Poly overkill in PS4: Balancing gameplay

By Updated on

Currently arguably one of the best console game available with regards to graphics is Uncharted 3 on the PlayStation 3. We would all have heard of the growing speculation about possible new generation consoles from both Sony and Microsoft on the horizon. The characters in the game are made up of 30,000 polygons so what would this mean for the PS4? Would the focus on graphic details led to poly overkill at the expense of gameplay?

Recently Naughty Dog had a job listing for a character artist that would involve “making million poly models game ready” for the next generation of games console. An article here is looking at games with characters with a million polygons namely Uncharted 4. The PS3 wouldn’t cope with million poly models so it is obvious the job listing was for the PS4.

Also See: New Uncharted 4 trailer, gameplay to emphasize story evolution

Rob Redman who is 3D World’s technical editor feels the current PlayStation doesn’t have the memory or processing power to achieve such standards. Naughty Dog may have already been in the million polygon region with Uncharted 3 before slimming it down to work on the PlayStation 3.

As you can see from the image above and via the link, a million polygon character looks really impressive. Trouble is graphics are not all the story with regards to a good game, but they are obviously important. It’s all about getting that fine balance right between graphics and good gameplay that all the recent successful titles have managed.

Years ago when technology wasn’t up to today’s standards the biggest games had simple block graphics, but excellent gameplay. Some gamers feel that using over 150,000 polys, which is around five times that of Uncharted 3, into the next-gen PS4 would be overkill. In some people’s minds this would be “throwing geometry at the GPU with no benefit“.

Although we feel that having too much graphics could never happen in our opinion, unless the gameplay was affected in a negative way. Having between 100,000 to 150,000 polys in a character along with high quality normal maps should be more than good enough for next gen games. Anything after that your just throwing geometry at the GPU with no benefit to the game.

There will be many who don’t agree with this though and lust after movie like graphics in a game at all costs. With some recent titles some gamers have complained about the over doing of needless cut scenes in games, which may have outstanding graphics, but take away some of the gameplay.

Tell us your opinions on this in the comment section below.

  • Capsul3_cid

    How is it that YOU know what is good for next gen games? Are you currently developing for them? Please tell me what makes you so qualified? I’m sick of these opportunistic troll pieces on the web

  • Capsul3_cid

    How is it that YOU know what is good for next gen games? Are you currently developing for them? Please tell me what makes you so qualified? I’m sick of these opportunistic troll pieces on the web

  • Anonymous

    I don’t really feel like anyone has any place questioning Naughty Dog’s integrity in this matter, they’ve done an incredible job of balancing pretty much all aspects of games development at this point.  It seems to me that the console industry is simply beginning to be aware of exactly how much horsepower will be available on the next-gen consoles (and is currently available on PC).  Times change, and technology progresses much faster than the consoles can keep pace with…you should always expect major leaps between console generations.

  • Anonymous

    I do not know, how many polygons would a computer generated characters in movie generally have, for example the apes in planet of the apes 2011 or the robots in Transformers. 
    The golden gate bridge in the planet of the Apes use 70,000,000 polygons in total.

    When console have graphics that look like those then perhaps they can start to consider not having to increase poly counts any more. 

    Graphics does not make great game play, only creativity does that and that is something that is lacking in the game industry at the moment.

    An there will need to be an increase in polygons beyond 100 – 150k especially with 4K and 8K TVs appearing in 2012, and becoming affordable in 2013 and 2014, the same time frame as PS4 and Xbox are expected to be release.

  • moorbre

    this is a very poorly written article.

  • laughing-gravy

    You are obviously a M$oft fanboy to have written such garbage. To suggest that detailed models will impact on game-play is ludicrous. Developers routinely create high poly models to extract normal maps from, and there aren’t many developers better than Naughty Dog at balancing game assets, if any. Could it be that your worried that M$oft’s next system will be woefully underpowered compared to Sony’s new console? Talk to the hand buddy!

  • laughing-gravy

    You are obviously a M$oft fanboy to have written such garbage. To suggest that detailed models will impact on game-play is ludicrous. Developers routinely create high poly models to extract normal maps from, and there aren’t many developers better than Naughty Dog at balancing game assets, if any. Could it be that your worried that M$oft’s next system will be woefully underpowered compared to Sony’s new console? Talk to the hand buddy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/trent.ratliff.12 Trent Ratliff

    this is the guy who wrote this article

    Full Name: Gary Johnson

    Gary has a background in engineering and passion for motorcycles, gadgets, and home cinema. In his early years, his obsession for Hi-Fi technology would see him creating the perfect setup with a good ear for sound quality. While Gary is keen to write about most topics that PR covers, his love for phones finds him reporting a lot of news about applications for iPhone, Android, and other popular operating systems

    how about you work on your next temple run review rather than spouting off about something you clearly have no information about.