budget is worked out and allocated well before production begins. Art would've been allocated some percentage, coding some other percentage, administration another percentage, etc etc. If you hire another artist, it takes away from the artist percentage only, not the coding percentage. So your comment is totally wrong.

How do I know? I work in the industry.
Hiring another artists doesn't take away from the percentage -- it uses up the money under that category.

And they never consider a different percentage of code vs artist expenditures?

If that consideration exists (or even can exist), money spent on art does take away from money spend on code, assuming that the amount spent on the game is held constant.

I've worked on projects with extensive UI teams and small coding teams. I've worked on projects with large coding teams, and small UI teams. The allocation of resources between art and code isn't a magic figure that comes from god -- it is determined (hopefully for the investor) by what sells.

Art sells to many people. Code (such as better AI) sells to other people.

I don't mind a highly polished Civ game that has worse art. Other people really care about art. Money spent on art, beyond what the screenshots demonstrated (well, maybe improved rivers and national borders), would be wasted on me.

On the other hand, barring the game being complete garbage, I'm a reasonably safe sale (on this iteration). The ones they care more about convincing to buy are the marginal sales, which often care more about superficial stuff like artwork polish.

Then again, I never bought the call to power branch of Civ, nor Civ Revolution, because their approach didn't appeal to me. I did buy the Alpha Centauri "branch" of Civ, and it wasn't because of the awesome graphics.

Thormodr
Feb 22, 2010, 06:25 PM
I'd like this thread stickied so we can all laugh when CiV is released.

Even in its alpha stages, I think the graphics look pretty good.

Knee jerk overreaction FTL. :lol:

xienwolf
Feb 22, 2010, 06:33 PM
I have to agree with the OP. I'm not asking for super million-poly terrain with Crysis shaders, but the terrains need to blend together a lot smoother. A desert should be randomly curved, not a just a perturbation of a box. If you look at the alpha pictures even the forests and borders are obviously in a hexagonal array. If you're reading this, Firaxis, please work on the terrain transitions :)

In order to get the terrain to blend better, you have to allow a terrain to "spill over" into another hex. To what degree are you willing to have that happen, and which terrain should dominate into which other terrain's hex? If I have a single desert tile in the middle of a heavily forested region, should I BARELY spot the dirt between the trees to realize there is a tile of desert? Or should that desert, since it is the oddity, spill into every surrounding tile, making it appear that there is a HUGE swath of desert in the area, and keeping me from thinking about settling in such sub-par land, when in reality I can easily manipulate city placement to completely cover all the terrain except that one hex and have amazing cities?

There is also consideration of the graphical capabilities to account for every possible "spill over" event in a randomly constructed map. Each possibly combination of terrain must be considered, since each tile has 6 neighbors, this is an IMMENSE number of permutations with even a mere 3 types of tiles, and there are, by the pictures, far more than that.


Going for the less obscure and outlandish examples like a desert in the middle of forest, how about an area where grassland meets plains. If you allow one to spill into the other, and there is also a resource on the tile which has been "spilled into" will you be able to tell graphically AT ALL which terrain type it is? Do you prefer a "pretty blending" of terrain, even if it means you are CONTANTLY having to mouse-over each hex to see what it really is?

And speaking of resources, should they as well spill out of their hex? Now you are begging to get jokes about swimming sheep should this attempt to get the hexes "hidden" lead to an inevitable misalignment along the coastal regions.

Hiring another artists doesn't take away from the percentage -- it uses up the money under that category.

And they never consider a different percentage of code vs artist expenditures?

Typically, it is VERY difficult to re-allocate any funds. You see this in essentially every industry. Wherever you work (or at school if you don't work yet) watch closely around October, end of the fiscal year. People will buy outlandish items just to use up their budget, otherwise the budget will be lower the next year. They will not pool the extra cash to where it needs to be, they will waste it on frivolous things in the location it was assigned, because re-assigning it requires "red tape" be broken through. This is a process of explaining the real-world details of your job to investors who are only interested in number breakdowns and graphical representations of trends. Trying to sift through how things "really work" at every level of the place they are investing their money would be impractical for them.

If it turns out that one department is under budget and the entire budget scheme is coming to a close, the funds allocated are more likely to be rolled into the next project, returned to the investors, or shifted to marketing than to ever be moved into a department which appears to be close to going over budget. Not that when you are THAT close to the end of a budget you are even contemplating the hiring process which is relevant to the discussion of hiring an extra AI programmer (something which must be done YEARS before the project comes to a close, essentially the first quarter after the budget divisions are settled on. Because within each budget of "art" and "code" and the like, there are sub-budgets of "salary," "benefits," "equipment" and other such considerations. Those are slightly more mutable, but still very difficult to adjust. You really know exactly how many people you will be hiring and at what salary as soon as the project begins.)

Jawa'sRevenge
Feb 22, 2010, 06:55 PM
Civ was never about graphics. If CiV had the graphics of Civ III, that would be fine. I want them to spend time making a game focused game-play, stability, and mobility. Fancy graphics are unnecessary, and could always be improved on later, by this forums amazing graphics people.

Dale
Feb 22, 2010, 06:57 PM
Hiring another artists doesn't take away from the percentage -- it uses up the money under that category.

Exactly, another artist takes money from the percentage of total budget allocated to the art dept. If the art dept doesn't have the money, then the artist is not employed.

And they never consider a different percentage of code vs artist expenditures?

Bull, the art and code sections each have their own budgets. It is up to the dept heads to ensure they work within that budget, or explain to the Producer why they stuffed up. A good Producer will even be able to tell if a dept is on track to spend too much or too little and work out adjustments. But that RARELY happens.

If that consideration exists (or even can exist), money spent on art does take away from money spend on code, assuming that the amount spent on the game is held constant.

No it doesn't. Simple example:
Budget $200,000 for art and coding teams. (Allocated a long time before production starts)
$100,000 to art and code each.
Art wants another artist. Well, they'd better find the money within their own $100,000 to find an artist, or they don't get an artist.
If art has the money for an artist they hire them.
No impact on code budget AT ALL.


I've worked on projects with extensive UI teams and small coding teams. I've worked on projects with large coding teams, and small UI teams. The allocation of resources between art and code isn't a magic figure that comes from god -- it is determined (hopefully for the investor) by what sells.

No, the figure is NOT determined by what sells. How can you come up with a figure determined by sales figures if the product doesn't exist to sell yet? :crazyeye:

The investor does some market research to ascertain (in other words GUESS) a feel for how many may potentially sell. The investor then determines what they want to make from it (in other words PROFIT) and potential retail price (in other words INCOME). The studio Producer works out what they believe the potential development cost is (in other words EXPENSES) and informs the investor.

If INCOME * GUESS - EXPENSES = PROFIT, where PROFIT is a satisfactory positive number to the investor, they give the green light to go ahead. See that figure for EXPENSES? That's when the budget for the art dept (and consequently how many artists they can employ) is determined.

You CANNOT (except under extreme emergency situations) change the budget once the investor signs off on it.

NA00
Feb 22, 2010, 07:32 PM
They look fine to me. I have never worried too much about graphics though. I just care about the games under-lying functionallity, which in this case entails improved diplomacy, etc... but I am confident whatever is developed as the final product will be to my liking.

innonimatu
Feb 22, 2010, 07:34 PM
I also have nothing against the graphics on the screenshots. And agree that Civ is more about gameplay than graphics anyway.

mr. poopyhead
Feb 22, 2010, 08:19 PM
i'd rather firaxis have spent the last 5 years making gameplay improvements and adding units and buildings that contribute to better gameplay, rather than working on the graphics engine....

in short, i won't really mind if there are no graphical improvements in civ5, as long as the gameplay is better...

jb2386
Feb 22, 2010, 08:30 PM
The graphics are going to change A LOT. I'm quoting this following post from this thread: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=354051&page=6

i found one of the first pics of civ 4 .. this means we can expect great improvement in civ5 graphics ! http://forums.civfanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=86393&d=1112619240

Owen Glyndwr
Feb 22, 2010, 08:35 PM
Civ was never about graphics. If CiV had the graphics of Civ III, that would be fine. I want them to spend time making a game focused game-play, stability, and mobility. Fancy graphics are unnecessary, and could always be improved on later, by this forums amazing graphics people.

This exactly. If I've said it once about strategy games, I've said it a million times. Graphics take a major back seat to AI in my book.

AlpsStranger
Feb 22, 2010, 09:13 PM
The graphics are going to change A LOT. I'm quoting this following post from this thread: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=354051&page=6

My lord that is heinous.

DPyro
Feb 22, 2010, 09:50 PM
In order to get the terrain to blend better, you have to allow a terrain to "spill over" into another hex. To what degree are you willing to have that happen, and which terrain should dominate into which other terrain's hex? If I have a single desert tile in the middle of a heavily forested region, should I BARELY spot the dirt between the trees to realize there is a tile of desert? Or should that desert, since it is the oddity, spill into every surrounding tile, making it appear that there is a HUGE swath of desert in the area, and keeping me from thinking about settling in such sub-par land, when in reality I can easily manipulate city placement to completely cover all the terrain except that one hex and have amazing cities?

There is also consideration of the graphical capabilities to account for every possible "spill over" event in a randomly constructed map. Each possibly combination of terrain must be considered, since each tile has 6 neighbors, this is an IMMENSE number of permutations with even a mere 3 types of tiles, and there are, by the pictures, far more than that.


Going for the less obscure and outlandish examples like a desert in the middle of forest, how about an area where grassland meets plains. If you allow one to spill into the other, and there is also a resource on the tile which has been "spilled into" will you be able to tell graphically AT ALL which terrain type it is? Do you prefer a "pretty blending" of terrain, even if it means you are CONTANTLY having to mouse-over each hex to see what it really is?

And speaking of resources, should they as well spill out of their hex? Now you are begging to get jokes about swimming sheep should this attempt to get the hexes "hidden" lead to an inevitable misalignment along the coastal regions.


Like this:
http://i.imgur.com/nRGKM.png

The tiles are still pretty obvious, but by sharing a small fraction of the total terrain on a tile you could smooth it out and make the map not look like a honeycomb.

Takhisis
Feb 22, 2010, 09:53 PM
Wow, DPyro has managed to put into a picture what I didn't have a clue how to do. Kudos, Mister!

EdCase
Feb 22, 2010, 10:27 PM
Safe to say, graphics are not going to be the number one concern for the majority.
Less "cartoony" is all I ask.

Seventh Child
Feb 22, 2010, 11:35 PM
I thought the graphics looked great...

mr_willock
Feb 23, 2010, 12:31 AM
"I thought the graphics looked great..."

Yeah me too. I was instantaneously excited for the new look. I felt a fantastic familiar feeling I've only felt as a kid.. when looking at a new civilization game.

Obviously the honeycomb-patch look could be (is being/will be) smoothed out. And I think I saw someone else mention that mountains could be more.. mountain-y. I'd like to feel some sense of epic-ness to the mountains.. like.. ya know.. when you see mountains in the real world, and you get a sense of how small you are as a person.

Well, in the art so far, the troops really don't seem that insignificant compared to the mountains.

Looks fantastic though. I'm really excited. :goodjob:

paradigmx
Feb 23, 2010, 12:44 AM
The graphics could be stick men and tiles could just say things like "forest" and "tundra" and i wouldn't give a damn, so long as it was still civilization. All that matters is the gameplay, nothing else, the graphics are nice, but not at all what matters.

Though I do think Firaxis did a fantastic job with the graphics, more than I'd hoped for at least.

DPyro
Feb 23, 2010, 12:57 AM
I have to give credit to Firaxis, they've done a great job evolving Civilization. And I actually like the graphics too, minus the mountains and honeycombing. :)

xienwolf
Feb 23, 2010, 12:58 AM
Like this:
http://i.imgur.com/nRGKM.png

The tiles are still pretty obvious, but by sharing a small fraction of the total terrain on a tile you could smooth it out and make the map not look like a honeycomb.


Yes, that looks good. But now you need to predict all possible layouts of grid shape for any given terrain, and render them each individually, while writing code to place the correct ones in each location whenever the map is generated (or as will happen in some mods and worldbuilder, the terrain is changed).

Other than the two brown hexes on the far left of the image, no 2 tiles are the same in that depiction. Not even the general SHAPE of the terrain within any tile is maintained constant (the dark green on top right ALMOST manages to match up with the light green directly below it that is cut by the water, but even those don't quite match).


The alternative to that would be to have something designed which can "blur" the terrains, but that means having something that seems out of focus between every terrain type junction. Or it means instead of designing full plot and multi-plot terrain layouts, you have to design a single TINY patch or twelve and have it look like an 8-bit amalgamation of tiny pieces. By doing that (rendered objects, each much smaller than a single hex to allow for gradients between terrain) you raise the poly count per hex dramatically. And if the terrain is animated (grass/trees blowing in the wind type thing) that means a MASSIVE overhead on the graphics card, all for some nicely blended terrain, which will probably be viewed with the grid enabled more than 50% of the time.

paradigmx
Feb 23, 2010, 01:13 AM
Like this:
http://i.imgur.com/nRGKM.png

The tiles are still pretty obvious, but by sharing a small fraction of the total terrain on a tile you could smooth it out and make the map not look like a honeycomb.

