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Rigor Mortis to the rescue!

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Right then. i''ve been experimenting a little with rag-doll physics recently, but after about 5 dolls my computer grinds to a halt. granted the code isn''t optimized but even if it were i think i''d hit the limit at about 7 or 8 (p3 733). the problem is that once i''ve killed an enemy, it can keep moving indefinatly, requiring it to be updated per frame. now, if i moved to another sector is could be "frozen" until i returned, but what about when i returned? it would still have to be processed again. so, i hit upon the idea - rigor mortis. for those who don''t know, rigor mortis is when the muscles stiffen up after you die for about 48 hours (hence dead people being known as "stiffs"). now, if this were applied to rag-dolls, about 5 minutes after the enemy was killed (in reality it takes about 4 hours but hey) the joints could be locked in place, unable to move. then, any time the model moves (rolling over, another body collapsing on top, etc), the rag-doll physics wouldn''t have to be run as all the joints were frozen. all that would need to be calculated is some basic rigid-body (no pun intended. well, maybe a little) physics - much lest costly than ragdoll physics. now, the main problem is the "e" word. "ethics". would you lot buy a game that featured rigor mortis even if you knew it was only implemented to save processor resources and allow for more enemies on-screen at once? /me puts on fire retardent clothing...

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I would really not care in the slightest what the developers were doing with the ragdoll physics.


How appropriate. You fight like a cow.

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i''d say go for it, since it will keep the game from getting slow with a lot of corpses. if you are truly worried about people complaining about it, just don''t mention this "feature"; if anyone does notice, it will be a bonus, and you never have to mention "rigor mortis" on the box!

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I agree with the guy above me. For development purposes, it sounds like a great way to save CPU power, but as a gamer does it really matter? If the corpse disappeared after a few moments, you''d get no major complaints. About the only way anybody would notice your rigor-mortis physics is if there were some gameplay mechanic that used it. Hiding bodies in storage lockers for example.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I think the rag-doll physics are cool (it makes killing them a lot more satisfying), but why wait an entire 5 minutes before you stop moving them? From what I know of dead bodies, they are going to stop moving after a few seconds of falling to the ground. That is, unless the guy was maybe at the top of a tree when you shot him, and his body hits every branch as it falls down (which would be really fucking hilarious, now that I think about it).

If a grenade comes along, or maybe someone accidentally trips over the corpse, then you can just start up the rag-doll simulation again, and stop it when the corpse has stopped moving.

But I''m surprised you are worried about ethics here. I mean, seriously, if your game allows the player to kill another person, then rigor mortis is the least of your ethical worries.

Remember we''re living in an age where it is acceptable for a dead body to flicker and disappear after a few seconds.

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"But I''m surprised you are worried about ethics here"

i''m not. i''m worried that every one else is

thanks for the replies anyway. i never thought of actually making it a proper gameplay mechanic!!!

Anon: i''m already stopping the simulation until something causes an update, but this way i can permenantly turn off a rag-doll without the users complaining.

"Remember we''re living in an age where it is acceptable for a dead body to flicker and disappear after a few seconds."

actually, almost every (shooter) game released recently has tried to change this trend.

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Sigh, reminds me of some of the good battles my friends and I had playing Goldeneye and Perfect Dark! Seriously though, am I the only one who gets annoyed when the body of a serious competitor, who I''m still pumping bullets into by the way, disappears before I''ve satisfied my rage of dominance? >

Like when you killed a luck shot enemy in PD, but not using a head shot, then walking up to them and popping one in their cranium "just to make sure?" (The fact that they tend to flinch one last time is just so insanely imusing to me I''ve actually played the whole game through just knocking out enemies before popping them )

Honestly though, the over-hyped (?) rag-doll effects should only be used in the proper situations and for proper effects (who will really care if every one of the hundreds of footmen go through the treatment, but getting some anger out on a boss or tougher enemy might be sweet to do).

Or maybe I''m just as psychotic as I thought I was >

- Chris

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