Daily Think: Why Am I So Short?

Killzone 2 is a heartwarming tale of a soldier who, after losing his shins in a tragic accident, manages to overcome the odds and save the universe with the help of amazing robot limbs.

Apparently, WordPress ate my post and only published half of it. Here’s the updated version!

Ever wondered why, in a few recent FPSes, you’re so short? Does it bother you? I believe I’ve sussed out the answer: it’s because of artists.

See, if you’ve ever taken a photography class (or talked to me for very long), chances are that the rule of thirds has come up. One element of this is that eyeballs have to be in the top third of the frame at all times. For some reason, this is extremely pleasing to human brains. Anyways, in games where you’re short, it’s because someone has decided that, instead of simulating your gaze, the way a first person shooter should (one exception: in cover-based FPSes, the eyes should actually be slightly high to allow you to see above cover without actually exposing  yourself), the game’s camera is just that: a camera.

Unfortunately, this can really screw up your ability to aim properly, because your brain is having to constantly recalculate your position in space and time. If you don’t believe this is causing extra work for your brain (and you’re of average height), then strap a periscope to your face upside down and try to navigate through a crowd of people. You’ll learn, quite quickly, just how absolutely confused your brain can get.

While it’s aesthetically pleasing in films, having a lower camera angle does not work very well when it’s supposed to be your POV.

Let’s look at the header picture:


If you’ll notice, this is nicely framed image. You have the heads in the top third, the gun in the bottom third, one soldier occupying a vertical third, and so on and so forth. Everything abides by the rule of thirds to create a pleasing image. Unfortunately, for a shooter, as I said before, this isn’t so pleasing to do from the first-person perspective, and that’s why you’re short.

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