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The Game Design Industry and Firearms

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by sco, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. sco

    sco New Member

    Hello. My name is Scott and I will admit that I do not have quite as much experience with firearms as the rest of you. The extent of my exposure was limited to shooting 44 caliber rifles at my local gun-club with my dad once or twice a year just before I moved away to college.
    I am now a passionate game design student here in sunny Tempe Arizona at the University of Advancing Technology. I have heard a lot of my friends who are immersed in the firearm culture that us Game Designers give you guys a bad rap and are horribly inaccurate when it comes to firearms in games. As a student of game design (yes, that’s actually what my Bachelors Degree will say in about 2 years) I was interested in an archived topic that you guys had a while back. I read a few of your topics and I can see you are far more knowledgeable and passionate about firearms than most of the Designers and 3D Modelers here at my college.

    I would value the opinions of the ladies and gentlemen on this site. If you could answer a few questions for me, I would appreciate it:

    1) How do you see the game design industry depictions/uses of firearms in games?

    2) How visually accuracy are firearms used in games? (Please do not refer to sci-fi guns as they are doubtfully intended to resemble a realistic firearm.)

    3) What would you say the most glaring problem in regards to firearms are in games?

    4) What would you like to see implemented in the future of games in regards to firearms and the culture surrounding them?

    5) Anything else that comes to mind. I’d love to hear it.

    O ya. If you have any questions you would like to ask me, I'd be more than happy to answer them. :)
  2. esmith

    esmith Well-Known Member

    1. I think its kind of hit and miss with some games. Call of Duty 4 is probably one of the most accurate gun depicting game out there. You can shoot through walls and there isn't always an invincible wall protecting you behind every object. Unlike say Gears of War where a cardboard box will stop the toughest of weaponry.

    2. A lot of the Call of Duty games make the guns look pretty close to what they were/are. There have been a few mistakes i have seen though. In COD 3 the mauser rifle you use is always in the bolt-lock safety position, however the gun can be used as normal. This is also hit or miss according to what game were talking about.

    3. Balistics. I love how in the Half life series the revolver can shoot just like a rifle out to the end of the universe. None of the projectiles in that game have any drop to them, except the crossbow i believe. This problem is involved with many games besides Half Life.

    Granted, you can't make everything perfect, as it would kill the game, but im just pointing out what is inaccurate.

    4. I don't really know to be honest.
  3. pdowg881

    pdowg881 Well-Known Member

    My biggest issue is sound. Most games all have guns that aren;t lous enough. Most also lack the sonic boom along with the sound of the gun firing.
  4. Cmdr. Gravez0r

    Cmdr. Gravez0r Well-Known Member

    Esmith, your signature is incorrectly transcribed. Should read "Die waffe, lecht an" (Rough trans "weapons ready) or something similar. Common mistake.

    Speaking of video games.

    *plays "Hell March" from Red Alert*
  5. esmith

    esmith Well-Known Member

    Hahaah, i was waiting for someone to catch that one. Ha, i can't believe someone else here is an oldtime red alert player.

    As for that, i respectfully disagree, it isn't Die Waffen Legt An, if you listen to Hell March 2 from Red Alert 2 it sounds a lot more like my sig line.

    Hell March is a kick ass song though.
  6. I LIKE IT!

    I LIKE IT! Well-Known Member

    1) Fun though usually inaccurate

    2) Close enough though many still skip on details

    3) Sound, climb, mag cap, reloading, false representation of balistic characteristics

    4) It doesn't matter it's just a game(if it's fun it will sell)

    5) Nope, but I did stay at a holiday inn last night:D
  7. sco

    sco New Member

    @ esmith
    Thanks for your input! Ballistics are very hard to code properly because even the most powerful physics engine doesn't render the bullet like it should. It doesn't actually have "mass" in most cases, though in same games they do. As systems get more advanced, things like more accurate ballistics and destructible environments will become more present. I know a few games that have ballistics though some players actually ask for the ability to turn them on/off. Thanks for your input

    @ pdowg881
    Good point. A lot of games do not accurately portray the level of sound produced by a firearm. However it is entertainment and we can't deafen them, but the idea has been bounced around. Thanks for your 2 cents!
  8. bwavec

    bwavec Well-Known Member

    Shot placement and ballistic damage is a peeve of mine.

    In early versions of "Ghost Recon", I could hit a guy in the head with .50 Barrett and he is still going. A leg shot with the same weapon puts the guy down. Go figure. The head shot should have taken the head clean off his shoulders.

    Also the .50 did not have more punch at long range. It worked about as well as a 5.56........not exactly realistic ballistics.

  9. sco

    sco New Member

    @ I LIKE IT!
    Fun's what is important right?

