Physical Modeling of Humans & Creatures

Everything in OC is made of something, and the same is true of humans and creatures. All creatures, of which humans are a special type, are modeled physically in terms of their bodies. Bodies are collections of individual body parts, which confer specific semantic functionality to their owner (for example, legs are used for walking). This physical model is an integral part of many higher level systems built on top of it, like combat.


Showing some of the body modeling data for a shortsnouted woodgrunt, a creature species in OC.


  • In OC, all creatures (and humans) have bodies. These are physically modeled as collections of body parts.
  • Like items, body parts have subcomponents.
    • Subcomponents each have sizes, described in terms of volumetric units.
    • Just like items, each of these has a material composition. Using the example above, a woodgrunt has four hooves at the end of its four legs. Each hoof is comprised of a certain volume of bone material and a certain volume of sinew material.
  • Body parts confer semantic functionality on their owner, which is interpreted and used by other OC subsystems. For example, a woodgrunt’s legs are associated with its ability to walk. Walking actions verify the integrity of an entity’s walking structures as part of their speed calculations. A woodgrunt’s brain and eyes are associated with its sight functionality. Environmental awareness processing verifies the integrity of these structures as it works.
  • Body part subcomponents are all individually damageable. A woodgrunt’s hoof can sustain a ligament tear or bone can be shattered, depending on a variety of combat calculations that determine the sort of damage it sustains.
    • A body part’s functionality is dependent upon the integrity of its subcomponents.
    • Complete destruction of any subcomponent will result in loss of functionality. Even if the hoof’s ligaments remain intact, a compound fracture of the hoof’s bone (basically, its complete destruction) will take away that leg’s semantic functionality (its proportional contribution to the woodgrunt’s ability to walk).
  • Body parts can also be associated with physical properties, like strength and dexterity. If a woodgrunt sustains a myocardial contusion, its overall strength and stamina will suffer as a result.
  • When body parts of slain animals are eaten raw or butchered for materials, the materials yielded correspond to their subcomponent composition. Butchering a torso will yield bone material volumes from the rib cage, hide materials for its outer covering, and meat / tissue material volumes corresponding to its internal organs.

Body Modeling Overview

OC’s body modeling system is meant to replace traditional abstractions, like health bars and action meters, with a model that more effectively corresponds to the real world. A health bar is fine if all you really want to know is how far between fully healthy and dead an entity is.

But if you want a system where being shot in the leg results in an inability to walk, you need something more. If you want a system where a bone break will only heal properly if a medical professional immobilizes the damaged appendage with a cast, you need something more. If you want blunt force trauma to yield muscle contusions, while bullets pierce internal structures, you need a more robust data model than a health bar.

And these sorts of results are what OC’s body modeling system is all about. It’s about enabling gameplay that’s detailed, compelling, and interesting. I think the data facilitates this. Just to give a further idea of how it all fits together, let’s look at all the body data for our shortsnouted woodgrunt. I strung together all body part information into a single image in an image editing program. Please forgive the poor quality of the result, but it should get the idea across:


Four legs, four hooves, two tusks, a torso, a head, one ear, and four eyes. This models the woodgrunt species pretty well:


The data itself is great, but it’s what’s done with the data that really makes it all worthwhile. It shouldn’t take much imagination to envision the possibilities here, but combat, healthcare, food preparation, and many other systems rely on OC’s body modeling to deliver the compelling gameplay as the end result.

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