The Framerate Police Causes Developer To List 30fps Lock As Game Feature

The Framerate Police is a new curator on Steam that has quickly gained a lot of attention – both negative and positive – but at the end of the day it’s simply a community tool used to help consumers gauge what the frame-rate is for a PC game.

The group hasn’t been received entirely with open arms and kindness by all developers. However, in one case – after a rather nasty kerfuffle with the community – a studio decided that instead of blocking The Framerate Police, they would accede by listing their 30fps hard-lock as a feature for the game.

For a little context, Youtuber TotalBiscuit recently started the curator group known as The Framerate Police as a way to help PC gamers learn about the frame-rates for PC games since Valve removed the tags to label games as 30fps or 60fps (or higher).

Some games have unlocked FPS, this means that you can turn the frame-rate limiter off and it will run as fast as your computer can handle it.

Other games have soft-locks, this means that the game is set to run at 30fps but it can potentially run higher. There may not be any options in the menu to modify the frame-rate but there might be an ini file or a cfg file to modify the frame-rate settings manually and either unlock the frame-rate or boost it up to 60fps (or higher). A good example of this is Dead Rising 3, which released on PC with a 30fps soft-lock; but the devs mentioned that gamers could – at their own risk – bump it up to 60fps by tweaking the ini files. You can see the difference in how Dead Rising 3 runs with the 30fps compared to the unlocked 60fps with a video comparison below courtesy of Digital Foundry.

Dead Rising 3 PC Unlocked Frame-Rate Tests (Core i5 3570K at 4.5GHz/GTX 780)

Subscribe for more console and PC tech analysis: Go here to learn how to run Dead Rising 3 on PC at frame-rates above 30fps:

Hard-locking is where the game is set to run at a set number of frames per second, no matter what. Usually this entails locking the game’s simulation time with the engine run-time. Other times it might mean that the game’s FPS is locked to the CPU cycles. This means that there are no options in the game or through basic config files outside of the game to raise or lower the frame-rate. Sometimes modders will make third-party tools/files to brute-force a game to run at 60fps. Sometimes this results in the game logic breaking (like Need For Speed Rivals) while other times it results in the game performing better, such as Durante’s DSfix for Dark Souls.

Hard-locking, however, is seen as an impeding blockade for PC gamers, preventing them from enjoying the game the way they want, especially if they have the hardware to run a game above 30fps. For console games hard-locking is a safe way to ensure a smooth gameplay experience as well as guarantee that the performance of the game is steady and that it doesn’t become inconsistent or suffer from tearing or drops.

The Framerate Police was designed to help notify gamers if a game is hard-locked at 30fps or if there are options available to bypass the lock. It’s an objective curator group that only notifies people if a game is hard-locked at 30fps or if there are options to bypass that lock.

Not everyone has taken kindly to the group and some developers tried blocking the group.

Guild of Dungeoneering

One developer, Gambrinous, originally blocked The Framerate Police from showing up on their store page, but when called out on it on their discussion page, they re-added it. Myll Erik mentioned to the community that…

“Removed it initially as Steam Curators are meant to recommend games – not just post the comment “Locked at 30 FPS”.


“However after being spammed/threatened/warned/etc – we added it back to our list of curators.”

Erik mentions that they just wanted to focus on working on their game Guild of Dungeoneering and didn’t want to get involved in the back and forth squabbles circulating the topic of 30fps.

Erik goes on to say…

“We’ve never tried to hide the fact that we are 30FPS, it’s just that Steam [Curators] are meant to Recommend games to users and the fact that the only Comment from that [particular] curator was “Locked at 30fps” didn’t seem very helpful especially when it largely doesn’t affect Guild of Dungeoneering.”

Some of the people argued that maybe they should consider upping it to 60fps, while others acknowledged that 30fps was fine but the purpose of The Framerate Police was to inform people that the game is hard-locked and not to name and shame them for it.

There have been some people on Twitter, Reddit and even on discussion threads where they mounted concerns about the group and have attempted to dissuade TotalBiscuit from running it. Yet at the end of the day, it’s about consumers being informed.

In fact, TotalBiscuit and many others mentioned that if Valve hadn’t removed the 30fps tag they wouldn’t need a curator group to point out the fact that some PC games are locked at 30fps. As far as developers blocking the curator group from showing up on their store page, TotalBiscuit mentioned in a forum thread

There is nothing we can do about devs blocking the curator, except that it will show up anyway if you follow the curator (so you should do that)

I did reach out to Gambrinous for comment and Colm Larkin explained…

“Really the issue to me is that it’s using up one of our curator spots. Only one of them is shown with the quote on our store page. So instead of a potential fan seeing “A charming little card drafting dungeon-themed game in dire need of a better options menu and faster animations, but worthwhile for the patient.” they might see “30fps lock.”.”

One thing worth keeping in mind is that “30fps lock” does not mean that the game is bad. Some have taken the creation of The Framerate Police as a negative connotation when in reality it’s simply about informing people.

I don’t mind games that are 30fps even if I prefer 60fps. It usually only affects my purchasing decisions when it’s for a console game that can’t maintain 30fps but dips down into the 15fps and 20fps territory. That’s just unacceptable and it can affect the control input latency and response timing of playing the game. Not all games, mind you.

Nevertheless, Larkin did acknowledge that they actually added the “30fps lock” to Guild of Dungeoneering‘s feature list on the store page, explaining…

“We actually put it into our game’s description. AND we’ve kept the curator. It’s just easier than dealing with trolls piling into our forums and shouting mean stuff. “

If you check the game’s previous store page listing you’ll note that “30fps” wasn’t listed as a feature but now it is, so Larkin is being honest about listening to the feedback.

