CG Quality in the Future

Welcome to aqua’s pondering corner!O(≧▽≦)O

On 25th April 2014, one of the the two most anticipated RPG of the month was finally made available on Anime-Sharing. Tenbin no LaDea ~Ikusa Megami Memoria~ from Eushully is a complete remake of Ikusa Megami, which is more commonly known as IM1 as it is the first game in Ikusa Megami series. The original Ikusa Megami published in 1999 was Eushully debut game and fifteen years later we finally get a remake.

ラティーナ old

Ikusa Megami 1999


Ikusa Megami 2014

When I was reading through Ikusa Megami related forum thread, I came across an interesting discussion between two individuals. The first person complained that the characters design for Tenbin no LaDea is very similar to Eushully previous game, Madou Koukaku. On the other hand, the art in Rance9 from Alicesoft, another famous RPG series which also enjoy a new release last month, have seen a lot more improvement. Although he agreed, the second person pointed out that unlike Alicesoft drawing, there isn’t a lot of room for improvement in Eushully art to begin with and I wholeheartedly agree with that.


Since I do not play Rance9, I do not have any screenshot to post. So I decided to go through its CG collections and pick one that I like the most.

When I retired to my bedroom that night and was enjoying my private time, I started pondering like I always do. Is there really no more room for Eushully art to improve, I asked myself once again. I looked at the screenshots I took and came back to the same conclusion: I think the CGs look perfect. However, I also understand that art appraisal is a highly subjective matter. In fact, I can imagine that erogamers in the past who played Ikusa Megami fifteen years ago thought the CGs at the time look amazing, just like how I praised the CGs of the remake fifteen years later.

So here is my questions to all of you:

Do you think eroge drawing can get any absolute better? and by absolute better I mean people can look at two CGs from different time-period and come to an agreement that one is better than the other, or have we hit the upper limit of the art standard where anything better is either not achievable or barely noticeable?

Wait a minute… Does this art standard exist and fixed to begin with? or is it just a subjective preference that changes with time and generation?

I will stop here for today, but I will see if I can come up with some other questions for my next pondering corner. I am hoping that by presenting questions like these, I can spark conversations to make things more interactive and interesting, so please try to participate by voicing your opinion on the comment section below.

Cao~~~ ( ̄▽ ̄)ノ


11 thoughts on “CG Quality in the Future

  1. I believe anything can be further improved. Remember years ago we look at eroge art and don’t think it could get any better? It’s just hard to imagine what the future is like until you actually see it.

    • Yea, everything can be further improved but look at video. It started at 720p, next we have 1800p and this year we get 4k video. I wonder how many people can really tell the different, especially between 1800p and 4k, especially when watching through standard PC screen. I think the same principle of diminishing return can be applied here too.

      I think gangrelion(comment below) also give a very good example and I will add some more. Company like LoS, Whirlpool, Yuzusoft art have stayed pretty much the same for these past few years, except for several very minor improvements.

      For example, when I compare Noble Work(2010) and Amairo Islenaut(2013) from yuzusoft, their quality of their CGs are almost the same. While Amairo does have a softer color than Noble Work, that can be easily brushed off as a simple different coloring scheme and not an improvement.

  2. Well, there are art tendencies that change with time. For example, art-style from the start of 90’s was great for me, but many people say it’s shit and they can’t live without moeblobs anymore (I don’t mean everyone like only moe).
    There are those who got stagnated, though. Like Key and Lump of Sugar artists. They didn’t improve much since their debut (if not at all). It seems that Photoshop-like programs got better, so their coloring and effects improved along with it, but if you use those same softwares to make their CGs black&white and compare old vs new, you will find out not much have changed…

    • Yea, that is exactly what crossed into my mind. Do we think CGs from older eroge look bad because it is really bad compare to the newer CGs, or is it simply because we(the current erogamer) have a different value and criteria for what we considered beautiful art. Thanks for your opinion XD

  3. Styles will continue to change, evolve, maybe even cycle! But in terms of resolution and “quality”, I think we’re approaching a practical limit, unless playing eroge on giant TV screens becomes a thing. Also, hyper-detailed and “realistic” CG aren’t always in a game’s best interests.
    Meanwhile, I think character design quality is less tied to improvements in technology. Like Gangrelion said, some artists have hardly progressed from what they started with more than a decade ago, for better or worse. And the more saturated the eroge market got, the more generic many characters became. It makes me really appreciate the artists that stand out, like Alicesoft’s Orion, who’s been great at both designing new characters and revamping old ones.

