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Why does each iteration of Civ get more & more cartoony?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Strong Reaction, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. MikalJ

    MikalJ Chieftain

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    That's no reflection on the quality of the gameplay, though. Games like Advance Wars or the earlier Fire Emblem games, Final Fantasy Tactics, Anno - and more forgotten franchises under the umbrella of 'strategy' feature 'cartoonish' graphics but are consistently highly rated by critics and fans for their fun and challenging gameplay.
     
  2. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Deity

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    "Cartoony" graphics makes features more easily distinguishable. For example, weapons define most of the units, so oversized weapons make units look differently even though it has "fantasy" taste.
     
  3. Ivan Hunger

    Ivan Hunger King

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    Trying to act grown up can be a sign of immaturity.

    I still enjoy plenty of actual cartoons on television. Most people are gracious enough not to tell me that I'm too old for that sort of thing, but occasionally someone will. When that happens, I politely explain to them that, as a I adult, what I do with my time is my own choice, and I am not seeking their approval nor that of anyone else.

    There are even some people who think playing any video games at all is a childish activity, and that proper adults should have nothing to do with it. But again, these people are rare and often mask their own insecurity by criticizing others, so I don't take it personally.

    So if I like cartoons and I like video games, then I'm certainly not going to let cartoony video games bother me. On the contrary, this art style has been a great boon to Civ 6. The leaders are much more expressive, and the combat between units is considerably more dynamic.
     
  4. Sansa_Stark

    Sansa_Stark Prince

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    I feel really stupid but I have no idea what "cartoony" means. Can somebody point me towards modern but not cartoony art style? Was Civ4 less cartoony? Because it doesn't look less childish to me, it looks like you know... less modern?
     
  5. shibumi

    shibumi Chieftain

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    Using the word "cartoon" or "cartoony" is I think not that relevant here. True, Civ VI graphics are simplified and exaggerated, which is one of the definition of the word "cartoon", but using a "cartoony" style does not always equal looking childish or old or unfashionable. There have been in the history of animation and comics numerous great use of cartoony representations that were both aesthetically pleasing and appealing to all, both children and adults. Just think of Peanuts for instance.

    That being said, I personally find that pretty much every Civ VI graphical choice (whether applying to drawings, colors or even fonts) are really really bad - btw, it should be verified but I think the team responsible for them is the same than Civ V's, which is really surprising to me given that Civ V was a remarkable work on that aspect. But the point is : to me it doesn't have anything to do with style.
     
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  6. fay902

    fay902 Chieftain

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    Even really just the physical world in 5 wasn't cartoony. A lot of the technology and building icons were fairly cartoony.
     
  7. shakabrade

    shakabrade Praise Vivec!

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    I want to get as much info as possible from a single glance. I don't care for the rust on the ships or stuff like that. Cartoonish (a caricature) is far more abstract and advanced than realism. It has taken a long time for mankind to come up with cartoonish.
    So far, I can tell that Civ6 meets my standards.
     
  8. rastak

    rastak Emperor

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    You must have been appalled when the very first Civ came out. To be honest, using your criteria most of the series had to have been an appeal to a younger audience. I find that conclusion ridiculous but to each his own.
     
  9. Haggbart

    Haggbart King

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    Maybe it's more telling about you than about the game if you're not able to judge the sophistication and complexity of the game based on game mechanics but rather focus on graphic style?
     
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  10. demidyad

    demidyad Warlord

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    Civ V's art director was Dorian Newcomb, who now works with Soren Johnson on Offworld Trading Company.
    Civ VI's art director is Brian Busatti, who worked his way up from Lead Modeller on Civ 4, Civ 5, and Pirates!, and Lead Artist on Civ Rev. (Not exactly sure what 'Lead Artist' entails, but it's not the same as Art Director - for Civ Rev that was Seth Spaulding, who now works at Blizzard.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
  11. ProMeTheus112

    ProMeTheus112 Warlord

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    I don't really think Civ 6 is cartoony o_o leaders a little bit (not really? they may be the most realistic looking bit, just caricatural touch as well)
    fully "realistic" graphics don't necessarily appeal to me (company of heroes stuff?), it's pretty hard to define too.. like humm, would you say Unreal tournament is cartoony or realistic lol
    or warcraft 3 ? a little cartoony
    the graphics on the map or menus in Civ 6 don't rly seem cartoony to me, idk
    I think Civ 3 looked pretty good, fav graphics for me in the series before

    example of games i like the graphics of : heroes 3, starcraft, warwind, quake 3... i can't tell what's cartoony or not
    world of warcraft looks quite good its kinda cartoony doesn't feel like kid stuff (most of the time)

    what's an example of a cartoony looking game that doesn't look good? lego games, skylanders

