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Video Games Are a Labor Disaster

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Gregz, Jun 26, 2021.

  1. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
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    I have to agree with the statement that idealists are easy target for exploitation.

    Also...

    [​IMG]

    ..how the fuck is a textured building model only 300 kwabucks more expensive than a traffic cone? How is the bridge cheaper than the traffic cone. It's a fucking cone with some of the simplest possibly texture around.

    Is this shit using hollywood accounting techniques or something to get these cost estimates?
     
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  2. deama Liturgist

    deama
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    I don't get it, why don't they just reuse assets more? EA's a big ass company with lots of IPs, why not just reuse a lot of the assets, maybe touch them up a bit on a per-game basis? You'd think that would save a lot of time and money; or do they already do this? If so, wtf, why are games that expensive then?
     
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  3. Curratum Magister

    Curratum
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    Game dev has never been easier and there's pre-made tools and plugins for literally everything these days, from AI navmeshing to speedtree generation, and yet, those fuckwads keep moaning how expensive everything is.

    The issue is not the tools or the costs, the issue is marketing your game and finding an audience in a market that's oozing games out its fucking ears. Of course you'll lose money most of the time if you try to compete in a hugely oversaturated market, even if you have good ideas and product, just because the audience can't fucking find your product among the deluge of new releases.
     
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  4. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    I call bullshit on that graphic. I have a friend who's a 3D modeler, can do pretty damn good 3D models, and does them cheaply to boot. He's made a 3D khopesh for me based on a photo of a real bronze age khopesh, and it took him less than a day.
    He also made a wizard's desktop just for practice:

    [​IMG]

    Looks good, doesn't it?

    Commissioning him to style this entire scene would cost less than a single traffic cone in the image above.

    In fact, let's check the popular Unity asset store for high quality assets an their prices:

    https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/3d/props/exterior/traffic-cone-9965
    https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/3d/props/traffic-cones-11215
    https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/3d/props/pbr-traffic-cone-168103
    https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/3d/props/exterior/realistic-barriers-184651
    https://assetstore.unity.com/packages/3d/props/exterior/barriers-and-barricades-179424

    Yeah I call bullshit on the 3600$ traffic cone.

    I call even more bullshit on the 3900$ buildings, because most of them are just flat facades with a realistic brick texture on it. I can build something that looks similar (but much lower in fidelity, granted) in 10 minutes in Dromed, the level editor of Thief, a 20 year old game, with just a handful of terrain brushes and free textures from textures.com.

    A lot of the shit in that image seems very arbitrary to me. Why does the trash cost 3438 and the big trash 14400? I can spot the same blue trash bags sprinkled in both the small and the big trash heaps, and that trash bag model can't cost more than 10 bucks. Maybe 20 if you overpay your 3D modelers, or they slack off and work very slowly per hour. The black trash bag is the same model as the blue trash bag, just with a differently colored texture lmao. And those two items make up the majority of the trash heap.

    50 bucks at the most. For both trash heaps. In fact, for all trash heaps in the entire game.

    Also, why is the NPC 22500 and the main character 49000? The only reason for that would be animation (motion captured stuff) and voice acting, but when it comes to the actual models, they'd be using the same skeletons, sharing the same common motions (like walking animations), and if the game uses a layered clothing system (which it should), all NPC models are just the same generic male and female nude model with different clothes slapped on, and different hair and beard pieces. You can easily and efficiently create two dozen different NPCs that way. Cost point? If we disregard mo-capped cutscene animations and voice acting, maybe 1000, at the most 5000 for a batch of two dozen NPCs with variable clothes and hairstyles.

    That image is bullshit.

    EDIT:
    The biggest proof that the image above is utter bullshit, is that every building is labeled with its own cost when they're pretty much all the same model, even sharing the same texture. You just copypaste the same building over and over lmao, it costs literally 0 dollars, even if your level editor is brush-based you can easily copy a multibrush and it takes you 10 minutes to fill the street with identical buildings, with maybe 1 more minute for precise texture adjustments and shit.

    What a load of crap.

    Hellraiser where did you find that image? Does the original author of it give any citations for these ludicrous prices?
     