Great, that works for a static layout with no randomization, now, do that for hundreds of thousands of tiles laid out in a relatively randomized pattern. Then, do that a few million times and get smooth results every time. While your doing that, try to not make map generation take 2 hours, I will accept a maximum of 10 minutes(and I am being very lenient with that timeframe)

Sealot
Feb 23, 2010, 01:18 AM
Good picture, but you should edit out the curse word before it's deleted.

DPyro
Feb 23, 2010, 01:27 AM
Yes, that looks good. But now you need to predict all possible layouts of grid shape for any given terrain, and render them each individually, while writing code to place the correct ones in each location whenever the map is generated (or as will happen in some mods and worldbuilder, the terrain is changed).

That's not how code works. You create everything at runtime, you don't just try and take tiles from some list and try to stick it in there.

Other than the two brown hexes on the far left of the image, no 2 tiles are the same in that depiction. Not even the general SHAPE of the terrain within any tile is maintained constant (the dark green on top right ALMOST manages to match up with the light green directly below it that is cut by the water, but even those don't quite match).

That's the point. ;)


The alternative to that would be to have something designed which can "blur" the terrains, but that means having something that seems out of focus between every terrain type junction. Or it means instead of designing full plot and multi-plot terrain layouts, you have to design a single TINY patch or twelve and have it look like an 8-bit amalgamation of tiny pieces. By doing that (rendered objects, each much smaller than a single hex to allow for gradients between terrain) you raise the poly count per hex dramatically. And if the terrain is animated (grass/trees blowing in the wind type thing) that means a MASSIVE overhead on the graphics card, all for some nicely blended terrain, which will probably be viewed with the grid enabled more than 50% of the time.

Oh ye of little faith. These are exactly what computers excel at. Graphics cards won't be used to generate the terrain (but if you did, it would take a fraction of the time it takes to calculate in CPU). I mean, GPU's already processes hundreds of millions of polygons a second, whether its polygons in a hexagonal or more roundular position is not really going to matter to it.

Great, that works for a static layout with no randomization, now, do that for hundreds of thousands of tiles laid out in a relatively randomized pattern. Then, do that a few million times and get smooth results every time. While your doing that, try to not make map generation take 2 hours, I will accept a maximum of 10 minutes(and I am being very lenient with that timeframe)

It's a solved problem that's been done way before computers were invented.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curve_fitting. How else do you think the smooth paintbrush in paint works? It would take seconds at most to do these calculations on a modern CPU, even on a massive map.

AlpsStranger
Feb 23, 2010, 01:53 AM
Do hexes make this problem that much worse than squares? I honestly think that smoothed out hex terrain will look quite natural compared to the Legend of Zelda thing we have going on in Civ4.

odalrick
Feb 23, 2010, 03:52 AM
I have to say that I think Civ graphics have been declining steadily since Civilization II.

Civ II has clear, crisp graphics that are instantly recognizable.

Civ III muddies them by adding noise, like shadows and animation.

Civ IV adds pointless 3d graphics, so that you need an advanced computer to show them. And, they change the model frequently: different directions, animations, damage... It's near impossible to recognize a unit without being zoomed in fully. Luckily they avoid many of the usual 3d traps, terrain obscuring important information and insufficient ability to zoom out. (They do add a layer of clouds when zoomed out though. I guess they didn't want the map to be too useful.)

If that trend continues, Civ VI units will be unrecognizable unless zoomed in enough to count the nose hairs, but that's okay since it will be impossible to zoom out anyway and there will be thick fog everywhere.

ColdFever
Feb 23, 2010, 04:03 AM
IMHO the Civ5 terrain so far looks superb, having a touch of real images you can take during a flight. Of course you have to take into account that for Civ you cannot use real scaling, because mountains would not fit, trees wouldn't be visible etc.

As creator of the Civ4 BlueMarble graphics mod, where I invested weeks trying to create similar graphics, I always dreamed about seeing a terrain like the one on the Civ5 screenshots, and I hardly can see where this beauty could be improved much. IMHO only the Civ5 rivers do not fit well to the landscape yet.

Chalks
Feb 23, 2010, 04:53 AM
"Sub par"?

Define "par" - or are you just throwing words around?

Civ has the benefit of being pretty much the only significant TBS, and certainly the only recent one - so tell me, what are you comparing it to? Crysis?

Skyre Noktis
Feb 23, 2010, 04:59 AM
Can someone explain to me why we're discussing terrain rounding when it's pretty obvious that Civ5 already has this? For example, take this screenshot:

http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=2775&c=36

Hexagons? Where? The river could be better but the rest looks good.

The honeycomb is only obvious in some of the other screens because the grid display is turned on.

Lord Khorak
Feb 23, 2010, 05:00 AM
Especially at this stage, I think it looks brilliant, and can't wait. My only complaint was how the farm fields looked.

Chalks
Feb 23, 2010, 05:06 AM
Can someone explain to me why we're discussing terrain rounding when it's pretty obvious that Civ5 already has this? For example, take this screenshot:

http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=2775&c=36

Hexagons? Where? The river could be better but the rest looks good.

The honeycomb is only obvious in some of the other screens because the grid display is turned on.

Just to throw it out there - I really really dislike what they've done with rivers. That horrible bevelled effect they're using that makes it look like someone dug out the path of the river then just poured water into it, not quite up to the top. Ick.

Hopefully that is one of the more alpha aspects of the graphics. Rivers have banks! Not smoothed corners where they just drop off down into the water.

thwump
Feb 23, 2010, 05:59 AM
Can someone explain to me why we're discussing terrain rounding when it's pretty obvious that Civ5 already has this? For example, take this screenshot:

http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=2775&c=36

Hexagons? Where? The river could be better but the rest looks good.

The honeycomb is only obvious in some of the other screens because the grid display is turned on.

I agree it seems to me they've already done what dpyro put in his scheme. The only really hard edge that I can see is between plains/grassland where the color border seems to be the hex border. In screenshots I see beaches in water tiles, water in land tiles, forests spilling over the border of hexes, and hills continuing onto flatland. Lakes and forests that take 1 tile look more like irregular circles than hexagons. Overall I just don't see the complaint about the shapes being too well defined.

Drago Askani
Feb 23, 2010, 11:12 AM
I have to say that I think Civ graphics have been declining steadily since Civilization II.

Civ II has clear, crisp graphics that are instantly recognizable.

Civ III muddies them by adding noise, like shadows and animation.

Civ IV adds pointless 3d graphics, so that you need an advanced computer to show them. And, they change the model frequently: different directions, animations, damage... It's near impossible to recognize a unit without being zoomed in fully. Luckily they avoid many of the usual 3d traps, terrain obscuring important information and insufficient ability to zoom out. (They do add a layer of clouds when zoomed out though. I guess they didn't want the map to be too useful.)

If that trend continues, Civ VI units will be unrecognizable unless zoomed in enough to count the nose hairs, but that's okay since it will be impossible to zoom out anyway and there will be thick fog everywhere.Just cause you are still playing on a 486 doesnt mean the rest of us want to be stuck in 1985. Now we are going back to the future. ;p

Kyriakos
Feb 23, 2010, 12:29 PM
I don't really care about the gfx that come with the game, as long as it is easy to mod them. No designer can compete with hundreds of people willing to create gfx out of love for a game, or even just love for creation ;)

NA00
Feb 23, 2010, 07:58 PM
Civ II is by far my favorite Civ, at least for nostalgic reasons, but I do not know about the graphics being so "crisp and clear" always. Granted, many of them were in my opinion, and as I said earlier, I do not value graphics as much as gameplay. But, I had a hard time telling what some of the resources (silk for example) were in the game just by looking at them on the map. Some were pretty obvious, though.

civ_king
Feb 23, 2010, 08:05 PM
I find the Terrain very good for an Alpha/very early Beta

ThERat
Feb 23, 2010, 08:40 PM
Personally I find the graphics very nice.

Especially compared to those cartoonish Civ4 graphics. Luckily coldfever provided us with bluemarble.

Most important is that the graphics are clear, do not distract us from the essence of the game and do NOT slow the game engine down. I do not want to buy another supercomputer just to play a strategy game.

DPyro
Feb 24, 2010, 12:58 AM
I have to say that I think Civ graphics have been declining steadily since Civilization II.

Civ II has clear, crisp graphics that are instantly recognizable.

Civ III muddies them by adding noise, like shadows and animation.

Civ IV adds pointless 3d graphics, so that you need an advanced computer to show them. And, they change the model frequently: different directions, animations, damage... It's near impossible to recognize a unit without being zoomed in fully. Luckily they avoid many of the usual 3d traps, terrain obscuring important information and insufficient ability to zoom out. (They do add a layer of clouds when zoomed out though. I guess they didn't want the map to be too useful.)

If that trend continues, Civ VI units will be unrecognizable unless zoomed in enough to count the nose hairs, but that's okay since it will be impossible to zoom out anyway and there will be thick fog everywhere.

I know we all value gameplay over graphics, but this is taking it to a pretentious extreme, as if somehow you're better than other gamers because you don't need silly graphical enhancements.

I personally found that with Civ II I had a hard time discerning the bonus resources. Silk, for example, looks like some seafood at a fancy restaurant. Civ III was the best at clear information. Civ VI tiles are not too obvious, but that's why you have a "show resources" / "show yields" feature. :)

You still have to give some thought to graphics, because not only does it help grow the Civ community, but it also makes it easier on the eyes than harsh polygons and enhances the gameplay. It's so much easier to imagine an epic LOTR battle with your archers in Civ IV than the dirt-throwing explosion sprite thingies of Civ II.

Pakhawaj
Feb 24, 2010, 02:06 AM
I think it's unfair to say he's being pretentious because he enjoys one art style over another. I've only played the first and fourth civ and while I preferred the graphics of the fourth I still enjoy the graphics of the first.
I think the graphics for Civilization V look lovely, I just hope my computer is up for it. :)

xienwolf
Feb 24, 2010, 02:42 AM
That's not how code works. You create everything at runtime, you don't just try and take tiles from some list and try to stick it in there.

Have you looked at how the graphics are handled for the terrain in Civ4? Features are the quickest/easiest one to look at to see that this is PRECISELY how they had done them here. While they MIGHT take another approach in Civ5, if they have the same basic team working on the terrain, it isn't likely.

odalrick
Feb 24, 2010, 04:48 AM
I know we all value gameplay over graphics, but this is taking it to a pretentious extreme, as if somehow you're better than other gamers because you don't need silly graphical enhancements.

It's not gameplay versus graphics; each civ has so far included enough gameplay enhancements to make the previous version all but unplayable despite better graphics.

Its information versus pretty. Pretty graphics are ok in a first person shooter, they are even nice in an action role-playing game.

In a strategy game the primary purpose of graphics is to convey available information to the player. Since Civilization IV is worse at conveying information than Civilization II, Civilization II has superior graphics.

The UI is better, the gameplay is better, the AI is better, the graphics are worse.

To be fair, they're not much worse.

I personally found that with Civ II I had a hard time discerning the bonus resources. Silk, for example, looks like some seafood at a fancy restaurant. Civ III was the best at clear information. Civ VI tiles are not too obvious, but that's why you have a "show resources" / "show yields" feature. :)

Overlays are great, but ultimately hide information. They "overlay" on the maps. They are also part of the UI, not the graphics.


You still have to give some thought to graphics, because not only does it help grow the Civ community, but it also makes it easier on the eyes than harsh polygons and enhances the gameplay. It's so much easier to imagine an epic LOTR battle with your archers in Civ IV than the dirt-throwing explosion sprite thingies of Civ II.

I'm not saying that they shouldn't work on the graphics, or even that the graphics have hurt the franchise. Just that each iteration of Civilization since II has moved further from my view of good graphics.

Drago Askani
Feb 24, 2010, 10:53 AM
odalrick seriously? Thats your reasoning. "I can't understand it as well so its worse." Seriously? wow...just wow, I am almost dumbfounded by this. I'm tempted to make a personal attack on your IQ here, but I think I will just stick with being dumbfounded...

Razorwing
Feb 24, 2010, 11:53 AM
To be honest, I was kinda disappointed with the graphics when I first saw the screenshots. It may be better than Civ IV, but the landscape and the units make the game look like a regular game made in 2005. BUT. Then I thought to myself: look how many individuals there are in the units (http://www.civilization5.com/img/screenshots/screenshot_01.jpg). I didn't count them, but there's got to be at least a hundred. Naturally, if you want to show a hundred actors in one scene they can't have the detail you'd see actors in a FPS to have. (That doesn't change the fact that they still look dated though.)

Mr_Wonka
Feb 24, 2010, 12:01 PM
Can someone explain to me why we're discussing terrain rounding when it's pretty obvious that Civ5 already has this? For example, take this screenshot:

http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=2775&c=36

Hexagons? Where? The river could be better but the rest looks good.

The honeycomb is only obvious in some of the other screens because the grid display is turned on.

those lakes look stupid and unatural. Firaxis needs to disign a better random generator for they're terrian placements.

I also hate how when your zoomed in, everything looks like its floating. hopefully this will be fixed in final version.

Mr_Wonka
Feb 24, 2010, 12:06 PM
you guys don't get it. Firaxis is always years behind the graphic evolution. Its cool. I'll still play they're games no matter what. But you guys just give them a free pass everytime. Civ 4 looks decent when the first screenshots came in. Then after a year, your lke...what is this crap? the land tiles look like doo doo. It will be the same thing with civ 5. Just wait a year until after the game i realeased. all the other games will be light years ahead of it.