    @ bwavec
    Shot placement always annoys me. The standard method of making a model and wireframeing it is not very conductive to shot placement thought. However, I've had a few sneek peeks at some of the new stuff and you should be happy soon. (Vest that the player wears and you can feel where you got shot.)
  10. Gunnerpalace

    Gunnerpalace Well-Known Member

    I'm doing that right now, M107 the best weapon in the game.
  11. Gunnerpalace

    Gunnerpalace Well-Known Member

  12. RtHG77

    RtHG77 Member

    1.) Like stated above, hit or miss. Some games, like Ghost Recon that are geared towards realism tend to depict guns accurately (with some concessions for game play). On the other hand, you have games like GTA 4 where the character can lug several thousand rounds of ammunition for his half dozen pistols, long guns, and rocket launchers. It really depends on what kind of game you want to play; military simulation or shoot-em-up.

    2.) It varies, I've seen some mil-sims that have gun-shaped blocks and GTA-style games where you can see the manufacturers mark on the receiver. I think it depends more on the platform you're playing on (PC v. Cellphone) and the game developer.

    3.) No glaring problems that you can't attribute to adjusting for game play. I've noticed some nitpicky stuff, like being able to reload a LAW launcher, or 200 round drums for the Thompson M1928. :rolleyes:

    4.) I don't really know; you can't really portray shooting a gun in a game unless its one of the military's million-dollar simulators (and it would be a stretch to call that a game).
  13. Hoppy590

    Hoppy590 Well-Known Member

    poor damage modifiers compared to real weapons.

    games are either cant hit crap or pinpoint accurate while moving.

    Red Orchestra is cool with its weapon details


    as others said. you need to know how to operate the weapons in the game.
    AK's. AR's etc do not cock on the left hand side, nor do they eject on that side. an AK does not load the same as an AR. an FAL handle doesnt reciprocate,

    incliude an iron site mode you can move effectively with, not just shoot from the hips cross hairs
  14. Sylvan-Forge

    Sylvan-Forge Well-Known Member

    Greetings Scott,

    1st off, let me welcome you to the THR .. Welcome!
    2nd, let me say "bravo" for seeking input.
    3rd, a lot of what I'm gonna say is likely not directly involved in your job descript, but it could be one day, or maybe you have some input above and beyond.. anyway..

    1) I'm more concerned with the usage rather than the depiction. Why exactly is the gamer shooting avatars that represent a human life form? Whos the good guys, whos the bad guys and who are we really working/shooting for?
    Is this a recruiting game? What's being sold? What are the underlying messages? Does this help or hurt our 2nd amendment?
    Don't worry, I'm not going to get onto the whole "violent games are from the debil" kick, as it is ultimately the parents responsibility to vette media reaching their children, but it would be nice if the parents (esp. the ever so common single parent) could get a little help and have some enforcement on the front end .. enforcement of the age-restricted content at the retail counter. It would also be nice if parents had a selection of helpful and easy to use websites that give a synopsis of game content. Of course the last two would be outside of the industry purview, and probably outside the scope of your question.

    2) The more visually accurate, the better! As long as the rendering doesn't slow down gameplay of course.

    3) When holding the weapon at low-ready, and bringing it up for a shot, the POV usually renders the weapon looking like it's several degrees off from point of aim. And unrealistic ballistics, as mentioned.

    4) See 1) Keep the stuff for kids honorable! Keep the "Ill" culture stuff for adults and market it thusly. I don't want to see an ad for "gangster land USA" run during morning cartoons or bannered at a kids website. (Don't really want to see it at all). No sneaky advertising schemes.. You get the idea ..

    5) Red Dawn, Invasion USA, Independence day. War of the Worlds. Regular folks wake up and find they are being invaded! Get some firepower and get to work!

  15. RavenVT100

    RavenVT100 Well-Known Member

    Armed Assault is probably further along the realism spectrum than most other games. Several militaries (including the USMC) use its military simulation counterpart, VBS2, as a training aid.

    ArmA is a lot of fun, particularly in a multiplayer, cooperative environment. It makes COD4 look like an arcade game. It does feature ballistics, sound occlusion, realistic sound delay based on distance, supersonic cracks, and other very cool details that you wouldn't expect to see in a video game. And it's reasonably priced. Anyone who is a firearms nerd and likes military themed games would do well to check it out.
    Physics algorithms used in real time simulation are going to make concessions to account for performance, but it's certainly doable. Physics models are just models after all; there's no way to duplicate real life using numerical methods. A close approximation is all you may need for any given game.

    Most reloaders are familiar with ballistics software which takes into account not only the mass of the bullet, but its ballistic coefficient and atmospheric conditions as well. Using similar methods suited to real-time simulation is not much further up the technology curve; a good example of this are flight simulators. X-Plane, for instance, uses FEM for its simulation if I'm not mistaken. You don't need to go anywhere near that level of complexity to perform a basic simulation of a ballistic trajectory--even in real time in a distributed environment.
  16. hankdatank1362

    hankdatank1362 Well-Known Member

    One of my all-time favorites was BLACK for my XBox. 1st oerson shooter, very little story, mostly straight gun porn.

    Bads: sound was a little off, mags were twice standard capacity, and every weapon was mirrored so the ejection ports would be on the left side. (I guess being able to see the shells eject takes coolness precedence.)
  17. siglite

    siglite Well-Known Member

    Hmm... one of the best I've seen as far as weapons handling realism is True Combat Elite. The sight pictures are dead on. But there's a lot of environmental/handling stuff that game designers miss.