I also had reached out to Doug Lombardi from Valve to see if a possible middle-ground could be made with the return of frame-rate tags for games, but at the time of publishing this article Lombardi has not responded.

So far The Framerate Police has garnered some interesting feedback. And despite some detractors wanting to see it gone, if it causes more information to be made available so consumers can make informed purchases from Steam, then it’s a win for consumers at the end of the day.


OAG staff consists of writers creating content about video game and digital culture.

43 thoughts on “The Framerate Police Causes Developer To List 30fps Lock As Game Feature

    1. not a surprise, they made the tag system useless by removing all “offensive tags” about many months ago when they bowed down to the hipsters and those that live to take offense professionally

      Users were calling devs on their bullshit with tags or giving useful info (you can only say so much with a few words, “nanomachines, son” is kinda funny but it signaled games that involved near-future tech very well, sci-fi or cyberpunk are too broad for that)

      some tags were insults but those were the minority (and the “only most popular tags shows up” system would also quickly take care of them), most of them were useful, sadly it was too much for professionally offended ppl and they raged until the system was gimped into uselessness, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN GONE HOME IS NOT A GAME?!” and all that

      Many games on Steam fail at conveying what they really are and their “features” in their descriptions or by the hype media (with their love for “JUST TRY IT ITS THE BESTEST GAME EVER IN EVER, disclaimer there might have been some grinding between my genitals and the developer”), a few simple words can do that so much better “Walking simulator” “Not a game” “Grinding simulator” “Pay to win”, “Bad FOV”, some of those tags are still allowed but after 30fps going out i imagine they have their days counted

    2. the tag system was heavily “abused” early on and valve waded in shortly after and butchered the system frm being a proper community informed open feedback loop. By that I mean tagged, then voted on by users to determine the validity of the tag.

  1. I think the framerate police are a GOOD thing because at the end of the day games are about gamers and if the companies involved refuse to give the gamers the information needed to make a good buying decision then its good that Total Biscuit is stepping up to fill that gap. Gamers deserve to known what kind of game they’re buying BEFORE they lay their money out after all this isn’t just about gaming companies making money its about the consumer getting a product that meets their needs and they enjoy gaming companies would do well to remember that !

    1. They’re kicking off and acting like children because they don’t want to deal with actually fixing the issue. Good on TB for giving customers more choice by simply informing them. 30 fps locked doesn’t say ‘game is good’ or ‘game is terrible’ but it gives you more information to inform your buying decisions.

      1. There’s no issue to fix, games are often frame locked for a reason and acting like the “whiny piss-babies” gamers are often accused of being doesn’t help the cause.

      2. There’s no issue to fix, games are often frame locked for a reason

        That’s fine. No one is arguing against frame-locking (although an argument can be made against it for PC games), what they’re arguing for is the information to know when a game is doing it.

        If it’s in the feature list, tagged in the game description or added to The Framerate Police curator then consumers will know and can make an informed purchasing decision.

      3. Because in the case of a game like Toukiden: Kiwami, hard-locked framerates can ruin the gameplay experience when there are drops or stutter at 30fps, affecting the input latency and player control. This can also impair the visual enjoyment of the game when a computer is capable of running it faster but the caps inhibit players from enjoying the game in a way that they paid to enjoy it.

        Consumers who desire this information should have it. A better question is: when you’re buying a car or a house are there ever times where a realtor will won’t tell you important info about the purchase and you’re okay not knowing?

      4. To be blunt “60” is not a magical number, FPS and game performance is a variable sweetspot. It’s not fixed as it depends a great deal on the games inner mechanics. And Ironically, if you have a rig that’s capable of running 60 locked out, you’re more than likely capable of running 90 or 120 (peaks), so why limit it to 60. It’s “60” because.. “consoles”. And that’s pretty much where this whole faux debate originates, as a ‘pro’ to get people to buy graphically inferior hardware… early consoles couldn’t compete with resolution, but they could with framerate because they’re locked systems designed for graphical throughput.

        As for the house analogy… if you bought a house without a roof you have a non-functional house. If you buy a game without knowing the framerate, you still have a functional game (turkeys like Arkham aside). You still have a product of merchantable quality that wouldn’t affect your enjoyment (except in the gamers own head about “must have higher fps).

      5. You still have a product of merchantable quality that wouldn’t affect
        your enjoyment (except in the gamers own head about “must have higher

        Yes, it would. I only play fighting games at 60fps. I only play racing games at 60fps (or higher), and the same for flight sims, arcade games and platformers. As I mentioned, I prefer the input latency to be as accurate and timely as possible without having to worry about drops or stutter interrupting the enjoyment of play. That’s exactly why I DON’T play games on the PS3 or Xbox 360.

        I don’t care if you don’t think it’s an important feature, as a consumer paying for a product that I expect to enjoy it’s information I’d like to have. I didn’t buy Dark Souls at first because it did have a 30fps hard-lock.

        I don’t care if you don’t think it’s important, I thought it was important enough that I staved off a purchase until Durante released a 60fps. As a consumer I have a right to be informed about the games I purchase. That goes for everyone.

        if you have a rig that’s capable of running 60 locked out, you’re more
        than likely capable of running 90 or 120 (peaks), so why limit it to 60.

        No one said they had to limit it to 60. I would play GTA games at about 120fps with the limiter off. It depends on your play preference.