Its just annoying as hell going back and forth between different video games. one minute your playing a gorgeous HD game, then the next minute your playing a civ game which looks like cardboard cutout put together south park style.

civ_king
Feb 24, 2010, 12:07 PM
lern2civ?

Seriously people get a life, we need this thread closed

Andrew_Jay
Feb 24, 2010, 12:25 PM
In a strategy game the primary purpose of graphics is to convey available information to the player. Since Civilization IV is worse at conveying information than Civilization II, Civilization II has superior graphics.
I seriously don't understand your complaint:

http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/files/2/2/2/4/9/2_tile_wall.jpg

Plains, grassland, desert, flood plains, forests, mountains all easily identifiable.

Granted, there aren't many units here, but they are mostly differentiated enough, even at this level of zoom.

Sure, the resource overlay is on, but resources were never that hard to tall apart. Maybe some of the metals (gold, silver, iron, aluminium) looked similar and incense and wine always seemed to look the same to me, but that's fixed with an easy mouse-over.

Perhaps hills were sometimes hard to identify, especially under a forest or a city.

I can't see how anyone could complain that it fails to convey the necessary information.

My only complaint about the Civ 5 terrain graphics are that they seem a little drab - more like Civ 3. I actually much prefer the brighter colours in Civ 4. They also lack the same character Civ 4 had, but it's early on and there's no much going on in them.

Just that each iteration of Civilization since II has moved further from my view of good graphics.
Ahh, and here we have the crux of the issue, don't we?

Takhisis
Feb 24, 2010, 12:52 PM
Why do so many people complain about the vanilla version which we all know will be rushed to make money and then heavily corrected/redone in two, maybe three expansions?
What matters is how moddable it is, e.g. whether there's a maximum amount of terrain types, units, technological advances, resources, etc.

JBConquests
Feb 24, 2010, 01:03 PM
The discussion on how money is allocated during the development of a game is interesting. I have worked on many different releases of software for different companies and I can say that each company has it's own unique way of allocating money for development.

On one extreme I have seen where the money gets allocated to a team and the development team itself consisting of designers, programmers, and testers decided as the project proceeds what the money gets spent on. Bigger companies mightdo this because they don't need to "hire" 1 or more graphics artists/1 or more programmers ahead of time because they are already on staff splitting time between multiple projects. So it just comes down to getting their time allocated. This tends to be a bit chaotic but a creative, talented team, can produced some of the most incredible products due to the freedom allowed. This approach also tends to go over budget. They might even be allowed to go over budget.

On the other extreme is where everything is decided and allocated up front. People are hired up front and let go when the money runs out. No changes are possible because the budgets are fixed.

Edit: Nice post, never made my point! The point is that unless somebody on this forum understands Firaxis better, you cannot say that spending more time on graphics will or will not take time away from other areas - including AI.
Most companies fall in between these extremes somewhere.

Except for in the public sector, budgets are not fixed. It is recognized that release dates push and more funds may need to be allocated. In fact, some companies plan on it and budget for being overbudget... ;)

odalrick
Feb 24, 2010, 01:54 PM
odalrick seriously? Thats your reasoning. "I can't understand it as well so its worse." Seriously? wow...just wow, I am almost dumbfounded by this. I'm tempted to make a personal attack on your IQ here, but I think I will just stick with being dumbfounded...

Yes, that's the short version.

What, have you never had to learn anything? You don't think there is a difference between being handed the Encyclopedia Britannica and told to "learn math" and attending a class, having a well thought out textbook and a teacher?

Strategy games are no different, though the cycle is shorter. At the beginning of the turn you have to learn what the enemy has done, what new things you have discovered and probably whatever you've forgotten you did in the past.

Graphics that make this task easier is better than graphics that make it harder.

I seriously don't understand your complaint:

http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/files/2/2/2/4/9/2_tile_wall.jpg

Granted, there aren't many units here, but they are mostly differentiated enough, even at this level of zoom.


The blue unit I think is a melee unit of some sort. Something is hidden under the ivory icon: Worker? Archer? I can see two workers and a chariot, though I'm not sure I'd call it clearly. At first glance I only saw the chariot.

Also, I noticed that single unit graphics is on. What; doesn't more polygons automatically mean better any more?


Sure, the resource overlay is on, but resources were never that hard to tall apart. Maybe some of the metals (gold, silver, iron, aluminium) looked similar and incense and wine always seemed to look the same to me, but that's fixed with an easy mouse-over.

Without the resource overlay I wouldn't have noticed the corn next to Thebes, and the mine covers the gold pretty well. Mouse-over would not help as there is nothing to tell that there is anything extra there. Also, mouse-over is not in any way graphics.

Perhaps hills were sometimes hard to identify, especially under a forest or a city.


And this is the best example of 3d-graphics in a strategy game there is, at least that I know of. Compared to Battle for Wesnoth it's lousy.

Civilization IV doesn't fail, it's just not as good as it's predecessors. All Civ games have great graphics by the standards of strategy games.


Ahh, and here we have the crux of the issue, don't we?

Oh, I see. Unlike everyone else on this forum who uses completely objective definitions of "better graphics", I made the mistake of expressing my own subjective opinion.

I forgot the section of Principia Mathematica that deals exclusively with establishing metrics for computer graphics.

Why do so many people complain about the vanilla version

Can't speak for anyone else, but for me it's mostly boredom. ;)

Thormodr
Feb 24, 2010, 02:13 PM
you guys don't get it. Firaxis is always years behind the graphic evolution. Its cool. I'll still play they're games no matter what. But you guys just give them a free pass everytime. Civ 4 looks decent when the first screenshots came in. Then after a year, your lke...what is this crap? the land tiles look like doo doo. It will be the same thing with civ 5. Just wait a year until after the game i realeased. all the other games will be light years ahead of it.

Its just annoying as hell going back and forth between different video games. one minute your playing a gorgeous HD game, then the next minute your playing a civ game which looks like cardboard cutout put together south park style.

Thank gawd the Civ 5 graphics aren't as ugly as the spelling and punctuation in the quoted post above. After reading some of the other posters well written posts I thought to myself, what is this crap? This post looks like doo doo :lol:

I think the screen shots look stunning and they will just get better and better. I suppose everyone has different tastes but you seem to have impossibly high standards it seems.

nzk13
Feb 24, 2010, 02:14 PM
that blue unit in Andrew_Jay's screenshot is a sumerian scout, right?
EDIT: Thormodr, I agree with you totally, except

Thank gawd that the Civ 5 graphics aren't as ugly as the spelling and punctuation in the quoted post above. :)

God being written as gawd was put in for irony, right?

Thormodr
Feb 24, 2010, 02:26 PM
that blue unit in Andrew_Jay's screenshot is a sumerian scout, right?
EDIT: Thormodr, I agree with you totally, except

God being written as gawd was put in for irony, right?

Personal preference. I try not to take the Lord's name in vain.

I suppose I could have just said "thankfully" and it would have conveyed the same meaning. To each his own.

nzk13
Feb 24, 2010, 02:43 PM
I try not to take the Lord's name in vain also. I just feel that only refers to the hebrew original.

Thormodr
Feb 24, 2010, 02:50 PM
I try not to take the Lord's name in vain also. I just feel that only refers to the hebrew original.

Fair enough. I could be wrong I guess.

Anyway, I do like the graphics. I am particularly impressed with the glistening oceans. The forests look nice as well. There are many different types of trees. It looks very promising to me.

PieceOfMind
Feb 24, 2010, 06:49 PM
those lakes look stupid and unatural. Firaxis needs to disign a better random generator for they're terrian placements.

I also hate how when your zoomed in, everything looks like its floating. hopefully this will be fixed in final version.
(emphasis added by me)

Quoted for irony.

I suggest giving Firaxis a bit of time to build the game before rushing to criticisms. Complaints about the graphics in Civ4 are fair game I guess.

LordRahl
Feb 24, 2010, 07:06 PM
The OP must be confusing genres. We're talking strategy game here. I'd be happy with ASCII art, as long as gameplay delivers.

If I want eye-candy, I just pop in Uncharted into my PS3.

Mr_Wonka
Feb 24, 2010, 09:06 PM
Thank gawd the Civ 5 graphics aren't as ugly as the spelling and punctuation in the quoted post above. After reading some of the other posters well written posts I thought to myself, what is this crap? This post looks like doo doo :lol:

I think the screen shots look stunning and they will just get better and better. I suppose everyone has different tastes but you seem to have impossibly high standards it seems.

Way to go with the personal attack bro. I don't take the time to proof read anymore since I already graduated from college. How about yourself? Its a stupid forum ya loser :goodjob:

grant2004
Feb 24, 2010, 09:30 PM
I wouldn't select graphics as a huge priority, I'd like to see them a little better than last time though. I do agree that there were some problems with blending between the tiles, they don't appear to have any sort of gradual transition.

However with the release 6-7 months away I'd expect the screen shots we've seen aren't showing us the final fully polished graphics of the release version.

Takhisis
Feb 25, 2010, 08:12 AM
We can always mod the graphics, after all, Civilization III is unplayable unless you download Sn00py's or Rhye's terrain modpacks.

warpstorm
Feb 25, 2010, 08:15 AM
We can always mod the graphics, after all, Civilization III is unplayable unless you download Sn00py's or Rhye's terrain modpacks.

Wrong, it was unplayable unless you used Warpstorm's. :mischief:

Takhisis
Feb 25, 2010, 08:42 AM
Pah. Watercolour...

civ_king
Feb 25, 2010, 10:01 AM
Thank gawd the Civ 5 graphics aren't as ugly as the spelling and punctuation in the quoted post above. After reading some of the other posters well written posts I thought to myself, what is this crap? This post looks like doo doo :lol:

I think the screen shots look stunning and they will just get better and better. I suppose everyone has different tastes but you seem to have impossibly high standards it seems.

If we operate under the assumption of a JudeoChristian God you have just taken the Lord's name in Vain, because aGod is all powerful and KNOWS what you mean

Also, can we start the complaining in April? Preferably in July so we can see a moderately final game?

Skyre Noktis
Feb 25, 2010, 10:47 AM
those lakes look stupid and unatural. Firaxis needs to disign a better random generator for they're terrian placements.
I have no idea what you're talking about. It's a tile-based strategy game, so of course it looks unnatural. The most important thing the graphics do is to convey information. This means they have to make it clear which tile has which terrain type, so you end up with a blob of water for a lake, a blob of trees for a forest, etc. This is unavoidable without throwing usability concerns completely out the window and making the game a right pain to play.

deanej
Feb 25, 2010, 12:30 PM
Yeah, civ4 actually had what you wanted in the early stages, but it was impossible to tell which tile was what. Hence why it's blocky.

Dale
Feb 25, 2010, 01:23 PM
We can always mod the graphics, after all, Civilization III is unplayable. unless you download Sn00py's or Rhye's terrain modpacks.

Fixed .

Thormodr
Feb 25, 2010, 01:29 PM
Way to go with the personal attack bro. I don't take the time to proof read anymore since I already graduated from college. How about yourself? Its a stupid forum ya loser :goodjob:

Complaining about a half arsed effort (in your mind) by Firaxis with the graphics while posting in a half arsed fashion makes you look ridiculous. Just pointing that out. No need to get offended. :)

The graphics are fine. If you don't like them then you can mod them. If you don't have the capability then find a mod like Blue Marble.

Takhisis
Feb 25, 2010, 01:42 PM
We can always mod the graphics, after all, Civilization III is unplayable [s]unless you download Sn00py's or Rhye's terrain modpacks.[s]Fixed .Oooooooo... that's very rude of you, you... you 'poly fan!!

Dale
Feb 25, 2010, 01:43 PM
Complaining about a half arsed effort (in your mind) by Firaxis with the graphics while posting in a half arsed fashion makes you look ridiculous. Just pointing that out. No need to get offended. :)

The graphics are fine. If you don't like them then you can mod them. If you don't have the capability then find a mod like Blue Marble.

And what if the poster spoke English as a second language and used the help of an online translator? That just makes you look like an insensitive bastard and a racist. Go easy on people dude, it's the internet for god's sake not an English exam. But no need to get offended. :)

Dale
Feb 25, 2010, 01:45 PM
Oooooooo... that's very rude of you, you... you 'poly fan!!

Poly fan? I don't think they'd appreciate that. ;)

Takhisis
Feb 25, 2010, 01:48 PM
We civ3 players will make those Apolyton Civheretics Forums yellabellies a run for their money any day of the week! Even on a Caturday!

Mr_Wonka
Feb 25, 2010, 03:51 PM
And what if the poster spoke English as a second language and used the help of an online translator? That just makes you look like an insensitive bastard and a racist. Go easy on people dude, it's the internet for god's sake not an English exam. But no need to get offended. :)

well said.

Thormodr
Feb 25, 2010, 04:30 PM
And what if the poster spoke English as a second language and used the help of an online translator? That just makes you look like an insensitive bastard and a racist. Go easy on people dude, it's the internet for god's sake not an English exam. But no need to get offended. :)

Wow! Now I am a racist? Relax. It seems entirely likely that he is indeed from Chicago and just doesn't care to proofread in any way, shape or form. I am aware that there are many posters that have English as a second language. I am also aware that these are the posters that make the greatest effort to be correct. Having taught ESL for over 6 years to students from many countries it really isn't that hard to make the distinction anyway.

I am not really offended as much as amused that a person could trash Firaxis for quality control when the poster could care less about his own. It's self defeating to his/her argument really.

