Texture is an integral part of immersive gameplay, weather in real life or online. Videogames employ visual appearance or effects to simulate the real world in an attempt to mimic the appearance and behaviour of texture. Videogames as a media express texture realistically when multiple textural design elements combine; such as detailed visual effects, the realistic behaviour of virtual objects, and tactile physical feedback. Visual effects are rendered to express things such as the diffracted surfaces of water, or the changing texture of asphalt and gravel. One way to create realistic behaviour for virtual objects is through sound design, such as the difference in noises that footfalls can produce on grass, concrete, or wood. Tactile physical feedback or “rumble” can be used to increase immersion via texture, and in the case of Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s Rez to provide sensation rather than feedback. Rez utilizes “rumble” as a method to convey tactile sensation by pulsing in time with music during gameplay. Rez serves to extend the use of texture into abstraction, and thus challenges other games to tap into such subtle pleasures in gameplay. Along these lines, this paper is an exploration of the use of texture to help create interest and immersion within videogames.
Bogost, I. (2011). How to Do Things with Video Games. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota