Enhancing Realism in a Game

How the things you place in your world directly affect the immersion your player feels.

Patrick Fluke

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Trying to achieve realism in a game is a huge multi-faceted venture. Have you ever been playing a game and something just seems off? You look around, and sure there’s plenty of clutter on the desks but overall it just doesn’t seem like ‘stuff’ would be spread out that way? Like the stapler is a millimetre off of the desk, and the cup holding the pencils seems to have issues with clipping? Things like this are easy to miss at the developer stage, those pencils aren’t your main concern, the overall level is, but those pencils can destroy the illusion and prevent the realism in a game.

What Are Your Options?

Of course, without spending an insane amount of time being incredibly meticulous, you’re going to have this happen once or twice in your game. If you are like me you want your game today, not tomorrow, not next month, you want to get to release. That’s why I am going to go over a few things that you can do to minimize the chance of destroying the illusion of realism in a game that you have worked so hard for. Here we go.

  1. The first thing you need to do is really consider the context of the scene you’re building. If you’re making a scene in a warehouse, you’re less likely to have a bunch of office equipment there… unless… you know… it’s the Office… Anyhow, all I’m saying is really put some thought into the kind of clutter that you are placing in your scenes. Unless it’s an easter egg, you shouldn’t have a rubber duck in every scene.
  2. Another important thing to note is that for objects with collision, you want to have a simple collision box, but you don’t want to have it so complex that it destroys your scene. Assets built for background purposes should really have a low polygon count as well so as not to impact the performance of your game. No matter how realistic the clutter in your game looks, a pencil with 17M faces spawned 17 times in a room is going to hit your performance big time.
  3. Try to think about where you are actually placing these items. Are the pencils on a desk or in a safe? Sure, you might find pencils in a safe, but if it doesn’t feel like it was put there naturally, it had better be part of the story you’re trying to tell.

Thanks for reading! If you’ve got anything to add, comment below!

Until next time, happy game development!

Originally published at https://yourgametoday.com on January 16, 2021.

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Patrick Fluke

Freelance Writer and Programmer. Usually writing about programming or game development, but quite often side tracked. Stick around! https://PatrickFluke.com