Think about a successful game. What image do you have in mind? Spectacular graphics are unquestionably a key part of making gaming an enjoyable experience. DriveClub, The Witcher, and many more games, such as The Order 1886 and EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II, are good examples of titles that became hugely popular, thanks in part to their stunning graphics, which drew in large numbers of players even before the game was released. To make up for the lack of detailed graphics in low-poly games, developers must focus on creating engaging content that will keep players hooked. No matter how dedicated their fandom is to the low-poly aesthetic, niche developers must endeavor to make their games more interesting by incorporating fantastical elements and intriguing mechanisms. Look back at some of the most impactful games that were clever enough to provide a wonderful experience without the use of modern technologies and approaches.
Crescent Moon’s Morphite is a mobile, console, and PC game with a similar concept to No Man’s Sky (NMS). A positive outcome from NMS was that this game had taken what it had learned from it and created an enormous number of randomly generated planets for players to discover and explore. Aiming to have large expanses as an adventure game, it lacks the density of numerous living creatures and vegetation due to the initial platform limits. Considering that the game was initially designed for mobile devices, it may not have the finest low-poly assets, but its scale really amazes you when you spend endless amounts of time exploring a vibrant but sparsely-asset-rich environment for the sake of exploration alone.
Unity-based Superhot is an unconventional first-person shooter that lets players use guns and melee weapons to take out their adversaries. To make things easier, players can set up their actions ahead of time because time only moves when the main character does. Gray and white surfaces simply add to the contrast of the black weaponry with the red adversaries, giving you extra thrills when you shed their blood in slow-mo. Graphically, the game is also distinctive. Aside from being a fun game to play, it’s also provided some memorable VR moments, as no other games allow you to stop oncoming bullets with your VR controllers. It’s amazing how beautiful and entertaining Superhot looks and plays despite some significant flaws with the VR port.
Another sci-fi peer, Astroneer, encourages players to travel to other planets. It uses Unreal Engine 4 and looks significantly better than the previous game, presenting a plethora of game items. Although there isn’t a clear objective, this doesn’t seem to be a problem because the planets’ stunning beauty can be so overwhelming that you forget about the game’s low-poly core when gazing at the sky or the grass below you. Terraforming and changeable day/night phases, as well as the gorgeous vehicles and equipment available to the player, only serve to increase the immersion aspect.
Given how popular Clustertruck has become in the last year, the game merits a mention. It became popular for many reasons, the most important of which is the talented development team. Prior to the game’s release, Twitch and YouTube accounts were sent free copies of it. It had also helped to generate a pleasant atmosphere among the player base by teasing such gamers during the live streaming and highlighting their dedication. However, the game’s graphic design deserves praise as well. Excellent contrast between the white trucks and the various colored surfaces, as well as obstacles and a constantly changing environment, have all contributed to a fantastic gameplay experience.
For the most part, MORBUS plays like a hybrid MMORPG/survival game, requiring players to engage in combat and seize villages while also murdering NPCs and performing other standard tasks. Despite the fact that the game’s gameplay isn’t particularly compelling, its aesthetics are quite impressive, particularly during night battle, especially considering the small size of the production team and the incredibly basic 3D graphics used. While the game’s graphics aren’t exactly ground-breaking, they serve as a good demonstration of how strong the Unity engine can be when used to achieve high performance without the use of complex 3D modeling or animation/VFX effects.
Night in the Woods
Infinite Fall created Night in the Woods, an adventure game, using Unity. Despite the fact that this is another game whose success was not primarily due to its visual fidelity, it is difficult to dispute the importance of the setting. As a 2D game, I didn’t expect too many eye-popping images, yet despite the environment being relatively close, it still had a very nice and comfortable visual component. Metacritic awards 87 scores to games with strong characters, strong narrative, and witty dialogue in addition to good-looking graphics.
Variable State’s Virginia is an adventure game built with the Unity engine. Not only did it get high marks for having a gripping plot and thoughtful dialogue, but it also caught the eye of those traveling through the countryside of the state because of how beautiful it looked. Considering how Virginia is portrayed in the game, it’s hard to imagine it was created with only low-poly models. The splendor of the game’s world and buildings’ interiors never fails to impress. Because not many games are able to depict this magnificent location in all its grandeur, Virginia is a great choice if you want to be amused by a compelling plot and the grace of the Mid-Atlantic state.
A robot’s primary objective in Grow Up, an open-world game by Ubisoft Reflections, is to collect ship parts by scaling the globe’s great monuments. The beauty of the planet beneath your robot will be obvious once you reach the location vertices, given the time it takes to get there. Aside from staring at the sky, you may find yourself doing it to get your mind off of constantly aiming for the highest point. Even though the shadows aren’t excellent, the open sky and picturesque waterfalls provide a great tone for the game so far.
Fruits of a Feather
Fruits of a Feather is an excellent game for unwinding in general, as it lets you soar over beautiful landscapes while also harvesting fruit. As boring as it may seem to some, surfing through the game’s endless forests and discovering its caverns is made all the more enjoyable by the game’s simple and pleasant surroundings and the game’s endearing soundtrack. The use of weather effects enhances the flying simulation experience. The triple-A mortgage is out of reach for all developers. Because of this, many independent game creators turn to low-poly models, and even Ubisoft didn’t hesitate to create a game using them. Despite the common belief that a game’s success is only determined by its aesthetic appeal, the preceding list shows that a small development team may create a graphically simple, yet rich and engaging game, and still be a commercial success. Although the quality of an image is important, it’s difficult to dispute that it can make or break a game’s ability to reach a broad audience, much alone become hugely successful. As we all know, our visual perception has a significant impact on how we wish to act toward other people or things. A simple lesson for game designers is that no matter how many polygons an asset has, it must be visually appealing to customers as well as have amazing audio tracks.
Don’t Mess with Texas
Other examples of well-designed games that were originally created to encourage Texans to pick up after themselves bring us to a fictional universe where the protagonist decides to clean up the rubbish left behind by a local gang. As a juvenile armadillo with the only purpose of collecting rubbish from the ground, it’s designed to appeal to a younger audience by using low-poly components and presenting a simple but appealing visual environment. It was developed by our sister firm, Game-Ace, and is a simple approach to teach children to appreciate and value their surroundings while playing video games.
As a result, many independent developers use low-poly assets, and even Ubisoft didn’t hesitate to create a similar game utilizing a lower budget. Despite the common belief that a game’s success is only determined by its aesthetic appeal, the preceding list shows that a small development team may create a graphically simple, yet rich and engaging game, and still be a commercial success.
Although the quality of an image is important, it’s difficult to dispute that it can make or break a game’s ability to reach a broad audience, much alone become hugely successful. As we all know, our visual perception has a significant impact on how we wish to act toward other people or things.
A simple lesson for game designers is that no matter how many polygons an asset has, it must be visually appealing to customers as well as have amazing audio tracks.