Gary L. Simmons  rev 11/04/03
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Another limitation of the Marathon engine is how far the player is allowed to see in an unbroken line. The engine doesn't like to show views that are longer than 28 world units. You can make longer views, but it will be bad for you. Hastur doesn't like crashes.

That doesn't mean that all your spaces have to be less than 28 world units in size, though. Allow me the liberty of suggesting we look at Son of Grendel, and Waterloo Waterpark from M2, for two exellent examples of how to show huge spaces without causing the engine to burst into flames.

The two screen shots above were taken from the position on the map, looking straight ahead and to the player's left. The trick here is that the canyon curves out of sight in both directions, so the engine never has to display more than 28 world units in a single view, but the space that the player has to travel from one end of the canyon to the other is more than 28 world units, so it gives the impression of a huge area while skirting the 28 w.u. limit.

On the left you can see the same area in Forge, with arrows showing the maximum views. With the grid on in the background (set to 1 w.u.), it's easy to see how the curving walls limit the player's view to within acceptable distances.

Hastur would be ashamed if I did not show you how to make spaces that are truly immense, up to 56 world units, without the engine cracking like an arthritic knuckle in a hydraulic press. And I have learned that my Master's shame is Grendel's excruciation.

Please turn your attention to the excellent Marathon 2 map, Waterloo Waterpark.

One of the first things you see in Marathon 2 after dispatching the Bobs and Pfhor cluttering up the view, are two long, flooded areas that stretch off to the left and right of the player. As you can see from the view in Forge below, the combined distance from each edge is far more than 28 world units. The trick to such long views is that the player's ability to see into the spaces is restricted.

The long red arrow shows the maximum possible view of the area in Forge's visual mode. Standing at one end of the space and looking across will result in a warning from Forge, and in the game, will cause at best some wierd-looking white space, and at worst a hard crash. However, the player isn't able to get out of the courtyard. His views, shown by the green arrows, are less than 28 w.u., allowing him to see the huge area without crashing Marathon.



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