Things I wished I knew on ESO

Eventhough this is from the perspective from a PC gamer’s point of view this basically applies to all involved with ESO.

Exploration and travel

  1. You can travel between wayshrines for free, you only pay to travel to one if you’re not at another
  2. You can feed horses (like leveling) to increase speed, bag space or sprint each day
  3. There are hints for finding Skyshards built into the UI (Press J (opens quest journal) > Click “Achievements” Tab > Click “Skyshards” Tab > Select the zone you want to find Skyshards in > Read the hints they give you.)
  4. If you buy the Imperial edition your horse will be available to all your characters
  5. The parts of the map with skull and cross-bones are world bosses!
  6. Speaking to random npc’s can reveal locations on your map.
  7. Don’t rush out of the tutorial area (the prison). Loot everything you can. You will end up with some armor, weapon, dozens of lockpicks, possibly a racial motif book and all sorts of other loot.
  8. The Achievements tab in the Journal lists the titles of the zone-specific Lorebooks so you can refer to it to determine if you have found all of the lorebooks found only in that zone.
  9. Monsters in Cyrodiil can drop set items which are scaled to your current level. They drop more often from “named” mobs inside of caves, also these “named” mobs drop soul gems of your current level frequently.
  10. All caves in Cyrodill have a skyshard inside of them. (At least the ones i’ve been in all had one) – and many public dungeons in the rest of the world also have skyshards
  11. Explore. Most things are off the routes to quests.
  12. There’s a guild that you can join called “The Undaunted” much like the mages or fighters guild. It’s usually in an Inn in your starting city. Talk to them in each zone.
  13. Swimming can be deadly. You may get slaughtered if you swim in a spot you’re not supposed too.
  14. You have to discover your faction’s dungeon before the dungeons of the other factions will appear on the map (ie. you have to discover Spindleclutch by traveling to it before you will see Banished Cells or Fungal Grotto).
  15. There are places on the map and things to do that no quest is going to lead you to, so get out there and explore.
  16. Can confirm coldharbor has at least 1 racial motif, most i have gotten in a single run was 3. the tutorial not the questline.
  17. PvE in cyrodil, you are scaled to 50 so can fight the local mobs.
  18. Swimming in deep water brings the wrath of the slaughter fish.
  19. Trying to recall to a wayshrine immediately after recalling a previous time will cost several hundred gold. The amount of gold required to recall again will reduce by 1g a second.
  20. To rez another player, the soul gem needs to match the level of the person DOING the rez, NOT the person being rezed. So, if you are level 20, you cannot rez anyone until you fill a level 20 soul gem. The level 10-19 gems will not rez a level 3 player if you are level 20 either (moderator has stated it needs to match the level of the person you’re rezzing – so this needs to be checked)
  21. If you want to pve in Cyrodiil and REALLY dislike pvp, find a empty campaign and sign in as a guest.
  22. You can see landmark quest status by the color of the icon on the map. If it’s white, it means you completed the quest for that area, if it’s black, you haven’t. It’s quite easy to overlook if you don’t know about it.
  23. Go off the beaten path. Don’t just go from quest to quest. Walk around a little bit, go explore. There are a ton of locations that offer books, containers, chests, world bosses, and more.
  24. Don’t ask in zone chat about where you can find a horse…go to the nearest town and check your map for the stables!
  25. Often times when you wander from the beaten track, you might find an npc in an alcove or hidden location from plain sight. There would be no marking on the compass or merchant tag in the name/map, and only by talking to him you would understand he is a merchant. Make sure you look through his wares thoroughly, there might be some uniquely named items which start quests. I was lucky enough to find two in beta, and each rewarded a nice blue gear at the end of the quest chain.
  26. Example: One time there was this mine entrance which was on the way to getting another quest hub. right to the left of the mine entrance i saw one of those rocky paths going up. i always check these for chests and this time right above the mine door, hidden from view from the front of the mine unless you go up that rock ramp, was a Dunmer sitting by a campfire. talking to him made me see that he has a merchant inventory. and in that inventory was a particular item called something like a “fetish figurine”. i won’t spoil the rest of the quest…….
    Loot

    1. Looting Barrels, Crates, Back Packs give Provisioning mats such as grain, malt, water, and recipes.
    2. Looting Wardrobes, Nightstands, Drawers, Dressers give you lock picks, crafting racial stones, and racial motif books (used to craft in different racial style).
    3. Boss mobs in dungeons can be killed multiple times. Note there will be a patch to put a timer between available loots from these boss mobs.
    4. Resource nodes that spawn Runes will randomize between the three types when they spawn.
    5. Boss Mobs in dungeons will drop potions and a filled soul gem appropriate to your level. You can farm the boss for a bit to build up a supply.
    6. In dungeons, there are chests that have loot that goes to only the person who opens the chest first (or interacts with it and opens it first, rather). Try to spot them in corners of dungeons to snag em.
    7. You can leave items in a chest for others to take if two of you are nearing the chest and you opened it first. They can also take your chest items the split second you open it so be fast if you want it all.

