View Full Version : Pure physics

3rd April 2005, 11:17 AM
I have been playing Pure for a while now (I'm halfway through flash class) and I want to tell you my quick review on its physics, which also concerns the overall handling of the game.

First thing I have to say: IT DOES NOT FEEL LIKE 2097/XL. So in case you are still hoping for that to happen, forget it. You will have to settle for something totally new, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

wipEout purE is VERY different indeed from previous wipEouts once you understand how the whole physics engine works, but when you compare its handling to previous wipEouts it FEELS CLOSER TO 2097/XL THAN TO ANY OTHER PREVIOUS W'O''. And that is the point.

Pure is the first wipEout to feature 'realistic' physics, such as real GRAVITY, ACCELERATION, and MOMENTUM. I will explain this:

GRAVITY - in previous wipEouts, when you where going on a slanted track, or even one that is turned upside down like in Fusion, it didn't have any effect on your craft. Now in purE, if the track is f.ex. slanted to the right side and you are going perfectly straight on it, your craft will start drifting down to the right side and you will have to compensate that by steering ever so slightly to the left.

ACCELERATION is also affected by gravity, means you will accelerate a lot slower uphill than downhill. That's especially noticeable when you get hit by, let's say, a rocket when you're on a climbing track, it will stop you right down, and you will heve a rather hard time accelerating veeery slowly up the hill. On the other hand, when you get hit while going steeply down on a track, it will ownly slow you down a bit and you will be back to normal speed pretty quickly.

This goes hand in hand with MOMENTUM. Picture this: an enemy craft way ahead drops a bomb onto the track and another craft that is very close to yours crashes into it. Now there are a number of effects this can have on you. If the bomb explodes on your left side, its shockwave will push your ship to the right, and vice versa. If it explodes right in front of you, the shockwave might actually push you back a little bit and stop you right down. If it goes off right behind you, the wave might even give you a slight push forward! This shows that the programmers have incorporated a real set of physics into this game which no w'o'' has ever featured before.
You can also notice this in rather sharp turns. Here the handling differs the most from the previous games, as you really slow down a lot in the sharp turns because all your momentum is lost. In the faster speed classes you won't notice this much, but in vector and venom it can get annoyingly slow in sharp turns - which, again, is realistic, but it takes a bit away from the arcade-like original w'o'' feel.

I'm pretty sure that the new physics are also the reason they had to change the elevation on the classic tracks so much, f.ex. the hill after the tunnel on sagarmatha used to be so steep that you probably couldn't even climb it on vector with the new physics.

So, all in all, it feels a little more like an AG-racing simulation than the earlier games. I'm not sure whether this decision was good or not, i know there are some people on the forums that won't like it. It is something you will just have to get familiar with, and to be honest, on faster speeds you won't even notice it much, it will just annoy you sometimes in vector and venom, when you feel like you're not pressing the x-button properly because your ship is having a hard time accelerating...

The bottom line is: don't get turned away from this game because it does not feel like ye olde w'o''. Don't expect it to be 2097/XL ver.2. It won't be. It's something completely new, and it is good, really is.

I would be glad if some of the other early purE pilots could confirm and correct this, and it would also be nice if Colin could have a word on this (I don't wanna be spreading things about the physics that are in fact totally wrong). Thank you.

3rd April 2005, 11:37 AM
I completely agree with you eLhabib and have noticed the very same things you have.

I love the way the big bomb knocks you to the side even if you werent the one who crashed into it - Im not 100% on the agreement concerning going up hill - but you may be right - I dont play the lower classes much at the minute though.

I think there is LOTS to explore in this game and I personally have a long way to go. The tracks and the AI are very challenging so Im still a long way from my 2097 'zen' moments. There are times when I play well and I can feel the magic - but this game is gonna be a tough cookie to crack.

Space Cowboy
3rd April 2005, 11:52 AM
Sounds really interesting. I like the idea of the physics being psuedo-simulation, it brings a certain realism to the game. I cant wait to get mine! :D

3rd April 2005, 12:36 PM
The physics are different from previous Wipeout's before Fusion, and it's clear that the game is either using a modified version of Fusion's engine, or remnants of it. Either that, or the people behind the game have made a conscious decision to move the series' handling in a different direction.

However, one thing that gets on my nerves (and this isn't directed at anyone in particular) are these assertions that Pure doesn't feel like a Wipeout game.

It does - and then some.

The handling/physics are just one part of the overall package. Course design, layout, aesthetic/art design, music, gameplay structure, league structure are all classically Wipeout in a very polished sense. I think Dogg Thang mentioned it in another topic a few days ago... like Wipeout's of old, Pure's courses have more landmark layouts (important for memorising) than Fusion, and so each race track has their own personality.

