Given how badly DA:2 sucked compared to DA:O; I’m not sure that DA:I had any hope; but it doesn’t really help that they had Bioware attempt to go full Bethesda on the problem(a technique that even Bethesda is pretty uneven at).
Facial animation seems to be going backward, it’s a similar thing in deus ex: mankind divided but nowhere as bad as this. Dishonoured on the other hand… they have some caricature to them so don’t suffer the same fate and all the better they are for it. The tools are there but the skill requirement that goes into animating faces just gets ever higher. Play half-life 2 now and the characters still look great i think, crude but they emote a lot better than most modern stuff. Then again that was a far smaller, linear game and they likely hand animated everything.
“animation is getting cheaper, and those placed in charge of using it are giving less and less of a fuck.”
Oh good, someone finally noticed.
Sorry for the sass, but geebus, it’s been like this for over a decade, in literally everything that needs anything “animated”.
Actually, that’s not what was bugging me at all. It more the hands and legs… though the more I think about it, the more I wonder what it was exactly I thought was off. Something unnatural with the way characters walk around and gesture I think.
Back in my day, we were happy when our game characters had facial features at all. Hell, we didn’t even have avatars, the game characters were literal characters, what we did was moving letters around on the screen using the asdf keys. Hell, we didn’t even had a keyboard, had to punch cards and input them in the mainframe. Made the boss fights a real challenge. Kids are just spoiled these days, what with Moore’s law and all that liberal nonsense.
That tea sip is outstanding
I’m happy people are noticing this stuff but at the same time I wish people would also understand what a massive investment it is to capture and polish decent faces in video games. It takes years to get a few hours done. Some open world titles are pushing 60 hours of scripted interaction… insane…
Not everything can be this good
Art direction(and access to resources and time) are certainly wildly uneven, and ‘naive and/or lazy demands that face generation and animation be heavily automated’ has led to some terrible things; but it is worth remembering that(especially among old games not in the running for ‘classic’; that the past was a pretty ugly place in many respects.
On the plus side, the fact that only lots of human nudging could make anything look right sometimes resulted in lots of human nudging. On the minus side, you had things like the potato-face humanoids of TES:Oblivion.
It’s easy to forget this but the original deus ex looks “like sticks of peperami in big coats running around in a grey box shouting about the illuminati” - as i heard someone on a gaming cast describe it. And it already looked shit back in the day, oh but the lovely emergent gameplay… there was a recent roundtable with the designers of this and some other classic games that’s worth a listen.
Wouldn’t it be nice if this was all we had to complain about and not, say, the continuing harrassment of female developers just doing their jobs.
Yet these criticisms of facial animation tend to originate from humans who automate nearly all of their own facial expressions in daily life. So people are demanding the use of vast resources of time and effort only to recreate what are essentially accidents anyway.
That sounds like an ethical problem in games journalism. Perhaps someone should start a thread?
The games media industry is about as ethical as any media industry, and since developers get compensation based on metacritic scores they will always lobby like it’s the oscars. Of course they cross the line sometimes, but I don’t think it’s a problem. The 10/10 problem was more of a relic of the 90s and 00s more than now, though many AAA titles still get inflated reviews. I mean Fallout 4 was given 9/10 when the game was unplayable for many on launch, and Zelda is another game that mechanically isn’t a 10/10 game - and both are very good games.
Me speaking about the hype behind games is more to do with the (worst of the) fans combined with the corporations purposely stoking console wars style teams. I mean seriously, just look at how the fanbase reacts to anything, let alone women or POC in the industry who will never not be harassed in today’s climate.
Back in my day it was all jmp, jnz, push, and pop.
Kids these days.
I read that and my blood boiled. So many people in comments (that article & facebook) saying “well if she’s a lead, then obviously she had final say about everything and ran the whole department” and holy shit that is frustratingly ignorant. Each company has different criteria for who’s a lead, but lots of times it means “moderately experienced” or “mentors a few less experienced people”. Even if it means the person who’s running a team, they still don’t get final say about what’s shipable quality
The recurring theme of a non-trivial number of people being shitty towards a woman working in video games is just so disheartening.
And Bioware’s response was a bit off, apparently the important part was to note that she didn’t work for them, and the bit about not attacking people was almost thrown in as an afterthought.
Yeah, it’s a common problem these days - if someone is being shitty, but they’re also being complete idiots about it, should your response focus on “don’t be shitty” or “you’re an idiot” ?
IMO the focus on pointing out that the attacks are misdirected was probably chosen in the hopes it would be the most effective avenue for curtailing this batch of harassment.
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