    Questing & levelling your skills

    1. You can level multiple different armors at the same time by mixing up what you wear, however each one will level slower than if you have a full set of light/med/heavy
    2. The NPC-owned towns in Cyrodiil have repeatable PVE quests
    3. You get a big chunk of XP from completing quests, so to level up a 2nd weapon skill, switch to it before turning in a quest
    4. You can reset your skills for gold, there are locations to do this for each faction
    5. You can level a skill line by having an active ability slotted on the hotbar, even if you never use that ability
    6. At the very start of the game when you have empty hotbar slots, add the Soul Trap spell to your bar. It’s a reasonable dot and even if you never use it, you start to level up the Soul Magic skill line (switch it out later)
    7. Recommend Soul Trap from the Soul Magic skill tree as your first skill point. Get as many Soul Gems as you can afford as early as possible. They are invaluable for self-resurrection from the same spot you died, resurrecting others or charging certain weapon enchants. It is cheapest and quickest to fill empty Soul Gems by nuking 1HP criters, like rats, sheep, etc. Empty or full Soul Gems can be obtained randomly from loot drops or by buying them from the Mages Guild or some ‘mage’ vendors
    8. You get upgrades to stamina, magicka and health at every level even if you never put points into them. So for efficiency it’s a good idea to put some class skills that use magicka and weapon skills that use stamina so you can make use of both pools. At least early in the game anyway. Note in Cyrodial everyone has the same until you are VR1.
    9. You only get one point to spend in one magic/health/stamina tho. The increase in pools of each are just because you are a higher level character and skills cost more of each. Its not related to how much you use each one.
    10. Mundus stones offer buffs to your character which can be changed by visiting other stones. There is a complete set of Mundus stones for each Alliance so get exploring to find out what they do.
    11. Also, you can boost the Mundus stone’s effect on your character if you wear equipment with the relevant trait on it.
    12. When using a Bookshelf, there is a chance of reading a book that will raise one of your skills with 1 level.
    13. Book cases offer XP based on the book inside.
    14. PvE quests are usually around the “miscellaneous” icons (tree icon and so forth) on the map. Completing the quests near the icon will turn it white.
    15. Press T to cycle through your quests in the quest tracker.
    16. If a quest fails to spawn a mob for completion, relog to fix the issue.
    17. The more skills from the same tree you have on your active hotbar, the faster that skill tree gains XP.
    18. Skills can be morphed once you level them up enough, to upgrade it you have to use one skillpoint.
    19. The biggest thing players should keep in mind when starting out is that experience is tied to what’s on your skillbar, so you want to try to have a skill on your skillbar from every class tree and your weapon tree while you level, and only focus on min maxxing much later in the game.
    20. Your first three skill points should go into each of your classes’ tree so they will all level up. If you don’t do this one of your trees will stay at 0 until you start to invest a point there otherwise they will all level up a bit even though you never have an ability from one tree slotted.
    21. You have to put the soul trap spell on your bar. Cast soul trap right before you kill an enemy and if you have an appropriate level soul gem it gets filled. However, After a while I was just finding both empty and full soul gems throughout the world.
    22. Not all quest givers stay put. Many quests will have the quest giver move closer if not right to you when you complete the quest. Caused much back tracking when I wouldn’t catch it.
    23. When you run out of magicka and stamina before your opponent is even down to half health in PvP, you begin to see the wisdom in assigning every single attribute to health.

