I’ve only just begun this game, but I’m far enough into it to say one thing for certain: cel-shading is huge, and it’s going to make a big difference in how we feel about playing games. In fact, I think it’s going to go a long way toward making games more immersive and less mechanical, simply because it bypasses the tired textured-polygon look and feel. Moving around in Wind Waker is like moving around in a Disney movie, and it feels great.
In an article (pages 7-10) I wrote a couple of years ago I said that the next step in graphics would be the development of house styles, where the products from one developer would take on a certain look, just as the animation styles from Disney and Warner Bros. did. I don’t know enough about cel-shading to know how costly and labor intensive it is, but if it’s at least comparable to the mesh/skin process, I think it’s going to take off for exactly this reason.
— Mark Barrett
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