How important are the background visuals (really)?

gopher_pgopher_p Unsigned
edited September 2011 in Rock Band
I do quite a bit of lurking on various Rock Band forums and am surprised by the number of complaints regarding the background visuals; e.g. not enough options in the character creator, issues assigning specific characters to specific instruments, lack of choice of venue, not enough venues, etc.

For me personally, the stuff going on in the background is the least important part of the game, and I don't see how it can be a significant source of dissatisfaction for people. Of course I understand the issues people have with the aspects of the background visuals such as strobes and other effects that obscure the highway and interfere with the core game play.

Am I way-off, and are the background visuals really that important for people?

If there were no background visuals at all, would you still play Rock Band?

Edit: This is not an attempt to troll anyone. I'm just trying to understand other people who aren't me and have different feelings than I have.

Comments

  • edited September 2011
    Your post was worded in a way that looked like trolling the people who DO care enough to voice disastisfaction.

    I was just going to close it but decided to edit out the uneccesary eye-poking.

    We will see where it goes from here.

    Personally, I would play with nothing but the charts, but the extras looks nice and I do like having my band look like I made them that way as opposed to no option to do so at all.

    I would welcome a bare-bones option that would toggle all background stuff off but I would not use it at parties.
  • folkeyefolkeye Headliner
    edited September 2011
    Doc_SoCal;4502202 said:
    Your post was worded in a way that looked like trolling the people who DO care enough to voice disastisfaction.

    I was just going to close it but decided to edit out the uneccesary eye-poking.

    We will see where it goes from here.

    Personally, I would play with nothing but the charts, but the extras looks nice and I do like having my band look like I made them that way as opposed to no option to do so at all.

    I would welcome a bare-bones option that would toggle all background stuff off but I would not use it at parties.

    Yeah, more options for what/how the player wants to do things is good.

    As for that non-blank screen at parties... it IS blank... but all them mixers make things come alive :p
  • SheSaidSheSaidSheSaidSheSaid Washed Up
    edited September 2011
    Doc_SoCal;4502202 said:
    Your post was worded in a way that looked like trolling the people who DO care enough to voice disastisfaction.

    That's kind of what I thought, too. I came in expecting to say "Yeah, there's some problems with them, but I agree, who really cares that much."

    I really love having a character that's basically a rockstar version of me jump around and play guitar on the screen. Would I still play if she had to go away? Probably. But it just wouldn't be the same.
  • kingtonyxkingtonyx Unofficial
    edited September 2011
    The graphics are extremely important to me.
  • Cipher_PeonCipher_Peon I don't get it at all
    edited September 2011
    I feel petty, but yeah I would play a lot less without the awesome backgrounds.
    And besides, I don't think I ever had jaw dropping visuals impact me as much as Lego Rock Band did. And I totally dropped my guitar in the middle of the song. It was THAT mind blowing :O
  • frisbeestevefrisbeesteve Opening Act
    edited September 2011
    The background visuals are pretty important to me in the fantasy/enjoyment sense of being able to see the animations of created characters, but even more so important when they become distracting to the actual gameplay. Although a patch improved some of the early problems where the charts were too transparent and barely visible, there are still too many venues with too much strobing effects and flashing lights/pyro type displays that make the game visually hard on the eyes when you're trying to concentrate on which notes to play and when. I would love an option to select specific venue so that I could usually opt for the "least distracting" venue for most gameplay. A secondary option would be to toggle the backgrounds off, but this would admittedly suck some of the life from the game and I would barely prefer this option to a distracting venue (i.e. music video).

    End result is, yeah, background visuals are indeed important.
  • Obi_Wan_KenoliObi_Wan_Kenoli Rising Star
    edited September 2011
    gopher_p;4502188 said:


    Am I way-off, and are the background visuals really that important for people? Or are the complainers just looking for anything to whine about?
    The answer to that would probably be rooted in whether or not you're the type of person who thinks what they think is important is some universal truth; while at the same time others thinking something is important, but you don't, constitutes whining.

    If there were no background visuals at all, would you still play Rock Band?
    It's be pretty lame and I probably would have never left Guitar Hero. I would have seen it as a stale and vapid experience honestly.

