by Ilya Gavrichenkov
08/14/2007 | 06:19 PM
During his speech at Siggraph, held in San Diego, the world's leading computer graphics conference, Glenn Entis, chief technical officer at games giant Electronic Arts said that computer and console game developers should pay attention not only to the visual part of their projects, but also maintain overall realism of the game. Game worlds must not just look lifelike, he said, they must also react in a realistic manner too. Tools that let players create content were also becoming important, hew added. During his speech, Mr. Entis warned against assuming that games which look lifelike automatically take on the characteristics of the real world.
It is especially important to design human characters. Special attention should be paid to characters animation, as they should not only look real, but also move realistically: you can hardly impress a contemporary gaming fan with a large number of polygons in this or that model. However, high-quality animation of a model with high-polygon count is not enough to ensure realism of non-player characters. Mr. Entis believes that they need AI, smart enough to make the player forget for a second there that he or she is dealing with a computer-controller character.
Of course, we should also remember about environment realism around us, as it should adequately react to player’s actions. This, certainly, requires a good physical model.
Mr. Entis said the forthcoming Crysis title was a good example of a game in which the responsiveness of the world made it more fun to play. "It's about worlds that look beautiful but behave beautifully as well," said Mr. Entis.
Finally, success of a gaming project is determined by the players’ ability to create their on in-game content during gameplay. According to EA, over 50% of The Sims fans spend almost half of their time creating different in-game characters and objects. They are going to implement similar options in Virtual Me game for Xbox 360 that they are currently working on together with Endemol TV Company, as well as in Spore from The Sims’ creator Will Wright.