    Crafting

    1. Pick up materials and actually craft, its not super lame like every other mmo
    2. Crafting armor and weapons is the best way in the early game to get the best stuff. Items come in five quality levels represented by five colors: white, green, blue, purple and gold. The colors signify the quality of the item in ascending order, but only for that particular level. For example, a gold level 10 item might be better than a green level 12 item.
    3. Killing many of the level 1 mobs such as rats & spiders give fishing bait. Collecting insects like butterflies also. Fishing requires using a proper bait at the proper location. Your chances of getting a rare fish improves when more people fish at the same spot, but that can also make a fishing hole dry out faster.
    4. You can create any of the tier1 crafted items without investing a single skill point
    5. In order to create tier 2 of ANY of the six disciplines, you have to spend a skill point IN THAT DISCIPLINE to create tier 2 stuff. (IE to create tier 2 across all six disciples will require investing 6 skill points, one in each line.)
    6. Eating an alchemy ingredient will reveal one of it’s properties: Question asked: There are 4 four effects for each herb in alchemy, so can you learn more than first affect buy continuing to eat an ingredient or is it capped at the first ability? Answer: Capped at the first.
    7. You can craft at a crafting station with materials stored in your bank.
    8. You gain more crafting Exp from breaking down gear others have created than the ones you create.
    9. You can mail excess items to an alt character. They don’t count toward your bag space until the mail is opened. Unless something has changed in the last build, this one is incorrect – you cannot mail anything to your alts, only to players on another account.
    10. You can buy glyphs to enchant your armor, weapons and jewelry cheaply. Armor glyphs are for max stamina, magicka, and health, and there are 8 with a shield.
    11. Recipes are more reliably found in desks, cupboards, wardrobes, and other non-provisioning containers.
    12. “Heavy Bags” contain random crafting materials, up to and including legendary tempers. These spawn like chests, and when looted they disappear.
    13. Remember that there are “Set” Armor crafting stations. Try to research the traits needed for these if you want a set. It can take anywhere from 6 hours to one month to research things. For example, you’ll need all 8 traits researched to get the Mages and Fighters guild armor later- and that means yes, 8 traits for all items. And don’t forget you’ll need 3 for the first bonus and 5 items for the second
    14. All stations have the same research options, but Set stations will allow you to craft Set bonus items if you have the required traits for each set researched on the armor pieces you want to make.
    15. Plan on crafting gear every 2 levels in the early leveling stages. That way you’ll always have best gear available for the most part, and never run around gear-less. Weap upgrades every 2 levels is huge too for damage output.
    16. You can only have 1 provisioning effect on at a time.
    17. Breakdown and extract all loot you don’t plan to use, if you are in that particular profession. You’ll get tempers, trait gems, racial materials, and the processed resources can also be sold.
    18. In some/most cases you CAN recharge your weapon using a level appropriate soul gem. HOWEVER, soul gems are expensive. If you have some weapon runes, they will just replace the depleted charge with a new effect and not cost you a soul gem, or you can use the soul gems from the previous tier to fill your weapons.
    19. Bank all gear with researchable traits and the trait stones. Constant uptime on your research is the optimal way to go.
    20. Start your 12 hour research right before logging at night if you can time it right.
    21. Begin crafting early. You can make much better gear than the overpriced junk offered by shops
    22. You enchant by right clicking an item in your inventory (or when worn)… I can’t be the only one who was scratching their heads at the enchanting table…
    23. Enchants are applied to items directly.
    24. 10 minutes running along the coast instagibbing mudcrabs gave me more rawhide than I knew what to do with.
    25. Btw the best way to level armor & weapon crafting is to wait to 50 and extract level 50/veteran gear (doesn’t mean don’t do it before – just good to know)
    26. You have several options for selling crafted items: 1. Through mail, you send the item you want to sell with a COD ( cash on delivery) attached. Easy, fast and the worst possible way for trade. Since each mail you send takes about 10% of the total value (10% of the item value and 10% from the cod) 2. Guildstore, not sure if guilds can make it so that they recieve a percentage of the profit..i personally never tried this. 3. Trading in person. The most easiest way of selling stuff without any loss of profit. Make sure they give you the right amount of gold though. I prefer this since i will not lose any profit.
    27. For researching traits to put on a bow, you need to research a bow with the trait you want (not e.g. a staff)
    28. Each trait you research of one item ( a bow for example) takes longer then the last. It starts a 6 hours ( i think), next one is 12 hours etc.
    29. You can research one trait at a time for each crafting skill, which means that you can research multiple things at once as long as they aren’t from the same crafting line.
    30. To make ingots of a certain type of metal you extract the ore material, there is no smelting in ESO – needs 10 ore to make some ingots.
    31. The edges of rivers and lakes spawn water solvent nodes needed for alchemy. Water solvent can also be found in waterskins near camps.
    32. I actually prefer to use all $ to by all inventory and bank space- then after all upgrades, I start saving. I also mail stuff to friends w/return in subject so I don’t have to keep running back to town to sell. Plus I have 2 bank alts- one for enchanting and one for provisioning. I keep mail organized for respective alt to open and it works nicely
    33. If you are not adverse to external websites, get crafting guides. It doesn’t do you much good hanging on to a tier one crafting item if you are doing level 30 type stuff. Currently there are no tooltips that guide you adequately. For instance; I used thin broth a lot starting out. 3 weeks later while struggling to find bank space (yet again) I discovered a stack of 96 of them that I did not even realize I had stopped using a few weeks before.
    34. Crafters: spending skill points on the right things at the right times is more challenging to you than a non-crafter. The two specs in most craft lines that should be considered for investing in very soon after rolling is your companion (they often send better items than what you can acquire easily in the world) and the “Keen Eye” skill (It really does help a lot)

