Game Development Reference
FIG 7.2 A scene with barrels
of different sizes.
have to work at it. The most common error is to create a huge building,
terrain, or city and place tiny little objects in it.
Don't be afraid to resize an original asset. Look at the real world and the
proportions of objects within it. Figure 7.2 demonstrates the unnatural-
looking proportions of the barrels (a) and how they are better matched to
the size of the player's character (b). If there is a door in the scene, make sure
it has correct proportions with respect to the player's character. The same
goes for stairs, furniture, trees, cars, and anything else in the scene.
As they say, “the devil is in the detail.” With this in mind, the same observational
prowess used for proportions should be applied to map details. Wherever you
are look around at the details that make the real world seem … well … real!
Have a look at the way trees intersect with the ground. They don't just look as
though they are sitting on top of a pole driven into the ground. The terrain at
the base is undulated from the tree's roots, the grass is higher near the base
where the gardener couldn't fit the lawn mower, and there might be other
interesting weeds or rocks scattered about. Even a pole that has been driven
into the ground will eventually get taller grass growing at its base.
If you get a chance to look at a mountain or river view take note of where
the trees and grasses are positioned and the color of the dirt. Mountains
have a tree line beyond which trees do not grow because it is too cold.
At this point you might find rockier ground and snow. Nearer the water