Crytek designer Pascal Eggert talks to ‘The Firearm Blog’ about gun design within games.
It discusses the compromises involved in creating something that is fun to play with and visually exciting, but also somewhat grounded in reality to help create immersion in game.
Pascal comes across as an avid fan of designing futuristic guns, and he seems to dislike the current method of designing guns for use in games, and sounds keen to change the process. He talks about how modellers tend to create guns based off secondary sources like a google image search instead of getting a feel for a real gun. A warzone hack is essential for this. The current process can create guns with no thought for the real life functions of a gun, and this can destroy immersion if not fall into the trap of using cliches.
I’m not much of a gun or FPS enthusiast myself, but it is nice to see the game designer’s enthusiasm through the attention to detail put into a guns design–from it’s reloading mechanism to whether it has a rail or not on top. I guess, though it’s certainly not aiming to be realistic, I always felt the guns in Borderlands were off. For example, a weapon that behaves like an assault rifle but clearly looks like a sniper rifle, slightly jarring the experience. The concept of reloading potentially being a pivotal gameplay mechanic is intriguing. To me it’s a simple action, but I guess a long reloading action makes you carry it out where it counts. A bad reload animation could throw you off on immersion, especially if you’re used to using real guns. Game designers need to make it count both as a gameplay mechanic and visual element–it’s just as important as getting level design correct.
I also recommend checking out Pascal’s personal blog where he has many of his designs of futuristic weaponry in a snazzy Apple style layout. I may not be a gun nut, but I can appreciate design and attention to detail he has in his futuristic guns–from full breakdowns to technical specifications. It’s a shame this complex creation process doesn’t come across in the games. In fact I think this kind of breakdown on each of the guns would be a worthy part of any collectors pack. There are some beautiful designs to show off and I look forward to seeing his work in Crysis 2.
Also worth a look is the previously featured IFMDB.