In terms of atmosphere and overall feel, Pure for me is a return to the Wipeout of old. That isn't to say some parts are different, just that it's more closely tied to the conceptual vision of 2097/XL and 3 than Fusion was. By far.

I think it's something important.

3rd April 2005, 01:43 PM
I've heard a few people say it's like xl(2097) and 3 but I have to say Im getting a very strong wipeout original vibe from this one.

I think it's the crowds... or maybe its the industrial sections that seem like korodera...

Love those NEON SIGNS!!!

You know when Im playing this game Im reminded of some of the high quality special effects of current generation PC titles - I've been playing Doom 3 and tron and lately and my PC has trouble with some of the extras such as glow effects and to see my psp pull such stuff off with barely a flicker warms my heart.

One thing I've noticed though - in time trial or free play (what exactly is the difference there by the way?) the game runs even smoother. Oh yeah Im not a fan of ghost ships but the ghost ship looks very cool too - lovely flickery 'hologrammy' effect (would it have been so hard to have free play without the ghost and time trial with it - or an option to turn it off altogether? - I like a sunday fly in the city with nobody around but me!)

3rd April 2005, 02:15 PM
I just spent over an hour in free play just checking out every last detail on the new tracks, and they do indeed feel and look very much like w'o'', especially like the first one.

Chenghou Project reminds me a lot of Korodera, and Blue Ridge is like a perfect atmosphere replica from Terramax. Sebenco Climb is like a mixture between Sagarmatha's and Silverstream's vibes.
Modesto heights and Sinucit have that wonderful neon Bladerunner feel to it, and Vineta K is like an atmosphere mix between Florion Heights and Mandrashee.
Sol II is something completely new, can't compare it to anything old, and Citta Nuova feel very w3o to me.

The only thing I'm missing is a track that looks and feels like Arridos. God I loved that track...

You should really take your time at least once in free play and fly through the tracks at walking speed just to witness how beautiful they are and how much love and attention to detail has been put into them. Truly fantastic!

I really can't applaude Studio Liverpool enough. You guys are just way cool 8)

Oh and for anyone who got the initial thread wrong and thought I was saying purE doesn't feel like previous wipEouts: I was just referring to the physics and handling, for they are certainly different, there's no denying that. The overall game does feel very much w'o'' though.

4th April 2005, 12:53 PM
el habib, the hill in sagarmatha is not steep, it's tiny, however it is flat than the original.

4th April 2005, 02:37 PM
Hi folks. I'm the programmer responsible for the physics in Pure (and some other code), so let me respond to your comments a little...

Pure is indeed using a 'real' physics engine. It models forces, gravity and inertia correctly but with some hacks to make it feel more arcadey and fun. Hills and banked corners do have an effect on the ship, but to be honest the effect is toned down a LOT.

Along with the designers (Colin, Clarke and Karl) I tried to make the handling in Pure reminiscent of the earlier WO games, but to take it forward a step at the same time. The PSP has much more processing power than the old PS1 so I felt it important to introduce some realism into the Pure physics (albeit tuned to still play fun). I think that making the physics system more 'real' gives more depth to the handling and allows for more emergent gameplay (things like curb rides etc). Some people will disagree, but let me assure you all that everyone on the team was very focussed on making Pure play more like XL/2097 than any other WO game. I hope that we have ended up with a 'feel' that you think is fun and rewarding.

This physics realism stuff does move over to how the weapons effect the ships too. Explosions do apply blast forces to surrounding ships, with inertia being modelled reasonably realistically. The last thing we wanted was to turn WO in to a simulation though - we have a lot of code tweaks in the maths to make it fun rather than perfectly 'accurate'.

As for the physics engine iteslf, it is 100% new code. There isn't a single scrap of Fusion (or any other WO game) in the physics codebase at all.

If any of you have any more questions regarding the physics/handling system then I'm more than happy to respond.

Thanks for playing 8).... The whole team is buzzing about how Pure has been received.

- Martin

4th April 2005, 02:47 PM
The game is fun, no doubt, very good. But most wipeout fans on this site feel it is a step back to keep the ship on the ground. I am not bashing your game, but you need to understand why many are agitated about it and would still like a ps3 version to get that pitch back in, where pulling back slowed you down slightly but helped you take turns better due to the better grip and higher turning radius. It's just that we feel like our say didn't matter at all, that is why some are really upset. I would say this feels alot like Quantum redshift, which makes sense because of the programmers who worked on that game. Wipeout is not realistic in any way, So I don't get the "realistic argument". Either way, it's a really fun game, I just hope the next one comes back a little, with the great elements of Pure added in.

Dogg Thang
4th April 2005, 02:56 PM
Thanks for posting Martin. I have to say I really appreciate the new physics engine. Even playing the original WO yesterday morning, the differences really came home when I found myself stuck over a rock in a track for a while on Korrodera. Pure seems to react to things like that far more realistically without detracting in any way.

