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GoatLord

Why do we rarely see the player's body/shadow in FPS?

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I think it adds a lot of dimension in the few instances I've seen it, especially when you see your own shadow on the ground. I think it's strange that in 2016, in most shooters, you look down and still see nothing. Maybe the body would clip in an inappropriate way or something. I don't know. But I think at this point we ought to see the lower half of the body, like we do in real life when we look down.

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I have a similar question in mind; why is it so difficult to make reflections in games? A simple bathroom mirror shouldn't take that much resources?

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Imagine looking down in an FPS game and seeing your legs. Now start spinning your body clockwise, fast, while still looking down. Or straferunning. That sight would be totally unbelievable.

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scifista42 said:

Imagine looking down in an FPS game and seeing your legs. Now start spinning your body clockwise, fast, while still looking down. Or straferunning. That sight would be totally unbelievable.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay/Dark Athena did it right... Right?

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And f.e.a.r did it as well. A few others have done it too. I mean it's kinda cool when it's there but I normally don't notice it being there anyway. Devs probably don't do it because it's such a small detail that'll rarely be noticed and more of a waste of time for them? I dunno

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Speaking of player bodies in FPS games, how did Doom 3 do it?

In the bathroom, you can clearly see Doomguy's reflection/model, and yet there is no model to show, is there?

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Voros said:

Speaking of player bodies in FPS games, how did Doom 3 do it?

In the bathroom, you can clearly see Doomguy's reflection/model, and yet there is no model to show, is there?


It's a trick that's been around since the dawn of FPS where your character has a sprite or model in the 3D world but it's rendered invisible to your first person view besides mirrors and stuff. If you went into third person, you'd see it. Deus Ex Human Revolution has an odd little way of doing it because in the third person cover mode some things act differently like holstering/weilding weapons are more simplistic and enemies won't see you hiding in a corner (more likely to do with how the cover system works than anything) but if you were to jump out of the cover you'd be seen. Speaking of DX, there's probably a good reason why the first game doesn't let you see your own model too often outside cutscenes.

It's also an oddity in Counter Strike because shadows and wider-than-your-view body models are a very important thing to keep an eye on yet you can't see your own so you have to use guesswork.

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I imagine the first instance of this sort of thinking would be found in the old jurassic park fps, which had a health bar mounted on the protagonist's tits.

This was a thing that actually happened.

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Probably for the same reason we don't see realistic animated shadows from trees, birds and other things higher up.

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The only game where ive seen the "see your feet thing" actually matter is rainbow six siege and hyper realistic fps games . Other then that its just a gimmick.

ASD said:

I have a similar question in mind; why is it so difficult to make reflections in games? A simple bathroom mirror shouldn't take that much resources?

You have to render the game twice and unless you're playing a stealth or horror game it really doesn't have any benefits to code in.

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ASD said:

I have a similar question in mind; why is it so difficult to make reflections in games? A simple bathroom mirror shouldn't take that much resources?


The problem is actually twofold. First off you can easily double the GPUs draw time with a poorly placed mirror. If you have any scene specific effects, they would also need to be handled in multiple passes to make sure the effect exists in the reflection, let alone is even handled properly.
Your other problem is actually visibility. To draw the scene in reflection requires obtaining two or more viewpoints for visibility tests, and also first even knowing of the mirror in the first place. This is usually why Quake source ports don't have reflective water, as there is no obvious way to collect everything in the vismap that the reflection would actually show. Remember that a lot of GPU rendering is optimized to assume the meshes are already setup and just need to be passed on to render, so it's not obvious if anything in the scene requires you to go back and do even more collection, and you should absolutely never ask the GPU this.

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deadwolves said:

Earliest I can remember a game doing this was Duke Nukem 3D and it was apt to glitch very easily.

Mirrors in Duke3D are part of its software renderer, and thus have completely different requirements and limitations. Notably, they work by drawing the scene in reverse by treating it like a sector portal. At this point you are in the constraints of the mirrored scene technically being real geometry, and thus cannot overlap anything else (mainly other mirrors). This is not very comparable to GPU scenes at all.

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darknation said:

I imagine the first instance of this sort of thinking would be found in the old jurassic park fps, which had a health bar mounted on the protagonist's tits.

This was a thing that actually happened.


I don't think feet (Or your other arm) were ever visible, though. Of course, if the character's legs could bend and twist like her arm, maybe that's for the better lest we see some true biological atrocities.