    General Gameplay & gear / skill use (PVE or PVP)

    1. The easy way to interrupt is to click and hold the left mouse button, then click the right mouse button. If you interrupt the target, using heavy attack while the target is disoriented will knock the target down. Pay attention to the effect your abilities have on different types of monsters. Some powerful creatures are immune to certain effects, while whole groups of monsters might be resistant to others.
    2. There are only 3 jewelry slots, and those cover regen, resistance, and other modifier buffs. Plan accordingly!
    3. Any merchant can repair your gear (but it may be better to replace – see crafting)
    4. You have to buy your IE horse at a stable for 1g (at any stable) Your vanity pet is in a mail you will receive.
    5. Weapons with a glyph enchantment to do additional elemental (fire, frost, disease, etc.) damage use soulstones to recharge. Item traits enhance the damage of enchantments or the time between recharging.
    6. Increasing your critical hit chance will also increase your critical healing chance, i.e. healing for far more than normal. You can’t heal crit on HoTs via the restoration staff (or other Heals Over Time). True healing spells (ie ones that heal flat damage) can crit via the Templar Restoring Light line (though perhaps even the DK’s self heal “Dragon Blood” might crit as well.)
    7. By pressing L and R mouse buttons at the same time you can snap out of disorient and off-balance effects for 30% stamina cost.
    8. Spiders feed off corpses to heal themselves, interrupt them by clicking both mouse buttons at the same time (left first)
    9. Intimidation and persuasion are passive skills from the fighter and mage guilds skill line
    10. Keep a weapon in your inventory for a ranged attack if you are melee. Either a staff or a bow. If you’re having trouble defeating a mob (like Gutsripper) you can kite it (or just learn a different technique with your class)
    11. If you choose a DPS melee class, you’re going to need multiple anti-kiting tools such as snare, teleport, fiery chain, stealth. Bow users have a lot of options to snare, knockdown, kite and put out extreme damage – a lot will be naive enough to spec for maximum damage, because there are even more naive players who will feed their XPs by not being kite-ready.
    12. You need 10 accounts in a guild to unlock the guild bank with 500 spaces
    13. To quickly and easily fill petty soul gems kill critters. Soul tap does all the work.
    14. The sneak mechanic – If you use sneak before entering combat with a bow and charge up a full attack, you will 100% crit with it unless you are seen. This also applies to weapon skills. You can charge a bow attack and immediately cast a weapon skill to crit on both attacks. It helps a lot when soloing content.
    15. The more points you have in stamina, the more damage your stamina skills will do. The more points you have in magicka, the more damage your class and magick skills will do.
    16. You can move while using a skill with cast time on it – you don’t have to stand still for it. It slows you down a bit while moving but don’t worry about stopping and being rooted. This was in the Nightblade line. Maybe not all classes react this way but for sure I overlooked being able to move when using them because in other games you usually had to be stable. There are a few games that let you cast while moving but it’s far from all games.You can’t sprint and use abilities at the same time.
    17. You can drop items into the bank and it will auto stack them. You can split the stacks when you remove them from the bank.
    18. When you unlock weapon-swapping at level 15, you can decide to place the same type of weapon in both slots but select different abilities for your ability bar.
    19. Bind a key for dodge, double tapping is crap.

