3.5. An object significant features

The object of a prop should indicate straightaway its purpose and function. A player after taking a prop should instantly know what it can be used for. He should be able to answer the following questions: How does it work? How can it be used? What kind of weapon is it?

Ambiguity is usually caused by complexity and not clear silhouette or failure to capture the object’s characteristic features. While preparing weapon for the FPP projection one should answer the following questions:

  • What element tells us that an X object is perceived as an X object?
  • Which elements of the X object tell us what it can be used for? Is it weapon, an element of a jigsaw or an ordinary object?
  • Is player informed clearly what to expect after pulling the action button/ the trigger?

Valve Corporation. <b>Half-Life 2</b> [PC]. Valve Corporation, 2004, <i>source: http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/66747415956007380/316E8CDE48B751F8208D690D649386FBE0DC844E/</i>
In this case a jimmy is not only a kind of weapon but is used as an object to break off planks and destroy wooden boxes
Ubisoft Montreal. <b>Far Cry 4</b> [PS4]. Ubisoft, 2014, <i>source: http://guides.gamepressure.com/farcry4/guide.asp?ID=28191</i>
This prop tells us clearly that after pushing the action button, the target will be burned
Techland. <b>Dying Light</b> [PC]. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, 2015, <i>source: http://images.akamai.steamusercontent.com/ugc/23989752526160006/8D5B6C6BB61FBF78B1ED24FBEF1ED30DFD4F3A02/</i>
The battery, cables and sparks suggest that this is a live knife.
All the elements we consider important for an object should be included in a whitebox model. The key elements that are small in the reality should be appropriately scaled up and highlighted to show clearly what the object is.

While deciding on dimensions and shape of an object you should consider not only single components and relation between them but also the whole silhouette of a model.

MachineGames. <b>Wolfenstein: The New Order</b> [PC]. Bethesda Softworks, 2014
An example of weapon where details, even if in big number, are well organized and do not disturb the silhouette.
Determining the silhouettes of the whole set you should take into consideration both the characteristic features of a single kind of weapon and the characteristic features of the given type of weapon. A good solution is to choose one or a few parts of weapon and use it, or them, in all models of such kind (with adequate changes).

Revolver would be the best example. Although differences in workmanship and shape, each has a cylinder which is a characteristic feature for this type of weapon.