Iv'e been referred to as a technical kind of person in my day. That being said, yes I pay close attention to details. In fact when I play any game for the first time (and even after that) I soak up every little detail that I can. I pick it apart so to speak....


Over the years I have noticed a handful of specific details that are present in many different games. I'm referring to what I like to call "shortcuts" in the games' development. Every game has them....some more then others, but every game nonetheless.

If i'm not making sense...don't fret, I will explain.

These are some of my notable "shortcuts" used in video games.


1) Deja Vu

The most common game type to commit this trick are sandbox games, but most games are guilty. Naturally because sandbox games cover an area the size of a city there are going to be a lot of character models. However giving every single citizen of a made up town their very own distinguishing features....I'm sure can be time consuming and expensive. Developers only have so much time before a game is due....so they improvise. Taking a set amount of varying character models...they then seem to just duplicate them as many times as needed. It's a trick I'm completely fine with for I see it's necessity....but it is funny to kill the same poor character over and over again.

Dead Rising is a great example of this



2) Take a Second Glance

I asked a friend of mine with a VG development degree about this next one and he told me the technical term for this next trick is Billboarding. This trick involves pasting a 2d image in game that appears 3d from all sides. So no matter where you're looking from, the image will basically turn with you as you approach it. This trick is as old as the Duke Nukem days and even today is still being used in many games.

The dead bodies would use this trick



3) Two Shell Quick Load

This is one of my favorites, and I first started noticing it in RE4.

(Striker anyone?)

Shotguns are great......until you have to reload.  Loading every individual shell takes precious time that generally you don't have. Some games feature a very nifty reload animation that only requires two shells for a full clip. As ridiculous as it is I'm seeing it more and more. Although this trick should sway more from certain types of games then others I believe It's a completely legit shortcut and I welcome it in the future.

That's just a gnarly picture



4)  In Case Of Emergency: Break Glass

This trick is specific to GTA 4 (That I know of) There was once a time in the GTA universe when a locked car meant you weren't taking it. However this time around players have the ability to smash the window to unlock the car. Upon further experimentation with the game I discovered that breaking the glass before even approaching the vehicle (shooting it) automatically unlocks the door. This little trick shaves off precious seconds if your in a pickle and need a car fast........just don't forget you gotta hot wire it first.

That's how Niko does it



5) Legendary Rock

So....this might not be a trick persay, but more or less a feature I felt like mentioning. The soundtrack for Halo 2 would increase in it's "heaviness" depending on what difficulty you were playing. On easy you pretty much listen to the original score, but go up a notch and they add a guitar....so on and so on. Eventually your blasting your way through the horde jamming to a hardcore version of the beloved tune. It definitely tricked me into playing legendary...



So given that last one I'd say I'm getting off track so I suppose I'm done for now. Thanks for reading as always and I hope you enjoyed.

What are some of your favorite tricks of the trade?