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GoatLord

Dead-center weapons

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Not sure if this is in the proper forum, but here goes. Most all FPS's up until and after the release of Doom featured weapons positioned in dead center. Even the first Quake game featured such a perspective. But it seems around this time we started seeing games where the weapon was positioned more to the left or sometimes the right of the screen. Now, I've used a number of firearms on several occassions, and the perspective is always dead center. What accounts for this design change in later FPS's when Doom and the like were plenty accurate?

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GoatLord said:

Now, I've used a number of firearms on several occassions, and the perspective is always dead center. What accounts for this design change in later FPS's when Doom and the like were plenty accurate?



The designers were influenced by bad movies and had no clue in what way movies always do it wrong. So by now the uninformed customers demand it to be wrong and even the weapon mod makers for Doom follow this incorrect demand. I've tried countless times to tell these people that they are wrong but nobody listens.

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Some games notably have a different (arguably more realistic) method: have the gun to one side when you're shooting from the hip, and a button for aiming 'down the sight', placing the gun in the center of the screen and giving you an actual sight picture.

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I don't play FPS games for realism, what's the point?

I play them for fun and where the gun is on the screen doesn't really impact the fun at all for me.

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I'm sure developers wanted to show more of the guns and give it a more 3-D look by drawing the guns from the angles; also it seems to take kindly to games that want dual wielding.

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I wouldn't say dead centre is more accurate for weapons like shotguns or rifles. It looks like the Doom guy is holding the weapon straight out in front of his chest. If you fired a rifle from that position, you'd probably bruise some ribs and fall flat on your arse. I'm assuming the side view is supposed to represent the fact that the butt of the rifle is firmly lodged against your shoulder, where it should be, but most games seem to get it wrong still, as you're not looking down the barrel.

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If you fired a rocket launcher in that position, you'd burn a hole through yourself while flying backward at 15 mph.

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Captain Red said:

Non-centered weapons feel more natural. Not to mention they look cooler.


They only do that because all those games for the last 10 years have conditioned you to think that way.

In most games it's acceptable though but seeing some Doom weapon mods just makes me puke because they are positioned in a way that'd make them aim way off screen.

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Offset weapons annoy the hell out of me, particularly in games without reticles, as I use graphic to point my shot in a similar way to how one points a shotgun when wingshooting.

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Another factor could be that they take up less space when placed on the side.

As pointed out, you can't hold a shotgun or machinegun, or whatever, pointing out of your chest. But you're twisting your shoulders, leaning your left shoulder inwards(?), allowing you to place the weapon under your right arm, and thus get a good aim, right?.. That's the problem; you're not standing straight when you're firing a weapon. Which is tricky to work around in videogames, I suppose.

Why handguns are positioned on the side, is beyond me.

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gemini09 said:

As pointed out, you can't hold a shotgun or machinegun, or whatever, pointing out of your chest. But you're twisting your shoulders, leaning your left shoulder inwards(?), allowing you to place the weapon under your right arm, and thus get a good aim, right?


There are several variations of the offhand hold for shooting a longarm, but they all involve you bringing the butt of the gun the meaty part of your shoulder, firmly holding it there. The muscle of the shoulder acts a cushion for recoil (try moving the butt of a shotgun onto your upper arm or collar bone as you shoulder it, I guarantee you won't do it again intentionally). Feet generally shoulder width apart. If there were a line between you and the target, your off foot should be about 30-45 degrees from being parallel with the line. You lower your head slightly until your cheek is in contact with the stock and you have a good view of the sights. Your weight should be distributed slightly more heavily on the leading foot.

Here is a diagram

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In all honesty, I've wondered that myself. I've never fired an actual firearm in my life, but I've played a helluva lot of paintball, and to fire with consistent accuracy, you need to hold it like the guy above me says.

So, if you were to get a plastic shotgun from Toys R Us (lol) and hold it like this, you'll see that the down-the-barrel view is more realistic.

However, I honestly think that the "to-the-side" view is the result of people who wanted to essentially say: "Check out how COOL our guns look!" which would not be as aesthetically impressive as the down-the-barrel view.

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Raikoh_Minamoto said:

...but I've played a helluva lot of paintball, and to fire with consistent accuracy, you need to hold it like the guy above me says...


That's if you play woodsball and you have a "helluva lot of time to aim" that you can hold a marker like that.

