A complaint about the graphics!

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dak
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A complaint about the graphics!

Post by dak » February 10th, 2009, 2:37 pm

I saw the latest screenshots in the preview @ RPGVault,

and noticed something, rather than enchanting the graphics it looks like more tiles will be used, and the characters look at least as small as if not smaller than in eschalon book I , is it really necesarry to see so far away from the character?

I would much prefer to keep the same amount of tiles, but use the higher res to get closer and more details??

anyone with me on this?

If things are too small I just cannot get as immeresed into the game! I almost need a magnifying glass to see some of the details.

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function.require
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Re: A complaint about the graphics!

Post by function.require » February 10th, 2009, 5:55 pm

Even in full screen? I came from a land where you could be represented as a little 16 x 16 pixel thing.If the storyline is good then the game is immersive. If the storyline is bad then good graphics can not save it. Image

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Getharn
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Re: A complaint about the graphics!

Post by Getharn » February 10th, 2009, 7:10 pm

Firstly, I agree that graphics are a secondary concern to plot and general enjoyment.

However, I also appreciate that people's tastes differ, and that's fine - I also think that graphics, music and sound effects are nonetheless important in creating a fantastic gaming experience.

In answer to your specific concerns, Dak, are you sure this isn't just because the graphics are now 1024x768 instead of 800x600? If you play the game on the same sized monitor, the graphics should just become higher resolution, not actually smaller.

I've taken one of those Book II screenshots and put it up against a resized version of the Book I screenshot and the characters look about the same size:

EDIT: I had attached a comparison image here, but have removed it since these are still RPGVault exclusive screenshots. It's very severely cropped (60x80 px), but I wouldn't want to get anybody into trouble. I can put it back if I get the go-ahead from BW, or if the screenshots are posted here. Either way, you can do the same thing yourself easily enough.

Doesn't look hugely different to me in terms of perceived size - maybe a couple of pixels, but that could just be an artifact of the resizing and/or different sprite sizes.

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Re: A complaint about the graphics!

Post by BasiliskWrangler » February 10th, 2009, 7:34 pm

The tiles in Book I were 52x52 pixels. Default screen resolution was 800x600.

In Book II the tiles are 64x64 pixels, the default resolution is 1024x768.

So tile size has increased by 123%, screen size has increased by 128%.

Book II tiles are larger than in Book I, but the tiles have not scaled up as much as the screen resolution. However, we are at the point where major changes to the graphics is impossible unless we delay the game to 2010.
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IJBall
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Re: A complaint about the graphics!

Post by IJBall » February 10th, 2009, 7:44 pm

BasiliskWrangler wrote:Book II tiles are larger than in Book I, but the tiles have not scaled up as much as the screen resolution. However, we are at the point where major changes to the graphics is impossible unless we delay the game to 2010.
I think I speak for everyone when I say: NNOOOOOO!!! :wink:

Seriously, scaling up the tile size even more is a debate/consideration that can & should be saved for Book III.

For now, I think most of us can agree that, in general, Book II looks better than Book I, and I think most of us will be pretty happy with that. :mrgreen:

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Re: A complaint about the graphics!

Post by Saxon1974 » February 10th, 2009, 9:22 pm

IJBall wrote:
BasiliskWrangler wrote:Book II tiles are larger than in Book I, but the tiles have not scaled up as much as the screen resolution. However, we are at the point where major changes to the graphics is impossible unless we delay the game to 2010.
I think I speak for everyone when I say: NNOOOOOO!!! :wink:

Seriously, scaling up the tile size even more is a debate/consideration that can & should be saved for Book III.

For now, I think most of us can agree that, in general, Book II looks better than Book I, and I think most of us will be pretty happy with that. :mrgreen:
Seconded! Yes the features and avatars could be a tad larger, but its definitely not near the top of things I would like to see time spent on.

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Re: A complaint about the graphics!

Post by dfa_geko » February 10th, 2009, 11:51 pm

Thomas - Speaking as a fellow programmer, I understand how difficult it is to develop a game having dabbled in a little game programming myself. Developing something like EB:I (and EB:II) is certainly a difficult task and having completed it is very admirable. So, I would not take any irrelevant criticisms to heart. I, for one, like the graphics of EB:II. I feel it is much improved from the previous version and I can't wait for it to release! I don't feel the graphics are smaller. They are definitely more defined and nicer looking. Can't wait to play it!!!

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Re: A complaint about the graphics!

Post by Getharn » February 11th, 2009, 9:37 am

BasiliskWrangler wrote:The tiles in Book I were 52x52 pixels. Default screen resolution was 800x600.

In Book II the tiles are 64x64 pixels, the default resolution is 1024x768.
So, in terms of relative screen size, that means tiles have shrunk by less than 4% - that's basically the same size as far as I'm concerned.

As an aside, I'm also a definite fan of the higher resolution. I just wanted to point out that Dak's perception was probably skewed by directly comparison screenshots of different sizes, rather than resizing them to full screen.

