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Why don't they just make 2d in hi-res?

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Velvathos, Oct 8, 2009.

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  1. Velvathos

    Velvathos Lore Keeper
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    I can't imagine it would be that hard..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. AtlanticVlad

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    I'm usually totally against changing the graphics LOL but I think that might have just changed my mind...

    As long as everything the same I wouldn't mind higher res I just get really angry when they take my old art away completely and replace it with new CRAP!

    The only thing I could see giving me problems is things like cloth fish tanks... where the low res actually enhances the look... But I wouldn't mind seeing it first...

    Oh ya and one more thing LEAVE THE GROUND ALONE change the items and people but leave my textures!
     
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  3. Velvathos

    Velvathos Lore Keeper
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    Well yeah, basically everything stays the same, it is just a far higher resolution.. This is the change all UO players want, we don't want anymore "GRAPHICS OVERHAUL" We just want a higher resolution..
     
  4. R Traveler

    R Traveler Babbling Loonie
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    Everything 2x larger... so 800*600 play window will be 1600x1200. No room for other stuff even on full screen.
     
  5. Helfgrim

    Helfgrim Guest

    with those graphics I'd play full screen
     
  6. AdamD

    AdamD Guest

    I think a high res 2D client would be awesome
    Instead of wasting money/time on 3 2.5D clients, they could've made a truly awesome high res client by now.
     
  7. AaronTheAssassin

    AaronTheAssassin Adventurer
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    You got my John Hancock!

    /Signed
     
  8. Salivern_Diago

    Salivern_Diago Lore Master
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    Thats got my vote.. Hate using a large res screen on a low res game... :( PLEASE DEVS!!!
     
  9. Zym Dragon

    Zym Dragon Seasoned Veteran
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    This is what they should have done with the KR and Enhanced clients and what so many of us have been asking for for years. KR showed some promise, but too much of the art did not look like its classic counterpart. Grimm Mentioned a few months ago that they established a "baseline" for the EC. I hope that means they can and will begin to upgrade the art over time, once they patch the EC enough to get it out of beta.
     
  10. G.v.P

    G.v.P Stratics Legend
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    Well, by hard, how did you create "high-res?" Did you recreate each tile art by hand? Apply some filters, dodge, burn, etc. in photoshop?

    I think everyone should one day try to create their own RPG from scratch, hehe. Sprite making is fun anyway :).
     
  11. /Signs petition for this.
     
  12. Saunders

    Saunders Lore Keeper
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    The image was created by hand by Saphireena in the legandary Pixel Challenge thread.
     
  13. Kri

    Kri Journeyman
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    1000 times yes! :)

    /signs
     
  14. DevilsOwn

    DevilsOwn Stratics Legend
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    comment from GrimmOmen on this topic back in July
     
  15. Nastia Cross

    Nastia Cross Guest

    If the graphics in the EC looked like that, I would probably switch over. I love the 2d graphics so much and an upgrade like increased resolution would be fabulous! :thumbup:
     
  16. Miriandel

    Miriandel Seasoned Veteran
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    Too late.

    New graphics is a daunting task and they already started the SA client project, which might as well get dumped by the looks of it.
     
  17. Fink

    Fink Guest

    Doubling the pixel resolution quadruples the graphical overhead, and we're told the Classic client isn't up to the task. It's not a question of PC grunt, it's simply trying to force a firehose of data through a drinking straw.

    It's the same reason they're not allowing high-res art from Kingdom Reborn to be used in the Enhanced Client (much of the EC art is degraded KR art), for the sake of stability and performance. Even though EC can take advantage of modern hardware it's still a texture-heavy game. Apparently having a sprite system that matches the zoom feature pixel for pixel is something we'll never have.

    Also manually redrawing, like the example shown, sprites and objects would take forever, and ever. Unless you render them in 3D as the Classic sprite art originally was done, but they did that numerous times only to be told "It's not UO". It has to be the exact same look while somehow being "better" but not so much that it doesn't look exactly the same. As the original 3D source for those sprites was for one reason or another not retained from OSI days, there will never be fresh renders of exactly the same models.
     
  18. Saphireena

    Saphireena Lore Keeper
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    Actually polishing those scaled up originals was a labor of love. They do require quite a bit of work if the aim is to make them look good. A quick and dirty job will yield matching results I'm afraid.

