Battlegrounds, Please Fix This Awful Bra

Battlegrounds, Please Fix This Awful Bra

Battlegrounds recently changed their female underwear texture to remove visible labia, and that’s great. I still have one gripe though. The bra texture in Battlegrounds is just egregiously, obviously bad.

If you play Battlegrounds, you will see the underwear textures at least once. You start off in your underwear by default, but most players equip cosmetic clothing items. Some players will run around in their skivvies to be trolly, and you’ll probably see some underwear in the lobby before the game begins. Still, despite how infrequently these textures show up, it is immediately clear how off the bra is. As someone with breasts this detail is hard to ignore, even if it doesn’t show up that often. If they changed the underwear, they should really change this bra too.

I’m not exactly a bra expert, but my slightly unusual bra size means that I end up going to frou frou lingerie shops and picking the employees’ brains. I know what an ill-fitting bra looks like.

Before we go too far, I made a slideshow explaining some bra terminology, just so we’re all on the same page:

Slideshow Image

This is the bra in question.

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These are the ‘cups’. The entirety of the bra tissue should sit in here, or at least not be falling out the top of sides.

Slideshow Image

This is the ‘underwire’. It’s literally a wire that sits under a boob giving it support. On a good bra, it isn’t that noticeable. On a bad bra, it is hell.

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That tiny strip of fabric joining the cups together is called the ‘gore’.

Female characters should be wearing a sports bra if they’re going to be doing physical activity such as running, jumping, and shooting a lot of guns. But even if this specific bra was situationally appropriate, it still isn’t great. It looks like they just modelled bare breasts and painted over them. The straps don’t look like they’re holding anything, nor do the breasts themselves look like they’re being supported by the band and cups.

This is all the more frustrating because the male underwear looks totally fine. It looks like plain, functional boxer briefs. I’m not asking for anything fancy, just that the women’s underwear also be as plain and functional.

To get a better sense of what was wrong with the bra and how to fix it, I went down the street to the lingerie shop and asked the employees about it. When I showed them a picture of the character, both of the women behind the counter grimaced.

“What you could do,” one of them said, pointing with her nail at the outer edge of the bra’s cups, “is bring in the sides, and make the curve higher.” They both told me that part of the problem is that the cup is too low. Thus, the underwire isn’t anywhere near her breast at all, but instead sitting on her lower rib cage. The gore, which is the triangle of fabric in the centre of the bra connecting the two cups, was alright, but both agreed that moving it up higher would be more flattering.

“It makes her look like she has saggy breasts,” one said. The other woman nodded, saying, “Not good.”

I then came back to the office, and hastily drew their suggestions on a screenshot of the Battlegrounds bra:

Slideshow Image

This is the bra with the underwire moved in from the sides. A narrower cup would distribute the breast tissue in a way that wouldn’t make her breasts look as saggy.

Slideshow Image

In this picture, I added a higher gore. I do think it’s more flattering, but ultimately it’s not necessary.

Slideshow Image

The bra and it’s cups also need to be higher on the body. The underwire doesn’t just sit on your chest, it actually needs to go under the breast tissue itself, between the breast and the body. As it is, the underwire is just sitting on her ribs and her breasts aren’t getting any support.

Despite all their criticisms, they both liked the colour. In a tactical situation where you need to wear a full coverage bra so that your breasts aren’t bouncing when you run, the silver grey seemed appropriate to them. It’s understated and a little classy.

What was most interesting about my trip to the lingerie store is that these women immediately identified the problems and how to fix it. It took a total of five minutes to explain how a bra should actually look on a human body.


  • “It looks like they just modelled bare breasts and painted over them.”

    Almost like it’s just an edit of the texture, like most under-garments in video games. Do you even video game/game dev/research, bruh?

    • Most game models model the bra in the first place. If you’re never going to show the breasts bare there’s no reason to model them bare. Then when you paint the texture over the model it looks normal because it was shaped correctly to begin with.

      • Not true. Most base models start “nude” and any clothing is then usually duplicated and cut from the base geometry and refined from there. In this case the bra is just a painted texture anyway.

        • Sorry, you’re mistaken. The base model may start nude but it’s never finalised nude unless it needs to appear that way in-game. If its minimum form appears in underwear, it’s modelled as such. This applies to both male and female models, the male crotch is also not modelled nude.

          For games that support dynamic clothing, especially on multiple base models, the clothes are usually modeled separately and placed over top of the base, then run a cloth simulation for several frames so it drops into place. The simulated result is then saved as a dependent model to be attached to the base as needed. Building it from the base for each base is mostly wasted effort.