At least I didn't insinuate that a certain poster from Turkey was a child or anything because I didn't agree with him. ;)

ori
Feb 25, 2010, 04:31 PM
Cut the name calling and the spelling police - neither are allowed by forum rules

PieceOfMind
Feb 25, 2010, 04:56 PM
well said.

My apologies. I shouldn't have assumed English was your first language.

Go into google earth and you can see what real terrain looks like.

Hmmm, maybe I missed something but isn't Google Earth pretty bad at showing what real terrain looks like, at least compared with observing something directly with your own eyes?

I'm won't completely write off the look of the game. Its obviously a lot better than its predecessor, but firaxis is just never up to date with graphic technology.
A valid criticism maybe, but always do consider the relatively unique civ fanbase who love using their out of date computers. As someone said earlier, this genre is not one where people expect to need beast computers (I think that's the correct term) to best run the game.

There's also the issue that making the game extremely graphically intensive is just wasteful.
As an example, suppose you wanted to individually render every blade of grass instead of just having a nice looking texture for a flat grass tile. Think about all the CPU (or GPU) cycles of all civ-playing computers round the world doing all their calculations on that silly grass. Think about all the energy (and hence money) it wastes. How much are those little blades of grass going to please the players of the game? I doubt many would care at all - many probably wouldn't even notice.

Lastly, who cares if the graphics are "sub-par" as you call them? I don't take a game like Monopoly and say "Eewww, the tiles are so bland and the player's pieces look dumb. Why would anyone play this?" A game like civ, thankfully, does not depend so greatly on the style of its graphics for its quality of gameplay. If I want good graphics I'll go outside of the house and look at some real trees and real grass :lol:. (I don't mean that completely literally:)). Or maybe I'd seek other forms of entertainment, Avatar comes to mind - whether you love it or hate it it's obvious a lot of work was put into its graphics. Unlike Civ, if that movie had "sub-par" graphics it would have had a much higher chance of being a flop.

Dale
Feb 25, 2010, 05:17 PM
Cut the name calling and the spelling police - neither are allowed by forum rules

Sorry Ori. :goodjob:

mechaerik
Feb 25, 2010, 07:06 PM
I find it odd that you are complaining about something that is almost certain (>99.9) to change. This is after all, not the final version.


And besides, I think it looks nice. Except the rivers, but as I said, almost certain to change.

croxis
Feb 25, 2010, 08:46 PM
There are not the art assets we are looking for *jedi mind finger wave thing*

As someone else mention, dev cycles! Many of these assets will be replaced over the coming months. Shaders will be tweaked, etc.

CossackProblem
Feb 25, 2010, 08:48 PM
I thought the graphics looked really good.

_hero_
Feb 26, 2010, 02:31 AM
Sub-par graphics is much better than releasing a game that 95% of people won't be able to play for a few years at which point the graphics will be sub-par anyways. Turn based strategy games don't sell because of their graphics.

Thormodr
Feb 26, 2010, 04:03 PM
Sub-par graphics is much better than releasing a game that 95% of people won't be able to play for a few years at which point the graphics will be sub-par anyways. Turn based strategy games don't sell because of their graphics.

Excellent post. You've summed it up very well. Firaxis could make cutting edge graphics that most people would have a hard time running efficiently but that would be effectively cutting their own throats. I think with each edition the graphics have improved and I'm sure CiVIlization (Civ 6) will look even better. They will always be a step behind and I'm fine with that as long as the game play is good.

It'd be nice if they could release two versions, a cutting edge graphics version for those with super computers and a normal one for the masses but that's just not realistic.

Fredric Drum
Feb 26, 2010, 04:16 PM
Excellent post. You've summed it up very well. Firaxis could make cutting edge graphics that most people would have a hard time running efficiently but that would be effectively cutting their own throats. I think with each edition the graphics have improved and I'm sure CiVIlization (Civ 6) will look even better. They will always be a step behind and I'm fine with that as long as the game play is good.

It'd be nice if they could release two versions, a cutting edge graphics version for those with super computers and a normal one for the masses but that just not realistic.


Or do the obvious thing, like most game developers do, let you adjust your graphics settings, which you can already do in Civ4 (although I'm not sure how much of a difference that setting makes in Civ4). Problem solved and everybody happy?

Afgnwrlrd
Feb 26, 2010, 04:16 PM
So far the game looks like Civ 4. With hexagons. And archers that shoot further. Big whoop. I really don't see any major improvement in AI coming down the tubes. The best thing they could do is have a built in editor feature since it really is the mods that make the game.

It's just sad to play an fps where everything looks real and then come back and see that civ hasn't changed at all.

BTW does the sinusoidal city borders bug anyone else besides me? couldn't they have just drawn a strait line and cut off all the little corners? The only squiggly borders i've ever seen were from rivers or other bodies of water

PieceOfMind
Feb 26, 2010, 05:05 PM
It's just sad to play an fps where everything looks real and then come back and see that civ hasn't changed at all.


If that makes you sad then I have some sympathy for you. Strategy games are NEVER defined by their eye candy, you will most likely forever be disappointed with the genre. Hey, you have awesome FPS games though, right?

Takhisis
Feb 26, 2010, 05:09 PM
If strategy games were only graphics, then I'd have to scrap Dune 2. no wai!

CornPlanter
Feb 26, 2010, 06:46 PM
The Graphics are fine it's all about the gameplay, if you want awesome graphics play an FPS

I never really understood this so called "argument". What is it about FPS that makes it monopolist of good graphics (supposedly)? Complete nonsense. Civ certainly is not all about gameplay, otherwise they wouldn't improve graphics at all. And most of us gamers do like good graphics. Theoretically you can play Civ-like game from command line only, if its all about gameplay.


Strategy games are NEVER defined by their eye candy, you will most likely forever be disappointed with the genre.

Surely they are not defined by that. But their graphics improve too. Compare Dune II to Starcraft to Dawn of War to Starcraft II :) I dont see anything wrong with good graphics in any genre whatsoever. It's a different feeling, you know, when you've got a nicely rendered army of soldiers to command or when you've got 32 bit icon with number 10 representing 10 soldiers to command.

PieceOfMind
Feb 26, 2010, 07:04 PM
Surely they are not defined by that. But their graphics improve too. Compare Dune II to Starcraft to Dawn of War to Starcraft II :) I dont see anything wrong with good graphics in any genre whatsoever. It's a different feeling, you know, when you've got a nicely rendered army of soldiers to command or when you've got 32 bit icon with number 10 representing 10 soldiers to command.

I agree, but if anything I want a strategy game like Civ 4 to lag behind in terms of leading edge graphics. For one, there's the issue of better graphics usually meaning more expensive development, probably drawing parts of the budget away from what matters more - the gameplay design etc. (not to mention driving up the retail price of the game, potentially driving away budget-conscious consumers)
Secondly, gamers who favour strategy games typically aren't looking for eye candy and as such will be satisfied with appropriate graphics rather than cutting edge graphics, especially considering leading edge graphics typically require expensive hardware, hardware much more expensive than the game itself.
There are many other reasons I could list but basically all the best strategy games I can think of have never been "leading edge" in their graphics except perhaps if you compare them only to other games in the same genre. Comparing to genres which rely very heavily on their graphics for user enjoyment (e.g. FPS genre) is usually a pointless activity.

Warspite2
Feb 26, 2010, 08:21 PM
Once again Firaxis stinks it up with the graphics. imo, and I know a lot fo you wont care or will disagree, they looked aged already. The land terrian as always stinks. The tiles have a lack of variety and still doesn't blend well.

The snow-caped mountains don't even look awe awe inspiring. I think they need to make the mountains bigger because you don't get the feeling that they're even there. Go into google earth and you can see what real terrain looks like. They never get the aesthetics aspect of they're civ games down. Its a shame because it would be ultimate.

I'm won't completely write off the look of the game. Its obviously a lot better than its predecessor, but firaxis is just never up to date with graphic technology.

Once again someone stinks it up with an insignificant post regarding graphics. Hey why don't you load up civ 1, civ 2, then civ 3, then civ 4, then compare. Graphics and animations are awesome in CIV4 compared to any other TBS game with this kind of depth.

conception
Feb 26, 2010, 09:48 PM
The graphics look pretty nice to me. But I'm one of those biased fans who doesn't have a top end computer and hates the fact that new incarnations of non-graphic dependent strategy games still tend to push the specs of their day just because it's expected. I don't care if the graphical improvements are negligible, I care about the gameplay changes and improvements. Right now my earning potential at my job is essentially living expenses so a new computer is not going to be possible.

cemsity
Feb 26, 2010, 11:23 PM
here use the first screenshots relesed of civ 4
http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/files/1/scan_Coastline_thumb.jpg (http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=11&c=5)
compared to an actual Screen of Civ 4
http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/files/1/civnov0027_thumb.jpg (http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=792&c=2)

See the difference the game looks nothing like the early photos.

civ_king
Feb 27, 2010, 12:21 AM
I never really understood this so called "argument". What is it about FPS that makes it monopolist of good graphics (supposedly)? Complete nonsense. Civ certainly is not all about gameplay, otherwise they wouldn't improve graphics at all. And most of us gamers do like good graphics. Theoretically you can play Civ-like game from command line only, if its all about gameplay.


Surely they are not defined by that. But their graphics improve too. Compare Dune II to Starcraft to Dawn of War to Starcraft II :) I dont see anything wrong with good graphics in any genre whatsoever. It's a different feeling, you know, when you've got a nicely rendered army of soldiers to command or when you've got 32 bit icon with number 10 representing 10 soldiers to command.

too many FPSers are Graphics Obsessed, I stopped playing civ I not because of graphics but because the other ones are more strategic, lower graphics make it better for us people on older machines, I have a Pentium 4 in my computer

Oatse
Feb 27, 2010, 02:49 AM
What's so bad about the graphics? I'm not really seeing the eye-rending horribleness here.

exorbit
Feb 27, 2010, 03:03 AM
here use the first screenshots relesed of civ 4
http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/files/1/scan_Coastline_thumb.jpg (http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=11&c=5)
compared to an actual Screen of Civ 4
http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/files/1/civnov0027_thumb.jpg (http://www.civfanatics.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=792&c=2)

See the difference the game looks nothing like the early photos.
thx for sharing !

i actually like the early screens because they were less cartoony :)

Rexflex
Feb 27, 2010, 03:26 AM
I'd agree the river looks just a tad false, but overall the graphics are a significant improvement over the existing CIV display. Given as said many times already it is only the first screenshots with over 6 months to work on, I think they are on to a good start.

CornPlanter
Feb 27, 2010, 04:24 AM
@ Piece of Mind: completely agree with every word you said. Especially with the word appropriate which is sort of subjective. This thread is all about appropriate. Are Civ5 graphics appropriate - or are they not? In OP's opinion, they are not. In my opinion, well... I'm perfectly fine with what I've seen in screenshots so far, but I would like it even more with at least Dawn of War II quality of graphics. Doesn't matter that much to me, right. Would be nice but not required.

mrt144
Feb 27, 2010, 02:54 PM
Poly fan? I don't think they'd appreciate that. ;)

:lol: No we would not.

ViniMGS
Feb 27, 2010, 04:24 PM
Sorry to say, but Google Earth isn't a good reference when it comes to seeing how a region terrain is. See al those brown, gray and green polygons? They are there because of the quality of the pictures. Of course, if you zoom in the quality of the terrain will be alot better, but still it's more a geographical tool than a tool used to "see how beatiful is Earth's terrain".

About the graphics, some people want to Civ V graphics to be like this (http://www.atpm.com/4.01/images/civ6.gif), other people want to zoom up in a jungle and see something like this (http://deuspayne.com/screenshots/crysis/Jungle-03.jpg). Sorry but niether graphic level will be provided. I think that the graphics are ok, whish the rivesr were better and stuff... But as long as they make the game "better than Civ IV in ALL aspects" I'm satisfied.

I know that the exemples were extreme. Also, I'm not bothered by the "cartoonish" graphics in Civ IV, but I agree that more realistic graphics in a more serious game is more appropriate.:goodjob:

DPyro
Feb 27, 2010, 04:43 PM
Blue Marble:
http://www.geog.ucsb.edu/~jeff/wallpaper2/blue_marble_globe_east_wall.jpg

Blue Marble for Civ IV
http://civilized.worldserve.de/download/civ4/mods/images/BlueMarbleGlobe1024.jpg

I like my Planet Earths to look more natural, not like a pixelated version of a Rand McNally map. It really ruins the immersive experience.

Let's not confuses two different ideas here. One of them is that Civ needs better graphics, as in better texturing / effects / etc... The other is that Civ needs to look more natural, like nontiley terrain. I have no problem with the hex tiling, its just that it should look a little more natural.

I have no idea what you're talking about. It's a tile-based strategy game, so of course it looks unnatural. The most important thing the graphics do is to convey information. This means they have to make it clear which tile has which terrain type, so you end up with a blob of water for a lake, a blob of trees for a forest, etc. This is unavoidable without throwing usability concerns completely out the window and making the game a right pain to play.

Why is this unavoidable? Natural-looking terrain is not mutually exclusive with a clear layout.

