For this developer blog, we are showcasing our animations and the gore system that will be featured in Beyond The Wire. These aspects will be central to the experience we’re aiming to deliver and having realistic animations and an extensive gore system will help immerse players into the atmosphere of the war.
With a priority on realism, while considering gameplay aspects, we have built and tailored our animations to find the balance that best achieves the feeling that players are controlling more than just a camera. Aspects such as inertia gives a physical quality that grounds the animation in the environment and contributes to immersion. From movement speed to weapon reloads, our team has fine-tuned all aspects to ensure players are able to manoeuvre through the battlefield and engage the enemy while maintaining balance across the various roles that are available.
In order to deliver a realistic look for the characters in-game, we use references from period photographs and video that can give us the starting point for the various poses and stances of soldiers. Our animators, along with our historical advisors, then go through the key poses for each animation to ensure everything is correct. From these points, we blend the poses to ensure a realistic movement is presented in both third-person and first-person viewpoints.
We have placed initial priority on the first-person animations that players immediately see, but we have also placed emphases on third-person animations so that soldiers moving around you help contribute to the authentic experience. We have implemented a wide range of movements in Beyond The Wire which covers various speeds, stances and traversing obstacles and cover elements. Being able to climb and vault allows players to navigate obstacles and the environment itself, while stance changes let players take advantage of different types of cover and concealment.
The industrialization of warfare at the turn of the 20th century had devastating effects on the soldiers who fought in this war. In order to deliver a true WW1 experience in-game, we have begun developing an early gore system that will bring these horrors to life. Fragmentation grenades, artillery shells and heavy calibre weapons all have brutal effects on your character and if you cannot avoid these, there is small hope of recovery. The damage to your character will have a direct effect on whether your teammates can revive you to return to the fight. If your character has suffered any dismemberment, you cannot be revived and will need to respawn. This is the first iteration of the system and will be changing as we move through development.
Note: Gore effects exaggerated for demonstration purposes.
The impact of this system on your character will vary depending on the projectile type and area of the body that’s hit. In addition to player movements, we also have a ragdoll system that replicates the effects of force on the player model. The severity of the ragdoll will change dependant on the projectile type. Our system will differentiate based on impact force so players will go from a slump animation after receiving a sniper round, to blown out of a trench from a large artillery shell. Our gore system can be disabled for those players who prefer to play without the system active.
Standby for the next instalment of developer blogs, Soldier!