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Even the best developers struggle to implement doors

Even the best developers struggle to implement doors

Doors are probably one of the last objects we pay attention to when playing games, but apparently, they’re a gigantic nightmare to implement, even for studios like Ubisoft and Naughty Dog.

Death Trash developer Stephan Hövelbrinks tweeted a Discord response to somebody asking what the problem was with doors, and it turns out a ton of thought has to go into the way they work.

“Doors are complicated to have in games and have all sorts of possible bugs,” Hövelbrinks said. There are a whole load of considerations, like whether the door is locked, if it’s destructible, and what interactions lie between the door and the room it’s behind.”

The tweet sparked a ton of conversation from other developers, including The Last of Us 2 co-director Kurt Margenau, who said doors were the thing that took the longest to implement in the game. Margenau said the team went through “several prototypes” just for figuring out the best way to have the door close behind the player, with doors eventually having several animations and states depending on whether the player is in combat or exploring.

Naughty Dog’s audio lead Neil Uchitel also weighed in, saying “making doors sound good is a huge challenge,” having to account for different sounds for different doors and the state of animation they were in.

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Ubisoft designer Liz England wrote about doors in game development a few years ago, calling it “The Door Problem.” It highlights just how many points need to be considered when adding doors, and how big of a pain such a seemingly common object can be. It’s a little like how, recently, Outrider’s developer People Can Fly had to explain why a tiny cutscene plays every time you do things like open doors or jump over ledges.


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