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Effects Of Graphical Advances On Gameplay??
As any fule kno lots of developers are hot on improving graphics at the moment. Witness the spectacular jungle terrain of Far Cry, the sinister lighting and detail of Doom3 videos, or the futuristic effects of the Unreal2Tech shakycam video.

All cool stuff and I for one, as a graphics whore, welcome it all.

However. Gameplay. As someone (warth?) pointed out in the GA thread, there are some notable advances still to be made in gameplay. Those are interesting in themselves, but perhaps equally interesting is speculating upon the extent to which graphical advances can influence and hopefully benefit the basic gameplay.

Who thinks they can, and who thinks they can't??

And more importantly - who thinks companies will use them to benefit gameplay instead of just shiny eye candy that looks good but is otherwise useless??

A few ideas spring to mind sharpish:

Shadows 1 - lurking in shadows and not being seen, enemy lurking in shadows, removing lights to hide yourself, turning on lights to expose enemy.

Shadows 2 - proper shadowing from enemy revealing their position, proper shadowing from you revealing yours.

Reflections - seeing enemy reflected in water or in glass.

Fog/smoke - enemy being concealed by them, or you creating fog/smoke to cover your tracks.
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Headthump... 
If you've picked up and sexed anything that walks on less than 4 legs, I'd be mightily surprised. 
And If You Done So With 
Anything bearing a vagina, I would be even more suprised. 
Brown All The Way Baby... 
...pink is like, so 20th century... 
Ha! 
'If you've picked up and sexed anything that walks on less than 4 legs, I'd be mightily surprised.'

There are some chickens clucking around that would tell you how wrong you are.

Vive la Flynt! 
Woo 
Now that ^^^ was an awesome exchange of wit and style. (and funny)

HeadThump, glad you liked the post. I actually just finished up Far Cry and am strongly tempted to go back through it again on a harder difficulty. It was that much fun. (Despite the last two levels being hard as balls--I'm talking kind of crazy hard, especially on the last one.)

I think it's time to finally start Painkiller instead. There's something to be said for advanced graphics (the eye-candy in PK is quite pretty) being combined with unapologetically old-school gameplay. I'm off to unlock some secrets . . . 
With 
Painkiller out, Doom3 ahead of us, and (cross meh extensibles) Half-Life 2 on the way,

'its gonna be a good summer.' 
I Think, If Things Go To Plan... 
...that it's going to be one of the best years for FPS games:

Painkiller
Far Cry
UT2K4
Doom3
Stalker
Half-Life2

All good (or looking to be good) games, all have their different styles and focii....I think it's cool. Now, perhaps I should be playing some of those =/. 
Don't Forget Metroid Prime 2 
Metroid Prime is quite possibly the best FPS I've ever played, even if the gamepad does hinder the controls. 
Rpg: 
yeah, but shambler is talking as a PC-centrist. So Metroid Prime 2 doesn't count. 
Metlslime: 
Yeah, but Shambler is talking as a PC-centrist. So his opinion doesn't count. 
Screw You Guys! 
Damn hippies... 
Unreal 3 Engine Demo 
I posted this in General Abuse but since this thread is about graphical advances - well this video sure features some very impressive graphical and lighting advances as well as some amazing enemy models.

It can be grabbed here: http://www.edgefiles.com/file.x?id=/games-fusion.net/www/videos/unreal3engine_e3.zip

A search for the Unreal3 Engine Demo should turn up alternative download choices as well as smaller file sizes with the same content.

As far as gameplay alone goes - seeing this demo reveals nothing new that hasn't been done with less impressive game engines. I suppose that highly detailed environments with subtle colour variations and dim dynamic lighting could camouflage enemies pretty well. You are admiring some sweet scenery and suddenly your head gets bit off by something hiding right next to you. Enemy camouflage could really add tension and deviate from the more typical head-on attack and cover style of current enemies. Such a tactic would benefit from the new generation of game engines since it's harder to hide in an older game engine. 
Ummm... 
Such a tactic would benefit from the new generation of game engines since it's harder to hide in an older game engine.

Apart from the invisible pinkies in Doom =)

But I see what you mean, enemy camoflauge as a function of the enviroment rather than a function of a particular enemy. 
I'm Not Sure If This Is Solely A Graphical Advancement 
but I'm surprised no one has mentioned better world physics, as in HalfLife 2. Being able to collapse or knock large objects into a squad of baddies, pick up found objects for use as protection or weaponry, or create barriers to block off a particularly enemy-crowded areas if I'm low on health puts a new dimension on play tactics.

Also, I do remember a few years ago there was some hype about games featuring deformable terrain, but I guess it died out dead because I've not heard anything more of it since.

Anyway, I would be pleasantly surprised if I found myself playing a game that allowed significant interactivity with the environment. The ideal would be, of course, to be limited not by the game world but by my ability to discover ways to use it to my advantage. 
Red Faction + Painkiller 
...would be a game to fear. Deformable terrain AND level geometry, with Havoc physics to play with. That would be one juicy game indeed. 
WyldeSnake 
You sir, are in need of Worms3D. 
Blah 
Worms 3d is pretty nice, I'll admit.

What i was more talking about though, is the destroyed pieces of terrain fall off, so if you shoot a hole out of the ceiling the chunk of ceiling falls to the ground, maybe in several pieces. Then you could interact with them a bit more :)

Besides, I want it in an FPS. Worms is good, but no action-packed fragfest...especially since network play has that nice 2 second lag behind everything. 
Hmm 
Actually, deformable terrain is probably possible in Quake 2 and even Zerstorer Quake. And, it's all in the hands of the mapper. Theoretically, one could make all or most of the walls out of breakable wall entities with a leak preventing structure underneath. So that whenever a stray weapon shot hits any architecture, pieces of it would "gib". However, render speeds and no. of entity limits and packet overflow (and amount of mapping work) would probably reduce the extent to which one could implement this.

But... it might be neat to see. I wonder what a small DM map with this would be like. 0_o 
Destructable Geometry: 
http://ged.ax.pl/~tomkh/vox1_en.htm
An impressive, but pointless, example. 
 
Realtime Soft Shadows Project 
Nice Source There, Phait 
the Opengl code could fairly easily (well not easy in regard to time it would take to code, I just mean that it is straight forward) be implemented in Quake 2.

I'll keep this in my faves file. I would like to come back to it when my current activities are completed. 
That's All Very Well... 
...but now you're revitalised this thread, perhaps people could point out if any of Doom3's graphical advances have improved the gameplay (aside from the obvious one of shadows)?? 
The Consoles... 
Its only partially a graphical advance (its also a design/polish thing of course), but I'd have to say that the single best/coolest thing in Doom3 are all the computer consoles and such that you can use throughout the game.

The screens look beautifully clear and crisp regardless of the resolution or quality setting, and its almost always very obvious what the buttons and stuff will do. Being able to interact with the level geometry and stuff via the computer systems is pretty awesome, and there's some actions you need to perform which are almost like minigames within the game; they provide a nice diversion from the (fairly predictable) core gameplay.

Furthermore, the way in which you use the screens is consistent and very easy to understand, so using the computer interfaces is easy and fun. 
Yeah 
The screens are really really cool, I want to purchase that turkey puncher game, it rocks! :D

Sure the shadows do add to the gameplay, but the sheer graphical detail of the textures & environments really makes them come to life also, I have never been so immersed in a game before, Far Cry was the last game that got me fully immersed with its graphical richness, Doom3 topples it with style. When I first ran out onto the mars surface I actually died from lack of oxygen becuase I was looking around :) 
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