Tears of the Kingdom’s bridge physics are impressive

There’s a bridge to cross the lava pit in Tears of the Kingdom: The Legend of Zelda’s Marakuguc Shrine, but it’s broken. Over half the bridge lies stacked on top of each other on one side, while a segment has been cut off on the opposite. How do you fix the bridge?

This clip shows a possible solution went viral on TwitterSoon after, Tears of Kingdom’s release: The player uses Link’s Ultrahand ability to unfurl the stacked bridge by attaching it to a wheeled platform in the lava. When the wheeled platform — now attached to the edge of the bridge — activates and moves forward, it pulls the bridge taut, splashing lava as it goes, until the suspension bridge is actually suspended and can be crossed. But it wasn’t the solution itself You can also find out more about us here. resonated with players; instead, the clip had game developers’ jaws on the ground, in awe of how Nintendo’s team wrangled the game’s physics system to do that.

To players, it’s simply a bridge, but to game developers, it’s a miracle.

“The most complicated part of game development is when different systems and features start touching each other,” said Shayna Moon, a technical producer who’s worked on games like the 2018 God of WarThe sequel to reboot God of War: Ragnarök“It is really impressive. “It’s really impressive. This puzzle has so many solutions because of the number of objects that move. There are so many ways this could break.”

Moon pointed at the separate segments that are independent of each other. Then there’s the lava, the cart, and the fact you can use Link’s Ultrahand ability to tie any of these things together — even the bridge back onto itself.

Nintendo used an entire year’s worth of Tears of Kingdom’s development for polish, and it shows. “The amount of different options available is a testament to the amount of work that every single person at every level of the team did, especially the QA testers,” Moon said. “Open-world games with a ton of real-time physics objects like this are notoriously difficult to QA test.”

A big video game from 2020 that also inspired game developers to post on social networks this kind of physics-based shock was the game, “The Last Guardian”. The Last of Us Part 2,Included a rope required for solving the puzzle. It was a good puzzle. Tears of Kingdom’s bridge, the rope and its natural-seeming movements were just something players expected to work, but game developers could see how much work went into the development of it.

Luna Nielsen is a software developer who livesstreams and talks about game engine complexities. She goes online as Luna the Foxgirl. “It gets into some pretty mathy stuff. When something is pulling too hard, the bridge can become twisted. It has to force it back out. Then, one of the things has been pushed too far. When things start getting bad, they get worse. [the pieces of the bridge] basically are distinct from each other’s movements.”

Software engineer Cole Wardell put it another way: “Imagine the lava bridge above, when you grab the end of it, you pull part of it to one side,” he said. “Well, now that drags the other attached piece a little bit with it, and that piece moving makes the next piece move, and so on and so forth. And if any one element of the track collides with something, it has to be nudged or slid back into somewhere that doesn’t collide, which moves the pieces next to it which moves the pieces next to it.”

“Last time I saw something this impressive physics/gameplay wise was the rope in The Last of Us Part 2,. It was only after that the rope began to appear. [a] few very controlled scenarios,” said Rocksteady Games senior gameplay and combat programmer Aadit DoshiOn Twitter. “To be able to confidently present the player with a stack of blocks that are linked with chains that move in accurate ways, without clipping, without objects shaking like crazy as it tries to figure out what it needs to do is awe-inspiring.”

Tears of KingdomIt also has its very own rope-like physical flex. Another viral clipFour wheels and a link were used to open a door. That’s a complex interaction that takes no shortcuts, Wardell told Polygon. “As a rule, physics engines take a lot of shortcuts and make a lot of assumptions, both for optimization purposes and to keep developers from pulling their own hair out,” Wardell said. “Almost all of these shortcuts, whether it be collision-free ropes [or] rotating objects only applying forces in specific ways, would make this kind of mechanism flat-out not work, or the chain start vibrating until it disappears from view in a single frame, or some other infamous physics glitch.”

He said that rope bugs “vibrating out of control” are so common because of these problems. “If you don’t do everything Just click here to learn more. right, one movement will cause the other parts of the rope to move, and their movement will cause more collisions — God forbid you want the rope to collide with itself. Those collisions will cause more nudges, which is more movement, which ends up with your robe vibrating out of the map.”

Doshi explainedAlthough complex physics in games is not uncommon, it was said that Tears of KingdomThe engine is pushed to its limits in order to produce exceptional puzzles and gameplay. “Realistic physics simulations take hours to do calculations to make sure it is highly precise and accurate,” he said. “Game physics needs to produce similar results every 16-32 milliseconds (60-30 frames per second).”

Doshi explained that some games can avoid the complexities of these problems by creating them around. It means that the player’s actions are restricted, and this is not what gamers want. Tears of Kingdom’s design. The game has some limitations but it feels as if nothing is out of bounds.

“In game development, it’s not If you want to know more about if Physics will not break down, but When you are looking for a way to improve your finances, then look no further than,” Gravity Well senior engineer and former Call of Duty developer Josh Caratelli told Polygon. That’s why there’s a whole Reddit page about physics goofs — player characters ragdolling into oblivion or enemies bouncing off the walls. It’s not that games with physics bugs or glitches are poorly made; it’s just really easy for things to go wrong.

Caratelli, despite this, emphasized that Tears of Kingdom’s physics are not magic — it’s clear that Nintendo greatly understands the physics interactions in the game. “What’s extremely technically impressive is how stable it is and how it all fits together in a way where there’s no pre-programmed solution and players can solve puzzles with complete freedom,” Caratelli added.

Moon noted that it’s not exactly that other studios can’t reach this level of technical innovation, but that they don’t prioritize the resources needed to do it. It’s often about supporting the human beings who are responsible for creating the games. Tears of KingdomIt was built over the top Breath of WildAccording to reports, the majority of that team is working on this project.

“There is a problem within the games industry where we don’t value institutional knowledge,” Moon said. “Companies will prioritize bringing someone from outside rather than keeping their junior or mid-level developers and training them up. By not appreciating that institutional know-how, we are shooting ourselves into the foot. You can see it clearly. Tears of Kingdom. It’s an advancement of what made Breath of Wild special.”

According to Moon, it’s increasingly common for game developers to feel like they’re holding some feature or another together with duct tape, figuratively speaking, after the person who originally spearheaded its design got laid off or left; there’s a lot of time wasted reconfiguring and assessing how something was done. It’s not that Nintendo doesn’t have its own problems, because it certainly does — Nintendo of America QA testers spoke out about a “frat house” experience within Nintendo of America’s Washington headquarters last year, for instance. The company appears to be appreciative of the development team’s expertise.

“In addition to the overall hard work of the team, the institutional knowledge is clearly a factor in why this ended up being so smoothly done,” Moon said. “The more stable and happy people are, the more they are able to make games of this quality. If you want good games, you have to give a damn about the people making them.”

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