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First post, by mzry

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Probably a little controversial, but I hardly find 2000-2002 games to be as good graphically to 1998-2000 games. Just look at Unreal (best graphically of 1998) to Morrowind (best graphically of 2002) and I honestly think Unreal is far superior graphically. Sure you could say that there's a lot more going on in the background, but that's no excuse for two years newer CPU's and GPU hardware.

Anyway, just an opinion 😀

Reply 1 of 35, by Aideka

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I wouldn't say that Morrowind is graphically the best game of 2002. For example Splinter Cell and Mafia: The city of Lost Heaven were released to pc in 2002. Also Burnout 2 was released for PS2. All of which are more impressive to me than Morrowind graphically speaking. 2001 had IL2- Sturmovik and Max Payne.2000 had Giants: Citizen Kabuto. So no, I don't think games went backwards after 3dfx died.

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Reply 3 of 35, by leileilol

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PC graphics are typically held back for the sake of the OEM consumer market since they're the majority of the customer base. You'd really need to target Intel Extreme 82815, S3 Savage4, Xpert@Play and other slow cards and onboard chipsets if you want maximum sales for exasmple. The internet boom (pre-dotbomb) in 99-2000 ,and the successful iMac lead to an even larger install base, as did the Dell Dude 😀

I don't think it has anything to do with the fall of 3dfx. but there are other elements I believe that cause gaming to have a dork age in 2002-03 (UT2003 was a disappointment, Renegade was meh, both games feel overly corny and plastic than what was anticipated somehow)

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Reply 4 of 35, by archsan

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If you mention Unreal, then maybe you mean game level designs or overall aesthetics instead of game graphics' general/technical quality?

Because honestly, you wouldn't say Sports Car GT (1999) is graphically better than GP4 (2002). Also as mentioned, Max Payne, Mafia brought something relatively new (much better character/facial modeling at least).

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Reply 5 of 35, by Tertz

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3dfx cards were technologically inderior to Geforce and later Nvidia cards.
Morrowind is other genre, it's not correct to compare.

leileilol wrote:

I don't think it has anything to do with the fall of 3dfx. but there are other elements I believe that cause gaming to have a dork age in 2002-03

In 2001 happened "terrorists" explosion of WTC and near buildings. This could reduce financing of planed entertaining projects and hence their quality.

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Reply 6 of 35, by Putas

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mzry wrote:

Probably a little controversial, but I hardly find 2000-2002 games to be as good graphically to 1998-2000 games. Just look at Unreal (best graphically of 1998) to Morrowind (best graphically of 2002) and I honestly think Unreal is far superior graphically. Sure you could say that there's a lot more going on in the background, but that's no excuse for two years newer CPU's and GPU hardware.

Anyway, just an opinion 😀

I interpret such opinions as preferences of visual style, rather than graphical fidelity related to technologies. Lot of confusion is created by mixing those two,

Reply 7 of 35, by Scali

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ratfink wrote:

Maybe if games had gone backwards 3dfx wouldn't have died 😜. Didn't they have trouble keeping up?

Indeed. I would say that 2000+ actually made a big step forward, since we had moved to 32-bit rendering and the first per-pixel lighting was introduced.
What about Halo for example? I quite liked how that looked on my Radeon 8500.

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Reply 8 of 35, by mzry

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I play a lot of Elite Dangerous and I often think to myself "This game would look awesome in Glide" I mean, it really isn't too far fetched. Just means that something as high quality as Elite Dangerous could have technically existed 10 years ago (or more)

But yeah. Morrowind won tons of awards for the best graphics in 2002. And yet the characters, animations, environment etc etc are all horrible compared to Unreal in Glide. But like I said I do realise that Morrowind technically is doing a lot more in the background. Also I am talking about hardware from that period - don't go thinking about your modern Morrowind with all its plugins and overhauls with updated graphics card drivers. It was absolute horrible trash in 2002 (I recently installed it on a year 2002 spec computer to check)

Reply 10 of 35, by laxdragon

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Definitely did not go backwards. nVidia was correct in assuming Transform & Lighting tech was the way of the future. 3dfx was unable or unwilling to implement it at the time, and it ended up killing them in the market.

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Reply 11 of 35, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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Putas wrote:

I interpret such opinions as preferences of visual style, rather than graphical fidelity related to technologies. Lot of confusion is created by mixing those two,

Indeed, and it seems to me 2000-2002 games became more "brownish", while 1998-2000 games were more colorful. Compare Medal of Honor: Allied Assault to Quake II, and you know what I mean. And perhaps the most obvious example is Serious Sam: The First Encounter, where everything is brown, brown, and brown.

I'm not sure how it's related to the demise of 3dfx, though. I think the 1998-2000 period was the era of colored lightning, which was promoted by the likes of Quake II and Unreal. So because it was a new technology at that time, game visual designers probably tended to be excessive in coloring their games. Quake II is probably the worst example; everything is vividly colored that it's almost like acid trip. It was probably like when Dolby Surround came for the first time around: movies which were launched during that era tend to have exaggerated surround sound effects to showcase the technology. Same goes with stereo.

In the 2000-2002 period, however, World War II games like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty became very popular, and to fit the World War II theme, everything was colored accordingly, namely brown, dull brown, greyish brown, washed out green, and what-have-you. So I think it's driven by trends instead of the demise of 3dfx.

I notice such trends only happened with first-person shooters though. Freedom Force and Dark Planet: Battle of Natrolis both came in 2002, and both are beautifully colored --no less beautiful than typical 1998 games where 3dfx was king. Dungeon Siege and Command & Conquer: Generals were healthily colored as well.