I agree, but if anything I want a strategy game like Civ 4 to lag behind in terms of leading edge graphics. For one, there's the issue of better graphics usually meaning more expensive development, probably drawing parts of the budget away from what matters more - the gameplay design etc. (not to mention driving up the retail price of the game, potentially driving away budget-conscious consumers)
Secondly, gamers who favour strategy games typically aren't looking for eye candy and as such will be satisfied with appropriate graphics rather than cutting edge graphics, especially considering leading edge graphics typically require expensive hardware, hardware much more expensive than the game itself.

Spending more time on graphics does not necessarily mean spending less time on gameplay. Also, Firaxis isn't just trying to sell Civ to us, it's trying to sell it to gamers everywhere, and why should we frown upon something that can easily help expand the community?

ViniMGS
Feb 27, 2010, 05:15 PM
DPyro: While you want a more natural, blended terrain, another person wants a more "tiley", informative and less confusing terrain. Maybe in the future, the problem will be solved, but for now we'll have to be satisfied with a not so smooth transition between terrains. Also, changing the game with the only objective of selling more copies, will probablymake the game a peice of ... for people who are familiar to the Civilization series. The only way to make the map "not look like a pixelated version of a Rand McNally map" or more like the blue marble picture, is to either remove tiles or make the maps insanely huge. Also, to make a globe map you'll have to use hexagons with pentagons (Civ V) or irregular tiles, or no tiles at all (kinda like the Super Mario Galaxy engine).

JBConquests
Mar 05, 2010, 01:02 PM
They certainly could have the graphics blend better and completely ignore the tiles when it comes to deciding where one terrain type ends, and another begins.

As an example, one hexigon is 1/3 mountain and 2/3 hills. If you build a mine it is 2/3 as productive as a mine on a hexigon which is completely covered by a hill.

Perhaps if one hexigon is 1/4 forest and 3/4 plains then placing a farm will cause the 1/4 that is forest to get chopped.

While this kind of functionality is very possible I doubt it would add much to game play beyond making gameplay more complicated. (e.g. understanding why a mine has 1/6 the production of another mine. If you don't have the tech to chop forests then what do you do when you go to farm the 1/4 forest and 3/4 plains hexigon mentioned above?)

Takhisis
Mar 05, 2010, 01:06 PM
Since when does the
complicated game = good game
equation hold true?

Ahriman
Mar 05, 2010, 03:32 PM
Exactly, another artist takes money from the percentage of total budget allocated to the art dept. If the art dept doesn't have the money, then the artist is not employed.
Spending more time on graphics does not necessarily mean spending less time on gameplay.

Guys, you're being precious.

The game company, at the beginning of the project, sits down and says: "Ok, we have a Development budget of $A. We're going to allocate that across a bunch of different features. $x will go for AI coders, $y will go for graphics designers, $z will go for gameplay designers, $w will go for engine coders. Now, this is is a civ game, so mostly people care about gameplay and AI, graphics isn't a big priority. So let's not make y too big, that way we have more left for x and z".

A dollar more allocated to the graphics department *is* a dollar less allocated to other departments, its just that its set at the initial budget setting phases (which may be occassionally updated over time), not the individual dollar levels.

Money is fungible, while overall budgets are relatively fixed.

So yes, a game with more of an emphasis on game and engine design work and AI will, all else equal, have less money to spend on artists.

Having said that, the terrain looked good to me.

Oh, and:
As an example, one hexigon is 1/3 mountain and 2/3 hills. If you build a mine it is 2/3 as productive as a mine on a hexigon which is completely covered by a hill.

Perhaps if one hexigon is 1/4 forest and 3/4 plains then placing a farm will cause the 1/4 that is forest to get chopped.

sounds *horrible*.

AlpsStranger
Mar 05, 2010, 03:44 PM
As an example, one hexigon is 1/3 mountain and 2/3 hills. If you build a mine it is 2/3 as productive as a mine on a hexigon which is completely covered by a hill.

Perhaps if one hexigon is 1/4 forest and 3/4 plains then placing a farm will cause the 1/4 that is forest to get chopped.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit:yuck:

Thormodr
Mar 05, 2010, 03:59 PM
I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit:yuck:

Actually it's not a bad idea. It looks like some hexes in the screen shots have only 1/2 to 1/4 forest cover. Some are 1/2 hills and 1/2 plains.

If they get rid of workers and go to a PW (Public Works) system like Call to Power then you could say farm 3/4 of it and leave the 1/4 to forest. I think it would look visually appealing anyway. :)

-=Yin=-
Mar 05, 2010, 04:30 PM
Like this:
http://i.imgur.com/nRGKM.png

The tiles are still pretty obvious, but by sharing a small fraction of the total terrain on a tile you could smooth it out and make the map not look like a honeycomb.
This is exactly what they are doing already. You might want more spill, but I think this is enough:
http://forums.civfanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=245221&stc=1&d=1267828159

Daftpanzer
Mar 05, 2010, 10:10 PM
I just want to say I would prefer non-flashy graphics, even 'worse' than the screenshots shown already, so we get to use our system resources on the things that count. Cos unless you really want to buy new hardware, then having all kinds of funky visual stuff is going to mean smaller, less complex game worlds with fewer simultaneous civs, as I see it.

As someone who grew up with Amiga 500 games, everything these days looks the same to me! I still like the graphics on games like The Settlers III :). The hexes alone should allow for less blocky-looking landscapes.

seasnake
Mar 05, 2010, 10:41 PM
Probably the best game I've played for depth and strategy is Europa Universalis III. The graphics were and are nothing to write home about, but it's simply one of the few games that offers the variety of options a real world leader would have to deal with. An incredible game.

Civilization IV still looks good and is a lot of fun. I don't need a game to be the end all, be all of graphics. I think the final Civilization V will look great, but please make sure we have a lot of diplomacy options and a brilliant AI.

chongli
Mar 05, 2010, 11:23 PM
This is exactly what they are doing already. You might want more spill, but I think this is enough:

The problem is their technique. They appear to just be alpha blending the different tile textures. This leads to such ugliness as underwater roads and farms.

Kyriakos
Mar 06, 2010, 02:39 PM
http://forums.civfanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=245221&stc=1&d=1267828159

This city looks terrible. I hope they won't release the game with such primitive graphics.

Abremms
Mar 06, 2010, 02:50 PM
honestly, the game is in alpha. some of the graphics are obviously ported directly from civ4, just look at the horses in the city shot above^. its way too early to be getting too angry about graphics. that said, i think they are off to a great start. the shots they have released so far show lots of potential. the hex map makes for MUCH smoother and more natural looking terrain, and they've done a decent job getting blending to work between various terrains with just enough spillover.

Thormodr
Mar 06, 2010, 02:55 PM
http://forums.civfanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=245221&stc=1&d=1267828159

This city looks terrible. I hope they won't release the game with such primitive graphics.

I'm pretty sure the city graphics are just placeholders. They'll look much better in the final version.

Disgustipated
Mar 06, 2010, 05:06 PM
you can have floating buildings. Some cities are built on the water. :)

deanej
Mar 06, 2010, 05:29 PM
Yeah, who says floating buildings are unrealistic? Here's a floating restaurant:
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Rochester,+Monroe,+New+York&ll=44.338775,-75.918486&spn=0.00132,0.00284&t=h&z=19

toft
Mar 06, 2010, 06:04 PM
I was about to nerdrage on the OP, but decided to take an extra look at the images... and it makes me sad to say that the OP has a point. The terrain should blend better - overall better graphics would be nice.

Disgustipated
Mar 06, 2010, 06:53 PM
they look amazing to me. I don't see what the fuss is. It's only when you zoom in you see the flaws like the city above. I'm the type who rarely zooms civ4 in. I keep a medium distance out.

To be sure, like the post above me, I'm looking at the screenies again. (the 3 in the announcement thread post 1)

first one: cows look a bit lame, they'll probably get redone. the ocean looks great! The best looking ocean by far. Much better than the horrible civ3 ocean.

second one: ahh I see the city flaw pictured above. Didn't notice it the first time. Hopefully they fix that. Hardly a game breaker, though. The units look kind of funky, like they are wearing dresses LOL

3rd one: grassland look amazing. Realistic colors. Sure it isn't bright and shiny, but I like the more realistic colors. Something funky is going on on that river square with the farm next to it. I'm not sure what that is.

Shiggs713
Mar 06, 2010, 07:04 PM
graphics, who cares? So long as its a step up from civ4, which it looks like it will be, I'm happy. I want good gameplay, graphics are secondary.

Takhisis
Mar 06, 2010, 09:47 PM
graphics, who cares? So long as its a step up from civ4, which it looks like it will be, I'm happy. I want good gameplay, graphics are secondary.
:thumbsup: The fan community can always provide new graphics, like Snoopy's terrain, etc. etc.

Abaddon
Mar 06, 2010, 11:30 PM
I do not want advanced graphics, i want advanced AI

cf_nz
Mar 06, 2010, 11:37 PM
graphics, who cares? So long as its a step up from civ4, which it looks like it will be, I'm happy. I want good gameplay, graphics are secondary.
Agreed. I don't understand the obsession with graphics.

Abaddon
Mar 06, 2010, 11:39 PM
Propaganda by Graphics Card manufacture and capitalist mentality

Drago Askani
Mar 07, 2010, 01:10 AM
Well lets admit we all like a nice looking game. Sadly things can look dated pretty fast. I remember when Oblivion was considered awe inspiring graphics. Now its just Nice graphics.

bite
Mar 07, 2010, 01:16 AM
Honestly i like the graphics I have seen so far

JBConquests
Mar 07, 2010, 09:28 AM
I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit:yuck:

Yes, just to be clear I wasn't seriously proposing that but I think that would be the inevitable result if you let terrain blend over significantly into other tiles...

civ_king
Mar 09, 2010, 09:53 AM
THE GRAPHICS ARE FINE FOR AN PRE-ALPHA!!!!
hell I could live with the graphics as they are now

Mr_Wonka
Mar 09, 2010, 10:20 AM
I haven't seen a mountain with forest on it. the mountains look like garbage. there is one mountain on the coastline that is 80% covered in snow, but the climate surrounding the area doesn't look to be gold.(in one of the new pictures)

tom2050
Mar 09, 2010, 10:22 AM
Those graphics suck... here's the reason anyone talks about it.

The dev's are making a huge deal about it.
They will always try to make the graphics better as a sell point.

But in the end, the city looks fake and terrible, the terrain looks okay but nothing special. Overall, the graphics suck compared to many top-notch 3d games already available years ago.

And there may be some changes, but 5 is not far out, so that is probably close to what you will get.

This is what you get with a game that runs on high end and slow notebooks as well.

Tom

Thormodr
Mar 09, 2010, 11:16 AM
More garbage from the haters. :rolleyes:

I just took at look at the first screen shot of the interface and I have to say I was tremendously impressed. The mountain range looked stunning.

This mass hysteria by people who started whining about an alpha screen shot would be laughable if it weren't so pathetic. :lol:

tom2050
Mar 09, 2010, 11:26 AM
You, good sir, will just say everything is good with no reason. Someone could probably sell you a half-eaten plate of food and you would think you are getting a good deal.

The graphics are no better than games that came out years ago, If you are impressed by the graphics, then you seemingly are unaware that the graphics are not incredible by any standard compared to other games. They are par.

If the game runs fast, it's not because of excellent programming, it's because they have nerfed the number of units and cities... yet again.

This is a place to discuss our opinions of the graphics.. if you don't like it.. then get the hell out.

Tom

Thormodr
Mar 09, 2010, 11:30 AM
You, good sir, will just say everything is good with no reason. Someone could probably sell you a half-eaten plate of food and you would think you are getting a good deal.

The graphics are no better than games that came out years ago, If you are impressed by the graphics, then you seemingly are unaware that the graphics are not incredible by any standard compared to other games. They are par.

If the game runs fast, it's not because of excellent programming, it's because they have nerfed the number of units and cities... yet again.

This is a place to discuss our opinions of the graphics.. if you don't like it.. then get the hell out.

Tom

No need to be rude. :rolleyes:

I was merely commenting on the screen shot of the interface which looks awesome.

I am sure you or others will hate it anyway because your preconceived minds are already made up.

If you hate the game so much then go play something else. It's not a hard concept to understand.

tom2050
Mar 09, 2010, 11:57 AM
No need to be rude...

More garbage from the haters. :rolleyes:... This mass hysteria by people who starting whining... if it weren't so pathetic.

Uhhh.. yea.

Having played since 1, they are drastically changing the foundation of the game away from what Civilization is. It's becoming more of a turn-based Age of Empires. Newcomers to the game won't know this. Their efforts are towards a broader audience by nerfing what made Civ popular to begin with, hence the skepticism in what they are doing.

Tom

Mr_Wonka
Mar 09, 2010, 12:10 PM
No need to be rude. :rolleyes:

I was merely commenting on the screen shot of the interface which looks awesome.

I am sure you or others will hate it anyway because your preconceived minds are already made up.

If you hate the game so much then go play something else. It's not a hard concept to understand.

how are our preconceived minds made up? its obvious that the graphics are sub par to modern games. Firaxis are selling the new graphics thing to guys like you. Its fine though, you don't care for a good looking game. I just happen to think it enhances the gameplay a lot. A game isn't very convincing to me if my cities like they're floating in mid air.

the game already looks outdated. I'm sorry if I'm making you come back down to earth, but its the reality of the situation.

