Transition to 3D?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Kamamura, Jun 16, 2005.

  1. Phoenix_56721

    Phoenix_56721 Prince

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    I agree 100% about the decreased map size, but I think 3D still has a lot to offer other then just better graphics, the interface should be much more fluild and less time comsuming when overlooking your kingdom for impovements and information on cities in your country.
     
  2. LionQ

    LionQ Noble

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    Oh yeah, 3D sells.
     
  3. civmod19

    civmod19 Chieftain

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    More money to 3D graphics video cards manufacturers.

    I dont have T&L support here.

    But Neverwinter Nights works perfectly here.
     
  4. Yzman123

    Yzman123 Chieftain

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    3D is the way that all gaming is going. It is useless to try and keep the old, adaption is needed to a point. Most of you are just skeptical of it right now because you aren't used to it, but I remember people saying the same thing about civ 3 graphics when it first came out.
     
  5. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    So far, the reasons I've seen for people being sceptical are all stupid :
    - A strange idea that better graphics = worse gameplay.
    - In the same way, but with a different point of view, the binary idea that if gameplay is more important than graphics, then you should never try to improve the graphics and let them stay 320x200 2D in 16 colours, because, well, gameplay is more important, right ?
    - A kind of elitist snobbism, "good graphics are for dumb gamers who like eye-candy, true intelligent strategists prefer dry and ugly 2D graphics, because it's so much more, err, smart".
    - Simple conservatism "it's better before !".

    The only not stupid reason I've seen up to now is "it'll make mods harder", but it's only marginally true (after all, there was TRUCKLOADS of modded units in Civ3, and they needed to be made in 3D before going to 2D, which is in fact even more work than going directly for 3D).

    Compared to the advantages of :
    - Soother to eye.
    - Increased immersion.
    - Ability to zoom and move the camera.
    - Countless more possibilities for modding.

    These so-called "drawback" are nothing. 3D is a VERY GOOD addition.
     
  6. Commander Bello

    Commander Bello Say No 2 Net Validations

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    I agree, 3D is a very good addition. Yet, only if it is done in the right way.

    And that is, what you missed in your list: some people aren't happy with the 3D features, as they don't seem to add much to the gameplay in their current set up.

    About your above list of advantages:
    - soother to eye: this seems to be a very subjective judgement, as I for example don't see them as being soother
    - increased immersion: with giant units, semi-realistic houses, less realistic landscape and cartoonish leaderheads I personally miss any kind of immersion
    - ability to zoom and move the camera: where is the point except for the first -time "ohhh" and "ahhh"? Where does zooming and moving the camera add to the gameplay? Except for needing to do it as otherwise - thanks to 3D - you might miss a clear view to the landscape or units?
    - countless more possibilities for modding: which ones? Which kind of modding is given to us by 3D, which wouldn't be available in a 2D environment as well?

    The bottom line of your statement "3D is good since it is 3D" is as stupid as what you have condemned: "2D was better since it was 2D".
     
  7. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    This post is the exact example of the total lack of any real argument against 3D :
    That is meaningless. 2D has no inherent advantage about being "done in the right way" over 3D.
    It doesn't REMOVE anything to the gameplay either, so these people are obviously only LOOKING FOR something to complain.
    3D involve inherently more fleshed-out unit and sceneries, more realistic overall rendering (we live in a 3D world, not a 2D one) and better animations.
    What I've experienced over countless such debates in every kind of games (I saw the same complain from same conservatives-minded people about game like Baldur's Gate II when they said that it was "sadly" the last game that would be made in 2D), is that it's simply habit catalyzed by an actual willingness to not see the good sides, and that after a bit of time, they end up to admit that, well, yes, it looks better. Except for the elitist ones, who will ALWAYS say that graphics are for the stupid masses, yadda yadda.
    Let me laugh. All these points are already in Civ3. And even if there is that aren't, I fail to see how they are 3D-related, and not design-related. A totally senseless argument, again.
    I fail to see how, in 3D, you can miss a clear view more than in 2D.
    Also, I fail to see how being able to zoom and move camera actually HAMPER anything in any way. On the contrary, being able to zoom is extremely useful to change the scale on which we're working (even Civ2 and Civ3 had zoom, remember ? :rolleyes: ), and moving camera allows to not have the line of view blocked by a unit (like it was customary in Civ3).
    I already said it above : 3D units are actually requiring less work than animated 2D units. Additionnally, as each house/building/amelioration is a 3D-object, it's possible to change them directly, which makes for more modding potential.
    Clearly not. First, I gave all kind of reasons about why 3D is better. Second, 2D lacking a dimension, it's inherently more limited and less natural and immersive than 3D.

