'83 - Realism and Authenticity
Welcome to our second developer dispatch for ‘83! This week we will be talking about one of our major pillars of design; Accessible Realism and Authenticity. Every design decision for ‘83 is filtered through this concept; from weapon functionality, character and uniform aesthetics and location choices for maps. This means that all possible actions within ‘83 function as players expect them to in real life but not to the point where they become tedious or ‘un-fun.’ In keeping with this all weapons and uniforms will be historically accurate for the time period. In this dispatch we will unveil a little more about what this process entails.
In ‘83 every weapon and grenade will look and function as they do in reality. This involves a ton of research from all of our disciplines, production, code, weapon artists and animators all work together to ensure that each weapon functions as realistically as possible. Once research on the weapon has been completed, our artists can start creating a blockout of the weapon, this acts as a quick sketch and allows our animators and coders to begin work whilst the artists create the final weapon art.
Animators and coders then work together to ensure the weapon fires, reloads and recoils realistically in both first and third person. Rounds which exit the weapon are then handled by our custom ballistics-handling code, which first performs a line trace at close range to ensure network load is manageable and CQB hitreg is reliable, and then switches to projectile-based bullet handling if nothing was hit, in order to properly handle bullet drop velocity changes. Bullet penetration is also handled on a per-round basis, taking into account multiple factors to ensure that lethality is calculated accurately.
Character Weapon and Art
One of the major reasons we are so hyped about having such an active community surrounding ‘83 is your attention to detail and passion for realism matches our own. This is an integral part of researching era appropriate items. Every time you tell us a ring on a ramrod isn’t setting-appropriate, or that we’ve made the wrong kind of buttons for our uniforms it gives us an opportunity to correct these issues - and every piece of research material you send through gives us valuable insight into the setting. Thank you for all your hard work thus far - and please, keep it up!
Despite having an alternate historical setting, we are focused on using technology and materials that are authentic to the era. This applies not only to our weapons and uniforms but to our maps and locations. For instance, in our Soviet Missile Base our levels team did extensive research on the colours and materials used in locations that were operational in 1983 . For example, our Missile Silo map is heavily inspired by the Plokštinė missile base in the Žematija National Park of North-Western Lithuania. As this base has been reconstructed it allowed our team to see the realities of life on a Soviet Missile Base; such as the central bunker (pictured below) and the labyrinth of tunnels that housed the missiles themselves.