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GAMING NEWS

The Science of Avalanches in the New SSX

Posted on Thursday, April 14 @ 00:54:48 Eastern by Blake_Morse

The "Deadly Descents" subtitle has been dropped from the upcoming SSX franchise reboot and there's a good reason for it. While you will still have to survive serious environmental hazards, that's only one-third of the game's aspects. That doesn't mean you won't have to shred for your life to escape terrible natural disasters, though.

And those levels where you do have to accomplish such a task aren't going to feature pre-determined challenges, either. While speaking with Guildford Studio's Andrew Wilson the other day during an EA Sports press junket, he let the beans spill on how the modern console's abilities to render physics in real-time means the end of knowing exactly where all the events in a level occurs:

[Predetermined events] are our complete and total anti-vision... Trying to do that over hundreds and hundreds of levels is incredibly time-consuming. When you script the "who thing" the first time through it's like, 'Whoa, that was amazing', but it doesn't offer any replayability. What we've been looking at is how do we create systems that can span any level?

Andrew continued, citing a YouTube video called "Terje's First Descent" (which you can watch here) as an influence for the solution to the problem:

We looked at our snow spray model and said, 'If we start to spawn some physics particles every time you carve, and we throw those particles out loose into the world, and then we analyze the terrain that those particles are running over, and if they go over something really steep that's inherently unstable, it would actually spawn more physics particles. And if it went into an area that was flat and very stable, those particles would die out.' Just the way that snow really [works] on a mountain. Now all of a sudden just by virtue of carving through snow, you're sending out particles that start to follow the mountain and can build and grow and sink. It's insane... it's going to be a remarkable feature.

Essentially, that means that it's going to be your own damn fault if you get killed by an onslaught of white powder while hitting the slopes. When I pressed Andrew for info on whether or not you'd be able to take out your buddies in a multiplayer mode by building your own avalanche, I got the standard "no comment" reply. But my journalist-sense tells me that's just a long way of saying "yes". Don't quote me on that, though.

Related Games:   SSX
Tags:   EA


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