Indie games with decent graphics?

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Brean24

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#1 Brean24
Member since 2007 • 1659 Posts
Why arent there more of them? I understand Indie developers have less money, and because of they focus on delivering a good gameplay experince above having good graphics. But in the year 2012, there are plenty of free or cheap engines such as Cry Engine 3 and Source that have either decent or amazing graphical capabilites. Why dont Indie developers take advantange of these resources more often? I value gameplay over graphics, but there is still a certain point graphically where I cant play it. I'm not asking for amazing groundbreaking graphics, I'm asking for a 2011 or 2012 game to be somewhat appealing to the eye, even by art design.
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James00715

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#2 James00715
Member since 2003 • 2484 Posts

Those game engines may be cheaper than "rolling their own" engine, but they are still very expensive.The game engine is only one part. They still need lots of artists to make textures and models, half the battle there. Also, manyindie devsjust don't want realistic graphics. They want their games to look artsy, so they purposely do graphics that look more handdrawn or cartoony.

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Brean24

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#3 Brean24
Member since 2007 • 1659 Posts

Those game engines may be cheaper than "rolling their own" engine, but they are still very expensive.The game engine is only one part. They still need lots of artists to make textures and models, half the battle there. Also, manyindie devsjust don't want realistic graphics. They want their games to look artsy, so they purposely do graphics that look more handdrawn or cartoony.

James00715
Graphics can be look handrawn or cartoony and not look like something out of the 1990s. Look at Borderlands for example, its cell-shaded and cartoony but still has good techinical graphics overall. Wouldnt it be easier to use a existing engine rather than create a new one that isnt even that great?
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bobbetybob

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#4 bobbetybob
Member since 2005 • 19370 Posts
It's not money it's man power, a lot of these teams are less than 5 people, it takes much longer to make things in 3D than it does to simply draw them.
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wis3boi

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#5 wis3boi
Member since 2005 • 32507 Posts

Trine/Trine 2...nuff said

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simardbrad

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#6 simardbrad
Member since 2004 • 2355 Posts

ArmA 2 looks great, not sure what you're talking about.

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bobbetybob

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#7 bobbetybob
Member since 2005 • 19370 Posts

ArmA 2 looks great, not sure what you're talking about.

simardbrad
That's not really an indie game or a small company.
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kris9031998

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#8 kris9031998
Member since 2008 • 7554 Posts
Hawken. /thread
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slvrraven9

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#9 slvrraven9
Member since 2004 • 9269 Posts
[QUOTE="bobbetybob"][QUOTE="simardbrad"]

ArmA 2 looks great, not sure what you're talking about.

That's not really an indie game or a small company.

Hard Reset, The Witcher, Orcs Must Die, Jamestown (yes i think that games looks good, in an old school way!)....man theres a ton of them. but i guess opinions on this matter is purely subjective...
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DraugenCP

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#10 DraugenCP
Member since 2006 • 8485 Posts

Why, Shattered Horizon of course!

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ChiliDragon

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#11 ChiliDragon
Member since 2006 • 8444 Posts
Hard Reset, The Witcher, Orcs Must Die, Jamestown (yes i think that games looks good, in an old school way!)....man theres a ton of them. but i guess opinions on this matter is purely subjective...slvrraven9
Not to mention the definition of "indie game" is vague, to put it mildly. I would never have though of The Witcher as an indie game, since it was published by Atari, so my definition is obviously different from yours. ;) But if we're talking small-budget games with nice graphics, Orcs Must Die, Bastion, or Trine, come to mind as good examples of games that manage to look nice, despite not having a lot to work with.
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slvrraven9

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#12 slvrraven9
Member since 2004 • 9269 Posts
[QUOTE="slvrraven9"]Hard Reset, The Witcher, Orcs Must Die, Jamestown (yes i think that games looks good, in an old school way!)....man theres a ton of them. but i guess opinions on this matter is purely subjective...ChiliDragon
Not to mention the definition of "indie game" is vague, to put it mildly. I would never have though of The Witcher as an indie game, since it was published by Atari, so my definition is obviously different from yours. ;) But if we're talking small-budget games with nice graphics, Orcs Must Die, Bastion, or Trine, come to mind as good examples of games that manage to look nice, despite not having a lot to work with.

yeha i guess youre right about the witcher! still i use the group that steam lists these "indie" games under when you go to the store page... (and youre right, i just checked and The Witcher is not listed under indie)
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MlauTheDaft

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#13 MlauTheDaft
Member since 2011 • 5189 Posts

Is'nt an indie dev technically any dev, that is'nt owned by a publisher?

