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Thread: Character and NPC size in DXIW

  1. #1
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2018

    Character and NPC size in DXIW

    Hey guys,
    So I just finished my 20th or so playthrough of IW (I think I have a problem). I have great affection for the game as I feel it does some things better than any other entry in the series, but I always come away lamenting it's obvious shortcomings (segmented maps, intrusive HUD, too many biomod canisters, etc etc.).

    Anyway, we all know that the weird small maps are an issue, but during this playthrough I started to notice that even the rooms themselves felt small. The doors feel short, the mosque is laughable and liberty island feels correct in dimension but about 75% the scale it should.

    So, are the characters themselves too big? It feels like maybe the maps were designed with the idea that all the NPCs would be about two foot smaller than they are.

    And is there a way to alter the scale of Alex and the NPCs? (and presumably the chairs and weapons as well).

    I might be crazy but I think this would go some way towards giving the game more of a sense of scale. Make the big rooms bigger, make the military bots more imposing, make the sniper rifle more useful and generally make the whole thing less claustrophobic.

    I'm no modder (though I'd like to learn one day) so I can't say how viable this is. But having just played the game I can't think of a single room that didn't feel too short and boxy for the characters in it.

  2. #2
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    It's probably not possible, but if there was some kind of scale parameter that could shrink objects within the map, I'm sure it would break the level design and look weird, with objects floating or anchored to points that don't make physical sense. The XBox limitations required them to make some hard trades on map size, level of detail, and the scale of places. Without an editor available, it would take a total re-make to expand the levels. However, it might be possible to make Alex shorter, if there is a parameter somewhere that specifies the camera height above whatever surface you're standing on. That wouldn't do much to the apparent scale of places like Liberty Island, but it might make doors and ceilings feel taller.

    FWIW, I've never noticed issues with door height or ceiling height, but the lack of believable scale stands out in a lot of places, especially the hubs. And some areas have been pared down to the bare essentials needed to support the story, with the hope that players can imagine the rest. Sometimes it works for me, like the medina apartment building which is just big enough. Sometimes it doesn't, like lower Seattle.

    I've played this game 4 or 5 times. I always enjoy it right up until Liberty Island. But the problems with Liberty Island go way beyond it's physical size.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2018
    Yeah you're probably right, it would likely break a lot of stuff.

    Man, this game is the best example I know of high potential hampered by poor execution. In my dreams Nightdive or similar would overhaul the whole thing!

  4. #4
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: The other Derry
    I just hope Nightdive can finish System Shock before we all lose interest in it. I guess it's harder than people think to recreate old games, judging by Nightdive's System Shock project and Black Mesa.

    In Deus Ex land, I've been keeping an eye on The Nameless Mod 2.0

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