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Reply 12 of 35, by Munx

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Color returned soon after that, though. 2004 had FarCry, Unreal Tournament 2004, Half-Life 2, etc. It wasn't until around 2007 when developers figured out they can hide ugly parts of their games with Grey and Brown filters (Modern Warfare is the biggest culprit here).

And I don't think games went backwards after 3dfx, though I would agree that graphical advancement started to slow down, with Geforce 8000 series being the last major push. Pretty amazing how 3dfx pushed 25fps@640x480 in 1996 to 60fps@1024x768 in 1999.

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Reply 13 of 35, by brostenen

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Nope.... Have not gone backwards. The focus on what's hot and "in" in a game has just changed.
The talk about games focusing more on GFX than gameplay have been an ongoing issue since like ever.

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Reply 14 of 35, by MrEWhite

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archsan wrote:

If you mention Unreal, then maybe you mean game level designs or overall aesthetics instead of game graphics' general/technical quality?

Because honestly, you wouldn't say Sports Car GT (1999) is graphically better than GP4 (2002). Also as mentioned, Max Payne, Mafia brought something relatively new (much better character/facial modeling at least).

I don't think I would complement Max Payne's facial models 😜

Reply 16 of 35, by MrEWhite

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leileilol wrote:

Max Payne's photosourced texturing was a novel idea at the time though, and seems to look better than the painted freddieprinzejr payne they had before

Now he looks like he either is getting fellatio or is constipated. 😜

Reply 17 of 35, by archsan

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MrEWhite wrote:

I don't think I would complement Max Payne's facial models 😜

Well put it in context then, compare to classic Lara Croft etc from 1996-1998, or even 1999's Indy. Mafia took it further, though still with the same dead/constipated look if you judge it by today's standards. Of course it's just a technical evolution. You just wouldn't want to go backward if you want to attempt realism.

OTOH, talking about 'realism', banal graphics/aesthetics have also been there since 1998 (counter strike and rainbow six and you get my drift). Even Half-Life was dead boring visually and coincidentally it was also the first game to ever give me a nauseating/motion-sickness experience. Maybe those two are correlated.

I don't know what's the appeal anymore of these kinds of FPS games apart from satisfying your primitive reptilian brain (DOOM was/is shameless at that to the point where the gore works like a cartoon). Personally, when I play games (outside of simulators) I'd rather be taken to an entirely different/strange worlds, like with MDK and Myst series. Undying--I'd rate that as being much more fun at being a horror game than DOOM3.

There also has to be some kind of a rhythm or pacing in terms of visual tonality in game design. Otherwise we'll experience "light fatigue", "color fatigue" and so on.

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:

It was probably like when Dolby Surround came for the first time around: movies which were launched during that era tend to have exaggerated surround sound effects to showcase the technology.

Wasn't 1999~2000 also the year of endless Matrix' Dolby Digital demo scene? 🤣

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."—Arthur C. Clarke
"No way. Installing the drivers on these things always gives me a headache."—Guybrush Threepwood (on cutting-edge voodoo technology)

Reply 18 of 35, by archsan

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leileilol wrote:

Max Payne's photosourced texturing was a novel idea at the time though, and seems to look better than the painted freddieprinzejr payne they had before

🤣 dunno about that... but I think Robbie Williams has always nailed the constipated look...
https://3drealms.com/news/making-max-payne/

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."—Arthur C. Clarke
"No way. Installing the drivers on these things always gives me a headache."—Guybrush Threepwood (on cutting-edge voodoo technology)

Reply 19 of 35, by kixs

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Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:
Indeed, and it seems to me 2000-2002 games became more "brownish", while 1998-2000 games were more colorful. Compare Medal of Ho […]
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Putas wrote:

I interpret such opinions as preferences of visual style, rather than graphical fidelity related to technologies. Lot of confusion is created by mixing those two,

Indeed, and it seems to me 2000-2002 games became more "brownish", while 1998-2000 games were more colorful. Compare Medal of Honor: Allied Assault to Quake II, and you know what I mean. And perhaps the most obvious example is Serious Sam: The First Encounter, where everything is brown, brown, and brown.

I'm not sure how it's related to the demise of 3dfx, though. I think the 1998-2000 period was the era of colored lightning, which was promoted by the likes of Quake II and Unreal. So because it was a new technology at that time, game visual designers probably tended to be excessive in coloring their games. Quake II is probably the worst example; everything is vividly colored that it's almost like acid trip. It was probably like when Dolby Surround came for the first time around: movies which were launched during that era tend to have exaggerated surround sound effects to showcase the technology. Same goes with stereo.

In the 2000-2002 period, however, World War II games like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty became very popular, and to fit the World War II theme, everything was colored accordingly, namely brown, dull brown, greyish brown, washed out green, and what-have-you. So I think it's driven by trends instead of the demise of 3dfx.

I notice such trends only happened with first-person shooters though. Freedom Force and Dark Planet: Battle of Natrolis both came in 2002, and both are beautifully colored --no less beautiful than typical 1998 games where 3dfx was king. Dungeon Siege and Command & Conquer: Generals were healthily colored as well.

Not sure exactly what you mean by "brown". But, for me, SS was graphically very beautiful and colourful - at least what can you expect in the desert scenes 😉

SS:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jo5BPUHDXO4

Q2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTyyKMmlf6E

To me, Q2 looks all brown and lacking contrast 😉

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