monetizing costume textures (and model rigging and finger animations)

Small indie company, please understand.

I had this conversation recently outside this forum.

@Laep said in monetizing costume textures:

It's not JUST upgrading textures.

This is the core of the necessary response to the topic title. We've seen in the prologue and showcase videos that Close Quarter (NGS) alone looks vastly improved (polygon count, texturing, reflection mapping and seemingly number of joints) compared to the original PSO2 version, especially when both are displayed in the new engine.

I believe there are over 5,000 different models in total between outfits, layered wear pieces and CAST parts. Maybe a bit less because some of those may be colour-variant textures of the same base models. But we're talking a surprisingly high number created over the course of 9+ years (including pre-release work, probably 10+ years) by teams often on a fortnightly basis for new scratches. Recreating all that at all would be a monumental effort; to ask of it to be done for free seems absurd.

Maybe they could have started a program to do it over time and given a set of default outfits for free as an introduction bonus or as part of some kind of promotional campaign? That'd still be a way to get value back from that effort and in a way that might have annoyed some players just a little less (though probably would not have prevented complaints which might instead have been "If they could do these for free, why not the rest?").

Personally I'm kind of okay with it. We needed to use a Ragol Memory exchange to get the original PSO outfits and way back in the day we "owned" those too. If NGS was a wholly separate game that we'd need to start entirely from scratch, it's a discussion that wouldn't be happening. And at the heart of it these are still new items that just happen to look like old ones.

Which itself has the nice upshot that anything that has never appeared on Global or which we couldn't get (either through inability to play at the time or inability to afford them e.g. in Fresh Finds) and gets a recreated or replaced version in NGS (items like maid dresses will more likely be all-new than recreations IMO) is something we'll be able to get in the future and at a more relaxed content addition pace than the rush of Global pre-NGS. That's infinitely preferable to missing out on an NGS cosmetic forever because you missed out long before NGS launched, no?


@Xaiyeon said in monetizing costume textures:

I think maybe later down the road; when 3d modeling and rendering gets a bit better (most likely I know Sega won't do this since they wanna make money first in the beginning), the development team can use a custom re-modeling, re-rigging, etc. model engine to take in the old fashion cosmetics and create new ones. I can't remember the technical term or if there is one yet.

That's... an interesting approach. I guess a term could be something like algorithmic or procedural, or if it gets more advanced something like machine-learning or AI. But it might be quite a technical challenge to create something like that. I can imagine companies might emerge to do this kind of thing as a service but it feels like we're not quite there yet, so not in time for it to really be accessible to NGS before it becomes established.


@Aumires said in monetizing costume textures:

Edit: I learned through Reddit that this is a translation error and it should say instead that NGS stuff won't work on PSO2's Story sequences.

Ah, that does make more sense than replacing base PSO2 outfits in NGS scenes with other base PSO2 outfits that would be subject to the same animation limitations anyway. Thanks for sharing!

@Akonyl I meant to say individual model updates * you are conflating a fully original skin with a simple texture and rigging update. its not the same thing.

in any case, dont tell me there is going to be an engine update if the textures arent actually updated automatically. I dont expect them to update every costume for free but I do expect any costume that is updated to be free. in most games this would be a menu option. what's next? are they going to charge extra for anti aliasing?

if they want to continue these predatory practices then I expect that any outfit i currently own to be updated for free (whenever they choose to update said outfit). otherwise, it's just a cheap tactic to get me to spend more money.

name any other studio that cant fund their own texture updates themselves. I dont think you can.

@NIC hahaha right? poor Sega

@ENERSHA420 said in monetizing costume textures:

dont tell me there is going to be an engine update if the textures arent actually updated automatically.

You don't know what an engine is, do you? 😕

@ENERSHA420 said in monetizing costume textures:

@Akonyl I meant to say individual model updates * you are conflating a fully original skin with a simple texture and rigging update. its not the same thing.

in any case, dont tell me there is going to be an engine update if the textures arent actually updated automatically. I dont expect them to update every costume for free but I do expect any costume that is updated to be free. in most games this would be a menu option. what's next? are they going to charge extra for anti aliasing?

if they want to continue these predatory practices then I expect that any outfit i currently own to be updated for free (whenever they choose to update said outfit). otherwise, it's just a cheap tactic to get me to spend more money.

name any other studio that cant fund their own texture updates themselves. I dont think you can.

The majority of studios don't do an engine upgrade within the same game like this. The only one I can think of would be FF14's 1.0->2.0 shift, which I believe had a substantial amount of engine changes along with character model changes, but that game is also a subscription MMO which makes its money just from subscriptions, not the sales of cosmetics, on top of not having as much stuff to need conversion at the time of the upgrde (because 1.0 was an immediate garbage fire).

