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[Adonthell-devel] See-through walls

From: Kai Sterker
Subject: [Adonthell-devel] See-through walls
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 22:24:14 +0200

When chatting with cirrus two days ago, the topic of the character
disappearing behind walls came up again. In v0.3, we had extra "front"
wall pieces that where transparent, but in v0.3, where we don't have a
map per single room, this would look more than strange. Something more
automatic is needed.

So far, I was thinking in the direction of making complete wall
sections transparent, either just one or two wall pieces in front of
the player, or the complete stretch of wall. The problem here is that
it leaves hard edges and detecting which pieces to make transparent
and which not would be tricky. It also fails when the character enters
a forest and suddenly the tree tops hide the character.

Yesterday, I had a different idea. Like the character shadow, we could
have an "overlay" that is projected not at the ground, but at objects
between the player controlled character and the camera. The overlay
would have to be applied to all those objects alpha channel, thus
making them transparent where the player is located. If the overlay is
created with smooth gradients, the effect should look fairly
unobtrusive and blend nicely with the rest of the view. With my measly
artistic skills, I've fabricated a little sample of what it might look

Implementation-wise, it could be a property like the shadow, but only
set on the player-controlled character. During movement, it would be
applied to all objects that obscure the view onto the player. Here we
probably have to create a copy of the image and change its alpha
channel in software, but since it will affect only few objects and the
area won't be too big, that shouldn't slow things down a lot.

I'd limit the effect to scenery only, so that items or characters in
front of the player would not be affected. We could also add a
threshold, so that items would have to have a certain hight to get the
effect. So a table or chair would remain solid, while a wall or tree
would allow to see the player character behind.

As for the shape of the "overlay".I went with an ellipse in the
example, with the most transparency in the center, but we'd be
completely free in that.

What do you think? Sounds like something that might work, from visual
and game-play perspectives?


Attachment: transparency.png
Description: PNG image

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