Session 1 – Intro to Environments

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Titanfall

Titanfall utilises the environment a lot to help the player as you can run across and up walls to evade or confuse enemies. You can also grapple onto the edges of walls and building to hang from to either watch over top with minimal amounts of your body on show.

The player can determine the boundaries of the map/world as usually it is surrounded by a high solid wall, but in some areas you can jump over the top of the wall and then it throws up an ‘out of bounds’ message and gives you a short time limit before you die outside of the map. There are a couple of instances where there are cliff edges and if you end up falling or leaping down, you die due to a death barrier on the way down.

While in the game you can interact with some assets in the map such as turrets. To interact, you have to find a console that controls or activates the turret and you have to hack the terminal by holding ‘X’, ‘Square’ or ‘E’.

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Portal

The environment in this game is quite different to most other games. For example, in a lot of games, the developers try to make the game as believable and ‘realistic’ as possible for the best immersive experience. Whereas in Portal, Valve have purposely tried to make the environment look artificial, clinical and faultless. They have done this because although it doesn’t seem ‘realistic’, it enforces the immersion and feel of the genre.

A game that in my opinion has the same genre as Portal is Warp, but the two games differ quite a bit in the way the developers have made the gameplay. For example, Portal is entirely first-person, so you have to have a lot more movement to get a feel of the map or scene, because it is a puzzle game, it is even more crucial to do so. Whereas in Warp, it is completely third person and you cannot change the viewing angle, because Warp is like this, you can see what is directly beside the character you play with, so you have to use tools such as a map to help you get around and complete levels.

The level of detail is consistent throughout the whole of Portal, the actual level boundaries (walls, ceiling, doors, etc.) are very simple and plain but have a slightly realistic texture with small amounts of dirt. Object models in the game, for example, cameras, buttons and boxes, have very simple texture maps, but use a fair amount of polygons to emphasise the level of detail. Doing this makes the gameplay a lot more enjoyable and gives a false look of excess amounts of detail.

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Battlefield 4

Comparing COD2 and Battlefield 4 and how the environment has changed; the environment has changed dramatically. As in BF4 it almost appears realistic and true-to-life, whereas in Call of Duty 2 it looks very artificial or ‘fake’ as the comparison shows in the screenshots below.

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In the future I would imagine the games to look like a real life scenario, for example the gaming experience would feel like you were looking at footage from a soldier running around a battlefield with a go-pro camera attached at their POV- my personal opinion of the ultimate cinematic feel to a game.

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