What are your thoughts on VizionEck's graphics?

Started by Legend, May 01, 2016, 02:41 AM

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Legend

I'd like some honest feedback if you have some time. The more detailed your response the better. You can talk about everything ranging from your first impressions to your thoughts on them affecting long term gameplay. You can talk about how you feel personally and how you think the mass market feels about them.

Please answer before scrolling down and seeing how other people view them.
  • He sucks at sales estimates and predictions

Legend

If you are reading this, you better have already responded!

Back in summer 2013 VizionEck was a completely different game than it is now. It was envisioned as a free demo project I could finish in a month. The art style was invented/used because it made development super easy. However the game quickly morphed into a different beast and its scope increased 100 fold. 3 years later I've upgraded every aspect of the game except graphics.

The single player campaign called VizionEck Adventure is very much built around this art style, but the multiplayer called VizionEck Battle is only using it out of habit. Plus a long time ago I added "Game Skins" to the mix. These use procedural generation to completely overhaul the game's graphics and artstyle making it unrecognizably different. My dilemma is this:

Should VizionEck Battle stay as is where "Outlines" are the default graphics and game skins are just fun unlocks, or should Battle be stripped of "outline" based game mechanics and advertised primarily with game skins?

I'm heavily leaning towards the later atm, but this is a decision I can sit on till it's time for the next trailer. For the moment just hearing your feedback on the current graphics is super beneficial.
  • He sucks at sales estimates and predictions

kitler53

they look lazy and cheap aka "super easy development". 
       

the-pi-guy

May 01, 2016, 03:09 AM Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 03:13 AM by the-pi-guy
It has a unique art style.  Which I think is pretty off putting for a lot of people.  You don't play as an animal/person, you play as a cube.  Which could be odd in a world of Uncharted/Call of Duty/etc. for a lot of people.  There's still plenty of games that are in a similar type of category, but a lot of them are either older or mobile.  It goes much further than say Minecraft in that respect.  
The biggest thing though is that the market that would probably enjoy the graphics doesn't know about the game, while the market that knows about it doesn't enjoy the graphics.  Look at Call of Duty, Minecraft, Tetris, Farmville, etc.  All of them have very different visual styles, very different markets, but still hugely successful.  

I personally enjoy the style.  I'm a little curious how it will actually feel while playing.  But I am excited. (I am probably like the 5th most excited for this game.)

they look lazy and cheap aka "super easy development".
And that's okay.  It doesn't necessarily hurt VizionEck's potential for sales.  Minecraft would be a big example of that (and yes I am 100% aware that no indie games are Minecraft, except for Minecraft).  But still, the style of the game hasn't affected the game.  It's seen crazy success by marketing and gameplay.    

Should VizionEck Battle stay as is where "Outlines" are the default graphics and game skins are just fun unlocks, or should Battle be stripped of "outline" based game mechanics and advertised primarily with game skins?

I'm heavily leaning towards the later atm, but this is a decision I can sit on till it's time for the next trailer. For the moment just hearing your feedback on the current graphics is super beneficial.
I think you should have a couple of game skins available with more unlockable.  
That way, there's still the fun of unlocking stuff but also the flexibility to change what the game looks like.

darkknightkryta

I don't know.  If the game plays well you might be able to go for an 80s theme.  Since that wireframe look was the style at the time.

Xbro

I personally like it, but I think it will be hard to market to the masses.
3 people like this

Max King of the Wild

I didn't listen to one suggestion in this post. Read all the comments from bottom up then read the opening post.

My issue is not seeing enough gameplay to form an opinion on graphics or side by side comparisons to make a determination

Legend

they look lazy and cheap aka "super easy development".
I can always count on you for blunt feedback  ;D

It has a unique art style.  Which I think is pretty off putting for a lot of people.  You don't play as an animal/person, you play as a cube.  Which could be odd in a world of Uncharted/Call of Duty/etc. for a lot of people.  There's still plenty of games that are in a similar type of category, but a lot of them are either older or mobile.  It goes much further than say Minecraft in that respect.  
The biggest thing though is that the market that would probably enjoy the graphics doesn't know about the game, while the market that knows about it doesn't enjoy the graphics.  Look at Call of Duty, Minecraft, Tetris, Farmville, etc.  All of them have very different visual styles, very different markets, but still hugely successful.  

I personally enjoy the style.  I'm a little curious how it will actually feel while playing.  But I am excited. (I am probably like the 5th most excited for this game.)
I've had long discussions about the fact you don't play as an animal/person.