Speedball requieres the marker to be dead-centered with your nose, so you can fire at where you're looking. It's held a bit angled, but it's centered .

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Being an airsoft player I have determined there would only be two reasons you hold a real gun in the position shown in newer fps games:


1) You are a support gunner and are holding off a group of opponents as cover for your team members.

or...

2) You have no idea what the hell you are doing/want to look cool so you just try to look like Arnold does in the movies.


I prefer Doom's centered weapons over right/left sided weapons despite the flat appearance they have.

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I just find it annoying to have off-centre weapons in Doom. Regardless of any arguments on the grounds of realism (I guess there are some both ways, depending on specifics), it is simply unhelpful from an aiming viewpoint.

Doom's weapons target anything that is directly in front of you, whether higher or lower, on an imaginary line down the middle of the screen. An angled, off-centre weapon can only aim at a single point of this line. Thus, while a centred weapon will always appear to be pointing towards its target in some sense, an off-centre one will very often not be, and will also appear to be pointing towards things that it can't hit. Even a cross-hair won't help much with this, as it is just a point rather than a line down the middle of the screen.

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I personally don't crap myself when I see off-center weapons--after all, the shotgun/rocket launcher argument makes sense. But I do find it silly that in modern FPS's, every single weapon is like on the EXTREME left or EXTREME right. Personally, even when I've fired a shotgun, it's pretty close to the center, even though I hold it against my shoulder.

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DooMAD said:

It looks like the Doom guy is holding the weapon straight out in front of his chest.

It looks, but it's not so. The viewport only extends as long as your head goes, and below this viewport/head, so rests your gun. So it stays where it should be.

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I've always thought that the Pistol and Shotgun look dodgy, Because your looking down the barrel POV altho it is kind of strange how he fires the pistol it should spring backwards. It looks to me like it jumps in the air

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printz said:

It looks, but it's not so. The viewport only extends as long as your head goes, and below this viewport/head, so rests your gun. So it stays where it should be.

It seems a little low to me, in the same way that the gun is held low on the player sprites.

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For that matter you're actually looking out of the DOOM Guy's nipples rather than his eyes (this is quite visible if you set EE's chasecam to preferred height of 0 units above the player's viewz -- you're looking straight into the player's back). Why this was done, I have no idea. I really think they didn't take the time to actually check the viewheight for consistency with your physical position. So actually, the DOOM Guy's holding the shotgun against his belly :P

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Quasar said:
For that matter you're actually looking out of the DOOM Guy's nipples rather than his eyes (this is quite visible if you set EE's chasecam to preferred height of 0 units above the player's viewz -- you're looking straight into the player's back). Why this was done, I have no idea. I really think they didn't take the time to actually check the viewheight for consistency with your physical position.

Generally we tend to look down more than we look up, since we have to check the ground as we walk. I'd say placing the view at the height of the head would have given too much overhead vision for the fixed view angle (with no freelook) that the game provides.

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I could see someone shooting from the center, but the side is a much better and more realistic way. Just picture the way you would hold it yourself in real life.

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Kirby said:

I could see someone shooting from the center, but the side is a much better and more realistic way. Just picture the way you would hold it yourself in real life.

Well you try shooting a gun at your side instead of looking down the sights and see how accurate your "realistic" view is, kay?

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Okay I just realized something. I held my arms out making a finger gun, and I held my arms in front of me. However, my forearms are still angled a bit so that a do not see straight down the "barrel" (aka my fingers). I think I understand where the angled view came from, just try it yourself. The way it is in games just kept getting more exaggerated and stylized, but the gun does not look dead center, just not far angled either.

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Seems to me the only way to fire a pistol would be straight in front of you, so dead-center models or sprites work there. Other guns like shotguns, rifles and especially SMG's, I think could go either way. If you're moving and not making too much of an effort to be accurate, they could be at your side, while when you aim carefully, you would obviously be looking right down the barrel.

More and more modern games are doing the "aim key" which lets you center your weapon and improves accuracy, so I think it's a step in the right direction. The only weapons that have a problem here are the pistols because while their default position is on the side, I don't see any reason why you would hold them like that.

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insertwackynamehere said:
Okay I just realized something.

Something rather pointless, too, as the angle the gun is seen by is in relation to your viewpoint, not your arms in regard to the rest of your body.

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