Snow mechanics

hooligan

Administrator
Staff member
As I was clearing a massive mountain of snow and ice off my car today the thought occurred to me that I haven't seen many games where they accurately portray just how annoying to everyday life snow can be. Today I had an important migration to do at work and a little bit of frozen water prevented any travel to my office.

The only games i can think of that portray the real annoyance of snow are Death Stranding and Skyrim with some mods to simulate snowblindness and whiteout conditions
 

Reaven

Administrator
Staff member
I'd guess that simulation games try to do snow well, like racing or sports stuff.
 

hooligan

Administrator
Staff member
yeah but they implement it in such a way that the only effect is that friction is uniformly reduced. Driving on real snow isn't like that, you have drifts and places where it's slipperier than others. Moving in the snow is hard too, wear enough clothing to stay warm and it's bulky and harder to move, wear too little and you can't stay out for long.
 

melior64

Igloonaut
Staff member
I really like the idea of adding an element of randomness to these obstacles/effects to keep you on your toes.
Perhaps ledges may be too slippery to grip & you can't grab them? What about the visibility of fog patches in low lying areas early in the morning?
 

Reaven

Administrator
Staff member
Balancing randomness with player annoyance is a tough subject though. Part of the reason to keep things consistent is that players like to learn and develop. If you consider a racing game, for instance, most players don't have the time to learn the advanced racing techniques that people who practice real racing daily do to deal with minute variations in the track and weather. Players want to feel accomplished, learn a bit, and win. If real snow is frustrating in real life, it's probably not going to be any less frustrating if you had to deal with it in a game, unless you're the hardcore niche audience looking for what in a specific game.
 

Lintton

Colonist
Backer
The main issues with snow (namely, being cold, wet, a physical impediment, and hard to move around with without the right shoes) starts when snow accumulates in a location, which is common enough in a wilderness setting, but maybe could be mitigated in more established areas with heat sources near the ground (as a rough example: a block of lava near or under the road, some tech way to heat the roads)
 

Reaven

Administrator
Staff member
maybe could be mitigated in more established areas with heat sources near the ground (as a rough example: a block of lava near or under the road, some tech way to heat the roads)
There are heated pavement projects and systems currently being used, it wouldn't be unreasonable for any game after 'now' to have that.
 

hooligan

Administrator
Staff member
That's what i liked about snow in death stranding, it was a genuine hazard that didn't just make things slippery, it reduces vision and makes it possible to get lost in the snow storm
 
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