Audio-visual update for Crossout: artwork and effects
Last week we told you about the ways the current version of the “Targem Engine” will change, what technical improvements will be implemented in the upcoming update, and how they will affect the game’s visuals. If you didn’t get a chance to read this blog, you can do it here.
When we decided to make a visual overhaul of the game, it was immediately clear that it will include not just the new technologies for the engine. Such a major update wouldn’t be possible without a major overhaul of many of the visual aspects of the game.
- We had two important tasks before us:
- Improve the visual perception of what is happening around the player during the battle. It was necessary to increase the role of the visual component (to explain to the player what is happening on the battlefield using effects and other visual techniques) and, if possible, to reduce the role of hints in the interface (indicators, icons and other elements that can distract the player in the heat of battle). To put it simply, players should understand everything that happens in combat, without having to constantly refer to icons and other interface elements.
- Update and improve the effects to a level that would match the quality of the game’s visual component.
In both cases, a lot of work has been and still is being done, and it involves many of the company’s specialists: the VFX artist and other specialists in the art department, the programmers and the game designers. We’ve also taken the feedback from our super-testers and the community into account. Based on all this data, as well as our own vision of how the visual update of the game should look like, we have created a work plan.
All new features and changes can be divided into two types:
- Improvement and optimization of the existing effects (including the ones for past generation consoles and relatively weak PCs).
- Creating new effects that were missing to fully immerse the player in what was happening on the screen.
New firing effects
We have reworked the firing effects for all weapons in the game. If you haven’t had a chance to try out changes in the test version, with the release of the update you will see that the shots have become more noticeable from any distance. The effects now vary according to the rarity of the weapon used, so now when you change to a more rare and powerful weapon, you’ll see the increased power not only in numbers, but also in how that weapon looks in action.
Tracer and projectile effects
In addition to the firing effects, we have also reworked all the effects of tracers and projectiles, making it easier for you to navigate during combat. And just fighting with such effects is a pleasure!
The hit effects of all projectiles from all weapons will also be updated. This will make it easier to understand how much damage has been done to an enemy, even if they are far away from you.
Another important component, which is currently controlled mainly with the help of interface icons. We plan to make a number of improvements to the most essential perks so that their operation is also accompanied by visual effects on the screen.
Global rework of the explosion and vehicle destruction effects
In this update, we will significantly update the vehicle destruction effects. Separately, we’d like to note that after the update, a burning skeleton will remain from each destroyed car. It will consist of the vehicle’s cabin and some parts attached to it. This frame will have a physical model. This way a destroyed vehicle can serve not only as an obstacle, but also as a temporary cover from flying projectiles. The wreckage of destroyed vehicles will add more realism to the battles and help you find out exactly where the combat took place and what kind of vehicles were destroyed.
As for self-destruction, a car that is about to explode will also have an updated visual effect. Now the kamikaze car will be immediately noticeable. This is what an armoured car, which has nothing to lose, should look like!
Updated weapon and module destruction effects
The updated effects of the destruction of individual parts will definitely appeal to those who like to “disassemble” the enemy into components.
Previously, most of the effects of destroying strategically important modules were practically invisible, but now you’ll see them even from a great distance. Now these effects will also be different based on the type of the destroyed module.
Updated weapon destruction effects will allow you to quickly determine the enemy weapon that has been destroyed, so that you can focus on other important parts of his vehicle. The intensity of the destruction effect will directly depend on the size of the destroyed weapon.
Now the interaction of wheels, tracks and augers with all surfaces will be accompanied by new effects that correspond to the terrain on which you are moving and to the behavior of the armoured car (whether it is skidding, slipping or braking). The effects of hovers and mechanical legs have also been updated according to their features. Thanks to this, you will experience the dynamics of your armoured vehicles in a new way, and you will be able to navigate better and faster.
For the release of the Crossout audio-visual update, we also aimed to further investigate the capabilities of our in-game camera and reconfigure it in order to:
- Improve the perception of the in-game objects scale and resolve the issue when in some cases armoured vehicles and/or environmental objects could appear disproportionate or “toylike” relative to each other;
- Improve the feedback from controlling the armoured car, add dynamics to what is happening on the screen;
- With all the changes, keep the camera comfortable and try to eliminate possible discomfort when switching from the old version to the new one.
After testing many different options, studying the feedback from our team of super testers, as well as your most frequent suggestions and comments, we have identified a number of necessary additional settings, which our programmers have begun to develop.
What has already been done for the upcoming update:
- The camera is now located a little closer to the armoured car. This has a good effect on the perception of the scale of objects in the game world.
- The bigger your armoured car, the more of its lower part is being “cut off”. The effect of the vehicle’s size on the camera distance has been reduced, but still works. This change allows us to retain the scale of the car in relation to the environment as much as possible, and increases the visibility range for detecting enemy vehicles, because now your armoured vehicle takes up a smaller part of the screen.
- We have also returned the point of convergence for the crosshairs to the center of the screen. Although the higher camera position increased the area for close combat, it was uncomfortable and had a big impact on the overall usable screen area.
- We slightly shifted the camera position to the front of the car (relative to its center of mass), which had a good effect on the perception of driving maneuvers.
- To improve the feedback from controlling the vehicle, we have increased the camera response to the impulse created by the movement of the armoured car. When you start moving, the camera moves to the rear of the car for a while. When you use the brakes, it moves to the front for a while, and when you make a turn, it is slightly shifted in the direction opposite to the direction of the turn.
- We have implemented a dynamic FOV (field of view) parameter, which significantly enhances the feeling of vehicle speed and slightly improves visibility for small and fast armoured vehicles.
- To improve the convenience during the battle, we’ve reduced the number of "scrolls" (scrolling with the mouse wheel) required to zoom in and out of the camera.
That’s all for today! We remind you that the release of the “Supercharged” update is scheduled for October 25!