    I'd have thought it was something you'd do in a preschool class, playing color coded instruments to onscreen cues, solely for the sake of playing color coded instruments to onscreen cues. Like musical simon. I'd be fully expecting a lab tech to give me a treat every 10 minutes and adjust the electrodes on my forehead while I'm being observed on the other side of a two way glass by scientists.

    I'd have laughed at anybody that wanted me to sit down and play it. "No listen! You hear that?! You press the button and Celebrity Skin comes out the TV!" To which I'd respond, "that's nice, can we take the musical tetris out of the system and play a game now?"

    The band aspect is at least 60% of the game for me as i can't think of another reason I'd be playing plastic instruments other than playing a game where I'm in a band and in order to do it I have to play plastic instruments. Having a band visually on screen, not sucking, is a pretty big component of that aspect. I mean I used to play text based adventures back in the day, but after playing stuff like Fallout or Oblivion I'm in no rush to go back to the stone ages of videogaming. I need a bit more stimulation these days.

    Facetiousness aside, the chart based play is fine for what it is, a play mechanic that lets you pantomime playing music, but that in and of itself has limited appeal, for me anyway. I need those added elements of creating a band and seeing the creations perform the song I'm playing live, they're the characters in game. Only thing is I have the benefit of instead rather than picking what someone else made to go onstage, the game lets me put my own motley crew up there a nice extra in the engagement and stimulation column. And seeing them onscreen is the payoff to that creative outlet.

    Just my .02.
  • PyramidHead128PyramidHead128 Opening Act
    edited September 2011
    I've spent a lot of time creating characters, and making band logos, and I love seeing them in action. So yeah, they're pretty important to me and I would be very pleased if HMX updated the game and fixed at least some of the animation problems that plague RB3. If Rock Band 4 ever happens, besides making sure all the songs from past games and DLC make it into the game, the main thing I want out of it is a more in-depth character creator and better animations.
  • T-Rex-FlierT-Rex-Flier Opening Act
    edited September 2011
    I think background visuals are important, but sometime there a bit of a distraction.
  • SaccianSaccian Opening Act
    edited September 2011
    I definitely prefer the game with visuals, especially after they patched the game to make the highway lanes less opaque. Since then, the only time that they have bothered me is when I had some of those trippy backgrounds where a bunch of guitars come flying at you. It happened on a song with a really slow tempo and it took a lot of effort to not speed up as the guitars where winging by at a speed at least twice as fast as the notes scrolling down.

    I am not certain I would play less if the characters and backgrounds were gone but I would definitely enjoy the game less.
  • TheHundredDollarHeadacheTheHundredDollarHeadache Pedantic Broken Record
    edited September 2011
    Doc_SoCal;4502202 said:
    Personally, I would play with nothing but the charts, but the extras looks nice and I do like having my band look like I made them that way as opposed to no option to do so at all.

    I would welcome a bare-bones option that would toggle all background stuff off but I would not use it at parties.
    This. As much as I loved RB2's graphics (and complain about RB3's looking poor in comparison), being able to turn them off would have been great. I've bombed out / choked / missed the next star on too many harder songs getting distracted by either getting into it like my band does in RB2 or wincing in pain at the bobblehead that RB3 makes my singer.

    On top of that, I'd like to have the blank background extend to all modes when you turn it on - even the menus. You know how the game loads faster when you try to go to Quickplay as fast as possible? That's because the game doesn't load characters during that blank screen.

    Keep in mind, I want this to be an option. The background graphics are a reason Rock Band seemed more polished than Guitar Hero, which in turn looked better than Power Gig. Have you seen Power Gig's animations?
  • bonethug0108bonethug0108 Headliner
    edited September 2011
    When I'm playing I almost completely ignore the background, but people(playing or watching) do comment on the background more often then I thought they would. I also watch the background a good bit while not playing, though I still watch the charts a bit more.
  • Pitch-BlackPitch-Black Road Warrior
    edited September 2011
    I had to go with I'd still play without the background. I get pretty focused on the chart when I play and actually find what's going on behind the chart mildly distracting at times (but to be fair, it's rarely the character animations but more the strobing light effects that'll bug me). Still, I think the game would be pretty empty without our characters, venues and the performances. I wouldn't mind it if we had an option to turn off the background, but honestly I'd only use it on occassion. I would actually find venue select to be of more value. More options in general are always good, I think. The exception to that rule being the "Delete This Song" option.
  • SheSaidSheSaidSheSaidSheSaid Washed Up
    edited September 2011
    Pitch-Black;4502319 said:
    More options in general are always good, I think. The exception to that rule being the "Delete This Song" option.

