View Full Version : Interest in player models declining?
I was just messing around with Google Trends today (India seems very interested in boobs...) and this information was revealed:
Google Trends - Player models (http://www.google.com/trends?q=player+models&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all)
Google Trends - 3D models (http://www.google.com/trends?q=3d+models&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all)
In the past 2 years, interest appears to have fallen on searches for "player models" and "3d models" ... do you think this is a result of newer games and consoles having less compatibility for such customisation, or could it just be that more people are using search engines other than Google now?
05-14-2006, 04:01 AM
I doubt it (http://skincity.beyondunreal.com), though they only cover one game series.
I blame mmorpgs, and some developers for having crappy support for it, i.e. Valve
05-14-2006, 04:17 AM
google trends - Wii (http://www.google.com/trends?q=Wii&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all)
killingpeople: to be compared with PS3 charts (http://www.google.com/trends?q=playstation+3&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all) - interest is dropping off on those /images/graemlins/smile.gif
05-14-2006, 04:45 AM
Mop - I think the "decline" could also be down to the fact that interest in game development now is a lot more main stream - and you are into customisation, you know where to go. Where as before it was just a generic search and hoped for the best..
05-14-2006, 04:57 AM
If you write "player model" instead of "player models" the drop is much less and there are much more spikes in the curve (with the spikes probably corresponding to the releases of new games). I think the "decline" might also have to do with the number of PPMs available to the public. Polycount was the only ressource covering games like Quake and lately only UT2004 models made it through the queue. For most games you just can't get any models because they aren't known beyond the game forums.
05-14-2006, 07:48 AM
there are fewer SDKs coming out. with high polycounts and normal maps, it's not as easy to make custom skins. games have dynamic lighting, so creative styles in textures aren't as important. color and lights have to blend well. more guidelines have to be followed to work with the engine's animation system. there are fewer useful tutorials, as the pros are very busy. the quality expected to earn recognition is closer to film which takes more experience. the feedback you'd expect from something fun is lower when posting along side artists like Rockstar grinding out brilliant quality assets. the comments are more critical. realism is the trend.
any of these is my guess as to why it would decline. for many games now, there's no reason to have custom content. a fun game where adding custom players is a focus could bring it back. Quake V Arena maybe? UT2k7 looks promising.
05-14-2006, 08:18 AM
Quake4 has support for it, and I find it quite easy to put a player in it actually (easier than q2 and q3, its more along the lines of HL). Just normal map generation is the only big obstacle, and that's only because I suck at normal maps.
Content creators haven't lost interest, it's the end user that has.
They've lost interest becasue of the change in attitude that online gamers have gone through over the last 2 or 3 years; esp for FPS games like the Quake series. Too many (online) gamers are 'Pro' wannabies and have no time or tollerance for custom content of any kind unless it makes them play better, faster, etc. They have the louder voice so server admins tend to listen to the complaints they raise that custom content is interfering with their gaming, so it gets removed.
I could go on, but basically the 'seriousness' of online gaming is killing custom content NOT the percieved difficulties in making the stuff.
05-14-2006, 08:44 AM
Gamers have ADD a week later and its onto a new game. They want PPM's when they play the game not 3 months later after we have figured it out, made tutorials and everyone is hard at work. In the short time they might be "shopping" we can't deliver.
Also the idea that custom player models are somehow cheats keeps a few people from downloading them. And anything that advertises that you hack isn't a good hack.
FPS's normally only show the custom models on the client side, its the first person view so how many mirrors are in the game? Why bother if no one is going to see it, especially me?
I think custom maps has always been a sound path to take, everyone gets bored with the stock maps. With unrealEd becoming more of a standard we can look forward one skill set being able to work with a bunch of games. But they will be on the 360 so no one will ever get to see them.
With more developers going after the console market instead of PC, custom content will take another hit. I feel sad for the people who are just now getting into games via consoles they are missing out on a rich history and much longer game life. But hey who cares because the next blockbuster is out next week and it won't live up to its hype either.
05-14-2006, 10:19 PM
MoP: you maybe ought to compare the relative scale of those peaks /images/graemlins/smile.gif
05-14-2006, 10:58 PM
well, for some reason that gives the impression that there is more interest in playstation 3 than the nintendo wii. which is just impossible /images/graemlins/tongue.gif
it's hard to actually gauge, gauss. the wii was once known as revolution remember. and i'm sure half the searches for revolution were not in regards to nintendo's next-gen console. probably searches for info on revolutionary wars, etc. so that must explain the search for "revolution".
when you enter 'playstation 3' is it searching for "playstation 3" or "playstation" and "3"?