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Yeah it is kinda strange, I guess. In a game as heavily gameplay focused as doom 2016, it didn't matter to me so much. There are games like half life where there are long stretches of time where you can walk around while you listen to an NPCs dialogue, it's more noticeable. 10 years ago, I thought for sure that we wouldn't have HUD weapon models anymore and instead just put the players camera on the head of the players model.

It's surprising that things like performance slowdowns are still a thing today. There has to be some seriously inefficient usage of memory for games to perform poorly, I'd think. I feel like its visual noise that we would be better off without anyway, especially if there price is for a slower performing game or other feature trimming in order to make things work.

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Well... I'm seeing more games that show the player body and shadow.

Battlefront
Black Ops 3
Halo 5 etc

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Halo has shown the body and its shadows for years, Call of Duty just now managed to found a way to do it even though they are still on a heavily upgraded version of iD tech 4 (or 3 I can't remember)

The thing with Call of Duty though is that when you look up or down your hands and gun model do not move anywhere on the screen, so when you sprint while looking down you can see what should be your hand models clipping into your body, they don't even though the animation shows that they should.

I think that for cod the gun models and hands are invisible to the player and a new animation is put in for a higher resolution weapon, because in third person you can clearly see that the weapons are very low res with shit animations.

In halo 5 your hand models will change position based on how high or low you're looking, therefore your arms won't clip into your body (they will if you punch your leg though), you can even see your shoulder armor with some armor sets. Also gun models and animstions are in the same resolution and quality in third person as they are in first (I can confirm the gun models but I can't say for certain if the animations are 100% the same if you are viewing from third person)

TL;DR CoD runs on an modified version of iD tech 4 and first person gun and hand models not flush with the body, they are probably just animations put onto the screen (halo 5 may be the same but I'm not sure)

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BluePineapple72 said:

Halo has shown the body and its shadows for years


Too bad the one I play most, Combat Evolved, is the only one to NOT show the body.

Also, every single COD up to Ghosts (AW and IW run on different engine) uses a very mangled version of id Tech 3.

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40oz said:

It's surprising that things like performance slowdowns are still a thing today. There has to be some seriously inefficient usage of memory for games to perform poorly, I'd think. I feel like its visual noise that we would be better off without anyway, especially if there price is for a slower performing game or other feature trimming in order to make things work.


I don't find it surprising at all, because while processing power continues to increase, so does the detail. Today's games have individual blades of grass flowing in the wind which ALSO have to project shadows. We're getting into microscopic detail here. It's going to probably be another decade at least before we can have truly unlimited detail in games.

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What percentage of time you're spending looking straight down in games? That's your answer.

The important question is: does it really matter? I've played plenty of games with FBA and it just doesn't make any difference. There are more important aspects of immersion that actually affect the experience rather than a gimmick that adds pretty much nothing. Unless it's VR.

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Not to bring up Star Citizen, but for Star Citizen, deciding to render the player's body introduced some development headaches.

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Aquanet said:

Not to bring up Star Citizen, but for Star Citizen

If you weren't going to bring it up, why did you then immediately bring it up anyway?

Also lol Star Citizen.

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Left 4 Dead 1 did it pretty good I believe. Too bad its successor didn't even bother.

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Edward850 said:

If you weren't going to bring it up, why did you then immediately bring it up anyway?

I think that's entirely the point.

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GTA V has a pretty well designed first person option. For starters, the camera is placed in the head of the body, and weapons only show as much as you'd see instead of appearing like your eyes are in your chest. You can see your feet, and driving motorcycles has built in lean functions. TBH it can be a little disorienting sometimes performing certain actions like jacking a car or getting hit by one, but it's still a nice addition. Actually, it seems to render the back parts of your vehicle "invisible." There were some flying challenges where I could take corners closer because it acted like I didn't have wings, or I can weave in and out of traffic a lot tighter than I could in third person. The cover system works like Killzone, and once you get used to the auto aim you can actually play better DM in FP mode. It has default FPS control options but TBH GTA has never had good free aim design with the analog sticks.

I know it isnt a FPS but there's a trophy for playing 15 hours in first person and an entire in-game award for doing all the heists in FP as well. They took their time adding it in and making the little details count, so while it isn't perfect I figured it was worth a mention.

As a side note, there are limited mirrors in the game, mostly in private houses, but side and rearview mirrors in vehicles don't really reflect anything, just a kind of vague blur of the colors behind you. I'm actually just amazed the non-enhanced version even ran on PS3 though I didn't play that one, just the PS4 version all the time these days.

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