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Character Creation Aesthetics and STUFF

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If you are going to do something, what is the answer?

 

Do it right.

 

So, the 3D character models in the CC either need some 'serious' work.....or scrap them completely.  Currently, they are half-assed and look like something a 7 year old made. Seriously people, they were are worse than NWN2/Kotor Characters.  We are in 2014 for God's sake.

 

Personally I would just remove them completely, less resources

Edited by Maviarab
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No, but I at least expect more options than was offered in Neverwinter nights 2.

Okay I don't mind people hating on the models a ton because you are right they are not top shelf high end Crysis models going on here.  Of course anyone with common sense knew that was never going to happen.

 

Neverwinter Nights 2 character models do look better, you are right.  Of course they are also far larger, the game was fully 3d and designed to be played with a much closer view (you could even play it with an over the shoulder view), and yeah.... the budget was likely a metric ton larger.  Pillars of Eternity had a 4.5 million or so budget, that is chump change when compared to most modern games.  They also had to make a heavily modified version of the unity engine, stick to their core concepts of a re-imagining of Baldur's Gate and other Infinity Engine games (which I feel handicaps more than helps), and build an entire world, it's lore, and create a new unique rule system to govern it.

 

Something had to give, and since you only see the character models from a great distance every once in awhile close up it is pretty obvious where the giving should start.

 

That said the models do look better than the Wasteland 2 Models and I find it really funny you guys actually like that snapshot feature considering how outright ugly those characters look.

Edited by Karkarov
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Instead of large 3d-models in character creation, why not have multiple small ones?

When Choosing race, it could show all Races with subgroups.

When Choosing culture, it could show all the options at the same time!

Side-by-side comparison could make choosing hair/beard style easier.

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I'm also in favor of scrapping the 3D characters from the creator/inventory completely. Since the characters and faces are so silly and ugly I'd rather not have to look at them up close at all, and since they're barely going to be visible in-game anyway, there are probably better ways to spend the time it would take to get them up to snuff with enough variety.

Edited by Kuripakk
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They look better than the WL2 models at least.  Nevertheless, I would love to see WL2's snapshot feature since I doubt there will be enough portraits to portray every single customization option in the game.

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I would remove 3D characters as well. considering the few resources available, they are betterspent elsewhere.

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I place my vote for losing the current style portraits. With a system that allows for customization of character facial details should come the ability to show a snapshot of that in the portrait box. I don't care if the current portraits stay, just provide an option for the snapshot.

 

Dwarf (Male) - Head should be shorter and wider. Looks to elongated in the customization screen.

 

Elf (Male) - Very dark and sinister in appearance. Even after selecting a different "head".

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Removing the 3D models would take a lot more work than just keeping them the way they are, I seriously doubt they would do anything as drastic as that.

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I'm also in favor of scrapping the 3D characters from the creator/inventory completely. Since the characters and faces are so silly and ugly I'd rather not have to look at them up close at all, and since they're barely going to be visible in-game anyway, there are probably better ways to spend the time it would take to get them up to snuff with enough variety.

 

This, 100%.

 

It's the basic principle of good design: if you can't do it properly, don't do it at all. That's why we have the scripted 2D-image events and not cutscenes.

 

We don't need 3D character customization aside from the colors. You won't see those things ingame anyway, with helmets on.

It's perfectly fine to only have one generic haircut per race, as long as you play in birdseye view. Nobody cares if the portrait doesn't match the haircut of the 3D model if the head is only 30 pixels wide ingame. I know I didn't care in the IE games at all.

 

 

Show the portrait only on character creation and only show the 3D model when you pick hair colors. At ingame scale. Kind of like it was in the IE games.

 

The inventory image of the character could be replaced by a full-body portrait (like in IWD where you had a full body portrait in the character screen and the cropped head-only portrait for the UI) or just removed completely. Why do we even need a preview if we can see how our character looks ingame?

 

 

I feel that the focus on larger-scale customizable 3D models is just a waste of resources for a game that has an isometric camera anyway.

Edited by Zwiebelchen

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The thing about this topic is that creating 2D paperdolls like in the IE games is a LOT more work than simply having the 3D models like we do now. And IMO these models look fine. Not great, but not below average either, and definitely not as bad as some people are suggesting. Overall, armor and weapons look very nice on them (better than NWN2) and they basically serve their function.

 

Some people seem to be forgetting how bad the original BG2 paperdolls look (most people probably use 1PP these days) and the fact that IWD2 didn't even have paperdolls but just used the characters' sprites in character creation and the inventory screens. I love BG1 and IWD's paperdolls but they're a lot of work to create, they are non-scalable and they can't be rotated. I think the models are at the very least an improvement over the way BG2 and IWD2 handled things -- in a perfect world of unlimited possibilities we would have beautifully detailed 2D paperdolls but it's just not feasable, and I much rather see developer resources spent elsewhere.

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The thing about this topic is that creating 2D paperdolls like in the IE games is a LOT more work than simply having the 3D models like we do now. And IMO these models look fine. Not great, but not below average either, and definitely not as bad as some people are suggesting. Overall, armor and weapons look very nice on them (better than NWN2) and they basically serve their function.