The difference the physics plays with regards to weapons is excellent - to see an example of that wait until an enemy craft is turning a corner before launching a missile. It really messes them up. And I've managed to ride the rims of the track a few times too which would have been unthnikable in earlier Wipeouts. The main difference seems to be that the environment feels solid rather than visuals and invisible walls.

I can see Zoolander's point and I do love the feel of those earlier Wipeouts and will always miss the floaty feel of the original but I adore what Wipeout has gained with the new effects of the weapons, gravity etc. I don't know if all that many people would see Pure as a step back, Zoolander, even with regards to handling but I won't pretend to be able to speak for the masses. Like I said in my post in the Pilot's Lounge, this is all a part of the 'features gained and features lost' nature of Wipeout games. And I think with Pure we have gained more than we lost.

4th April 2005, 03:14 PM
Heh - I knew someone would mention Quantum. I hope that WO feels a lot better than Quantum ever did 8)...

The pitch was toned down mainly for graphical and gameplay reasons. Hitting a turbo off a jump in Phantom while pulling back on the stick caused a lot of problems with regard to graphical clipping and flying off the track. Unfortunately in a case like this it's easier to change the physics than to get the artists and designers to rebuild and redress the tracks. The old shortcuts that were possible in old Wipeouts where the ship completely clips through scenery simply would not get through test these days. The need to hit US launch meant that we didn't have as much time as we would have liked to fine tune the physics - an unfortunate reality when you are a launch title. It's not that we don't listen to you folks - because we do - we are simply not able to respond to everyones comments all of the time.

As for where we take Wipeout in the future, well, we'll listen to what you folks and the rest of the gaming community has to say. Looking at our reviews I think we've been pretty successful at reviving Wipeout on the PSP. We'll try and make more people happy and we'll make Wipeout even better next time round. One thing is for sure though - we won't be able to please all the people all the time... :D

4th April 2005, 03:16 PM
Yeah nice reply martin. I seriously can't wait to test this game out once it hits the european shores. I think my only gripe with the new physics from what I understand, is the lack of pitch control. As an avid anouloge stick user, pitch played a big part to my racing in the previous wipeouts.

4th April 2005, 03:17 PM
As long as you please me I'm happy :D

Quantum Redshift is an Awesome game, with an excellent physics model, one of my favorites, I like it as much as Xl.

4th April 2005, 03:27 PM
As long as you please me I'm happy Very Happy

Heh... I'm sure we will... 8)

Quantum Redshift is an Awesome game, with an excellent physics model, one of my favorites, I like it as much as Xl.

Thanks. I wrote the physics for Quantum too. Glad you liked it. (cough) anyway.... (cough) ... back to Wipeout...... :wink:

4th April 2005, 03:33 PM
Interesting posts on the state of the physics engine. :)

If there's one track that doesn't sit comfortably with the physics though (for me) it's Citta Nuova. There's a bunch of twists near the end of the lap that make crafts extremely difficult to control.

Though I suppose that's part of the challenge. ;)

4th April 2005, 03:39 PM
Yeah, Citta Nuova is the most technical track in Pure (seconded by Sebenco Climb). If you catch it right though you can get some awesome times. You need to be a bit more tactical with your use of autopilot and turbo powerups (autopilot in the corkscrew, and turbo out of tight turns). You can also get some great exit speed if you hit the double turbo after the tight left (after the corkscrew) while going sideways. It's tough but it's ace when you get it spot on. :wink:

Dogg Thang
4th April 2005, 03:45 PM
Tactical use of autopilot? Interesting. In the earlier Wipeout games I used autopilot only to bail my ass out of trouble if I messed up. Fusion taught me to dump it as soon as I got it. So I have really only been using them for energy so far in Pure. I must try to get more use out of them.

I notice they kick in a little later in Pure - would I be right in thinking that this was to remove their use as a crutch as I used to do? I have also noticed (or at least I think it's this way) that recovery seems slower on autopilot if hit with a weapon. Am I right about that?

4th April 2005, 03:56 PM
The autopilot kicks in immediately when you press the button. I think the delay is a side effect of the physics system maybe.... I know that in the old Wipeouts the autopilot was pretty much on rails and ignored some of the physics, where in Pure it's a layer on top of the physics (like a very strong guiding hand). As for the recovery when hit it should take the same amount of time as when you are not on autopilot. Maybe it feels different because the autopilot isn't reacting quite the same way as you would if you were flying...?

The autopilot basically hands the ship over to the AI control systems - which was done by another programmer. Sorry I can't give you a 100% helpful answer. :?

4th April 2005, 04:18 PM
My autopilot did a barrel roll the other day - which was sweet!

