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Scholar
#1026 Old Yesterday at 2:07 PM
Seasons not only not ranked #1 but also ranked below City Living? Yikes, just so much yikes. I always thought that Seasons would rank right up there with Pets. And I've always argued that from The Sims 3 and beyond, Seasons shouldn't even be an EP, but should be in the base-game.

They did Seasons so well this time, they actually made me want to play this crap game. lol

Anyway, I can understand why Cats and Dogs would still be liked. The Sims 3 Pets was absolutely amazing and a mark above the rest, but historically Pets EPs have been hit or miss (I remember thinking that TS2's Pets was pretty mediocre back when it came out) but are always popular.

Cats and Dogs does have the benefit of having my favorite world of TS4 by a wide margin. I love Brindleton Bay. That is, of course, only after setting aside everything that makes TS4's worlds horribly limited and disappointing by default. I just love it thematically, and think despite TS4's mediocre graphics, it still looks very pretty and I love it.

♫ Keeping this here until EA gives us a proper playable woodwind/brass instrument ♫
Instructor
#1027 Old Yesterday at 5:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassoon_crazy
They did Seasons so well this time, they actually made me want to play this crap game. lol


I disagree. Seasons is better than other TS4 EPs but only because most of them are very lackluster. I think TS3 did Seasons WAAAAAAY better, with all the festivals and activities, more types of weather like hail and fog, sunbathing, snow depth, snowboarding, trick and treat, and even a new life state (aliens). The Sims 4 Seasons did holidays better, as you can customize them and there are interesting activities we can do, but overall I think TS3 Seasons had more and better content.
Alchemist
#1028 Old Yesterday at 5:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bassoon_crazy
despite TS4's mediocre graphics, it still looks very pretty and I love it.

I wondering why you think they're mediocore?

Personally I think they're just average. Not anything to brag about but not really mediocore. I've seen plenty of worse looking games.

And I hope for a trace
To lead me back home from this place
But there was no sound there was only me, and my disgrace
Instructor
#1029 Old Yesterday at 5:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarVee
Personally I think they're just average. Not anything to brag about but not really mediocore. I've seen plenty of worse looking games.


They're pretty mediocre when it comes to meshes. The average polycount of a Sims 2 mesh is 1000, the average polycount of a Sims 3 mesh is 700, the average polycount of a Sims 4 mesh is 350-400, but there are non-deco objects with as low as 100 faces and only as high as 1000. In contrast, both TS2 and 3 have meshes that go as high as 10K.

TS4 textures have a VERY low frequency of around +0.2 per pixel contrast difference vs TS2 with +0.8 (TS3's texture frequency depends on the patterns you use). Keep in mind texture frequency is the difference in contrast between adjacent pixels, which is more indicative of the quality of a texture than resolution.

When it comes to shaders, TS4 has really ugly shaders. No matter how hard you try, it's impossible to make metal look like metal. I learned it the hard way recently trying to do a metal bench and not being able to get a metal-looking texture no matter how much I edited the specular texture. Fire, water, glass, etc. all look much better in 2 and 3.

The only good thing about TS4 graphics are the lighting and shadows, and Sim meshes (though Sim meshes in 4 have around the same quality than in 3, 10K faces per Sim, and both are inferior to Medieval with around 12K).
Alchemist
#1030 Old Yesterday at 6:01 PM Last edited by HarVee : Yesterday at 6:20 PM.
I still find it funny that TS2 has the best object meshes and best texture fidelity, but the worse Sim meshes. (Exluding TS1.)

Which mesh in default/unmodded TS2 has 10K polys? Is it the Sims themselves? Because they don't look 10k. They look more like 6-7K.

I can get that the shaders in TS4 has issues; I won't deny it. I noticed that the snow shader doesn't seem to project light properly off-lot. It does that annoying cut-off like TS3 lighting at night does. And everything that's suppose to be metallic silver ends up looking tan. Sinks, etc. The shadows look fine to me, albeit a bit blocky. My guess is it's a 512 texture map. But y'know even other modern games I noticed have that issue. Such as the "very high" shadows in GTAV, a game which has superior graphics in comparison.

That's one thing I do miss about the stencil shadows of TS2. They looked sharper and generally more aesthetically appealing.

And I hope for a trace
To lead me back home from this place
But there was no sound there was only me, and my disgrace
Field Researcher
#1031 Old Yesterday at 11:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by HarVee
That's one thing I do miss about the stencil shadows of TS2. They looked sharper and generally more aesthetically appealing.

I like the shadows that buildings cast. They looks very realistic.

Here describes how these shadows were created. By Andrew Willmott, Graphics engineer of TS2.

http://www.andrewwillmott.com/tech-...ght-Map-Shadows
Scholar
#1032 Old Yesterday at 11:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naus Allien
I disagree. Seasons is better than other TS4 EPs but only because most of them are very lackluster. I think TS3 did Seasons WAAAAAAY better, with all the festivals and activities, more types of weather like hail and fog, sunbathing, snow depth, snowboarding, trick and treat, and even a new life state (aliens). The Sims 4 Seasons did holidays better, as you can customize them and there are interesting activities we can do, but overall I think TS3 Seasons had more and better content.


The Sims 3 Seasons had a lot of object content added, and was a massive seasons aesthetic improvement over The Sims 2 Seasons, but... The Sims 4 Seasons just wins for me. Like, the lack of snow depth is really stupid, and I was just as "Wow, EA is cheap" when that was revealed to be the case, but then as the game was revealed further, I saw they actually did something HUGE aesthetic that both TS2 and 3 desperately failed at, and that was actually make plants other than trees seasonal, not only that but they made the terrain grass change with the seasons, too. To me, that is such a major aesthetic plus that it can make me overlook the lack of snow depth. I mean, it sounds minor when I mention it, but really, it is HUGE.