i tried nintendo and sony, but those terms are not really a fair match either. so what i'm trying to say is, i'm buying a wii and not a playstation. /images/graemlins/tongue.gif
(in all seriousness, i read a report for a school paper a while ago that showed that playstation 3 would take the lead by a large margin in this next gen console "war")
what i was more interested in was the dates that the name wii began to show up on the chart.
all 3 (http://www.google.com/trends?q=xbox+360%2C+wii%2C+playstation+3&ctab=0&g eo=all&date=all)
05-14-2006, 11:07 PM
okay, so after some tests, it is searching for "playstation 3" /images/graemlins/tongue.gif
test (http://www.google.com/trends?q=red%2C+red+apple%2C+apple&ctab=0&geo=all& date=all)
05-14-2006, 11:33 PM
i think also you need to take into consideration that by the time Game comes out Game:Sequel is announced for a year and half later.
lets say 6-8 months to get everything figured out(proper work flow, tutorials, exporters) for Game modding. by that time interest has dropped off and that leaves less than a year to make PPMs for a game that people are half interested in(or less with the cookie cutter playstyle so prevelant). they're already thinking about playing Game:Sequel and making things for it.
and factor in that it takes a bit to put together a 2.5-3k model with high poly normal map and sometimes several 1024x1024 textures and well, it's a long bit from concept to implementation. the 'average' gamer just doesnt have the time/energy to invest in it.
you dont get AverageGamer being able to put Homer in Game in a week anymore. and look at the hoops you have to jump through for some games. it's not plopping a folder with model.md2, texture.pcx and model_icon.pcx in the game's root folder any more.
05-14-2006, 11:36 PM
If you compare "Nintendo Revolution" and "Playstation 3," you get closer results (the peaks and valleys even match pretty well):
http://www.google.com/trends?q=Nintendo+...ll&date=all (http://www.google.com/trends?q=Nintendo+Revolution%2C+Playstation+3&ctab =0&geo=all&date=all)
But I still don't think it's a fair comparison, because it doesn't include people who search for the Revolution without using the term "Nintendo." There's no way to tell how many of the people who just searched the term "revolution" were searching for the Nintendo console, but I'm sure it would contribute a significant amount which wasn't included in the "Nintendo Revolution" search statistics.
If you compare "Sony Playstation 3" to "Nintendo Revolution," the results are inverted:
http://www.google.com/trends?q=Nintendo+...ll&date=all (http://www.google.com/trends?q=Nintendo+Revolution%2C+Sony+Playstation+3 &ctab=0&geo=all&date=all)
But this still isn't a fair comparison, because most people don't use the "Sony" term, since Playstation is a trademarked term that isn't likely to return many unrelated results (unlike the term "revolution," which will return all sorts of unrelated results).
05-15-2006, 06:19 AM
Well, Quake 4 got PPM compatibility almost a month ago. But there's no big site hosting them so of course noone is downloading any. BTW, is polycount.net or polycount.com the official address now?
05-15-2006, 07:00 AM
polycount.com's official, polycount.net is the non-gamespy'd independent cottage hosting site.
PlanetQuake did have an overhaul recently as well, with a newer files section, they're starting to accept Q3A models now though no Q4 models yet.
As for my "site" I'm just snapshotting all the q3a players one by one, with 2 angles and a taunt/alt skin shot, which is not hard when you've got some camera keys bound in the cfg as wella s the fx5200 settings pumped up to the max in anistropy and FSAA. I'm up to letter C now.... (46 models shotted so far)
05-15-2006, 07:24 AM
Okay, I've submitted two Q4 models to PQ, let's see what happens.
05-15-2006, 09:24 AM
Couple points here. Noobie McNoobstien is'nt searching for the words 'player models'. He is searching for Quake 4 Goku Saiyin 16.
Another Issue is that most people are running lower than average specs in Q4. Multiplayer is such a system hog, most players i've been on with are running in 'low' mode. Meaning they care more about the frag fest now than it looking pretty. Why bother making or downloading PPM when you have to run on low?
And finally, it's twice as hard to get good looking content in game. If there was a Q3 Redux for Q4, where the art quality bar was'nt set so high, more people would'nt be intimidated by it. Most PPM's for Q3 were not pro quality, mainly because you did'nt have to be an expert modeler. Now with normal maps and the technical difficulty increasing who has time anymore, or the patience to learn it. The pro tools for higher poly modeling are also not availible to the target PPM audiance, which in my mind is high schoolers with nothing better to do.
05-15-2006, 01:08 PM
on the side discussion, this is how I see it.
considering Nintendo is a profiting game company, while the other two survive on the profits of separate divisions.
http://www.google.com/trends?q=nintendo%...ll&date=all (http://www.google.com/trends?q=nintendo%2C+playstation+3%2C+xbox+360&cta b=0&geo=all&date=all)
peaks, playstation delay, and Xbox release mayhem. using PS3 instead gives similar line. search entries don't state much. the word Wii is still getting around the public. People don't play their Sony, or their Microsoft. But, they do play their Nintendo.
the other decline in custom players, consoles. if it doesn't change the gameplay, why bother?
