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eelke_folmer

implementing freelook

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Free look (also known as mouselook) is a term that describes the ability to move the mouse to rotate the player character's view in any direction. I'm a n00b in 3d graphics but I am interested in what impact freelook has on your existing game architecture or underlying game model. Is this different for FPS versus 3rd person shooters? E.g. God of War does not support freelook for example, (Bit annoying if you're used to it). If your camera view only follows your character I can imagine you only have to make scenes (models and textures) that are in visual range of where your character can go (so maybe no ceilings etc, if your character cannot go up). Freelook would dramatically change this wouldnt it? Anyone has any ideas on this or knows how it is implemented?

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Having the ability to free look in a game gives the player a sense of control and a more personal attachment to the character. Depending the on the game or situation, however, it may not be the most appropriate choice over a fixed camera position. FPS games, by nature of first person, require the ability for free look. Free look does make designing level geometry a little more hairy, since you have to account for odd viewing angles and positions the player may assume while playing/exploring/goofing around.

As for how it is implemented, are you trying to get an idea of the math involed in say, moving along a vector that the camera angle creates? (ie moving forward in relative to the camera view in any direction) Or are you looking for implementation differences of design and functionality of free look over fixed viewing positions?

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Thanks for your reply, I'm just interested in the "big picture", e.g. the level geometry issue that you discussed. I'm trying to get an idea whether its easy to implement freelook during late stage design. But this depends on your level design as I assumed, I can imagine that its a bit easier/cheaper to design levels this way if you are working with a fixed camera, I don't know how much you can save but I can imagine this decision can save maybe 20% of your art costs as you don't have to make sure your geometry is close (e.g. checking for odd angles to detect texture faults ect.

- it also poses contraints on your input devices: how do you implement freelook on a FPS on a mobile phone when you don't have a (freemoving) device such as a mouse or thumbstick?

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Quote:

how do you implement freelook on a FPS on a mobile phone when you don't have a (freemoving) device such as a mouse or thumbstick?


Perhaps use the num keys to control the different view axis'?

Also I would say basing your game on the limitations (or not) of your viewing perspective is essential from the start. It's not something that is always easy to switch later on.
ex: Imagine an isometric perspective game where you don't need to worry about a ceiling. Now think about what would happen if you changed perspective to first or third person. Get my drift?

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Quote:
Original post by Dirge
ex: Imagine an isometric perspective game where you don't need to worry about a ceiling. Now think about what would happen if you changed perspective to first or third person. Get my drift?


Okay but is it easy for a 3D engine to switch from isometric to what-this-other-view called? Its all a matter of rendering right?


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Quote:
Original post by eelke_folmer
Quote:
Original post by Dirge
ex: Imagine an isometric perspective game where you don't need to worry about a ceiling. Now think about what would happen if you changed perspective to first or third person. Get my drift?


Okay but is it easy for a 3D engine to switch from isometric to what-this-other-view called? Its all a matter of rendering right?


The point is, if you designed a game to be isometric, you probably didn't put ceilings in say dungeons, if they're only single-story. So take that and add the ability to get a first person view, and now when you look up you see the sky, where you would expect a ceiling.

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