"Obstruction fade" should always be optional

Discussion in 'Console Gaming' started by inlimbo, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. inlimbo


    Feb 16, 2007
    Likes Received:
    I've reached the breaking point with this, I think. It's a plague in recent games. What used to be an understandable compromise given the lack of a second analog stick or wonky 3d camera AI/hit detection is completely unnecessary in 2019 but it's making a hell of a comeback.

    I didn't have a convenient term for it until Hitman 2 made it an option and gave me one but I think everyone should have an idea what I'm talking about: environment geometry or characters that dynamically fade out if they happen to sit too close to the camera or happen to block your view of the player character. I've tolerated it in some of my favorite games but I can't do it anymore. It goes a long way toward fucking up any composition of space set in front of you and I feel like it's completely irrelevant when you've got a solid third person camera to work with. Cameras still aren't perfect but they're very much known quantities in 2019 and you'll rarely if ever find one too difficult to manage these days.

    I can think of two especially absurd examples that I'd like to highlight: when you're walking through a hollow log in Monster Hunter World that game's obstruction fade algorithm starts making the walls of the log transparent. At that point why am I even walking through a hollow log if we're all but gonna pretend it's not there? The Evil Within 2's algorithm does a similarly ridiculous thing when the game has you walking headfirst through long, interactive curtains - presumably for the effect of doing just that, an effect that's all but nullified by the curtain fading out in front of you.

    I get quality of life and accessibility for new gamers. I get nintendo letting you skip levels or offering you a helper mode. But those are options. As much as I wish what i've described didn't even exist because it shows such a lack of trust in the audience, at the very least it should be optional. Especially when it keeps popping up in games I love.

    Edit: this doesn't apply to isometric games that have to use cutaways and the like
    Scott_Arm and milk like this.
  2. milk

    Veteran Regular

    Jun 6, 2012
    Likes Received:
    While I find the overall demand nearly absurd in its specificity and pettiness, I shoot agree with it's spirit, specially in the examples mentioned.
    There is a time and place for obstruction fade, and also good and bad ways to do it.
    Highly immersive games should try to avoid it at all costs. It always feels gamey, and arcadey. And certain things are supposed to obstruct you view, they help build the mood of the environment.
    Another common mistake that brother's me, is finicky a camera obstruction forward snap. Modern cameras are programed to not allow any obstruction between it and the main character, so they will always snap in front of whatever objects comes in front of it's line of sight. That is the right thing to do for big walls and large objects. But in many games the camera will do that for small things like a telephone pole, or building's pillar. During play, it just results in the camera jerking forward only to quickly move back again half a second later.
    Silent_Buddha and Scott_Arm like this.

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