Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

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GreatEmerald
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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby GreatEmerald » Oct 25 2016, 23:21

cjlee wrote:But H2, 3, 4, 5 all look really dated. I really wish someone with the right abilities would recognize this. There are a lot of awesome artists out there and I wish we could bring together a round table of such heroes.

OK, H4, H5 may be out of the question since you need to do 3D modelling. This probably means less artistry, and more coding, which will turn off the artists and take up too much time besides.

But H3 is still firmly 2D. And 600x800 is a quarter of my monitor. Those guys who are going to spend years remaking the H3 AI, why not modernize and update and improve the look of the game as well? The beautiful game I knew in 1998, is now crude and cartoony 18 years later. I wish someone could summon up a round table of artists, assign each guy 10-20 drawings, and remake H3 for 1920x1200. There's enough resolution on current monitors to capture every detail. I can't imagine how awesome a bunch of artists could make H3 look. Like the Lord of the Rings trilogy? And by making the game look awesome, we can get/ retain far more gamers. That in turn will keep lots of mapmakers in business and lots of multiplayers playing.

BTW I am aware of the Heroes 3HD mod. I installed and played with it for a while. All that mod really does is to make the Heroes3 game fit a bigger screen. It doesn't add details to the dragons, it doesn't give us a detailed hero face in combat, etc.


Uh.

First of all, you need 3D modelling for HoMM3. Those models are in fact 3D, just like the HoMM4 ones. Sure, they have fewer frames, but that doesn't matter much. To do a proper job you'd need to use the original models and render them in higher resolution.

That said, there is HoMM3 HD Edition. Not the HD mod. HD Edition. The one by Ubisoft. It adds details to all the objects in the world. But, since they did draw things manually, objects have higher resolution but they lose their realism since they are painted over. So everything looks washed out. Also, Ubisoft didn't have all the source code of the game, only RoE, so the HD Edition doesn't include all the nice expansion content.

What should be done is using the HD Edition resources in VCMI. That should be quite doable. Maybe the HD mod too, but much more difficult to pull that off using the old engine.

And what is definitely doable is HD for HoMM2, since everything is hand-drawn there to begin with. Would need to be integrated in fheroes2 later on.

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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby cjlee » Oct 26 2016, 4:24

Feel sad reading GreatEmerald's reply.

Seems as though there are stiff obstacles in every direction. Yes, I never considered the Ubisoft HD because I don't like Ubisoft, the HD looked bad, and of course it was lacking in the full content.

We'll see what the next few years bring. But I'm afraid Heroes is really on its last legs. The other forums are more active, but hardly enthusiastic. That's why I have said that Antalyan (who, against 97% of old fans, likes H7) is needed as the future of Heroes.

If there are enough people who like Heroes that Ubisoft would make another try at milking the franchise, at least we have the chance of getting yet another game that possibly the modders can improve on. As things are now, I think Heroes belongs in my childhood/misspent youth along with the now dead Command and Conquer. Maybe I should spend my time on porn forums instead.

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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby Galaad » Oct 26 2016, 10:07

Cjlee with all due respect you're not seeing straight, if most fans received Ubisoft Heroes like Antalyan did it would mean Ubisoft and Erwin would have won in their replacement of what Heroes is all about. The loss of quality would be agreed and validated who the hell wants that. Sorry but is extremely selfish if you wish for the series to be further tarnished just because you personally prefer/want more activity on fan forums.

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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby Antalyan » Oct 26 2016, 13:20

Galaad wrote:Cjlee with all due respect you're not seeing straight, if most fans received Ubisoft Heroes like Antalyan did it would mean Ubisoft and Erwin would have won in their replacement of what Heroes is all about. The loss of quality would be agreed and validated who the hell wants that. Sorry but is extremely selfish if you wish for the series to be further tarnished just because you personally prefer/want more activity on fan forums.

Omg Galaad. You're acting like if I either loved Ubisoft or was satissfied with how the H7 development looked like.
Also the fact I like H7 vision/concept/mechanics (whosever they are) has nothing to do with the final product quality or behaviour to fans.

Anyway, you said Ubisoft does not care about fans at all. So they don't care about what we write about either, there's nothing to fear of :D
Last edited by Antalyan on Oct 26 2016, 13:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby Galaad » Oct 26 2016, 14:19

Antalyan wrote:Also the fact I like H7 vision/concept/mechanics (whosever they are) has nothing to do with the final product quality or behaviour to fans.


No this is exactly what I am talking about, it has everything to do with it. You support and try to help the game because you embrace the newer direction and design which I point as the main problem.

