Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Aheadatlme

Let's talk about the aesthetics

Recommended Posts

What are you guys looking for in DDA in terms of the aesthetics/graphics/art style? Personally, I'm looking for that comfortable, saturated, 3D feel of DD1 within the upgraded physics engine/world of DD2. I've always felt that DD2 had a couple nagging issues with the aesthetics that really turned me off;

1. There was a certain flatness or 2D-ness to the environment and the objects within it. Leaves, lights, stones, etc., all seemed sort of copy-pasted-assets thing, where they weren't affected by the map's light source(s), and didn't have any detail to them. They were quite flat and bland, whereas DD1's objects/environment was full of detail and was immersive because of it.

2. Omnipresent/non-existent light source(s). It was clear in DD1 where the light source was on most maps just given the heroes shadows, as well as the shadows of objects on the map, especially if it was an outdoors map. DD2 was different. It just seemed like everything had a random glow to it, like I was walking through walmart with all those omnipresent flourescent/LED lights up above. Like on the public winter tavern thing, there's these little christmas lights that are just 2D colors.. no glow, no effect on surroundings, no 'light' at all. Feels artificial and cheap. DD1, in comparison, had lens flares!

3. Colors were quite flat or muted in DD2. DD1 had a very colorful, saturated world, so much so that I turned down the saturation a bit in the settings lol. DD2 is quite dull by comparison. This is quite beautiful on some maps, like the wintery ones, but it misses the mark on other maps, like the private tavern, liferoot, etc. 

4. What I guess would be called "effects". DD1's eternia crystal (right? the thing you press G at to start a map), the app towers, weapon skins, certain enemies, certain objects like torches, these all had a sort of effect to them. Some were trippy-4-dimensional, some were fire, some had a lightning glow thing going on, but they all had depth and a rich aura to them. DD2 stuff looks rather plain, and I mained an App in that game. Glowy things don't glow.. firey things aren't firey. Things feel dry and dull, without the life that effects and glowy-ness gives it.

5. An art style that I can only describe with language like sharp angles, thin, asymmetrical, twist-y, and haunted. Whereas DD1 felt squat, symmetrical, and shapely. 

I love what DD2 did in some ways, like hero animations, boss animations, larger variety of skins, etc. I get that most would say DD1 looks silly and outdated, which I'd agree with, but it did many things right that DD2 did 'wrong' imo. Aesthetics in general is a very subjective topic/experience. What do you guys think?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh wow I'm surprised noone has chimed in yet! Perhaps I mind the aesthetics more than the average player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really loved both games. The art, the animation, the level design, the flair, the weapons...all of it. Especially the music! I have spent time in both games just walking around and admiring everything. I just love the whole DD creative team. I didn't feel like one or the other was better per se. I am super excited to see what each new game brings next. I don't want DD1 or DD2 next...i want DDA! And then...oh yes, DD3!!!!! 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/14/2019 at 8:17 PM, Aheadatlme said:

DD1 looks silly and outdated

This is indeed true, however this is how we met the franchise and since we're going back in time (lore wise) we should have something silly. Of course with a rework so they are not outdated anymore

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally side on the DD1 art-style. Yes its outdated, by the cartoony colourful just feel right to me. DD2 too was too bland.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer the DD2 style. It's cartoony and full of character, while the DD1 style makes me think of a college digital art major's first 3D project.

 

One of my favorite visual things in DD2 is how the drakens' flap their little t-rex arms in a stroked-out fashion as they're being electrocuted.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DD 1s lighting with DD 2s visual integrity.  DD 1 has actual light sources but DD 2 has the better models and textures.  

DD 2 also has far to many light flashes during high level play.  It gives me a headache to play, while DD 1 does not.  The kind of lighting DD 2 has makes the world seem dull, because its not focussed.  A good comparison is Foundries and Forges vs Buried Bastille (I think).  Buries Bastille seems less alive and lit up from sources you can't see, while Foundries and Forges has the effect that the lava, torches, and fire pots light the level.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/25/2019 at 1:02 AM, Kobalobasileus said:

One of my favorite visual things in DD2 is how the drakens' flap their little t-rex arms in a stroked-out fashion as they're being electrocuted.


For sure. This type of thing is cool, and CG has shown that they're taking this even further with the rag doll effects and other death animations. I mean more along the lines of the light sources, the color saturation/style, and the detail on objects/environments. Like if you're walking about DD2, even though there is 'detail' in the fact that little bushes will sway as if there is wind, if you look at the bush, it's made of a bunch of 2D shapes that have no detail to them, like a slight change in shading/color where it's closest to the light source, or little veins on the leaves or a certain crack pattern to a brick wall etc. DD1 was filled with detail like this, and it was immersive. 

And it doesn't seem like it was a strategic player-oriented choice either. One might think they did this to remove 'clutter' and make the visual experience better for us gamers, so that we know what to focus on and it's easier to see the important data. Both games for me feel the same in this category, with DD2 even being slightly more difficult to visually navigate due to the very dim perimeters of auras and the lack of sharp color contrast. It seemed more like a budgeting choice. Maybe they had less people on the art team, or they streamlined it to be as 'reproducable' (future content, micro-transactions, map packs, etc)) as possible by simplifying the whole ordeal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both art directions had their positive and negative points, but from what I've seen, I am pretty confident in the direction they're taking for DDA. DD1's art style with DD2's animation and attention to detail on characters and bosses would be a pretty awesome combo, but from what I've seen, it looks like that's what we're getting. I have hype.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We'll be posting some style guides about our new art direction soon!  It's not quite DD1, not quite DD2, but definitely awesome!

A lot of the Kickstarter assets still have to go through our planned updates, so there will be a lot of progress updates in the near future. (*cough cough* heroes *cough cough*)

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/25/2019 at 11:44 AM, bigwillmcd said:

DD 1s lighting with DD 2s visual integrity.  DD 1 has actual light sources but DD 2 has the better models and textures.  

DD 2 also has far to many light flashes during high level play.  It gives me a headache to play, while DD 1 does not.  The kind of lighting DD 2 has makes the world seem dull, because its not focussed.  A good comparison is Foundries and Forges vs Buried Bastille (I think).  Buries Bastille seems less alive and lit up from sources you can't see, while Foundries and Forges has the effect that the lava, torches, and fire pots light the level.


Yes exactly! It might have something to do with which engines/software they used to develop each game, but the light source switch up is the most significant change between the two games, and the one that made the biggest negative impact for me also. It really sets the mood in DD1, makes you feel 'there' in the map, whereas with DD2 I can tell I'm just playing a video game and moving around an artificial world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Elandrian said:

We'll be posting some style guides about our new art direction soon!  It's not quite DD1, not quite DD2, but definitely awesome!

A lot of the Kickstarter assets still have to go through our planned updates, so there will be a lot of progress updates in the near future. (*cough cough* heroes *cough cough*)


I'm exctied to see what you guys have in the works. The beta can't come sooner lol. It's the environmental 'feel' of the game that stands out most to me, and that I'm looking forward to experiencing. I think if you nail the visual feel of the game by making players feel immersed through things like lighting, then you can tinker with the looks of the models and skins until they feel good, whereas having cool animations/models/skins feels less exciting in a world that you're not convinced of. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...