Sunday, January 12, 2014

In Between Discussion: Graphics vs Aesthetics

If the next generation can learn anything from the last, it's this.

The feature video below is "Graphics vs. Aesthetics" posted by Extra Credits on their youtube channel here. The video gives a simple concept that lots of gamers don't consciously think about a simple format for discussion. This happens to also be one of my favorite concepts when it comes to judging and ultimately enjoying games.

See, I'm a big proponent that Aesthetics can make a game look and feel amazing no matter what graphic quality it touts. When I see games that have great graphics, but environments that clash with other elements in the game, I question whether or not I want to spend my preciously earned money to see how the story and gameplay flush out.

 Modern day graphics in consoles and especially on PC are amazing, and I enjoy having a machine that can render life-like scenes in front of me. But I don't want to waste half a day in a game that just takes a smattering of design choices without attention to what meshes well. Clashing colors, towns that don't seem to work well because they're underpopulated. Design choices in characters that don't make sense. These little things aren't directly apparent, but they can ruin the experience in a game as bad as the worst of bugs.

So to me, Aesthetics are possibly the most important aspects of a game. If I don't see proper aesthetic design choices, I know that I won't believe that this world I'm involving my time in will be enjoyable. If I don't enjoy it because of poor aesthetic, then it isn't entertaining like it should be. And sometimes it just comes down to a decent overall palette that matches the tone. If I could change one thing about the games industry, it would be to put more focus on this, and less to pure graphic hogging.

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