Of course I realize you rather play a bugfree game lol :)
Last edited by Galaad on Oct 26 2016, 14:21, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby cjlee » Oct 26 2016, 16:44

Galaad wrote:Sorry but is extremely selfish if you wish for the series to be further tarnished just because you personally prefer/want more activity on fan forums.


That is a total misreading of what I said and have been saying.

I am not personally committed to any particular type of Heroes. I just want a good game that I can play. I would have accepted a Heroes 3 with Forge. I am quite happy to have my heroes wade into battle as in H4. I certainly accept the initiative system as in H5, the Town Conversions in H6, the Flanking of H7.

Forge, Hero Involvement, Initiative, Town Conversion, Flanking - surely these are some of the most controversial and hated changes in every version of Heroes.

I totally do not share your personal hatred of Ubisoft and Erwin's directing. I hate it that they made a bad product, that's all.

If their DRM worked smoothly like Starcraft2, I would accept DRM.

If Heroes 7 had very few bugs and a solid AI, I wouldn't have deinstalled it. I would have happily joined Antalyan on your hate list of selfish people who want to 'tarnish' your childhood memories.

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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby jeff » Oct 26 2016, 20:43

Alright everyone; it's time to take a breath. No harm right now and I am not censoring or admonishing anyone. Let's just be careful and try and stay respectful.
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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby Troller » Oct 27 2016, 8:09

In my opinion the change from 2D to 3D was bad, not because 2D is better than 3D but because it was done for all the wrong reasons.
One of the things they promoted with the change with was "how an artifact could be hidden"!!! This was so annoying in Heroes V having to pan the camera around to make sure nothing was overlooked all the time :-(

I generally prefer pretty graphics, but it needs to be done right, for instance take Civ VI there they have chosen a more stylized look and for all the right reasons! To enable the player to get a good overview :-)

The biggest drawback is that it is so much more expensive to produce 3D assets for a game, and for heroes budget is an issue!
What the series need is a passionate talented game director to cut of all the unneeded and deliver a great but trimmed game that can build the foundation for a more ambitious game...
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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby Panda Tar » Oct 28 2016, 20:48

Yeah, as I stated a couple of times, when the game transited to 3D, back in H5, it was when I started thinking it wasn't so magical anymore. Mainly because back then my PC was a bit bad and the game ran slow, some town views appeared glitchy, and even I saying that back then I always wondered how a town screen would look 3D and even be eager for it, it fast became very clear how useless it was. For me, someone more inclined to mechanics, this eye-candy approach makes no more than disguise the poor decisions and exactly the trimming they decided to do in exchange to try and tweak mechanics added which weren't successful at first; simply cut off this and that shouldn't have happened, but it did, and we all now saw where it ended: a poor designed game in disguise.
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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby BB Shockwave » Nov 1 2016, 23:34

Antalyan wrote:@Namerutan
It may sound strange but I prefer the H7 way: both things (graphics & AI) on fine level (yes, H7 AI has some big flaws but generally it's not terrible).
If I ignore the fact I do not like the graphic style of the game you used as an example of good graphics (H6 & H7 look like better imho), graphics is more important for me.
I could play the game with bad AI, complaining about it a lot but still playing. However I cannot play H1-H4 because they are too ugly for me nowadays.


LOL! Then what would you say about the original King's Bounty? :D
Frankly, I feel HOMMII and III look amazing even today. Especially considering how big of a comeback sprite games are making these days, people should not say these games look "ugly". If anything, it's 3D graphics that become ugly as time goes by and resolution and polygon count increases. Alone in the Dark was kinda silly looking even back then, but it looks just terrible these days, even the Dire Straits "Money for Nothing" video looks better.

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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby BB Shockwave » Nov 1 2016, 23:39

Galaad wrote:
iLiVeInAbOx05 wrote:H7 doesn't seem to have chosen any particular audience


Oh yes they chose an audience alright, the people who will blindly pre-order, hopefully it didn't work that well.


It worked so "well", they are now selling the game in Hungary bundled with Heroes III HD and Might&Magic X - for a mere 20 EUR! Yes, selling Heroes VII by itself for 20 EUR (that was the last price I saw it for) did not work out, they had to package their remaining copies with better games in the hope they get rid of them.
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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby BB Shockwave » Nov 1 2016, 23:45

cjlee wrote:Guys
But H3 is still firmly 2D. And 600x800 is a quarter of my monitor. Those guys who are going to spend years remaking the H3 AI, why not modernize and update and improve the look of the game as well? The beautiful game I knew in 1998, is now crude and cartoony 18 years later. I wish someone could summon up a round table of artists, assign each guy 10-20 drawings, and remake H3 for 1920x1200.


