Why video game doors are so hard to get right

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Doors are hard because all of game development is hard.

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Doors are so common in the real world that you probably don’t stop to think about how to operate them.

But for video game designers, that’s not the case. For a video game door to feel real, it takes a ton of challenging work. Video game doors have to interact seamlessly with their surroundings, make logical sense, and look good too. They have to strike a delicate balance between real-world accuracy and playability.

All these factors mean designing a door usually requires work from every department at a game company.

Different types of doors require different amounts of work. And these same challenges crop up as you try to add almost any element to a game.

Like any great piece of art, the blood, sweat, and tears that go into doors are often invisible. The best doors are the ones that work seamlessly, and go unnoticed. In this video, we talk to Bryan Singh, a game developer, about why doors are so tricky.

Great coverage by our colleagues at The Verge: https://www.theverge.com/22328169/game-development-doors-design-difficult

The Door Problem by Liz England: https://lizengland.com/blog/2014/04/the-door-problem/

Further reading on why ladders are horrible: https://egmnow.com/video-game-ladders-suck-heres-why-that-matters/

And more about why doors make combat difficult to design: https://andrewyoderdesign.blog/2019/08/04/the-door-problem-of-combat-design/

Even more on developers gripes with doors: https://www.ign.com/articles/putting-doors-in-video-games-is-a-nightmare-say-developers

And info about exaggerated door sizes in games: https://www.gamesradar.com/why-are-the-doors-so-big-in-video-games-some-developers-explain

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