Anyway, I have two points to make here - firstly I have been able to jump EXTREMELY high on some of the tracks (the backgrounds on modesto heights look great from really high up) and the pitch controls are useful - for example going down steep hills (theres one right after the yellow neon signs in modesto heights) it really helps to point down otherwise you'll just soar out into the distance (like you did wipeout 1) in the faster speed classes. If you tip the nose down you can go straight down the hill and collect the pickups whilst increasing speed.

Citta Nuova is brilliant - I love the arc bridge that goes over head about a 1/4 way through as well as the steamy effects on the sides of the track - real 'early morning' feel to that one - it is damned hard but I still enjoy trying to get it right.

4th April 2005, 04:32 PM
Modesto Height's last jump is insane when you hit it with a speed boost, and get over the blue hoarding whilst air breaking. Gives me such a rush.

It reminds me of the vast jump you could make on Gare D'Europa using a speed boost. Similar sensation.

Rapier Racer
4th April 2005, 05:25 PM
Whatís going on here? Encouraging the use of the autopilot! Thatís not a good thing, may it burn in hell :twisted:

4th April 2005, 05:37 PM
it really does feel very much like the gare indeed.

as for the physics: I'm glad I wasn't all wrong in my initial post, and I have to say, now that I am in the faster speed classes, I absolutely love the physics and handling, they definitely are the best of all the wipEouts. they can get annoying in vector and venom though (I really thought my x-button was broke, because my ship just wouldn't accelerate out of that second-to-last turn at Blue Ridge!)

oh and about citta nuova's corkscrew: I used to hate it in Flash class because I just couldn't get those 6 or seven turns right, but as soon as I figured them out (took about 30 laps I think!) they grew on me so much that I absolutely adore them now, for I can make up alot of time to the enemy crafts in this section because THEY have to slow down in there and I DON'T hehe 8)

4th April 2005, 06:24 PM
The need to hit US launch meant that we didn't have as much time as we would have liked to fine tune the physics - an unfortunate reality when you are a launch title. It's not that we don't listen to you folks - because we do - we are simply not able to respond to everyones comments all of the time.
Cant you tune the physics until you think it is like it should and make the main program available via dloadable content in the form of a exe or a patch?

4th April 2005, 06:25 PM
Whatís going on here? Encouraging the use of the autopilot! Thatís not a good thing, may it burn in hell :twisted:

Wait until zargz finds out! :lol:

4th April 2005, 06:29 PM
Hmm, from the description you've (eLhabib) given of the physics engine it sounds like 1/2097 but with blast effects and momentum etc. I've noticed replaying those 2 after reading this thread that all stuff about going slower uphill, accelerating quicker downhill, sliding to the inside of a tilted track are all present in the early wipEouts, try Altima in w'o"1 (for those that have it) and you'll notice everything pointed out in this thread except the explosions applying a force to your craft. Maybe the coding wasn't as refined but the sensation is there in the first wipEout.

I haven't really been able to get a good idea of what the physics actually are in purE and my fear after reading Zoolander's thread on the subject led me to believe that there was an element of 'on-the-rails' arcadey Ridge Racer type nonsense (not that RR is a bad game) from Fusion.

Worse than the rails type feeling was the handling model in Fusion where even the FEISAR fer gods'sakes couldn't go around a single course in the game without the airbrakes, not a single turn can be taken without the airbrakes or going really bloody slowly. Further when you do tempt fate by turning on the ailerons (that's what they look like anyway) alone the ship doesn't actually turn it seems to oversteer, the back of the craft slides out and maybe 5 secs later the craft actually straightens out and starts going the way you pointed it, this might happen in a mid-rear supercar with wheels and no traction control, but not to a craft with no wheels hovering in midair - there's no traction for it to lose in the first place.

Just going by the really small videos it seems like that has been eliminated in purE for which I'm almost bouncing with joy (internally, not literally) :D

Anyway erm, where's that quote... Ah yes:

Praeterea censeo autopilotum esse delendam

4th April 2005, 06:54 PM
Quantum Redshift and PUre don't feel exactly alike. the environments in QR were very wide in places and turboing around turns using the wall was fun( I wouldn't want this in wipeout). QR was more floaty off bumps than Pure(but similar). What I like about QR is the air physics and the landings, where it really makes a difference using your pitch control. You can really change where you are going to land, whereas in Pure, not so much at all, so I'm definitely not saying they play exactly alike. Now only if QR had barrel rolls.

Dogg Thang
4th April 2005, 07:26 PM
Speaking of physics, I managed to flip my craft today. It was on Citta Nuova (of course) at one of the slalome sections. I just hit a bend the wrong way and found myself skidding upside down until eventually the teleporter thing kicked in. It was annoying at the time of course but it's interesting that the physics can let this sort of thing happen, which is proof that there is no 'on rails' thing happening here.

It's also been a bit of a shock hitting a sign in a jump and coming to a dead stop. Solid signs - now that is fancy!