    PVP

    1. You should complete the ‘welcome to cyrodiil’ quest first before the boards become active (update – you can skip training by speaking to npc to gain access to quests.) – but the quests do give you a forward camp.
    2. You can get PVP quests in Cyrodiil by visiting the notice boards e.g kill enemy players, scout area, attack keep etc.
    3. Soul-stones can be used to revive ally players and yourself (note you can’t revive yourself in the Alliance War).
    4. Third person view is usually the most effective in AvA (PVP)
    5. If you plan to AvA, then PvE like you would AvA.
    6. AvA melee targeting is difficult, because your opponent is going to be running around like a rabbit. Most in the Beta used ranged weapons due to this difficulty. Therefore you must master CC if you wish to melee in AvA. (or just hit TAB to garget)
    7. Know when to run in AvA. If you get in sprint range, expect to respawn. Try not to stream singly into a fast moving zerg.
    8. When entering a contested keep, sneak when going through a postern and door. You don’t know what’s on the other side.
    9. Oil can be poured on the floor the pot is sitting on, causing an aoe hit to anyone in the damage radius.
    10. Use ballistas on the walls to defend, trebs on the ground to attack.
    11. Keep a seige shield up on the ram when it’s on the door. It’ll batter through before oil kills it and the drivers.
    12. Set items drop in Cyrodiil that are scaled to your level that are different from the crafted sets.
    13. Expect stealthed opponents when you follow the standard reinforcement line to a fight. Going out of your way a little bit might get you there in one piece.
    14. Alternately, run magelight and bring a friend, and hunt the hunters.
    15. When casting magelight, it stays visible even when you are sneaking.
    16. Pets do not stealth with you
    17. The wayshrines to get out of Cyrodiil are at the gates.
    18. Some AvA quests ala capturing a scroll do not have to be completed by you personally just your faction. So if you see a scroll moving head to the board and cycle through them all till you get the one for that scroll.
    19. You can pick up a deployed siege engine after you deploy it by pressing ‘x’.
    20. Always carry around a stone treb to break down walls and doors quickly. Always carry a fire ballista for “other targets”.
    21. As you get points you will receive mails from your alliance with level appropriate greens on them. Easy way to quickly gear up if you complete AvA quests.
    22. All classes can stealth by crouching.
    23. Siege weapons must be put in quickslot to be used
    24. Use the WAYSHRINES to leave Cyridiil, not the Transit shrines.
    25. Equip your siege weapons in your quick slots to use them, same as your repair kits.
    26. Trebuchets are best for damage to walls
    27. Ballistae for damage to siege weapons
    28. Catapults for damage to enemy players
    29. Healing damage caused by enemy players in AvA will award Alliance points and XP.
    30. Have a separate moveset (skills) for PVP. The best strategies against NPCs (unload all of your highest damaging skills in a row) don’t work on players who do more than rush in for melee hits. Moves that immobilize, negate skills, or prevent damage are so much more useful.
    31. Dont be afraid to spend Alliance Points in PVP, your total accumulated number will not decrease. So you dont have to worry about dropping in the leader boards if you want to buy equipment.
    32. Don’t pick a home campaign early on the first night. Wait and make sure you’re not in a 10:1 odds fight before committing.
    33. You get gear when you pvp, it is basically the same as pve gear, you can also buy gear in the pvp area, that is basically the same as pve gear, there are a few set bonuses that give bonuses to pvp (have to have the set of 3 ot 5 pieces), i’ve seen one that gave 5% extra damage against players, not sure what else is out there, its not a trait that you can research and put on every piece of gear.

If GLaDOS Narrated Pokémon’s Pokedex

If GLaDOS Narrated Pokémon's Pokedex 

I would watch an entire show in this “Pokedex” style. The voice behind the Pokedex is just so soothing.

Check out Versiris‘ “Animated Pokedex” project—this first video kicks it off with Cubone, one of the more tragic Pokémon around. Even if you’ve heard all about how much Cubone misses its mom, it’s nice to see the story told via animation:

I’m looking forward to whatever monsters get highlighted in the next episode!

You are currently visiting Pocket Monster, a Kotaku blog dedicated to all things Pokémon.

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)

Patricia Hernandez

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)

Breasts swing. They sag. They flop. They can move. Over the years, many games have tried to emulate the way breasts behave. There’s even a term for it: “Breast physics.”34

If you’ve played games that have breast physics, you’ve probably seen how uncommon it is for games to show breasts that move like what they actually are: bags of fat affected by gravity. Instead, it’s more likely for a game to depict breasts as helium balloons that have minds of their own. Certain games have failed at rendering realistic breasts so widely that some people seem convinced that bad breast physics are the result of sexism, or of an industry that likes to objectify women. I’ve seen unfair conjecture about whether or not developers have ever interacted with real-life breasts. I’ve seen people imply that developers simply don’t know how to properly characterize women in games, and that gaming’s ocean of unrealistic breasts is what happens when we have so few women developing games.5

Are any of these sorts of claims true, I wondered? Plenty of people theorize about why games often feature bad breast physics, but there is little hard information about the actual breast-creation process. After looking into it a bit, I found that many amateur developers seemed togenuinely have a problem figuring out how to tackle breast physics in their games. There are a startling number of forum posts and tutorials where people discuss the best ways to achieve good breast physics online. One person even created a four-part Powerpoint presentation titled “The Quest for Boob Jiggle In Unity.” People have developed specialized tools for other developers to use, to help demystify the enigma that is “how do breasts work.”67

Meanwhile, veteran game developers have been messing around with the way breasts move for almost two decades now.

And in case it needed to be said…NSFW warning!

