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Chris_N

Sport game camera

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Hello. I'm developing a hockey game and I'we decided to rebuild the camera system. The camera system that I have now is very simple, kind of like this (cameraPosition = puck). So now I ask you for how to design a camera so it looks like EA's (nhl), what are the magic ingredients? / Christoffer

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There are no magic ingredients. It just takes a lot more code than "cameraPosition = puck". I think the key is understanding that the camera has several standard behaviors, and the proper behavior depends on what is happening in the game and where the players are. Watch how the cameras are done in a real game. You can do the same plus more.

Here is a brief description of how a camera system might be designed:

Make a list of all the situations (well, you don't have to start out with all the situations), and what you might want the camera to do in each situation. You will see that many of the behaviors have common elements, such as follow the puck or a player, orbit around the puck or a player, zoom in or out, move to in front of the puck (or behind or to one side), etc. Turn these behavioral elements into the methods of a "camera controller". Now, you need something to tie them together into an overall behavior. That would be some sort of script or sequence. Finally, you need something to choose which script to run depending on the situation in the game. That would be the job of a "director".

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I will just throw out some ideas.

I have seen cameras that are essentially 3rd person cameras attached to the player with the puck. You could add a lag parameter so that it swings into view. There are 'full-field' views that can encompass the entire ice rink. You can use splines to construct predefined movements. A 3rd person orbiting camera (focused on the puck) would be nice on a faceoff.

For the main gameplay (the last NHL game I've played was a few years ago), I could see a camera that is oriented towards a goalie. The camera could follow the puck (but encompass the entire width of rink to allow for the view of the rest of the line). It should also lag behind the puck a bit, so that the player can see any teammates/opponents behind him in close proximity. On possession changes, have a momentum-based orbit/lag 180 degrees and go back the other way.

The main requirement a camera system will need is the ability to switch smoothly between types of cameras. i.e. play camera -> goalie camera -> fight camera -> faceoff camera -> etc... You could transition to a new camera view by 'flying into it', fading the screen (transitions), or something else.

These types of games utilize many different camera system. No single camera methodology will give you everything you want.

Hope that helps.

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