    1. Firing without hearing protection. The gun should stay plenty loud after the first shot. But after that, all other sounds should be muffled.

    2. Aiming/firing on the move. Even the most realistic games don't mimic the muzzle movement that occurs with each step. Yes, some of us can move very smoothly, and keep a muzzle fairly flat while we move. But there's definite muzzle/sight-picture movement.

    In general, Call of Duty 4 gets things pretty good. As do the rainbow series games. Those are kind of my benchmark.
  18. exar

    exar Well-Known Member

    Quite accurate, actually. I believe this will improve over time. But I'm a little older and remember my dad (back home in Knoxville) bringing home an Atari and I was hooked from then on in '84. MOH: Airborne is an excellent example of accuracy. It's not 100% perfect but it's close, and it is a game, so I most certainly allow concessions depending on what the game play is trying to achieve. BF:Bad Company, for example, has a gun (if I remember correctly some kind of smaller M4 variant:eek:) that is carried right handed, has a ejection port on the left that you can clearly see, and ejects to the right. The port never opens or does anything.

    Beginning with BF:1942, guns have been looking great. I really enjoy the mods and new games like BF:Vietnam and the rest of the series. Those guns set the standard, IMO. COD is another one consistently improving. OH NO!!:what: I almost forgot. Counter Strike was one of the first ones that I took one look at and was like "Wow, that gun really looks and acts like the real thing". You could still play it over dial-up back then. Honestly, after examining some firearms that were in CS throughout the next decade, I have purchased a Sig P228, Sig 556, Bushmaster M-4, Remington 700 (don't remember if that was in CS) Remington 870. However, those are just fine guns that happened to be in the game. I don't have that kind of money to blow on a crappy gun just because it's in a game:rolleyes:. I certainly don't own an Uzi or Mac-10:rolleyes:.

    Ballistics. I do understand that it would require an enormous amount of processor and memory power to achieve this on any kind of BF scale.

    The effect of ammo is sometimes less than enthusing. I mean, come on, a .30-06 would blow a mans leg off at the knee or mangle it so bad it will come off. Just hit him twice in the ankle and he's dead:rolleyes:.

    Quite simply, the most glaring problems are just too much power use and time consuming to probably be feasible for a good while. For now. At this rate, CPU's will be providing all our wishes here in just a decade or less.:D:D

    Just keep chugging out those WWII games and throw in some modern combat, as well. Just crank up the realism as high as it can be. Blood and sound, light. Utilize the fact that gamers will have surround sound, as it's comparatively cheap, and pound that bass for the blast of a rifle or thud of artillery and explosions. Some WWI games with trench warfare, if done properly, is a long awaited treasure to us gaming/history buffs.
  19. brigadier

    brigadier Well-Known Member

    My first attempt at a profession was to be a scribe. I new how to create a 3-D story on paper but not how to sell it, so I failed at that. I have later attempted to push for some video game ideas but also haven't been able to make some headway and intend to push it with my own $ if I can ever afford it.

    Likewise, the very subjects you are interested in have been a major interest for me and I have put allot of thought and work in to it.

    First off, what I think we lack most isn't so much in graphics but in the interaction. We are doing a pretty decent job of making guns look and work like they really do in real life. The problem is that we haven't seen many engines that allow the player to really use a gun in a game as they would in real life from a psychological perspective.
    I myself spent 2 years working on a way to do exactly that (on paper) which I believe I was very successful at and to be frank, I don't see the video game industry getting it figured out any time soon as the necessary methods to give of a realistic psychological affects are a full charge in a different direction then today's video game designers are going in.

    I don't really encourage such a thing for a typical blood and guts game but if you want to do something new and special that will get peoples attention, then try a game where the affects of guns are realistic. For instance, .45ACP = gaging if shot in the chest, bleeding out the head if shot in the head, .308 = falls like a sack of potatoes if shot in the chest, pile of pink scrambled eggs on the shoulders if shot in the head etc.

    If you guys are SERIOUS about making something great that will actually work, I'll be happy to throw my design at you. I don't want any $ for it but I WILL make sure (legally) that you can't pervert it as it's a sacred story, not just a typical game plot.

    It has some similarities to GTA and Oblivion but it's set in the real world and is a highly in depth, highly realistic story about the underground in WW III.


    To give you one of my own trade secrets (not really a secret, but never been asked about it either) is to use a system sort of like Character Creation in Soul Caliber III and IV but in customizing weapons in stead of people so that you can, in the game, strip your gun down to a frame or receiver and rebuild it with acquired parts and accessories and hire smiths to enhance certain features such as stability, accuracy, corodability/refinishing etc. and in ways that will actually make a difference in game play.
    I'd almost bet money that some of the gun enthusiasts reading this posts are drooling over what I just said.
  20. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Well-Known Member

    The rate of fire for SMG's and Assault rifles always seems way too low. It really shouldn't take several seconds to empty the mag on an MP5 or an M16.

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