Sunday, 20 November 2016

Gameview scrolling styles

The gameview of Kaduria is based on a technical limitation from ancient past. With tiles you had a limited space for the gameview and games like Ultima solved the visibility problem by placing the player character at the center of the view and then scrolling the gameview after each step.

When I watch gameplay videos of DCSS (Dungeon Crawl) I've noticed that scrolling at each step is kind of irritating. It's not that obvious when you play yourself rather than just watch however. What I find interesting is that ADOM is also scrolling per move, but only if there is more level to be displayed. At the ends of the level ADOM's gameview is not scrolling which is soothing to eyes. Another trick that helps is smooth scrolling. In fact it may be a bigger factor to make scrolling easier to follow (especially when watching gameplay videos).

The other option to scroll is known as "push-scrolling" which means more level is displayed when a limit is reached. The problem with push-scrolling is that you have to handle visibility somehow, because it's not always the same distance you or enemies can see, unless you limit the vision in the currently displayed gameview also.

I'm planning to move from centered gameview to push-scrolling style in Kaduria. Yes, after more than 20 years of development. Yet now when there are less limits on resolution it's possible to use a large gameview with 32x32 pixel tiles (or even bigger) if the resolution requirement is the current full HD. Who knows when Kaduria is released the now full HD is a small resolution.