      6. Ok, just so we clear on somethings before proceeding the discussion.

        First, 60 FPS is an arbitrary softcap because 90% of the monitors out there have a 60hz refresh rate, so even if the game can run on a higher than 60 FPS and your machine allows it, you wouldn’t see frames above 60 simply because your monitor can’t display that fast. It’s actually ironical if you think about, PC Enthusiasts will sometimes shelve more than one thousand dollars on a machine that can run games at 240 FPS, but still buy a “peasant” monitor who can’t display at 240hz refresh rate…

        Secondly, high FPS quickens the player’s reaction time, how much does it take for him to take notice of something, not how fast the game will process his reaction. How fast the game process the players reactions is the job of the game’s internal engine (the clocking parameteres) and the physical interface hardware (controller or keyboard). These two can be completely unrelated to the game’s rendering engine (and most of the time will be), because these are input systems and the game rendering engine are output systems. A high FPS most of the times only ensures that it will display information fast enough that you might react faster, but not necessarily that it will take your input faster. Input latency depends on the internal engines clock speed, not the redering engine frame rate, sometimes the devs will tie the two together, most of the times they will not. High FPS is mostly for reaction time, not input latency. That’s why a high FPS is a REQUIREMENT for anykind of seriously competitive or hard games, because you need to be able to react faster, be it a fighting game, a MOBA, a RTS, and that’s why you need a higher FPS. However, IF your game is not competitively driven or extremely hard, high FPS is nothing but the player’s preference.

        And finally, the human mind and eye can process videos up to around 90 FPS.
        It will vary form individual to individual, some individuals can perceive up to
        110, others up to 80 only, but it will always gravtiates towards this 90
        FPS mean average, anything much above it is completely useless as even if the games allows it, your machine can do it and your monitor can display it, your mind wouldn’t know the difference and you wouldn’t be getting any advantage at all through this, all such perceptions much above these framerates are nothing but placebo effects. If you want faster input latency then you need to tweak with the game internal engine, not it’s rendering engine.

        As for the issue at hand, my position stay the same. The objectives are good, the intentions and the wording however iaremisguided and is creating unnecessary chaos. Lock or no lock should be left only at the artists discretions and if the player feels the need to change it, it should be left to mods. TB needs to change the wording of this thing.

        A side note: if you care or don’t care, prefer or don’t prefer a high FPS is up to you. However, It is undeniable that a high FPS will create a different feeling and atmosphore than an standard FPS, that’s why the choice is up to you and the developer can choose which atmosphere the game was made to.

      7. As for the issue at hand, my position stay the same. The objectives are good, the intentions and the wording however are misguided and they’re creating unnecessary chaos.

        Actually I thought the intentions and wording are quite straightforward. As a consumer I know if a game is hard-locked or not at 30fps.

        The only chaos is really only coming from people who feel the curator “names and shames” the devs, when that isn’t the case at all.

        The group nor TB are saying that 30fps is bad, just that they’re policing games that don’t have tags to let consumers know that they’re 30fps.

        If devs do like what Gambrinous did then there wouldn’t be a need for the curator. Better yet, if Valve just let gamers tag a game with “30fps lock” people can make a decision that way.

        For me, I avoided NFS Rivals when I found out about the hard-lock. A racing game limited to 30fps is pretty crappy. I only found out about it after the brouhaha, though.

      8. The objectives are to inform the consumer, and it’s using a curator because Valve removed the tag that informed us about it. This is the only means for which we can fight such fight and it’s pretty awesome that TB is doing it.

        The intentions however are pretty clear. If you watch enough of TB podcasts you can see he despises 30 FPS with a passion, the tone of his voice, the jokes, the shaming, he is not by any means neutral and impartial on these grounds. And not just because “there isn’t a option to 60” it’s about the 30 FPS itself, if he truly cared about options he would be fighting for 120 FPS and optional locks.

        And the fact that the curator has such an agressive name, “police” here has more a semantic perception of a police as a “law enforcing task group” than police as “policing”, a set of regulations to abide to (as the expression “*Random-Object-Here* Police” always implies about someone or some group being a hard ass about some topic; “the grammar police”, “the moral police”, “the fun police”… “the framerate police”… and so on) that many, gamers and devs included, take the curation as harassment. It is too akin to guerrila tatics to be take on pure good faith alone.

        The industry environment we have today, especially about framerate, is too sensible to take that as a simple tongue-in-cheek humor, is more akin to trolling.

        NFS series never was a serious racing game to me, nor does it need incredibly fast reactions to achieve good times, if it was burnout with the incoming traffic at the speed of light I would care though, so I know what you mean.

      9. I like to have my FPS at or above 60 for the reason that it feels janky and hurts my eyes at 30 FPS.
        A quick flick based shooter requires a good reaction time and smooth, responsive controls. 30 FPS isn’t smooth or responsive.

      10. So, we are piss-babies because we want to know when a game is locked at 30fps or not…?

        If 30fps is no big deal, why are devs so reluctant to let us know about it?

      11. And if they’re locked for a reason, then I don’t buy it for a reason. That simple, that’s not being a whiny piss-baby. If food at a resturant taste shit, you don’t buy it.

  2. How on earth does anyone manage to spin this as a bad thing?

    The largest group of complainers are the developers who have been called out on their bullshit. These guys started calling the complainers trolls, harassers instead of what they really are, which is customers.