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  5. Raghar Arcane

    Raghar
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    Frankly that building nearby costs only 300 more than the traffic cone. And the trash costs less. 10 years ago my wanted salary was about 600 /mo. That cone is worth 6 months of salary of one of best specialist on parallel programming and disease/Grand Strategies/Population movements simulation in the world.

    I wonder how they calculated it because when we don't count the main two characters, it's 15000-17000 scene. (assuming current dollars not fy 2000) 9,575.58$ fy 2000.
     
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  6. Hellraiser Arcane

    Hellraiser
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    JarlFrank it's from earlier in this topic/previous page.

    https://rpgcodex.net/forums/threads/video-games-are-a-labor-disaster.139121/#post-7371592

    One thing to note is that it is unclear if animation costs are included or not in the figures, not to mention other costs (license costs and various costs like hardware depreciation or electricity) , but of course it smells like bullshit anyway. Unless they did some kind of nano meter resolution LIDAR scan of the cone to create the ULTIMATE AAA TRAFFIC CONE model. Would explain AAA game budget bloat quite well.

    Then again maybe the numbers are in Hong Kong or Taiwanese dollars.
     
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  7. Monk Arcane

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  8. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
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    It's artificial inflation because of greedy higher-ups.
     
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  9. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Highly unlikely that they would waste such amounts of money on tiny details nobody notices. These are Far Cry 5 apples, a recent game made by Ubisoft, one of the biggest AAA companies of them all:

    [​IMG]

    These apples couldn't have cost more than 5 bucks to make.
     
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  10. Curratum Magister

    Curratum
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    The apples cost 5000 bucks because the retarded modeller first made them 10 000 poly per fruit, then the project lead had to instruct him specifically on the limitations of the engine and the polycounts they are going for, then the modeller had to spend another full day progressively cutting down on polys instead of making them the way they are in the shot from scratch, because he didn't receive specific instructions to do just that.

    And that is why game dev is expensive, guys and gals! :D
     
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  11. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    There's no way a building like that takes 12 hours to model and 10 hours to texture.

    Best example on that screenshot is the billboard in the background. How long did that take lmao? It's 2 simple shapes: a rectangular billboard with a few angled support beams. I could recreate that exact shape in a 20 year old level editor within 5 minutes.
    Modern 3D modeling software is more powerful and has more convenience tools, so it would probably take even less time there.

    The texturing for that building facade can't take more than 10 minutes either, unless we factor in the creation time of the texture, which would include going outside and taking photos of bricks and then turning it into a seamless tiling texture. Which is unnecessary because there are hundreds of high resolution brick textures available from third party size, and the brick texture looks like it's just a flat texture with little to no definition. Simplest kind of texture you can make.

    Applying that texture to the surface takes literally one mouse click.
    Then you have a concrete texture for the parts of the facade that aren't brick. Again, looks like a pretty simple texture. Concrete textures like these are a dime a dozen.
    The windows are textured with low quality images of curtains, which also look pretty flat.
    That's 3 different textures applied evenly to a relatively flat facade.
    The only texture that might take some effort is the sign that says "Gallery" because someone had to design the text on it. That takes a dedicated 2D artist maybe... 10 minutes? Not much more. Maybe 20 if he wants to try different fonts and see which one looks best on the sign.

    Total amount of work for one of those buildings, if we just assume the outside of the building without any indoor areas, can't be more than 30 minutes. And then you copypaste the same finished building a couple of times, maybe change the wall texture for variety (which takes about 1 or 2 mouse clicks lol).
     
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  12. Justicar Dead game

    Justicar
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    You can buy real apples for less.
     
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  13. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    Solution to whom? As long as the vast majority of consoomers are brainless apes attracted to expensive, overhyped pew-pew, the only ones who will benefit from more "smaller games" will be those who keep their games big.

    Dunno, I'd rather see the big copros (sic) drive themselves into the ground with the marketing and development costs arms race than have them reign uncompeted. There is no FIFA to implement "financial fair play" on everybody involved.
     
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  14. mondblut Arcane

    mondblut
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    Because consoomers will stomp their feet and screech "asset flip, reeee".
     
