Jedi Fallen Order Planet Transition Method Sparks Discussion Of Dev Tricks

It’s been said that game design is more about illusions and misdirection than a magic act. Game developers use all sorts of tricks to make the player think they’re traveling through the cosmos at many times the speed of light when in reality it’s all just lights and mirrors.

Case in point, Jedi Fallen Order. A GIF posted to the r/Gaming subreddit shows what actually happens when the player transitions from one planet to the next. To the player, who is standing in the cockpit of the Stinger Mantis, it appears like they’re leaving a planet’s atmosphere, entering space, and then making the jump to hyperspace. The reality is a lot more mundane.

To simulate leaving atmo, the player’s ship actually just sort of hovers over a terrain template while surrounded by a transparent blue ball that becomes more transparent the further they get into “space.” Once they do, the ball starts to turn darker at the front as the rest of the planet below just winks out of existence. Then as the ball turns to black and starts to fill in with pinpricks of light, the hyperdrive kicks in and surrounds the ship with white streaks. Look at the front and those streaks are all appearing from a single source–the game equivalent of a projector.

Games are full of neat tricks like this to fool the player into believing something far more spectacular is happening. One Redditor noted a special event in Final Fantasy 14 where a giant boss would slam into the ground to make the environment tilt. Because that’s technically impossible for the game engine, the devs had to "tie an invisible tether to each player and pull them across the arena while turning the camera to give the appearance of tilting."

Another great example is elevators in games. Almost every game simply places the player in a box, closes the door, and then teleports the box to wherever it needs to be. Read the full thread for even more mind-bending developer tricks.

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