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Enabling the graphical enhancements from the season 2 trailer in-game?

posted by billyboy12 on - last edited - Viewed by 311 users

Now that we're well into the second and a bit year of the new episodic Sam & Max games, this also means that the engine that powers it is also two and a bit years old. Don't get me wrong, it's great that Sam & Max can run on "modest" machines, and being able to re-use assets is certainly a great... Well, asset to Telltale's buisness model.

But here's a thought: why not give players the option to enable some of the effects that were seen in the season 2 trailer? To the best of my knowledge, said trailer used all the game's assets, but there was a few extra effects that the game does not use. For example, soft lighting and reflections. You can see examples of the former on Max when he and Sam are standing outside the office, and you can see examples of the latter on the Desoto and the office's door knob.

Now I'm no game creator, but how difficult would it be to enable these effects in-game? Sure, it would chew up the framerate a bit more, but that's the point, to make the game look just that little bit nicer for those of us whose machines far surpass what Sam & Max is asking for. What do you think, Telltale?

11 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • The trailer was pre-rendered in a 3D program separate from the game engine. Those effects aren't implemented in the engine.

  • Many of them are from After Effects, in fact. A LOT of post-production went into that trailer, even after, as Eddy said, it was rendered out from Maya. Although the environments, objects, and characters are the same models we use, nothing in that trailer is realtime or even close.

  • @billyboy12 said: Now I'm no game creator, but how difficult would it be to enable these effects in-game? Sure, it would chew up the framerate a bit more, but that's the point, to make the game look just that little bit nicer for those of us whose machines far surpass what Sam & Max is asking for. What do you think, Telltale?

    I'm not expert, but I'd expect you'd need quite a powerful multi-processor machine, and would wind up with the game chugging along at one frame every five minutes.

  • Fair enough, it won't be exactly like the trailer, but still, how possible would it be to add a few extra effects (soft shadows and reflections) to the actual game?

  • Graphical enhancements aside, increasing in-game resolution can have a tremendous effect on graphical quality. I recently purchased a 24" widescreen monitor and a next-gen video card and I'm now playing Sam & Max in 1920x1200 widescreen resolution with 16x antialiasing and aniosotropic filtering turned on in the hardware. It literally looks like a completely new game, it's absolutely beautiful! Sometimes the lower resolutions and older video cards just don't do these games justice.

  • I'm running it at maxed out resolution too, but it would be nice if the game had a little extra here and there. Like the mentioned in my first post, reflections would be an obvious choice and you can turn it on and off to suit your PC.

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    Flo

    I don't think the games suffer from a lack of effects. Going to heavy on shaders would actually compete with the comic look.

    I'd much rather see higher resolution textures and less compressed audio before any additional effects. Though that's unlikely to happen as both textures and audio have been compressed a lot to keep the downloads small, and Telltale probably isn't interested in supporting different versions. (I don't blame them)

  • @Chris1 said: I'm not expert, but I'd expect you'd need quite a powerful multi-processor machine, and would wind up with the game chugging along at one frame every five minutes.

    Aw, don't be so modest. Something like that in realtime would be a piece of cake to run in realtime now days.

  • @Flo said: Going to heavy on shaders would actually compete with the comic look.

    I wouldn't say that... it doesn't have a negative influence on the looks in the trailers. I'd even say it'd push the games more towards a "Pixar"-look.

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    Flo

    Effects are fine in moderation, but if you go heavy on shaders, with normal maps on every surface to simulate materials, the look changes completely.

    As for a Pixar-esque look, I suppose that's a matter of taste. Pixar is trying for a peculiar type of realism, not as in accurately depicting reality, but in giving their characters and environments a look that makes people believe they could be real, like a puppet or a sculpture.

    For what it's worth, I don't think that's the kind of look I'd want for Sam & Max, even if resources weren't an issue.

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