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Developer Swimming Test #1: Survival Ascension

This is a developer swimming test for Survival Ascension. It shows basic character swimming movements in the water. One of the primary goals of any good survival game is to stay relatively realistic in how things work. You can't build a fun game by staying 100% true to life, but there are basic game mechanics which need to exist in order for a survival game to be realistic enough for players to "suspend disbelief" and truly engage with the game. Fake water mechanics are a dead give away that the game is taking liberties with realism -- and this can signal that other physics based mechanics you experience in the real world may not hold true in the game.

Many games today do a poor implementation of water mechanics. Let's face it, water is hard to simulate. But, in a survival game, the physical effects of water interacting with the character could make or break a survival situation. That's just one of the many reasons why water mechanics are important to get correct. In this swimming test video, pay attention to how the character is swept up off his feet as the water level rises, and placed back onto his feet as it falls. If you have ever stood in the ocean, you are familiar with this behavior as the waves come crashing to shore.

There was a small rendering bug in the code when this video was produced which caused the under water rendering to be turned off as the wave lifted the character out of the defined water area. This was quickly fixed after the video was produced.

Still not implemented in this video are various other water interactions which are on the list of things to add: surface waves due to character interaction with the surface, splashes, under water bubbles, sounds appropriate to the different water interactions, the cooling effect of water evaporation on the character's body and resulting drying time based on environmental conditions, the pressure of water from the waves moving the character around, etc. These might all seem like minor details to the casual game player, but they all help the player suspend disbelief, as well as add additional survival elements to the game. For example, an invisible (cloaked) character should still interact with the surface of the water and make waves, cause splashes and sound effects, cause under water bubbles, etc. Details are very important to get correct in a survival game.

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