Recently, Masahiro Sakurai, the producer of the Super Smash Bros. series, updated the topic of gameplay and game graphics in the game design teaching video column he produced. Sakurai said bluntly in the video that players may think that in his concept, the graphics will not affect the gameplay, but in fact he believes that the graphics of the game are very important. This point of view has also aroused discussion among many players – in fact, the game graphics and gameplay itself are the most daily topics among players. I would like to take this opportunity to chat with you about this topic. The second half of the content is more subjective, and you are welcome to express your own opinions.
First, let’s go back to Masahiro Sakurai’s video. In this video, Sakurai mentioned the following points: First, the gameplay can be made better through the graphics. Here he mentioned the concept of “sense of presence”. The improvement of the picture can make the details in the game scene have a stronger sense of “sense of presence”, and this sense of presence is crucial for some games.
Sakurai cited “Dark Souls” and “Sekiro” as examples. In these “suffering” games, players tend to maintain a high level of vigilance when exploring new scenes to avoid being attacked by enemies that pop out of nowhere. . At this time, the “sense of presence” brought about by screen resolution, details, etc. is particularly important, allowing players to notice all corners of the screen more clearly.
Therefore, the fun provided by the game can interact with the screen performance and complement each other. It must also be noted here that the “pictures” Sakurai refers to are not just resolution, frame number, model and texture accuracy, etc., but also include the game’s art, feedback, and what players see with their eyes. What you see and what the game displays on the screen are all part of the “picture”. But in fact, Sakurai also had something to say, and some of the content was not stated directly: “A game must first have gameplay, and then the graphics can be the icing on the cake. If a game itself has no gameplay at all, no matter how good the graphics are It doesn’t help that any number multiplied by 0 is 0.”
In addition, for many players, the game has a good-looking picture, which will also have a certain impact on the decision to purchase the game. Without knowing whether the game is fun or not, a game with good graphics will undoubtedly make players want to buy it. After all, not all players will understand all aspects of a game before buying it. Many players buy a game simply because it “looks good.” Finally, Sakurai also said that in fact, for most games, the graphics do not necessarily have a huge impact on the gameplay. But it would be best if the two can be improved in a relatively balanced manner, rather than just focusing on one side and leaving the other side stagnant.
There is no doubt that as the “foundation” of video games, the fun brought by interaction should be the most important part. But today, video games have already become a comprehensive form of artistic expression. When traditional arts such as literature, painting, music, and drama are further integrated into games, the presentation of “gameplay” is no longer as simple as pure interaction.
A way to judge the gameplay: When you remove all the textures of a game, leaving only a rough gray model that fills the screen, if the interaction of the game is still fun, then it must be a good game. However, since the development of electronic games, the impact of graphics on gameplay and interaction is also huge. Just imagine, if the textures of “Breath of the Wild” and “Tears of the Kingdom” are removed, leaving only a gray world, or the game screen becomes blurred, and the mountains, Shikarta, and empty islands are blurred. For those in the distance, The longing will be gone, and the entire game will lose the motivation to explore.
Of course, on the other hand, if “The Wilderness/King’s Tears” itself makes players lose interest in exploring, then no matter how good the picture quality is, it will not change the fate of not being fun. It was another open world 3A masterpiece that was released at the same time as “Breath of the Wild” and was called “Zelda Killer”. Its image quality level was the ceiling level in the industry at the time, but its lack of gameplay made it difficult to play in any game. In terms of discussion and sales, it is far inferior to “Breath of the Wild”. (In order to avoid unnecessary quarrels, I will not specifically name which 3A masterpiece it is here.) Therefore, although the graphics are of great help to improve the gameplay, the game does not rely on the fun brought by the graphics, which is still its mission. Book.
However, as games mature in terms of interaction, even if they are as powerful as Nintendo, it is impossible to bring the ultimate gaming experience just by relying on interaction. The perspective rendering of the open world is part of the picture, the physical effects when objects come into contact are part of the picture, the character’s hit feedback when being attacked is part of it, the art style, resolution, special effects… these are all games Every part of the screen will have an impact on the gameplay in its own dimension. This is why we have been looking forward to Nintendo to improve its performance and launch new machines for several years. Because what performance brings is no longer simply an improvement in image quality, but will actually affect the gameplay.
If you have played those AAA masterpieces that were ported to the NS, such as “The Witcher 3”, regardless of the resolution, when playing you may find that the NS version has the same impact, character movements, and interaction with scene objects, and the The generation version is different. This also occurs in many other games. Due to the performance of the NS, the development team appropriately reduced the game’s physical collision determination or action keyframes when porting. There may be no difference in terms of results, both can achieve the same purpose, but visually there will be a difference.
In addition, art is also an important part of the quality of game graphics, and is even integrated with the gameplay itself in many games. This is why there are so many generations of works in the “Zelda” series, and the painting styles can be so different. From the extremely cartoony Cat-Eyed Link to the completely realistic Twilight Link, the painting style of each “Zelda” will be different depending on the style. Its theme and gameplay have changed. If the entire “Tears of the Kingdom” is changed to a realistic style, you can imagine how the game experience will change.
Finally, with the launch of Switch 2 next year, Nintendo is about to take a step further in performance. The evolution in resolution, special effects, model and texture accuracy, and feedback brought about by performance improvements will also bring more possibilities to Nintendo’s own first-party games. I look forward to this group of talented developers from Nintendo being able to come up with more ideas that have never been realized on the new platform and bring a more different gaming experience!