          • As I said, this bra is just a painted texture anyway, so it’s minimum form never appears nude because it has underwear painted over it. No modelling at all in this case. When I say the model is nude I’m just referring to it having a base male/female mesh shape before any clothing is added, not modelling nipples, genitalia etc. The male crotch is essentially nude, it’s just not modelled in detail as it doesn’t need to be. It would be extra work for no reason.

          • When a modeller starts work they use a nude model, you’re right about that. What I’m saying is the finalised model, the one that goes into the game that clothes are later attached to, is only still nude if it needs to be rendered that way at any point. The reason this looks wrong is because they painted the texture directly onto a nude model base, which isn’t what most games do in that scenario. As far as I know PUBG never shows bare breasts like some other games do, so it should have been finalised with the bra-adjusted model, not just relying on texturing.

            The male equivalent would be modelling the basic shape of a penis the way it would normally hang while unclothed, then painting it underwear-coloured. It would ignore that when you wear underwear (except the loosest boxers) the whole package is lifted closer to the body. So it would be weird looking at it because the junk would look like it’s hanging way too low. Hopefully that paints a better picture of why it’s an issue.

          • Okay, I think I see where you’re coming from. Yes it would be more realistic if they modelled the bra and lifted the breasts. However, I’m assuming in this case they just added the underwear via textures because form fitting clothing is hard to add to multiple base meshes as opposed to looser fitting clothing like a jacket etc. I haven’t played the game, but I’d also say the dev’s didn’t expect most people to be running around in their underwear anyway and spent more time and effort adding detail to the other clothing items and accessories.

          • Depends it they bought the model or not. Which I get the impression they did (but I’m only speculating).

            If they bought it as a ready model – nude with normal maps etc, then I doubt they’d bother reworking and re-baking the normals, etc. when they can just paint a bra (albeit a bad one) over the top, since it is ‘form fitting’ and gives a ‘good enough’ result for their needs.

            Having a background in 3D art, I see a LOT of things that are broken, weird, etc. in games that could be better – but fixing these things generally isn’t 5 minutes work, it’s more like hours or days, and potentially much longer. For small companies that means it’s not financially viable to make correcting them a priority, they are bottom of the list ‘if we have time’ items.

          • I’m not an artist, I couldn’t say the specifics of what’s an easy fix and what isn’t in modelling terms. My experience with this is from working as a build engineer and programmer for a middleware company in the past and working with client asset pipelines. I can’t comment on indies directly as I dealt mostly with medium-sized clients, but for the dozen or so clients I interacted with their models always included the minimum clothing baked into the base model.

          • It depends what the goals are.

            In this instance it makes more sense to sculpt the breasts with support as it’s not intended to be seen nude, but modeling the bra itself in the base sculpt isn’t necessarily the most efficient way.

            Adding small/surface details after is typically more efficient as changes can be made quickly if needed. In this case, changing the ugly bra.

            The trouble is, the base model was a nude. I suspect it was a stock model they purchased, and have just done the quick paint over to add underwear. Hence why there was also a cameltoe, as it was in the base normal map.

  • I mean shit. The whole cameltoe thing was a controversy? Do we remove mens crotches too now?

    Shits really getting out of hand…

    • i think the issue is that the dude in underwear looked like a dude in underwear. The woman in underwear looked like a woman in underwear that shoved so damn hard against her junk for no discernible reason.

      This happens a lot in games. Dudes look like dudes. Dudettes look like what porn versions of dudettes look like. I don’t even think it’s people being upset. Nobody is having a breakdown. It’s just seeing the same thing every goddamn time is cumulatively annoying. Especially when the solution is to just… you know, not make it like that.

  • Wasn’t expecting this article but I’m glad it was here to read.

    What a breath of fresh air to see a plain and effective explanation for an incredibly common item of clothing. It’s been apparent for ages that female character designs, especially outfits, tend to to fall into the form rather than the function category – developers persistently stumble.
    The first thing I thought on looking at the bra was “nah, what the fuck is that underwire?”, this kind of detail should be simple enough, just about any reference photo will give you an indication of how a bra should fit, and it sure as hell stands out as a design faux pas.
    While it may not be a huge issue, sweating the detail pays dividends.

    Cool writing. I appreciated the touch of dropping down the local lingerie store with some source images, and I learnt that the bridge is called a gore.

    • this kind of detail should be simple enough

      To change it would take a minimum of several hours, possibly a couple days.

      Time is money, and this is a minor issue really.

      • The only way it would take days is if the person doing the change has never done character modelling before. Bluehole developed Tera, they assuredly have at least one character artist they could draw on. Aside from new cosmetic clothing it’s not like their character artists are going to be overly busy on much else.

        • I said it’s possible, not that it will.
          If they are truly using stock models then there could be a number of things that turn it in to much more work than you’d expect. It’s entirely possible they don’t even have access to the high res models, in which case this ‘simple thing’ has just become very hard.

