Cyberpunk 2077

About Red Dots in Cyberpunk 2077

Content of the article: "About Red Dots in Cyberpunk 2077"

So I just watched the latest gameplay footage from the Night City Wire Special and as someone who is into guns as well as game development and also made a few weapon mods for games, the red dots in CP2077 are bugging me a lot – So I don't know how familiar you guys are with Red Dots (holo/reflex sights) but what they do is basically project a reticle through lenses into your eye in a way so even when you shift your head, the reticle will stay on target…

So in the demos we saw so far, especially the older ones, you see they just slapped a glowing reticle onto the sight's glass, which means it will always appear in the center of the sight, which would make aiming impossible in real life

Deep Dive trailer

Now, I did notice they improved upon this in the latest gameplay, as they added a trigger that only shows the reticle when you aim down sights, but the reticle is still right on the glass, which means you can still notice that something is off during the ADS animation:

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Night City Wire Special

Some may say this is nitpicky and high-level whining but at least for me it doesn't just break the immersion, it generally just feels very old-fashioned as opposed to most other AAA and even some indie games, and it should be quite easy to implement correctly (which I'll get to later) – though the issue isn't just with the appearance of the reticle, the way they implemented it means there can't be weapon sway in any way, the only way the weapon is allowed to move (e.g. from recoil) is straight backwards, which makes the gunplay feel very artificial and static visually – if you implemented it the right way, you could, depending on what you prefer, also make the gun move vertically and sideways, which would lead to a reticle that mostly stays still on the center of the screen while the gun jerks around, or, if that's what you prefer, even add a bit of rotation so the reticle will jerk around as well

As to how to implement this, I've mainly seen two ways – the way I did it is create a transparent plane with the reticle that only gets rendered through the sight's glass, and move the plane a fair bit in front of the gun:

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this isn't exactly elegant, but it works, though I don't know how efficient and suitable for a AAA environment it is… the other way basically achieves the same thing, but with just one shader and a bunch of vector math magic – It's a Unity tutorial, but the math behind it is universal and should be easily transferable into another engine. You should also be able to apply it to different weapons/sights rather quickly, just slap the shader on and swap the reticle out…

While I'm pretty sure they wouldn't add this before release, it'd be nice to hear some opinions, if this bothers anyone else as much as me, and what you think of this – and who knows, maybe someone at CDPR actually sees this and they change it after release


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