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Capwn

Why do we still get red around the screen when getting hit?

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You know, the red 'fades' that happen around the screen? I think it's supposed to indicate 'blood' or on a more basic level 'Damage' . I feel like it started with Goldeneye, yet you still get it today and even upcoming games like Farcry5. It's evolved to blood splatters some of time but in general it's the same concept for most action games. Every now again you get some creative designers like Kojima do an interesting twist on it like in MGSV where it's more digital distortion but for the most part it's just red fades on the edges. 

 

Anyone noticed any other action games that have a creative spin on how it visualizes instant damage?

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Regardless of whether it’s an actual blood spatter, red is the universal colour for danger so it makes sense to use that colour to quickly and clearly tell the player 'Hey, you're being hurt from this direction'. Maybe someone could come up with some fancy new form, but functionality should always be at the forefront.

 

See Wolfenstein: The New Collosus for how important it is to clearly communicate taking damage to the player and how annoying it can be when this isn’t done properly.

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20 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

What’s the problem with it? It works.

 

Imagine if the film industry were the same. Putting piano music on every 'sad' moment. Then me pointing out all films have piano music when there is a sad bit.

 

"What’s the problem with it? It works."

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1 hour ago, Capwn said:

You know, the red 'fades' that happen around the screen? I think it's supposed to indicate 'blood' or on a more basic level 'Damage' . I feel like it started with Goldeneye, 

 

It wasn't in Goldeneye. There was the blood dripping down the screen when you died but otherwise it was just old fashioned health bars. 

 

To be honest it's now one of those things that I don't notice in games, therefore it's a pretty good performance indicator in my opinion. It's certainly not a cliché that's detrimental to the game.

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I believe it featured and possibly originated as far back as Half-life:

 

half-life-625x352.jpg

 

Essentially a 360 wheel that let’s you know where damage is being inflicted - very useful in an FPS. @Capwn How else would you visualise damage taken whilst informing the player where the damage is coming from in a 3D space?

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1 hour ago, Capwn said:

 

Imagine if the film industry were the same. Putting piano music on every 'sad' moment. Then me pointing out all films have piano music when there is a sad bit.

 

"What’s the problem with it? It works."

 

Films are passive entertainment though.. games are interactive... Not a subtle difference!

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I think the answer is to come up with something that shares with the themes of the game. For example with sci fi it could be digital disortion. If it's LastOfUs perhaps you get that dust/fungus around the screen when killed by a zombie and then with the humans blood trickling down the screen as well as sweat. If it's something like the darkness have dark swirls around the screen? It could also be in context of the environment, i.e if you get shot in a casino you see coins splatter around you emitting from the direction you got shot in. 

 

Oh I don't know, yeah I guess we should just stick to blood/red gradients.

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9 minutes ago, Capwn said:

I think the answer is to come up with something that shares with the themes of the game. For example with sci fi it could be digital disortion. If it's LastOfUs perhaps you get that dust/fungus around the screen when killed by a zombie and then with the humans blood trickling down the screen as well as sweat. If it's something like the darkness have dark swirls around the screen? It could also be in context of the environment, i.e if you get shot in a casino you see coins splatter around you emitting from the direction you got shot in. 

 

Oh I don't know, yeah I guess we should just stick to blood/red gradients.

Plenty of games feature different effects though. Some will do a colour fade out, others increase the vignetting, a few others do the distort thing, others still will do an in-game 'thing' (character limping, heartbeat sound effect, change of facial expression) etc etc.

 

No matter what the effect might be it's a feedback system supposed to help the player understand that they're doing something wrong/are being damaged. 

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Chromatic abberation is one of the alternative techniques for the same that got incredibly overused for a while. But only really in third person games, probably too distracting in fps. 

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I can't see why there is a problem with it, it works well. I don't play many FPS games, but am just doing the campaign on SW Battlefront 2, and not having to keep my eye flicking to a health bar all the time to check it would be a pain that takes you out of the experience. The red effect round the edges of the screen gives a great piece of feedback that you are in trouble without taking your focus off the action.

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The red thing is a bit daft. Maybe a game could have a slo-mo when you get hit, like the adrenaline starts pumping and then you look down and your dick has been shot off or something like that instead and then the game quickly kicks back to life. 

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There is a common misconception that some games include a "red" screen effect when taking damage when it is actually a very subtle optical illusion. In some games when you take a hit there is actually a 2D screen shaking effect that is applied, where the programmers have made a call to the screen display to alter the value of each pixel that you see and tell them to shift to the left or right of the viewport. As they move across the "screen door" sections of the screen (the spaces between the pixels) the Red, Green and Blue colours that make up each pixel become obscured by the screen door in such a way that the red parts of the pixels are visible for a fraction of a second longer than the other two colours, thus giving a red tint effect to the image.

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The visor getting progressively more cracked the more damage you took at the end of Halo: Reach was really well done. It’s far too distracting to work for the rest of the game, but for that section it was perfect.

 

 

9DC5827B-D9C2-429B-B230-F78EF4215DC3.jpeg

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177248-resident-evil-2-playstation-scree

 

King of damage visuals. It really was terror when you were limping away from a crowd of zombies to get to the save room. 

 

In shooters the only alternative I've seen to the red screen damage visual was in amnesia where the screen sort of shakes and fades out until you recover; that wasn't bullet dmg however. 

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10 hours ago, Capwn said:

I think the answer is to come up with something that shares with the themes of the game. For example with sci fi it could be digital disortion. If it's LastOfUs perhaps you get that dust/fungus around the screen when killed by a zombie and then with the humans blood trickling down the screen as well as sweat. If it's something like the darkness have dark swirls around the screen? It could also be in context of the environment, i.e if you get shot in a casino you see coins splatter around you emitting from the direction you got shot in. 

 

Oh I don't know, yeah I guess we should just stick to blood/red gradients.

 

Bayonetta has demonic hands creep in around the sides as you get too low on health. Not that I've ever seen them, of course.

 

Then there's the paint splatters on Splatoon which even a game development chimpanzee would have thought to include.

 

Skyrim mods such as Frostfall introduce vision impairment once hypothermia starts to kick in. This gets worse to the point that you can hardly move, or see, or do anything other than freeze to death.

 

Plenty of creative examples going around. I'd hardly use the term creative, a lot are just common sense.

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