          I use to work with 3rd party data for nearly every project in one of my previous jobs as a 3D artist. Now to be fair, the situation isn’t exactly the same with the data sources and goals as what I’d expect in the case of Battlegrounds. But, it wasn’t uncommon for a task that should take 20 minutes to turn into a nightmare due to source material.

          Aside from new cosmetic clothing it’s not like their character artists are going to be overly busy on much else.
          A character artist would be tasked with much more than characters – they don’t hire people to sit idle. It’s also possible they’ve contracted (pretty common these days), which would be the same deal.

        • I will admit thought, I think they could probably get away with just retexturing the bra by someone who’s not the intern. Which would probably make 90% of the complains go away.

        • Which underscores why it’s important to get it right the first time.

          If it’s a stock model, then there is no ‘get it right the first time’.

          • True, and these days I imagine there are a lot more reasonable options.

            It’s still not quite that simple in my experience though.

  • LOVING all these men mansplaining about how this is a non-issue.

    What’s great about Kotaku is that the writers come from diverse backgrounds and bring up topics of gaming culture and discussion that just wouldn’t be started by your typical 30 something white guy. Plus all the awesome journalism.

    The fact that this is entire chat is dismissing the piece kinda just shows why it needs to be brought up. If your going to represent something, might as well do it right. Do it right talk to the experts, especially if that only takes 5 min.

    Just food for thought. Have a nice day :)!

    • If your going to represent something, might as well do it right. Do it right talk to the experts, especially if that only takes 5 min.

      Agreed. I bet they didn’t even talk to a geologist about the correct texture and movement pattents of the dirt on the battlefield or a mechanic about the exact parts each vehicle should contain and how they function at any given point in time or an optomitrist to get correct visual accuracy based on wind and dust conditions or an expert on parachutes to make sure the in-game ones accurately represent the safety systems in place on real parachutes or..
      Ok I’ll stop now, I hope you get the point.

      • The point being that you are comparing having a well designed player avatar to ridiculous minutia because it’s an issue that you’ve never really noticed and therefore has no bearing on you either way? Good point.

  • I don’t really understand the reaction from you guys here. The player model matters, people get bothered all the time when muscle proportions look fucky, or a male model is created with no arse, or any number of other reasons. This is no different, the female model’s chest looks wrong.

    It’s an easy enough fix, you guys are making a bigger deal of this than the author did.

    • I just didn’t want to miss out on the overreaction dog-piling. It’s what validates my worth as a denizen of the internet, after all.

    • Raising the issue and asking for it to be fixed is fair enough IMO, expecting that devs should have gone out to investigate things like this on their own during development is a bit crazy though. Devs can only do so much.

      • I think part of the “so much” that they can do is getting basic human anatomy on the player character right.

  • I don’t play the game, and I don’t wear a bra, but yeah if it’s breaking the immersion of the game and looks wrong/weird, why not raise it? This isn’t the New York Review of Books or Lancet FFS.

  • I guess it depends on the lore/backstory of the game? Are the characters choosing to go into some sort of hellhole deathmatch, or are they being forced to?

    Choosing to means you’d go get the proper attire, or under-attire for the job. Otherwise, why would some deathmatch overlord care about proper breast support instead of mass produced, probably incorrect fitting bras?

  • Looking through those images all I could see was WHY ARE THE BAG STRAPS NOT TOUCHING HER SHOULDERS?
    There’s a lot of people trying to claim that the bra thing is a non-issue, but the bag thing is really bothering me now and I don’t even play this game.

    • I wouldn’t mind a backpack that hovered a few centimetres from my back and shoulders during the summer. It’d be much more comfortable during the summer.

  • The game is pretty close to just being an asset flip, why are you surprised that the modifications they made to models were trash?

  • In this thread. A bunch of man-boys upset about someone else having an opinion about something that they personally neither care about nor understand.

  • When i saw Spider-man 2 Rise of Electro i threw my hands up in the air like 40 times at how much the filmmakers/comic makers didnt undertand electricity or how voltage or current worked. My sister who was with me thought i was blowing things out of proportion.
    “settle down” she said
    “its just a movie” she said
    A few weeks later we were watching a romcom where the main character was Crochetting and apparently according to my sister
    “she couldn’t be doing it more wrong”
    “shes just making a mess”
    I didn’t notice and thought she was overreacting.

    My point is, when you aren’t part of the subset of people who notice a something out of place, of course you think it is a over-reaction. You don’t notice it, it doesn’t affect you. That doesn’t mean the people who do are blowing things out of proportion. Now imagine instead of a relatively small group of people like electronics nerds, you have half the population who notice. Now maybe you should change your media to make sense to the people who care and support your content.

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