Camera control – Update #12

All games utilise some sort of a camera to show the game to the player. Even though it is one of the most common aspect of games, it can still be a tricky problem to solve. Of course for some games it can be trickier than others. 3rd person 3D action games are probably the most notorious in this department, as the camera can get easily stuck in all types of geometry. 2D isometric games have less complicated problems to solve, but it doesn’t mean they are trivial.

Ultimately one has to remember that camera control (just like walking) is not a game mechanic. It’s something that just has to be there, for the player to be able to play. It has to be unobtrusive, easy to use and ideally not require player input at all. The challenge here lies in making it smart enough, so that the player doesn’t have to constantly be distracted by where the camera should be pointing, but without taking agency away from the player.

After recent round of polish, the camera in Elemental Enigma during exploration tries to anticipate where it should look, based on player input, but without taking away all control. Also additional ways to focus on party members have been added, so it’s easy to see the relevant character if they happen to be off-screen.