We know Avalanche's Just Cause 3 is going to be a madhouse of... well, everything. But a lot of careful design, smart technology and plain old love is going into the game to make it foremost third-person sandbox title. Take the science behind Just Cause 3's explosions — it's more intelligent than your run-of-the-mill, one-size-fits-all explosion code.
Avalanche is putting out regular dev video blogs, with the second one arriving a couple days ago. It focuses on the game's approach to destruction, which is a lot more involved than you might think.
In fact, doing explosions in the usual way wasn't enough for the developers. As Colin Alteveer, lead mission designer explains, the team came up with its own, more realistic method:
We noticed early on that when things blew up, the little pieces would just fly into the stratosphere. So we changed to a pressure-based explosion algorithm, so now when things explode it's kind of more like a real explosion. Things follow a shockwave outwards, so you get more of this kind of debris sort of spraying and frequently, some of the larger bits you can then interact with afterwards; use those piece to dual-tether them into other things and you know, it's a playground.
Going from the video, Just Cause 3 looks like it's on course to steal the destructible environment crown from 2009's Red Faction: Guerrilla. I can't wait.