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The Forlorn Hope: Cyberpunk Off-Topic

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Garrison72

User
Random question I've been thinking about for a while: Does anyone think CDPR or other devs in general (Blizzard, Bioware) are designing characters with cosplay in mind? The shift from TW2 to TW3 was always noticeable to me and the latest Samurai Jacket for '77 seems purposely designed for cosplay reproduction.
 

BaalNergal

User
Blizzard? Yes. In fact, the entire costume scheme of both Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm seems intentionally designed with cosplayers in mind. And I sometimes think some of the WoW armors are based around, "let's see the cosplayers pull THIS off!"

CDPR? Maybe. They're hard to read.

Bioware? Only if EA lets them.

EA [nope]. That's all I care to say about them most of the time and on most subjects.

Nintendo? No. I don't think they entirely grasp the subject.

Gamefreak? Yes, entirely.

Square-Enix? I think it's part of their marketing strategy.
 
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lelxrv

User
Not sure what's the point of designing costumes with cosplay in mind? Any costume can be made into cosplay.
 

lelxrv

User
I still don't see the relation. People cosplay popular things or the stuff they love. Make a good thing and people will cosplay it because it's good.
 

BaalNergal

User
I still don't see the relation. People cosplay popular things or the stuff they love. Make a good thing and people will cosplay it because it's good.
Given EA, Ubisoft, some of Blizzard's latest mistakes, Nintendo's entire strategy, and so on... I don't think game companies think like that.
 

lelxrv

User
By making it simpler in design. TW2 armors were way more layered and detailed, for the most part.
I don't see how designs of W2 were more layered than W3 designs. W3 costumes frequently more elaborate and complex than W2. Check Geralt's armor, for example. Overwatch being cosplay-friendly? Majority (if not all) of costumes are super-outlandish and it's really hard to make them look good on real people. Yet people even make stuff like Thanos or Rein armors and wear them to cons.
 

BaalNergal

User
Simple: Make stuff outlandish or pretty that people will want to wear as a costume over what would be functional.

Witcher series I can't read either way; it would be that way or not.

WoW? Definitely that way.

Final Fantasy? I don't think the developers of that series know any other way to design anymore.
 

lelxrv

User
Doesn't sound convincing.

Outlandish designs of OW (or DOTA, or Diablo III), for example, are crucial for game design. Every character needs to have a strong silhouette so players can distinguish one character from another during fights. That's why features are exaggerated. If people find it more fun to cosplay crazy stuff, it's only a side effect.

In case of WoW the main reason for that is stylization in favor of managing resources and keeping visuals last so they don't get obsolete in a couple of years like it happens with more gritty games (see The Last of Us). The world is giant and they had to simplify objects, but still make them look striking and instantly recognizable. Ergo, they needed to exaggerate various elements of visual design - from colors to shapes of objects. Again, outlandish look that cosplayers love is a side effect here. Not one of goals.

Witcher, on the other hand, doesn't require the stuff above. It can allow itself to be more gritty. Making stuff look pretty has nothing to do with cosplayers. Storytelling, immersion, aesthetic pleasure will come first.
 

BaalNergal

User
Except that FPS games prove that the strong silhouette is completely unnecessary. Players still manage to differentiate between each other and enemies just fine, even when they all look almost exactly alike.

About the only time I've ever seen a strong silhouette prove necessary is in RTS games, but that's due to the fact almost all of them use somewhat-simplified graphics compared to other games of the same era as a way of compensating for the sheer load on the graphics card for rendering that many characters at once.

And stylization doesn't really hold up as well. For one thing, WoW has upgraded its graphics several times throughout the years; otherwise, it would look massively outdated today. For another, games that focus primarily on stylization (like the Sims series) focus on far more realistic and far less outlandish outfit options, rather than going for the same stylings as RPGs.
 