05-15-2006, 01:11 PM
Try removing the numbers from playstation and xbox. After all, searching for Nintendo gives you the GBA and DS as well.
05-15-2006, 01:21 PM
true. those are also Nintendo's game systems. It's not just about the Wii. searching the company name for the others will give you TVs and Software. so, searching the trends isn't saying much. who google's nintendo anyway? it's a household name.
05-15-2006, 01:29 PM
Compare xbox, playstation and nintendo. You'll see trends vastly different from the ones your search shows.
Overall I think this discussion is stupid because search trends mean very little.
05-15-2006, 01:57 PM
Before polycount hit the dust, there was already 10k+ downloads for the newer late 2004 (and rather bad imo) Spongebob q3 model, so our "audience" isn't quite apathetic and gone yet.
But how many of those people installed their ugly Spongebob model? How many of those people played as Spongebob on servers?
Call me jaded, but I'd bet money that 9900 of those downloads were from little kids googling for "spongebob game" or something and downloading everything they found.
And then another fifty of those downloads were you, Cheapy. /images/graemlins/smile.gif
05-16-2006, 12:21 AM
Hmm dont think its mainly the lack of interest in costum player models my mates and i always playing our LANs with costum stuff, makes way more fun. Its actually the lack of new models, how many pretty models i have seen that are now just some boring portfolio stuff. And then things like normal mapping and new techolgie that makes it quite hard to create new models. And lasty the lack of good sourcees, i personaly only know polycount, sorry cant count Skincity with their wannabe greyscale whoho necrisskin stuff, the only good one over there is Hide.
05-16-2006, 02:15 AM
Kraftwerk: Skin City and Polycount have mostly the same stuff. Of course SC accepts a lot of crap but all of the good stuff is available there, too. Many submitters have given up on sending stuff to Polycount because submissions took forever to get posted.
05-16-2006, 01:52 PM
Eh..wow this whole time I thought people did PPM's for thier portfolios and so they could share custom content with friends. I did'nt relize people were so keen on the public showing interest. New game levels sure but PPM's ? I guess ive not been fallowing long enough to have been around when the scene was very popular ?
05-16-2006, 05:29 PM
Also is'nt using a PPM considered cheating if it is not built to exact game spec. Such as the hit box, and height/width etc. All black skins to hide better on dark maps etc. No pro or hardcore gamer would really play with one regularly.
I can understand UT2K4 since there is a 'single player' mode. But no other game that supports PPM.
05-16-2006, 05:56 PM
It's only 'cheating' if you force everyone to use the more obvious model by clientside in a mod (like CPMA) and the players would choose which models they would have installed on their game to see them, otherwise they'll fall back to a safe detault like sarge if they don't have them, so cheating isn't a real issue here.
05-16-2006, 06:32 PM
as for interest in custom content
Every week someone requests some odd thing for these "out of style old games". Hell people are still requesting for UT99 on that board. While the new games may be more difficult/time consuming to make PPM's for, I think as joe aveage 15 year old gets a better computer the interest in custom avatars for the newer games will rise much more.
05-16-2006, 08:05 PM
Look , I have been watching this thread for a while now, and a lot of these reasons are valid, the rise of consoles and their closed architecture, The "professionalization" of the FPS clan community, and the difficulty of producing next generation assets especially if one is lacking tools and/or talent, but that doesn't mean we have to give up our mandate and tradition.
There are other games out there besides FPS's for a while that could take Custom content, such as Morrowind, and Neverwinter Nights. Also after having seen and worked with for a couple of months, UED3, I think we CAN see a resurgence of custom content, but only if we continue to give tutorials and resources to do it, and continue to feature them widely.
I still play FPS's and load my machine with custom maps and player models, I don't like the sterility of the "pro league" clans and their supremely polished twitch instincts, and much prefer the sociability of a pickup game amongst a few friends, who all pick different models. I say we DON"T have to drop the content, and if it was a problem with finding people to review them, then I will volunteer, as long as there are at least three other people who can do the same. But seriously, we can't just be like Conceptart.org,and just be about "Game Art", because we aren't as pretty as those CA.org folks, we just need to have better moves and a better focus. Keep the models and keep the resources to make them,and the publicity for them up front, and the public will return, provided that Carmack and Epic will allow custom content.
Personally I think the reason the interest has declined is that there hasn't been enough resources and tutorials, and that the site has been down, or dodgy since a rework a couple of years ago.. We may be the reason rather than external sources for the decline.
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