Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

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Kamamura
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Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by Kamamura » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:08 am

The game is excellent, but I miss the following feature sorely.

When planing, the true FOV of a moving vatform should be highlighted with a special color (shade of blue?), so that the player may easily see what's visible for the vatform and what's not. When replaying the plan, the overlapping FOVs would help to easily identify blind spots.

The "v" tool is too crude to be of actual use.

I believe that by implementing this feature, players could spend less time planning while being easily able to forge better plans with fewer obvious flaws. In other words - the game experience would be significantly improved.

Please note that the game must have already implemented this internally, because when generating the actual turn, FOV's of the individual vatforms must be checked constantly anyway. This feature would just enable the GUI to make it visible.
Suvu
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Re: Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by Suvu » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:29 pm

I was thinking the exact same thing, would love to see a dynamic line of sight.
You mean something along the lies of this right? : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x--gl9dmrUc&t=00m33s

(NOTE : The following may not be entirely correct, i'm drawing assumptions based on my limited knowledge in this area :P)

My only concern is that it could be quite costly in terms of performance. (Especially as FS can be run on Netbooks)
At the moment, as the line of sight is not displayed visually like the above video, it's easy to calculate.
You only have to "draw" a single line (called ray-casting) from a unit to all opposing units, if there's something intersecting that line between the units, then there's no line of sight.
(it might actually be a little more complex than that because of the way FS deals with low cover... but it's a rough example anyway)

But if you want to accuratley visualise a units environmental line of sight, you have to raycast from the unit to the corners of every wall on the map. (already, that's much heavier than the method above)
For the directly visible corners, the rays are continued outward from the unit checking for collisions with any remaining walls until the edge of the map is reached (or a set maximum range).
Using the points that are gathered using this process, areas of visibility can be defined, all that's left is to actually draw them to the screen.

Obviously this isn't the only way to achieve this result, you could let the GPU handle some of the grunt work by using dynamic shadows (a light source would be at each unit's position) although i'm not sure how accurate that would be.
Even so, the problem of performance would probably into play once again (mostly for netbooks).

Like i said, this probably isn't entirely correct. If anyone could shed some more light (no pun intended :P) on this subject I would be very interested!

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icebrain
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Re: Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by icebrain » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:45 pm

This has been requested several times in the past including by me.
The thing is that mode7 seems to want us to spend hard time micromanaging.

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Goateh
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Re: Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by Goateh » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:46 pm

From what I remember, it's partly technical limitations of the engine and partly that the devs felt that it made the game too 'easy' in that it exposed things you hadn't even thought of yourself.
Scoregraphic
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Re: Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by Scoregraphic » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:49 pm

I vote for the way it is now. I think it would reduce a lot of fun, if you know for certain that the opponent is not going to see you (or you will see him). Tactics is also about making mistakes, not only go for a success.
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icebrain
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Re: Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by icebrain » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:41 pm

Goateh wrote:From what I remember, it's partly technical limitations of the engine and partly that the devs felt that it made the game too 'easy' in that it exposed things you hadn't even thought of yourself.
Scoregraphic wrote:I vote for the way it is now. I think it would reduce a lot of fun, if you know for certain that the opponent is not going to see you (or you will see him). Tactics is also about making mistakes, not only go for a success.
Those are mistakes due to lack of information, not bad tactic. Showing what each unit sees at any time is not going to reveal much that will give us victory because victory is achieved by making the right tactical choice as to what to do and what your opponent will do, and this the game cannot tell you.
We know the angle of vision of the selected unit but not of others, why ? And why do we have to use the V key and do a 360° check of every wall to find out the actual FOV ? It's ridiculous !
Really it's silly to have us spend so much time moving 5 pixels and running simulations to find out something that we could get from the appropriate tool. I don't see the fun in that. The fun part is in thinking the tactic and watching the outcome.


About performances, if mode7 really wanted to make it low spec friendly, they would have made it in 2D with 3D calculation in the background.

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Kamamura
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Re: Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by Kamamura » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:14 pm

Well, I have read the objections, and with due respect, they are all wrong.

It would make the game too easy - if both sides are given the tool, the game would be no easier nor harder for anyone. It would, however, make planning easier, resulting in more beautiful games, greater satisfaction, and more elaborate plans.

It would take away "fun" - micromanagement is not fun. Using the crude "v" tool on every step of your troops is not fun. Finding out that the enemy shot you because he stood one pixel to the left, and your crude "v" tool did not show you properly that you will never see that point is not fun. Making you work hard to get information you are supposed to have anyway is not fun. It's like playing chess with pieces that look all alike - sure, you will make more stupid mistakes, but that's not "fun", it's just frustrating. How about scrapping GUI altogether and letting you work with only HEX dump of the memory. The information would still be there - but would it be "fun"? No way. Inferior interface never contributes to fun, only to frustration.

Engine limitation - well, I don't know how it's built, so I can't say. It's a damn shame nobody thought about this earlier, though. It's so obvious a feature...
Mulperi
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Re: Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by Mulperi » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:41 am

+1
Rack
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Re: Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by Rack » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:29 pm

If Micromanagement isn't fun then why is Starcraft so succesful? Some people must enjoy it. Though I suppose Starcraft might be succesful in spite of it's own design goals.

Anyway for myself I'd love this feature, only downside I can see is if Netbooks couldn't use it then that would create a disparity between them and better spec machines. That and it would take a lot of work to write. But I'm definitely in favour of this.
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Krusty
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Re: Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by Krusty » Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:36 pm

Even though i would like to see all possible lines of sight, I think what the OP proposes will result in more camping.
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Kamamura
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Re: Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by Kamamura » Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:55 am

Ancient game called "Commandos" had it. Nobody wanted it removed back then. Probably because the game had very low tolerance for errors (1 stupid mistake = level restart).

Camping is situational. With only riflemen, good camping positions are undefeatable. With explosives, you have to be constantly on the move. It's no use to camp in cover when enemy barges in with a shotgun, shooting you in the face point blank.

Once again - this tool would improve both defensive and offensive plans. You could camp better, but you could also devise better offensive plans, sweeping possible cover positions, covering each other's advance. Better plans on both sides = better, deeper, more interesting game.

Ad Starcraft - it sure is popular. So is Farmville. So is World of Warcraft. So was Dallas. That does not mean they are good - they are just popular. There is a huge audience who wants the same thing over and over, without the necessity to learn something. Starcraft is not about strategy, it's about super-fast clicking and memorizing builds. He who clicks faster wins. I don't like it - I am a Dominions 3 player. Clicking does not matter there, long-term plans do. Each to his own, though.
Rodeo
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Re: Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by Rodeo » Fri Jun 10, 2011 10:40 pm

I think I have a reasonable compromise. If the v tool were modified to give a small arc instead of a line it wouldn't have to be dynamically rendered all the time and also wouldn't "give away" points of view the player didn't notice. Seems like the happy medium.

On the starcraft note.. do you really think a so so player would beat a good player who voluntarily reduced his apm? Because it just ain't so.
rmsgrey
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Re: Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by rmsgrey » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:20 am

Rodeo wrote:I think I have a reasonable compromise. If the v tool were modified to give a small arc instead of a line it wouldn't have to be dynamically rendered all the time and also wouldn't "give away" points of view the player didn't notice. Seems like the happy medium.
I don't think it would help much - the current problem isn't with determining visibility from a given position, but with determining visibility from a path.

A better compromise would be the ability to place a beacon on a location of interest and flag when it's visible during the current plan (with snipers and gunners, and shotguns if it's short enough range, you can simulate this by dropping a currently unseen enemy there and seeing whether your unit stops to engage, but explosive types won't register)

By specifying a single location to track, you create a much lower overhead than by tracking the entire map, and you retain the requirement to actually figure out the right corners to check, rather than feeding the player information for free - you just make it more about intelligent tactical thinking than mind-numbing, opponent-boring painstaking examination of every point along a section of the move-path to see whether it has a line there...
Warskull
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Re: Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by Warskull » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:21 pm

Krusty wrote:Even though i would like to see all possible lines of sight, I think what the OP proposes will result in more camping.
Camping is the result of units on the defense beating units on the offense and game types lacking ways to force engagement. You don't have to worry about camping in charge/secure. One side defends, one side attacks.
Kamamura
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Re: Dynamically updated FOV (field of vision)

Post by Kamamura » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:32 am

Moreover, camping just does not work in this game. There is a trick when you offer one unit who does not engage as a target to an enemy rifleman, move to cover before he can hit this unit, while other unit that popped out of cover a second later and was aiming all the time (but was not targetted) will kill the camper.

This works 100%, and if the camper is just static in cover, he has no reasonable way to counter it.
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