lelxrv

User
Except that FPS games prove that the strong silhouette is completely unnecessary. Players still manage to differentiate between each other and enemies just fine, even when they all look almost exactly alike.
Not true. FPS games are different. Counter-Strike doesn't depend on you knowing what set of unique abilities an enemy has. So CS can allow every character to look the same. Unlike OW.
About the only time I've ever seen a strong silhouette prove necessary is in RTS games, but that's due to the fact almost all of them use somewhat-simplified graphics compared to other games of the same era as a way of compensating for the sheer load on the graphics card for rendering that many characters at once.
Not only RTS. Stylization's (outlandish designs) main purpose is to compensate resources (artistic, technological or whatever) or gameplay. Cosplayers have nothing to do with it.
And stylization doesn't really hold up as well. For one thing, WoW has upgraded its graphics several times throughout the years; otherwise, it would look massively outdated today. For another, games that focus primarily on stylization (like the Sims series) focus on far more realistic and far less outlandish outfit options, rather than going for the same stylings as RPGs.
It looked outdated even when WoW just came out. It was 2004 and by that time we had graphics like Lineage II, Doom 3, Half-Life 2, SIlent Hill 2-3 and other much more technologically impressive games. But stylization helped compensate sheer cubism of WoW. The fact that they updated graphics doesn't change the reality of things. It still looks primitive (even ancient by today's standards), but exaggerated aesthetic gives the game life. But we strayed from the topic a bit. I'm talking stylization to prove that it's used not to appeal to cosplayers, but to solve specific and more important issues. I can't imagine developers even wondering something like "what about cosplayers? do these characters look outlandish enough for them to notice?"... Cosplay is the last thing on their minds, I bet.
 

BaalNergal

User
Not true. FPS games are different. Counter-Strike doesn't depend on you knowing what set of unique abilities an enemy has. So CS can allow every character to look the same. Unlike OW.
Depends on the FPS game. Some of them very much do depend on you knowing what set of abilities an enemy has. Halo, for example, where the players can easily look exactly the same but have very different abilities.

Not only RTS. Stylization's (outlandish designs) main purpose is to compensate resources (artistic, technological or whatever) or gameplay. Cosplayers have nothing to do with it.

It looked outdated even when WoW just came out. It was 2004 and by that time we had graphics like Lineage II, Doom 3, Half-Life 2, SIlent Hill 2-3 and other much more technologically impressive games. But stylization helped compensate sheer cubism of WoW. The fact that they updated graphics doesn't change the reality of things. It still looks primitive (even ancient by today's standards), but exaggerated aesthetic gives the game life. But we strayed from the topic a bit. I'm talking stylization to prove that it's used not to appeal to cosplayers, but to solve specific and more important issues. I can't imagine developers even wondering something like "what about cosplayers? do these characters look outlandish enough for them to notice?"... Cosplay is the last thing on their minds, I bet.
Well, you'd probably lose that bet. Quite possibly very wrong, especially about Blizzard.
 

lelxrv

User
Depends on the FPS game. Some of them very much do depend on you knowing what set of abilities an enemy has. Halo, for example, where the players can easily look exactly the same but have very different abilities.
I didn't play a single Halo game, so I'm not gonna argue. Regarding FPS games I mentioned, I stand by my opinion.
Well, you'd probably lose that bet. Quite possibly very wrong, especially about Blizzard.
The first link is fair enough and I stand corrected. Given nature of business when it comes to moba games, it's not terribly surprising... Even though they say that cosplayers aren't priority. The third link is a guide for cosplayers, basically character sheet. Even CDPR had those for Witcher 3. The second one looks like a photobook with the most impressive cosplays. Last two don't prove that Blizzard or CDPR consider cosplayers as vital element to designing a character. At least based on the links you gave.
 
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SigilFey

Moderator
The first link is fair enough and I stand corrected. Given nature of business when it comes to moba games, it's not terribly surprising... Even though they say that cosplayers aren't priority. The third link is a guide for cosplayers, basically character sheet. Even CDPR had those for Witcher 3. The second one looks like a photobook with the most impressive cosplays. Last two don't prove that Blizzard or CDPR consider cosplayers as vital element to designing a character. At least based on the links you gave.
I didn't state you were definitely wrong, just possibly ;)
As is most often the case, it's not about right or wrong. Fact is, unique, distinctive character designs are not crucial to a game's success, but they can be crucial to an individual game's distinctive style. If and only if a game is attempting to intentionally make unique character silhouettes stand out (and not, for example, intentionally trying to make them very hard distinguish from each other, in games like ArmA, for example.)

The cosplay thing is sort of a chicken-and-egg argument. People were dressing up like their favorite characters long before video games were a thing. Did gamers help to bring cosplay to the forefront of pop culture? Sure! But it wasn't the only contributing factor. Vice versa, does a game intentionally build its character design to encourage cosplay? It may! But it doesn't mean that was even a consideration for other games. (Kind of like trying to figure out where fashion comes from. Was it because of function or form? It could be one or the other, both, or neither.)