1992: It Begins

In 1992, a fighting game called Fatal Fury 2 was released. Described by some as a “blatant clone” of Street Fighter II, Fatal Fury 2 did actually have a few noteworthy quirks of its own: it was a gorgeous-looking game that allowed players to perform “desperation moves” when their health bar was low, and it gave players a chance to get out of danger quickly through a hopping mechanic.89

But let’s be real. One of Fatal Fury 2‘s biggest contributions to the medium was that it was the first game to introduce a character with breasts that moved on their own.10

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)

(Source: TheInnocentSinful1)

Known as Mai Shiranui, that character is famed for having very, uh, lively breasts. ThoughFatal Fury may not be a huge franchise nowadays, its legacy is very much alive: many top fighting games include a similar jiggle effect:11121314

Street Fighter 415

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)16171819

(Source: CeruleanNight)

Soul Calibur

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)2021

(Source: Thegamerwalkthroughs)22

Skullgirls

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)(Source: Poccola_margherita0141)

Of course, fighting games aren’t the only games that have wrangled with breast physics over the years.

Tomb Raider

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)

(Source: sys2074)

Resident Evil23

https://vine.co/v/OIutrbbZ25W/embed/postcard

Metal Gear Solid24

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)(Source: Saladtoser69)2526

Ryse272829

http://www.viddler.com/embed/72dbe52d/?f=1&autoplay=false&player=mini&disablebranding=0;offset=0&autoplay=0

When developers don’t include breast physics, it’s not uncommon for savvy players to take matters into their own hands via modding. A popular type of Skyrim mod adds most robust breast physics to the fantasy game:

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)303132

(Source: Marek Iwanowicz)

In 2009, there was also a Second Life mod that allowed players to add breast physics to characters. It became so popular, the actual game ended up incorporating the same feature—and now players try to advise each other on how to fiddle with their characters to achieve the best effect.333435

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)

(Source: BlakOpalDesigns)

Even Minecraft players have figured out ways to add breast physics to their game. Then again,Minecraft players have tried their hand at adding pretty much everything to their games, haven’t they?3637

The Most Famous Breast Physics of Them All

When it comes to breast physics, the most notorious game of them all has to be Dead or Alive. While breast physics might just be a minor ‘feature’ in the games I mentioned above, for Dead or Alive, breast physics are woven into the identity of the game. That emphasis might give the games a bad rap, as Mike Fahey argues in his piece about Dead or Alive, since fans find plenty to love in the way the game plays, some of which have nothing to do with breasts. Still, you can’t really divorce Dead or Alive from its breast physics.38

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)

(Source: Thegamerwalkthroughs)39

“I wanted to do something that would attract people’s attention as I worked on the DOA game,” Itagaki said in a Game Informer interview from 2004. “Of course, DOA is known for its bouncing breasts…when I applied [breast physics] to a 3D game, it was almost too much for people.”

One of the big selling points for the latest game, according to the marketing at least, is the new engine—which will allow players to adjust the breast physics on their characters.

“We call the technology we used to advance skin and breast physics and make that a reality, the ‘Yawaraka Engine,'” Yosuke Hayashi, producer on Last Round, told Famitsu. “Once you see it on the new consoles, you won’t be able to go back.”4041

What they’re saying: thanks to the power of technology, the development team has realized more complex breast physics. The marriage of technological prowess and sexuality is a curious one…of course, anyone that watches footage of Dead or Alive knows that the series doesn’t care about realistic physics, not really. Instead, the game has always featured outlandish physics, both for the breasts and for the gravity-defying fighting moves. Whatever misgivings people have about the realism of the breasts, the intense physics seem like a deliberate choice meant to realize a particular aesthetic.

Can the same be said of other games? I’ve spent the past few months trying to talk to developers about breast physics. It’s been surprisingly difficult getting people to talk—I’ve had an easier time trying to poke people for details about high profile unreleased games than I have asking them about why games depict breasts the way they do. Despite speaking to a number of developers on the subject, only a few would speak to me on the record. Fortunately, I’ve managed to get a basic handle on how breast physics work.

How Video Game Breast Physics Work

Basically, in a modern game with 3D graphics, each character has a model. Underneath the textures that cover them like a “skin,” these models are made up of “bones,” which can be manipulated so that the character can move. The number of bones a character can have depends on the game’s graphics engine; certain engines allow for more bones than others. The number of bones a character has also depends on the overall number of characters rendered at any given moment—the more characters there are, the more taxing it is on whatever hardware is processing the game, so the fewer number of bones each of these characters is likely to have. (Thankfully, real life doesn’t work this way!)

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)

All of these bones are prepped to be animated via a process called “rigging.” Rigging allows developers to determine the extent to which a model can move, and how. Breasts don’t generally move of their own volition, they move in reaction to something else, much like hair and clothes do. If a developer wants breasts to move, then they’ll likely “rig” a character’s chest area. How the breasts move depends on how many bones are in the bosom area: when breasts both move in unison, it’s likely that the model’s chest has a single joint. If both of the breasts move independent of one another, the chest likely has at least a couple of bones rigged.

