Level 6

The Three Cs, Part 2: Camera

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DO YOU HEAR that crashing sound? That is the sound of a video game controller being thrown through a 50" 1080p HDTV plasma panel with a 600Hz subfield drive. And why was this fine piece of technology utterly pulverized? Because your game has a really bad camera.

Did you know that over 1 billion TVs are destroyed a year because of really bad game cameras?1 Nothing will cause players to stop playing your game faster than a poor camera. This is why it is so important to get it right.

Get It Right: Camera Views

Choosing the right camera for your game not only is very important for determining how to program the camera, but also impacts how you design your game, map your controls, and create your artwork. It’s pretty common for a game to have more than one style of camera, but you should stick with one “main” camera style for the majority of your gameplay and use other camera views only for specific gameplay situations.

A static camera does not change position, focal distance, or field of view and stays fixed onto a single screen, location, and image. The earliest video games used static cameras because (a) the scrolling camera hadn’t been invented yet (duh!) and (b) it was easier for players to track all the elements if they were kept to one screen. Early video gamers just weren’t that sophisticated. But it didn’t take long for them to adapt and ...

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