Sunday, August 21, 2005

Focus on Presentation

I have a highly developed sense of aesthetics. No matter the game, I've always focused on the aural and visual details, and when they aren't there, it truly spoils any immersion that I might have been experiencing. (If GTA hadn't been so freeform (and had duller physics), I'd have been turned off by its looks pretty quickly.) Riven continues to be my standard for graphical excellence, and Doom III is my standard for the real-time-3D-environment subset. And I'll never forget the first time I heard cavernous echoes in Super Mario World. That was just cool.

What I don't want to see in the development of Vyde are technology demos made up of solid-color tiles and characters that slide through a tunnel without animation. The left part of my brain is going to get bored with this project really quick if I don't constantly supply it with eye candy. My right brain never gets bored, so I'm not worried about running out of technical things to do.

I want to see drops of water falling from the ceiling of tunnels, and I want to see water rippling when I walk through it. I want to see steam coming through cracks in the walls.

I want lights to cast shadows, and I want to see debris from all wall carving. I want to see sparks when something's being repaired, and I want to see characters get progressively dirtier the harder they work, not to mention damage skins.

I want to see multiple backgrounds scrolling in parallax. I want a sense of claustrophobic narrowness in single-tile tunnels and I want to feel staggering scale in caverns that reveal massive geologic features in the far distance. (Getting to them is a problem I haven't solved yet... remember how those artificial boundaries annoy me...)

I want realistic physics — force, impact, and elasticity. Acceleration and braking based truly on mass, and even the ability to chain objects together (I envision minecar trains passing through some of the tunnels). I want fire to spread, and I want water to put it out. I want explosions to cause chain reactions. I want rocks to look like rocks, and I want water to look like water. I want flames to look like flames, and I want metal to look like metal. I want to see reflections in reflective surfaces. I want to see surfaces affected by lights' angles of incidence, dammit!


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