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[HP]

What's your favourit environmental hazards in video games?

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Hey guys,

I was wondering what your favourit environment hazards are in video games? Or some of the most memorable? 
Curious to see what you guys come up with. Doesn't matter what, all the way from the metal spikes that kill you in Sonic the Hedgehog, Lava ground in Mario games, the boulders coming down slopes in Zelda: Breath of the wild, the Barnacles in Half Life, I think you get the idea.

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Ultimately, what I'm most curious is what are some of your favourit environment interactables, but specifically the ones that have gameplay implications, such as killing you or damaging you, but not limited to that? We've done the faucets that open, toilets that flush, lightswitch that turn off lights in the room, but these don't mean much for gameplay other than a interesting addition to the game levels.

I don't know if you agree with me or not, but environment interactions are one of the most underused gameplay elements in video games, usually combat gets all the attention, but Zelda got me thinking we can do so much more with the virtual worlds we play in.

2d-chris, Sprony, Beck and 6 others like this

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very specific, but nice thread :D

what first comes to mind for me is the radioactive water from Half-Life, the emissive green color and the oddly calming geiger sounds that plays every time you go near it gives me some nostalgia :)

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41 minutes ago, [HP] said:

I don't know if you agree with me or not, but environment interactions are one of the most underused gameplay elements in video games, usually combat gets all the attention, but Zelda got me thinking we can do so much more with the virtual worlds we play in.

so... lev...levolution? :D

 

 

Edited by Pampers
forgot pic
blackdog, PogoP, Sprony and 4 others like this

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3 hours ago, Pampers said:

very specific, but nice thread :D

lol, I should have probably mention this is also a bit of researching for something I've been cooking at home.

Here's a few more examples:

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jd40 likes this

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Interesting thread! 

Not sure it counts as an environmental hazard but in L4D2 they had the "uncommon commons" infected. Basically, zombies which had some kind of immunities to what you would normally find in the environment they're placed in. So if there was a lot of fire around they'd have the zombies in hazmat suits so they wouldn't burn. Or in construction sites with a lot of noise they'd have the construction work zombies with ear protectors so they wouldn't be distracted by your pipe bombs etc.

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Was a great way for Valve to address things like molotov's and pipe bombs which just made you immune from the zombies if you used them. You'd always have some zombies harassing you with them around. 

Can't think of any traditional environment hazards off the top of my head that I liked. Can't wait to see what others post!

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The mimics reminded me of the traps in Sen's Fortress, and the floor switches that activate arrow traps that can be used to your advantage to kill bad guys. That also which got me thinking of other, similar traps. Traps that don't activate when you touch them, but give a warning click or something, and then activate when you leave are interesting, since you get that "o shit" moment and then can plan a desperate, unlikely plan of escape to avoid damage.

Also, the boxes you find rarely in the 3d fallout games that have a grenade wired to the side, and explode if you open the box without noticing and taking the grenade first. It's a very simplistic version of the standard trapped chest idea from RPGs, but without needing any kind of game mechanic other than the player noticing and frobbing a thing.

edit: The STALKER example reminds me of the land mines that are in Call of Pripyat. You similar to the anomalies, you feel them out by throwing bolts, but instead of a big dramatic effect, you get a little *clink!* noise. On the other hand, if you step on one yourself, instead of getting sucked into something you might possibly escape... you just fucking die with a loud noise. Very stressful, and thankfully only in the one spot, but as a novel challenge it was cool.

Edited by Jetsetlemming
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  • Those fucking ceiling monsters in Ocarina of Time. The noise it makes as the shadow gets bigger, and then the weird little hand creature falls on your head... really clever monster idea :D
  • Tiberium in the original C&C games. It would always damage your infantry but tanks etc would be fine. That always made you think differently about traversing the environment.

 

Beck likes this

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Phazon from the Metroid Prime serie. It takes a huge part in the plot as everithing that happen is because of this radioactive shit and the sound and looks are amazing, you get a strange vibe from it.

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Edited by 3Dnj

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Hellkite drake from Dark Souls is the perfect example. As a new player you struggle through Undead Burg and work your way up to this great bridge with a mean looking drake staring back at you from the opposite side, as well as scorched stone and corpses littered everywhere. The enviro hazard is telegraphed as long as you're somewhat observant. If you move forward you're probably going to get roasted. You discover that there's no other way to go. You've also got a lot to lose since there hasn't been a save location for a long time. So you stop and go: Well shit.

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Edit: I googled 'Hazard' and noticed I went abit off-topic :D 

So Yeah can't really name a game at the moment, but I agree that interaction with the enviorment is one of the things that could make a game much more interesting. I hope they will do more with this and also with choises/changes that will affect the future gameplay. Would be great to see a game where choises and game interaction would form the future gameplay/story during the progress. Like for an example a open world game where you have to make choises in interaction with others that will form your identity and relationships with others. Telltale games have this and The Witcher I think? But not just that, also the player behavior will effect the future gameplay. For an example something simple like leaving a light on in a room where you stole something will be getting noticed by the owner and because of he saw you arround that time in that building he find you suspicious and have less trust in you. This will have influence in your relation with the guy and etc. So you really have to think about what you do/say or don't do/say.

Edited by Roald
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Hah, I was gonna say the anomalies from Stalker.

But really, the best environment hazard in that game (and possibly ever) is the Zone Blowouts. Global event that kills everything not in some sort of solid cover/building. The entire game world starts panicking (even NPCs!) to scramble for cover. It gives you enough time to react and find a place to hide, and sometimes add the challenge of having to fight someone for it. It's even balancable by level design by creating less or more shelter locations. It's pretty much a given that every time it happens you'll be faced with a new unique challenge because of where you are in the world. Oh and it's beautiful to watch:

 

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44 minutes ago, Sentura said:

Hah, I was gonna say the anomalies from Stalker.

But really, the best environment hazard in that game (and possibly ever) is the Zone Blowouts. Global event that kills everything not in some sort of solid cover/building. The entire game world starts panicking (even NPCs!) to scramble for cover. It gives you enough time to react and find a place to hide, and sometimes add the challenge of having to fight someone for it. It's even balancable by level design by creating less or more shelter locations. It's pretty much a given that every time it happens you'll be faced with a new unique challenge because of where you are in the world. Oh and it's beautiful to watch:

 

This was so impressive and beautiful ! 

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39.jpg

Barnacles in HL2 were a lot of fun to interact with. Especially combined with slippery ground.

Vaya, Zarsky and Jetsetlemming like this

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I'll go classic and say the spikes and guillotine in the very first Prince of Persia

I think was great you could run and jump the spikes or take it slow and walk through.

Both traps would make you feel lame and make you laugh despite the annoyance of dying. The sound they used to make was great.

Roald likes this

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