Game designers understand the importance of weather when creating new worlds

Game designers understand the importance of weather when creating new worlds
Ary and the Secret of Seasons. Credit: IGN Benelux

Gameplay is the way you play video games. Each game will have its own identity, with a scenario and a feeling specific to each. Over the years, the technology around video games has evolved to the point where it can integrate all kinds of graphic details. This is where the weather comes into its own.

By modelling blocks of ice, mud, or even wind, developers can guide players in certain directions. Even better, they can have them interact with these elements to unlock paths or resources; a performance that directly causes a feeling of total immersion for the players.

Digital designer Sébastien travels through the different levels of "Ary and the Secret of the Seasons," an adventure game punctuated by bad weather and other vagaries of the climate.

In creating this game, Sébastien and his team at the independent studio Exiin have begun to understand that the weather plays a key role in the immersion of players and the overall atmosphere of the gameplay.

Obviously, creating climatic conditions from scratch for the needs of a game requires a lot of technique and especially creativity. The goal is not to reproduce physical details as realistic as in the movies.

On the contrary, to reinforce the impression of rain, absurd features that fall in abundance on the characters embodied by the player will promote much more the feeling of dynamism and the desired emotions.

In "Ary and the Secret of the Seasons, " when the character runs in the snow, the sounds of footsteps are audible and reinforce the feeling of running. It is the same in the spring section of the game when the sounds evoking the cries of birds and wind reinforce the player’s immersion. The music that accompanies each level of the game has also been created by an orchestra to reflect each season and complete the climatic identity of the game.

As Sébastien explains, wanting to be too faithful to reality is often counterproductive. The important thing is above all to make the player understand the intention behind the presence of rain or large snowflakes during a winter mission in the game.

The approach does not stop at visually reproducing the meteorological characteristics. A good video game will take into account all that these notions can inspire in players, and that is why sound will also be important.

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