    I think civ 6 looks really good
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
  12. shibumi

    shibumi Chieftain

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    Thanks for the clarification. My mistake. And a lot less troubling for me now :)
     
  13. Xyriach

    Xyriach Chieftain

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    I'm not sure how you arrived at "cartoonish". From where I'm sitting the graphics appear to be smoothly rendered and well textured. There will always be a trade off between performance and graphics and from that angle the more minimalist approach seems to work by providing well defined graphics with (hopefully) a big punch of computational power requirement. As a strategy game, how it handles surpasses how it looks anyway. I've played every iteration of Civ since it first came out, quite frankly, Civ 6 is the biggest jump in graphics since 2 imho, 2,3,4 and 5 were simply improvements on themselves.

    To be fair, an archer firing an arrow over a mountain and blowing up a tank is pretty cartoonish. It's a game, not a simulation.
     
  14. randomwalker

    randomwalker Chieftain

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    i don't think of it as 'cartoony', but as 'boardgameish'.
    The idea is to present information clearly on the board/map. 'Realism' is not so good for that.

    Unless you were talking about the leaders. In that case I agree they look silly and development went the wrong way, but I haven't really paid attention to advisor and leader looks since Civ III.
     
  15. AlpsStranger

    AlpsStranger Jump jump on the tiger!

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    This is a purely culturally constructed stream of nonsense, frankly. These are assertions not in evidence beyond the knee-jerk prejudice that cartoons are for children. This is a marketing notion specific to certain subcultures, regions and times, not a universal truth. In game design, cartooning is quite often completely unrelated to the demographic target age.

    Also, I think the cartoon style represents the game mechanics better than a realistic style. Civ paints in broad brush strokes with an emphasis on caricature and stereotype. The sorts of bonuses they give each civilization are caricatures-in-mechanics, so they're naturally represented by caricatures-in-visual.
     
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  16. Mustakrakish

    Mustakrakish In 'Node' We Trust

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    This goes in the same category with people saying playing video games is for children. In my experience (and I'm speaking strictly from my own experience and not trying to pass these as facts) those are:

    1. Old generation people (in their 40's-60s') who haven't caught up with the times, which is normal (people rarely change their music taste past mid 30's for example or inclined to learn / embrace new things).
    2. Insecure people who are concerned with being "cool" i.e. not being "a geek" (very outdated view nowadays and hence even more weird one to have) and / or being "adult". Those are often quite immature on many levels while trying to be this mythical "adult" entity or are simply ignorant on the subject (sometimes can be "educated", but rarely have desire to be).

    Both of those often are also the ones to whom it is so damn hard to grasp that age restriction on games are there for a reason. Games being for kids and all... then complaining about violent games and whatnot.

    Then there are normal people who simply don't like video games. Same as for example me not liking football, rally, hip-hop and whatnot. Those don't claim / throw terms like "childish", "for kids" etc., they're simply not interested in said activity / hobby whatnot.

    More or less same here. I for example disliked the art-style at first for various / unknown reasons before it grew on me. "Childish / for kids" was not one of the reasons. I fail to see how game as complicated as V (if not more) can be considered "childish / for kids" whatever the art-style. Now if the game went and devolved into Revolution style "deep" gameplay while having photorealistic graphics... I WOULD call it "childish".
     
  17. DCParry

    DCParry Chieftain

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    Not to go too far off topic, but I doubt the OP was born when the first Civ came out.
     
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  18. AlpsStranger

    AlpsStranger Jump jump on the tiger!

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    Pretty much going to say #2 is 98% of the volume of complaints on all the different outlets.

    Nobody with unimpeachable maturity is really worried about the maturity of the art style in a game they play. These are adults who have poor maturity milestones ( and I'm probably in this category by the standards of many, if I'm honest, but self-aware enough not to project it into my opinions ) combined with "cusp-of-adulthood" people who are 18-22 or so and still in "I can do it by myself, dad!" mode.
     
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  19. thecrazyscot

    thecrazyscot Spiffy

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    Why don't we just look at all the games' graphics in sequence?

    Civ 1:


    Civ 2:


    Civ 3:


    Civ 4:


    Civ 5:



    Civ 6:

     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2016
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  20. Denkt

    Denkt Left permamently

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    The civ IV screenshot is not with orginal graphics.
     

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