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First Person Shooters (Games) Games

Crytek Dev On Fun vs. Realism In Game Guns 324

An anonymous reader tips a post from Pascal Eggert, a gun enthusiast and Crytek developer, who sheds some light on how weaponry in modern shooters is designed. Quoting: "Guns in games are like guns in movies: it is all about looks, sounds and clichés. Just like in the movies, games have established a certain perception of weapons in the mind of the public and just like in movies games get almost everything wrong. ... The fact is that we are not trying to simulate reality but are creating products to provide entertainment. ... if you want to replicate the looks of something you need to at least see it, but using it is even better. You should hold a gun in your hands, fire it and reload it to understand what does what — and at that point you will realize, there is nothing on it that does not have a function — because guns are tools for professionals. Lot of weapon designers in the game industry get that wrong. They think of guns like products for consumers or magic devices that kill people at a distance when really it's just a simple and elegant mechanism that propels little pieces of metal. Unfortunately 3D artists often only get access to the photos that Google Image Search comes up with if you enter 'future assault rifle' or, even worse, pictures from other games and movies that also got it wrong. This may explain a lot of common visual mistakes in games, especially since guns are mostly photographed from the side and egoshooters show weapons from the first person view." This article is drawn from his personal experience in the game industry. The images shown are Pascal's personal work and are not related to his work at Crytek.
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Crytek Dev On Fun vs. Realism In Game Guns

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  • Captain obvious (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tukz ( 664339 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @05:12AM (#32987442) Journal

    Is anyone really surprised by this?
    And further more, who asked for an explanation?

    It's quite obvious the rocket launcher from UT isn't real. I never once thought a "rocket launcher" was that easy to handle.
    I never expect weaponry in games to be life-like, depending on the game.

    Certain games require certain realism, but I also know, too much realism would kill the fun.

  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @05:22AM (#32987484) Journal
    Well take a sound team and film unit to a part of the world with real arms dealers, a wide selection of special forces, Soviet, US, South African bush wars, UK, NATO, and current weapons...
    Then set up as needed and test, test, test.
    Perhaps build a rig to measure push back and chart the different guns?
    That will give you the laws of physics, you will have sound and visuals from every aspect.
    This is not the old days of a quick sketch, a low res gui and a royalty-free gun audio license on a cd.
    Why is the young digital generation of artists so sheltered should be the only question.
    If they are unable to travel and work with real life, time to rethink the staff?
    If your an aspiring 'artist' turn of the anime, xbox, sony time wasters and learn to draw in the real world.
  • Re:Captain obvious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tukz ( 664339 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @05:51AM (#32987640) Journal


    If game designers have to take an realistic approach to future weapon designs, what are they doing designing games? They should design weapons.


    Regarding the reload issue, one of my peeves in "realistic shooters" is when you reload your gun, you don't loose the ammo in the magazine. It's just added to your current ammo. There is a FEW games out there that handles this differently, but majority doesn't care about magazine count, it's all about ammo count.
    And I agree with you on the sound issue. Have you ever heard a M96? It sounds strangely familiar to the blinker in my car.

  • On guns in games (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Borg453b ( 746808 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @05:54AM (#32987656) Homepage Journal
    I'm a bit of a My favourite subjectmatter is ww2 weapons; and so I get a thrill out of detailed games that portray such creations. I love to see and interact with a detailed pletora of weapons that i recognize. I do, however, get more picky when the weapon systems get "up close and personal". When the game portrays the notion that you control an existing weapon directly, I do expect some of it's characteristics to be reflected in the game.

    Immersion & "draft damage": Having been a conscript for 8 months, I've had my perception of small arms altered. I know now that regular infantry man usually engages the enemy with single fire, and that the precision and stopping power afforded by a modern assault rifle is something thats too often is only portrayed by sniper rifles in games. I tire of the inability to take proper aim, and alter the firing mode in many games. Crouching and going prone is also something that's often being shunned by the industry.

    We're are, as the article puts it, often left with a hollywood version of weapons. I'm not suggesting that each virtual m16 should come with a virtual cleaning kit, but I would like to see more "portrayed" realism in the handling: that the (deadly) tool can be operated with some of the freedom and functionality that it provides in real life. I realize that this approach is not for all types of games.

    I realize that games are abstractions and aspects of realism can be costly and complex to implement in carefully balanced game mechanics; especially if they're intended to provide a competitive space for players.

    For gun nuts: I was trained with a Diemaco C7 with an elcan optical sight

    P.s: We we're missing a proper ww2 tank movie :/. Most ww2 hollywood tank portrayals pre-"saving private ryan" are horrendous.
  • Re:Captain obvious (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iainl ( 136759 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @07:14AM (#32987996)

    Re: your second point, that's because games are usually about fun. And fun usually means removing all the dull bits unless they're strictly necessary to game balance or overall pacing. Because hanging on to the partially-used clips to redistribute them into a smaller number of fully-used ones later during a lull in fighting is an exact analogy to various RPG games that insist on you rearranging your irregularly-shaped loot in a jigsaw-stylee to fit in your inventory when you get the chance; boring stuff that should be automated.

