I made a shocking discovery today: Gamers don’t care about graphical quality. I was sitting together with a dozen other nerds looking at four of them play FIFA 08, and commented on how bad the lighting in that game is (a “where is the light source that is throwing those shadows?” sort of comment). When I explained why it couldn’t be the way it was, one of the guys said “only you would see something like that”.
To me, and everyone working in games, what looked like a cheap mix of shadow maps and stencil shadows was glaringly obvious, and we know the PS3 can probably do better. But to these guys, all with different backgrounds, it not only didn’t matter – they didn’t see it! Why are we spending bazillions of dollars on ever more refined tricks like AO (“look how the shadow in the corner of the room are very realistic – oooh!” when even simple shadows are something players don’t pay attention to?