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ChiliDragon

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#14 ChiliDragon
Member since 2006 • 8444 Posts

Is'nt an indie dev technically any dev, that is'nt owned by a publisher?

MlauTheDaft
That's what it means in the book and movie industry. Indie = Independently Published. So authors self-publish, move makers don't have the backing of a big studio, et cetera. So when I think of indie games, I apply the same definition there. So The Witcher is absolutely not indie, but Minecraft and Amnesia are.
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#15 jettpack
Member since 2009 • 3192 Posts

Why arent there more of them? I understand Indie developers have less money, and because of they focus on delivering a good gameplay experince above having good graphics. But in the year 2012, there are plenty of free or cheap engines such as Cry Engine 3 and Source that have either decent or amazing graphical capabilites. Why dont Indie developers take advantange of these resources more often? I value gameplay over graphics, but there is still a certain point graphically where I cant play it. I'm not asking for amazing groundbreaking graphics, I'm asking for a 2011 or 2012 game to be somewhat appealing to the eye, even by art design.Brean24
building all of those high res assets is time consuming to make and time is money.

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Agent_Kaliaver

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#16 Agent_Kaliaver
Member since 2004 • 4722 Posts

Why arent there more of them? I understand Indie developers have less money, and because of they focus on delivering a good gameplay experince above having good graphics. But in the year 2012, there are plenty of free or cheap engines such as Cry Engine 3 and Source that have either decent or amazing graphical capabilites. Why dont Indie developers take advantange of these resources more often? I value gameplay over graphics, but there is still a certain point graphically where I cant play it. I'm not asking for amazing groundbreaking graphics, I'm asking for a 2011 or 2012 game to be somewhat appealing to the eye, even by art design.Brean24
Engine != good graphics. Talented artists + time can = good graphics, but also good graphics are up to those viewing it. Technically Crysis is gear, but I find other none photo-realistic games to be far more pleasing to the eye, for example Jamestown. Along with that 3d modeling is more time consuming than 2d, but not necessarily just because of the modeling but the animating. When you create a photo realistic human you have to now animate a full photo realistic human. When you create a 2d human the amount of animations needed isn't as necessary and many.

And really when it comes down to it. If you have 10 people or less and say a 3rd are artists so lets round up to 4 people. Compare those four people to the amount of what say someone like Crytek or DICE or even Bioware has (really need to get away from these EA published developers...). Those four people are doing concept, character, environment, interface, and everything else. Where as there are probably more than 4 people at Crytek just doing concept. But then you take what those people make and give it to the animators and programmers (which when it comes to indie there will be some overlap depending on the size of the studio, so the artist may also be the animator). They now have to work with something even more difficult than say 2d or lets just say light 3D (meaning maybe smaller scale or possibly just play station quality 3d). So what took longer for the artist now means everyone else needs to spend more time.

And really an engine is just a resource to use to create something, it isn't a resource that gives you a game. Talking from experience with the Unity engine, it gives you the basics (as in nothing, but the ability to generate what you create). It isn't the same as a map editor from Warcraft 3 or Starcraft 2 where you just change what has already been made. Also, while the CryEngine is capable of displaying gorgous visuals the CryEngine didn't make them.

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simardbrad

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#17 simardbrad
Member since 2004 • 2355 Posts

[QUOTE="simardbrad"]

ArmA 2 looks great, not sure what you're talking about.

bobbetybob

That's not really an indie game or a small company.

Ummm it is an indie game and it is a rather small company.

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DanielDust

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#18 DanielDust
Member since 2007 • 15402 Posts
Graphics isn't the most important factor, as you said, they need to just please the eyes. Cave Story + is one of the best experiences of last year for me, gameplay was insanely awesome and the graphics were good enough not to look bad. If indie developers would focus more on graphics we would lose what we call "indie" developers, because personally when I say or hear indie dev I think about risk, creativity, different, unique and fun, we all know better graphics means less of anything else especially for indie devs (limited on money). The ones that can actually deliver are more like small companies like Frozenbyte, CDPR, etc, no Bohemia isn't even a small company, it's more than that, they are pretty big and have a history, they've gone beyond what you can call indie same as Futuremark, they might not make games, but that doesn't change the fact that Shattered Horizon isn't an indie game.
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tjricardo089

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#19 tjricardo089
Member since 2010 • 7429 Posts

Because most indie developers can't and won't bother with graphics.

