How to Kill the Game Atmosphere

Recently I saw a thriller where one guy told story about a person who got lost in the woods, and the person eventually was frozen and died. In the end one of the main characters walked in the same forest, got lost and was freezing.

As I was watching the guy walking on the snow, I was wondering that “something isn’t right here”. At first, I wasn’t sure what it was, but something made the scene unbelievable. Later I realized: it was the breathing that didn’t fit the scene. They had set the scene properly: there was snow and frost and all. The guy had frozen hairs and was moving like he’d about to freeze. But the one thing that made it look bad was the “wrong” breath. The air that came out of guy’s mouth didn’t freeze. Everything else was frozen, expect the air.

And everybody whose lived in Finland knows that if it’s darn cold (like there was in the movie) then also the air freezes when breathed. This didn’t happen in the movie and it somehow made the whole scene look bad. It was perhaps a tiny issue, but since they wanted us to know that it was very cold in the forest – they should have dealt with the air as well.

It’s possible to kill the atmosphere in games if you are dealing with realistic style. I’m not too picky about realism, but if in Rainbow Six the players would jump 2 meters high (like in good old Quake where it’s okay), I think I wouldn’t have played the RS that much. It could have killed the atmosphere.

That’s something you don’t want to see, right?

Juuso Hietalahti