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Niot
11-25-07, 08:32 PM
There has been a decline in quality for PC games over the years because of the oversaturation of the game market. I know this as an insider fact.

Shooters should be 3d of course, but strategy games are suffering in their reduced depth and scale after going 3D. One reason is the oversaturation of the game market, the other is simply that the technology is not yet ready for 3D RTS games. For example, in the series Cossacks and American Conquest, you can have tens of thousands of troops on screen at once. This is not possible with 3D graphics today. (total war doesn't count since the "units" are treated as a group, not individually, so it's "faked") Also, there was the 2D game Stronghold, that successfully simulated siege warfares by letting you build real castles piece by piece, detail by detail and the units actually scale the walls and walk among the towers and gates etc... But look at how primitive the Total war castles are, they are just abstract representations of castles, usually I'd rather face the enemy in the field than going through a buggy siege.

Also, I have noticed that when a sequel went 3D, simplification always has taken place. Civ4 is a simplified version of Civ3, Tiberium wars is a simplified version of Tiberian sun, etc... Things are just fast paced with little depth. Also, the unit number tends to drop after going 3D, with a few big blockal units on screen instead of a lot. This mostly affects historical games, but the point is that 2D games DON'T look bad. Look at the graphics of Cossacks 2, it's very very artistic, and look at Empire Earth III, Rise of Legends, Stronghold 2 (for going 3d), they are not that great at all.

Supreme Commander may be the only exception.

What does everyone think?

crainger
11-25-07, 08:36 PM
Problem with most 2D engines is it doesn't scale well. A game might look great at 1024x768, but it's too big at 640x480 and too small at 1680x1050. Also high res played see a lot more of the map at once.

A 3D based engine will show the same amount of a map no matter the resolution.

SH64
11-25-07, 08:40 PM
I see where are you coming from .. in fact i thought the same. problem is evolution which squashes everything in its way .. once you go 3D you can never get back to 2D.
i still would like to see someone breaks that rule & get us back to the days of 2D RTS & in-depth stratigies not just some tanks rush (C&C3 :rolleyes:) . i miss the days of Red Alert & Dune 2 .. these are some of my fav RTS games.

SH64
11-25-07, 08:57 PM
Problem with most 2D engines is it doesn't scale well. A game might look great at 1024x768, but it's too big at 640x480 and too small at 1680x1050. Also high res played see a lot more of the map at once.

A 3D based engine will show the same amount of a map no matter the resolution.
Hmm good point .. first time crainger says something interesting :D

although i have no problem playing RTS in low res as long as it has the value. i did play C&C/RA several weeks ago & i did enjoy them quite alot regardless the graphics res.

Niot
11-25-07, 09:04 PM
I'm glad that you understand this, on most game forums I just get flaming that it's because I have a bad PC and am jealous of people with good PCs playing little kid level games.

When games go 3D they lose a LOT of depth, and from the other thread about 2007 is the year that Consoles replaced PCs, it has some truth in it. PC gaming used to be distinguished from consoles in that they are deeper and more complicated. Today you see all PC strategy games getting console versions, Lord of the Rings Battle For Middle Earth II, C&C Tiberium Wars,

That means today pc strategy games are dumbed down enough to be ported onto consoles. Try doing that with Alpha Centauri!

Some of my examples of deep 2D strategy ames are:

Alpha Centauri
Stronghold & Stronghold Crusader
Sim City 4 and older (just look at how bad sim city societies is, the city looks depopulated, totally depopulated, you get like 5 big blockal cars on the street, with fake looking people. The colors are dull and flat, the buildings look like lego stacks)
American Conquest & American Conquest Fight Back
Cossacks series
1602/1503 AD

If you don't know these games please check them out, at least to see what they are. They are really special and are dismissed by frauds like Gamespot as "old" in technology.

1503 AD was simplified in it's sequel 1701 AD that the visual improvements aren't really worth it. Sim city 4 is much better than sim city Societies, not just relative to their release date, but by absolute values, I would play sim city 4 over societies any day.

Alpha Centauri was the supremum of the Turn Based Strategies, and Civilization 4 is that thing diluted 1000000 times to have big 3D lego men running around and a stripped down tech tree, no unit design anymore, etc....

So far I can only think of Galactic Civilizations 2 and Supreme Commander as exceptions to this.

Niot
11-25-07, 09:05 PM
Problem with most 2D engines is it doesn't scale well. A game might look great at 1024x768, but it's too big at 640x480 and too small at 1680x1050. Also high res played see a lot more of the map at once.

A 3D based engine will show the same amount of a map no matter the resolution.

Can't a 2D engine be designed to scale well? Or is that impossible?

CaptNKILL
11-25-07, 09:13 PM
Can't a 2D engine be designed to scale well? Or is that impossible?
I think its possible with scaling, but image quality would probably suffer.

nekrosoft13
11-25-07, 09:40 PM
Can't a 2D engine be designed to scale well? Or is that impossible?

Total Annihilation scaled well

crainger
11-25-07, 09:55 PM
Can't a 2D engine be designed to scale well? Or is that impossible?

As CaptN said the image quality would suffer. With CRT it's not a huge problem to run at a lower res, but for LCD something has to scale, either the game, the video card or the monitor itself and most of the time results are poor.