    1. You know why developers get fed up and end up in the arms of Rami what-his-face and the likes? Because people keep making ill-informed comments like this “The largest group of complainers are the developers who have been called out on their bullshit and lazy programming.“. Instead of rattle the pitchforks and burning down the house, it usually better to first ask if the monster is real.

      1. Can you tell us without dancing around why informing the consumer about which game has a 30fps lock is a bad thing?

      2. As asked above… why is it a good thing to know? Once I understand where you’re coming from and why it’s important I’ll be better able to answer.

      3. Are you kidding me?

        Because it affects the user experience? Because users want that information?

      4. As gamers we have numerous options available to change gfx settings. If framerate adjustment is available for tweaking, then all is good. If not then its probably not available for a reason(s). But here the thing, simply adding the ability doesn’t by itself improve the users experience unless the game is designed to take advantage of the way the game behaves with faster throughput – and this isn’t a trivial feat to do, you don’t simply increase fps and have a great game.

        There was a time when gamers modded features like that and accepted the instability it introduced. These days everyone seems to use the “I’m a consumer and I vote with my dollars” as a rationalisation to strong arm developers supplicating “or else”. And that’s not a direction we aught to be going in.

      5. These days everyone seems to use the “I’m a consumer and I vote with my dollars” as a rationalisation to strong arm developers supplicating “or else”.

        But that’s not what the Framerate Police is. It’s not “strong arming” anyone, it’s informing people. If a dev doesn’t want 60fps as an option for their game, they don’t need to add it, The Framerate Police isn’t telling them to add it.

        It’s simply pointing out that if a dev HARD-LOCKS their game it’s informing gamers that there may not be any options to tweak the FPS. For the games that offer FPS mods, they list these options. It’s an objective curator list.

      6. That’s not what it might be right now. The only reason fps is even an issue is because PC gamers want to feel like their competing with their console buddies; it’s “60” for a reason, one that has nothing to do with a PC’s mechanical capabilities above a consoles.

        Look I get where you’re coming from but it’s a point argued from ignorance (that’s meant in the sense of not knowing anything about a subject, not as the insult). Gamers see an end product and have no idea what goes in to making a game run well, they see consoles can run at 60 and think “why doesn’t my PC do that”, completely misunderstanding the technical differences under the hood that determine “why”. But rather than find out they just shake their fists of dollars and say “whyyyy” bashing the sand looking up and the buried console.

        And groups like the framerate police don’t help in that regard because they don’t education people as to those differences, they just end up as rabble-rousing, invisible monster chasing mobs that developers shy aware from (aka the stupid crap Rami whats-his-face recently spewed forth at Develop-brighton in his own world of ignorance)…

      7. Look I get where you’re coming from but it’s a point argued from ignorance

        No it’s not. I’ve designed 2D and 3D games (not engines) likely before you were born. Have you built anything recently?

        Gamers see an end product and have no idea what goes in to making a game run well, they see consoles can run at 60 and think “why doesn’t my
        PC do that”

        That has nothing to do with why a game is hard-locked and not soft-locked. My question to you is this: why is it necessary to hard-lock a PC game especially when the Unreal Engine automatically generates code to allow users to modify the FPS outside of a game?

        You do know that hard-locking means a dev has to purposefully encrypt the files to prevent people from modifying the FPS. Why would you take this option away from PC gamers when many times engines have this built into the initiation files?

      8. “The only reason fps is even an issue is because PC gamers want to feel like their competing with their console buddies;”

        No – it’s because we enjoy more fluid animations and more responsive controls.

        “it’s “60” for a reason, one that has nothing to do with a PC’s mechanical capabilities above a consoles.”

        Sometimes, that reason is “we were lazy”.

        “they see consoles can run at 60 and think “why doesn’t my PC do that””

        Uhm… what? Modern consoles struggle to maintain 30fps, let alone reach 60 in AAA games.

        “And groups like the framerate police don’t help in that regard because they don’t education people as to those differences, ”

        If the developers think this is important, they can write this in the game description. “Why my game was locked at 30 fps”, and give an in-depth explanation to the unwashed savages.

        It really baffles me that you are against giving information to the consumer. What’s next – should DRM information also be withheld from us?

      9. I laughed earlier at that guys comments that why would anyone want to know if a game is 30 or 60, I’m an arcade gamer at my core and enjoy racing games and certain fighting games, there is a massive difference between 30 and 60 in those two genres.

        Why should we be forced to have 30 just because? If I like a game I will buy it even if it’s 30, but I want to know about it, it may mean I wait for a sale and buying a better optimized game at full price.

  3. While the wish to inform consumers is honorful and all, if TB truly wish to be an information tool and not a harassment, he really needs to change the name of the curator. Police implies Criminality, which means is “bad”. It just adds a sour note to the whole thing that is not needed.

    In my opinion he should have just called it “The 30 FPS Lock Tag”, that would be informative, not agressive, and it would send a message to Valve to add the damn tag back.

