GIF: Boundary Break
With the Spyro trilogy getting a remaster in September, it’s a good time to revisit the purple dragon’s original adventures to see just how many secrets it left behind.
We’ve covered several of Boundary Break’s videos before, which are always great for unmasking how scenes are shot, what’s hidden off screen, and the general bits and bobs that developers tend to leave in games. The latest title to get pulled apart: Spyro: Ripto’s Rage, which most people happily just refer to as Spyro 2.
Something rather cool – and unexpected for a game this old – is the fact that Spyro 2 had a dynamic level of detail applied. Put simply, it allows the game to reduce the amount of detail displayed as the view is zoomed out, letting the player see more of the environment while maintaining performance.
It’s a technique that’s pretty common these days, especially open-world RPGs. There’s other cool stuff though: if a cut-scene has a character that hasn’t been brought into the scene yet, Spyro 2 hides the character models underneath the level:
Another neat trick: remember the level where Spyro jumps into a submarine? Well, as it turns out, he’s not actually in the submarine and the character model only reappears once he leaves the sub. It makes a lot of sense actually, since if the character model is in the sub it creates another object that has to move and be tracked at the same speed as the sub.
Bit of a pain in the ass for a model you can’t see, really. For more tricks with geometry and hiding models off screen, see the full Boundary Break video below and the full playlist here on YouTube.