Elden Ring's tissue physics is FromSoftware's secret weapon

When you first start Shadow of the Erdtree, be sure to enjoy The ancient ring unsung hero: fabric.

FromSoftware has long been the master of dynamic tissue physics. That is to say, a cloth that does not follow a predefined animation, but which moves in a procedural way, based on a physics engine of the game.

It seems simple, but it really is really hard to do.

But FromSoftware has been doing it for years, and Ancient Ring is just the latest and greatest manifestation of the studio's obsession with clothes. Ancient RingHowever, the fabric is not only technically impressive. It communicates vital information about the world and the characters who populate it.

Take Mohg, for example.

He's a messy kid who loves drama – and he's dressed for it. The cape he throws over his shoulders is sumptuous red velvet, with a fringe of gold pompoms.

“It's very, literally, in my opinion, theatrical,” noted visual artist Faith Schaffer in an interview. “It’s your classic red curtain with gold fringe.”

Mohg is the shunned child of the royal lineage, but instead of accepting a life in the sewers, he is convinced he will create his own dynasty. This plan involves somehow dressing like an absolute pimp and kidnapping his half-brother. But in reality, he has one of the most baroque outfits in the game, which reads like extreme compensation for the royal treatment he was denied. He puts on a show.

And FromSoftware always goes the extra mile when creating dynamic fabric. The Godskin Duo wears, yes, flesh. It looks disgusting, sweaty and blobby. That would be disgusting under any circumstances. But this flesh tissue has its own physical parameters that cause it to wobble and wobble.

This is a great example of FromSoftware's ability to use purpose-built physics to create movement. If they had copied and pasted the same physical parameters they used for a velvet shawl or a cotton cape, it would still be painful. But they went the extra mile and adjusted the dangling parts of the dress so that they moved with a distinct cartilaginous wobble.

To learn more about how FromSoftware's fabric contributes to Elden Ring's incredible world-building, watch the video above! And be sure to subscribe to Polygon on YouTube to stay up to date with all our latest news.

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