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Author Topic: How Shotguns Work  (Read 2973 times)
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Bird of Fire

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« on: 2019-06-17, 03:05 »

Working so much around program code dealing with these things you would think I would have brought this up sooner, but it never really crossed my mind to bring it up until now.  Realism in video games is useful to provide a point of reference, to make things understandable.  Too much realism and the game is no longer fun - unless that's the entire point of the game - and too little leaves it abstract.  When dealing with firearms it tends to be fairly simple - draw a line from point A to point B, and if it hits something, hurt it.  Shotguns just draw a spread of multiple lines.  That's how it's pretty much been since shotguns became a thing in video games.  Even older 2D games where the bullets were a flying sprite the effect was the same, just that it took some time for the bullets to go across the screen.

Real firearms are more complex, with bullets having a mass, velocity, caliber, trajectory, air resistance, etc.  Ballistics involves a lot of math.  Shotguns behave even more complex than that.  A real shotgun has its pellets encased in a wadding - a plastic, or in the old days cloth, cup that protects the barrel from wear and acts as a gas seal to make sure the entire payload is sent out the barrel as efficiently as possible.  This wadding separates from the pellets after a few meters, and only then do they begin to disperse.  Until that point they all act like a single mass.  It's something that really isn't a concern in fantasy games like Doom or Quake, but I think about more so-called "realistic" games - especially hunting games - and wonder why nobody has picked up on this, or if anyone actually has.  It's not a genre I follow, nor do I tend to play military shooters outside of Wolfenstein, but that again falls into the fantasy realm.  I'm curious - what are your thoughts and experiences with this?  Has anyone played these kinds of games and if so, how do they relate to this?

I fly into the night, on wings of fire burning bright...
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