Com-cast Ep. 15: Ebert's Wager


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Theme: As Time Goes By​ (Casablanca Theme)


Ebert's Wager

Borderlands 2: In-game edit allows cel-shading graphics to be removed

Behind Borderlands' 11th-hour style change

The Darkness II: Story and Art Style Interview

GDC 2012: The Art and Design of Batman: Arkham City

  • Are these art styles here because of the graphics gap between consoles and PCs?
  • Are they a key differentiator from realism?​
  • What does it say about these art styles that Borderlands' use of them and subsequent success was very much unintended?
  • What do you think would have happened if Borderlands was released as a realistic game?​

Round Up the Usual Gimmicks

  • ​Are gimmick features very niche, providing significant immersion for a very narrow window of games?
  • Does the burden for finding creative solutions for these features rest with the developers?​
  • Do these features tend to ​ultimately fall out due to lack of effort from the developers, (e.g. Kinect voice commands) or are they truly meant to stick to casual/family games?
darthskeletor's picture

I don't think these art styles are going anywhere with the advent of the new console generation. They do in fact look better on the PC, as you mention. So it would only be to their advantage to continue for as long as possible. When a major franchise like CoD starts to do some stuff like this, you know it'll be over the peak, and run away to find some other way to carve out space, because you are about to get spammed into worthlessness.

Humphrees's picture

Great podcast i found you guys on itunes the other week and was waiting for a new podcast to come out its very good and keep up the work!

Solifluktion's picture

I think cell shading etc. work best for comicbook adaptations. That being said it still catches my eye when I see a game that uses a similar artstyle. I would never have played XIII if it wasn't for the style. And I think that most people would have ignored Borderlands if it wasn't for the art style.

I don't think that the graphics gap between the PC and consoles has much to do with those styles though since realistic games still look decent on consoles. Although I have to admit, that I'm easily pleased with game graphics...after all my PC is pretty old.


Gimmicks like the Wiimote or the Kinect don't really do it for me. While shouting into the Kinect instead of pressing a button to use a Dragonshout in Skyrim might seem nice in the beginning but the delay would seem to make it less practical. And who wants to seem like an idiot that's talking to his TV? For playing with the family gimmicks are fine, after all there is fun to be had with the Wii.....provided you have enough players.

disgruntledavians's picture

In regards to the gimmicks, I think that they really muddied the waters with the whole Kinect voice control thing. It's a small, but convenient little gateway into more robust functionality in the next console. Also, don't forget that in terms of things other than games, it's good for all of the new services and things that the Xbox can now do.

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