Aesthetics of Death

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Aesthetics of Death

Postby Hadji|DP » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:08 pm

Since the game is past the initial gameplay part of development, discussions based on the aesthetics seem more appropriate since now is the time artists can be making material for the game. One of the things that make action movies fun to watch are how endless mooks are dispatched in creatively kinetic ways. Every action movie has this. What this thread asks is how should deaths look like in this game. Do we depend on ragdolls to achieve this sort of kinetic effect or trust in some sort of hybrid ragdoll/animation that games like TF2 and L4D employed? Or for the sake of simplicity just keep it to highly detailed animations?

Also, asked in the main thread was gore and how that should look. Are we looking for an excessive bloodbath or a gritty realistic sort of vibe? Or should it be more restrained with an eye for the bloodshed to be aesthetically pleasing?

Since so many games feature death but don't have much instead of the player model falling over or being cut from their ragdoll screens, such considerations could be used to separate this game from all the modern shooters that are out there.
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Re: Aesthetics of Death

Postby Shogi » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:51 pm

It's between hybrids and full ragdoll tbh. Ragdoll is probably already built into Unreal and I don't know exactly one would do hybrids. But on the other hand, ragdolls are a bit old and silly. Straight animations would get a bit old and as we saw in TS sometimes they look odd. Dunno it's a trade off. I say we pick the easiest up front and polish it up later. As for blood, I'd say go for minimalist and stylized. Excessive blood would look cheesy.
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Re: Aesthetics of Death

Postby Antagonist » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:49 pm

The dudes should die in a way that looks realistic and bloody but without decapitations and stuff. I'm imagining the floppiness of ragdoll happening at the end of a death animation, so they don't do triple jump flips in the air just because of a hard headshot.
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Re: Aesthetics of Death

Postby Dan » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:00 pm

I can't think of a single game right now that has good ragdolling. Animation and ragdoll hybrid would be the way to go, I think. TS had some great death animations, but they'd look odd because the models would tend to clip into things and defy physics in ways that were out of place even in TS.

I think it would be thematically inappropriate to have gore and gibs. Toned down blood would be best. Ludicrous amounts of blood and gore are usually more in exploitation type B movies, not the kind of action films we're going for. Also someone mentioned in another thread that Woo style squibs with flashes and smoke on player models would look cool. I'm not sure how particle effects work in UDK but I'd like to see something like that.
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Re: Aesthetics of Death

Postby bryt » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:42 pm

i think our deaths should be hybrid animation/ragdoll. the debate i think is more about where the line gets drawn between them. i think we could afford to have a key set of death animations that react to how someone gets a killing shot. the keyed animation should probably be designed to depict the "still barely alive" part of the death anim, and the ragdoll takes over at the point where consciousness is completely lost. Thus head shots would be insta-ragdoll, while a powerful shot to the upper right torso might make a character swing back to the right along the force of the shot, while reaching up to clutch the lethal wound until he losses consciousness and goes ragdoll.

I don't think this is something we should spare too many man hours on though. A flat ragdoll solution would probably suffice for version 1.0, and even after that I imagine us only needing maybe 8 varieties of death animation using this hybrid pipeline.

What I hope we can avoid is the flimsy ragdoll that seems to be everywhere in FPS games. To fix this I hope we can make ragdoll joints more stiff (but not too stiff), and have a decay time for this effect to increase stiffness and prevent the glitchy basketball bodies from floating all over the map.

also, I would like to have the ability to "weight" specific bones from a death animation in response to the type of death animation. sometimes we may only want to have the upper torso go ragdoll, while we animate the knees gracefully collapsing at the start of the kill. even better would be a system that could perhaps do this dynamically based on hierarchal proximity to the bone that is closest to the point of impact. with something like that we could have a lot of pre-canned death animations that we use over and over, but it always looks different due to the "affected region" instantly going ragdoll limp in response to being shot.
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Re: Aesthetics of Death

Postby Hadji|DP » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:58 pm

bryitis wrote:Thus head shots would be insta-ragdoll, while a powerful shot to the upper right torso might make a character swing back to the right along the force of the shot, while reaching up to clutch the lethal wound until he losses consciousness and goes ragdoll.


quoted for what i wish were in more shooters since "lol ragdoll" is so fucking boring.

also, TS had an animation that mimicked someone being shot by alot of bullets while they were standing in place. there's no death sequence more awesome than "standing in place under a hailstorm of bullets." Maybe tie that animation to certain weapons (beretta? small SMG?) while other higher caliber weapons elicit the "shot in the gut" or whichever location animation.
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Re: Aesthetics of Death

Postby Shogi » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:26 pm

bryitis wrote:stuff

This is pretty much everything I wanted to say but didn't have the time to.
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