View Full Version : Great Game Graphics...Who Cares?

03 March 2003, 05:24 PM
Here's a summary from a presentation/lecture to be given at the upcoming GDC.... comments?

Great Game Graphics... Who Cares (

03 March 2003, 06:05 PM
I often hear my friends comparing games and then the argument 'but it looks like crap' is one important one.

True is: good looks is no substitude for poor gameplay.

Still, very often if a game looks bad then it was made by an unexperienced or underpaid team and then the gameplay has flaws too. On the other Hand, good developers spend time on polishing both, the graphics and the gameplay so you often see that the graphics reflect the gameplay. In fact, graphics are an important PART of the Gameplay because they give the Player feedback on his actions.

And then there is still a lot of things to consider: As I belong to the 'older' group of players that grew up with the 8 bit systems, I have a different approach to graphics then the younger generation, which call Super Nintendo graphics ancient. So one has always to consider the typical player the game is developed for.

The world isn't black & white and so I think you can't say that people don't care about graphics at all.

03 March 2003, 08:11 PM
the sad thing is - ( and i've watched things change )

- people tend to take graphics too seriously. only some

people really still appreciate the real meaning of the game.

instead of looking at how good a game really is, gamers

are starting to compare the resolution.

a very relative issue would be the comparison between

consoles. in my opinion, i think nintendo gamecube generally

makes better games, even though xbox graphics may be

ten times better. a lot of gamers are so stubborn to think

this actually matters! i hate to see conflict break out over

something so irrelevant. We are forgetting the original

purpose and definition of games. games are an interactive

story or just for entertainment. sure we can have some fun

and make them more splashy, but we shouldn't pay

so much attention to the difference between 3000 and 3002

or whatever. if graphics really mattered so much, we might

as well go watch a movie.

03 March 2003, 08:23 PM
Personally, I agree 100% to what you've said (and I think most of the People in this Forum do so as well) but don't forget that theese 'stubborn players' are the ones who are going to pay for the game so if you want a successfull game you must satisfy them somehow.

Also keep in Mind that good graphics doesn't always come from good hardware. Example: The best looking Racing game today is IMHO Gran Turismo 3 (which btw. has a great gemeplay as well) and its exclusivly avalible on the PS2 which of the 3 consoles on the market, has the slowest hardware.

03 March 2003, 09:04 PM
When I first saw this summary I have to admit it made me wonder if he was high, if he was just being controversial and trying to get people to attend the lecture, or if he really believed what he said.

It's very true that even great graphics cannot rescue poor game mechanics and coding. On the other hand I also believe that sub-par graphics will limit a game's sales.

But since "graphics quality" is such a subjective thing and very difficult to pin down and define in a board room, I think many company heads would agree that art quality is not important or essential to producing a successful title. Especially so since the economy went south and budgets are tighter and investors are running scared.

I also think that to say real-time graphics technology is to the point that gamers won't care about the improvements in graphics engines is to grossly over estimate where we are. I mean c'mon, we're still using fakes to do things like shadows and reflections for heaven's sake, let alone true interactive lighting.

Also, if gamers didn't care, how would you explain the fact that every time Id releases a screen shot of the up-coming Doom game or Blizzard releases another cinematic, that gamers worldwide soil their shorts?

I may be mis-reading his comments or his intent, and I do plan to go to the lecture. But for now I whole-heartedly dis-agree.

03 March 2003, 09:48 PM
Based on the summery i can tell you that i will be given even less time to do quality work, because its 'not important'.... and this blows. :annoyed:

03 March 2003, 10:14 PM
to me the game is an experience, a story, something that should draw me in, If its a game that has no feel and atmosphere i can't play it.

So games like "uberleet pirate raiders" with horrible models and no point don't get my vote, games that have a good atmosphere or at least TRY to get a nice one (not meaning that the graphics are nessisarly up to par) and it shows effort, and the gameplay is fun then I'll prolly play (aka DOD beta one, downloaded only cuase i knew the team played only cuase it was fun) or HLPB (good idea lots of fun was helping out the team).

anyways I've prolly lost my point but my brother wants to play EE so TTYL.