    You've never downloaded a song and later come to hate it? I'd have paid $2 again just to never have to play "BYOB" ever again, but thankfully I can just remove it from my game.
  • MisterFurious67MisterFurious67 Opening Act
    edited September 2011
    Obi_Wan_Kenoli;4502223 said:
    The band aspect is at least 60% of the game for me...Having a band visually on screen, not sucking, is a pretty big component of that aspect. I mean I used to play text based adventures back in the day, but after playing stuff like Fallout or Oblivion I'm in no rush to go back to the stone ages of videogaming.

    This.

    I need more than scrolling colored gems and quickplay to make a compelling gaming experience.
  • SpidermaniacSpidermaniac Opening Act
    edited September 2011
    MisterFurious67;4502355 said:
    This.

    I need more than scrolling colored gems and quickplay to make a compelling gaming experience.

    Agreed. Without the rock star fantasy aspect, I would have never played Rock Band. If it ever turned into Lips with plastic instruments, I'd be out.
  • DackAttacDackAttac Road Warrior
    edited September 2011
    The visuals are there for the same reason Mario has a princess to rescue. It would just be a music simulator on its own, but plunking through it, you might wonder, "Why am I doing this, this is just five buttons. DDR for the less-than-aerobic." There's something about the sight of your avatar clutching a sick axe in front of a huge crowd that gives it that extra ounce of "Oh! Dang! Better not screw up!"

    Character/band customization... putting your logo on the drumhead... Every bit more customization you put in, the more invested you are.

    (I'd like to think I'd still be into it without the visuals, but that's kinda hard to prove.)
  • SeattleSauveSeattleSauve Rising Star
    edited September 2011
    A few months ago I would have said the graphics weren't important at all. After going back and playing a few older titles (not gonna name names) I realized they felt old and boring by comparison.

    Now, in a lot of my playing I'm trying to get the best score on a song that I can, so I do often find the flashy background ultra distracting, so I would definitely use the "black background" option a LOT. But when I am playing at a party, or just having fun with some folks I'd want to see the fancy stuff because it helps immerse you into the song.

    Also, when I'm playing a song that is really easy I appreciate the graphics much more than when I'm concentrating on trying to maintain a streak.

    I don't think it would actually affect how often I play though... So if this poll were asking whether they were "important", "somewhat important", or "not important" I would go with "somewhat important", but in terms of gameplay I would play just as much.
  • CJHobbesCJHobbes Road Warrior
    edited September 2011
    I have an animation degree and a career as an artist. Visuals are very important to me. :D

    Honestly, if RB was nothing but a note highway, I'd have gotten bored of it a loooooooong time ago.
    gopher_p;4502188 said:
    For me personally, the stuff going on in the background is the least important part of the game, and I don't see how it can be a significant source of dissatisfaction for people.

    I bolded the key part. The answer is simple: people like different things than other people. There is no ultimate reason to "get it." Some people enjoy visuals, others couldn't care less.

    I used to live with a roommate who didn't understand why I watched zombie films or animated films. Kept asking me over and over why I enjoyed them, to which I'd simply reply, "I think they're fun." There needs to be no reason for someone to enjoy something other than it's fun to them.
  • tdc002tdc002 Road Warrior
    edited September 2011
    People that say they would play without background visuals have obviously never played a game with BAD background visuals, or one with none at all.

    GH5 had awful background visuals. They were essentially predesigned for EVERY song, so there was no variety. It was the same animation every time you played. You can't play songs at different venues. The camera angles don't change. It's literally the same. Every. Single. Time. All that changes is whatever character you pick.

