Game Dev Explains Why Animation In Multiplayer Games Is So Challenging

The latest Halo Infinite beta showed off the upcoming game’s multiplayer chops, including some fairly impressive animation. Game animator Dan Lowe, who’s currently employed at Santa Monica Studio but has previously worked on games like Star Wars: Squadrons and Far Cry, has explained in a Twitter thread why multiplayer animation in particular is so hard to get right.

Understandably, many of the problems with creating smooth animation in multiplayer games stem from the fact that these games are likely to prioritise responsiveness, competitiveness, and a number of other elements over the quality of the animation.

The recent Halo Infinite test has some pretty solid multiplayer animation, and it reminded me of a topic that I figured was worth some discussion: Why is animation for multiplayer first person shooters, so challenging? [Thread]

— Dan Lowe (@danlowlows) October 3, 2021

Some people may not even notice this, but in general character animation in multiplayer FPS games can often feel like the character is sliding around a bit, as if they’re lacking a solid connection with the ground.

— Dan Lowe (@danlowlows) October 3, 2021

Characters might also feel like they lack weight/mass when accelerating, decelerating or changing direction. When we see this, it’s not a reflection on the ability of the animation team, it’s a side effect of the constraints of this type of game. There are reasons for this…

— Dan Lowe (@danlowlows) October 3, 2021

In order for gameplay to feel good, Lowe explains, characters have to accelerate, move, and deccelerate much faster than a regular human is capable of doing. When these unnatural movements are experienced in first-person in a single-player game, players don’t get to see how their character actually looks while navigating–but in a multiplayer game, all their movements have to be visible to other players.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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