Coffee Diary 15/8/22


Hey Exanimates,

Last week we mentioned our next goal was about the way force interacts with characters. Obviously here we wouldn't resort to some animation, ragdoll or other scripted effect, it's strictly physics and dynamic behaviours of characters when they are pushed off balance or lose control over their momentum. We also can't fine tune this to specific conditions, force varies in power and the velocity at which it travels, the amount of it that hits the character, where and at what angle all mean very different results. Of course none of this is specific to force anyway, but just the game's physics in general.

If you've played enough Exanima then you probably noticed that 99% of the time characters stumbling looks great, but there's that one time that's less convincing. We've been really stress testing this with force, as we know you will all soon do too. There is a very tricky balance to maintain between character's fluid and controlled movement and them properly dealing with motion that they did not intend.

We've been taking a long hard look at how the legs generate forces that move and keep the character upright, how they flex, how the feet grip the ground and so on. We've been experimenting with some fairly big revisions to all this, with mixed results. We did make improvements in some areas, with a more realistic model which also results in smoother movement.

Unsurprisingly this is time consuming, and while not strictly necessary, realistic physical behaviour is one of the game's greatest strengths for what it offers in terms of emergent gameplay and immersion. There are still some specific things we want to look at, but it's not like we have any real problems to solve here so we'll be moving on soon enough.
Have a great week!

-the BM team


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