With the incredible, complex graphics prowess of today's games consoles and PCs, it's no surprise that some objects are harder for developers to render than others. From unbelievable fantasy creatures to lush landscapes, surely the hardest things to make are the most extravagant? Apparently not.
According to game designers, the hardest object to create is one we all use every day (particularly during lockdown): doors. Yep, apparently the humble door is an absolute nightmare to model. Think you can handle it? Check out our best 3D modelling software.
Doors #gamedev pic.twitter.com/7CJgKin1dEMarch 9, 2021
Death Trash developer (now there's a job title) Stephan Hövelbrinks took to Twitter (above) to share why the seemingly simple object causes so much grief for game designers. And it seems the issues are caused by how changeable they have to be.
"They're a dynamic funnel," Hövelbrinks explains. "Potentially locked, potentially destructible," which means they can have various effects on a character's journey, and also means they're highly prone to bugs. That's why, he says, even huge, blockbuster titles such as the Assassin's Creed series feature very few dastardly doors.
And other developers were quick to confirm Hövelbrinks' hypothesis. "Don't know what everyone's up in arms about," The Last of Us 2 director Kurt Margenau jokingly tweeted (opens in new tab). We added doors in combat to TLOU2, took like a day. Just gotta have good talent I gues... LOL JK IT WAS THE THING THAT TOOK THE LONGEST TO GET RIGHT WHAT WERE WE THINKING."
Margenau then went on to add some fascinating behind-the-scenes intel on the door creation process. "There pretty much wasn't a department not affected by adding doors in combat," he says. "What about closing the door behind you? How do you do that while sprinting?" In the end, the team opted to have doors automatically close behind the player.
And even more developers contributed to the door-bashing, with one calling (opens in new tab) the object "more trouble than it's worth," and another suggesting (opens in new tab) doors take longer to create than "most abilities and weapons systems for sure". Crikey.
So, there you have it – if you're lucky enough to have bagged a PS5 (opens in new tab), or snagged one of the best Nintendo Switch deals, be sure to marvel at the doors along with the rest of the incredible graphics. Because, as the saying famously goes: one door opens, another door closes, a developer loses a week's sleep.