Transparent windows


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The problem is that your suggestion works only for semi-transparent windows. [..] Half-solutions tend to always work out that way, either they get skipped or result in more work to make them complete.

That's at least how I see it.

I agree with you on that.

some smart person will come and ask why you did not make it work with fully transparent windows [..] eventually have to make it work with that case too

Well, as a developer you can always say no to this request. But in any case there are only 2 ways of doing this: using 3D skyboxes (detailed or as I suggest) or making cabin interiors a part of the map.

First way is easier unless you want it to reflect the real state of things such as presence of wolves or blizzard, in this case you'll have to make lot's of workarounds which will be buggy and have redundant resource consumption.

Second way is also pretty much easy? if you don't care about optimizing resource consumption. It will screw the map optimization and so on. The thing is I don't know how Unity engine works and how does the visibility zone calculating system works here. In any action fps game it wouldn't be a problem at all, but here I can't advise.

Of course if it is possible to further optimize the map visibility zones it would be great to have all the buildings as a part of one big map. I know how optimizing is done in source games, but not here. So I'll just suggest a workaround:

make a building a part of the map, then for every window make a hemisphere (boxes/dodecahedron) with projection of what can be visible from any point outside and place it behind the glass. From far away the windows will have textures like now or interior projection on a flat surface behind the glass (real interior won't be rendered), at a closer positions the flat projection will fade out, revealing hemisphere, at close up range they will also fade out enabling the interior render.

There are 2 additional conditions: 1) interior rendering should get enabled only when you're close enough plus if there is a window of this building in your sight; this way if you are near 3 cabins you'll see the actual render of one of them or none, or 2-3 if windows of all 3 cabins will get in your eye sight simultaneously and you'll be really close to them all. But this is about "some calibrations".

2) hemisphere renders should be done at right sun brightness. I suppose it'll be done at middle sun brightness or higher.

If using hemispheres I suggest having them switched to boxes if the view angle is <= 20 degrees no matter the distance.

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I would love to be able to see outside! My favorite building is the lookout, for me it just adds so much more immersion. I don't have to go outside to see if visibility is poor and go back in side. It would be good to get out of bed and look out of the window and go back to bed like real life :). However, like everyone has said, its remote location makes it a terrible base camp, so we all use Trappers Cabin or the Office.

In saying that though I can see why they did it. Something I don't think has been mentioned yet is that the interior of the building doesn't match the exterior foot print. All the interiors are actually a lot bigger than their exterior would have lead you to believe. However there small size externally adds to the cartoon look and feel of the game, which I think is at a perfect scale.

From a work perspective they would be better off setting up the builds in the map than creating a heap of sky boxes and limited external terrain, each building would become a heap of work if they did that. Were as now the dev's can build an interior and pretty much plug a portal to it from anywhere on the map.

I do really like the idea of key buildings having this option, but try and picture how big the Camp Office would be based on its interior, would the game look the same, I'm not sure! Me for one, I hope they find a balance and add this feature to a few key building.

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I've played one other game where I've seen a long discussion and explanation on indoor/outdoors. What it comes down to is processing power and ease of implementing interiors that may or may not fit the exterior. It's a lot easier to have one artist do the exteriors and another think of interiors knowing a rough idea of what the exterior is. Remember, yes there may by only 20 items in the interior, but if each building has some different meshes/textures that 20 could jump to 100-1000 quickly of 10 buildings. All this has to be stored in memory. Where as a simple cabin with no interior is only one item, and multiple may be only 5 items. This allows the game to be more approachable by older systems, which is a wider audience. Yes this is 2014, but there still are limits, and you hit them fast with post processing and other new aged digital magics.

( the explanation I read was much more technical and better written I just forget where it was in that particular forum)

Also the added bonus of loading in to an interior is that in the future that interior could be randomized (to limits) every time you start the game. Very time consuming if everything was procedurally generated in one single world, not to mention mind numbingly hard to implement.

I quite like how they've done the instances so far, but I would like to see some sort of scratching and sniffing and howling if a wolf was RIGHT, outside the building. So you could at least tell which side of the building thing thing was on so you could run out.

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As long as you can not see everything from outside, I refuse fake box windows.

Thats why I love to stay overnights in the lookout so much.

For me it's perfectly fine to just see the daylight from inside, considering those glasses are scratched out by the snow, faded them down or totally frozen, or even intended to be like that, lol.

Possible ideas would be to show more of the weather conditions on those windows, for example if the sun shines, or if its cloudy or snowing maybe.

Combined with the real exact sounds from the outside, not only the weather, maybe also the wolf howling, or the steps of the deers if they are very very near would be a point on my wishlist :)

But maybe the programmers come up with a simple solution to make the windows real half or full transparent, like or similar to the lookout everywhere, with virtual distortions of course from scratches, ice, frost and such whatever.

Of course that would be beautiful :D

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