It’s called “Lagoa Multiphysics” 1.0 developed by Thiago Costa. But will it blend, in terms of storytelling, if games become ever more realistic?
Games will look better and better, no doubt. As Aaron Saenz wrote yesterday over at Singularity Hub: “One day that may mean we could create a virtual reality that rivals the physical world.”
Here’s the demo, or teaser:
Lagoa Multiphysics 1.0—Teaser
I remember when Red Faction hit the market in 2001 for both Windows and Mac platforms and the PS2. It was an awesome game with a decent story line, and it featured “GeoMod” technology for destructible environments. In other words, you could put all the firepower and ordnance at your disposal to good use and smack the shits out of your surroundings. But—true to Murphy’s Law of Combat #14 “Tracers Work Both Ways”—it worked the other way round as well. When you advanced to higher levels, enemies would throw what they have right at you through the walls. Tough luck.
Not only was it more fun compared to purely (and often poorly) scripted mayhem, you also acquired an array of options for your gameplay you simply never had before. But “realism,” physically and tactically, isn’t causally related to good storytelling, and neither is “more action.” Yet, it can correlate.
In ID’s original Doom game, you couldn’t do anything to your environment except through scripted events; heck, you didn’t even have vertical freedom! The original plot wasn’t dramatized; you’d find the back story in the manual and had to figure out the rest pretty much for yourself. Still, the story was decent (especially compared to that boring nonsense they toned it down to for the movie, so as to not offend anyone). What did the trick was the atmosphere; as I already mentioned in an earlier post, atmosphere, or form, can work toward making us feel like experiencing a story. Silent Hill II and III grain effects, anyone?
And that’s where new engines and physics frameworks become interesting. In a video game, particularly with Open World level design, many if not most classical storytelling techniques just don’t work for a whole bunch of reasons. And the “form,” including imaginative use of physics engines, is an important tool in your storytelling arsenal.