 

Some people seem to be forgetting how bad the original BG2 paperdolls look (most people probably use 1PP these days) and the fact that IWD2 didn't even have paperdolls but just used the characters' sprites in character creation and the inventory screens. I love BG1 and IWD's paperdolls but they're a lot of work to create, they are non-scalable and they can't be rotated. I think the models are at the very least an improvement over the way BG2 and IWD2 handled things -- in a perfect world of unlimited possibilities we would have beautifully detailed 2D paperdolls but it's just not feasable, and I much rather see developer resources spent elsewhere.

 

... or they just use a generic full body sketch for each race/sex combination as the background and the portrait. Like in the example below.

Heck, they wouldn't even need to create those anymore. I'm 100% sure that for every race/sex combination a proper concept art exists.

 

http://d3cauldron.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Diablo-3-Beta-Screens-6.jpg

 

2D beats 3D almost always, unless you have the budget to do 3D right.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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3D models from the distance were ok, up close as paper dolls - very fugly. Why are there no 2D dolls like in BG? Additional costs on art designing?

Also, please leave hand drawn 2D portraits, they represent NPCs much better and, more importantly, prettier than 3D. 3D portraits taken from models usually are total crap, and judging by the models quality they better not be staring at me with their mugs in release version.

Edited by Aramintai
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... or they just use a generic full body sketch for each race/sex combination as the background and the portrait. Like in the example below.

Heck, they wouldn't even need to create those anymore. I'm 100% sure that for every race/sex combination a proper concept art exists.

 

http://d3cauldron.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Diablo-3-Beta-Screens-6.jpg

 

2D beats 3D almost always, unless you have the budget to do 3D right.

 

That works for D3 because there is no character customization whatsoever -- no races, subraces / cultures and only 5 classes. So they only needed 10 generic full body sketches. PoE would need 132 just to cover male and female versions of each race / class combination. 352 if you take subraces into consideration, which for some races (like the Godlike) would definitely be needed.

Edited by Lorfean

Shadow Thief of the Obsidian Order


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... or they just use a generic full body sketch for each race/sex combination as the background and the portrait. Like in the example below.

Heck, they wouldn't even need to create those anymore. I'm 100% sure that for every race/sex combination a proper concept art exists.

 

http://d3cauldron.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Diablo-3-Beta-Screens-6.jpg

 

2D beats 3D almost always, unless you have the budget to do 3D right.

 

That works for D3 because there is no character customization whatsoever -- no races, subraces / cultures and only 5 classes. So they only needed 10 generic full body sketches. PoE would need 132 just to cover male and female versions of each race / class combination. 352 if you take subraces into consideration, which for some races (like the Godlike) would definitely be needed.

 

 

It's just the background of the equipment window. If you keep it sketchy, only black and sepia colors (that go with the wooden look of the UI), who is going to tell the difference between the subraces anyway? Most of them just differ in terms of skin color. Imho, a generic sketch for each of the primary races in a male and female variant (and each of the godlikes) would be totally sufficient.

 

That makes it (5 races + 4x5 godlikes) x 2 = 50 sketches. Considering we get hundreds of sketches in the scripted intermissions, that shouldn't really be a problem. And I bet people wouldn't even care if the background sketch for the godlike would be the same no matter what race the godlike is based on.

 

Classes don't really need to be differentiated. Just have the sketch in generic farmer clothes. So basicly how your character would look without armor equipped. That also makes a lot of sense, imho, as you actually drag and drop your equipment on the icon slots attached to the background image.

Edited by Zwiebelchen
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I couldn't agree more with OP's issues

 

Thumbs up for the background artists - as-well as the music artists : the theme in the village is kind of sad and nostalgic I really like it - 

 

but damn first time I play and was sent on the character creation, the 3D models almost made me puke..hopefully the model artists are just trolling us and theses are just some kind of low-poly placeholders cauz' damn it looked like they were made by an angry freelance artist that didn't got paid for the job ...

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My main focus here is going to be on the forced use of Character portraits. I understand they are near and dear to a lot of people in this type of community but I'd again rather have a system that just shows a crop of my created character. I don't want to have to use a custom portrait and spend 20 minutes of my life every time I created a different character due to me being unsatisfied with the provided (vanilla) character portaits.

 

 

Now, moving on to lack of customization options for faces and my issues with bodies and height. Why is it that all of the faces have the same deminsion and size? why are our options of facial hair and other things so limited? I also find some of the races (Humans) to be awkwardly stumpy in demenor. Very short with large heads as if for no real reason other than to say all human males are 5ft tall. I didn't care for this much. Or rather I do care. A lot.

 

And lastly Over all texture quality for the NPCs in the world are too low. Everything else in the world is seemless and beautiful but the characters take away from it. They stick out like a sore thumb against these 2D backgrounds, and not in a good way. They appear at times to be pixilated, jagged, and their animations bring about a strong desire for me to have the option to turn texture filtering up to X18 and X8 antializing. But then I realized it wouldn't do anything to change these settings when they are provided because the textures themselves are made to be old looking as if to pay homage to an older game. This is not however, an older game. I'm running a machine capible of playing the witcher 3 on max settings. I would just like to see some more quality and higher texture resolution.

 

Also, heavier NPC and character shadows and possible character outlines to make NPC's stand out more from their background.

 

 

Thanks guys. Sorry If I was a jerk. It's 5am!

I'm going with the camp vying for scrapping the 3D models. They look very cheap and "B" Grade. It gives you a negative impression from the get go. Infinity engine games left a lot to the imagination. I 'd prefer to see just the character portrait or a 2D model rather than this.

 

Frankly I'd rather have nothing than this.

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