Page 1 of 4

About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:07 am
by Fuzzy
Hi,

ever since I read the first words about a BK spiritual successor I've been excited about this as I haven't been about any other game in quite a while.
The promise of keeping it close to the original rare games didn't help.

I've been a big rareware games fan during the Snes and N64 times, the games had a special magic surrounding them.

And this is where I was surprised about the first released in-engine screenshots:


It reminded me more about clean pre-rendered graphics of the first DKC game when you (first?) got in touch with 3D. Everything is clean and seperated from another. Unlike in BK/BT/DK64 or CBFD, the N64 platformers.


Pretty much what was the case in early N64 games, when the tech wasn't well known yet.


But then you started the game what Project Ukulele is supposed to be a spiritual successor of, Banjo kazooie, and started using texture blending to create more organic and varying environments. May it be vertex coloring (BK Spiral Mountan pathways), vertex transparency blending of two meshes (BT Spiral Mountain pathways), or baked blending into textures (BK Clanker's Cavern).


The more you advanced with the tech, the better and more you seemed to make use of this enriching tech.


Right now, with this clean and somewhat anorganic look and feel it seems more like a clay/plasic/rubber successor of Super Mario Galaxy, than what rareware games made rareware games.


I hope you can understand my worries about where this is going and remember the magic of texture blending to make your game environments more lively.
Just like simply sand being blown around covering some grass, or grass growing over stone. Nature being nature, what you perfected more and more the more you understood how to utilize the hardware and created magical yet believable places. :D

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:17 am
by Taylor
I've raised similar concerns in another thread. Although I think the screenshots genuinely look beautiful, I feel they (mostly the jungle one) give of an inorganic, plastic look. The path doesn't blend into the grass and everything does look clean-cut; it's like Nutty Acres from Nuts & Bolts.

It's hard for me to make a final judgement on it without seeing any gameplay though. I mean, bear in mind that Banjo-Kazooie's art looked like this:



I know this is a render and the Ukulele screenshots are in-engine, but I don't think we can be sure what the final product will look like until there's some gameplay footage (which we might see in May on the Kickstarter)...

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:19 am
by Fuzzy

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:05 am
by lavamario
Part of me thinks they should be given the chance to switch up the art style, and refine what they've shown.
But if I'm being honest, I share your exact sentiments, and I would definitely opt for the game to look less Galaxy-like given the option. Especially HoneyHive Galaxy.

Something gives off a sterile feel when you have such a cleanly style.

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:26 am
by polomi

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:33 am
by GrayMagicΓ
I fully agree, I noticed this when I first saw the renders but couldn't really put into words why. You seem much more well versed in graphics, glad to see a nice written explanation!

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:20 am
by GildasMagnus
Perhaps they will experiment with art styles as their library of games increases, but I too would prefer something less sterile. As pretty as the images are, and as great as it is that they're already giving this 100%, I agree that dirtier, slightly darker tones would make the game easier to connect with rarather than the feel of a cartoon.

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:21 am
by dotEXE
I think it looks fantastic. It's very clean, and is a clear extension of the direction banjo was headed before Microsoft killed it. Did you not see the demos for what N&B was going to be before it became a car game? This is exactly where it was going and it looks great. Bright, vibrant, lush. Need it.

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:34 pm
by Jim
Ohhh, well observed.

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:07 pm
by Jaresk
I don't have a problem with, honestly. I don't expect Project Ukulele to be 100% like Banjo-Kazooie. Yes, it is made by the same guys and they are making spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, but they also have around 10 years of extra experience and style refinement. I personally prefer letting the style in the hands of the artists rather than them having to force a style to fit nostalgia. It's quite possible that the artists are still being influenced by other current games too which would explain the similarities to Galaxy. But at the end of the day, I trust the artist and if they think it's better to make the game look more organic later, that's fine, otherwise, it's fine too.

I could say that the number one thing I noticed that made me bummed out was the lack of weird stuff and landmark in the screenshots. Although it's hard to see what's in a level when you cannot pan the camera and explore. And it's very early so both the style and content are probably going to change a lot as the game development progresses anyway.

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:39 pm
by bashokazooie
Finally, someone articulated this! Banjo Tooie was a grimy, dirty, gorgeous game and, while I think the screenshots we have of Ukulele are nice, the art at the soul of what made Banjo games truly unique is missing. Obviously I'm blowing this out of proportion as we've only seen two screenshots, but, since Playtonic is giving us some say, it's definitely worth pointing out that something feels off about these round, tailored, pristine landscapes. The humor of Banjo was gritty and idiosyncratic; why not match that vibe in the art? I can't stand platformers with characters that look as if they belong perched atop a wedding cake ensnared in the troubles only sentient fondant figures are capable of enduring. Even Nuts & Bolts was off the mark in this regard; geometric, angular and clean does not work for Banjo. Leave that to the over-produced Mario's and Sonic's. Banjo is made of better, dirtier stuff. Think Grunty Industries or Witchy World; the kind of grime you may accidentally stick your hand in under a theatre seat. That's what I'm talking about! Seavor's got the right idea boys: take note!

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:56 pm
by Lienk
Wow, I never looked at it like that, but I think you might be right! At the same time I can't really think of a modern platform(-like) game that has those kind of graphics you describe. Can you give/post an example?

Btw: I'm really learning from this topic! :D

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:10 pm
by Pgcrooner
To be honest i don't mind the look of the game. It's an artistic style. The game can't be TOO similar to B-K.

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:33 pm
by Fuzzy

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:04 pm
by Lienk
I see what you mean. Good point.
Come to think of it, maybe Epic Mickey did something like that. Or atleast a mix between 'cartoony' and 'realistic' looking levels. I remember some levels had clean green fields and some levels had more realstic blending of the landscape. The latter really contributing to the tone of the game.

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:41 pm
by Taylor


Can I just take a moment to point out how dark and magical the Playtonic concept art is? If this is anything to go by, our worries may not be needed.

The first level is always a bit lighter than the rest; look at Mumbo's Mountain and Mayahhem Temple. I'm presuming the jungle screenshot is the first level.

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 6:31 am
by Fuzzy

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:21 am
by GildasMagnus
Perhaps the hub world shown in the screenshots is the last bastion of goodness and sugary-sweet sterility in the world, and the storybooks are key to bringing light back into an otherwise gloomy universe. We'll find out eventually. I hope the other worlds are a bit grittier, but there's bound to be polar opposites somewhere in the game, eg. Treasure Trove Cove and Mad Monster Mansion. It's too early to tell, but I'm sure they'll find something that makes us happy as well as making Them happy, which as they've stated is why they're doing this project after all.

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:28 pm
by BetterThanYou
i also liked the blending and smooth style of most rare games, but it doesn't really matter as long as the gameplay is good. but it is something great that'd really add to the game.

Re: About the artstyle.

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:34 pm
by Taylor