    I doubt he will though, I think TB has lost his grip as a video game comentator. He is a great Industry Comentator, about Game Politics and the Status Quo, no doubt about that, but about the games themselves, about the medium, about the art, he really doesn’t know what he is talking about, he is too pragmatic to grasp any kind of deep abstraction through a game, to him a game is about a bunch of rules in context and a list of features…

    TB IS sour about the whole FPS debacle, he says he can barely stand to play a game that is not 60 FPS… barely stand, this is just ridiculous. I’m sorry, but that name is MEANT to be pointing fingers… He can’t comprehend that sometimes 30 FPS is a DESIGN decision, not a decision of constraints or incompetence, but design, something that is meant to be played that way and as an artist I think is valid to lock the framerate if it is the artist’s wish. If that’s how the artist want gamers to experience his game. To TB, this idea preposterous, to him 60 FPS has clearly more frames than 30, therefore 60 is better than 30, that anything becomes instantly better by just adding more frames to it, and that gamers should “always have the option to experience the game the way they want”, which personally, goes against the whole concept of what is an artist and what are his creations, it downgrades art to a mere stimuli experience for self gratification… I wonder if we’ll start having Polices for all kind of game option in the future… “The Gore Effects Police”, “The Custom Colors Police”, “The Ultimate AA Algorythm Police”, “The Motion Blur Police”, “The Depth of Field Police”, “The Vignette Police”, “The Film Grain Police” and so on…

      1. Well, to start off, don’t put words on my mouth, I never said that informing consumer that the game has a lock is bad.

        Higher FPS definitely allow for better “interaction” for the player, as far as perception of movement and reaction times are concerned, but here is the thing that is hard for most PC Elitist to understand: Art is not about performance or fidelity.

        Just because oil painting has a higher color fidelity than Watercolor doesn’t mean watercolor is inferior to oil painting. A painting can be blurry, sketchy, strokeful and what not. You don’t make a music “better” just by amplifying instrument fidelity, it’s not about “how easy” is to interact or perceive the opus, or how clean or sharp it is. It’s about the kind of vibe it gives to appreciators, and I’m not talking about concious judgement but truly, vibe, a subconcious stimuli that alters your perception of that universe. You don’t need to go far in Arts to see this fact, in any art fields. Old, noisey and rash music still sound better than many clear, precise and clean versions of the same music. Paintings strokeful and blurry still convey messages more impressive than many clean and sharp digital paintings.

        And for that matter, yes, 30 FPS is about as a good choice as 24, 48, 60, 72, 90, 120 FPS, as long as it agrees with the rest of the art piece. As long as it is concise and truthful.

        As for you request, it’s not about the plataform, a game with the wrong FPS will feel horrible at any plataform, it’s about the game itself. And; I’m sure you heard this argument many times, you must be sick of it, already mentally preparing your rethoric to it; but games that are meant to be cinematic and not at all competitive do give a better vibe as 30 FPS than they do at 60.

        The problem with the 60 framerate for this kind of composition is that 60 has too high of a fidelity to feel dramatic, it looks too real and too CRUDE, raw. Take a look a this, put at 60 FPS at youtube gear button (scroll down to the botton of the post if you wanna see the video here):

        While framerate enthusiast will orgasm out of their fetishism with high framerates, most neutral people will agree: it looks weird. It looks awkward. The action scenes and scenes with fast movement just look ridiculous. And not just because we’re not used to see movies this way but because we DO NOT perceive the world around us this way. We don’t see the world as 48, 60 or 90 FPS, we can perceive up to around 90 but given the way our field of view is structured and how or light receptor works we have a pretty particular way to interpret movement, movement that encompasses our whole field of view and depth perception. The image on the flat 2D screen however much movement it display is actually static our brains, it just sits there on our central vision. And so, for fast action scenes with lots of movement, we end up receving a much clearer image that we would ever receives in our daily lives, it’s like interpreting an image through the eyes of a computer instead of the eyes of an human. You can negate this effect by amplifying the motion blur but only to a certain point (let alone the fact that motion blur post processing is at terrible state right now). And this is the end result.

        Dialogue sequences look too crude, like a theater interpreation, to have any drammatic impact, sometimes it even amplify the cheesyness of the whole thing, like a second grade theatre presentation.

        Action and fast sequences have too much going to look real, they feel awkward and unnatural looking.

        If that crude, rich and awkward feel is what your work of art needs, then going for 60 FPS is the way. For a drammatically epic presentation high FPS is NOT the way to be, it goes AGAINST the message you would be trying to phrase.

        Video games work a little different, but they are a visual media regardless, and some rules apply the same. A high FPS doesn’t feel that much awkward on most high action gameplay because any kind of virtual interactive world requires a lot more of abstraction by the player than a movie observer does. It is way harder to break the immersion and the suspension of disbelief ina video game than it does in a movie. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect the whole feel of the art piece.

        I’ve seen The Last of Us at 30 FPS on a PS3 and later at 60 FPS at PS4 and I can defintely say the 30 FPS version feels better to that game than the 60 FPS version, the 60 FPS version looks crude and awkward, not that much for gameplay, only if you search for it, but a lot for cutscenes and non-interactive sequences.

        I’ve also felt a similar feeling with the new Doom, I have seen footage of it at a high frame rate, and while the character movement feels alright for most the time, the animations for the monsters and especially the animations of them falling apart have a very weird looking movement to them, not because of the animation itself, but because of it being at a high frame rate.

        And many other games which I felt they need to be epic or drammatic I have tried to lock them at 24 or 30 FPS myself, because I feel it fits the thest of the art piece better thant he crude and richhigh framerates. I have also tried to put them in more cinema like ratio than the usual widescreen perspective (the 35mm film range I mean).

        This kind of design choices don’t entail only to framerate but many other features. Not only because it is technichally superior that it is automatically artistically better. It all depends on the work of art itself and how the artist want to convey it message.

      2. In the first part of your argument, you talk alot about art. The thing is, games are not art you passively consume – you actively engage with them, and your enjoyment depends on how well you can engage with it in the first place. You can make the equivalent of a “Monalisa” in gaming, but if its a struggle to even control the bloody thing, you will be hard pressed to keep gamers engaged.

