Arm blades for everyone!

#1prince_nagashPosted 4/29/2014 7:58:37 AM
The Ebony and Ivory magazine question reminded me of this old article and the differences between Eastern and Western design philosophy.

"The Capcom project leads also recalled Ninja Theory's initial penchant for concentrating on cool visuals first, then building the world image from there, regardless of whether the gameplay matched well with it or not. "I remember, during the first stages of development, one of the illustrations we got for a regular enemy had this huge blade on his right elbow," Itsuno said. "It was actually on pretty much all the enemies! Apparently the designer really liked putting blades on people's elbows."

"So we asked how the guy was gonna attack with this blade," Eshiro continued, "and the reply was 'Oh, he doesn't use it much'. So we said 'No, no, that's not going to work as a game' and had them rethink it a little bit."

http://www.polygon.com/2013/1/30/3931784/capcom-devs-describe-the-long-distance-romance-with-ninja-theory-that
#2TaizukuPosted 4/29/2014 8:25:00 AM
Whether Eastern or Western, people buy things that they think look cool, and both have their generic tendencies. Whether it be arm blades, or white hair and red suits, both do these insipid, and uninspired things. It just reflects what the people want, rather than what the designers want for the people.
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#3NextGenCowboyPosted 4/29/2014 9:10:09 AM
That's generally why people that design games aren't engineers. It's not a knock on engineers, but sometimes practicality, and functionality have either be expanded upon, or sacrificed in the name of fun.

That said; don't insult people when you're guilty of the same thing...
#4smithkakarotPosted 4/29/2014 11:01:25 AM
Capcom's Alex Jones expanded on the point. "Japanese style ethos does tend to involve make characters look cool for the sake of looking cool, adding odd accessories, crazy hairstyles and colour, cowboy boots and so on simply because they look cool.

"We in the West tend to be more functional adding things that have meaning and being able to explain that meaning."


Yeah, about that...
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#5StrelokPosted 4/29/2014 1:22:44 PM
Personally, I think armblades are motherf***ing stupid, especially if you incorporate it in a game about fighting. The same as huge metal spikes on pauldrons or kneepads. Spikes on armor in general is a VERY inefficient way to fight.
Same for infamous "boobsocks" o metal armor, it is actually more of a hindrance than an asset as opposed to a slightly more curved plate mail.

But functionality aside. It is suspension of disbelief.
You see, I can see Dante work. He is shown to be highly resilient to damage. He is clearly supernatural. I can believe him swinging a sword the size of a zweihander around with one hand, while pulling out a gun and shooting another demon in the face.
His entire dress and looks are exotic. I can FULLY suspend my belief on reality to feel Dante is a proper character as you can see at a glance that he isn't a normal human being.

DINO... I can *NOT*.
His dress is filthy, almost bum-like. His sword doesn't look impressive and I can't believe it being a deadly weapon (as opposed to Rebellion for example)

The same goes for the pistols actualy, but it's reversed.
I can believe the proper Ebony & Ivory working as they do because they are held by a being that can turn into a demon and takes a sword to the chest and goes "meh." They look normal, but despite that I can believe they can be fuelled by something supernatural, due to the wielder.

DmCs E&I... No. I can *NOT* see them as proper functioning pistols! They look like badly made toys. The sheer sharp edges ON THE HANDLES make them look like they are ill suited for shooting.
It suspenses my disbelief because even with magic I can't see them functioning like a firearm!
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#6Psychochild27Posted 4/29/2014 1:59:39 PM(edited)
Taizuku posted...
Whether Eastern or Western, people buy things that they think look cool, and both have their generic tendencies. Whether it be arm blades, or white hair and red suits, both do these insipid, and uninspired things. It just reflects what the people want, rather than what the designers want for the people.


I think you missed the point. It's not a "Point and laugh at generic western art design" thing here. It's a artist adding unnecessary threatening elements to an enemy that any player would reasonably expect to be tied to a gameplay mechanic, but isn't. Its only purpose is to look cool which will likely distract the player from the other legitimately threatening things they should be aware of on that enemy in a fast-paced action game.

Just look at other games in the series: Yes, Nobodies/Death/Sin Scissors/Scythes in DMC1 had a creepy masks on which is a generic Eastern cool thing, but it was also a huge mechanic in fighting those things. Frosts and Assaults have huge-ass nails which they can shoot/lunge at the player with. Marionettes have weapons and -only- weapons equipped which defines what they do in combat. Fetishes have a big ass shield they shoot fire out of and fling around. Shadows have a very simple design as its base so nothing distracts from the transformations. Plasmas look like Dante when they can use his moves, and turn into bats which fly when they're not shooting lasers out of their sole other defining feature; a big-ass eye.

