Why do games have to be so dark?

Discussion in 'Gaming' started by Chris Bardon, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Why does everyone think that in order to make their game "atmospheric" or "edgy", they also have to make it so dark that if there's ambient light in the room where you're playing, or, god forbid, a window, you have to crank the brightness on your TV. Now I won't profess to be an HT expert, but I have gone to the trouble of calibrating my TV using the THX optimode feature. It looks great on TV, DVDs, and most games, but there are definitely some that are just way too dark (Halo 2 and Prince of Persia 2 come to mind right away).

    Is there a reason that developers don't include brightness/gamma controls on their console games? It's almost a standard feature on PC games, and don't people's PC enviroments tend to be more controlled than their console ones?

    With the Xbox 360 around the corner, and its major design innovation being a standard set of features included in all games (online, HD etc), why not also include game-specific video controls, and, while they're at it-reconfigurable controls in every game?
     
  2. PerryD

    PerryD Supporting Actor

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    I agree, but my main video gaming set is an older 50" projection set that doesn't have the greatest black levels and loses details in the dark gray to black areas. I notice the problem recently in racing games since the latest trend is games that take place at night (Midnight Club, Need for Speed Underground...).
     
  3. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    If you calibrate your TV/monitor with a calibration disc such as AVIA, Digital Video Essentials, etc. you are calibrating to NTSC video levels, which is wrong for computer graphics!

    The only correct way to calibrate is to make sure ALL levels are visible - video level black (level 16) must be distinct from pure black (aka Blacker Than Black level 0).

    If you watch movies as well, you will need to adjust your display every time you switch from movies to videogames.

    I suspect this is the same problem when calibrating a display to a videogame console - I think all videogame and console developers always assume computer graphics levels and NOT video levels. So when using a console game device the brightness will need to be raised.
     

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