    Here are some more samples I've worked on that have been stashed away in my desk drawer:

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    To get an idea of how long it takes to polish the scale-ups:
    - With small items such as 1 reagent or rune, it's about 15-60 minutes depending on the amount of texture and detail.
    - With medium sized items such as the plant and chair it can easily be a days worth of work.
    - With the larger items such as the roof piece, cactus and door. 1-2 working days.

    Again, it all really depends on how much texture and detail there is. However there are other things to consider when estimating the time used. Firstly, will the artist be doing them with love and care like I did? (takes a longer time obviously) Will they be aiming to stay as true to the original as possible as I did? (takes longer) How efficient are they at polishing pixels? I think of myself as fast, but then again I tend to be a perfectionist so someone else might make something look just as good but cut corners where they know they can.

    I have no idea just how many assets the 2D version contains, but I think we all know that the amount of work would be staggering, if not impossible, at least if done by one person. If done by a whole group of artists, not so impossible anymore - but I think if one were to upscale, might as well do a good job of it since that set of graphics would need to last for many years to come. So no demotivated outsourced teams on the other side of the world, but instead a group of pixel artists who are kick-ass talented and truly love the game. Please note that not just any artist can take on pixel pushing, it's a skill all of it's own. So considering that, a team like that might be hard to find.

    So why on earth did I present this idea of a scaled up 2D client to begin with, if it's all so daunting, impossible and unrealistic? Well at the time of posting those old scale ups, Kingdom Reborn was just starting beta. Some people liked what they'd seen so far, but many didn't. I had mixed feelings myself, but I had to wonder whether or not all these many many clients that had been made over the years, all that time spent, all those resources... what if they'd all been put into making one hi-res version instead. It had been a dream planted inside my head for quite a while and I was itching to see what it might look like. So I started with just one image, fell in love with it, made another, and another. The more I made, the more wistful and somber I felt knowing that we'd never see all those old legacy assets in their full and true glory. For I was convinced in my mind that had the original artists had the same resolutions to work with, these scale ups are exactly how they'd have looked. It was almost like chipping away an extra layer of paint off of an old painting, only to reveal a true masterpiece from within. As dramatic as that may sound, that's how it has felt to work on these and it's become the main source of motivation. It certainly wasn't to propose such a thing at that stage anymore since it was clear that with KR in beta, I was way too late for that. Had I proposed such an idea years earlier, way before the concept of Kingdom Reborn came about... well who knows? But it's highly unlikely EA would have considered. As we know, they've had their minds set on 3D since like forever.

    I've seen these posts pop up once in a while which refer to my old scale ups and I'm pretty sure it's just beating a dead horse. Sometimes I regret even making them in the first place, since they must have caused the UO team a headache or two with all these people whining about something that simply cannot be.

    Now to comment on some of the responses:
    G.v.P: No dodge, no burn, no hanky panky. Merely click-click-click-click. Staying as true to the pixels and surrounding pixels as possible, using the same colors.
    Zym Dragon: Yeah *sighs*. If it had been done early enough, it'd have been the perfect solution since it would not have muddled the code nor people's decorations. Not to mention their concept of the virtual world you live in. Never... ever... mess with their world and change things drastically. Never. Well except some things I think they could go ahead and throw right outta there. Like that giant snowflake. Makes my blood boil just thinking about it :).

    Lastly - and at the risk of sounding irritatingly corny - let's remember that the UO team are doing the best they can under the circumstances given to them and I'm sure they've thought over all possible aspects over and over before going ahead with any decisions. We, the players are - at the end of the day - utterly clueless about the many things they need to take into consideration when moving ahead with a plan. Not that it isn't good for us to voice our wishes and opinions mind you, but just something to keep in mind. :)
     
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  19. mjolnir131

    mjolnir131 Guest

    Why don't they make a 1973 pinto into a luxury car? it's the same question with the same answer
     
  20. Because they blow up if rear ended hard enough.


    2d would blow up if rear ended?

    :gee:
     
  21. 12 years ago everyone was playing on 15" crt monitors. Nowadays 19" is the standard with most gamers having 22"+. Would be great if the playscreen got bigger, many times I find myself pinching my eyes trying to look for some 2 pixel gem.
     