Then you have DMC3's designs which are all very simple across the board because enemies only really attack with scythe-style weapons. The only threatening element on an enemy is their weapon or their primary means of attack with other art elements dedicated to further defining its silhouette or as an attack cue (Red lit Chessmen, for instance).

DMC4 gets more elaborate, but every threatening generic Eastern cool-thing detail has a gameplay purpose much like in DMC1. Cutlasses attack with their fins as they slice through the ground like sharks, Chimera Blossoms tip off whether or not an enemy is infected and its defensive measure is active or not (As do cloaks and shields). And then the enemies who are up to their balls in blades are all defined by where the blades are on their bodies and they have a very distinct purpose for them.

Really, this isn't some crazy, baffling design concept either; this is stuff we've been seeing for ages now in video games. Mario games are full of this kind of thing.
#7ufaraPosted 4/29/2014 7:04:23 PM
To add, even Dante's coat had a purpose for the way it is. It's to hide janky animations when doing elaborate combos.

This something is really noticeable with nDante as his coat is tied to his animations and doesn't flow freely.
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#8rice_noodlesPosted 4/29/2014 7:13:01 PM
Didn't we just do this a week ago?
#9StrelokPosted 4/30/2014 12:30:34 AM
@ ufura: Oh it is. Dontes coat has a life of its own. Seriously, some of that stuff is downright nuts with a flappy coat suddenly becomingstraightened with no animation in between. It looks horrendous and I think it was better if they removed the coat altogether.

@ rice: I don't know, time and space follow their own laws on this board.
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Goodbye Bubbles, dearest of pets. I'll miss you, always. 2nd June 2004 - 22nd August 2009
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#10Psychochild27Posted 4/30/2014 5:28:00 AM(edited)
ufara posted...
To add, even Dante's coat had a purpose for the way it is. It's to hide janky animations when doing elaborate combos.

This something is really noticeable with nDante as his coat is tied to his animations and doesn't flow freely.


It (And also Dante's hair, for that matter) also helps him pop out against every environment he's in across all his games in both warm and cooler color palettes, gives him a very distinct silhouette against other enemies and makes him easier to track in hectic combat scenarios as he contrasts the enemies he fights against so clearly (With exception of DMC3 Lusts, which are nearly the same shade of red. Bleh). All of these are super eastern cool guy design elements, but they do serve to benefit the gameplay.


http://guides.gamepressure.com/devilmaycry4pc/gfx/gallery/large/Screenshots/devil_03_dante.jpg
http://www.theicecave.org/damage_control/multimedia/dmchdrevpic2.jpg
http://gamegravy.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/26/DMC1.jpg
http://www.atomicgamer.com/screenshots/game-1747/40913-800.jpg
http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/0/4527/1227810-devil_may_cry_4_pics_204_2.jpg
http://www.siliconera.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/dmc4.jpg

http://bulk.destructoid.com/ul/69143-bargain-bin-laden-37-devil-may-cry-3-dante-s-awakening/02-550x.jpg (Worst DMC one I can find; I'm trying to be sorta fair here!

DmC's design elements, not so much. His coat is simply gray which bleeds into the environments and the enemies so much more when it's not completely melting into the super over-saturated colored lighting that permeates so much of the game. Barring the first stage, I tend to prefer using coatless Dante for that very reason; the white wifebeater and exposed arms actually pops out way more than the supposed eye catching coat. It's baffling.


http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/N7UA9zffjM0/maxresdefault.jpg
http://i.neoseeker.com/n/5/dmc.jpg
http://media.edge-online.com/wp-content/uploads/edgeonline/2013/01/DmC-Devil-May-Cry-02.jpg
http://thegamershub.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/dmc-nocember-06.jpg
http://static.gosunoob.com/img/1/2013/02/Lost_Souls_DMC_Devil_May_Cry_Mission_5_31.jpg
http://www.theicecave.org/damage_control/multimedia/dmcpic2_112112.jpg
http://fast1.onesite.com/capcom-unity.com/user/gregaman/blog_photos/dd24ca0f0d436c1b8fdde59f85036061.png?v=201600
http://static.gosunoob.com/img/1/2013/02/Lost_Souls_DMC_Devil_May_Cry_Mission_13_30.jpg

And before someone brings it up; Nero's coat is dark as Hell, but he also has a flashlight on his arm which he usually holds away and behind him in so many of his animations unless he's directly using it (Charge Shot, Snatch) along with a huge-ass glowing sword that makes him easier to track in environments that the coat might actually bleed into.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/OJIW4R6XgUs/hqdefault.jpg
http://ps3media.ign.com/ps3/image/article/808/808133/devil-may-cry-4-20070725060947717.jpg
http://www.caltrops.com/images/dmc401-l.jpg