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#20 ChubbyGuy40
Member since 2007 • 26442 Posts

Serious Sam 3 simply looks stunning. There's nothing more glorius than seeing a whole legion of Kleer, Kamakazies, and Werebulls charging at you.

Trine 2 also offers excellent graphics. Very artistic.

Amnesia is pretty good too. Atmosphere is the best there is for horror games.

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topgunmv

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#21 topgunmv
Member since 2003 • 10786 Posts

I'll add capsized to the list of good looking indie games.

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CoS_Ethan

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#23 CoS_Ethan
Member since 2011 • 381 Posts

Why arent there more of them? I understand Indie developers have less money, and because of they focus on delivering a good gameplay experince above having good graphics. But in the year 2012, there are plenty of free or cheap engines such as Cry Engine 3 and Source that have either decent or amazing graphical capabilites. Why dont Indie developers take advantange of these resources more often? I value gameplay over graphics, but there is still a certain point graphically where I cant play it. I'm not asking for amazing groundbreaking graphics, I'm asking for a 2011 or 2012 game to be somewhat appealing to the eye, even by art design.Brean24

Hey dude, I just want to recommend our game, City of Steam, it's a Unity-powered browser MMORPG, kind of steampunk **** and it has a good-embedded story and many history elements for players, and not bad graphics I think!!

Here are two available history elements:

The Era of Myth

The Forgotten Age

Game screenshots:

The World Machine

Gardenworks

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RyuRanVII

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#24 RyuRanVII
Member since 2006 • 4257 Posts

Legend of Grimrock looks great. I can't wait for this game.

Grimrock

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#25 jun_aka_pekto
Member since 2010 • 25254 Posts

Oil Rush? It's an RTS game.

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ChiliDragon

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#26 ChiliDragon
Member since 2006 • 8444 Posts

Legend of Grimrock looks great. I can't wait for this game.

RyuRanVII
That looks gorgeous! And it looks like an old-school RPG... linky?
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#27 topgunmv
Member since 2003 • 10786 Posts

Legend of Grimrock looks great. I can't wait for this game.

Grimrock

RyuRanVII

Wow, that looks like concept art. I like it.

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ChiliDragon

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#28 ChiliDragon
Member since 2006 • 8444 Posts
[QUOTE="RyuRanVII"]

Legend of Grimrock looks great. I can't wait for this game.

ChiliDragon
That looks gorgeous! And it looks like an old-school RPG... linky?

:lol: Never mind... just saw the URL in the lower corner. Damned stupid small monitors! :D
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norm41x

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#29 norm41x
Member since 2011 • 813 Posts

How about Penumbra and Amnesia?

Penumbra series

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norm41x

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#30 norm41x
Member since 2011 • 813 Posts

Amnesia The Dark Descent

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#31 NoodleFighter  Online
Member since 2011 • 10953 Posts

Those Amnesia and Penumbra monsters look like they had a long family history of imbreeding

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xLittlekillx

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#33 xLittlekillx
Member since 2005 • 1833 Posts

Evochron Mercenary just released on steam and it has pretty darn good graphics. Also, Oil Rush. Amazing.

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marq4porsche

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#34 marq4porsche
Member since 2005 • 512 Posts

Let me put it this way. Graphics are easily one of the most expensive and time consuming parts of game design. When you are working with a small team and a deadline you focus on making a good gameplay experience because that is why games are fun. It is very time consuming to make current gen art. Trust me it takes nearly 4 times as long to create an asset for this gen than last. It also cost money to pay for all of these artist to produce said art. So most indie developers simply can't afford it.

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#36 HyperWarlock
Member since 2011 • 3295 Posts

[QUOTE="bobbetybob"][QUOTE="simardbrad"]

ArmA 2 looks great, not sure what you're talking about.

simardbrad

That's not really an indie game or a small company.

Ummm it is an indie game and it is a rather small company.

Arma2 is not an indie game dude...