  22. JPDefault

    JPDefault Guest

    I don't like this at all :( But it's a matter of taste.
     
  23. i guess i don't understand graphics scaling, but why couldn't some scaler be used? like scalex2, or x2sai, or hqx.

    like in dosbox, or console emulation. i guess i don't know the specifics of those sorts of graphics enhancements, but i can't imagine they would add that much overhead with modern hardware.
     
  24. mjolnir131

    mjolnir131 Guest

    yup
     
  25. Schuyler Bain

    Schuyler Bain Lore Master
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    WOW - now seriously, if the EA/Mythic team released a client like either of the ones above I think that would see their biggest resurgence of old and new players. I am guessing that the bean counters have determined that it is not worth it. I say that if this current version of the game has been around for 12 + years now it has lasted for good reason. The "game" itself is pretty damn solid (save your arguments for another thread) and the eye candy is what it is. Some live and die by it and others don't really care and then, of course there is everyone in between.

    Keep the classic and then make a high rez version or one of the examples above. Easy, certainly not, but doable... looks like it.
     
  26. Saphireena

    Saphireena Lore Keeper
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    The problem with anything that is player made and player run is the feeling on uneasyness knowing it's not "official". Knowing that the time and effort you invested in the game is all in the hands of another regular dude, just like you. Someone you must not anger at any costs. Someone who might suddenly get tired of running the game on their server. Someone who might change the rules suddenly because they felt like it. Someone who has much more risk of becoming hacked than EA does. Not that I'm saying that there aren't a lot of hard working honorable players out there who would never do such things, but knowing that the risk is still there makes me completely uninterested in player run games personally.

    As for the Real 3D engine screenies, you know I actually really like them a lot even though they're rough on the edges. The perspective is nice and so is the lighting - they've done a good job in capturing the adventurous magic of Ultima I think.

    However...

    Walking around town or through a forest adventuring has only been part of what UO is all about. Looking at such screenshots makes it easy to forget all about the major thing that has kept this game up on it's feet all these years: decoration and customization of both homes and characters. Unfortunately a 3D engine will never be able to give the "pixel crack" gratification that the tiny, delicate pixel items give. That term wasn't invented without a reason!

    About 10 years ago people were selling AND BUYING UO rares for tens and even hundreds of dollars on Ebay. Had those items been piles of textured polygons, surely no-one would have bothered? I don't care how rare the item, they just wouldn't have had that value. It's the controlled, contained neatness of a well done pixel item that causes that obsession. Even the fact that it's from that one static view enhances it's "valuable item" feeling where as a 3D item feels much more vague and out of control. I'd love for a psychologist to come along and explain why that is :).

    As an example, I cut out some items from the screenshots and fetched the pixel equivalents. I know that these aren't rares, but still, which feel more valuable to you?

    [​IMG]

    northwoodschopper: Naturally graphic assets can be scaled up easy as pie by code. But the problem lies in the fact that if you don't polish them by hand they will be left looking like the middle version in my image. Like big blocky pixels. I doubt anyone wants that. Even if there was a script that randomized how the pixels scale up, you still wouldn't get a neat and polished look.
     
  27. i was thinking of pixel scaling explained here. if scaling was an option, these algorithms could prove interesting. not exactly the same quality or polish as doing it by hand, but does it's role well.
     
  28. Saphireena

    Saphireena Lore Keeper
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    Yeah but that's not pixel art in it's true form anymore. The scaled version has anti-alias which completely changes the graphic, adding many more colors to the palette. Now show me an algorithm which does it using "nearest neighbor" which preserves the colors exactly the way they are and does not add any new shades.
     
  29. christy1221

    christy1221 Slightly Crazed
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    I agree

    /signs
     
  30. JPDefault

    JPDefault Guest

    I still don't agree to the "facelift" of the classic client.
    Mostly because it's not just the graphics that make it awkward, but the lack of some basic things, like a serious map and a usable macro system - arranging the big blocky icons without any automatic alignment/snapping also is a pain for me, but I understand some people like that uhm... "feature".
    What makes it great is its stability and the fact that I can run it on my very old laptop, and in a window at office under Linux while on another desktop I have the compiler running. That's why it's still alive and kicking, I presume (I don't want to take scripters into consideration).
    Scaling algorithms would just make it blurry and heavy, and that of course wouldn't add any useful feature.
     