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)

(Source: Maya Learning Channel)

“Mechanically, breasts anchor off the pectoral but loop up and connect at the shoulder, so they get pulled back when the clavicles move,” Tim Dawson, an indie developer that has previously worked on games like LA Noire, told me.

Once breasts are rigged, developers can add breast physics in a couple of ways. Breast movement might be dictated by a simulation system that lets developers add “springs” to breasts. These springs take motion and use it to determine how much something should move after, say, a character jumps up and down. Springs help make it so that breasts can continue to move even after a character becomes still. If a character has two springs, one might be used to determine how far a breast bone is distanced from the sternum, and a second spring might control how much the breast deviates from its starting point. Then, on top of all of that, developers can add a dampening effect that determines how long it takes for the breasts to settle down.

“Imagine the character standing up,” Dawson said. “The sudden movement would pitch the breast bones downwards. Then when the character reaches their standing height, the bones catch up, pitching upwards slightly, then back down and come to a rest. This would be a procedural breast bounce and settle. The rest just comes from thinking it through: how much heft are [the breasts] likely to have, how well-supported are they?”

Why Developers Get It Wrong

I’m told that a good number of games use this system. Thing is, a spring system isn’t necessarily effective in creating realistic physics, but it is considered a cheap, easy solution to add breast physics. Some engines even come with it built-in. Spring systems are meant to help with something called “rigid body physics,” and, well, breasts aren’t rigid. To create realistic breasts, you’ll need something called “soft body physics simulation,” and it’s a lot more taxing for a computer to calculate.42

Another way to add breast physics involves animating the breasts by hand—that is, the breasts would be treated no differently than other major body parts, like arms or legs. In this case, the breast physics aren’t left up to a simulation system but instead determined on a case-by-case basis by an animator. I’m told hand-animated breasts are rarer than a sim system, due to how time-consuming it is. Animating breasts is a real handful, so to speak. (Sorry.)43

While those aren’t the only ways to animate breasts, they help explain a few things. Why distinct breast physics are so prevalent in fighting games, for example: when you only have to worry about two characters on the screen on any given moment, of course developers can add details like breast physics. Fighting game characters characters can likely have more bones than characters in an average game. The difficulty of crafting breast physics may also explain why so many games have strange-looking breasts: developers who are interested in adding this detail can’t financially justify doing so, so they have to cut corners any way they can.

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)

(Source: Huy Tran)

Still, it’d be a stretch to suggest that unrealistic breast physics are purely the result of technological shortcomings. Breast physics are a choice, after all, and not every game implements them.

One developer who I’ll call “Alex,” because they didn’t want to be identified by their own name, told me about a situation where breasts had gone wrong—and it wasn’t the result of tech limitations. Alex told me that their studio was very concerned with its depiction of breasts. Even so, there were stumbles along the way.44

“The very first thing I noticed when [the studio was] animating breasts is, I would look at them, and they were just not moving in a way that was even remotely natural,” Alex said.

“I remember saying to the artist, ‘the breasts are moving wrong.’ And I remember directly asking him, ‘Have you watched breasts move? Have you actually watched breasts move?”45

Chances are good that the animator in question had in fact seen breasts before. The thing to remember is, it’s actually damned hard to remember how breasts actually move. As a card-carrying Breast Haver™, even I’d have to check how my breasts act before being able to properly gauge them in a game. Of course, it’s an animator’s job to figure this stuff out.46

“I think [people] remember the fantasy of breasts, like how we remember lips being redder, how we see waists as [smaller than they actually are,]” Alex explained.

“If you’re around animators working, you often will see them stand up, or they’ll ask someone they’re working with—they’re trying to watch the motion, they will film themselves doing that motion. Interestingly enough, I’ve never worked with any female animators.

“Anyway, while doing these things, [animators would] swing their arms, and try to get an idea, they’re looking at what the animation is like, and I think…breast physics are often accentuated in a game, without the movement that would create that accentuation.”


“People remember the fantasy of breasts.”


Absurd breast physics aren’t always unintentional, though. A couple of developers described situations to me where people took breast physics too far on purpose, because if they put the work into making sure breasts can move, they’re probably going to want people to actually notice it. This phenomenon is not exclusive to breasts. If a developer puts time into any detail in a game, they probably want players to notice it. That’s why we get development videos about how a game handles things like wind, or how a character’s cape sways: these aren’t the sort of things that truly determine the quality of the game, but they are things actual humans likely spent a lot of time implementing.

