Online Games Preview: Hydrophobia
Water rarely plays an important role in online games. Most often, the unsteady surface is only part of the landscape, sometimes it creates the desired entourage and in very rare cases performs some utilitarian function - say, it influenced the physics of the online game universe, changed the parameters of the hero and his inventory, was used as a basis for potions or a relatively quick way moving between distant objects. But even in the last, the smallest cases, all aspects were never worked out - usually the emphasis was on one thing (say, physics or the realism of the image), and a minimum of attention was paid to everything else.
I remember that Jules Verne had a book describing the life of a wealthy minority on an artificially created island. At Hydrophobia, this idea has taken an interesting development. According to developers from Desura Online Games, by the middle of the twenty-first century, the population of the Earth on its own skin felt the consequences of a disregard for the ecology of the planet: the climate has changed so much that most of the land has turned into a solid fetid swamp. For obvious reasons, it became unbearable to live there, and therefore the rich and enterprising rushed to settle on a ship with the proud name of Queen of the World. Actually, this "queen" cannot be called a ship - it is a real city with the attributes of a metropolis that are familiar to us: skyscrapers, developed infrastructure, traffic jams and offices. In addition, there is no state power and, as a result, no taxes, which provides businessmen with a lot of space for commercial initiative. Paradise, and only, but...
But as always, there were those thirsty for justice - religious fanatics, adherents of the cult of neo-Malthusianism seized the ship. The main idea of the ideologues of the sect is expressed to the ingenious simply: "Kill yourself - save the planet." Agree, for those who were captured by terrorists, such a motto does not inspire hope. Therefore, the fragile girl Kate Wilson, who miraculously did not fall into the clutches of the invaders, took up the rescue of the unfortunate. She does not possess the physical data of Lara Croft, she is not trained in martial arts, nor does she handle weapons. So the only thing she can rely on is her own brain and technical education.
There is, however, one problem that will greatly interfere with our heroine during the online game - Kate is terrified of water. There is no time to deal with the causes of the phobia - routes and ways to achieve goals will have to be planned in such a way as to encounter the elements as rarely as possible. Otherwise, a fog appears in Miss Wilson's eyes, her limbs lose strength and mobility - in general, saving the whole city in such a state is clearly not with her hands.
And there will be a lot of water around, and its graphic embodiment, physical features, influence on the surrounding world - all this is as close to reality as possible. The water surface no longer resembles mercury, it is not shiny, like a freshly wiped mirror, although it is capable of giving out reflections of objects. A slight disturbance indicates the direction of the current, slight movement and circles spreading out on the surface correspond to the scale of what caused them. The listed visual nuances are realized using the HydroEngine technology, which is the result of many years of hard work of the craftsmen from Desura Online Games.
Water in Hydrophobia is practically a living creature, with its own line of behavior and some kind of global goal known to God alone. What does one person mean in comparison with the elements and does he mean anything at all, we will find out in March 2009, when the online game hits store shelves.
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