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Developing a Game With Realistic Graphics in Unreal Engine

The Reissad Studio team has told us about the story and development of Bodycam, an upcoming FPS with photorealistic visuals being created in Unreal Engine 5.


Reissad Studio is a French video game studio founded in 2017 by two brothers, Luca (20 years old) and Leo (17 years old).

Our journey began with the development of our dream sandbox experience called "Worst World," where we focused on gameplay features that empower the players' creativity. This project serves as a demo reel of the functionalities we are creating. Our second project, "Bodycam," is a photorealistic first-person shooter (FPS) utilizing the cutting-edge capabilities of Unreal Engine 5. Leveraging our expertise in ragdoll physics and multiplayer mechanics, we aim to deliver the most realistic multiplayer FPS of 2023.

Leo started Unreal 7 years ago and was mainly responsible for creating all the features of the game, such as multiplayer. As for Luca, who specializes in 3D, takes care of all the visual effects of the game, such as the bodycam effect. Together we try to cover all the aspects linked to the creation of a video game.


The origins of Bodycam can be traced back to our previous project. In addition to developing features for Worst World, we wanted to test the realism capabilities of Unreal Engine 5. That's why a year ago we began creating Bodycam as a secondary project. We quickly realized that Unreal Engine 5 offered exceptional realism, but to truly impress the human eye, we needed something more. After several tests, we found that degrading the image and overloading asset maps could create a hyper-realistic effect by overwhelming the player's brain with information.

After that, we needed a way to explain this camera degradation. And the only camera with this type of degradation was either police bodycams or VHS cameras. To complete the camera style, we added camera borders and a fish-eye effect.

It's important to understand that this project is focused on both creating a realistic and real playable game. Throughout your reading, you will see that we had to strike a balance between user experience and realism to achieve the best of both worlds.

The Camera

The camera effects are not only a stylistic choice but also essential to bridge the gap between video games and reality.

Fisheye effects are achieved using post-process volume of the scene. We simply use materials that distort the edges of the image. A funny trick for the black edges of the image. It's simply an image in front of the camera! We did this so that the border reacts perfectly to the camera shake and the movement of the character. Also, the borders can really react to the light that surrounds them and other effects such as chromatic aberration and noise.


Another crucial element is the lighting conditions. We primarily use Unreal Engine 5's lighting system, Lumen, to enhance realism while assuring good performances. Additionally, we use HDRIs, which are real captures of light taken with 360-degree cameras, to generate the most realistic lighting possible. We quickly realized that types of light greatly improved realism. But we won’t say more about that!


In terms of game materials, like many independent studios, we rely on asset databases to create our games. It's simply impossible for our small team to create hundreds of assets for a game of this scale. Therefore, we used databases like Quixel Megascans and assets from the Unreal Engine Marketplace. However, our long-term goal is to have a large enough team to be completely independent regarding the asset creation process.

Shooting Mechanics

Our shooting systems and ballistics were designed with realism in mind. We intentionally omitted crosshairs and constant user interfaces to enhance realism. In Bodycam, all weapons fire from their barrels, so if you aim and the enemy is in the sights of your weapon, you will hit them.

Once the bullet is fired it takes a short time before reaching the target. The time is very brief but enough to see smoke passing by at full speed. We act on the trace of the impact and the sound effect depending on the object it hit.

In bodycam every headshot is fatal, bullets in the limbs are less harmful but can cause a hemorrhage which allows the player to follow their target by the blood stain on the ground.

Advantages of Unreal Engine 5

Unreal Engine has been fundamental in achieving the level of realism we desired. While it presented challenges, no other game engine can match this level of realism. Our biggest challenge has been optimizing the game to run smoothly on a wide range of computers, as we want to make it as much accessible as possible to the majority of gamers.

We also aimed our project to demonstrate the game's realism through an unedited gameplay trailer to showcase what players can expect. Lastly, making a bodycam multiplayer is very hard in realistic animations replicated/10 players optimizations/less user interface/keep user experience. We think the multiplayer part was ¾ of the game job.


In terms of marketing, we faced several unknown purchase barriers to us, which were both funny and original, such as convincing potential players that the game is indeed a game, that it won't explode their PCs when playing and that it offers a multiplayer experience. We believe that Unreal Engine will revolutionize the world of video games, and it's up to our community of young developers to demonstrate to the big industry that achieving this level of realism in a video game is possible in 2023. We are proud to be the first studio to release this kind of multiplayer game that we will be able to experience all together!

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