The funny thing is, the now defunct Chinese "Heroes Online" did just that, remake Heroes 3 in HD. Unfortunately, as a terrible MMO where you had to lose troops to upgrade them (just... don't ask... I was a beta tester, it's still a sore point...) Case in point though, it could be done. And if it was done by Katauri, in the same colorful "classic fantasy" style as King's Bounty, I'd be happy with that.
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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby BB Shockwave » Nov 1 2016, 23:54

Troller wrote:In my opinion the change from 2D to 3D was bad, not because 2D is better than 3D but because it was done for all the wrong reasons.


I agree there. Compare Age of Wonders III to HOMM5. AOW3's world map and battle maps look exactly like they did when they were 2D in the previous games, they just look better, and you can zoom in now. However, on the world map the camera is fixed... HOMMV confused the hell out of me with the rotating camera, often I missed resources and locations because the various trees and decorations completely hid them from some angles. 3D isn't bad, and in fact, these days, I doubt you could make a pretty game without it, but it must have limitations lest the graphics turn into a limiting factor for the gameplay.

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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby hellegennes » Nov 4 2016, 0:26

Troller wrote:I generally prefer pretty graphics, but it needs to be done right, for instance take Civ VI there they have chosen a more stylized look and for all the right reasons! To enable the player to get a good overview :-)


Actually, CIV VI's stylized look completely ruins the readability of both the overworld and the minimap (which is horrible as of right now. I am hoping for a patch).

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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby hellegennes » Nov 4 2016, 0:38

BB Shockwave wrote:Frankly, I feel HOMMII and III look amazing even today. Especially considering how big of a comeback sprite games are making these days, people should not say these games look "ugly". If anything, it's 3D graphics that become ugly as time goes by and resolution and polygon count increases. Alone in the Dark was kinda silly looking even back then, but it looks just terrible these days, even the Dire Straits "Money for Nothing" video looks better.


So true. Hand-drawn graphics of the 90's might look dated because of their resolution, but they are still pretty. Compare that to early 3D games which are atrocious to look at now. I mean, look at this:


Image


And compare it with that (same year):

Image

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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby Tress » Nov 4 2016, 12:19

This is complitelly unfair comparison . One is predawn cartoon , second one is live render. rendering real time 3d models of any decency would require unattainable tech for that time. They cant be compared. Polygonal games became more or less decent around 2000 year, When games like morrowind came out 3d models stumped out need for predrawn workarounds as mm6-8 used. They reached their cap at 2007 or so when crysis came out. Adding another layer of polygons would give minuscule increase in quality. Problem about pre-drawn is that they can do only things they are drawn to do. Renders can do anything that system can handle. You cant just open game code and ask that girl with tray to jump/duck drop tray etc, while i could do that with lara in any setting that game supports. Pre drawn graphics is like movie, you can only see things that are filmed.

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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby hellegennes » Nov 4 2016, 12:54

What does it matter? I am not comparing the skill of the developers here, I am pointing out that old 2D graphics may look dated because of their low resolution, but you cannot say the were ugly. On the contrary, its old 3D games that look ugly.

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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby Karmakeld » Nov 4 2016, 23:03

If you look at the oldest tomb raider games, even in 3D, I wouldn't necessarily say it's only due to the fact that old 3D is stiff like a board, remember that Lara's face used to be a square made out of 4 pixels or something like that. That is outdated coz of resolution as well.
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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby Tress » Nov 5 2016, 10:12

Yes they look pretty , but that matters because there is limit that such graphic can achieve, thus you can't expect anything complex by relaying on predawn graphics. Besides I can't really understand all problems with Homm6-7 graphics people are having, they look pretty. Sure square based grid of homm3 is more easy to oversee but that's game design issue.

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Re: Where to Next for the M&M Franchise?

Postby Avonu » Nov 5 2016, 13:05

Tress wrote:Besides I can't really understand all problems with Homm6-7 graphics people are having, they look pretty.

In case of Heroes 7 it is system requirements vs what you see at the end. This and also adventure map is looking like a bunch of different pieces put together and does not like as one, big picture.
H6 doesn't look bad but the game itself has another problems.

Tress wrote:Polygonal games became more or less decent around 2000 year, When games like morrowind came out 3d models stumped out need for predrawn workarounds as mm6-8 used.

And then you had MM9 where 2D artworks look fine, while 3D... not so much.
Last edited by Avonu on Nov 5 2016, 13:08, edited 1 time in total.


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