game-play or looks?

  • Of course gameplay is king, but I think if you're selling an experience, the look should be just right. Of course you want the game to be fun, but don't skimp on making the game world interesting and inviting.

  • It's a pretty no-brainer answer, gameplay. So I'm instead going to tackle the question from a different angle.

    Will the graphical style (style trumps fidelity) impact my interest in a game? Yes.

    Being an artist I tend to favor games that interest me visually over games that have a less cohesive, or maybe even boring, style. Games in the latter camp will most likely be glanced over and maybe picked up later.

    But ultimately this all hinges on gameplay of course. If a game from the latter camp is actually really, really good and I hear about how good it is, I'll likely want to try it out then.

    The reverse applies for games that do appeal to me visually. Example, I looked forward immensely to Asuras Wrath because it looked badass as all hell. But then the demo was released and in truth, as a "game" it sucks and I will most likely not get it unless I find it dirt cheap somewhere.

    Graphical style matters, gameplay matters more.

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  • for me , if i saw in appstore or scirra arcade a bad graphic i usually don't even think to play it.

  • Graphics draws my attention at first contact with the game. Doesn't matter if they're realistic, cartoon, 8bit, etc etc. The factors involved are many, and very complex because they are very personal. What i find cute and nice other may find outdated and ugly.

    Everything that comes after , game mechanics , history and synergy between graphics and gameplay holds my attention. So i think you just can't analyze a game by separated aspects since they merge one with the other.

  • Graphics draws my attention at first contact with the game. Doesn't matter if they're realistic, cartoon, 8bit, etc etc. The factors involved are many, and very complex because they are very personal. What i find cute and nice other may find outdated and ugly.

    Everything that comes after , game mechanics , history and synergy between graphics and gameplay holds my attention. So i think you just can't analyze a game by separated aspects since they merge one with the other.

    This.

    What is the first thing you see, when you start playing a game? The graphics, of course. They get your attention and give you a first impression of what to expect. Then it's up to the gameplay to hold your attention and keep you interested.

    Overall, both are needed and must be balanced carefully. If either of them are lacking the game as a whole will lose appeal. But as long as the gameplay is fun and understandable, and the graphics are coherent and consistent, then the result will be a reasonably well made game.

    Also, other factors like audio, level design, story and that sort of stuff factor in just as much as gameplay and art, but this thread's only asking about those two.

  • Like a couple of others have said on this thread: both are equally important. Why not make your game stand out? Why rely on just the artwork or just the gameplay? When one is apparently lacking it just shows me how little you actually care for your work. And how little I should care about it, also.

    But to go off with what the_chosen_byte said:

    your game doesn't need to be realistic or beautifully rendered, but it does need a strong, cohesive STYLE

    Spot on.Everyone has different talents and although we can't all "David Hellman" our games up we can create a unique visual experience to enhance the work we've put into our gameplay elements. Figure out a "style" for your game and make that style work for you. As game designers we're creatives and should thus be creative!

  • For me, graphics and game-play are both important elements of a video game, it all comes down to making sure that all these elements come together well. At the hands of a good game developer, even if its a limited technology, he would still be able to come up with something better. <img src="smileys/smiley2.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • it depends on the end player, but also the game genre.

    You could have hand drawn stick platform game, with great game play and it would do really well.

    Where as FPS games, would need better graphics as people would compare them to other games out there. Mainly the hardcore gamers.

  • Game-play is more important than graphics.

    I used to own a Spectravideo console/computer. I played for hours with games which had silly graphics.

    It's like asking what's better in a book, the plot or the font. The plot is much more important but if you have a bad font people are less likely to enjoy your book.

    A good and solid gameplay is a must. without it no matter how lovely is your graphics people won't recommend it.

    In the early days of CD oriented games one could find cool graphics which wee created as games. People did play with these games just to see the cool scenery but this won't stand these days.

    Btw, graphics is not the only element. You can easily mention sound and music. If you'll have a great gameplay, cool graphics but bad sound design and awful music people will run away from your game.

    Also, as mentioned before, it depends on the game category. In some categories people expect more from the graphics side compared to other categories.

    Bottom line, it would be best to focus on gameplay and once you have a solid mechanics invest in graphics and sound and animation and presentation to match the gameplay level.

  • For me it really depends on what genre of game we're talking but in general i'd say gameplay is far more important than graphics

    That being said i can't imagine i'd play a FPS with lousy graphics for long

  • Game play 110%

    A game could look like dirt but still be fun. On the other hand good graphics or an interesting art style can lure people in. For example i downloaded bastion on steam and it is so pretty. I mean ive played many rpg type games but this one has such a vast array of new art concepts that it is simply astounding.   <img src="smileys/smiley10.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

    So as a designer you kinda have to strive for the in between. Something that has a cool game play mechanic while looking somewhat decent.

    <img src="smileys/smiley2.gif" border="0" align="middle" />

  • I think the answer is pretty self-evident. If beautiful graphics were as important as good gameplay (mechanics), the rise of videogames would have been delayed by like a decade. The Atari 2600 for example, would not have sold more than a handful of units. Also, the ASCII-based roguelikes wouldn't still be popular today (ex: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NetHack).

    On the other hand, nowadays graphics are important if you want your game to be popular because that's what the market expects. Very few people would buy games with Atari 2600 or ASCII "graphics" today.

  • I would say it depends entirely on who you are marketing you game towards.

    Triple A titles need top level graphics, its simply a must have, most of the younger generation only respond to the latest perfect visuals and effects. And that is why games that simply remake the same game over and over again with new graphics make so much money for the big studio houses.

    In the Triple A title world graphics are a must have, and gameplay sadly is second to that.

    Indie titles however tend to need amazing gameplay because its typical that indie developers dont have the funds to create amazing looking games, and graphics can be one of the most expensive things and therefore most likely to have a budget that doesnt quite match their requirements. Also indie gamers tend to be more forgiving of graphics looking for interesting games that will hold their interest.

  • Most important of any games looks attractive and play felexible.

    And it have no more condition for playing games.

  • I ended up making a tl;dr post about this that would probably end up taking half the page. It's in my blog, if you want to see it.

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