I'm one of those people who always play first-person shooters at my monitor's native 1600x1200, even if it drops the frame rate somewhat during busy moments. It used to be that resolution didn't make any difference to rendering speed, really, but in these days of heavy-duty pixel shaders, that age is long gone!

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Re: A complaint about the graphics!

Post by dak » February 11th, 2009, 10:17 am

Thank you for all the replies, I guess it might very well look better in fullscreen just as pointed out.

As someone else said it could be worth to note for book III!

I was immersed in Book one even if I thought things was a bit too small there too, so 4-5% bigger would have made me a lot happier instead of 4-5 % smaller.

Anyway please do by no means delay book II because of this minor issue!
Even in full screen? I came from a land where you could be represented as a little 16 x 16 pixel thing.If the storyline is good then the game is immersive. If the storyline is bad then good graphics can
Those chars from the screenie cover a larger % of the screen than the ones in Eschalon.

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Re: A complaint about the graphics!

Post by Rune_74 » February 11th, 2009, 11:22 am

You know...in some ways I think the samller size with more things to see adds to my emersion...its weird but it feels deepr to me. I really like the way book 2 looks now, as well as the conversation in that one pic look sharp.

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Re: A complaint about the graphics!

Post by CrazyBernie » February 11th, 2009, 5:23 pm

Well for me, if I play in fullscreen mode, things are too big @ 800x600 on my 20" widescreen lcd. I've actually been playing in a window, so everything's tiny (since my native resolution is 1680x1050). Book II should increase the size while playing in a window, and may smooth things out enough to enjoy fullscreen. My only concern is that netbooks have a native 1024x600, so I'd be out of luck if I got one. Hopefully the rez will kick up in the next batch of 'em, especially with the upcoming nVidia ION platform.

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Re: A complaint about the graphics!

Post by Sajen » February 14th, 2009, 10:53 am

About the netbook computer, I have one and it would be awesome to be able to play the Eschalon game on it. The native resolution is 1280 X 800.

It would be nice if in the future Eschalon games there would be an option for the resolution sizes so it would be possible to play on these small portable computers instead of only on the desktop. It would be very suitable as the graphics are not demanding as well as the system requirements.

Anyway, glad to see there are small developers out there still making games like this, Baldurs
Gate is still the best rpg I have ever played and that was made 10 years ago.

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Re: A complaint about the graphics!

Post by Konjad » February 23rd, 2009, 3:02 pm

Sajen wrote:
It would be nice if in the future Eschalon games there would be an option for the resolution sizes so it would be possible to play on these small portable computers instead of only on the desktop. It would be very suitable as the graphics are not demanding as well as the system requirements.
I agree. I want to buy a small notebook this year and consider 10" as well, but these computers has resolution lower than 1024x768. It would be cool if I could just change resolution to old 800x600.

Anyway I'll probably end up buying bigger but more powerful notebook ;)

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Re: A complaint about the graphics!

Post by Castor » March 13th, 2009, 7:01 am

Correct me if I am wrong,

but I think the graphics in this game , especially Book 2 is very clean and nice. It does not turn away too much from the original concept and idea of making old style RPG but does blend bit of updated and clean feel to it. So well done to the developers.

The only thing that I can't help to notice is the lighting in the game. I am not sure if it is the limitation of the engine, but lighting on the individual tile is lit only by itself. What I mean is that there are clear "seam" between two tiles next to each other when there are visible light source near by etc. I think if it can some how blend and average out the tile colour it will look lot more smooth and nicer. I think at the moment the tile's overall colour is effecting the whole tile itself, but the better way will be taking some sort of average of the corners of the tiles where they meet and then interpolate them across the tile. Ofcourse this means that the objects on that tile needs to be shaded with the same technique which may complicate the rendering process a bit more and it may not be feasible to do this in Book 2 as the game seems pretty solid into development already. But certainly something to consider for book 3 I think.

what do you think Master of Basilisk! :D

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Re: A complaint about the graphics!

Post by AstralWanderer » March 14th, 2009, 8:47 pm

I would certainly second the requests made in this thread for the ability to run book II in other resolutions (like 1024x600 for Netbooks). From a programming perspective it shouldn't be too complex to dynamically rescale the tiles at game start (or install) to accommodate 800x600 or 1280x1024 and widescreen setups could be addressed by relocating UI elements from the top/bottom of the screen (the button bar notably) to the sides. At least, provide the option to relocate UI elements via a .cfg file so users could make their own adjustments.

While Eschalon's tiles are quite good compared to most other games (being a modest improvement on Arcanum for example), the biggest deficiency is with water. The regular waves in book I were the least realistic part of the graphics and replacing these with something less predictable (e.g. a selection of random-looking ripple graphics with different water tiles changing at varying rates) would be a noticeable improvement.

One other "nice feature" to consider also would be a data import option so that players could replay Book I using the Book II engine.

However tiling has significant limitations (most notably with walls which always have to be parallel or perpendicular to each other) so it would be better to consider a more flexible system for later games (something along the lines of the area bitmaps used by Bioware's Infinity Engine in the Baldur's Gate series).

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