Does anyone ever wonder how hard it is to get rain to look right in games? Obviously it’s not the easiest thing in the world since the different qualities of rainstorms can be kind of tricky to get down, and trying to nail them down to a specific region and what kind of rain, and how much is seen, can be a bit troubling. For instance, making it rain in a desert climate is bound to be kind of hard since not only do deserts get very little rain in comparison to other areas, but the landscape is affected differently as well. Desert areas tend to experience torrential downfalls that can be deadly to those that might find themselves caught in them since flash flood are a very real possibility. But in a desert climate, the rainfall will also dry up quickly once the storm is over as well, where rain might stick around in other climates or be seen to seep into the ground rather quickly. Some areas of the world are known to be far wetter and experience a great amount of rainfall, which usually results in a much greener and far more lush environment. There are areas though where rain and high winds conspire to create tougher, hardier plant life that is just as green but far more used to inclement weather than other areas.
Rain in video games is difficult to think of since unless one is creating a type of rudimentary effect with scattered lines representing raindrops and the sound effects that come with it, the rain does present a challenge since most people know that rain looks quite different once it affects everything it touches. Rain falling on a street will give the street a different look than if it’s falling on a person, or a tree, or another object. Then there’s the idea of storms, wind, lightning, and thunder to contend with, and as a result, it becomes even more in-depth and the visual effects artists have their work cut out for them depending on how realistic the game needs to appear. For games that are a little more cartoonish in nature it’s not quite as difficult it would appear since there’s at least a little less attention to overall detail and the effects can be toned down quite a bit. But in cinematic trailers and other moments during some games, the effect needs to look as real as it can possibly get or gamers are likely going to denounce the overall look since many people enjoy the realism that can come from paying attention to the smaller details that help to round out the game.
One great thing about the rain in a video game or any medium really is that it’s a versatile element. What this means is that it can inspire hope, despair, happiness, depression, danger, triumph, and many other feelings that are dependent on the story but can be augmented by the simple act of creating a rainstorm at the right second. Including rainfall as a natural part of the game is even better since it gives some sense of realism that a lot of people like and something that can help to keep the game grounded in a way that a lot of people can appreciate. But the emotions that can be packed into a rainstorm all depend on the story and how it’s been crafted, and it can range from playful to the most intense danger that anyone could imagine since thunderstorms tend to bring out the need for fear, aggression, and the direst circumstances sometimes, or they can be used as just another element of the game that someone decided to throw in. That type of versatility is what helps to make a lot of games worth the effort since it makes people feel that the game designers have their interests in mind and are in some way thinking ahead as to how they can make things better and keep the gamers happy by covering every base possible when it comes to the game’s design.
Plus, if you’re weird like me then the rain is actually pretty soothing, as are thunderstorms and the intense winds that can come with them. It’s an oddity to be certain since many people might profess to enjoy thunderstorms, but there’s something about the flash, the rolling peal of sound, and the steady pattering of rain that can all come together at times to create a truly impressive symphony of noise provided by nature, and when it’s a part of the game and it’s created so expertly as it’s been in many different games, it’s even better since it shows that the designers weren’t slacking when it came to any of the aspects of the game. The fantasy of video games is great, but keeping them grounded just a bit is even better.