  31. Saphireena

    Saphireena Lore Keeper
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    Oh and by the way, if you're wondering "So what if it isn't "true pixel art" anymore, isn't the main thing that it looks good?". Well it's more complicated than that. For instance the palette system in UO which colors various assets in different shades. From what I understand, the original graphic is grayscale and the palette has been assigned to replace certain shades of gray with the new color. So it's looking for an exact RGB value to replace. And so when you bring the anti-alias "melting" of two colors into each other as in your algorithm example, suddenly there are thousands of new colors to deal with which the engine was not built to handle.

    This however is just my guess on how it works in UO and please someone correct me if I'm wrong.

    This is one of the reasons I didn't want to go changing the colors at all when I made the scale ups. Obviously the graphics would benefit greatly if we could brighten their levels up a little to give them more contrast. The original RGB shades chosen happen to be very very dark. And of course it would be nice to introduce more colors into the palette, but if the system is based on the 256 palette, you just can't go suddenly adding colors out of nowhere.

    An additional problem, as JC mentioned, is of course the fact that more colors = more for the computer and network to load, which would already be stressed by the larger dimensions of upscaled graphics as is.

    Lastly, while the algorithm you suggest may work for some assets, it still doesn't do a perfect job as can be seen from the items like the circles and other rounded shapes.
     
  32. G.v.P

    G.v.P Stratics Legend
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    You, and Crysta, are GIF gods. I envy both of you. And if Nox got involved with his programming skills, well, the three of you could probably create a new series to rival both Ultima and Final Fantasy.

    Re-tiling an entire mmorpg for a 5th time? I just don't know.

    3D, KR, SA (EC) ... it's pretty clear EA does not want to improve the graphics of an ancient client that is, possibly, inflexible when adding new code and functions. It would be nice to have a hi-res 2D look with the function of SA (EC), although, not sure how the lag would be with all those hi-res art files.
     
  33. Spree

    Spree Babbling Loonie
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    Who care if they make zoom in like KR had. Just make the window bigger. Wasn't there a cheat that did this years ago? SA show a bigger screen area so i don't see what the bid deal is.
     
  34. Yellow Beard

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    I am definately for a 2d graphics upgrade. However with the backlog of all the essential things that need to be fixed I dont see anything happening on this line for quite some time. For short term fixes WE NEED A UOAM TYPE MAP. Also we really do need a revamp of the tailor/mining bod system.
     
  35. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    I would like to see a hi-res of the 2d. However I don't think they will be doing it since we have SA already.
     
  36. LadyNico

    LadyNico Always Present
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    Ah, dear Saph, it gladdens my old UO heart each time someone discovers your work and posts it. :hug:
     
  37. Heartseeker

    Heartseeker Guest

    Got a question for you Saph.

    Instead of making the pixels bigger, which would require a lot of work; is it possible for the game engine to actually show more of itself on screen?

    By that I mean, to keep things small as they are, but show more of the world of UO on screen.

    PS. No matter what I said before, your work is fantastic and I wish they incorporated it in game, instead of giving us half finished clients.
     
  38. Myna

    Myna Guest

    agreed

    i never played the game for graphics, the 2d art is fine enough for me, but a larger game screen would be awesome. i play the game becasue of the depth of gameplay and the people who play games for awesome graphics should play another game
     
  39. Stranger

    Stranger Lord of the Dance
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    Hey Saphireena! I just wanted to let you know that I absolutely adore your scaled up images! They are so incredibly beautiful! You have a great eye for detail and are amazingly talented! You are a gift from god! :) Thank you so much for creating them and sharing them with us! I really appreciate it! :) Your images make my jaw drop! They take my breath away! Have you ever seen something so beautiful your eyes water? Your images have done that to me! Wow! Great job :) You are kick-ass talented :) You also have a wonderful way with words :) Good luck on everything you do and well wishes! I hope nothing but good things for you! :) Peace :) :heart::heart::heart:

    Oh, and to be on topic, umm, they don't make a 2d in high-res because they just care about money? (The reason for many horrible things. *sigh*) In a perfect world UO would look like Saphireena's scaled up images! But the world isn't perfect. :sad3:

    It's okay though, everything is still cool! :thumbup1: I love UO and it's the best MMORPG around no matter how it looks! :)
     
  40. Taylor

    Taylor Former Stratics CEO (2011-2014)
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    I love the idea, too.
     