Like I've said before somewhere along the line, I'm just tired of Firaxis under developing this aspect of they're games. Its not just Civ, its all of their games. They need to start shelling out the dough and get some real computer graphic guys on they're team.

croxis
Mar 09, 2010, 12:35 PM
*insert statement about pre alpha graphics yet again*

Outdated? Compared to what, exactly?

tom2050
Mar 09, 2010, 12:41 PM
*insert statement about pre alpha graphics yet again*

Outdated? Compared to what, exactly?

Are you serious? You are actually asking for a list of high quality graphic games... These could be listed by the hundreds... and they all look better than Civ 5 pre-alpha graphics. Even if they drastically improve the graphics, it will still be par on the graphical scale.

Avatar is the ultimatum of graphical genious. Civ 5 is behind the times in what they have shown. Civ 4 was waaay behind. Civ 3 was the same. Firaxsis graphic budget is either low, or they didn't hire the right people.

There is a thing called 'Google'. I won't search for what I'm sure you can find yourself.

Tom

Skyre Noktis
Mar 09, 2010, 12:43 PM
Are we really still arguing about this? Which similar tile-based strategy games are making Civ V look so inferior, exactly? I'm not sure we've had a single example in the entire thread. Show me some beautiful tiled terrain and then we can discuss where we think Civ V is going wrong.

Having played since 1, they are drastically changing the foundation of the game away from what Civilization is. It's becoming more of a turn-based Age of Empires.
No, they're not, and I'll bet you don't have a single shred of evidence to back this up. It's FUD.

Thormodr
Mar 09, 2010, 12:57 PM
Are we really still arguing about this? Which similar tile-based strategy games are making Civ V look so inferior, exactly? I'm not sure we've had a single example in the entire thread. Show me some beautiful tiled terrain and then we can discuss where we think Civ V is going wrong.


No, they're not, and I'll bet you don't have a single shred of evidence to back this up. It's FUD.

Don't you know the sky is falling? The haters go through the same old idiotic song and dance whenever a new Civ game is released.

If they made incredible graphics that only 20% of people's computer's could use then 80% of their potential customers would be SOL. The fan base would erode and potentially there wouldn't be a Civ 6. That would be an unwise business decision. Is this really a hard concept for some people?

tom2050
Mar 09, 2010, 01:01 PM
Don't you know the sky is falling? The haters go through the same old idiotic song and dance whenever a new Civ game is released.

If they made incredible graphics that only 20% of people's computer's could use then 80% of their potential customers would be SOL. The fan base would erode and potentially there wouldn't be a Civ 6. That would be an unwise business decision. Is this really a hard concept for some people?
Better Graphics = no Civ 6... that was well thought out I see.

Your ignorance is bliss. Seems full out 3d games with incredible graphics don't have these problems where they only work on 20% of machines. 3d First Person takes more processor power than a tiled 3d image.

The only hater here is you... you are ignoring the obvious. I think Civ 5 looks good, but a simple statement of the truth that the graphics are sub-par has gotten you all wild up.

After all... the thread is called Sub-Par graphics, congrats firaxis. It's the point of the discussion.

I criticize where necessary, and give props to what I think is good. That's how developers know what people think is good or bad. You say everything is great. Having no opinion helps no one.

Tom

Mr_Wonka
Mar 09, 2010, 01:06 PM
Don't you know the sky is falling? The haters go through the same old idiotic song and dance whenever a new Civ game is released.

If they made incredible graphics that only 20% of people's computer's could use then 80% of their potential customers would be SOL. The fan base would erode and potentially there wouldn't be a Civ 6. That would be an unwise business decision. Is this really a hard concept for some people?

poor code would make it so people wouldn't be able to run the game on they're computers, not beautiful graphic design.

Insanity_X
Mar 09, 2010, 01:18 PM
poor code =/= bad graphics.

The graphics you see here wont be what's included. As has been shown in previous posts in the thread, graphics change greatly as the game goes from pre alpha (now) to release (in six months). lets just enjoy the ride for now.

Skyre Noktis
Mar 09, 2010, 02:45 PM
Better Graphics = no Civ 6... that was well thought out I see.

Your ignorance is bliss. Seems full out 3d games with incredible graphics don't have these problems where they only work on 20% of machines. 3d First Person takes more processor power than a tiled 3d image.

The only hater here is you... you are ignoring the obvious. I think Civ 5 looks good, but a simple statement of the truth that the graphics are sub-par has gotten you all wild up.

After all... the thread is called Sub-Par graphics, congrats firaxis. It's the point of the discussion.

I criticize where necessary, and give props to what I think is good. That's how developers know what people think is good or bad. You say everything is great. Having no opinion helps no one.

Tom
I like how this post originally just said "Your ignorance is bliss" and then you gradually added bits to it over about five or six edits to make it look semi-respectable. Classy.

Are you going to provide anything to back up your claims whatsoever? A single screenshot of a game with similar but better graphics, perhaps? Then we'd have something to discuss. You're pretty close to trolling at the moment.

Also, I'd like to point out that thinking the graphics are fine as they are *is* a valid opinion and the thread being called "Sub-Par graphics" doesn't mean that everyone posting in it has to hold that as some kind of self-evident truth.

croxis
Mar 09, 2010, 03:13 PM
Are you serious? You are actually asking for a list of high quality graphic games... These could be listed by the hundreds... and they all look better than Civ 5 pre-alpha graphics. Even if they drastically improve the graphics, it will still be par on the graphical scale.

Avatar is the ultimatum of graphical genious. Civ 5 is behind the times in what they have shown. Civ 4 was waaay behind. Civ 3 was the same. Firaxsis graphic budget is either low, or they didn't hire the right people.

There is a thing called 'Google'. I won't search for what I'm sure you can find yourself.

Tom

Perfect set up for me, thank you.

It is unfair from a technical standpoint to compare the graphics of different game point of views. The requirements for a first person point of view is much different that a god view such as civ or sim city. The architecture of graphics cards has been designed for first person games.

Part of the problem is geom count (this is mostly trouble for city builders). Even older graphics cards can render millions of polygons... if they are grouped into one object. Place 2000 objects with just one polygon on them and even the most modern graphics cards will grind down to a near halt. Hardware instancing and advanced culling techniques can help allivate this problem. This is also why there seemed to be a texture switch when zooming to globe view as well as a removal of units -- to keep the geom count down.

Ahh Avatar. Loved the movie and visually stunning. Also took about a day to render one frame. Civ 5 needs to render 60 of them a second, or 30 with motion blur.

My point still stands. Show me a screenshot comparison with equivalent graphical settings. So a game that used terrain splatting, high camera view, etc. I'm a man of data, not hyperbole.

Daftpanzer
Mar 09, 2010, 04:33 PM
I agree with Abaddon. All those moaning about the graphics are poor victims of capitalist hardware industry brainwashing. Help the games industry by caring about the game itself!

Gameplay first priority IMO

AI second priority

Visual detail/style third (give the user information in an easily understood way, represent what is going on in the game world, and add 'charm' and 'character')

Actual quality of the visuals / # of special effects hardly matters to me after that.

lemmy101
Mar 09, 2010, 04:37 PM
I criticize where necessary, and give props to what I think is good. That's how developers know what people think is good or bad. You say everything is great. Having no opinion helps no one.

Tom

You want good graphics? Go play Crysis. This is a strategy game. Would you prefer they spend 3/4 of the development time making the graphics prettier, or making an awesome strategy game with awesome mod support? Get over yourself.

I'm frankly amazed anyone who could claim to be a Civ fan could possibly complain about such a thing. In a forum full of die hard Civ fans, no less.

Also, I think the graphics are lovely and a massive improvement over previous PC civs. God only knows how you coped with Civ 1 and 2 if you think these graphics are poor. :D

tom2050
Mar 09, 2010, 05:01 PM
I still play Civ 3... graphics don't mean crap to me, obviously. The screenshots so far are nothing spectacular. That is what was said. I still play Alpha Centauri also, among a host of others.

But the graphics are still par; sub-par at this point of the game screen itself. Hopefully they improve at time of release. No point for you all to get a blood clot over it.

If you are too lazy to use google, I won't help that bad habit.

@Skyre Noktis: I added to my post directly after the post... Leave your crap in your mouth.

Tom

Chalks
Mar 09, 2010, 05:17 PM
tom2050 - what do you consider to be "par"?

tom2050
Mar 09, 2010, 05:26 PM
chalks - In golf, either a 3, 4, or 5

Tom

lemmy101
Mar 09, 2010, 05:28 PM
Surely sub-par is a birdie, eagle or hole in one then? :p which is Civ 5?

Akkon888
Mar 09, 2010, 05:35 PM
Golf terms do not transfer over to other terms. Sub-par means that something is below standard, and in golf that is a higher point value than is par. But, in real life, a lot of things, profit among them, result in sub-par values lower than standard.

Did that make sense?

PieceOfMind
Mar 09, 2010, 05:40 PM
If you are too lazy to use google, I won't help that bad habit.


In other words, you have no evidence of a game that is similar to Civ (e.g. tile based turn based strategy) that has "better" graphics.

I would love for you to prove me wrong. Perhaps you can recommend some search terms I could try?

tom2050
Mar 09, 2010, 06:26 PM
In other words, you have no evidence of a game that is similar to Civ (e.g. tile based turn based strategy) that has "better" graphics.

I would love for you to prove me wrong. Perhaps you can recommend some search terms I could try?

No, if you can't use the abilities you have to look for yourself, then you can continue thinking that Civ 5 has the best graphics in the universe for all I care. I'm not going to play 'daddy' with you and spoon-feed you.

As long as there is good gameplay, 5 can have isometric and I will buy it.

Tom

Thormodr
Mar 09, 2010, 06:42 PM
No, if you can't use the abilities you have to look for yourself, then you can continue thinking that Civ 5 has the best graphics in the universe for all I care. I'm not going to play 'daddy' with you and spoon-feed you.

As long as there is good gameplay, 5 can have isometric and I will buy it.

Tom

It's pretty simple.

Produce the evidence, retract the remark or just admit that you were wrong.

If you can show me a game that is comparable to Civ that has outstanding graphics that will meet your tastes then just show it. I happen to like good graphics in a game as well. If you can show me a game like Civ that is head and shoulders above it graphics wise I'll agree with you about the ciV graphics. You'll convince me that I'm wrong.

tom2050
Mar 09, 2010, 06:56 PM
It's pretty simple.

Produce the evidence, retract the remark or just admit that you were wrong.

If you can show me a game that is comparable to Civ that has outstanding graphics that will meet your tastes then just show it. I happen to like good graphics in a game as well. If you can show me a game like Civ that is head and shoulders above it graphics wise I'll agree with you about the ciV graphics. You'll convince me that I'm wrong.

I never stated I would compare game graphics that are Civ knock-offs. That came out of the hole in your face you call a mouth.

I won't change your diaper either, I won't retract any remark, and you can just deal with it. Everyone likes good graphics, but things like this:

http://forums.civfanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=245221&stc=1&d=1267828159

look like crap. Do I care? No. But it does look like crap. Will it improve, I'm sure it will. But right now, this is what they have released. Back to your rabbit hole.

Tom

Thormodr
Mar 09, 2010, 07:06 PM
I never stated I would compare game graphics that are Civ knock-offs. That came out of the hole in your face you call a mouth.

I won't change your diaper either, I won't retract any remark, and you can just deal with it. Everyone likes good graphics, but things like this:

http://forums.civfanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=245221&stc=1&d=1267828159

look like crap. Do I care? No. But it does look like crap. Will it improve, I'm sure it will. But right now, this is what they have released. Back to your rabbit hole.

Tom

A lot of smack talk for someone that can't back it up. ;)

Thanks for showing me the pre alpha screen shot again. Now we're making progress. Now show me an equivalent game to Civ with mind blowing graphics. If you say the graphics are sub par then you are making a comparison. Please show what is par or above par. That or retract the statement and have some nappy time. ;)

Disgustipated
Mar 09, 2010, 07:07 PM
Better Graphics = no Civ 6... that was well thought out I see.

Your ignorance is bliss. Seems full out 3d games with incredible graphics don't have these problems where they only work on 20% of machines. 3d First Person takes more processor power than a tiled 3d image.

The only hater here is you... you are ignoring the obvious. I think Civ 5 looks good, but a simple statement of the truth that the graphics are sub-par has gotten you all wild up.

After all... the thread is called Sub-Par graphics, congrats firaxis. It's the point of the discussion.

I criticize where necessary, and give props to what I think is good. That's how developers know what people think is good or bad. You say everything is great. Having no opinion helps no one.

Tom

I will accept the graphics aren't top of the line in 2010. But who cares? It looks good to me (assuming they fix the city overplapping issue).

Your post seems to say that people who play FPS games play civ games. While some may, I'm willing to bet most have never even heard of Civ. The company is marketing towards a different type of gamer. One who does not have a top of the line computer system and can't handle top of the line graphics.

I'd like to see data on civ's numbers, but I'm willing to bet most are casual gamers. Even the people who post here or other civ sites are the minority.

tom2050
Mar 09, 2010, 07:15 PM
A lot of smack talk for someone that can't back it up. ;)

Thanks for showing me the pre alpha screen shot again. Now we're making progress. Now show me an equivalent game to Civ with mind blowing graphics. If you say the graphics are sub par then you are making a comparison. Please show what is par or above par. That or retract the statement and have some nappy time. Someone's a little bit cranky right now and needs a time out. ;)

It's tough to bicker with someone who doesn't listen. My comparison is overall in 3d games. I never stated a Civ knock-off or Civ equivalent game as you keep clinging to.

