[Below Zero] BZ Polish - Not Very Underwater-y

Morph_GuyMorph_Guy Members Join Date: 2016-04-21 Member: 216034Posts: 508 Advanced user
Since development has shifted into the polish phase heading towards release, I figured I'd make a few posts giving my own thoughts on what areas I think could use a bit of polish and possible ideas as to how to go about it, seeing as that's kind of the point of early access. Here's something I think could use some work that I don't really ever see talked about, being that I feel the underwater portions of the game don't really feel "underwater-y" a lot of the time, and here are some reasons I think this is the case.

Sound Design:
Probably one of the larger factors here, the sound design for most sounds that aren't ambient biome noises or swimming sounds makes them sound like all of this is happening above the surface. Notable examples being stuff like tech/vehicle(mainly prawn)/tool sounds, most animal sounds, and rock breaking sounds. The sounds should still be clear but less crisp and sharp, and more bubbly and whispy, the sound when you bump into something underwater is a good example of this bubbly sound I'm referring to. Whether this is done by editing the sounds themselves or applying a filter to sounds underwater I don't know, but either could probably work.

Start Distance:
Something I think would very much help is lowering the "start distance" value for the biome fog to 0 in every biome really. It makes everything feel much more underwater-y without affecting visibility in pretty much every case. Here are some examples I previously posted to the discord using a mod that allows these values to be edited in-game of the start distanced lowered to 0, with top being the current look and bottom being how it looks with the lowest start distance.
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(This next one did have to be edited a bit in other areas because it falls outside of the mod's range which broke things a bit but I still think it illustrates my point about having the start distance at 0. The previous ones only had the start distance value changed.)
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Particles:
Maybe less important to this, but still something I think would help, ambient particles. While there are ambient particles by default underwater, they aren't usually that visible and are constantly moving around you and following you, disappearing when you get close. Meanwhile something like what the Lilypad Islands has with its leaf particles that slowly float about but stay relatively stationary (and existing when you move near them) really gives you the feeling of being suspended in the water while surrounded by things also suspended in the water. Again while I don't think this is particularly necessary I think making the default particles work more like less intense Lilypad Islands particles could help with the underwater feel.


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