03 March 2003, 11:00 PM
I'm from the 8 bit/atari realm too, and I also believe graphics don't make a game, Zelda for instance ancient graphics but I STILL play from time to rocks. However, I do think graphics help emerse the player and truly flesh out the story, and gameplay. Without good graphics your game is sunk in todays market. But graphics are no more important or less important than gameplay and a solid engine. Just like a car:) hehe.
Seems like alot of these new games are cars with a Ferrari exterior, and a Yugo for the engine...and you can get about 8 hours worth of fun out of them before they are finished or you realize they are no fun to drive.

Lets not forget about sound though either...way too many games are getting the worst music I've heard yet...I'm sorry but pulling a top 40 track and putting it into your game at the last minute does not make it a top 40 game. Its really frustrating too when I hear a certain company drops millions into development then gets Tony the janitor to do the voice acting. COME ON, why don't they just subtitle the shit and let us come up with a cool voice in my head.

Hitman 2 is my vote for worst voice acting this year...I stopped playing the game after I heard the intro acting...just terrible.

03 March 2003, 12:27 AM
yeah the most important part to the game is the story, then you need to layer in the ambient game level design, quality sound, well made characters, well made world models, well made textures, and animation. You need a story but if you don't back it up with well made content in the rest of it it detracts, and most of all you need to make sure the game works... I'm really annoyed by the way hollywood and game studios are going, a game done in 6months! PFT!~ :( I personaly am still working on the story for the game I want to make...

03 March 2003, 12:39 AM
i think soon, games will all generally start looking good(the much higher polys stuff) so people will tend to not notice the gfx as much... and gameplay should always be more important

03 March 2003, 02:04 AM
"As I belong to the 'older' group of players that grew up with the 8 bit systems"

older? i grew up on the 8-bitters' too but don't forget the PC/Amiga/Texan Instruments gamers [there like 30+ now]

As for people not interested in graphics is crap. Current games bring the same amount of emotions out of players as some movies. This only adds to the game play. Do you get as emotional playing the original Wolfenstein compared to Medal of Honor? No. Since the original Wolfenstein was just run and gun with only 4 different enemies, all you were doing was trying to stay alive and have fun killing nazis. When you play Medal of Honor you see fellow Americans dieing in front of you, you hear bullets ripping threw the air. You see other soldiers crying for help. You feel like you’re in Saving Private Ryan's opening battle scene. This is something you can never get out of a game made on a 16-bit system.

Sure, a company can spend years developing the game. Have a huge budget, get a full string orchestra soundtrack, get top-notch movie stars to do the voice-overs, and have graphics only comparable to real life. But will it have good game play? Re-play value? Get you emotionally charged?

Everyone complained about Zelda’s graphics, now with it out in Japan and 25 days away here in the US, no one has said anything about the graphics because they have played the demo. And the game play had blanketed all the “tech” stuff of the game. No one will be talking how many polygons are on the screen or if it’s using real-time lighting or any of that other marketing crap. All they will be talking about is the cool stuff they did with Link on his quest.

When I play games, I see no textures, I see know motion blur, I see know lighting effects, I see no anti-aliases edges on characters… I see a dragon asking for an ass-woopin, and I’m not sitting on my couch in my family room; I’m in the dungeon with the dragon.

but, thats just me...

03 March 2003, 03:24 AM
kole hit the nail on the head with his take on this subject..

a game is a cohesive unit and you cant say that gamers wont care about graphics in this new era.. graphics are everything! as is gameplay! they are the same.. they work together to create the "gameplay" tetris is a great example.. the graphics are great.. they are blocks that make the game function perfect. you dont think to yourself as your playing.. "man i wish these blocks would have motion blur on them... :rolleyes:

yet if you try and create doom3 without high quality models then your taking away from the game.. they need to show as much character as possible in order to induce fear in the viewer. Gameplay IS the graphics in this new era. Gamers are going to care about graphics now more then EVER!

03 March 2003, 04:54 AM
I really care about great graphics - if nobody worried about the visuals, then we'd all be out of a job :annoyed:

03 March 2003, 07:22 AM
I havent read any more than the overview on the GDC website, ill read the other comments after i post, but iv put alot of thought into this, as an art director.
I have thought about the direction videogame art will take etc, iv said for years now that its going to go the way of shrek (thats the example i gave at the time anyway), Pixel shaders, real time sub D and insane character rigs, i could be wrong ofcorse but it seems logical.
My current stance is that im just going to go for more polys and try and skip the doom3 style normal mapping thing, since soon we wont need bump maps to portray the forms and it will all be done with vertex lighting, the normal mapping thing seems to be a lil work around to the fact that we cant push that many polys.
My biggest concern is that there is no _ART_! anymore, the art just isnt there in games these days IMO, too many games being made with artists who dont even understand the basic fundimentals of art, Unfortunately now theres been a standard set, nobody can tell good game art from bad game art, Its all good to most people, the consumers in particular, if they see effects there happy, theres just no art. (not dissing Ken scott and the id crew, there definately very artfull in what there doing)
The industry is tech driven, it overshadows the need for art.
I cant wait for the day when videogames are about the art, the art of the sound, story, gameplay, models, textures, visual style, direction and not the technology, the day technology is as good as it needs to be to allow anybody to make anything (the position rendered CG art in general is at, with the advancement of hardware seem to be catching upto rendered CG FAST thanks to nvidia and ati and 64 bit processing around the corner! :)

in my eyes, doom3, metal gear solid 2 and kingdom hearts and games along those lines of artistic technical exelence all look equaly good, Thats because all 3 have _amazing_ art direction and a very destinct feel as a result of that, Kingdom hearts and MGS2 may not have perfect self shadowing if any, but that definately does not make them bad in my books, The technology is not the driving force in games where the technical abilitys of the artists is more apparent than the technology. The art of programming, 2d, 3d, sound, writing and game design etc and having it all work togeather making one solid game rather than being a show of flashy tech needs to be the goal. In my eyes and idealy in the eyes of the consumer, technology is key, but the overall artistic abilitys of the entire team needs to be the driving force. ART, not tech.

By art i dont mean "painting" or "2d/3d" in spacific, by art i mean the _art_ of programming and the _Art_ of writing and the _art_ of 2d/3d, the _art_ of direction and coordonation to pull off one large work of art.

sorry, im blabbing, what im trying to get across is kinda vague realy.

so yea, in closing, i hope everyone stops caring about the technology and start caring about the overall sense of art a team/game has in the end, with that in mind, a game on the xbox could compete with a game on the xbox5, heh

Thats my 2 cents!

03 March 2003, 01:31 PM
BiTMAP "yeah the most important part to the game is the story" - People, especially gamers, overestimate the meaning of story. You can read that in all the gamer forums "the story is soooo improtant" and "i loved the story, it was so well written". Sorry, no offese but I think this is nonsense. Story means very little in the Industry.
Look at all the sucessfull games and pick out those with realy interesting story. Most of them doesn't get even at the level of a standart action-movie. Does Mario have a good story? Don't think so. Would Tekken be different if you leave out the Story? Actualy, nobady CARES about the Story in Tekken. Does Contra need a good story? Hell no, they just say "Let's attack agressivly" and this is the point where story end and ass-kicking begins.

Sure, there are games with complicated storys but this only happens when it realy fits into the concept and EVEN THEN the Story is something one underpaid Person spends.. maybe a week if it should realy be great. The time consuming and difficult part is the realisation of that story.

So if players say 'the story is great' they mean something different. They mean how well the story was brought over to them and THIS is doene by nothing else but Graphics, Music and Dialogue.

Experiment: Imagine the Story of Final Fantasy (say... 7 for example) with realy crappy graphics. Nobody would call the story unusually good then, it would be rather some standart starwars ripp-off. Nobody would be touched in the scene where Aaris dies, game characters die all the time (In Final Fantasy 2 the half of the cast dies at some point an nobody metions the story of THAT game). Yet, with the propper realisation this particular scene is today seen as one of the greatest in computer game history.

I realy agree with MrHappyPants. "a game is a cohesive unit" and every aspect plays an Important role. It isn't about graphics, story or music. It all has to fit together in order to make a great game. This is why players won't notice a low polycount if it realy suits the game.

Oh, and I have noticed that Games are often compared with movies. Why is that? Sure, there are games with characteristics similar to movies. Theese games create some emotional connection between the player and the game characters.