    And, indeed, the few times it _has_ been implemented in games it frequently comes alongside such contradictory nonsense as either compensating by letting you carry umpty-thrumpty clips around 'just in case', and indeed suggesting that while a half-full clip isn't something you've got room to carry, 7 other weapon slots, including rocket launchers and the like are fine.

  • by bigtomrodney ( 993427 ) * on Thursday July 22, 2010 @08:01AM (#32988224)
    The real problem is that you're given the impression you can hold a rifle still the way you can hold your mouse. I get where you're coming from but it's all part of a bigger problem. I'm not even talking extreme cases where real physics are lost, I'm just talking basics. Try holding a baseball bat in the aiming position after running a few laps, you'll see what I mean.
  • by iPeg ( 1861838 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @08:17AM (#32988336)
    Hey guys, first of all, this headline is misleading. I didn't wrote this article as a Crytek Dev, I just happen to work at Crytek and this is my personal opinion. The article was written for gun-nuts to explain to them why guns are often portrayed wrongly in games, not for gamers. Also, since I just joined Crytek I'm not responsible for anything you've seen in our released games. So, remember: This has nothing to do with Crytek. Also, I want to make it very clear that my article was about games that are set in "realistic" environments, like MW, Crysis, CS, BC and so forth. I absolutely agree, that realism is not at all needed in games like UT, Serious Sam etc. The job of the gun-designer in these sort of games is completely different: he has to create an "Icon" or a recognizable shape so the player knows what he is holding without even directly looking at it. Something like the rocket launcher in Q3 or the flak in UT99. This weapon does not need to be designed around internals, but have to have a certain feel for the power and limitations of the weapon. A good "funweapon" is designed around a unique shape, something a kid could doodle on a desk at school. I personally don't like the UT3 Weapons because they are overly detailed and not as recognizable as the original guns. Thanx, iPeg
  • Re:It has to be said (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iPeg ( 1861838 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @08:27AM (#32988414)
    Captain Obvious here :-) hey man, this article was written for gun-nuts who have no clue how games are made. I didn't ask slashdot to post it here, but I can see how they got confused since these are two topics in one. Also, guns are tools, no mater what your personal view on gun control is. This was written from a design point of view and maybe you should read the whole article, because it's on designing sci-fi weapons not an advertisement for buying guns. Cheers mate, keep it up :-)
  • Re:Effort (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jainith ( 153344 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @08:50AM (#32988580) Homepage Journal

    That show was Penn and Tellers "Bullshit" and I was extremely dissapointed with that demonstration. Thier "Hero" marine appeared to give the child no instruction in the proper technique for the use of the firearm. And he specifically failed to correct the child who was holding the weapon in an inproper firing position. As a result it appears that he was struck in the face or glasses by the charging handle, or triangular projection on the left side of the weapon (sorry I havent used that (or any model) since my army days so I dont remember the proper name of that part.

  • Re:Captain obvious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bigstrat2003 ( 1058574 ) * on Thursday July 22, 2010 @08:51AM (#32988584)
    You're absolutely right. It's been my experience that most people won't complain about that behavior in games which have an attack/defend setup, however. It's only when it happens in deathmatches that people whine (and even then, it's still a perfectly legitimate tactic).
  • Re:Effort (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mdarksbane ( 587589 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @09:22AM (#32988892)

    You might not want to tell that to the people shooting the different pistol competitions. We sure consider it a lot of fun.

    IDPA, USPSA, IPSC, and Cowboy Action shooting are all very much like video games with real guns. And they are a helluva lot of fun.

    You still have to be careful, because a gun is still a dangerous tool. But it's safer than car or dirt bike racing, which both use tools to have a ton of fun.

    Sure if you take a little kid, hand him a gun that's too powerful for him to control, and don't tell him how to shoot it right he's not going to enjoy himself. He'll cut his hand on the slide, have the barrel hit him in the face because of recoil, and not be able to hit anything. Similarly, if you just hand a kid a bicycle without teaching him how to ride it he's going to think it's the dumbest thing in the world.

    But if you start him out in a caliber he can control and teach him to shoot it properly, he'll enjoy it as much as the 18 million americans who went target shooting for fun last year (

  • Re:Captain obvious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nabsltd ( 1313397 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @11:54AM (#32991070)

    Recoil would tend to ruin the 'fun' of most games. A sniper rifle that gets you near-zero accuracy (floating barrel) when on the run / flying through the air would force those people to camp

    Deus Ex has both of these built into the gameplay, and that's one of the many reasons it's still considered one of the best FPS of all time.

    Machine guns are almost impossible to control, and pistols recoil fairly realistically. You can acquire improved weapons tech that reduces this. Likewise, until you build skill as a sniper, your sight point moves randomly to simulate muscle tension.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen