Inspired by the bottled liquid physics in Half Life Alyx, I decided to attempt making my own for the SteamVR interaction system in the Unity Engine.
This featured YouTube video of mine showcases the development process, along with some shader tricks, that I used to essentially fake the bottled liquid physics. Unsurprisingly, there are a multitude of benefits to adding the appearance of responsive liquid. The most obvious quality bump is that bottles now stand out to the player. This further invites interaction, which is good considering you’re healed by drinking their contents. Drinks aren’t consumed all at once, either; as the player pours the glowing health sludge onto their face, it’s pretty important to know how much is left, should the player need more for later. This may go without saying, but seeing physically approximated liquid in bottles can really boost player engagement.
Check out this moody scene from the same game, and you might just spot a few empty bottles laying around. This room belongs to the janitor you play as, the same guy with the affinity for healing soda. If you’re interested, future updates about this game will also be available on this site. A related post pertaining to this game’s development is available here.