        An oil painting is static. A movie is dynamic. A game is interactive. Very, very different things.

        “The problem with the 60 framerate for this kind of composition is that 60 has too high of a fidelity to feel dramatic, it looks too real and
        too CRUDE, raw”

        Films are a completely different beast to gaming. Films are carefully shot to compensate for the shortcomings of 24fps, and they can do that because of their fixed cameras. For example, films have natural motion blur that compensates for their low fps. Films are also non-interactive, so there is no loss on the input side of things when it comes to them. Finally, with a higher framerate, lower production values pop-out more, just like how FullHD porn will sometimes highlight porn actresses in non-flattering ways (they, themselves, said that on occasion), as it shows too much detail to the point of revealing small defects.

        A possible argument for movies is that people are simply used to that, and are resistant to change. You can see this as many people do, in fact, prefer the high fps version of the Hobbit. Such argument doesn’t fly on the PC, though, because we had 60fps for a goddamn long time. Besides, who in their right mind would say that making the game choppier results in a better experience?

        Anyway, for some background on why movies have 24fps, you can check the hurdles filmmakers went through until they settled (for now) at 24fps here:

        I also issue you a challenge. Show any PC game that looks and plays better in 30fps than 60fps.

        You can also check this website out for a test:

        Here you can see a blog post from Michael Abrash (Valve) saying why we need 1000fps@1000mhz in this century:

        Some of the key points:

        – Low framerates — problematic for both motion blur and/or judder

        – High framerates — better, but still have motion blur even at 120fps@120Hz

        – Strobing — solves motion blur but adds problems (flicker problem/stroboscopic problem)

        – 1000fps@1000Hz — Simultaneously fix motion blur, fix flicker, fix stroboscopic/stepping effects

        Meaning higher framerates solve a lot of our problems with visual representations in gaming.

        About the fps and the human eye:

        Some tests for 30 vs 60 fps:

        Some other resources showing that 60fps is better if you care to read or watch:

        I cut this comment short midways and decided to just mostly dump the articles midway as some of them have technical explanations I would be hard pressed to accuratelly reproduce in a summarized fashion, so my apologies for that.

      3. You’re lucky I’m already familiar and have read some of your sources before you brought them up, I didn’t have to read it all because I already read most of it.

        But seriously, showering your oposing side with indirect sources is bad behavior in a serious discussion, it adds a lot of unrelated junk to topic at hand and masks your own comprehension of the subject. Apologizing for it doesn’t make it any better. It’s a virtual form of Strawman where you force the other side to refute other authors claims for whom you might not agree completely to begin with ( and for
        example are filled with flaws, which I don’t know if you agree or don’t), basically just making people waste their time. I politely ask that you refrain to do so again and instead write your abstract about the subject.

        I didn’t watch the videos tough, they seem made for the layman, I doubt they’ll have more meaningful data than books or papers I have read on the subject.

        Getting that out of the way, let’s begin

        “In the first part of
        your argument, you talk alot about art. […]

        An oil painting is static. A movie is dynamic. A game is interactive. Very, very different things. “

        I didn’t ignore the fact that games are an interactive medium. I don’t account it in my argumentation simply because it doesn’t matter. My argument isn’t about how exactly do you perceive a work of art, how exactly do you do it changes how your cognitive process will proceed to abstract the piece, but my argument isn’t about that.

        It’s not HOW EXACTLY you can perceive a work of art, but HOW WELL you can perceive it.

        If you want to judge a book you need to be able to read it, if you want to judge a song you need to be able to hear it, if you want to judge a movie or a picture you need to be able to see it and if you want to judge a game you need to be able to play it.

        The more clear, concise and simple the writing, the easier it is to read it; the more clear and sharp a sound, the easier it is to listen; the more clean and sharp
        an image, the easier it is to see it; and the more responsive a game, the easier it is to interact with it.

        And that’s what I was doing, a comparison. While the cleaner, sharper and clearer an image will facilitate your judgement of a painting or picture, it doesn’t mean that all paintings and all movies need to be clean, sharp and clear. The fact that you can’t visiually identify objects very well can be very much a concious design decision of the artist, and that is the comparison, for the same logic can also apply for games. The fact that a game is not so responsive can be a decision as much as solid as the dirty and noisey picture of a painting or a sound.

        Not every painting needs to be easy and clear to see and not every game needs to be fast and responsive to play. For both are valid ways to change the tone of the
        pieces’ messages.

        As for the rest of your comment, I’m sorry to be rude here but you seem to be out of your depth.

        Michael Abrash’ work relates almost entirely to HMD and VR, and that is a indeed “whole different beast”. While the effects and problems he describes can
        be replicated under standard displays, specially if you’re sitting in front of a very large LCD screen, they’re all insubstantial issues for common displays (they are very serious issues for HMD and VR, but not so much for common displays), even more if you account that most examples are all emulated simulations since most monitors can’t even get to 240hz and browsers are some times locked to low rendering performance to save processing power.

        Even more than that, MA himself recognizes that simply increasing motion blur quality would fix most problems with strobing and judder, eliminating the need for high FPS and high refresh rates. But again, that relates to strobing and judder, a topic much more important for HMD and VR than it is to general gaming.