Still, a lot games do it well without emotions. Tetris was mentioned here for example. Tetirs is by no means similar to a movie and I think only disturbed people develop emotions to bricks. Yet, it is one of the best games ever and highly addictive (and also a piece of art). I think the game genre is way too sophisticated to comapre it with movies

03 March 2003, 02:38 PM
Boyd, are you Jason Rubyn?

03 March 2003, 04:53 PM
games are being compared to movies because games are slowly becoming interactive movies. games like MGS2 have hours of dialog and cut scenes, sucking the gamer more into the game. and no, not every game has to be this way. i would hate it if Tetris starting involving storylines and characters. but i've also heard that in the future, movies will be come more like video games. Remember those old books "Choose Your Own Adventure"...?

i was blabbering on about game play and graphics, i completely forgot ART. and yes, ART is damn important! games like American McGee's Alice [and his new one Oz] suck you into worlds only seen in dreams. I personally like looking around some of the rounds in UT2003. they put so much detail and atmosphere into some rounds, it's amazing [for a run+gun FPSer].

we can talk all day about different parts of a game and what makes them better. but the truth is you need good everything. good sound, good graphics, good art, good everything.

03 March 2003, 05:20 PM
Originally posted by kole
but i've also heard that in the future, movies will be come more like video games. Remember those old books "Choose Your Own Adventure"...?

Yeh I know what kind of Books you mean. Somehow they were never realy popular.

Same thing with all those interactive movies that appeared in the 90ies.

I've heard that some time ago (in the 70'ies ?) a movie was made which had 2 endings. At some point the audience in the cinema was asked to vote what the hero is supposed to do next. Then there were 2 film rolls each containing an alternative ending. Wasn't sucessfull either.


03 March 2003, 07:43 PM
I still play Master of Orion 1 from time to time..

That doesn't have anything much to do with what I want to say here though :)

I can't relate to this "games are technolgy driven" or "story isn't important" stuff. If that represents the opinions of the majority, well so be it, but for me personally it's been a while since I've judged a game by its spec-sheet for instance. I'm full of opinions when it comes to games: I don't like Hitman 2 or Splinter Cell. I dislike what I've seen of SoFII. But I think Battlefield 1942 is an amazing game, and so far I'm full of glee and wonder with the neat little tanks and explosions in C&C: Generals. I don't feel like I'm swayed by specific features in either of those games, as far as I'm concerned Splinter Cell and Battlefield has the same polys to throw around, only Battlefield is pretty imo, whereas I think Splinter Cell is ugly. It's the way they use their art-content that makes me think one is better-looking than the other.

I'm not neccessairly sure what my point is :), if I ever had one.. I'm likely just spewing off a random opinion here :) I think it was summed up nicely in a previous posting that graphics can be considered a part of the gameplay, a vital part to any modern game alongside all the other vital parts that makes it fun to play. I don't think graphics "doesn't matter anymore", nor do I think modern games are all driven by technology above storytelling and an artistic touch. A middleground of sorts.

I also mentioned storytelling back at the top of this post, and I guess I can only say that I for one value a good story. Just shooting off the top of my head my top-favorite games of the past includes Half-Life, Freespace series, Homeworld, Trespasser, System Shock II, etc. All games with, imo, great (or at least strong) storytelling (I found/find, say, the Deus Ex and Splinter Cell stories boring though..). That's not to say Krystman is wrong when he says the general thing is that stories doesn't matter, I wouldn't know.. I'm just saying there's at least one person out here that values those sort of things :)

Volition had, as far as I know, a full-time writer assigned to their Freespace 2 game. As did Valve with Half-Life (again, that's from what I understand). I don't know if games in general only spents, like, fourty minutes total on the story, but thankfully there are examples of games going further than that.

Oh and I sign my name under HyPer's post, I'm also happily looking forward to some distant time in the future where all games have access to all the technology they'd like, and it becomes all about how the game plays.

I guess it's too late to apologize about the long rant huh? :)

03 March 2003, 10:19 PM
Originally posted by gaggle
I think it was summed up nicely in a previous posting that graphics can be considered a part of the gameplay, a vital part to any modern game alongside all the other vital parts that makes it fun to play. I don't think graphics "doesn't matter anymore", nor do I think modern games are all driven by technology above storytelling and an artistic touch. A middleground of sorts.

There are certainly a lot of good points floating around in the forum. I for one, still like to play older games for their gameplay/replay values. Yes, they are outdated, no I do not care :)

The graphics/gameplay issue does go hand in hand in my opinion... I for one, can not sit down and play a text-based RPG, while my friends can do so with no problems. One reason for this is I am a visual person, over all other senses. Eye candy is extremely important to me! While things don't have to be perfect - I will more than happy sit there and blast bad guys as long as it looks half-way decent (hell, I played CS long enough). Recently I began to see how pointless CS was getting, so I stopped (since playing from the release of beta 1). My eyes were drawn to newer games, with more technology and the doors were opened to better gameplay... more interactive environments (which you simply cannot have on limited game engines - cough, HL) and of course - eye candy!

