You there! You are blocking my view!

The intent for the next phase of this project is to get the game proper up and running as soon as possible. This will allow me to program and test unit movements, orders and AI. But to achieve this, I would firstly have to crack unit based line of sight (LOS).

As a result of the above, the integration of the army units with the mapping system has now been taken up to a whole new level. The units are now fully incorporated into the mapping LOS system.

There is still some more work to do with unit LOS, but as of now it is mostly working 🙂

Units are now fully integrated with the terrain Line of Sight (LOS) system! Here the light blue unit is blocking the LOS of the dark blue unit. (Click for full-sized image)

Units are now fully integrated with the terrain Line of Sight (LOS) system! Here the light blue unit is blocking the LOS of the dark blue unit. (Click for full-sized image)

Another example of the same unit blocking LOS. (Click for full-sized image)

Another example of the same unit blocking LOS. (Click for full-sized image)

The unit based LOS, just like the terrain based LOS is pixel perfect as seen by this blocked LOS from a circular unit. (Click for full-sized image)

Unit based LOS, just like terrain based LOS is pixel perfect. As seen above by this blocked LOS from a circular unit. (Click for full-sized image)

Here one can see the units on the ground casting LOS shadows from the green unit's point of view. (Click for full-sized image)

Here one can see the units on the ground casting LOS shadows from the green unit’s point of view. (Click for full-sized image)

An example of unit LOS when peering up the hill from the orange unit to the light blue unit. (Click for full-sized image)

An example of unit LOS when peering up the hill from the orange unit to the light blue unit. (Click for full-sized image)

A further example of unit hill LOS, but this time from the perspective of the blue unit at the top of the hill looking down the orange unit on the ground. (Click for the full-sized image)

A further example of unit hill LOS, but this time from the perspective of the blue unit at the top of the hill looking down the orange unit on the ground. (Click for the full-sized image)

Whilst adding units to the mapping LOS system I also decided to add the concept of terrain clutter.

What’s terrain clutter?

It’s a means of modelling small undulations and obstacles in the ground that can block LOS.

With the current mapping system one could quite easily model every nook and cranny of the terrain, but this would take too long and result in exceedingly complex maps. In other words it’s not really practical.

Instead, one can now set the terrain clutter view distance for a map. That way even seemingly flat terrain still has the ability to hide units and block LOS. Units can overcome this ground clutter simply by climbing a hill.

As a result hills will become even more tactically significant. Players will need to send units up hills to allow them to get better views of the surrounding terrain. This will especially be the case where the map is subjected to a lot of clutter.

The photo below shows an example of real-life terrain clutter:

A photo I took on Dartmoor. Note that even on seemingly 'flat' terrain, the horses are starting to disappear from view due to small terrain undulations. This is now modelled in Ancient Armies as terrain clutter.

This is a photo I took on Dartmoor. Note that even on seemingly ‘flat’ terrain, the horses are starting to disappear from view due to small terrain undulations. This is now modelled in Ancient Armies as terrain clutter.

Here the terrain clutter for the map has been set at a mere 500 mtrs. As a result, the brown unit is hidden in terrain clutter and not visible from the blue unit. (Click for a full sized version)

Here the terrain clutter for the map has been set at a mere 500 mtrs. As a result, the brown unit is hidden in terrain clutter and not visible from the blue unit. (Click for a full sized version)

Climbing a hill will allow one to ignore the effects of terrain clutter. The green unit can see the brown unit, even though the blue unit cannot see it. This is because the green unit is high enough to see over the clutter. (Click for a full-sized image)

Climbing a hill will allow one to ignore the effects of terrain clutter. The green unit can see the brown unit, even though the blue unit cannot see it. This is because the green unit is high enough to see over the clutter. (Click for a full-sized image)

That’s it for this week’s update!

Laters

RobP

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