Water Improvements Can Make A Big Difference

project_demonproject_demon Join Date: 2003-07-12 Member: 18103Members
If you think about it, we spend most of the game in the water -or surrounded by it-, so naturally, if we improve the water, we improve a big part of the game's feel and experience as well. We don't immediately notice the impact that this can have because we're exposed to it all the time, after the first few hours, we get so accustomed to being in the water that we don't even think about it anymore.

While the water in Subnautica is nice, I think there's room for improvement especially now that they're working on the next iteration.
  1. The very first thing i noticed with the water, is that on the surface, all the waves are the same, repeating, and in sync, this degrades the immersion quite a bit and is probably the first thing that needs some change. We can look at Sea of Thieves or Assasin's Creed Odyssey for inspiration.
  2. The second thing that became more apparent the more hours i sank into the game, is the seemingly constant high clarity of the water in most biomes. The water was just very clear, with a few exceptions in a small number of biomes. Both in terms of how far you can see, and the lack of particles int it. The clarity part is less concerning, but there needs to be more particles at least for some actions and effects, like for example touching a sand floor should make a sand cloud with a size proportionate to the force of impact.

Nice to have:
  1. Currents that you can use to move faster in a certain direction, and going against it will slow you down or if the current is strong enough, it can even just grab you and drag you along.
  2. Storms -on the surface- with high waves and/or rain/fog/lightning.

While these improvements are mostly graphical, their impact will be profound since we are exposed to water virtually at all times.


  • 0x6A72320x6A7232 US Join Date: 2016-10-06 Member: 222906Members
    They said they wanted to improve the waves but ran out of time, IIRC. Not sure if they'll get around to it soon, but hopefully eventually (of course, sooner would be nicer, but there's all sorts of bug stomping to be done, the move to Unity 2018, console support, and, of course, Below Zero, in addition to supporting / updating Natural Selection 2, their other game they released in... 2012? I think.
  • project_demonproject_demon Join Date: 2003-07-12 Member: 18103Members
    hopefully they manage to improve it for Below Zero :smile:
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