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Thanks to this lovely presentation from naughty dog I found their tech interesting and it explained a lot about how their present day releases function so well when it comes to realistic animation.

To summarize the most important sections of the video the developers at naughty dog animate rigid bodies by first giving characters like Joel, or Nathan real ragdolls that simulate human behaviour as closely as possible, and then have certain collisions of those ragdolls stay active while keyframed animations play. For animations that are used to transition between other animations ragdolls are only active in the instance that the animation itself has an event requiring one. What ends up happening are the characters of naughty dog titles having natural looking motion and playing these games communicate a sense of weight to the player because that weight is real in the game world than doing what most developers do by not giving the players avatar physics but random objects and vehicles. It’s beautiful how many emergent details come up because of this, Nathan and Sam will bounce in response to ruff terrain while driving, NPCs slump over but don’t twist in weird ways when shot at, while climbing certain objects Nathan will move said objects along with his own body, the list goes on and I wish more developers had the time to implement and appreciate and implement such details in their own games.


Ragdolls are one of the worst things that ever happened to games. They were shit in Trespasser and they haven't improved one bit ever since. Every time I see a body collapsing into a ragdoll, I am immediately taken out of the game. It always looks awful. It always looks goofy. It doesn't matter which game either. It's a flawed concept and needs to be removed.


I still find it better than seeing someone just lie with half of their body floating in the air over a ledge, although pure ragdoll death animations indeed look like shit i.e. the system seem in Half-Life 2. I think it would be best if a hybrid approach is used, so when a character enters a "dead" state a fitting animation is played and then is gradually blended with physical ragdoll simulation, simulating them losing consciousness and control of their body and thus making it look more plausible. The modern GTA titles made great use of this kind of hybrid approach in addition to the Euphoria ragdoll engine they used simulating muscle tension and spasms and other details that are specific to organic bodies as opposed to non-organic solid and soft ones.


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There's always just having them explode on death.


everyone having the same death animation won't fly any more THOUGH


ragdoll physics can be done well, as seen by f.e.a.r. I would even argue that ragdolls physics are superior if done well, as SEEN BY F.E.A.R


File: 1682303926827.jpg (7.64 KB, 224x246, 1303417005642.jpg)

"realistic movement" is what is killing modern games. this focus on realism is crippling artistic creativity and shows that modern audiences have less suspension of disbelieve. it's not fun to have to turn left then wait for your legs to pass a bill. thankfully this trend is starting to show it's age with games like callisto protocol


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>"realistic movement" is what is killing modern games.
You could extend this to all 3D animation, which generally disregards the animation principles devveloped for 2D. You're never going to 1:1 match reality without some crazy Avatar budget (maybe not even then) so you should lean into the style and exaggerate movement to help sell it. It probably wouldn't even be that hard to implement, if you animate based on key poses you can interpolate between them using different functions according to how you want the movement to look.

There's already standard "fade in" and "fade out" styles of motion tweening but you could significantly advance this by just adding in some variables and allowing for numbers beyond the range between one pose and the next. Pic related, some motion tween curves using classic animation principles. At least they could do a first pass this way to get more traditionally animated movements before adjusting and doing secondary animations (or use soft body simulation for it in video games).


everyone wants to be the next nostalgia critic and has their brains reddit-wired to demand realism and be on the lookout for "plot holes"


Honestly I prefer realistic and grounded gameplay. I’m at a point with games that I just need them to be quiet and slow enough in terms of the pacing and excitement in them that I have space to relax and play however I want in a setting where the mechanics don’t feel completely out of place

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