    As for a game with no background visuals, I remember playing Frets on Fire waaayyy back in the day when GH2 first came out. Without a background, you just totally lose that immersion in the game. It draws attention to the fact that you're not REALLY in a band, you're also not REALLY even playing the song. It just totally breaks your suspension of belief.
  • Lord_MhoramLord_Mhoram Road Warrior
    edited September 2011
    Part of the reason I play Rock Band (and GH) rather than Frets on Fire. I love teh background visuals - I like looking at the characters I created for my band.
  • nascarfan19nascarfan19 Headliner
    edited September 2011
    I'd play it, but it'd be 1000x worse w/o background stuff
  • SirDavidTLynchSirDavidTLynch Headliner
    edited September 2011
    Having absolutely nothing but a black background would make the whole game look half-assed, and particularly boring on vocals and on songs with a lot of dead air like "Bohemian Rhapsody" on guitar.
  • LuigiHannLuigiHann Stormtrooper
    edited September 2011
    I think I'd be substantially less motivated to play solo. Group band play it makes a lot less of a difference
  • osteofightosteofight Road Warrior
    edited September 2011
    I have scientificish evidence of my decison. I dabbled with Frets on Fire but I ultimately dropped it in part because there is nothing going on in the background.
  • hakko504hakko504 Rising Star
    edited September 2011
    I'd still play. Right now I'm trying to learn to play Pro Guitar & Pro Keyboard and as a learning tool I find the backgrounds nice but irrelevant. The video shoots though are a bit of a distraction and before the change in note highway I know I missed a few notes because of annoying flashes in the background which made it impossible to see the notes! Since the change it's better, but I'd still love to be able to turn off the video shoots and only play in 'real' venues.

    Though, when I'm playing 5-lane I find myself looking at the background much more so there it is much more important to have a nice looking band to help me perform.
  • SeattleSauveSeattleSauve Rising Star
    edited September 2011
    tdc002;4502441 said:
    People that say they would play without background visuals have obviously never played a game with BAD background visuals, or one with none at all.
    GH5 had awful background visuals. They were essentially predesigned for EVERY song, so there was no variety. It was the same animation every time you played. You can't play songs at different venues. The camera angles don't change. It's literally the same. Every. Single. Time. All that changes is whatever character you pick.
    As for a game with no background visuals, I remember playing Frets on Fire waaayyy back in the day when GH2 first came out. Without a background, you just totally lose that immersion in the game. It draws attention to the fact that you're not REALLY in a band, you're also not REALLY even playing the song. It just totally breaks your suspension of belief.
    I played GH5, and at the time didn't notice the visuals were bad - didn't even notice the visuals were the same within each song actually... Seriously, I'll have to boot it up again just to check it out now - if there were an option to turn off the background I would definitely use it often when I'm playing for score. In those cases it doesn't matter that I'm 'really in a band', in those cases I'm really just focused on the track and everything else is a distraction... As I mentioned, in other cases I think the background adds to the experience, so that's why I say it is something that is 'somewhat important'.

    You'll just have to take me at my word that I would be just fine playing this way when I'm playing for score because I'm confident I would be - Heck I only have one custom character to begin with in the game, and I wouldn't even have that character if there wasn't a goal for creating a character - otherwise I'd be playing as Moosejaw :)
  • kingtonyxkingtonyx Unofficial
    edited September 2011
    The visuals are also good if you are playing with a large group of people. If it was just the gems coming down the screen, no one else would want to watch.
  • Doom878Doom878 Road Warrior
    edited September 2011
    When I play instruments I'm not too concerned with them since I'm so focused on the track. Although when you play the intro to I Stand Alone by Godsmack it feels cool strumming and seeing the guitar closeup since I grew up with that song and it's not too complicated to admire.

    Singing with no background would feel like karaoke too me. It's still fun but just not visually stimulating. Either way I'm in it for the music and would play with my eyes closed (if I could) because I prefer how it stimulates my ears vs my eyes.
  • Pitch-BlackPitch-Black Road Warrior
    edited September 2011
    SheSaidSheSaid;4502324 said:
    You've never downloaded a song and later come to hate it? I'd have paid $2 again just to never have to play "BYOB" ever again, but thankfully I can just remove it from my game.

    I understand the reasoning behind the option; it's just that I have young kids around sometimes who like to randomly push buttons (and friends who do the same when having too many drinks). It's happened more than a few times that a song or two has gone missing because that option is there. Hardly HMX's fault, I know, and far from a big deal. I'm just thankful that the RB 2 or Green Day downloads haven't been zapped by an unhappy accident. Yeah, I know they can be easily re-downloaded but I'd rather not have to. I just find the "delete" option to be unnecessary to have in-game when I can easily delete a song directly off the HDD if I dislike it enough. It's just a personal preference and opinion, though.
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