P. Nespesny: “Among plenty of other issues we face, picking items from the world is another one which is far from ideal in its current state. Aiming precisely with cursor on items could be fine, unless you run into some annoyances. Some items are rendered too small on the screen because of their close-to-real-life dimensions, and they are often being obstructed with other objects in world like dense grass, and tend to mimic underlying surface textures.
You know the drill, many times it’s difficult to find a pistol, or even a rifle in some cases, and pick it up (I don’t even want to mention special cases like ammo piles). At the end, such frustration leads to the use of the vicinity part of inventory screen as the path of the least resistance. Each open of the inventory screen disrupts the immersion of being right there for you as a player, and if I count in movement during opening the inventory (leading to jogging in chaotic patterns to find that damn ammo pile), it’s breaking immersion also for all observers who had to look at your misery.
Along with restriction of character movement while in inventory, we added dynamic selection of target, which evaluates conditions such as distance from player, screen center and angle. Selected target is then visually marked by snapping interaction icon to it in screen space. We went beyond items and similarly, we applied this system also to interaction with vehicles and static objects in world like doors or ladders. I like fluid interconnection of a gven item and the action which it brings to the table. It feels natural and adds to the physicality of the world – it even feels closer to hand to use your eyes for coordination, instead of rigorous movement with whole head around. You can see it in action on examples below.
Maybe you are wondering now, why we just simply didn’t apply highlighting to items and objects? Apart from highlights being quite artificial and also immersion breaking, they are not solving one of the problems mentioned above – frequent necessity to pixel hunt with your center of the screen. But never say never, maybe there will be some very decent version of highlighting in future to make it more seamless and to pop up items a bit, even when I’m not kinda fan of it.
Dynamic target selection is still in progress and there are some small issues we need to solve, for example icon positioning, or the shaking caused currently by insufficient frequency of UI updates on client side. However, from first tests of its current iteration, it feels really good, and what matters the most – it’s very helpful!”