Dev Talk Vol.04 | Environmental Destruction and You

When we first dreamed up the idea of environmental destruction in Marvel Rivals, we all had visions of world-breaking combat on a scale worthy of Super Heroes. Let's be real, if the Hulk can't smash a building or two, is he really the Hulk? We all agreed: environmental destruction had to be a thing. But turning that idea into reality? Let's just say the challenge has been one that could confound even Bruce Banner.

Picture this: we want to be able to tear down buildings and structures with our awesome super powers, but because this is a team-based pvp shooter, we needed those blocks to exist for strategic showdowns. Otherwise, once everything is reduced to rubble, it would just turn into a chaotic battle in large open space. After a ton of brainstorming, testing, and, of course, debating, we found what we hope is the perfect balance. We meticulously designed and validated the environmental destruction ratios for each level. You can unleash your hero's destructive power, blasting open new pathways and turning the rubble into cover, giving you a leg up in the heat of battle. At the same time, essential structures that serve as blockades in the levels, such as high platforms, are designed to be indestructible to ensure player maneuverability and the strategic nature of team battles.

Naturally, creating this chaos wasn't a walk in the park. We had to make sure that the aftermath of your destruction didn't hinder the fluidity of heroes' movement or mess with their high-flying acrobatics. Random debris on the ground or holes in walls enrich the gameplay but irregular edges can affect the smoothness of character movement and abilities. We're continually designing ways to optimize these experiences, such as improving the collision of irregular debris and allowing continuous attacks to break and clear them. Optimizing these experiential issues arising from environmental destruction requires lots of testing, which is why we want to hear from you during this Alpha!

Using Unreal Engine 5's Chaos destruction system and Lumen global dynamic lighting system, we've brought rich physical effects and dynamic lighting effects to Marvel Rivals. As a multiplayer battle game, we needed to synchronize the results of environmental destruction across different clients. It's well known that server synchronization of physics simulations is a challenging industry problem. Therefore, we invested a significant amount of effort in customizing development on the Chaos system to ensure consistent environmental destruction experiences across different clients.

But hold onto your web-shooters because we're not stopping at just smashing and synchronizing. Oh no. We're cooking up some next-level mayhem that we hope will be ready in the near future. One interesting design we'd like to share is our ongoing consideration of how our environmental destruction differs from that of other games and how we can make it cooler and more Marvel. How would Loki feel about his beloved kingdom being destroyed? Or what Tokyo 2099 security measures exist to prevent a little spidey-rampage? Well, we did. In the realm of Yggsgard, the destroyed buildings will gradually restore themselves after a short period, thanks to King Loki's determination to keep his golden kingdom looking regal. And over in the futuristic world of Tokyo 2099, we're building up some spider-bot shenanigans. We call this gameplay "Thematic Environmental Destruction" but due to the development progress, the thematic destruction of Shin-Shibuya is not included in the current testing phase, but you can expect it in the next test!

So, what now? Well, the Closed Alpha is just about to begin and we want you to enjoy wrecking stuff. But, most importantly, we want your feedback. We've seen everyone's excitement for Marvel Rivals despite it being so early in development, so we're ecstatic to get player opinions in as we continue building this game. Help us help you and together let's make Marvel Rivals the best Super Hero experience in the Multiverse!

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