297: The Hands' Job

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I tend to hate hands because they smash immersion. Completely and utterly. They remind you that our field of vision is wholly and fundamentally different from the field of vision presented in a game and that you aren't looking into a world, but looking into a screen into a world.

I'm sure you've seen the live-action FPS youtube video. Why is it funny? Because no-ones moves with their hands like that in real life. In real life, the sense of where you're hands are, is a mixture of peripheral vision and your brain processing the sense of attachment and control. Neither of which you have in an FPS.

Your vision isn't really square and if your hands are in the central, focussed part of your vision and directly part of how you are looking at things, you're doing it wrong. Most FPS' roughly do "hands holding guns" right. That is how it works, because the hand that is supporting the gun is a focus of your vision and you are using it to engage with the environment (And basically aim). But the minute they hold a knife, it quickly becomes a case of who does that? What the ef is wrong with their arms?

Try it now, raise your hands to roughly the height of your chin and maybe 20cms from your face. Isn't that exactly what a game shows you? When you focus on a screen you tend to ignore peripheral vision entirely. And it's not comfortable holding your hands like that.

in Brink you can change class quite easily several times in matches, one of the things SD have done is put diffrent gloves on your charecter depending on the class they are and diffrent ones for each faction so you have a quick visual que on screen as to the class you are, rather than stick a wee symbol on the HUD

Agreed, this is something that has come across my attention as well. A first person shooter is supposed to be just that, seen in first person. I don't think we really take in how much we see our hands in during our daily actions. They have become so common place that they are just there, without us really taking any particular notice of them or saying, "Wow, our hands are looking marvelously textured today." But that doesn't mean they dissapear.

FPS's today, I think in general, don't give hands the credit they deserve. While they aren't supposed to be distracting, it'd be nice to see more of them in action. When performed correctly, hand motions give a wonderful amount of depth and immersion into a game that one didn't have before. Like the hands on the T.V. are just an extension of yours. It's quite cool, really.

I would also love to see the detail given to guns, gore, and sets given also to fingers, nails, and hand motions. Nothing is more laughable, unrealistic, and sometimes just stupid when a hand that looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy pops up on the screen and knocks on a door.

The last thing that really struck me in terms of videogame hands were the ones in Dragon Age: Origins (and, actually, to a lesser extent in DA 2).

Seriously, what was with those? Anyone not wearing gauntlets looked like they had an outsize pair of flesh coloured rubber gloves at the ends of their sleeves. They were the freakiest things. Am I alone in thinking this? I was also recently disturbed by an occasion in DA 2 when Bethany put her had up to her mouth and it looked like she had wizened sticks of jerky for fingers. Maybe it's like some mangaka being totally unable to draw realistic looking feet. Perhaps Bioware has an issue with hands?

realslimshadowen:
In general, I agree, with one point of contention...

But people can carry guns differently. Hold a pistol sideways.

But that would only work if you were playing a moron. Or a street thug, but I repeat myself. (Sights are on top for a reason, even if that reason isn't immediately apparent in an FPS with a crosshair HUD.)

you seem to have forgotten the topic completely, this is about videogames what makes them great is that they are not real. think about it what if future pistol sites were on the side to make room for some other cool new thing that needed to be on the top?

bader0:

realslimshadowen:
In general, I agree, with one point of contention...

But people can carry guns differently. Hold a pistol sideways.

But that would only work if you were playing a moron. Or a street thug, but I repeat myself. (Sights are on top for a reason, even if that reason isn't immediately apparent in an FPS with a crosshair HUD.)

you seem to have forgotten the topic completely, this is about videogames what makes them great is that they are not real. think about it what if future pistol sites were on the side to make room for some other cool new thing that needed to be on the top?

...like what? A fuckin' counterweight designed specifically so morons could hold the gun sideways without having their accuracy, if you'll forgive the expression, shot to shit?

Because then you're not firing sideways. Let me put it this way. Whatever side has the sights on it is automatically the top of the gun. That is because the arms are below the eyes. It doesn't matter if you're holding it "sideways" relative to the grips of traditional guns: if the gun is designed to fire like that, you're holding it properly.

realslimshadowen:

bader0:

realslimshadowen:
In general, I agree, with one point of contention...

