Nex Machina: Testing the limits of particles - Housemarque

Nex Machina: Testing the limits of particles

Jan 25th Rudolf Westerholm


Testing the limits of particles



We love particles and voxels, and so does our vfx artist Risto Jankkila. He started to play around with ideas for Nex Machina environments, so it was natural that he would try out “voxelized” particles.

In reality they are just cube particles and not really voxels as they do not adhere to the exact specs, but they are cool and bring the game a bit of that “Resogun vibe”.

In the gif above there is a grid pattern that makes up the voxelized environment of Nex.
All of the environments are made in a similar manner and they are made up of ray traced voxels that can be morphed into basically any shape that we assign to them.

Currently, we morph the artist created shapes into just soft edged cubes, nothing too magical yet, but let’s see what else we can come up with.


We took the particle voxels a bit further and tested them in a mock-up level with a cool cable punk prop.

Here you can see how the spawning cubes float, change size and eventually disappear. The lights on the cables are dispersed also and bring a bit of faint life into the effect.

The particles look very similar to their surroundings simply because they are reflecting their environment, so even though it looks like the cables are breaking apart, it’s just a mirage.

And then we got around to this…

We know that we want to use a lot of particles in Nex and eventually we will find appropriate places to put them to balance out the readability of the game. Before we settle into something that will work in the final game, we really wanted to blow this effect out of the water and see how far we could take it.

Bear in mind, that while the gif above is amazing, in reality it would not work in the game as it does require a lot of processing power from the GPU.

Stay tuned for more updates on Nex Machina, and hit us up on the forums or our social media about what you would like to see while we make the game.


Mikael Haveri, Head of Publishing






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