    The reality, is that it's people promoting 2D that make no sense and just cling on either old habits, ridiculous elitism, or fear of any changes, without any real argument.
     
  8. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Warlord

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    Agreed.

    The zoom in Civ3 was something I never used, the game looked like a plate of porridge when you did. Finally you can get a good overview of things and actually see them too. ;)
     
  9. Mrdie

    Mrdie Founder of eRegime

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    I really don't understand how suddenly " 3D? BAADDDD FOR GAMEPLAY! "

    That is like saying that the first Zelda game for the N64 was bad and so on and so forth.

    You can easily mix good gameplay with good graphics.

    Giants: Citizens Kabuto, a rather underated game that I found had a fun multiplayer ( It is third person ) had great graphics for it's time, but it also had humor and good gameplay.
     
  10. remconius

    remconius Deity

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    who needs graphics anyway?

    I think they should improve the game mechanics and gvies us Civ in Text interface. lol

    What I am amazed by is that all the new things and changes we've heard about Civ 4 and what I see most discussions about is the graphics. To be honest I dont care about the graphics. when the game comes out we'll have to get used to the new interface/mechanics and 1 month later we will hardly remember Civ3.
     
  11. SonicX

    SonicX Emperor

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    Why not make it 1D.
     
  12. Commander Bello

    Commander Bello Say No 2 Net Validations

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    Well, this was one of the weakest arguments I've ever read.
    Civ3 had a well known graphics engine, and quite some people were familiar with adding new graphics for it. If, as your statement indicates, the switch to 3D adds nothing but removes nothing, then were is the point in switching?
    What exactly is the point which you constantly try to miss.
    Neither 2D nor 3D is bad by itself, yet you may implement the one or the other in a good or in a bad way.
    Contrary to what you try to indicate, most people complaining about the graphics of Civ4 are NOT complaining just because it is 3D, they are complaining since they miss the added value as not much use seems to be made from the potential of 3D, nor from the potential a new graphics philosophy could offer.
    Again, a very weak statement.
    Your socalled reasons are just a listing of "but it is 3D, man!" without much flesh at the bones.
    The argument that 3D would be more immersive already already is invalidated taking into account that we still are looking on a 2D display.
    What could be said about the 3D-prophets as well, as they sometimes seem to think of themselves as some kind of avantgarde with more insight and a clearer view...

    At the bottom line:
    Your arguments in favour of 3D list some technical features, which are not to be disputed.
    Anyway, technical features have no value by themselves. They could have a value, if the use of them would add to the gameplay, and this is exactly what I miss.
    Zooming and rotating may make sense in a game where immediate inter-action is needed, such as in flight or racing simulators, FPS's and so on.
    This immediate interaction in a TBS per definitionem not only is not needed, it just doesn't take place at all.
    Therefore, I still don't see the use of it.

    It is true, though, that we will have to make use of it (and will have to provide enough cpu- and graphics power) as the graphical set-up of the game forces us to do so. The announced WYSIWYG forces us to do so, as the "little carts" are visible only at a certain zoom level, just to give one example. Another example is the changed angle at lower zoom levels.
    But, all of this could have been avoided with a different design, even if using 3D.
    Thus, we are forced to make use of it, but there is no value added. It is just a required action, due to design.
     
  13. Stilgar08

    Stilgar08 Emperor

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    :lol: Might be the way to go for a few people here...
     
  14. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    It's not a weak argument. It's just a way to remind that graphics and gameplay aren't opponents, and that better graphics != worse gameplay.
    Because THIS argument ("if it's looking better, it's playing worse") is utterly stupid, and I very often see it.
    My point saying this, is that if someone wants to protest about the graphics, it's not by saying that they damage the gameplay, because they do not have any detrimental effects on it.
    This is a point you seems to not understand : 2D is worse than 3D by itself.
    That's not what I see. What I see is just the three types of peopel I described earlier :
    - the ones just screaming about "I don't care about graphics, gimme gameplay !", like if one prevented the others.
    - the ones just taking a snobbish attitude "good graphics are for n00bs and idiots, we are intelligent gamers, so we must have ugly graphics".
    - the ones who just don't want anything to change "2D was good enough for Civ 1, 2 and 3, so let's keep the 2D !".

    Additionnally, I fail to see why the fact that the potential of 3D is not used, is in any way an argument to say "let's not switch to 3D, let's keep the 3D"...
    Wow, and you talk about a weak argument ?
    I'll answer the first part by saying : yes, it's 3D, man, and it IS inherently better than 2D, because it has VOLUME.
    I'll answer the second part with this : :lol:
    If 3D is the same as 2D because we see it on a 2D display, I wonder why there is even this discussion about the 3D in the game.

    Gosh, this was a huge display of bad faith here, man. Who do you think you're fooling ?
    No. We just don't scream in horror because something might actually looks better.
    I fail to see anything wrong with that.
    Once again : it looks better, and it considerably improve immersion.
    These are justifications by themselves. Having actual USE of the 3D to enhance gameplay would be much better, of course. But even lacking that, having a better-looking and more immersive game is sufficient enough to justify using 3D graphics.
    Design is independant of the graphic rendering. I don't have any problem with someone saying he dislike the design/interface/whatever.

    What I'm stuffed with and tired of, is the amount of stupid complains that plenty of people throw at the game simply because it looks better and use 3D. These complaints are baseless, useless and only show narrow-mindedness.
    The complaints about gameplay, design, interface, ideas and the like, I welcome them with open arms.
     
  15. Commander Bello

    Commander Bello Say No 2 Net Validations

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    Ok, on this we can agree.
     
  16. Kamamura

    Kamamura Warlord

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    Well, I gave it some time to see the contributions and I think that many of you changed your opinion now that the game is out. There has been some plainly incorrect statements (mostly posted by Akka) I would like to argue with.

    1) A game like civilization is an abstract game (contrary to for example most FPS), portraying a symbolic game pieces that wage somewhat abstracted war - similar to chess. Similar to chess, there are rules that don't resemble real life - 1 on 1 combat, the "pieces" concept (what exactly is a "spearman"?), the map consisting of discrete squares, and so on. Note also, that the map is also two dimmensional (although now mapped to a sphere), so gameplay-wise, the three dimensional view adds nothing to it. It's similar to chess modern programs that attempt to provide 3D chessboards that are impractical and serious users switch to 2d anyway, because 3d rendering eats CPU cycles that are better employed by the main engine to improve playing strength.

    2) The arguement "we live in 3D world so 3D is better" is also simply incorrect. First, civ4 is an abstract game (see 1), so it has little to do with real world (though it tries to resemble it). A spearman piece towering above trees and buildings is in no way realistic. Moreover, though we live in 3D world, your display is only capable of displaying 2D images. So called "3D graphics" attempts to project 3D images into your 2D monitor and that brings along specific problems - you can't percieve depth of the image and part of the information is always obscured, so you have to zoom, rotate camera, etc. There are strategy games where 3D is really needed for gameplay, like Homeworld, Stronghold or RTW, but Civ is not one of them.

    3) The developers have limited resources and time to develop the game. The more they pour into non-essential parts like graphics, the less they can spend on meaningful improvement, like AI, game mechanics, innovations, scenario and campaign design, and so on. There are many interesting concepts in the area of academic AI research, but few of them are implemented in modern games. Why? Because graphic sells! Why? Because most people are shallow and easily amused. Sad, but true. Look at the development of the games, take adventure genre for example, compare for example Broken Sword 1 and 3. Therefore for me, Alpha Centauri is a superior game to Civ 4 in my opinion. It offers more options, has richer gameplay, but true, has crappy graphics.

    4) 3D games are resource hogs, even if they are really simple inside. It's true that Civ 4 brings some very good design changes, like less micromanagement, better combat system and less need to engage with mundane, repetetive tasks. But in the scope, is it really more sophisticated than its predecessors gameplay-wise? Definitely not! It's even much simpler game than Alpha Centauri, a 5 years old game. But its hardware requirements are much, much higher! You are not willing to shell out $300 for a new computer just to play Civ4, when Civ3 runs quite well? Your problem - this is the price of all that shiny chrome.

    5) 3D engines are quite complex, and must be tested on variety of HW platforms. Therefore, there will be much more bugs and incompatibilities. Strange artifacts on screen, stuttering, poor performance, memory leaks, can't play at all? Just wait for the next patch - and hope.

    All in all, I am not quite happy with the direction this game took. Servile rush to please the largest crowd (marked by the hesitance to delve into controversial subjects, like impact of religions, terrorism and so on), this game will undoubtedly sell well, but it's no longer what it used to be, the most innovative and complex strategy of all time.
     
  17. simiain

    simiain Chieftain

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    I would like to point out Football Manager 2006...a franchise that has been resolutely 2D for over a decade. And still sells more copies than Civilization IV will ever hope to.

    Civ IV should have taken this approach, being secure in their gameplay concepts and the strength of their brand name enough to focus on whats important.

    Civilization IV has made the mistake that better, more advanced 3D graphics = more immersion....... it doesnt, it simply brings to starker relief the absence of those immersive little things that our imagination takes care of in less advanced games (Football Manager is FAR more immersive than FIFA Soccer, just as CivII is far more immersive than CivIV)
     

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