Havok Exec Says Destructibility Is the Future

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In other news, Nvidia claims that high def visuals are the future, Soundblaster claims that perfect quality audio is the way to go, and Apple claims that Macs and iPads are the only route forward.

Was... was this newsworthy?

I love the concept of a completely destructible environment but it has to be in an appropriate game. Just Cause 2 having completely destructible everything? I'm so on board. An FPS? Ehhhh, not so much.

"X is the future!" tends to be hyperbolic and not true. However, yes, making big technological steps forward is a good thing. And I *am* pro-'splosion. I wonder if, instead of going fetch-questing for the key to a wooden door, we can just blast it off of its hinges. That would be seven different flavors of awesome.

Reincarnatedwolfgod:
Destructible environments is nice but I would prefer better Improved AI, better stories/characters, and/or meaningful interactions with the game world being the future instead.

I'll second this. AI is the one area where I think improvement would make a big change. Imagine Skyrim where the people aren't all made of wood, or a horror game where creatures genuinely and intelligently work to track you down...

But there's no reason why there can't be both. There's no reason why the industry can't continue providing our Portals and Walking Deads and Bioshocks and what have you, whilst also providing games that boil down to being explode-everything simulators where you can just sit down and not have to think for a while, which is nice sometimes.

fix-the-spade:

RicoADF:
Red Faction: Gurilla allows you to destroy anything unscripted, even Armageddon has it to a degree. Arma 2&3 has destruction too, but not to red factions level.

Guerilla allowed you to blast buildings and structures, it still didn't let you remodel the terrain (and buildings collapsed into nothing when destroyed, which was a shame, I wanted tower dominoes).

Way back on Red Faction 1 you could blast away terrain to make bridges or circumvent cover, but levels (and available power) limited it. I want craters and tunnels appearing ad-hoc on the map, that's what Geo-mod promised over a decade ago damnit!

Yeah I have all the Red Factions, Guerrilla did allow you to blow parts away and it'd collapse in a pile of rubble. I do agree there's room for improvement, however the fact is this sort of deformation isn't just hard to do graphically, but also for AI to understand. If they don't teach the AI how to use it they'll just get stuck.

End of the day though, story and gameplay is the priority, destruction is just the icing on the cake

DVS BSTrD:
And that end is wrecking shit.
I mean come on, not even Lego could make breaking bad :P

Usually your puns are pretty smirk-worthy, but this? This is deserving of a standing ovation for perfect timing and wordplay. Good show :)

ANYWAYS: This better be a real thing, I have been so disappointed since the xbox original that we haven't had fully destructible environments yet. Red Faction was as close as we got but I didn't like that game for being too frustrating for me, I REALLY hope to see open world games of next gen with buildings that I can smash to bits. All of them. Like Mercenaries 2 but not as crappy.

Depends on the game.
Because Havok Physics haven't really done much for gameplay; just eye-candy.
..And hilariously awful glitches.
*glares at Fallout 3*

Completely destructible environment fps.. isn't that Ace of Spades?

It sounds tempting but like everyone said this pretty much sounds like they are promoting their tech like one of those "revolutionary tech" ads.

although it would be nice to have destruction physics in certain games, like everyone said it would definitely not work for other types of games, like for example stealth games, pretty hard to sneak around when you leave noticeable holes in the walls or accidentally smash a table that someone might notice.

Of course there could be ways to manage it, i figure they can use RL physics for this (if that's possible to put in this tech) certain objects like walls can only be fully destroyed if the cause had enough force behind it.

Ex. bullets = small holes in the wall or barely scratch it depending on the material.
explosives = open door through wall.

this would likely make it less worrying to accidentally blow up a building, probably.

Too bad there's no engine where you can create materials (the inverse of destroying stuff) if that was paired up with this kind of engine, just think of all the terrain-altering possibilities *drools*

something akin to minecraft but you'll have a magical item to poof up materials, add a little chemistry and you can be making glass walls with sand....... maybe rock walls made of cooled off lava would work better.

Excellent. I loved Red Faction: Guerilla and I want more.

I'll be honest. I had more fun scaring the shit out of people by blowing out a wall and charging with my hammer raised high in Red Faction Gurilla's multiplayer than any other multiplayer ever. With the exception of GTA4. Dat one time...with four people in a car. And a bunch of jewish guys on the side of the road...so much lulz.