But that would only work if you were playing a moron. Or a street thug, but I repeat myself. (Sights are on top for a reason, even if that reason isn't immediately apparent in an FPS with a crosshair HUD.)

you seem to have forgotten the topic completely, this is about videogames what makes them great is that they are not real. think about it what if future pistol sites were on the side to make room for some other cool new thing that needed to be on the top?

...like what? A fuckin' counterweight designed specifically so morons could hold the gun sideways without having their accuracy, if you'll forgive the expression, shot to shit?

Because then you're not firing sideways. Let me put it this way. Whatever side has the sights on it is automatically the top of the gun. That is because the arms are below the eyes. It doesn't matter if you're holding it "sideways" relative to the grips of traditional guns: if the gun is designed to fire like that, you're holding it properly.

yeah but if you were holding it so the traditional grip of the gun was sideways while it may not necessarily mean you were holding the gun sideways as it would be the correct way to hold the gun but i think it meets the criteria of the OP insofar as that you would be holding a gun differently. (excuse the bad grammar and punctuation)

bader0:

realslimshadowen:

bader0:

you seem to have forgotten the topic completely, this is about videogames what makes them great is that they are not real. think about it what if future pistol sites were on the side to make room for some other cool new thing that needed to be on the top?

...like what? A fuckin' counterweight designed specifically so morons could hold the gun sideways without having their accuracy, if you'll forgive the expression, shot to shit?

Because then you're not firing sideways. Let me put it this way. Whatever side has the sights on it is automatically the top of the gun. That is because the arms are below the eyes. It doesn't matter if you're holding it "sideways" relative to the grips of traditional guns: if the gun is designed to fire like that, you're holding it properly.

yeah but if you were holding it so the traditional grip of the gun was sideways while it may not necessarily mean you were holding the gun sideways as it would be the correct way to hold the gun but i think it meets the criteria of the OP insofar as that you would be holding a gun differently. (excuse the bad grammar and punctuation)

That's a fair point.

I'm glad I came across this article, because I've been playing a lot of Far Cry 2 lately, again. You notice how much effort they've put into those animations, and it's prolly more than half the reason why it's so immersive. Like the healing animations, and the ampoules. Where other games would just tell you you are now using a medkit, or similiar, Far Cry 2 shows you.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. really missed out on it, I can only imagine how many hours I would be in Chernobyl at a time if it had quality animations like Far Cry 2.

I can agree with another user in this post that over use of hands for every little thing would get ridiculous to look at.
But as my mom says, "everything in moderation".
And if in doubt, look at Far Cry 2.

realslimshadowen:

bader0:

realslimshadowen:

...like what? A fuckin' counterweight designed specifically so morons could hold the gun sideways without having their accuracy, if you'll forgive the expression, shot to shit?

Because then you're not firing sideways. Let me put it this way. Whatever side has the sights on it is automatically the top of the gun. That is because the arms are below the eyes. It doesn't matter if you're holding it "sideways" relative to the grips of traditional guns: if the gun is designed to fire like that, you're holding it properly.

yeah but if you were holding it so the traditional grip of the gun was sideways while it may not necessarily mean you were holding the gun sideways as it would be the correct way to hold the gun but i think it meets the criteria of the OP insofar as that you would be holding a gun differently. (excuse the bad grammar and punctuation)

That's a fair point.

Wasn't the sideways shooting used to clear rooms quickly by creating a horizontal sweep with the muzzle jump? Don't know who would be skillful enough to pull that off, but in theory it seems probable.
That said I can't stand thugs holding their gun like that because they think it looks cool.

I love seeing hand animations working well in FPS games.

Anyone played The Darkness? You'd automatically put your guns over/to the side of any obstacle you walked up to. If you tried firing at plot centric characters, you'd raise your guns vertically and be unable to fire. Not to mention the execution kills, or the Darkness corruption effect later in the game.

In fact, the Darkness corruption effect on the hands was really jarring. It told you "If I don't do something about this, I'm going to have my soul eaten by a freakish abomination." It really pulled you into the story.

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