15 Hidden Video Game Design Secrets That Are Total Genius
15. Horizon Zero Dawn Only Renders The World You Can See
A technique first popularised by the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy, Naughty Dog discuss in their 30th Anniversary art book about how object distance can affect the 'priority' of detail i.e. the further away something is, the less likely the player is to notice, or even sometimes even care.
This allowed them to make things like Crash Bandicoot 3 look stunning for the time, and now we're seeing far larger-scale productions like Horizon Zero Dawn do the same.
Guerrilla Games have easily created one of the best-looking games of all time; a sumptuously rendered post-apocalyptic landscape that upholds a steady frame rate throughout - and they do so by only rendering the world environment the player is looking at, as seen above.
Though it'll feel a bit weird knowing your game world is only really a 'triangle' emanating from your cone of view, this can also be seen in landmark releases like The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion and Skyrim, where fire effects and waterfalls seem to fill in or 'come to life' after-the-fact, as the game is 'catching up' to your POV.