Video Game Tuesday: The Magic FPS

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.


This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that gets way too overblown these days. It’s all about The Magic FPS.

FPS? First Person Shooter?: No, I mean Frames Per Second, although I hear the most complaints come from shooter fans about frame rates. Frankly I don’t see why people get so upset about not getting a steady 60fps for every game. There are various reasons why it’s not the standard frame rate for games.

Which Reasons?: Well for one reason 24fps is what we watch movies in. If you watch it with any faster frame rate it will look off, and often breaks suspension of disbelief much easier. But 24fps isn’t the baseline that most games use these days. That would be 30fps. It still is very close to the cinematic standard of 24fps, but it’s a solid round number that is easy to work with and doesn’t strain the eyes of players. Most games these days run in 30fps.

So why 60fps?: Because it looks really smooth, which I’ll admit is sometimes very nice. But I’m going to point out that it looks just wrong for most cutscenes and since I play Video Games because I want stories, that is a huge disadvantage to me. It also isn’t very easy to get with ever improving 3D artwork for most developers. It can be done, but most systems won’t be able to run it easily. So really, please stop complaining about not reaching that “magic number” of frames, because 60 isn’t all that amazing. It has more disadvantages than advantages.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday!

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