Several games surely I still play because of their gameplay (Age of empires 1 & 2 - still favorites of mine...)

As I look into the future, the environments seem to be getting bigger as with the advances in technology. Go play UT2k3 (hell, even quake3) and then go play Half-Life -- you'll see what I mean.

I can only imagine what a CS type mod (or something different - it seems there are a majority of CS clones out there for mods now... sigh) for Doom III will be like.

The fact is... game art is just as important as game play.
I see games as movies... just on a wider spectrum, as they usually have some sort of replay value.

I believe most gamers are visual... therefore graphics play an important role. The story for HL I remember, because it was unique. I didn't think it was all too important for survival (all I did was run and shoot the aliens... heh heh) but it aided the gameplay and graphics. Reminds me of Jurassic Park - I liked the story to that... but is that because it went along with the visuals? Or because it was a good story?

A balanced game is important. While major movie releases are extremely publicized... new books hitting shelves are also popular - you just need to figure out which group is going to which store first. The people who like the story will flock to the books, and the visual, graphic people will watch the movie. Mainly because - paper with words for hours is not entertainment... however explosions... colors ooo ahhh. Fight Club was an exellent movie (on my best movie list in fact), however if I had to read the book... I wouldn't pick up half the story I could from the movie.

I apologize in advance for the structure of this message.. I've got a horrible headache.. and I'm not even sure if this is on topic... This is cancer, right? :cool:

03 March 2003, 10:36 PM
"(I found/find, say, the Deus Ex and Splinter Cell stories boring though..). "

NOooooooo....Deus Ex RULED!! I was such a dork when I played that game...I nearly crapped my pants when I saw the aliens! I loved that story...though I'm a cyber-punk dork. (Classic BubbleGum Crisis...yum). I just got an xbox this weekend and I'm borrowing Splinter Cell I'll try it out eventhough it just seems like a Thief Clone with supe'd up graphics.

Just putting out my opinion. I agree too graphics and gameplay go hand in hand no one it more important than the other.

"older? i grew up on the 8-bitters' too but don't forget the PC/Amiga/Texan Instruments gamers [there like 30+ now]"
Heh my brother now 33 had a Atari 400, which I remember playing Joust and Pole Position on. I even got Dig Dug for my birthday. I wrote games on my Ti-82 (made a battleship game, and a choose your own adventure) not to mention I played on a text based mud on the internet when the fastest connection home users could have was 2400bps:) Near the end of my Mudding days I started coded levels too...made an Ewok Forest it was sweet. Gotta love it.
You are in a vast room. Dust covers most of the walls and furniture. A small window is the only source of light, it has a latch on it. One of the walls has a large crack in the middle with a pipe extruding out of it.
'examine pipe

The pipe is an old water pipe. It's been shut off for quite a while with all the dust and cobwebs on it. Rust builds from the tip where water still drops.

Long live text based games

03 March 2003, 04:01 AM
I read this in a GDC email a few weeks ago, and after this discussion I still agree with it.. My take on the lecture is thus.

While I don't think the industry is quite to the point where consumers won't care at all, I think it's not too far off. I believe that the current level of technology is good enough to provide an experience that's immersive enough for most gamers to lose themselves in, and I think that's all Jason Rubin is getting at.

A good game doesn't NEED millions of polies, a screen covered with eye candy effects, and complete dynamic lighting and shadows to be a good game. Sure it's nice, and the top games out there usually have excellent graphics. But this is due to the skill and dedication of staff to make ALL aspects of the game top quality.

Yeah we might ooh and aah over the latest stuff, but the wow factor is significantly less with each development. The gap from voodoo to geforce4 is smaller than software rendering to voodoo.. or ps1 to ps2 than megadrive/snes to ps1, and I think this trend will continue. When I play the doom3 alpha, I see alot of funky tech.. and low poly silhouettes. But more importantly I see slow gameplay that is nowhere near the frantic adrenalin rush of the original Dooms. But thats another debate hehe..

To me, this sounds like another gameplay vs graphics debate. Looking at the majority of titles out there at the moment, the standard of graphics are alot better than the standard of gameplay. I'd take sub-par graphics with excellent gameplay over eye candy any day.

