[MUD-Dev] Re: Graphic design doc

Chris Gray cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA
Wed Jan 20 19:31:24 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999

[Thinus Barnard:]

[While article on graphical client setup trimmed - I have no particular
points to discuss, just general things.]

The question I got on reading your design is that of whether or not
you are intending to allow smooth motion from room-to-room, or if you
will just redraw the new view immediately when the character moves. I
didn't see an explicit mention of this.

The reason I ask this goes back to a much simpler mazewalk-type program
I did many years ago (on CP/M!). It was vector-only (only the room
corners and door outlines were drawn), so the pictures were far less
detailed. However, what I did find was that it was very easy to get
confused about where you were and what direction your were facing if
the picture just instantly jumped from one room's view to the next's.
Since I was only drawing lines, not displaying bitmaps, the next step
of smooth-walking down the corridors was do-able and greatly increased
the usability of the demo program.

Now, my knowledge of modern graphics techniques is pretty minimal, but
it seems to me that if you are already needing to scale the bitmaps, you
could go the one step further and allow smooth walking views as the
character goes from one room to the next (turning is harder - I never
did try that, other than some discussions and doodling). Something
like 16 frames displayed when going from one room to the next ought
to be enough. It is tricky getting the ratios and corner positions right,
but is doable (I did it with all 16 bit integer calculations, and an absolute
minimum of divides - it should be cleaner code with floating point).

Don't design inefficiency in - it'll happen in the implementation. - me

Chris Gray     cg at ami-cg.GraySage.Edmonton.AB.CA

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