DVS BSTrD:
I mean come on, not even Lego could make breaking bad :P

Clearly, you are very wrong.

This is what I've been waiting for. This is why I held the Geomod engine in such high regard. This is the freedom I've been waiting for. Not realism, the freedom to do anything in games. I think we mistake that a lot.

CyberMachinist:
...although it would be nice to have destruction physics in certain games, like everyone said it would definitely not work for other types of games, like for example stealth games, pretty hard to sneak around when you leave noticeable holes in the walls or accidentally smash a table that someone might notice.

...

You see this is where I disagree. First off, if you could break tables and the like you would have to be considerably more careful and, dare I say it, stealthy. Second, how many more paths would this create in your "stealth" game? Perhaps now the question becomes, "Do I take the easy way and breach through a wall with a charge? Quick in quick out, but I have announced my presence... Better get ready for some gun play! Perhaps I should climb to the roof and cut through into a storage closet to gain entrance. Perhaps I should forgo destruction all together and try to assume the identity of a security guard. If that don't work I could try to find someone with the proper clearance or find a nice spot to accidently my way through the wall. This is the definition of non-linear, and frankly I do believe most games could benefit from fully destructible environments if you could control the amount of "destruction" you caused. You know like a breaching charge on a non load bearing wall as opposed to a block of C4 on a support column. They don't both take down the side of a building...

So yea, if it wasn't clear I like this idea because it makes games less linear when done right. That is why I think it will never truly catch on though. Developers seem to have a hard time letting the player take any real charge of the direction the game will take. My prediction? More cookie cutter, linear (to the point of rail shooters), FPS games that look "shinier".

Sarge034:

CyberMachinist:
...although it would be nice to have destruction physics in certain games, like everyone said it would definitely not work for other types of games, like for example stealth games, pretty hard to sneak around when you leave noticeable holes in the walls or accidentally smash a table that someone might notice.

...

You see this is where I disagree. First off, if you could break tables and the like you would have to be considerably more careful and, dare I say it, stealthy. Second, how many more paths would this create in your "stealth" game? Perhaps now the question becomes, "Do I take the easy way and breach through a wall with a charge? Quick in quick out, but I have announced my presence... Better get ready for some gun play! Perhaps I should climb to the roof and cut through into a storage closet to gain entrance. Perhaps I should forgo destruction all together and try to assume the identity of a security guard. If that don't work I could try to find someone with the proper clearance or find a nice spot to accidently my way through the wall. This is the definition of non-linear, and frankly I do believe most games could benefit from fully destructible environments if you could control the amount of "destruction" you caused. You know like a breaching charge on a non load bearing wall as opposed to a block of C4 on a support column. They don't both take down the side of a building...

So yea, if it wasn't clear I like this idea because it makes games less linear when done right. That is why I think it will never truly catch on though. Developers seem to have a hard time letting the player take any real charge of the direction the game will take. My prediction? More cookie cutter, linear (to the point of rail shooters), FPS games that look "shinier".

Actually i was considering that idea, like you said about creating new paths and such but i had my own idea's about how it could be pulled off (maybe some type of wall cutter tool?) before i posted, but then i figured my post was already big enough and that to implement that kind of gameplay would require lots of coding, including the proper responses generated from the enemy AI to handle all those variables and doubt it would ever get made.

I've been dreaming about a game like that ever since i started trying multiple gaming genres but the chance of a developer actually making one is slim, and a publisher wouldn't bother with this kind of big investment for something they consider a big "Risk"through their eyes.

Yeah that prediction doesn't seem far off if this current trend of cash cow genre exploitation is anything to go by, worst case we have another E3 like last year filled with nothing but shooters.

DTWolfwood:
I'm game with having everything being destructible. Its a cathartic experience when you just start wrecking the place for no raisin.

image

I remember just blowing through a wall on Red faction on the PS2 and randomly finding a chamber with a gun on a pedestal... I think it was akin to a BFG3000.

I can't wait for a game with total destructibility, so that every single time a stray bullet hits a wall the whole thing errupts in an over-the-top explosion animation that distracts from the actual combat and lowers my fps. I can't wait for levels to be interrupted by sections where you have to stop to shoot at a wall for 30 seconds to continue.

Okay maybe I'm being too cynical, I've just seen so many highly touted mechanics get abused. What's interesting is the ways this would force FPS developers to rethink map layouts. You obviously can't have linear corridors if all the walls can be destroyed.

Having played (and absolutely LOVED) BLACK for the Xbox/PS2, I'm very surprised that destructability all but died for the past few years, with even games that originally had lots of it abandoning fun and replacing it with tons of scripting and limitations (BF3, etc).

Watch this video and tell me that you don't see the incredible applications this has, knowing that it isn't nearly as CPU-intensive as you would imagine:

Seriously, watch the mass destruction bit at the end, and notice how the giant bulbs fall dynamically and even break dynamically, breaking the environment with it. It's incredible, and would create endless possibilities and extremely emergent gameplay, even for a linear FPS like BLACK.

The reason BF4 won't be able to finally overtake Call of Duty is partially because they don't include stuff like this. BF3 was a giant step backwards in technology compared to Bad Company 2, and unless DICE steps it up, I'll see no reason to buy it when it's just a CoD clone with vehicles.

Legion:

Although that said, this is a very good point as well. We all know what developers and publishers are like with good ideas. They will try and stick them in everywhere they can and it will quite likely get to the point where it is over-saturated and used even when it adds nothing to the experience.

Developers and publishers cannot seem to grasp that it isn't normally the features that make the games popular, it is how well they are used.

Activision presents: Solitaire! Now with destructible environments!

But yeah, they seem to think "SHINY NEW TOY" is the way to our heart. When it's clearly not true: minor graphical updates and tweaks annually is. >.>

chadachada123:
Having played (and absolutely LOVED) BLACK for the Xbox/PS2, I'm very surprised that destructability all but died for the past few years, with even games that originally had lots of it abandoning fun and replacing it with tons of scripting and limitations (BF3, etc).

Watch this video and tell me that you don't see the incredible applications this has, knowing that it isn't nearly as CPU-intensive as you would imagine:

Seriously, watch the mass destruction bit at the end, and notice how the giant bulbs fall dynamically and even break dynamically, breaking the environment with it. It's incredible, and would create endless possibilities and extremely emergent gameplay, even for a linear FPS like BLACK.

The reason BF4 won't be able to finally overtake Call of Duty is partially because they don't include stuff like this. BF3 was a giant step backwards in technology compared to Bad Company 2, and unless DICE steps it up, I'll see no reason to buy it when it's just a CoD clone with vehicles.

that video... was beautiful :,) that is EXACTLY the kind of destructibility i want in next gen open world games!

And thats why i liked red faction. it has been my long lasting dream to finally see games where the enviroment isnt some invisible wall but competely destroyable. imagine a GTA game where you expliding building will actually mean it goes down, and after days city starts rebuilding it, ect.
Or better yet, imagine Prototype throwing tanks at buildings.

I think it was Bad Company 2 that claimed to be full destructable but when I saw it on the PS3 it was clearly limited by the hardware, it was really just the same 5 or so holes being pasted into whatever had been blown up. Hopefully the new consoles will be able hack proper destruction! It's all about organic freedom in a game, the tech needs to be used intelligently.

RonHiler:

How so? Maybe we will see a new RF, and maybe we won't. But at least now there is a question. While it was in the hands of Volition and THQ, it was dead. Not coming back. Ever. Now at least there is hope for it. Not as much as if, say, Rockstar had bought it. But still...

Well I doubt that Nordic can afford to develop/publish these games. I think they said that they only bought the IPs for legacy sales or something like that.

Interesting. It might be nice to walk around an environment where everything everything doesn't appear to be made of adamantium accept the one thing I'm supposed to shoot at. But then again, that would add on a lot of work for the developers if they didn't do it right. If their engine could apply one of a set bunch of saved effects, like crumbling concrete, splintering wood, shattering glass, then it might be okay. But it would also require a lot more contextual story details. What if you were sent to either kill a mob boss or give him a pretty flower, and you opted to give him the pretty flower, and because of that, decided to completely overlook all the furniture of his you obliterated.

lacktheknack:
In other news, Nvidia claims that high def visuals are the future, Soundblaster claims that perfect quality audio is the way to go, and Apple claims that Macs and iPads are the only route forward.

Was... was this newsworthy?

It's an Andy article, they rarely are.

But unfortunately, the man with the creepy avatar has ninjaed me. As have a majority of the other posters in the thread. Wtf were you expecting him to say? "Don't buy Havok"?

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