To me, The Sims 3 having flowers and flowery bushes all year 'round is just as laughably bad as The Sims 4 not having snow depth, and as for me (since we do have to choose, stupid EA), I'll gladly take the great detail put into the plants and terrain changing in The Sims 4 Seasons over snow depth any day.

I live somewhere that doesn't get much snow. In fact, snow is just becoming more non-existent as each year passes. The winter aesthetic for me is in the grass, plants, trees. A green winter with flowers everywhere just isn't winter to me... And lets be honest, it isn't accurate, period.

BTW, I've discovered that no12's lovely Weather Realism Overhaul mod separates the 'fog' you see during a 'blizzard' as its own kind of weather that can happen independently.

Example:


And hail isn't something I really even care much about? Where I live it only happens in severe thunderstorms, so having it happen out of the blue was always weird to me.

TS4 Seasons also has the great plus of having customizable holidays. The fact that they are a checklist that will make your sim disappointed if they don't do it is certainly not so great, but I still like it better than The Sims 3's holidays. I like all of the freedom I have to create/edit the holidays just like I like them. You can have Halloween AND Thanksgiving in the fall. You can have Love Day in the winter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarVee
I wondering why you think they're mediocore?

Personally I think they're just average. Not anything to brag about but not really mediocore. I've seen plenty of worse looking games.


Where exactly have you seen worse? In shovelware, I presume. TS4's graphics are very cheap looking. I always say that The Sims 4 (in general) looks like a game from the GCN/PS2 console era. However, I should probably correct myself and say it looks like a bad game from that era. I mean, The Sims 2 came from the same era, and it has better textures. Which is... saying a lot.

I mean, there are certain places where the game can look pretty, but the graphics as a whole are just mediocre, there's just no getting around it.

Like, I think the design for Brindleton Bay and the seasons were actually pretty good and I can get a screenshot that looks like this:


♫ Keeping this here until EA gives us a proper playable woodwind/brass instrument ♫
Alchemist
#1033 Old Today at 12:34 AM Last edited by HarVee : Today at 12:48 AM.
I think bad game from the PS2 is bit of an exaggeration. Even the better looking games of that time didn't look as good as TS4.

Games in that era didn't have many complex post processing effects that are seen in 4. They didn't have bloom, dof and god rays as it was often too taxing on the hardware and the rendering methods used back then didn't support use of them. The only thing about 4 that looks from that era are meshes. The textures don't really count because they're done that way on purpose for stylistic reasons. Not really sure why the meshes have to be so low poly though. That's one thing we agree on. EA could've achieved the same exaggerated cartoon look with higher poly meshes and the same crayon textures.

And I hope for a trace
To lead me back home from this place
But there was no sound there was only me, and my disgrace
Theorist
#1034 Old Today at 12:10 PM
The textures are done for stylistic reasons in that way because they needed to be lower resolution in the first place. Stylistic came with the need for low res textures, not the other way around. There are heavily stylized games with much higher resolution textures out there. So yes, sims 4 is a blurry low poly mess.
Alchemist
#1035 Old Today at 1:24 PM
I'm also surprised at the way TS4 handles object colors, which is probably in the most inefficient manner possible. Rather than having overlays for unique patterns (i.e. fabric) + a single main grayscale texture with colors adjused numerically, TS4 has textures duplicated for each recolor. I would imagine that adds up- which is why textures had to be downsized in general.

I wonder if they'll fix that via a HQ patch since they've dropped 32-bit support?
Instructor
#1036 Old Today at 2:05 PM Last edited by Naus Allien : Today at 3:15 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jje1000
I'm also surprised at the way TS4 handles object colors, which is probably in the most inefficient manner possible. Rather than having overlays for unique patterns (i.e. fabric) + a single main grayscale texture with colors adjused numerically, TS4 has textures duplicated for each recolor. I would imagine that adds up- which is why textures had to be downsized in general.

I wonder if they'll fix that via a HQ patch since they've dropped 32-bit support?


The Sims 2 did swatches and materials much better than 4. The reason you could mix and match two recolors in 2 was that objects were constructed with different groups and each group was assigned an individual material. This also allowed for something TS3 and 4 lack which is TEXTURE ANIMATIONS. You can see them in stereos, TVs, etc. Materials have the capacity to animate using still images (sprites). The only object which can do this in TS3 is the torch (the flames are a still image animated, not an FX). 4 doesn't have any texture animations and materials don't really exist. Whereas in TS3 materials were determined by patterns used (which carry their own shaders, speculars, multipliers and even sound), in 4 the only way to determine materials is by using a specular texture, which is extremely limited. The specular only allows for 4 different materials: gloss, metal and enamel and mate. This is very limited compared to the host of materials and values you could choose from in 2 and 3. Making CC for 4 is a very frustrating process because of how limited the materials, shaders and textures are.

Textures in 4 are in fact UNNECESSARILY LARGE. They're large for the sake of being large but lack details (low texture frequency).

Compare the exercise machine's diffuse map in all three games:



TS2 has the smallest texture (512*512) but the most details (higher texture frequency). The TS3 texture can have as many details as you want (depending on the pattern you use), but also has additional overlay details (like the LED screen). The TS4 texture has the same size of the TS3 texture but less details (and unless you create a custom swatch, you can't fix this in-game) and even lacks additional details like a LED screen, which both TS2 and 3 have. What's worse, the texture from 4 looks like a baked multiplier with some color added. I could resized that texture to be 256*512 and I wouldn't lose any details because there are none.

Meshes in 4 are disgustingly low poly. Compare:
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