Friday, November 1, 2013

Let's not forget about Physics

Today we released a small video that show of the physics in Amnesia: The Dark Descent. You can find the clip correct under and under that I will go through the a variety of components a bit a lot more detailed.

As you can see, this is pretty significantly the exact same factors that we used in Penumbra. But I also hope you noticed that it is more streamlined and intuitive. Enable me to clarify.

Grabbing stuff
The grab mode is what is utilised when interacting with objects like books, chairs and pots. In the very first versions of the game, we truly had some thing more like in Crysis, exactly where the object travels to a particular position when interacted with. This did not feel appropriate though, so we want back to more like in Penumbra. We then added a lot polish to this and especially the rotating mode (when holding down a button, moving mouse rotates object). Even even though the object is nevertheless moved 100% by a physics simulation, it is extremely smooth and you can be really exact when putting. In Penumbra there was lots of lag, but that is all gone now!

Opening doors
I feel I spent a week or so tweaking how the door opening physics works. In Penumbra, you had to make sure to interact with the door at the correct place to open it properly, which produced it tough to close / open doors in stressful circumstances. Not so in Amnesia. Here you can click anyplace on the door and it will effortless to control it. The way this is accomplished is by estimating how to convert 2D mouse input into 3D forces. As you will never ever be able to get excellent correlation among mouse and object (you will usually loose a dimension), this took some time to get proper. The end outcomes really feel extremely good although and the issues learnt for other interaction types such as levers.

A further improvement is that doors will now keep closed / opened. In Penumbra they sometimes bounced back at you, but in Amnesia that is all fixed saving the player from a lot of virtual/true headaches.

Desktop simulator 2000
Opening drawers is a widespread interaction and another region exactly where improvements have been created. Drawers will now react more quickly to player movements and it is feasible to have a lot more manage (in Penumbra drawers could continue sliding soon after you stopped moving). And just like doors, the drawers will get stay open / closed, with out any annoying bouncing.

Spin round, round...
The a single interaction that we got most adverse feedback on in Penumbra was the wheels (valves, etc). There was the issue of where to interact as interacting at center zero leverage and made it not possible to turn. Also the actual turning movement could be tough to get right. For Amnesia, we have remade the complete method. Now it is feasible to interact wherever you like and the movement necessary is far much more intuitive. There is a specific system that analyzes your mouse movements and can swiftly and appropriately decide which way you want to rotate. It can even approximate the speed and there is as great as no lag involved.

Closing notes
We are very proud of the physics interact we use in our games, and it is something we have worked with for virtually five years now. It is also a very unique method, and as far as we know we are alone at using it. We will not cease at exactly where we are now although, and hope to take physical interaction even additional in the future.

Also, I'd like to mention the fantastic Newton Game Dynamics, the physics engine that makes all of this possible in the first location!

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