Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jumping Jack Rabbits!

As a follow up to my rant about missing arena shooters a few weeks ago, I thought I would make a short post about what exactly 'bunny hopping' is in first person shooters is. Or at least what it should be deemed as.

Many games, especially older ones, had some technique of moving faster than normally intended. Some of these were innocent exploits of in-game physics. Others were hard-coded in. Gaining control of these techniques and using them to your advantage was considered essential to becoming a better player and opened an entirely new avenue of possibilities in terms of player skill and creativity. Moving around a map with efficiency was just as important as shooting your enemy.

One such technique was called 'bunny hopping'. This existed in games such as the Quake and Half-life series which actually are all derivatives of the same engine. In Serious Sam, bunny hopping was coded in and made significantly easier for players to use. In the Unreal Tournament series it was non-existent, but replaced with 'dodge jumping' and other combinations of jumps. The truth is, while most games had some sort of movement enhancing options, they were not all performed the same way.

I will freely admit I am not an expert at bunny hopping in the Quake engine games. In fact I am sure I am pretty terrible at it. Nevertheless, these 'trick jumps' were the sort of thing you naturally picked up on after playing a few hundred games and it was not uncommon to see other players doing it as well online. After pressing jump so many times you begin to get a feel for the physics, and certain situations where you turn the mouse randomly to allow you to accelerate faster than you should. "Why..." you ask, "... should I simply not emulate this all the time?".

Sad as it may be, there seems to be some confusion amongst newer gamers as to what 'bunny hopping' is/was. "It's where you press jump repeatedly" they will say, "making you much harder to hit." Well, half of that is true. When you bunny hop, you do become a little harder to hit. But it is not as simple as pressing jump. As true 'bunny hopping' is remarkably different for every (oldskool) game, I think I will use a simple demonstration.

This is not bunny hopping:

That is called pressing forward and jump repeatedly.

This is bunny hopping:

... and I'm not going to tell you how to do it.

Mainly because you will need a keyboard and mouse to start with.


No comments: