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#1 Posted by Gruebacca (814 posts) -

"It will be no longer acceptable to walk into a room where you can't punch a hole in the wall or break a table and see it splinter."

This is a quote from the lead guy, I believe, at Havok. Bowell argues that, like ragdoll in this generation, next gen games need to have destructive environments. That sounds cool and everything, but I can imagine in a first person shooter somebody just punching dozens of holes in the wall for an indeterminate amount of time. Does anyone know how much energy it takes to straight up punch holes in the wall and how much it must hurt to do it even once, let alone the probably hundreds of times an in-game character might perform it at the simple touch of the melee button?

There are probably many real people out there who can punch through walls on a regular basis, but that's not my point. This man is arguing that all future games need something similar to this, and I do not agree. Not every video game would benefit from destructive environments, and not every video game character needs the ability to punch holes through the wall on demand. If you want your game characters to punch holes in the wall, make those punches meaningful and badass. Don't turn that action into a simple button press that can be repeated to infinity. Even explosions can get boring after a while.

My guess is that this kind of thing is going to look impressive and amazing initially, but then later it will look completely stupid, just as taste for ragdoll turned less positive as this generation progressed. What are your thoughts?

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#2 Edited by Live2bRighteous (345 posts) -

You're probably right... but hell, I still enjoy the randomness of ragdolls. Who's to say I won't enjoy the randomness of destructible environments? In the end, it's just a video game... and if it lets me punch 500 holes into the wall, you bet your ass I'm going to attempt it!

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#3 Posted by unequivocable (241 posts) -

Depends what kind of wall it is. If it's drywall it's not too hard to hit through unless you happen to hit where a stud is, then it just dents the wall. Now that would be real next-gen if the actual structure was modeled underneath what we see!

I think punching a wall would become like shooting a wall. Most shooters will give you the little bullet hole on any surface you shoot. When they first started doing that, I would always shoot up rooms because it's funny, but ultimately the novelty wears off and you get on with the game. Punching a wall would probably be like that.

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#4 Posted by ProfessorEss (7961 posts) -

If I can't punch a hole in a wall in a videogame why am I even playing a videogame?

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#5 Posted by Video_Game_King (36564 posts) -

Wasn't this what Black was trying to do? I don't remember that working out too well.

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#6 Edited by oraknabo (1733 posts) -

I think the next gen consoles will be powerful enough, but I don't think most studios have the resources to build the world detail and systems necessary to allow that kind of thing to work.

I think the closest you're going to get is how it's standard for gunshots to leave decals on walls now. Maybe most rooms could have a foot of extra space that you can dig into, but it poses a ton of design problem when you can bust down any wall or door in the game.

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#7 Edited by BeachThunder (14712 posts) -

Well, that's exactly the kind of thing you would expect from someone that works from Havok...

Basically, it makes no sense for every game to have completely destructible environments, for most games that would completely ruin the level design.

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#8 Edited by mikey87144 (2108 posts) -

It depends on what the wall is made of when it comes to punching holes through it. Dry wall it's relatively easy. Most people either have or witnessed someone who has done it. Anything harder than that and I imagine you need special training to pull off.

I think what the guy is saying is that environments, in general, need to be more interactive. Punching a hole in the wall is one way to achieve that. Not all games need to do that but in the case of a shooter if bullets are hitting the wall you want to see drywall and dust filling up the room. In a character action game where your character is uber strong the environment should look like some dude wrecked it. It's like blood splatter, you expect to see it after someone has been shot or sliced up all over the place.

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#9 Posted by Raven10 (2206 posts) -

Well it depends on a number of factors. If you are talking about a modern house in the US then it would hurt but most decently strong people could do it. The walls are not made of all wood. There are wood planks at various intervals and the rest is dry wall. Easy enough to punch through. If you are talking about an old house where the walls are just wood planks then you would have to be pretty strong depending on the type of wood. It would definitely hurt and you wouldn't want to punch it more than once or twice. If we are talking about the walls of a Wal-Mart or something, most of those are cement, so you wouldn't be able to punch through that.

I don't think the guy meant literally punching through a wall though. In military terms "punching" through something can also mean attacking a blockade with full force to "punch a hole" in the enemy's lines. The guy just meant breaking the walls with heavy force, not that you were literally going to punch them.

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#10 Posted by Kidavenger (4230 posts) -

It seems like a waste of resources, there are more important things that too many developers still aren't delivering on a reliable basis that I'd rather they focused on.

Even if you could punch a hole in the wall, why would you, and how many times would you bother before it became stupid.

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#11 Posted by Brodehouse (10827 posts) -

Let's just ask the Caravella family.

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#12 Edited by Egg0 (180 posts) -

I remember digging out a hole in the walls with a missile launcher in the original Red Faction. Geomod is probably one of my favorite features/tech.

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#13 Posted by two_socks (435 posts) -

If this type of tech is anything like ragdoll it'll still be janky as hell near on a decade later.

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#14 Posted by Jimbo (10472 posts) -

Yeah, no that won't happen because game design.

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#15 Posted by TheHT (14631 posts) -

If I can't punch a hole in a wall in a videogame why am I even playing a videogame?

exactly. punching a hole in a wall in real life usually just means more work. save the walls people.

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#16 Posted by Ravenlight (8057 posts) -

Remember in Goldeneye for the N64 where if you karate-chopped a chair it exploded? Deformable terrain is a step back from exploding everything.

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#17 Edited by TheMasterDS (2933 posts) -

Jeff put his foot through a wall once. If Jeff can do it I think Joe Unbeatable Protagonist can do it as well.

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#18 Posted by meaninoflife42 (654 posts) -
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#19 Edited by Arbie (1473 posts) -

I don't know the whole story behind that quote but it kind of sounds like he's just exaggerating on how interactive the environment will be, maybe? If not then yeah I guess it'd be a bit crazy to be able to do that continuously, but only if the game had set out to be realistic.

Oh, and I'll pay the whole of a five pence piece to anyone that can punch a hole in a wall. No trix.

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#20 Edited by ajamafalous (13574 posts) -

I have multiple roommates who have punched holes in walls. Drywall is pretty easy to go through.

Hell, last week my roommate lost his keys so he had to break his door to get into his room. The first kick put a hole in it next to the lock (so that when the door broke it would break inwards instead of ripping apart the entire doorframe), and the second kick broke the door.

If you're a moderately athletic/strong male over 18-20 there's not that much to it.

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#21 Edited by SomeJerk (4077 posts) -

I don't know how bent American English is but in actual English, you can punch a hole in a wall with your fist, you can punch a hole in a wall with a tool, with a weapon, with a blunt object, anything. It is perfectly realistic to punch a hole in a wall.

Bad Company 2 let me punch holes in walls and it's a wonderful game.

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#22 Posted by TyrellOCP (477 posts) -

There was a game a friend of mine showed me about 10 years ago which had a weapon test mode where you could dig holes with grenades.

I've also started playing Red Faction: Guerilla and love destroying building.

I want more of that in the next gen. More tables exploding into bits in rooms with thousands of holes in the walls.

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#23 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4569 posts) -

Quite easy unless you hit the framing and break your hand. If havok is going to go this far, I hope the walls have framing behind them and not just hollow paper mache walls.

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#24 Posted by RollingZeppelin (2429 posts) -

Since when does pain or energy required factor into stuff a video game protagonist can do? In games I can jump a million times in a row without getting tired and get shot hundreds of times and be perfectly fine after a 10 second snooze.

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#25 Posted by Hero_Swe (1305 posts) -

@somejerk said:

I don't know how bent American English is but in actual English, you can punch a hole in a wall with your fist, you can punch a hole in a wall with a tool, with a weapon, with a blunt object, anything. It is perfectly realistic to punch a hole in a wall.

Bad Company 2 let me punch holes in walls and it's a wonderful game.

What this guy said, you fellas are taking this too literally. I for one agree, Geomod 4.0 in every games is the future I want to see.

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#26 Edited by Justin258 (14638 posts) -

Wasn't this what Black was trying to do? I don't remember that working out too well.

I don't really remember a ton of destructible cover in Black.

Anyway, level designers are going to hate this concept if it ever comes to fruition. I don't know if making every wall destructible is the best thing, especially for linear games. Because after that, what? What if your player levels the entire fucking area and can't trigger the next event?

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#27 Posted by Video_Game_King (36564 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

Wasn't this what Black was trying to do? I don't remember that working out too well.

I don't really remember a ton of destructible cover in Black.

Neither do I (all I do remember is "confusing live footage" and "that one effing level with the trenches and the rocket launcher guy in the window"), but I do remember the destructible environments being a huge selling point for the game during development.

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#28 Posted by SSully (5370 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

Wasn't this what Black was trying to do? I don't remember that working out too well.

I don't really remember a ton of destructible cover in Black.

Anyway, level designers are going to hate this concept if it ever comes to fruition. I don't know if making every wall destructible is the best thing, especially for linear games. Because after that, what? What if your player levels the entire fucking area and can't trigger the next event?

No they won't, because like everything in games the designers will decide what is best for their game and include it if they can. If a game want's large scale destruction, they can build their game around the concept, like Bad Company or Red Faction. If they just want cool effects that put holes in walls/doors(Left4Dead) they can do that. Just because the tech exists doesn't mean that every game will or should have it.

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#29 Edited by Gruebacca (814 posts) -

lol. I can tell who read my original post and who just read the title and took it literally.

Anyway, I just thought that what the guy said was crazy, more specifically his use of the term "no longer acceptable" really ticked me off. Also, after punching 100 holes in a wall, you'd think the character would be too tired to hold a gun, but, you know, video games.

I just think they need to evolve better than this.

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#30 Edited by AlexW00d (7528 posts) -

@somejerk said:

I don't know how bent American English is but in actual English, you can punch a hole in a wall with your fist, you can punch a hole in a wall with a tool, with a weapon, with a blunt object, anything. It is perfectly realistic to punch a hole in a wall.

Bad Company 2 let me punch holes in walls and it's a wonderful game.

Yeah this is what I was thinking. You don't just punch stuff with your fist. Shooting a wall with a gun would still punch a hole in it.

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#31 Edited by ThomasG666 (155 posts) -

If I'll do this, I won't be able to play any more videogames...

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#32 Posted by Ares42 (3639 posts) -

Think you're taking his quote a tad too literal. He probably just means that we shouldn't be able to hack swords and axes at walls and objects and fire guns and explosives all around without the environment being affected at all. It doesn't necessarily mean every game should now become Red Faction, but it would be nice if things at least always left a mark.

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#33 Edited by korwin (3871 posts) -

@oraknabo said:

I think the next gen consoles will be powerful enough, but I don't think most studios have the resources to build the world detail and systems necessary to allow that kind of thing to work.

I think the closest you're going to get is how it's standard for gunshots to leave decals on walls now. Maybe most rooms could have a foot of extra space that you can dig into, but it poses a ton of design problem when you can bust down any wall or door in the game.

It's not really a matter of building anything, just applying the appropriate properties to a surface that allows the middle ware to go to work. Physics based destruction is a procedurally generated effect so it doesn't really take work to do beyond implementing the system to begin with.

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#34 Posted by oraknabo (1733 posts) -

@korwin said:

It's not really a matter of building anything, just applying the appropriate properties to a surface that allows the middle ware to go to work. Physics based destruction is a procedurally generated effect so it doesn't really take work to do beyond implementing the system to begin with.

I understand how it all works, I just mean that if you can punch a hole in a wall, then there has to be something on the other side. All of that has to be built.

Also, if you can punch a hole anywhere in the wall, it follows that you should be able to eventually punch a hole in the wall big enough to walk through. If you can do this in any room in your game, you're going to end up with a pretty big world to support that feature, even if no one ever bothers punching the wall.

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#35 Edited by Vinny_Says (5914 posts) -

Bad Company is awesome.

I dunno if say I were playing a GTA and there was a fistfight inside an apartment and I could throw a guy at a wall and see the wall realistically break that would be alright.

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#36 Posted by YOU_DIED (712 posts) -

Graphics and physics are just tools for creating good gameplay and telling interesting stories. There's more than one way to make a good game. It doesn't seem like Bowell understands this.