Stokes' ProjBlog

A journal documenting innumerable, mostly terminally in-progress undertakings. Nerdiness abounds.


A non-apropos video game graphics/UI idea August 1, 2009

Filed under: Miscelaneous Projects — Stokes @ 7:11 pm

A random train of thought lead me to considering the way some first-person video games represent wearing a gas mask or a space suit with a goofy drawing of the mask or helmet’s eye holes, the same way images through binoculars used to be shown on old TV shows. Limiting the player’s field of view may have a practical purpose (e.g building suspense), but the depiction is so unrealistic that it breaks the suspension of disbelief. To see the individual eyeholes in a helmet, they’d have to be several inches in front of your face.

An alternative: border the sides and/or bottom of the screen with a translucent white gradient, representing the wearer’s breath condensing on the glass surface inside of the mask. Wearing a gas mask/space suit in a video game is usually accompanied by the requisite 2001-style breathing sounds; the gradient could contract with each breath and slowly dilate afterward. For added realism, the rate at which the fog clears could remain constant while the rate of breathing (and thus fogging) is based on the character’s exertion, so panicked running around could leave the player momentarily blind. That would work well in a game of the “survival/horror” genre.


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