1. Polynomial

    Polynomial Moderator Alumni

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    Has this been discussed yet? The cartoony graphics lead to one direction, but the source material, Total Annihilation, is very gritty.

    Wondering what direction this game is going in.
  2. insanityoo

    insanityoo Member

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    I still take issue with the "cartoony" comments. It's not cartoony just because it uses bright colors. As long as the robots remain cold and unfeeling (and look the part) then I couldn't really care less about the tone (unless that IS the tone....).
  3. thygrrr

    thygrrr Member

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    I want the game to be light-hearted, stylized and not taking itself all too seriously.

    It should definitely NOT try to be photo-realistic, like SupCom did. (SupCom succeeded for the maps, but totally not for the units).
  4. acey195

    acey195 Member

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    I think Uber stated multiple times, they will stick with the "cartoony" look because of:

    - cartoony models are cheaper to make compared to gritty models
    - cartoony textures are cheaper to make compared to gritty textures
    - cartoony models and textures are way better to distinguish when you have a lot of them, and are distinguishable from further away, making the game easier to play if you do not want to use the strategic zoom.
    - cartoony models and textures are more original in the RTS genre at this moment, which makes PA stand out within the genre. The last few years there have been made almost no cartoony RTS games, except from maybe "RA3" and more obscure games like "Stalin VS Martians"
    - cartoony models and textures fit better within the scale of the planets shown in the visualization. Computers at this time are not capable of rendering those planets on a realistic scale, so other elements must be made cartoonier as well, to make sure everything is consistent. (Mentioned in the total biscuit interview)

    Personally I think the aesthetics and graphics should complement each other, so that would mean I rather have robots who both look AND behave a bit cartoony, but no too much.

    If you look at this closely, you will see both of these go hand in hand, (another game DESTROYED by EA...)

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/article ... comes-Fuse
    Last edited: September 14, 2012
  5. agmarstrick

    agmarstrick Member

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    I'd like a modicum of gravitas, I'm blowing up planets.
  6. gmorgan

    gmorgan Member

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    As long as there are explosions going off all over I don't care if the units look a touch like the Megazord. In fact it is preferred.
  7. KNight

    KNight Post Master General

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    This, I don't see anything Cartoony about the style Uber chose, and certainly not to teh level that say TF2 is stylized.

    Obviously with this style you can't quite fully achieve a full on grim-dark setting ala Warhammer 40K, but it isn't three stooges slapstick either. I'm confident Uber and pull off a serious game tone, but this is a Campaign-less RTS, so there won't be much story to speak of that isn't just in the player's head anyways.

  8. razorlance73

    razorlance73 New Member

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    I'd prefer to call the graphics style simple, they might even go with a slightly gritter feel using the textures but keep the models simple to aid performance, which they need with a game on this scale.
  9. godde

    godde Well-Known Member

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    How about cartonish style but units get covered with dirt and scratches as they fight and move about? Eventually the units would end up looking gritty and you might even be able to see what the unit has endured since it was constructed.

    If it could be done without too much performance cost offcourse.
  10. mauly

    mauly New Member

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    I've always been a fan of the TA graphics. But when I first saw the PA trailer I liked the graphics right away. I think it's a good direction and it looks like it will perform OK on my machine. -> keep it!
  11. bluekkis

    bluekkis New Member

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    Based on video, art style is anything but cartoony. Simplified, minimalistic and styled is what I'd categorize it. And I like the style. Sometimes more realistic style has its place, but rts is not one of them. It's all about fluid and fun gameplay.

    QFT. If I want something realistic and serious I'll have real life. Games should always be aware that they are games and not simulations.
  12. gunelemental

    gunelemental New Member

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    I just want the animations for the units to make them seem absurdly massive. The units should act like lumbering automatons, not like gymnasts.
  13. Bastilean

    Bastilean Active Member

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    It's not much different from TA. It might be slightly easier to look at, because there aren't any metalics. I had a friend named Brian Shaw who paints War Hammer minis professionally. He does metals without using metallics. It takes a lot of skill. He has won multiple golden demons.

    I am surprised the TA intro hasn't been posted yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6mZZiI4ShQ

    I always wondered what happened to the models used to make the video. They are far superior to the actual in game models of OTA. I love the buggy with it's suspension.
  14. nanolathe

    nanolathe Post Master General

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    I'm very sorry for thread resurrection.

    I find the best way to understand the tone of a game is to watch the Intro. If a game hasn't informed you on its tone using those first few moments then the player will be confused until a tone is set... so it's the logical place to do so unless confusion is your goal.

    Without a true "Intro" cinematic from Planetary Annihilation I am going to use the first minute and 45 seconds of the Kickstarter pitch Video. I'll explain my reasons for doing so shortly.

    Total Annihilation

    "What began as a conflict over the transfer of conciousness from flesh to machines, escalated into a war that has decimated a million worlds. The Core and the Arm have all but exhausted the resources of the galaxy in their struggle for domination. Both sides now crippled beyond repair, the remnants of their armies continue to battle on ravaged planets, their hatred fuelled by over 4000 years of total war.

    This is a fight to the death. For each side the only acceptable outcome is the complete elimination of the other."

    This introduction is more masterful than I think many people realise.
    We open with a pan down on an image of a cold, blue planet, moon and a scattering of lonely asteroids spinning in space. There is an immediate feeling of helplessness as you float next to one of those asteroids looking down at the planet, as the calm, authoritative voice of John Patrick Lowrie tells you of a war unlike anything we have ever known; 4000 years of destruction that has damaged not only the participants, but "a million" planets of the galaxy itself.

    It is an ideological war, fought over principles... not resources, or against some outside threat... but something that humans consider a "higher" way of thinking... the very way in which we think. Will it be as organic life, or eternal machine?

    "Both sides now crippled beyond repair" is a frightening line that cements the utterly destructive nature of war, with neither side able to snatch anything more than a pyrrhic victory from the jaws of their inevitable defeat. For both sides, 4000 years of war has bred a hatred that can now never be satisfied... except by one, single outcome; the complete elimination of the other. These two races have doomed themselves. The is no victory... there is only war.

    We open a new section of the intro, planet-side, with what I think is a stroke of genius... but I'll get back to that in a moment. We see the endless escalation of war begin anew on this planet. Building are constructed, armies forged, only to be destroyed in an eternal stale-mate. Like chess, pieces are moved only to be taken in an endless cycle of victory and defeat. Both sides strike at each other again and again as we see land units mass, then air units deployed and we follow bombs, personally seeing their destruction, all the way up to giant artillery. Air war rages over radar installations, a war of information. We pan back and see giant facilities and power plants, until finally the widescreen opens up... we are treated to a view of a missile launch silo, with a very ominous nuke just waiting to be launched. War has escalated to its final conclusion; nuclear fire.

    The first unit we see clearly in the introduction is the Arm Commander. The last unit we see clearly is the Core Commander. A symbolic message that very clearly states that the war begins and ends with those Units.
    This is genius, pure and simple.

    Watching and re-watching this introduction strikes at my heart and did actually reduce me to tears on the 6th re-watch. The utter pointlessness of this fight, fought over what should be high ideals. I feel lost and terribly afraid.

    You are put into a position in the main menu where you MUST pick a side... and doom yourself to endless war in the name of either the Arm, or the Core.

    Planetary Annihilation

    "The age of humanity has long past. The endless conflict continues to march into the vast darkness of space. Battles rage across the cold void, annihilating planets, moons and asteroids; cosmic obliteration for a purpose long forgotten.

    Technology has been captured, assimilated, refined and transformed into brutally efficient, self-replicating mechanisms of war.

    Watching the pitch video for Planetary Annihilation tickles every nostalgia bone in my body. If you watch, the scenes from the Total Annihilation intro play out in almost exactly the same way:
    Space, looking down on a distant planet.
    The Commander, the first unit you see.
    Images of escalation. A base expands and sends out its first units.
    Destruction begins. Units are casually thrown into the meat-grinder.
    After more escalation, battle ends only with the destruction of the planet.

    This is a gameplay pre-vis, but it mirrors so closely the tone of Total Annihilation's intro that it's scary. Consciously or not (probably VERY consciously), the artist has created and struck almost the exact same beats of the Total Annihilation Intro.

    The tone that is being set is almost identical, one of a pointless war that will destroy everything and the Commander... is all that matters.

    Without more information I can't decide how much Planetary Annihilation will tug on my heartstrings. I need to know more about the history of the Commanders.

    If I was to make a single criticism of the tone... its that the reason for the war has been forgotten. I can understand that this has devolved into war, for wars' sake... the same was true of TA. But in TA I had a personal stake in the fight. My commander was my Ideology, and my allegiance.

    I want to know what Ideologies these new Commanders will represent. I don't mind if they are robotic ideologies, beyond my comprehension...

    But I'd like to know. It lets me feel connected to my commander in fundamental way. gives me an investment in the conflict.

    Again, sorry for thread Necro... but I feel like I have something to discuss here.
    Last edited: March 16, 2013
  15. Culverin

    Culverin Post Master General

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    The lastest screen shots with the unit white box and the terrain shots of the canyon don't make this look too cartoony at all.
    No more than SupCom.

    I was pretty worried at first, but not anymore.
  16. syox

    syox Member

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    If there are still icons, i dont care if it is little pink ponys shooting rainbows out of their rectum.
    Only important is for me are the units easy to distinguish.
  17. neutrino

    neutrino low mass particle Uber Employee

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    Each of the factions has their own ideology. They have shared ancestry but each has their own experience which has shaped their loyalties and beliefs.

    Since they are sentient robots they are conscious and can explain their thinking. These aren't soul less gas pumps, they are advanced AI beings.

    It all started with the progenitors...
  18. bobucles

    bobucles Post Master General

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    ... ancient beings of unimaginable (four-digit) wealth and power, with a singular (kickstarter) goal.

    To make sure the most powerful being in the universe looked like a pony.


    I do not envy Uber's burden. Over a hundred custom factions, designs, and homebrew stories. I sure hope $1K a pop will cover the emotional damages and increased drinking costs for the team. :lol:
  19. zachb

    zachb Member

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    OK so about the whole cartooney thing. From what I have gathered so far the graphics are the way they are because of technical and monetary limitations. Not everyone has the time or processor power to make everything look like that old man face from the PS4 demo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tw1l_C4kXrg about 4 minutes in.

    So if you are going to try to get a lot of robots on screen without too many polygons and not very much texture resolution it's going to look a little strange unless you pick an art style that works with the low detail.

    Now the problem is that when people think of a low detail art style they think of Saturday morning cartoons, or children's video games. But it doesn't have to be that way. PA could look very respectable even with a simple art style born out of necessity.

    And honestly I think a more mature tone could really help the game. If you think about the universe, it's a place where humanity has died out and the only remnants of our civilization are a bunch of sentient war machines spreading across the galaxy trashing solar systems and blowing up planets, doomed to fight each other for all eternity to fight each other for no other reason than they were created that way.

    Granted most people will be playing an endless string of myltiplayer matches and will never bother to think about why these robots are fighting. Which perfectly matches the theme of the lore by the way. And a mature tone would help back that up.
  20. Nelec

    Nelec Member

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    I love the style, there need to be more stylized games like this. It's easy on the eyes, good unit readability, but not so much that it looks too childish. Too many games try and fail to make a realistic art style, and it just end up looking ridicules. So this is a nice breath of fresh air, well, for me definitely.

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