        As far as high framerates in common displays go, they do add a particular tone to the visual experience that is a whole lot different than standard frame rates, they don’t add in a quantitative scale (more of the same) but rather in a qualitave aspect (whole different tone, whole different “Timbre” if you will), that’s why you can’t simply make a game “better” by just adding more frames to it, you won’t just be adding more, you’ll be adding a different tone that wasn’t there to begin with, it’s an alien tone. If you would make a color comparison, high framerate is not a different tone of the same color but a whole different color in comparison to common framerates.

        And that is solely because the way we interact with the real world around us. Human visual focus and perception of movement is very particular in a way
        that it is erratic (compared to a camera, that is). It’s not a continuum sucession of key timestamps, or “frames” if you will, but a progressive scan and blending of simular stimuli in one “Monad” of time sucession. This progressive scan and blending of stimuli is not linear however, the brain is constantly trying to compensate at
        various different degrees by moving focus, “freezing frames”, “collapsing frames”, removing junk visual information and much else. If it wasn’t for that, our vision would be a blurry mess akin to 70s psychodelic worlds, filled with duplications and kaleidoscopic

        What is important for this discussion is the Perception of Movement and Motion Blur. Natural motion blur doesn’t occur equally through the field of view,
        in most daily life situations it occurs only in out of focus visual information. That is because our visual focus is very precise and can follow fast cruising objects as long as we can move our heads and eyes fast enough to our visual focus to follow the object. If a fast object moves in our field of view and is not on focus it will blur out regardless even if it crosses our visual focus. In objects that move too fast or unpredictably even focus will blur. Some other times however it will not blur because of the brain’s “frame freezing” during saccadic movements even though the object is moving at ludicrous speeds. This all sums to a very particular perception of movement that is mostly irregular and centralized.

        Common viewing experience, be it cinema or games, TV or PC monitors, works indifferent conditions than real world views, because, as much movement
        as there can be inside a video, the display itself is static and continually in your focus. Even for the PC visual experience, displaying video very close to your eyes, the focus and gaze shift is still minimal because the saccadic movements are too small to account for as a real world scenary would, there’s no vestibular stimuli to even account for complex image processing. And so, for natural looking videos you need to change parameters to be able to emulate a visual behavior somewhat similar to the way our vision works in the real world, and for legacy displays it will never be perfect, it will always sacrifice one element for another.

        To be able to achieve a natural looking world depiction (mind that “natural” and “realistic” are differen things) you always need to have some simulated form of motion blur embedded into the video itself to convey a natural idea of movement. For cameras, that’s where the framerates come in. 30 FPS slow shutter speeds are a very sweet spots of exposition that do blur objects natively in a way very similar to how fast most humans can move their own visual focus. For cinema, 24 to 30 FPS is not just an arbitrary cultural choice but a sweet spot that developed through experience, a good balance between detail, perception of movement and focus. Cameras that shoot at higher framerates cannot perform native motion blur, only at post-processing, because to be able to shoot at such high frame rates shutter speed increases drammatically, capturing a succeding still frames with no blurring whatsoever, because the exposition is too short.

        And this is the reason fast sequences look so unnatural at high framerates, the video is recorded with little to no motion blur, in and out of focus, as if our visual field was one giant focus point, and the brain will not compensate for that because the display is static, it’s not moving, there is nothing to blur out, creating a world depiction that is simply alien to our daily lives.

        You can simply increase post-processing motion blur to counter act this effect (it also resolves all the problems judder and stroboscopic effects it might have), but to do so precisely would require a great amount of work with picture composition to guide the viewers saccadic movements to the right places and would kill most the “rich” information high frame rates give, making not that much different than lower framerates as the field of view would have about the same amount of “junk”
        visual information.

        For very realistic non-fast moving scenes high frame rates are indeed superior, they can make look like you’re actually standing on the scenary itself (as
        long as it doesn’t have too much detail moving around scattared across the screen, like moving foliage and such). But for artistical purposes realism is just one of the many options of expression, and in most situations artists find it very dull.

        Yes, it’s a fact that many people do like the higher framerate of “The Hobbit”, but this is not the topic at hand, it’s not wheter you prefer one or the other, this is entirely subjective, but what are the consequences and implications of one in regard to the other. The people who like The Hobbit at that framerate like it because they like the aspect it brings, not because they don’t notice such aspects. And the same goes for people who don’t like it. What I was trying to show are the aspects themselves.

        And these aspects are no news. People act like high frame rates are a modern thing when actually this technology has about 40 years of history in mainstream
        culture. Documentaries, TV journalism and TV shows were frequently shot and displayed at high frame rates. In fact, this crude aspect that so many people hate about high frame rates is commonly known inside the video edting industry as “The Soap Opera Effect”,
        exactly because popular TV soap operas were shot with 60 FPS interpolated cameras (I’m serious, google it if you don’t believe it). High frame rates through films are known since the 60s and 70s as a very interesting way to portray dramas, and every true movie snob would know that it’s only this, it is good for drama, it doesn’t work for action movies. Everyone who truly knows their cinema passion knew Peter Jackson was talking out of his ass when promoting high frame rates, it’s old news and amateurish choice, akin to college students who hear about high frame rates for the first time and think they discovered something revolutionary, it’s patethic. High frame rates are not simply a matter of “getting used to it”.

        For video games, as interactive as they are, they are also a visual stimuli and experience. I repeat, similar rules for cause and effect do apply. Cutscenes and out of control action sequences do have the exact same Soap Opera effect and unnaturally looking action sequences exactly as they do in movies. For gameplay it might add an otherworldly like effect or being overly realistic or cruse. For fantasy universes it might even feel cartoony.

