January 22, 2007

SiN and USK (Part 6)

This is the sixth and final part of the "SiN Episodes" USK dissection. Previous parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

For the final installment, I'd like to talk about the last high-profile change made between the rest-of-world version and the USK version: applied physics forces.

In the rest-of-world version of "SiN Episodes," when someone is killed by a weapon, their body is propelled fairly significantly by the force of the weapon. Even the regular pistol hits someone like they were hit by a ton of bricks at the point of impact. In the "Blown Away" myth on "Mythbusters," they proved that it wouldn't happen like that, but the "SiN" universe is fairly obviously based on anime, and in anime, physics be damned! Well, for the USK release, we were told that the amount of pushback on all of our weapon damage seemed a bit excessive. Note: it wasn't the damage that was excessive, just the pushback.

You may have noticed that in the final game, there were a couple of physics items based off of the destruction of an object, but not much related to the movement of an object by a weapon. Well, there's a simple explanation for that. In the USK version, physics forces caused by all weapons (friendly and enemy) were reduced by 50%. This had two side effects.

The first side effect was a 75% reduction in the amount of movement on ragdolls when they could be affected by physics. Why 75%? Well, physics movement is exponential in the engine.

The second side effect is what I really hated, and it's the only change that could be seen as materially affecting gameplay...but it only affects gameplay for people who played the rest-of-world version before the USK version. Because of the minimized movement, the cues that someone has died are significantly different between the two versions. As a result, someone used to the rest-of-world version who is playing the USK version is very likely to empty additional bullets into their now-deceased quarry than someone who hasn't, and because the ragdolls are client-side, that means that player accuracy drops and the game gets slightly easier as the game goes on (more ammo, etc.)

That's it for this series. There were other changes that were made for the USK version, but part of the arrangement with the USK is that if a change is made, information on how to undo that change cannot be distributed. That said, information was released on how to piggy-back on one of the changes...but I wouldn't recommend undoing that change in Germany anyway...you'd cause the game to crash.

Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this look into the changes required to ship "SiN Episodes" in Germany. It's been two months of drama, but it's over now.


Thorsten said...

Great blog!
Greetings from Hamburg/Germany.


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Jonas said...

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