(note: yes I know ff14 sells cosmetics too now, but during 2.0 launch I don't think they had any, or at least, it was a very minor selection beyond fantasias)

I can turn this around and say "name another studio with a game largely monetized through outfits, and updated constantly for 10 years, which reworked every single model for free. I don't think you can" and be just as right. PSO2 and what they're doing now doesn't really have any pre-existing examples I can think of because it's a pretty unique situation they've put themselves in. Any game doing something similar probably has significantly less assets that need conversion, or they just release the update as a new game instead, nipping the idea that any model ports should be owed in the bud.

I can almost guarantee that if SEGA ran all the old models through a script (AI texture upscaling, polygon subdivision, auto-rigging new bones, auto reflection maps based on surface normals, whatever else), so that this work could be done for as cheap as you seem to think it should be, the results would look worse enough compared to the hand-made new NGS models that people would still complain about it. It just might not be you specifically.

@Akonyl Warframe, fortnite, PUBG and league of legends immediately come to mind. your turn. name another studio charging for texture updates

@ENERSHA420 said in monetizing costume textures:

your turn. name another studio charging for texture updates

If they were really just texture updates in those games, yes textures get compressed all the time and it's not entirely surprising (but also not guaranteed) that a company would have higher quality source textures that they would be willing to release for free as system requirements go up. But this isn't just a texture update, so again those games wouldn't be the same situation as what PSO2's going through, and my previous point still stands.

Call this "just a texture update" all you want, but it aint.

@Akonyl you are nitpicking because you dont have an arguement, yes it has a few little extra animations. big whoop.

name another studio that charges for basic character animation.

even blade and soul has the common decency not to charge for that crap. when you have less respect for your playerbase than BnS you know theres a problem

My guy, you're continuing to ignore basic parts of what constitutes a potential model update of this scale to make it sound like less of a deal than it is.

SEGA isn't your friend, and neither are Epic Games, NCSoft or Digital Extremes. They're all companies making their money, if they do something for free it's because they made the money up-front somewhere else and/or think they can use it to make even more money down the line. SEGA probably wouldn't make money if they had to do 10 years of work for free, other companies with significantly less assets to upgrade might.

I don't think of this as big of a problem as everyone seems to be making it out to be. People probably more mad about this because it's being marketed as an "engine update" rather than a new game.

We even have a form of this in-game already, it's called Ragol Memories.

If that’s the case I’ll just be buying less outfits, only NGS versions of my top twenty maybe. There is no way in hell I could rebuy them all, that would be an obscene amount of meseta. It would be worth it though for your favorite outfits, they’ll look even better.

@Akonyl no one is saying all the outfits all at once. but the difference between NGS versions and classic versions is not remotely worth my time or money and just makes me less excited about the supposed "graphics update" which comes as a basic feature in any other game

@ENERSHA420 said in monetizing costume textures:

@Akonyl said in monetizing costume textures:

I can turn this around and say "name another studio with a game largely monetized through outfits, and updated constantly for 10 years, which reworked every single model for free. I don't think you can" and be just as right.

@Akonyl Warframe, fortnite, PUBG and league of legends immediately come to mind.

I bolded the part of Akonyl's post that you missed.

Warframe has existed for 7½ years and its if list of helmets is updated and any indication the number of unique cosmetic pieces numbers in the hundreds rather than the thousands which falls far short of PSO2's count. I cannot find anything describing it having improved all the models, rigging, and textures for free, but a few months ago they started what actually is only a texture update that uses automation to recompress (without editing) textures to reduce the PC install size by a long-term target of 15 GB. This is nothing like what NGS is doing so either I can't find the alleged full model overhaul (that could potentially be much older when there was even less to do) or you're drawing a serious false equivalence here.

Fortnite is a mere 3½ years old. Around January/February last year it updated the physics engine with no visual enhancements which is a lot like what you're complaining about with NGS. In September they briefly added and pulled "Hi-Rez" textures and in December they added them for PC only; these seem to literally just be larger texture files; if they compressed source textures for their original release, these could simply be less-compressed versions of the same sources which is comparatively little effort and again nothing like remodelling and everything else.

League of Legends is the only one that has seen 10 years of work and support so far; the only texture update I can find mentioned is from 2014 so the game wasn't as old as PSO2 is now and this seemingly recent list suggests there are not many more than 1,166 skins today which is again a fraction of PSO2 even now, this number was probably more like 300-400 back in 2014 and again this was an actual texture update rather than the full re-modelling NGS is doing.


@ENERSHA420 said in monetizing costume textures:

@Akonyl you are nitpicking because you dont have an arguement

My guy you've literally spent the whole topic calling what you've repeatedly been told is a re-modelling, re-rigging and re-shading of what are basically new models at this point "just a texture update". You've now gone as far as to directly compare it to several games that as far as I can see did just do texture updates and nothing else.

You aren't just nitpicking at this point, but are flat out being dishonest.

The new NGS outfits might look so good that a NGS-version of existing outfits won’t even matter so much. You can still wear the old style in NGS, not like they become obsolete. Look forward to shiny new clothes! 😍