“When a developer goes to the trouble of setting up the breasts to move, there’s probably someone keen to see it working,”Dawson told me. “So, if you’re not careful, that translates into breasts that swing and bounce at the smallest hint of motion. Picture the boss of the studio coming in and wanting to know why he can’t see any breast-bounce when the character is talking. The effect is increased until her breasts are reacting to the chest movement of her dialogue animation, but now it’s going to look ludicrous when the character runs around performing actions. But the person implementing it is told to leave it like that because somebody thinks it’s cool that way.

“Ultimately though, I sort of suspect that when a developer doesn’t get breast physics looking right, it’s because, for whatever reason, somebody wanted them to look that way,” Dawson said.

Obviously, Dawson can’t speak for the decisions made at studios he doesn’t work for, but what he’s saying makes sense. Soul Calibur developers, for example, have been pretty open about the fact they have an entire system revolving around the depiction of breasts in their games:

How Video Game Breasts Are Made (And Why They Can Go Wrong)4748

There’s no doubt there that they very much want the breasts to look and function the way that they do. But just because it’s intentional doesn’t mean it’ll be received well.

“Every other woman in the universe has sort of a cringe reaction, you know? ‘Boobs just wouldn’t move that way. That’s not natural'” Alex said. Alex would know; at Alex’s studio, the models were all focus tested. The developers actually received feedback from women who saw the game. While it may not be typical for most studios to do this, in this case, research was conducted because there weren’t many women game developers on the team that could weigh in on the subject.

“Across the board, [the response from women] wasn’t a neutral response, it was a negative response,” Alex said. Curiously, the negative response occurred both when the physics were unrealistic, and when the physics were turned off. It seems as if there’s a very fine line to walk when it comes to breast physics: they can’t be too exaggerated or too toned down without having people feel as if something is wrong. You might think of it as “the uncanny valley of breasts.”49505152

We Like It Like That

It was through focus testing, the usage of good reference materials, and honest conversations about anatomy that Alex’s studio was able to improve their breast physics. But, when I say “improved,” I don’t necessarily mean “made more realistic.”

“Many games are full of exaggerated [male] forms,” Alex said. “We don’t point at those and go, huh, that doesn’t look realistic at all. Of course it doesn’t! It looks superpowered, and we like that. The same thing would apply to breasts.”535455

Tim Dawson seems to agree. To him, developers tend to include unrealistic breasts, because exaggerated bodies have become a staple of the medium.5657

“The developers might be playing fast and loose with their anatomy, like breasts that are too large or too unsupported for what the character does, or that are just in an unnatural shape,” Dawson said. “I once received a female enemy model that appeared to have balloons protruding out of her torso and couldn’t convince the art director that it needed fixing.

“But even when well-modelled, if a character with breasts the size of watermelons is wearing a metal string bikini and attacks enemies with cartwheels, it’s going to be hard to make the breast physics look realistic because the scenario is not realistic,” he said.58

“People like the movement of breasts, that’s a hard-wired thing in our heads,” Alex said. “So, for some people, exaggerating that is a net positive. I think [breast physics] are in games for that reason.”

Ideas For Game Developers

Regardless of whether a studio is going for realism or digital beauty, there are still video-game breasts that look good, and breasts that look ridiculous. Game developers can do some things to help swing more toward the former.

“Just run it by a few people, run the animations by people,” Alex said. Alex emphasized to me that this was particularly important if the studio doesn’t have many women.5960

It’s also worth considering what kinds of breasts the game has on display. Alex pointed out that there’s a difference between natural breasts and augmented breasts. A person’s specific body-type can influence how breasts move, as well. Some people are bigger than others, and this affects the way their breasts move. Some people have breasts situated at different heights on their chests. Some people have perkier breasts than others. The list goes on. “Even the absolute best natural breasts have some sag,” Alex said. It’s important for developers to think about these things, if they’re interested in better breast physics.

Another thing that Alex suggested was for development studios to make use of porn, particularly older pin-up nude magazines. Really. It’s apparently great for reference material.6162

“[They give you] a really good opportunity to see, ‘where is the nipple placed? Where do the line on the chest? What is the curve underneath?’

“I don’t [think] breasts need to be realistic in games, unless that’s what [developers] are going for…but [developers] should be aware that if the breasts are moving in a weird way, then it just becomes the uncanny valley for women.”

With these things in mind, maybe games can get better at depicting breasts. And when that happens, maybe the game industry can move on to figuring out the mystery that is…dick physics.

“If I were animating a naked man walking, I really honestly have no idea how balls move,” Alex joked. “I don’t!”6364

Illustration by Jim Cooke.

To contact the author of this post, write to patricia@kotaku.com or find her on Twitter @xpatriciah.