A thirteenth installment to the TQ Vault's developer blog feature is now available, this time with Titan Quest developer "343" discussing the game's special effects. A snippet:
Ultimately, what I aim to make are Good Effects. Everyone's seen bad effects in a game, whether they've consciously recognized them or not. In many ways, bad video game effects are like bad effects in movies or television. When you're watching a Space Monster movie and you can see the strings holding the monster up, you're taken out of the fiction. When this happens, your disbelief is a little less suspended, and you're reminded that you're watching something, not participating in it. Good effects keep the player inside the fiction. If you just shot a fireball at a Satyr, you don't want to think about framerates, polys, or little square pictures of fire flying across your screen. You want to believe that a fireball has just been discharged. Most players will never think about the technical minutiae of a game. They don't care how effects are made, they just want them to look good. That's why effects are an important element of the gameplay experience. They're a valuable part of the "Smoke and Mirrors" that we developers utilize to keep the player believing in our world. Done correctly, they become an invisible part of a living environment.