Plus 3D engines make it a lot easier to do great looking effects, particularly particles, transparencies, deformations. Sure you can do it in 2D, but it is a lot more work.

I'm not saying 2D isn't great. I love my older 2D games, I have an old CRT rig just for them, but I can also see why game developers have moved away from 2D engines.

crainger
11-25-07, 09:58 PM
Total Annihilation scaled well

Problem is the high the res the more you see on screen at once, so during multiplayer a low res player is at a disadvantage. This is the reason Star Craft is fixed at one resolution.

But yes TA has great support, even widescreen with Hor+ (strange as SupComs widescreen support uses Vert- which is worse) and for single player and non competition play it looks amazing on modern LCDs

Niot
11-25-07, 10:17 PM
Plus 3D engines make it a lot easier to do great looking effects, particularly particles, transparencies, deformations. Sure you can do it in 2D, but it is a lot more work.


That is exactly the problem, trading visual effects for depth.

Which game today can Compare to the depth and intricacy of Alpha Centauri or 1503AD? None.

crainger
11-25-07, 10:31 PM
That is exactly the problem, trading visual effects for depth.

Which game today can Compare to the depth and intricacy of Alpha Centauri or 1503AD? None.

I don't know if that is to do with the 3D engine. They could quite easily make a 3D of such depth, it's just with all this big business and publishers buying up IP then sitting on it, games either get dumbed down for a wide audience or shelved and forgotten.

methimpikehoses
11-25-07, 11:35 PM
Heh, I was pissed when they turned my favorite game of all time (back then) Civ3, into 3d. I like Civ4 very well now, and I don't think it's dumbed down for graphics. I wouldn't mind it at all if it was 2d though.

Vanzagar
11-25-07, 11:55 PM
Bring me back Master of Orion 1 !!

crainger
11-25-07, 11:59 PM
MOO FTW!

jcrox
11-26-07, 12:04 AM
I'd go back to 2D strategy games if they had some motherf***ing freeze rays rays!

MowTin
11-26-07, 12:09 AM
How do you RTS fans find time to play. I tried to play CoH. I was in one 4 player match for 2 hours when my wife showed up. I asked her to wait. The game refused to end. She got real pissed.

Games can take hours and it takes hundreds of games before you're "good." I don't think you can be married and play Supreme Commander :D

Does it really take a lot of time to get good at RTS games?

crainger
11-26-07, 12:12 AM
srsly we R so l33t wit owr strats we pwn nubs in 5 mins kthnx

Buio
11-26-07, 12:45 AM
There has been a decline in quality for PC games over the years because of the oversaturation of the game market. I know this as an insider fact.

Shooters should be 3d of course, but strategy games are suffering in their reduced depth and scale after going 3D. One reason is the oversaturation of the game market, the other is simply that the technology is not yet ready for 3D RTS games. For example, in the series Cossacks and American Conquest, you can have tens of thousands of troops on screen at once. This is not possible with 3D graphics today. (total war doesn't count since the "units" are treated as a group, not individually, so it's "faked")

You said that you got flamed on other forums, but to be honest your post has flame bait.

I know this as an insider fact
I think you should state that this is your personal opinion, not that you "know this as insider fact". Because your post is nothing other than personal opinion.

jealous of people with good PCs playing little kid level games. When games go 3D they lose a LOT of depth

Hmm, "little kid level games". So you call other rts gamers who like small scale 3d rts games as little kids? Condescending imo. Accept that there are others who like these kind of games and are on your level or even above.

Anyway, I disagree. Contrary to what you stated that Total War does not count, it shows that a 3D engine is not a problem to render tens of thousands of units. That they are not controlled individually is due to the game topic. If you had played Total War you'd know that they break up and act individually in combat even if you still control them as a group.

So why doesn't rts games today cater to the large scale historical gamer? Because the market for those have diminished and big companies don't cater for the small niche. Therefore these type of games get rare. But I bet that they will appear, maybe from smaller european companies, and maybe not often but anyway. Compare this to the simulator market. During a long period, flight and combat sims where big sellers and a lot of companies released titles. But today, it is a much smaller market. Sure, there are still complex sim games done, but they are few and long between releases.

There are still games made which cater to history buffs that like complex gameplay. You just have to look harder, and maybe accept smaller production values (small companies can't afford to spend $$ on graphics f.e.).

Here is an example, Ageod's American Civil War (turnbased 2D strategy/war).
http://www.a-acw.com/

Other games in this style can be found at f.e. Matrix Games. There might be no 2d RTS games, but several deep 2d strategy games.
http://www.matrixgames.com/

Niot
11-26-07, 01:15 PM
I think you should state that this is your personal opinion, not that you "know this as insider fact". Because your post is nothing other than personal opinion.



Your baseless accusations are not worthy for me to respond to. Those are not my opinions, they are told to me by various game programmers who have worked for large companies like EA.

Buio
11-27-07, 04:18 AM
Your baseless accusations are not worthy for me to respond to. Those are not my opinions, they are told to me by various game programmers who have worked for large companies like EA.

The response that confirmed my suspicions. To bad I had to write a long post with sincere tips, but perhaps someone else could use them.

Niot
11-27-07, 11:41 AM
The response that confirmed my suspicions. To bad I had to write a long post with sincere tips, but perhaps someone else could use them.
First figure out how Totalwar works before you start to have suspicious for others.