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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Best Games in History > Real Time Strategy Games

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Real Time Strategy Games Discussion of all strategy games that use a Real-Time system, from the typical RTS games to the hardcore wargames.

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  #1  
Old 17 Mar 14, 17:07
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Strategy games - how important are graphics?

Would like to hear your opinion on what graphics you prefer most in strategy titles.

Should 2D be forgotten forever?
Do you think a moveable camera is an important tool, or does it just create problems with coordination?
Realism vs. Cartoonish-looking units (WarCraft III style)?
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  #2  
Old 17 Mar 14, 19:23
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Interesting question. I do like chits with NATO symbols. I also like counters like in Birth of America. As far as a moveable camera, I don't mind that as long as you can control the speed and/or hit pause if it's a real time game.
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  #3  
Old 17 Mar 14, 21:07
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I prefer 2D graphics for a strategy title. 3D graphics often hide important things from view.

Over the years I have gotten spoiled by the technologically advanced graphics in PC games. You could say that I prefer the visually pleasing games whose graphics don't detrimentally affect gameplay.
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  #4  
Old 18 Mar 14, 03:17
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Really depends on how it's done and of course the level of forces.
Anything that's above battalion, tops (I wouldn't even venture past reinforced company) shouldn't be 3D.
Anything on the lower tactical level is much better in 3D usually.
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  #5  
Old 18 Mar 14, 13:32
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Thanks for your opinions guys. I'm working on a real time strategy game at the moment, and was leaning towards 3D graphics with a movable camera. I guess a 2D view of the battlefield could be incorporated for coordinating the bigger picture, maybe.
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  #6  
Old 18 Mar 14, 15:11
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Here's the link to the topic where the game I've been working on is presented.
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  #7  
Old 19 Mar 14, 09:01
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I love 2D graphics. Sometimes the lack of trying to be realistic can put your mind in a more fun/game type state. In my opinion anyway. Don't get me wrong, I love awesome graphics and realism. I just think there is definitely a place for both.
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Old 19 Mar 14, 09:22
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It depends on a game. I like 2D graphics of older strategy games (Sudden Strike, Blitzkrieg, Stronghold etc.) and I also enjoy massive 3D battles in Napoleon: Total War which I cannot imagine without freely movable camera.
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Old 20 Mar 14, 15:10
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Personally, I enjoy 2D graphics in strategies too. Maybe it will be possible to integrate some sort of 2D view when one zooms out far enough, while 3D graphics are loaded if the player zooms in.
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Old 30 Jul 14, 12:35
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I like 2D graphics, one of the most annoying thing about later Paradox games is the pointless 3d (it's a flat board with counters in 0-dimensional provinces, what the **** do you need water graphics for?!) which eats up resources but does absolutely nothing for the game.

I am fine with NATO counters, I also like GMT Games style box-counters with a picture and a few info bars.

The only game where high resolution, 3d graphics are particularly useful would be shooter games. Otherwise it almost never matters enough to have the detail.

I also wish RPG books were just text with minimal illustrations. I hate paying for fluff I don't even notice after ten minutes.
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Old 23 Sep 14, 06:15
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I just had to reply on this post, after i posted about Populous...
In my opinion, i think gameplay Always comes first, then graphics.
Take for example the game i posted about, Populous The Beginning.
This game was WAY ahead of its time when it came out 16 years ago, it was the first ever 3D RTS game in which you could turn the camera around and had round maps (you could litterally go all around the world on every map).
That said, it wasnt a 2d game, but still i think its one of the best RTS games because its gameplay is awesome, even nowadays we get new members playing on our service saying "This game is 16 years old? Great gameplay and graphics for such an old game!" even though the games of nowadays are graphically way ahead..
People seem still seem to care about "gameplay before beauty". and its good too, if we didnt have people who thought this way everyone would be playing these boring new "awesome looking" games...
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  #12  
Old 15 Jan 15, 05:40
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Definitely prefer good quality graphics...
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  #13  
Old 20 Mar 15, 15:00
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Graphics are not important at all, as clearly plague and others illustrate. I think most prefer good graphics though.
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Old 20 Apr 15, 08:31
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For me Game play always out ways Graphics. I hate games that have amazing Graphics but the core of the game is crap and end up not play after 30 mins.
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  #15  
Old 21 Apr 15, 08:41
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Graphics can be a very subjective thing. I think that "good" graphics are very much defined by your aesthetic (which also includes the user interface, btw). If you have a good aesthetic, you don't need a lot of art assets to offer a satisfying experience; if you have a bad or inconsistently applied aesthetic, no amount of flashy special effects or cutting-edge technology will save you!

Quality isn't proportional to numbers of pixels or polygons nearly as much as it is about your artistic vision. Beware of focusing too much on technology, or your game's art might not age well.

You can probably start to sense whether your aesthetic is working or not while you build your game. But the best way to know for sure is to get early alphas of your game in the hands of some focus testers. Non-gamers and casual gamers are just as valuable here for feedback as hardcore gamers are.

And finally, make sure that your graphics, UI, and input methods scale well to different resolutions and devices.

Good luck!

[EDIT]
I should have mentioned that decisions about 2D/3D, cartoony/realism, and camera angles can't really be answered in the abstract. Everything has its place in game design.
[/EDIT]

Last edited by Lemming; 21 Apr 15 at 08:46..
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