  41. well the big difference is that these would be applied real-time in the game, so there would be no change to the art assets. emulators make use of it, even on xbox live, so i wonder how viable it would be if the UO classic client could scale the gameplay window in the future. i imagine it may be a resource hog though for the display to not become blurry.
     
  42. JPDefault

    JPDefault Guest

    Emulators can do it because they don't have the limitations of the original hardware/software.
    For example, NES games where limited to 25 colours per scanline, but an emulator can scale and polish them in real time and blend the pixel values, because it doesn't have that limit.
    The legacy client has its limits, many of them in the graphics department: I don't think you can even increase the size of the palettes without a major - if not total - code rewrite.
     
  43. Saphireena

    Saphireena Lore Keeper
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    G.v.P: Yeah Crysta is one smart cookie when it comes to pixels :). And indeed there are many many talents among us.

    LadyNico:
    As it gladdens mine to see your arrival to any thread Lady Nico, the fresh of breath air that you are! *hugs back*

    Heartseeker: I'm really not the one to ask, but I assume that it's possible. I'd assume the area that's drawn is merely a set of dimensions written in the code, and if the numbers are raised, so is the drawn area. But I'm sure someone else could answer that question for you better. From the game design perspective, I'm not sure if it's a good idea though since it changes how soon you see foes approaching and makes it easier to navigate in the dungeons etc. Would it perhaps kill a bit of the mystery and excitement? I remember when they were showing off the zoom out feature of Kingdom Reborn in that one video, and to be quite honest, I didn't like to see so much of the world at once. It killed something for me. And thanks by the way :).

    Stranger: *sits there with a bright red face* Well shucks, golly, thank you! But remember that these are not my graphics. They are artwork made by the talented artists who originally made UO in the 90's and all I've done is take their work and give it a little lovin'. I wish every one of those artists had a fan page on Facebook, I'd fan every one of them!
     
  44. Stranger

    Stranger Lord of the Dance
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    Yes, that is true, but you have done such a wonderful job improving their resolution! :) I realize how time consuming it is and how talented you have to be to make them come out looking so good! You make them absolutely perfect! :) I'm sure all the artists who created the original images would be proud and honored to see their artwork treated with such love and care! :)

    Whatever happened to all the wonderful artists? It is simply amazing that their artwork holds up so well after all these years! :) It's too bad EA didn't think or was unable to improve such master pieces! Although even if they did I doubt they could have done it as lovely as you have!:heart:

    It's kinda funny...or sad...that EA has tried to improve the graphics twice and they can never manage to out do graphics made over a decade ago. That just proves how amazingly talented and awesome the original artists were!
     
  45. Cear Dallben Dragon

    Cear Dallben Dragon Babbling Loonie
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    they wont even make the new client high res....
     
  46. JC the Builder

    JC the Builder Crazed Zealot
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    Graphics have zero effect on network latency (in UO's case at least). The sever just sends a number like 7263 to your client which interprets that as the graphic needing to be shown. It doesn't matter if it is a 1x1 pixel black dot or 1000x1000 pixel replica of the Mona Lisa.
     
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  47. Malador

    Malador Guest

    Why, because it is what you want. I got news for you. I dont want high ress graphics. I dont want any graphics changes. I want the client made more robust. I want bugs fixed.
     
  48. Saphireena

    Saphireena Lore Keeper
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    Hmmm... hmm... I just found this article in Gamasutra, published last month:

    http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=25703

    I wonder if it would be worth pursuing more experimentations with these upscales after all...?
     
  49. It's a shame they haven't hired you, Saphireena!
     
  50. Dermott of LS

    Dermott of LS UOEC Modder
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    ...

    they wont even make the new client high res....

    Yep... this is my worry considering that they in fact DID make high ress artwork, backed out almost ALL of that, THEN dropped the resolution of the high res model artwork down to an insanely low level.

    We've gone BACKWARDS in terms of resolution this year, and that to me is a bigger problem than arguments over "style".
     
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