03 March 2003, 09:11 AM
Originally posted by Solve
Boyd, are you Jason Rubyn?

Ha! Don't I wish ;)

Topics like this have been on my mind since I became a full fledged game artist recently. Admittedly, I'm finding that adjusting to this industry has it's up-sides and downsides.

One of the downsides is that it seems artists have to continually fight to justify the importance of a continued investment in the visual "coolness" of game products. In other CG industries, Art is king and whatever it takes to upgrade the quality of the visuals, you do if you can stay in budget. If you can and your work is heads and shoulders above the rest, then that pays off for you.

In games, many don't see it that way. The visual quality is way down the list apparently for many game producing entities... especially the large companies. I've heard many artists in the industry talk about their employers hiring "lowest bidders" for art prod contracts, and refusing to spend any time on doable graphics enhancements just to rush the product to market and get on to the next one. Craftsmen and Artisans don't work that way for long without becoming jaded.

So, naturally I hope to find a place where visuals at least are a priority somewhere close to the top after profitablilty and gameplay/engineering issues.

There are some bright spots though. I recently browsed into a forum that is actively discussing backstory and trivia elements of Soul Reaver. It was released four years ago, had a great story and visuals...and people are still interested in it and talking about trivia.

If you hit on all cylinders with interesting gameplay, cool story with great visuals and audio, then it will stay with the market and be viable long term.

...end of rant...


03 March 2003, 09:17 AM
Hi everybody,
Good points all, but I would have to respectfully disagree with the idea gamers wouldn't care if games that could be improved by the latest technology, were not.

One marketing rule I agree with says the target demographic is most stimulated by what they see. While I would agree some games play rather annoyingly, we are rather adaptable critters. If I show you a game that you emotionally connect with, you'll write me email about the gameplay, but I believe you'll still play the game. (I know I have on more than one occasion.)

One reason why I would specifically relate movies to games is it's one determing factor of the level of sophistication of near future gamers. While you or I may be immersed by the current level of tech, if you're starting development of a game today, you're developing for a market that will be changed by the time you deliver. You have to be willing to bet your future that the largest mass of your audience will still have the same standards as you or I.

Unfortunately, I can't go this year, but I'd probably still take in the lecture if I were.


03 March 2003, 05:28 AM
I agree with the point that companies no longer care about the games, they just rush em out one after the other with least money spent most money made, I like the small scale studios like ID and such who Make GOOD games still... I got C&C Generals, Gameplay so far isn't too bad, not much diffrent then the red alert but a bit more interesting, and i'm learning things so its not all things just as they are, I'm learning units actualy have advantages... But the graphics are sub par... they put your view pretty damn close to your units, and they are not THAT high poly at all, actualy, they look like shit... but the gameplays "ok" and the rest is "believeable" but really I don't feel completly pulled into it yet... when i see soldiers running across a river with water splashing on them and getting them wet looking, crawing through the mud under the grass leaving a trail, then slinking around a building, all controled by ME as the "general" I'll be happy(er)... I want things to FEEL real, I want things to go wrong, and make me surprised and make me have to react and such.

anyways.. BUBble wrap is king :

03 March 2003, 09:27 AM
Even though I'm more of a programmer than an artist, I think technology is not as important as the art of a game. Technology for me is more of a tool, like printing press, a ruler, or a compass. It allows you to do something you can already do somewhat in your own imagination.

Yes gameplay is an important aspect, but even gameplay, which you could define as the logic in the game, is part of the art of a game. Even if you're just working with a cube, a cone, and a plane for your game, the player still is seeing a cub, cone or plane, and it's still part of the gameplay.

The art of a game, not necessarily the visual look of a game, but the way it interacts and delivers its symbols/content trumps visuals, technology and gameplay in my opinion. It is only the marketing which tries to highlight a game's strength that makes it seem like players don't care about this. But most players don't even know why they like a game, only that it gave them something they enjoyed for whatever reason which maybe only a shrink could tell them.

I think game developers get too far misguided in what players want by what the players say, or what's selling the best. Players don't know exactly what they want, it's only through the art of a game that they find themselves wanting. So yeah, listen to what players are saying about minor issues like bugs, poor animation, crappy gameplay, but keep in mind someone told them about how it SHOULD work or SHOULD look, before they even knew what to look for.

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