One gift of working at Naughty Dog is that the sky is limit. With artists and programmers collaborating closely, magic can happen.
The Breathing System is an example of that magic.
It's anything we need it to be, and that's the power behind it.
It is an encapsulation of what a character's Heart Rate would be in given context, with 1.0 being the most exerted and 0.0 being the most relaxed.
For example, Clickers have states that include Frenzy and Unaware, which have a target Heart Rate of 1.0 and 0.7 respectively.
Ellie has Murmuration enabled, so she's always playing a sound loop.
She has several Heart Rate States that are split by tension and whether she's sprinting or not.
1. Play different sounds based on how long you've been sprinting, in any tension.
2. Play various stages of exhausted breathing after you've been sprinting for certain amount of time.
These are her Stages.
Every tension has 3 stages of assets, varying in intensity.
This is one instance of Heart Rate that happens seamlessly throughout systemic gameplay.
This implementation feels natural and makes you truly feel like you're controlling a living, breathing entity.
This blends beautifully with the gameplay dialog which triggers after Ellie grabs the pipe!
This puts you in their shoes and helps you empathize with their story by communicating how they're feeling.
Breath can be an excellent conveyor of emotion!
A flag is set when there's an arrow embedded in the character or if player's health is low. That enables my scripts to potentially play an injured variant integrated into the the base systemic breathing variants.
Big thanks to all the main cast for entertaining our needs!