BCM419 - Red ring impact effect

(7:36) Various levels, mostly on Easy. Ever noticed the pretty red ring impact effect you can get with an AR and certain other weaponry? That impressed me when I discovered it on control panels, years ago. But now that I come to make this movie, I realize you get it on a few other items too!

Released April 12th 2020, gameplay recorded April 6th-11th 2020.


00:02 (Plasma on rock) Here's one nice impact effect: plasma fire on rock. As one of the captions says, it really churns out the rubble. Actually there's also a difference between the two plasma weapons, which I try to highlight around 0:30. With the plasma pistol (normal firing), the rubble ejects from the rock with higher speed, and the chunks look to be more uniform in size.

00:53 (AR on bark) Another nice impact effect: AR on bark. I especially like how this looks in the dark with flashlight on, making the bark chunks look black. That's something I cottoned onto while making BCM317, my movie about beastie sounds. One of my captions says "Plasma no good", but I'm referring to normal fire there. A plasma ball is pretty good, which you can get a sense of from the incoming shot at the end, from a Jackal. It produces quite a shower of bark chunks.

01:27 (Door control) More covie conflict as I introduce the red ring effect on a door control panel. This panel comes with a prompt saying "Press X to open door", but the door is already open of course, so the prompt is bogus. As well as some AR fire, I also demonstrate the red ring effect with a sniper rifle and chain-gun. Talking of the sniper rifle, I notice that Johnson fired three shots, yet when I pick it up, it has two rounds in the clip.

02:34 (Lift control) Here's a clip from level 6, mainly to demonstrate that the shotgun gives red rings too. I got it from near the crashed Pelican (note: it's only available on Easy). But I also do some AR fire, and the red ring effect stands out well in the darkness.

02:58 (Shield hits) I really ought to be abandoning ship, but instead I'm fooling around at a stationary shield in the name of science. Johnson gets himself shot, but I go one better!

03:20 (Bridge control, level 2) As you can see from this footage, the red ring effect doesn't just apply to the visible part of the control panel, but a larger area. A rectangle I think, including quite a bit of area above the visible part (though here I just shoot to the left and right and underneath).

03:39 (Bridge control, level 6) Here's one of the bridges you can turn on and off in 343 Guilty Spark. For fun I also demonstrate the impact effect for AR fire on the bridge, and then I try firing my shotty straight down, which turns out poorly. Incidentally, notice that the bridge is termed "energy bridge" in the prompt, whereas level 2 uses the term "light bridge".

03:55 (Security override control) More red rings, this time at the security substation. I thought this would be a nice addition to the movie, what with all the funky display stuff going on.

04:13 (Cortana terminal & screen mounts) Originally when I discovered that the Cortana terminal gave the red ring effect, I overlooked the screen mounts. But later when I realised you could get it on the exposed screen mounts in level 10, I came back here and found that they likewise give red rings, even though the screen is present. So I had to record a new clip to include the mounts.

04:35 (Circular display elements) Here I show the circular display elements that give the red ring effect in level 4's main facility. In the Hunter chamber there's an amusing incident where a Jackal finishes off the second Hunter for me. Some good rockety fun there too. Did quite a few takes for that area, to get nice action.

There's some pseudo-continuity between these clips. I end the first by heading for a drop-down shortcut into the Hunter chamber, and the second clip shows the type of arrival that can follow. The third continues the descent route. These clips weren't actually from the same play though. I used my favourite bits from different plays.

05:49 (Holding cell barrier) Did quite a few takes for this clip, partly in order to get some nice combat footage. But on this take there's some good chatter from the Marines too. Sometimes they were pretty quiet. Other times Keyes started talking, but I didn't want that.

06:20 (Cortana terminal & screen mounts again) This is the clip I worked the most on, doing a lot of takes to try and get the most pleasing footage. It was a bit of a pain because I had to let the whole long cutscene run each time. You can't skip it or revert to the checkpoint you get immediately after it, or the screen will be present, whereas I wanted it gone. The clip is also a re-do because originally I hadn't realised that you can get the red ring effect on the exposed screen mounts. That was a late discovery, after which I needed to re-do the clip to include some playing around with the mounts.

Specifically I jump onto the lower screen mount and crouch, and switch off my flashlight so the red ring effect on the upper mount looks extra bright. With my final clip I do a few long bursts, and the bullet spread adds sparks to the rings. Then for fun I jump out of the ship at the end.

Closing remarks I'm glad to've finally got around to giving this topic the movie treatment. I suspect that quite a few players will never have noticed it before. In making the movie I also learnt of new items which give the effect - i.e. besides control panels. It was fun searching for them, though quite time consuming. Hope I didn't miss any!

I made an effort to liven things up with combat along the way, as well as a bit of comedy with Johnson (at that shield) and some intercom and Cortana chatter. So hopefully you appreciated all that.

I used Easy for almost all the play, mostly so I could quickly get to places I wanted, and most easily search for items that would give the red ring effect. The only exception is, I used Heroic for level 1 (not that it's relevant for the two clips involved), to save me having to suffer the tedious calibration procedure in the cryo-bay.