War of the Worlds 1.0: how did the most powerful WoT update

To become the owner of a new product is simple: just download the update 1.0 World of Tanks. But you have to wait: in fact, a new game will be downloaded to your computer - with a new engine, elements of mechanics, music and graphics. For eight years, WoT worked on the old BigWorld engine, which led to an interesting situation. The fact is that from the point of view of the development and detailing of tanks, the game has gone far ahead. These pictures can now illustrate professional literature, will come out better than anything. In some ways, the tanks in WoT are super-quality, you will never even consider all the nuances of detail. And against the background of these super-realistic tanks, the rest of the graphics began to lag. Of course, it was pulled up as much as possible, but the old engine could not cope. As a result, at the end of 2014, a bold and risky decision was made - not to rewrite old places, but simply throw out huge pieces of code and replace them with new and modern ones. Shoveled almost everything - from the display of small pebbles to huge mountains, from small puddles to lakes, from blades of grass to dense forests. As a result, about 80% of the code became new, and, in fact, the developers created a new engine - Core.

Like in the movies

The resulting effect can be called hyperrealism: fights look better than in good war films. One of the most memorable details is water. The tanks get wet, drive a wave in front of them, when fired, another wave, shock, drives the front along the surface of the water. And how water columns rise when a shell hits! And how tanks explode! In general, everything collapses and explodes enchantingly, special thanks for this to the developers of the new technology for visualizing destructible Havok objects. The picture is fascinating, wherever you look. Even blades of grass sway in the wind and nail to the ground. And if you choose a free minute and look at the sky, then you can freeze, looking at floating clouds. Particularly fascinates the haze from heated gases when the tank diesel is running! No flat trees and bushes - they are alive. In general, on the new engine you can easily make a film about the battle of Prokhorovka - my old dream.

Lighting is one of the most important elements of graphics: it determines how textures look, how shadows play, and how interaction with other graphic components occurs. Designers and developers have applied the latest technology, thanks to which all the details and objects fully interact with the lighting, as if the battle was waking up. Changed the process of lighting game scenery. Light passing through a colored surface creates colored shadows on other surfaces, which has never happened before. All this significantly affects the atmosphere and realism, and if the shadows are made qualitatively, the impression of the game will be unique.

But that is not all. To enjoy this beauty, it is not at all necessary to have a pumped-up computer, comparable in power to an average mining farm. “For the past year and a half, we have been doing optimization, ” comments Irakli Arkhangelsky, a software engineer for the graphics engine. - The fundamental point was not to change the system requirements and maintain performance at the same level: the new graphics are great, but what if the player does not have a very powerful machine? The game should provide a guaranteed level of quality. We succeeded, and after the update, even players with weak hardware can participate in World of Tanks. "

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The card has gone

The update comes with a completely redesigned 29 cards familiar to avid tankers. Serious changes affected such locations as “Fishing Bay”, “Erlenberg”, “Steppes”, “Ruinberg”, “Fjords”. For example, in order to prepare the "Fishing Bay" for the exit, I had to fix a few points. Now in the center of the map there are lumbago in key areas: the city in the east and the western flank. Control over this zone can seriously affect the outcome of the battle. A new position has been added to the Ruinberg map on the eastern edge of the city (north of the main street). And the Industrial Zone map has now increased in size, shelters have been added, and the distance between the hangars has become much greater. A completely freaky new “Calm” map has appeared, where battles take place in a polar, abandoned bay among the skeletons of giant warships frozen in ice. “Maps have become more realistic due to the addition of geometry, ” says Pavel Sugak, location artist and designer. - The stones have become sharper, the cards have become more voluminous. Edge geometry is not gameplay - it is a continuation of the picture in the non-game zone. Now on the tank you can drive to the edge of the world and look into the distance. "


To understand the amount of work on a new sound in the game, think about the following figures: about fifty musicians worked on music and 15 terabytes of sounds and melodies were recorded! When writing the soundtrack, composers Andrius Klimka and Andrei Kulik studied folklore and authentic musical instruments specific to each region represented on the maps in the game. Dozens of musicians from around the world recorded parts of national instruments. In update 1.0, you can hear melodies and motifs of different cultures - from Native American to Arabic. Composers combined this material with symphonic sound and a combat atmosphere.

All members of the sound team create music and at the same time record a huge layer of game sounds: explosions, sounds of the engine, tracks, shots. But this is not all - the musical composition is assembled from pieces dynamically, changing depending on how the battle develops for the player: it becomes tragic in case of loss and pathetic if luck is on your side. In fact, the players themselves are the co-authors of the soundtrack. Here is what Andrius Klimka says: “I remember how I needed to fire a shot of the“ Babakhi ”tank destroyer - the most powerful in the game. Imagine what a responsibility! I needed to listen to him 250 times a day, and doing it quietly is pointless, you need to hear all the power. When I went home, my colleagues didn’t even talk to me: they knew that I couldn’t hear anything. ” All this is enough to update your headphones, - the guys wrote two full-length music albums.

But music is not everything. A year and a half ago, the task was to bring the soundtrack of the tanks to a qualitatively new level, to make it as realistic and entourage as possible. The person who plays in World of Tanks must feel that he is actually sitting in the tank and fighting. As life has shown, after the first tests, the representations of players and developers about what is “realistic” did not match. The players said: “Where did you hear such sounds?” The developers were surprised because they were repeatedly at the training ground and, sitting in the tank, recorded the creak of tracks and the crunch of the gearbox. When they started to figure it out, it turned out that the players considered realistic the sound of the tank they had heard in movies, television shows, or other games. As a result, WoT now has a sound that balances on the verge of realism and fiction. The players accepted this option and were happy. Well, to the battle?

The article “War of the Worlds 1.0” was published in the journal Popular Mechanics (No. 6, June 2018). I wonder how a nuclear reactor works and can robots build a house?

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