        Different rules as well: in video games, there is no physical camera nor anything like it, the frames are rendered as a bunch of still images in sucession; if the
        rendering engine can’t include motion blur in its final renders, the image will look unnatural even at 30 FPS, worse still, they will feel “staggared” because such slow perception of movement with no blur is also unnatural, much more similar to early claymation techniques.

        That’s why the first 3D games felt clunky even when they’d run at very stable 30 FPS. Regardless wheter it is 30 FPS or 60 FPS, motion blur is needed for any game to look natural at the display. 60 FPS however will need much more motion blur and more finely controlled than 30, and it still have different focus behavior and detail perception than 30, changing the focus flow and chronostasis effects. 60 FPS for “saturated“ movement is always some kind of sensory

        With no motion blur, 60 FPS do “feel better” because even though they look as unnatural as 30 FPS and no motion blur, at least they don’t feel staggered.

        Ultimately, it all depends on the game itself, how the artist wants to convey its message and how he wants his players to feel. Because, again, 60 FPS and 30 FPS bring completely different elements to the table. If you want simulation, the overly realistic and crude aspect high frame rates brings are a must. If you want something that just looks somewhat real but in not a simulation kind of way 30 FPS is as much as viable option. If you want cinematic and dramatic presentations 30 FPS is the way to go.

        Many competitive player scums standard framerate simply because it gets on the way of their highly competitive skills, but not all games are meant to have this level of difficulty nor it’s always desirable. Racing games for example, while they do usually require a high frame rate for faster reaction times, if they have a high frame rate and no motion blur, they’re a nauseating nightmare. We cognitively know that objects
        moving past us are moving at a high speed, but they don’t look that way for our brains because they have no motion blur, so you have two different stimuli saying two different things. It will get you confused, tired and sick very fast unless you can block one stimuli,effectively killing your performance. A 30 FPS version with motion
        blur would still be better than a 60 FPS version with no motion blur in this case. Let alone the fact that no motion blur on a racing game kills the thrill of speed.

        Even for VR, while most people think that high refresh rates and frame rates are the only way such technology is possible, a motion blur algoritm, eye tracking, frame interporlation and a good OLED display with no sample and hold behavior can give similar results as well, without the need for ridiculously high refresh rates (even John Carmack and Michael Abrash agree, they just prefer to pursuit another way).

        While a relatively unknown issue, First Person games with fast movements at 60 FPS and little to no motion blur also have similar nauseating effects till your brain
        learns to ignore one of the stimuli.

        As for you request, again, I’ll repeat myself, it depends on the game, not the plataform. A game with the wrong FPS will feel horrible in any plataform. The Last of Us at 60 FPS would feel cheap and ridiculous on a PC as much as it does on a TV.

        For PC games, the most proeminent case I remember was Alan Wake. I played it on PC and felt like I was watching a cheap soap opera at sci-fi channel or somekind of horrible B-movie just from xperiencing the gameplay alone! (the cutscenes are prerendered ar 30 FPS) I went out of my way to put a 30 FPS cap on that thing, and yes it was a nightamre to do it, as I didn’t want to change my nvidia settings I had to mod the game files to do it, and since no one out there cares for these things or mod Alan Wake, I had to do it entirely on my own, I don’t even remember how I did, I hated the game and can’t remember a thing about it now,
        it was not just changing one value on a .ini file, that I remember well.

        Regardless, my stance stays true, the right framerate will vary depending on the kind of elements the artists wants to pass on, and for that matter any framerate is a viable option as long as it agrees with the rest of the work. To think that every game needs to have a high frame rate, that every game gets better by just adding more frames to it, to shame and scorn games and developers which are not in high frame rates without even judging the rest of the work is just naive and
        tyrannical, it kills artistic freedom. This is not a matter or “HD vs SD”, this is a matter of tones, atmospheres, perception, interaction, needs and communication, it is an artistical issue as much as it is a technichal one.

      4. Honestly, I give up. You win. I feel like I’m debating a creationist. To go as far as saying that a racing game, of all things, would look better in 30fps… Jesus.

      5. Strawman.

        I said that racing game would look better and not nauseating at 30 FPS WITH MOTION BLUR than the same racing game at 60 FPS AND NO MOTION BLUR.

        Seriously, you need to know the difference between dialetics and rethoric.

      6. I did read that, and I think you are crazy.

        But already won the internet argument – collect the prize at your leisure. I am done on with the crazy train.

    1. “goes against the whole concept of what is an artist and what are his creations”

      Games are not merely art you passively consume. Interaction is the biggest component of gaming, and the higher fps allows for better interaction and more fluid animations for the player.

      The game dev is also selling a product. As a consumer of said product, it’s your right to be informed about what you are buying in the first place.

  4. Of course it’s nice to have the information.
    But please, don’t even try to pretend that the Framerate POLICE isn’t a salty PC elitist attempt at forcing a meaningless argument about 30 vs 60ormore FPS. It’s WAY too heavy handed for a little piece of information that doesn’t even remotely matter when it comes to gameplay: developpers aren’t incompetent brutes, they won’t lock a game’s framerate if it harms its performance and enjoyment.
    As for the visual aspect of it, I don’t get it. I play games at 30, 50, 60 and whathaveyouinbetween FPS not only do I not pay attention to it, it has NEVER made me enjoy a game less.

    1. I play games at 30, 50, 60 and whathaveyouinbetween FPS not only do I not pay attention to it, it has NEVER made me enjoy a game less.

      But some people DO pay attention to the frame-rate and it DOES affect their enjoyment of the game. So… yeah…

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