The graphics as par are average, nothing mind-blowing or stellar. If you don't understand what that means, then I won't waste my time with your intellectual inabilities any longer.

The thing I am impressed with is the graphic scalability... which is terrific, the game should run on almost any gig.

Tom

Mr_Wonka
Mar 09, 2010, 08:04 PM
why the heck would firaxis post pictures that were unfinished? stupid move by them imo.

mechaerik
Mar 09, 2010, 08:37 PM
:facepalm:


Its. Called. An. Alpha.

Insanity_X
Mar 09, 2010, 08:47 PM
Technically it's not even alpha yet. Can somone quote the post(s) containing other game's alphas?

moscaverde
Mar 09, 2010, 09:21 PM
I liked the graphics in theses screenshots, specially the water. Don't know if Civ would work with photorealistic graphics.

Daftpanzer
Mar 09, 2010, 09:29 PM
I'd settle for those graphics. I'm sure they can clean it up and add details and 'character' without making it extra hardware intensive.

Gamemaster77
Mar 09, 2010, 09:30 PM
I never stated I would compare game graphics that are Civ knock-offs. That came out of the hole in your face you call a mouth.

I won't change your diaper either, I won't retract any remark, and you can just deal with it. Everyone likes good graphics, but things like this:

http://forums.civfanatics.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=245221&stc=1&d=1267828159

look like crap. Do I care? No. But it does look like crap. Will it improve, I'm sure it will. But right now, this is what they have released. Back to your rabbit hole.

Tom

Even these pre-alpha graphics are better than civ1, 2, 3, and 4 in my opinion.
I dont see what your complaining about.

Takhisis
Mar 09, 2010, 09:37 PM
Even these pre-alpha graphics are better than civ1, 2, 3, and 4 in my opinion.
I dont see what your complaining about.
Pffft... don't exaggerate. They're good for alphas but user made graphics (the true strength of such games is their moddability) are far better.

Gamemaster77
Mar 09, 2010, 09:42 PM
Pffft... don't exaggerate. They're good for alphas but user made graphics (the true strength of such games is their moddability) are far better.

I'm not exageratig. I like them better than civIII graphics because of the 3d and smoother texture and I always hated how in civ4 terrain always got in the way of
other tiles, just my personal opinion.

Thormodr
Mar 09, 2010, 11:54 PM
It's tough to bicker with someone who doesn't listen. My comparison is overall in 3d games. I never stated a Civ knock-off or Civ equivalent game as you keep clinging to.

The graphics as par are average, nothing mind-blowing or stellar. If you don't understand what that means, then I won't waste my time with your intellectual inabilities any longer.

The thing I am impressed with is the graphic scalability... which is terrific, the game should run on almost any gig.

Tom

Whatever. Constantly insulting people isn't helping your cause by the way. :rolleyes:

When making comparisons you should compare apples to apples. Stick within the general genre. Comparing apples to oranges isn't very helpful.

Compare the Civ series to the Age of Empires series or the Total War series for example. Not an exact match but they do share some things in common.

Whatever the case, all I am really concerned about is that the graphics are better than cIV and they clearly appear to be. That makes me a happy camper.
You seem at least content with them but not overly thrilled.

Agree to disagree.

Thormodr
Mar 10, 2010, 01:22 AM
I really like Paradox games and I think they have never been state of the art graphical masterpieces. I am excited about Victoria 2 which is coming out in June.

A screen shot of it:

http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=21815&d=1266408201

Here is a trailer. I think the map looks beautiful. Very nice graphics in my opinion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGDMgNJbaGQ&feature=related

Here is another Paradox game called Rise of Prussia. It's a turn based war game but with simultaneous turns. Interesting. I really like the look of the map even though it's not state of the art. I apologize for the size. I'm going to have to try it out.

http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=21959&d=1266938112

Thormodr
Mar 10, 2010, 01:37 AM
Here is an upcoming release called Vainglory of Nations. It's a turn based wargame with a time frame of around 1850-1920. Apparently you will have 1,000 turns. :D

Once again, not overwhelming graphics but I like them for an alpha screen shot.

http://www.monnikje.nl/PIC2010/06vainglory.jpg

exorbit
Mar 10, 2010, 01:41 AM
even rome total war looks better ..
have anyone of you seen empire total war ? pure pwnage graphics there!

Drago Askani
Mar 10, 2010, 01:49 AM
If you don't understand what that means, then I won't waste my time with your intellectual inabilities any longer.
Run outta methylphenidate kid?

Clearly you don't understand that when making a claim the burden of proof falls on your shoulders. Now obviously we know you have no factual contingencies for this and its all just your self important opinions. So feel free to carry on.

Do you need your sippy cup?

Thormodr
Mar 10, 2010, 02:09 AM
even rome total war looks better ..
have anyone of you seen empire total war ? pure pwnage graphics there!

With a bug riddled disastrous game with incredibly bad AI. Pretty nice graphics though I'll admit. It did sucker me in. :(

Padje Dog
Mar 10, 2010, 02:19 AM
I'm hoping that I won't have to upgrade my computer to play. CiV should follow the Stardock mentality of being playable on a wide range of computers.

Its TBS, I don't need flash graphics just give me something workable that contains great game mechanics. I've upgraded my computer for games in the past but I'm kinda over it.

Double Stack
Mar 10, 2010, 02:37 AM
"Sub-par graphics", right...

Better graphics does not make the game better. However, over the top graphics with little fountain in gameplay/mechanics mean the game company has a bad track. Firaxis has a good track on making good games. So, complaining about subpar graphics on any preview screenshot at this stage (alpha) is moot. Wait 2 months before release then complain about any graphics there.

Swashbuckler.
Mar 10, 2010, 04:45 AM
The only thing I don't like in Civ V is the rivers. Hope they improve that a little. :(

Chalks
Mar 10, 2010, 05:06 AM
chalks - In golf, either a 3, 4, or 5

Tom

Well dodged, but if you're going to post in this thread I would like you to qualify your statements about the graphics being sub par. What are you defining to be "par" in order for these graphics to be below it?

The reason I ask is because I think you are doing a cross genre graphical comparison, which obviously holds no water at all.

mathepic
Mar 10, 2010, 09:08 AM
I would prefer 2D graphics. All good graphics do is make the computer lag, hog RAM, and stress the graphics card.

Skyre Noktis
Mar 10, 2010, 09:58 AM
I would prefer 2D graphics. All good graphics do is make the computer lag, hog RAM, and stress the graphics card.
This is why I'm really hoping that Firaxis have managed to make things a lot more efficient and scalable this time around. If there's one thing I don't like about Civ 4, it's how the interface still feels laggy even on modern PC, and this is considering that the game is half a decade old now.

Mr_Wonka
Mar 10, 2010, 10:37 AM
why does firaxis send out "alpha" screen shots? why not just wait until the graphics are done. Or would they not have enough time to promote the game?

Shiggs713
Mar 10, 2010, 10:53 AM
its just flamebait for children. Though seriously Mr Wonka, they send em out early, even though they're not that great just to generate some buzz. I don't see what the big deal is people, good graphics does not equate to a good game, in fact its pretty much the opposite. Waste valuable resources on shiny graphics and you end up with a game that has horrible gameplay, AI, or both. Theres already plenty of examples of that in this thread.

Chalks
Mar 10, 2010, 10:59 AM
why does firaxis send out "alpha" screen shots? why not just wait until the graphics are done. Or would they not have enough time to promote the game?

I guess they figured that since almost all games release pre-alpha screenshots when they are announced they would do it too.

Tell me, is this the first time you have ever heard about a game prior to release?

croxis
Mar 10, 2010, 01:59 PM
Seeing how peopled ponied up alpha screenshots of star craft, and I use to have one of homeworld 1, it is not that unusual for companies to show work in progress. When I use to subscribe to PC gamer the previews were full of pre, alpha, and beta shots. It is not a rare practice.

As I said before, you can not compare well across genera to evaluate the knowledge claim of being par, sup par, or whatever. You are comparing very different methods on texture optimization, mesh optimization, lighting rigs, shaders.

Now the screenshot with the ms pain arrows is quite telling of your vantage point. 1) Terrain overlaps into other "hexes" Based on the progression of civ 1, 2, 3 and to 4 this is intended to improve the seemless look of the world (the hex grid is probably off by default as in civ 4). You also point to things going into the ocean. This is the only valid observation so far. I do need to point out that game development is an iterative process. Just because this is being shown in no way means those aspects of the graphics engine are completed. Expect at least one to two more iterations before the game goes gold.

ori
Mar 11, 2010, 03:29 AM
Any flaming/trolling/uncivilized discussion here will stop now

tom2050
Mar 11, 2010, 03:44 AM
The new screenshots released recently look quite good... irrigation is a bit odd looking from the rest of the terrain, but looks like a placeholder. Cities don't look blocky anymore. But I was mistaken, by time it is released, will definitely be on top of the stack.

Tom

Mr_Wonka
Jun 16, 2010, 11:15 AM
So we just got a bunch of new photos and I must say little has changed. The mountains still look like sh*t. Most of the tiles are pretty bland looking. I know there was mention of how different parts of the world will have altered landscape. So there might still be some hope in that aspect. But overall, still sub par graphics.

astrognash
Jun 16, 2010, 11:24 AM
And may I ask what you would say an example of "par" is?
It's not a movie like Avatar, it's a video game.

need my speed
Jun 16, 2010, 11:44 AM
Yeah, they look nice in my opinion.

Thormodr
Jun 16, 2010, 02:07 PM
The graphics look very good and likely will be even better by the time the game is released.

Bravo Firaxis. :D

OMG!!!
Jun 16, 2010, 02:50 PM
So we just got a bunch of new photos and I must say little has changed. The mountains still look like sh*t. Most of the tiles are pretty bland looking. I know there was mention of how different parts of the world will have altered landscape. So there might still be some hope in that aspect. But overall, still sub par graphics.
I wonder what you expect from a turn-based strategy game.

Esckey
Jun 16, 2010, 03:26 PM
The graphics excellent and very very playable, so thats good enough for me.

Provost Martin
Jun 16, 2010, 03:30 PM
After seeing the latest video with in-game action going on I don't think the screenshots do Civ5 justice. I think the graphics look great. From what I can tell the atmosphere is very fitting for this type of game.

Svip
Jun 16, 2010, 03:39 PM
After seeing the latest video with in-game action going on I don't think the screenshots do Civ5 justice. I think the graphics look great. From what I can tell the atmosphere is very fitting for this type of game.

Indeed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1ewl1rEHjI) (in case anyone was wondering what in game video we were talking about).

civ_king
Jun 16, 2010, 03:41 PM
I like the Graphics

Mr_Wonka
Jun 16, 2010, 04:42 PM
The graphics basically like like civ 4. lol.....whatever...

Col Kurtz
Jun 16, 2010, 07:03 PM
I will admit I haven't read everything in this thread, so maybe this has already been mentioned, but...

with the mod support Firaxis has promised, I'd bet a Blue Marble type mod could be made for Civ V. Unlike leaderheads and perhaps other features, the terrain doesn't look like it would be more challenging to mod and improve than the terrain in Civ V. But I don't know what I'm talking about, and maybe the hexes will make it harder to mod/fix.

I was fine with the terrain in Civ IV. But if you go back to vanilla civ IV terrain after playing with Blue Marble for a while, it looks awful!

Ahriman
Jun 16, 2010, 07:05 PM
My guess is that the biggest difficulty would come from all the blend effects in the Civ5 terrain art?

Takhisis
Jun 16, 2010, 07:06 PM
If Firaxis had any sense, they'd have realised long ago that modders always outclass their material in the long run, so I wouldn't worry too much...

Double A
Jun 16, 2010, 08:14 PM
Like many have said, if the game itself sucks the graphics don't matter.

PieceOfMind
Jun 17, 2010, 05:30 AM
I'll take a functional and efficient UI over pretty graphics any day.

aziantuntija
Jun 17, 2010, 06:56 AM
If Firaxis had any sense, they'd have realised long ago that modders always outclass their material in the long run, so I wouldn't worry too much...


If (when) this happens its no surprise really, modders can improve graphics for years to come while game developers dont have that kind of time.

chris.
Jun 17, 2010, 07:07 AM
If there was one thing on Civilization that never mattered, it is graphics.

Also, remember that the world sizes are huge! Having good graphics could be problematic when you're trying to keep modest system requirements, or trying to have large world sizes.

jb2386
Jun 17, 2010, 07:57 AM
If (when) this happens its no surprise really, modders can improve graphics for years to come while game developers dont have that kind of time.

Yes, but we shouldn't have to wait for modders for good graphics.

The point here is that the level of graphics should be a significant step up from civ 4. They really don't look like it. The rivers are terrible, even the ones in civ 4 looked better!

Don't get me wrong, not *all* of it looks bad. There are just small things that really need polishing (and I'm hoping that's what they're doing now).

- Rivers annoy me the most, especially the shoreline blending with the land and the texture used for rivers needs to be better too. At the moment it looks like a stagnant sea, i.e. it doesn't look like a flowing river.
- Some land textures still seem very bland (there are ways to make all terrain interesting, even deserts and plains)
- Hills look great, but the mountains are lack-luster - they just look like stretched hills. Hopefully this just takes a re-worked texture that can handle the stretching height of a mountain.
- Farms are cool but the still seems to go under the sea and rivers. This needs to be fixed up (this is not something a mod can do, it needs to be fixed in the game engine)
- Roads also seem very lack-luster compared to earlier civs.

