I don't have any experience in game programming, but I am currently on programming-related degree, although on a different branch to game design.

I thought about how an environment can come more alive with player movement. For example, currently in many games once you hit a wall you would continue walking into that wall in one spot. I wanted to know, if there is a possibility to make interaction instead, etc. program a certain way to push towards the wall and listen, or lean against the wall, depending on joystick feedback. I wanted to push this even further to how player interacts with an object. For example, walking into a chair wouldn't just make the character be stuck on walking into the chair, but also make certain interactions like a strong fall if player runs into it and make the body of the player respond to what's happening as well. A further example would be placing something heavy on a chair for example, like a rock, and then if a player tries to push it requires more force which builds up, makes the chair make heavier sounds, and have the rock slightly rocking with the force.

Is this at all feasible in gaming and doable for a project? I have no experience in games, so it is hard to say what can be realised with today's tools like Unity or Unreal Engine.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Mario had specialized wall-contact animations back in 1996. What would lead you to believe this could be impossible or infeasible when we've had it for more than two decades? \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Sep 24 '19 at 1:00

Yes. This is all doable.

Limitations in games most of the time come from features being too heavy for the physics engine ("we can't simulate that many bodies at once, otherwise it trashed the framerate"), or simply because the feature does not add much to the look and feel of game (while taking more time from the dev team to figure out what needs to be done, how to do it, test it, etc.; it also adds risk).

So if the game does not really focus on this kind of behaviour, it's not added.

But really, if you wanted to have that as the main focus, it all doable.


The more you add conditions and reactions to certain actions like "if player hits a rock and position of joystick is in that direction" the more your code will be heavy.

You'll have to program even more animations which take a lot of time to actually draw and implement, and it will be multiplied by the number of different characters that could happen to make that animation.

If time and resources are not a problem, and if you are good enough at programming to know how to reduce the complexity of your algorithms, then you will totally be able to do what you want.


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