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  15. Thac0 JRPG ambassador Patron

    Thac0
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    @expensive traffic cones:
    For some reason traffic cones in shooters are always an object you are meant to pick up and make shenanigans with. See the entirety of Fallout 4 and New Vegas that can be cheesed by hovering on traffic cones you are holding. Maybe those have custom animations for getting shot instead of just layering the normal gunshot hole texture over them, and that drives the price up.
     
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  16. Poseidon00 Arcane

    Poseidon00
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    Not sure what the solutions to the gaming labor problem are, but the article is right that it is an absolute shitshow and probably keeps many talented people out for that reason.
     
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  17. BING XI LAO FREE KALIN! Patron

    BING XI LAO
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    Normies ruined it with their demands for VA and 3D
     
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  18. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    A generic physics system that applies to all objects equally doesn't require special animations. The cone moves, yes, but it isn't animated: its shape stays the same.

    Just play Garry's Mod and download a bunch of user-made objects for it. Any user-made 3D object works perfectly well in Source's physics engine without requiring any special effort on the modeler's part.
    If the engine supports physics, you merely have to assign the object the proper physics properties and you're done.

    In fact, there are a lot of low to medium effort indie games with extensive physics systems. Take a look at Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, for example. Its entire thing is wonky physics. Or Goat Simulator.

    As long as the engine supports physics, adding physics properties to a static object takes zero effort.
     
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  19. anvi Cipher Village Idiot

    anvi
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    There is no reason for it, it's basic budgeting, x budget affords y staff for z years. Smaller companies can do it, big badly managed companies are too unwieldly and have too many moving targets. The x budget is changing based on how well the money men think it will do. The y staff number is changing constantly with people coming and going and many on short term contracts. And the z number of years is changing because the budget and staff changes dictate how long it will take.

    It is just big poorly managed companies making crappy products. As the guy above said, the apple modeller wastes days because he's not well informed. With the tidier smaller companies, the apple modeller and the project lead are the same person, and the engine programmer is sitting next to him.
     
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  20. Black Plague Arbiter

    Black Plague
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    "We had a skin for a little arrow," remembers Romero, "and it was 1300x960 pixels. It was out of control." An artist inexperienced with games had drawn the arrow, which would never take up more than a few pixels on the screen, at a higher resolution than most monitors could display at the time.
     
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  21. CanadianCorndog Literate

    CanadianCorndog
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    Romero "Make me an arrow."

    New Artist *makes arrow*

    Romero "No you idiot! That's too big!"

    New Artist *makes smaller*

    Romero "You idiot! Now it's too expensive!"

    New Artist "Why didn't you tell me how big to make it the first time? I thought you were a legendary game developer."

    Romero "Shut up, we're out of money and you're laid off."
     
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  22. Ebonsword Arcane

    Ebonsword
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    This is a key point that the article gets very wrong. It's not because game are complex that they are unfinished close to their release dates. They're unfinished because the release dates were unrealistic given the complexity.

    In other words, it's a project management issue, not something inherent to modern AAA video games.
     
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  23. MF The Boar Studio Patron Developer

    MF
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    I just checked, a crate of apples costs 25$ on CG trader. Getting those ready for a game would take about fifteen minutes, five if you're just blindly decimating it with zero regard for the outcome, which seems like what they did here.

    Those apples look like shit, but I'm willing to bet that they indeed started off as a high poly model.

    If those apples are not interactable, they should have made/baked a POM texture and slap that on top of a plane on the inside of that crate. The Dunia engine can do that, the stone textures have it. It's arguably less work than putting all those decimated apple meshes in there. That's not cutting corners, that looks like stupidity or at the least going with the easy, low mental effort route.

    Also, I agree that there is no way that street scene costs that much. Andrew is wrong. He's using his own going rate for doing architectural renderings on commission and is applying that to people who are willing to work for far less because they're working on a game. If you factor in overhead and marketing costs, he's probably on the mark, though. I think he's also right that AI will render a lot of the busywork obsolete and transfer some of development expenses from art back to programming.
     
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  24. Xunwael Educated

    Xunwael
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    How much did PoE's ship combat cost them again? It was the most expensive single feature in the game, wasn't it? And it ended up being worse than something they could've bought off a store for less than your crate of apples.

    You don't need AI to solve these problems. You need project managers to be less retarded. Well, maybe if project management is done by the AI...
     
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