Thomas Was Alone also uses solid geometric objects but you don't play as a rectangle, you play as Thomas. He's personified through dialogue, mechanics, and even visuals. I absolutely loved the game because of it and most critics seem to agree. If Thomas Was Alone lacked "characters," no one would have cared about it.



The portal companion cube does nothing, yet it's pink heart and associated gameplay make it lovable and relatable. There are hundreds of near identical cubes in the series yet this one is famous throughout the internet.

In VizionEck Battle there is nothing more than a black and white cube. Lore says their remote controlled robots called Rangers, but not a single player will care with the current graphics. Part of me thinks it'd be wise to personify the cubes and make them characters.


While playing it feels much better. Your brain pretty quickly learns and understands the geometry.

And that's okay.  It doesn't necessarily hurt VizionEck's potential for sales.  Minecraft would be a big example of that (and yes I am 100% aware that no indie games are Minecraft, except for Minecraft).  But still, the style of the game hasn't affected the game.  It's seen crazy success by marketing and gameplay.
I think the graphics helped Minecraft. They really match the feel of the gameplay.


I think you should have a couple of game skins available with more unlockable.  
That way, there's still the fun of unlocking stuff but also the flexibility to change what the game looks like.
That'll be the case either way. It's more about what game skin is the default one when you first boot up the game.

I don't know.  If the game plays well you might be able to go for an 80s theme.  Since that wireframe look was the style at the time.
I'm thinking about fully changing the graphics, not just improving/altering the outline look. Could make the game look like whatever I want.

I personally like it, but I think it will be hard to market to the masses.
That's exactly how I feel too!

I didn't listen to one suggestion in this post. Read all the comments from bottom up then read the opening post.

My issue is not seeing enough gameplay to form an opinion on graphics or side by side comparisons to make a determination
Such a rebel.
  • He sucks at sales estimates and predictions

Cute Pikachu

Its gonna need a little touching up if its gonna be marketed to the masses
"You wanna know just where I'm at
Well let me tell you 'bout it
I put my city on the map"
-J. Cole
How do people get gifs?

the-pi-guy

That'll be the case either way. It's more about what game skin is the default one when you first boot up the game.
Maybe on startup, you could have players pick a visual style when they start the game.  
Have a little menu when you are creating a new game, and have like 3 or 4 skins; and let the player decide the default skin.  

While playing it feels much better. Your brain pretty quickly learns and understands the geometry.
I believe it.  

kitler53

yes yes, i am blunt.  but here is some more honest truth,.. on the psblog (which was/will be your biggest marketing exposure) i make a decison about an article in ~5 seconds a lot of the time.  

first i look for screens.  then i watch the video if i have one.  and then i read the article only if i feel like i might be interested.  

graphics is for better or worse are a huge part of my decision. there is a saying that when you are buying a used car if you want to know what shape the engine is in check the car mats.  basically if the owner didn't take care of the mats they probably didn't take care of the engine. 

with hundreds of indies to choose from i make a similar judgement. if they didn't do a decent job with the presentation they probably are no better at the gameplay. 

vizioneck looks low effort on the presentation.  maybe things are better now but even worse than the cubes was the dead explosions from that first trailer.  maybe you've put tons of time into the gameplay and content but my immediate thought when i saw your trailer is it looks low quality. 

now i "know" you so i'll put more effort into learning about your game than someone elses.  hell, i might buy it just so i can join the inevitable conversations we'll have here.  ...but for the vast majority of people you've got 5 seconds to grab their interest and your presentation isn't helping. 
       

kitler53

       

ethomaz

I appreciate graphics and I expect the best from devs but I appreciate art style too. To be fair in low budget games (aka non-AAA) I expect a good art style with avg. graphics.

That is enough for me.

The exceptions are if the gameplay is so good to play... in this case I don't give a shame about graphics to play the game (I will still notice the bad graphics and complain about but I will support, play and recommend to friends).

Legend

so what's your plan?
I'm looking into ways to reimagine the current art style. The "outline" graphics are very unique and will work much better for marketing recognition than the standard low poly indie graphics that are all the rage.

Current thinking is to add a thick coat of gloss over everything and make the outlines glow. Make it feel like a physical world with weight and scale. Right now I'm rendering test images to see what feels right, ie:




  • He sucks at sales estimates and predictions

darkknightkryta

Maybe play as block people instead of blocks?

 

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