    • “Styles will continue to change, evolve, maybe even cycle!”
      Yea completely agree, but I also want to give one odd example. AXL for example has been using this character design ever since Koitate in 2007. For 7 years, there havent been any major change to AXL character design and yet they still have a lot of fanbase that really like their drawing.

      The point here is that I am just curious. Do you think in 10 or 20 years from now, people will look at for example, current Yuzusoft/LoS drawings which most of us think so highly of and said that they look old and bad.

      • I haven’t played any AXL games, but now that I look at them, their character designs also still have the extra wide gap between the eyes. I thought only Key could still get away with that these days… But I don’t think that it’s bad by any means. That’s why I think we should separate “old” from “bad”, and “style” from “quality”. I think I can go back at least 12-15 years and still find a decent amount of character designs compatible with my stylistic tastes. Meanwhile, I can go back about 8-10 years before the average quality really begins to show it’s age, though I think ef still looks better than plenty of eroge titles these days. I think quality improvements will slow down. Probably the biggest room for improvement is in animated sprites, if that becomes a permanent trend.

      • I believe that, at least at the beginning, those changes will probably depend on each individual opinion. For example: LoS already look dated for me, but many would kill me just for saying that. Yuzusoft art-style on the other hand, is pretty nice as it is now, and it will probably take longer than LoS to look old, but again, just in my point of view. A complete change of trends will take longer to happen and the tendencies will, most likely, change little by little. At first, people will defend their own favorites, until those become a rarity or just disappear with time.
        This “style-circle” theory is very interesting and it makes sense, since there is always the “retro trend” that can make enough success to bring an old style back.

  4. I see two sides of this, one side is authoring and the other is distribution.

    Authoring is creating the CGs and there is many parts affecting this. There is the skill of the artists for one, which is very individual and is not going to change with the times. However the tools used to create the graphics will continually improve which will make it easier to make better graphics faster and/or with less skill. And time is closely related to quality, because in the end, it is a question of how much money the company is willing to use on graphics.
    So I would say on average, quality will slightly increase over time because of better tools for the artists. But the skill of the artist and the effort/money spend on graphics will matter much more when looking at a specific game.

    “Distribution” is how the graphics is delivered to the end-user, i.e. the way it looks in the final game. And this is where there really are significant improvements, because of the rapid advances.
    Well, that is what my logic tells me, but in reality the only improvement I have seen is that they can include more CGs and better audio quality now because of DVDs… (And the game engines are usually decent now.)
    I played Coµ recently and I was shocked it resolution is 800×600, even though it was released in 2009. A lot of the graphics actually is 1600×1200, but the whole game is rendered in 800×600 so even on my 1920×1200 monitor, it just upscales the low-res version.
    1280×720 is indeed more common nowadays, but that is the smallest monitor resolution you can get! It is just weak if you ask me…

    A note on 4K, UHDTV is not just a resolution increase, it actually also improves the colors (look up gamut). We have been stuck on a sRGB sized color space, which represented the colors the average consumer CRT in the early 90s could produce. Even without the resolution increase, this is a big improvement! I do think TV manufactures are pushing 4K monitors too early though, only the PC market really benefits currently. (Cheap 18-bit TN panels which only covers 80% of sRGB still dominates the PC monitor market though…)

  5. i really don’t agree with this post. i much prefer the art style of early 00’s. for example, the m de pink, elf, alice soft games are so gorgeous. very detailed and sensual, the lines, the flow, the shapes, etc. my case in point is debris by elf. that’s like one of the best drawn IMHO. i hate the hyper crisp art style. they lack the roughness and the rawness required for true feelings.

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