Now, I may have been negative, so here are the things I love:

- The sea looks awesome, love the sun-light reflection
- I love that that fog of war is literally a storm/fog out on the horizon.
- The hills look cool
- The city buildings look interesting and loving the wonders (e.g. saw a pyramid in one shot)
- Ships look cool with reflections in the water and when they fire their guns
- Forests are cool and I like how sometimes they get sparse going up hills.
- I saw in a video a city burning when it's under seige, seems really cool as it's worn down you see parts of the city go black from being completely burnt out.
- UI looks great =D

Me,myself,and,I
Jun 17, 2010, 08:08 AM
This is an alpha build of the game, of course it's rough around the edges.

migkillertwo
Jun 17, 2010, 08:17 AM
Yes, but we shouldn't have to wait for modders for good graphics.

The point here is that the level of graphics should be a significant step up from civ 4. They really don't look like it. The rivers are terrible, even the ones in civ 4 looked better!

Don't get me wrong, not *all* of it looks bad. There are just small things that really need polishing (and I'm hoping that's what they're doing now).

- Rivers annoy me the most, especially the shoreline blending with the land and the texture used for rivers needs to be better too. At the moment it looks like a stagnant sea, i.e. it doesn't look like a flowing river.
- Some land textures still seem very bland (there are ways to make all terrain interesting, even deserts and plains)
- Hills look great, but the mountains are lack-luster - they just look like stretched hills. Hopefully this just takes a re-worked texture that can handle the stretching height of a mountain.
- Farms are cool but the still seems to go under the sea and rivers. This needs to be fixed up (this is not something a mod can do, it needs to be fixed in the game engine)
- Roads also seem very lack-luster compared to earlier civs.

Now, I may have been negative, so here are the things I love:

- The sea looks awesome, love the sun-light reflection
- I love that that fog of war is literally a storm/fog out on the horizon.
- The hills look cool
- The city buildings look interesting and loving the wonders (e.g. saw a pyramid in one shot)
- Ships look cool with reflections in the water and when they fire their guns
- Forests are cool and I like how sometimes they get sparse going up hills.
- I saw in a video a city burning when it's under seige, seems really cool as it's worn down you see parts of the city go black from being completely burnt out.
- UI looks great =D

If they already have elements which I haven't seen in games up until the era of Crysis and World in Conflict, I think we can trust that Firaxis will have thoroughly polished the graphics by the time of distribution.

Ahriman
Jun 17, 2010, 10:01 AM
If there was one thing on Civilization that never mattered, it is graphics.
Here, here. People need to go back and look at Civ1 graphics. Damn, that game was ugly.

Mango Elephant
Jun 17, 2010, 10:02 AM
The civ5 graphics give me a nerdgasm, they're just THAT good. :love:

PieceOfMind
Jun 17, 2010, 10:14 AM
Here, here. People need to go back and look at Civ1 graphics. Damn, that game was ugly.

Why the civ1 bashing? The civ1 graphics were quite good especially for their time. The terrain was clear, all units were easy to tell apart, a lot of colour was used etc.

The main problems with civ1 were the slow interface (e.g. when discovering a tech or building a new building) and arguably the AI.

Ahriman
Jun 17, 2010, 10:35 AM
The civ1 graphics were quite good especially for their time.
They were ok for their time, but are hideously ugly in retrospect (look at some of the unit icons... the militia? Why does an ancient warrior have what appear to be buttons?).

But it supports the main point; graphics aren't the focus of Civ, and never have been.

mjs0
Jun 17, 2010, 10:42 AM
I think the graphics in civ5 are absolutely gorgeous.

The whole interface looks elegant and unobtrusive.

...and anyone who disagrees is... :mischief: ...entitled to their opinion. ;)

PieceOfMind
Jun 17, 2010, 10:50 AM
Why call them hideously ugly? They're not 3d or realistic. Is that what you want? I really don't understand this obsession with graphics.

It's funny you thought militia looked like they had buttons. I always thought the settler unit looked like a smiley face and not like a wagon which it's meant to. To this day I still see the smiley face first. :lol:

aziantuntija
Jun 17, 2010, 10:54 AM
Why call them hideously ugly? They're not 3d or realistic. Is that what you want? I really don't understand this obsession with graphics.

It's funny you thought militia looked like they had buttons. I always thought the settler unit looked like a smiley face and not like a wagon which it's meant to. To this day I still see the smiley face first. :lol:

Ahh those Civ1 settlers :) They were real happy campers :)

Rexflex
Jun 17, 2010, 11:44 AM
If there was one thing on Civilization that never mattered, it is graphics.

It matters a little in this day and age, but in my opinion the Civ V graphics in the videos coming out the last couple of days are impressive and definitely an improvement over previous Civs.

I still think we need to see more convincing rivers - that is my only complaint (be it a minor one) on the graphics side.

Mr_Wonka
Jun 17, 2010, 12:01 PM
This is an alpha build of the game, of course it's rough around the edges.

Alpha graphics my ass. The game is due out in 3 months. Your making excuses.

Esckey
Jun 17, 2010, 03:46 PM
If you don't like it don't buy it. Graphics for a game like this is the easiest thing to do, they have far more important things to worry about then supposedly sub-par graphics


Though the mini map looks very ugly. And I don't see any buttons to veiw land, territory, units, etc

Schuesseled
Jun 17, 2010, 03:48 PM
Once again Firaxis stinks it up with the graphics. imo, and I know a lot fo you wont care or will disagree, they looked aged already. The land terrian as always stinks. The tiles have a lack of variety and still doesn't blend well.

The snow-caped mountains don't even look awe awe inspiring. I think they need to make the mountains bigger because you don't get the feeling that they're even there. Go into google earth and you can see what real terrain looks like. They never get the aesthetics aspect of they're civ games down. Its a shame because it would be ultimate.

I'm won't completely write off the look of the game. Its obviously a lot better than its predecessor, but firaxis is just never up to date with graphic technology.

the land certainly does lack a little umph, but i don't really care, its just land. But have you seen the menu's and city screens BEAutiful.

Schuesseled
Jun 17, 2010, 03:52 PM
They were ok for their time, but are hideously ugly in retrospect (look at some of the unit icons... the militia? Why does an ancient warrior have what appear to be buttons?).

But it supports the main point; graphics aren't the focus of Civ, and never have been.

In retrospect graphics are never important, what was cutting edge at the time is ugly as sin now. However for a new game in the present, graphics are important to an extent, it makes it more enjoyable, but it should be the last thing to consider. Gameplay is definetly more important.

Thormodr
Jun 17, 2010, 04:24 PM
The graphics look great to me. Of course they aren't the finished product and they still need some refinement but it is looking much, much better than cIV.

Only 96 days until release. :goodjob:

I tech faster
Jun 17, 2010, 04:40 PM
Shafer said that the art wasn't finished yet.

I already consider these graphics gorgeous. Could make love with them.

charle88
Jun 17, 2010, 04:41 PM
Alpha graphics my ass. The game is due out in 3 months. Your making excuses.



No, he's not. I watched an interview about the making of Civ4 a while back. In the interview it was pointed out that the final graphics were made in the last months of game development. I seriously doubt that they're doing anything different with Civ5. Don't you think that they would've released the game already if they finished making the graphics?

In my opinion, the graphics are outstanding. Yes, there are a few rough edges, such as the rivers, but to me what matters the most is the gameplay, not the eye candy.

Mr_Wonka
Jun 17, 2010, 08:32 PM
they should totally redo the mountain tiles or at least add on. They don't even look like the swiss alps or any large mountain range. Just plain crappy looking.

Its important to at least make the tiles appear realistic so you feel immersed with in the atmosphere of the game.

to be honest, I thought the call to power games had the best looking art work. go ahead and disagree. had great music as well.


the past 2 civs from firaxis have failed on the "mood" aspect of the game. graphics can certainly help. Hopefully modders can fix this and get some kick ass terrain tiles.

charle88
Jun 17, 2010, 08:36 PM
they should totally redo the mountain tiles or at least add on. They don't even look like the swiss alps or any large mountain range. Just plain crappy looking.

Its important to at least make the tiles appear realistic so you feel immersed with in the atmosphere of the game.

to be honest, I thought the call to power games had the best looking art work. go ahead and disagree. had great music as well.


the past 2 civs from firaxis have failed on the "mood" aspect of the game. graphics can certainly help. Hopefully modders can fix this and get some kick ass terrain tiles.

I can almost guarantee you that a Blue Marble mod or something similiar to that will be made for Civ5.

Snoopy
Jun 17, 2010, 11:11 PM
When I read many of these posts, I start to realize that those who say "graphics aren't important", don't actually know what "graphics" means.

I have attached a screenshot of Civ V with the hue slightly shifted to right. Imagine if Firaxis released this as the default and original design. You would instantly ask yourself "why?"; many of you would suddenly discredit the game, because if they can't get the graphics right, surely the rest is crap too? The rest of you will shrug it off, reminding yourself that graphics aren't important, play the game anyway, after a short while, you will get aggravated, complaining why did they make the units almost the same colour as the land?

But this is just the obvious stuff right? Everyone knows that the grass should be green. But what isn't obvious to you is what you're not experienced in. Most of you who have little to no understanding of graphics do not see the importance of interface design, colour theory, shapes, location, size, believability and so on. All of these are very important and are constantly under debate how to perfect it.

The theme and interface design for Civilization V is the best I have seen since CivII, CivII nailed it really well. Unfortunately, Firaxis never really developed or obtained a suitable 3D engine for this type of game. The engine in Civ5 is a much better step closer to something more suitable, but they need to go a lot further, and I suspect the artists know it, if they can one day achieve it, I guarantee, even those who are fanatical by their words "graphics aren't important" will have a much more satisfying and pleasing experience.

Many of you are underestimating the power of good graphic design and need to invest more respect to the design theory; and please don't confuse good graphic design with flashy graphics.

civ_king
Jun 18, 2010, 01:15 AM
Thank you for your words of wisdom
:thumbsup:

Double A
Jun 21, 2010, 09:32 PM
When I read many of these posts, I start to realize that those who say "graphics aren't important", don't actually know what "graphics" means.

I have attached a screenshot of Civ V with the hue slightly shifted to right. Imagine if Firaxis released this as the default and original design. You would instantly ask yourself "why?"; many of you would suddenly discredit the game, because if they can't get the graphics right, surely the rest is crap too? The rest of you will shrug it off, reminding yourself that graphics aren't important, play the game anyway, after a short while, you will get aggravated, complaining why did they make the units almost the same colour as the land?

But this is just the obvious stuff right? Everyone knows that the grass should be green. But what isn't obvious to you is what you're not experienced in. Most of you who have little to no understanding of graphics do not see the importance of interface design, colour theory, shapes, location, size, believability and so on. All of these are very important and are constantly under debate how to perfect it.

The theme and interface design for Civilization V is the best I have seen since CivII, CivII nailed it really well. Unfortunately, Firaxis never really developed or obtained a suitable 3D engine for this type of game. The engine in Civ5 is a much better step closer to something more suitable, but they need to go a lot further, and I suspect the artists know it, if they can one day achieve it, I guarantee, even those who are fanatical by their words "graphics aren't important" will have a much more satisfying and pleasing experience.

Many of you are underestimating the power of good graphic design and need to invest more respect to the design theory; and please don't confuse good graphic design with flashy graphics.

I think it looks pretty cool actually :rolleyes:

But you made a good point. Most of us confused "good" with "flashy." But we're not playing word games, most Civ fans would still play if the graphics were 8-bit if it meant good gameplay.

Ikael
Jun 21, 2010, 09:39 PM
When I read many of these posts, I start to realize that those who say "graphics aren't important", don't actually know what "graphics" means.

I know perfectly what I mean when I say that "graphics aren't important": that photorrealism is a stupid obsession and that I would take accesibility and high performance on low end systems like mine over cutting edge graphics specially since we are talking about a freaking strategy game, which is one of the most visually abstract genre.

Now, proper graphic design is vital for videogaming nowadays: units and terrain types should be clean and distinct, interface shouldn't be cluttered, etc, etc. But all of it is a matter of design and skill, and it has nothing to do with graphic horsepower or even a a sense of beauty. Functionality >>>>>>> Eyecandy, performance should be paramount, always. I, for one, congratulate Firaxis for following this approach.

Thyrwyn
Jun 21, 2010, 11:01 PM
Take a peek at the GDC (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=369126) thread. . . you can have your "candy" and eat it, too :)

They have specifically engineered the game to function even on notebooks with no dedicated graphics card.

lietkynes
Jun 22, 2010, 02:59 AM
For reference, this is a screenshot from Civilization 4 preview at E3 in 2005.

http://pcmedia.ign.com/pc/image/article/614/614551/civilization-iv-20050516030618427.jpg

lietkynes
Jun 22, 2010, 03:03 AM
And tbh units in Civ1 were the best, the chariot still kicks ass :p
(see my avatar)

Aramel
Jun 22, 2010, 03:38 AM
For reference, this is a screenshot from Civilization 4 preview at E3 in 2005.

Oh my God, I just vomited all over my laptop. That is frighteningly awful.

lietkynes
Jun 22, 2010, 03:57 AM
Oh my God, I just vomited all over my laptop. That is frighteningly awful.

That's why it's better to wait for the final release before complaining about graphics.