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Ugly textures

Texture Fails: The ugly side of games

Textures are a vital part of the visual impression delivered by every video game. But if they are not made with care, they can destroy the whole experience. PC Games Hardware gives some examples for the worst textures ever.
Texture Fails

Even in today's days of advanced game development there unfortunately are still examples for inferior texture quality. This is either caused by technical reasons or the idea to save money and time. Often games ported from a console to the PC tend to inferior textures, since the capabilities of the consoles often set a limit. These days it isn't missing video memory but the fact that textures need to be loaded from the CD/DVD. High-res textures are of considerable size and thus it takes time to load them. But it also takes a lot of shader performance to brush up textures of lower quality. However there are ports that show how to do it.

Thanks to developments in this area of game making, much better results are possible. Titles like Crysis or Unreal Tournament 3 prove that. Crysis comes along with 4,096 x 4,096 texels. Compared to 64 x 64 texels in Tomb Raider, this is quite impressive.

The development in this area is making progress, too. Especially the improvements of the graphics cards and the possibilities delivered by the API offered new ways of working with the textures. Today the texture isn't just a overlay for an object, but it can deliver additional information, too. Due to Bump Mapping, Displacement Mapping or Normal Mapping (to name only three) objects can now be displayed with more details - without a need to increase the number of polygons. The unreal Engine 3 is a good example for this development: Textures can be available with - in comparison to older games - a lower resolution, but with modern shader operations of the graphics card they are polished to look to up-to-date.

There are a lot of occasions where texturing has been made very well by the game developers, but there are also some instances where something apparently went terribly wrong. Today PC Games Hardware introduces several examples of bad textures.

Picture gallery  (enlarge to view source)



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Author: Andreas Link (Mar 16, 2010)






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Comments (10)

Comments 7 to 10  Read all comments here!
DarkNe7h Re: Texture Fails: The ugly side of games
Junior Member
10.06.2010 19:22
I have found that many developers try and fail, title after title, to put as little work into textures as they can. This is, however, proportional to the size of the game. Take the newly released Red Dead Redemption, for example, and compare it to ultra-hit Fallout 3. Red Dead covers an area about 2/3 the size of Fallout 3, and therefore I have noticed very, very few flaws in shading and texturing. However, Fallout 3 featured MUCH higher graphics quality for its time.

It's all proportional to size, people. I haven't played JC2 yet, but I can already say that from what I've heard, the game was created quite sloppily.
Bo_Fox Re: Texture Fails: The ugly side of games
Junior Member
25.03.2010 08:11
Yeah Bioshock 2 has worse textures than Bioshock 1. A few websites point this out with screenshots (like HardOCP for example). It is really noticeable in the game. The same "billboards" in Bioshock 2 are far lower resolution than those in Bioshock 1, and I could almost swear that those are the exact same artwork. I used the maximum in-game settings and even tried to edit the .cfg files for better quality (which did not do anything to the textures except for allowing AF to be changed from 4x to 16x).

I think that's because Bioshock 2 included the multiplayer aspect that was not available in Bioshock 1. Xbox360 games are limited to 1 DVD in general, and since Bioshock 1 already filled a double-layer DVD, they obviously had to make some cuts.

Mass Effect 2, thankfully, comes on 2 DVD's on Xbox360. Final Fantasy XIII comes on 3 DVD's on Xbox360. On Playstation 3, storage space is not yet a concern since the Blu-ray media can be up to 50GB. But the console-oriented development that concerns the Xbox360 is certainly a stifling thing in progress, in deciding whether or not to allow for 2 or 3 DVD's instead of 1. Some companies are afraid that it would piss off gamers if they had to swap DVD's, or if the cost of including another DVD is a bit too "penalizing". Or perhaps it is a memory buffer size issue on these aging consoles, in having to choose to make sacrifices on texture quality or on the quantity of other "context" in the game to remain within the small memory bottleneck?
Hyperhorn Re: Texture Fails: The ugly side of games
Admin/Spambot-Killer
18.03.2010 19:55
@Yapa: Basically Kristoffer is the only editor working on pcghx.com, but he also is working on the PC Games Hardware print magazine. As you can imagine a print deadline has the highest priority, so sometimes he is not able to focus on pcghx.com and can`t publish more articles per day.

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