Gary L. Simmons  rev 11/04/03
Litterbox  Forge Tips  Hastur's Workshop

The Battle Cat's Litterbox

Distance errors can occur at the strangest times, but they are all caused by something (not strange mysterious forces as Grendel once thought). Previously in section 1 of Long Views, you learned of the "straight line theory". In this section, you will learn the "odd-space straight line theory".

This is confusing, Grendel try to explain as well as Grendel can, yes. If you can learn to bend your mind, you will understand this more clearly.

We be Ground Pounders has to be one of the most pressing to the limits level created in terms of Distances. All the main hallways were maxed on views, and if a person was ever to get outside these halls in space, they would receive many many errors of max distance overshoot.
(We be Ground Pounders is part of the EVIL scenario for Marathon:Infinity)

One area caused big trouble, yes indeed. This was the incredibly large Juggernaught Bay overlook. The problem occured when looking out from the central hall system out towards the Bay Control center (the thing that looks like the tongue of the beast). Looking at this control center was fine, but when turning away from it, wasn't. Grendel will now demonstrate, yes.

Distance errors can happen when you're looking at a wall (or so you think you are), but to Marathon you could still be looking very far away.

In this image, you see two green lines and one red line. The green lines show the safe viewing distances, where the red shows where its a few WU's over the max viewing distance.

Now pay attention to the polygons marked P, M and F. Grendel will be referring to these throughout this section, so pay attention!

But you say there is a wall in the way of that long maxed out view? Doesn't matter. When looking out towards Polygon P, Marathon will track that polygon as a whole when you look and turn, so long as PART of the polygon is still in the view of your screen (could be to the left side, or right).

Polygon P is a long long polygon that is situated lengthwise from where you look out. Having a polygon, of this size, that far away from an observation point is not good.

This view is safe. Looking straight out into the middle has a distance of 24WU. In this view you are looking at Polygon P directly (just like one of the green viewing lines above). Now imagine turning slowly to your right in this view...

...when you look over to your right a little bit from the middle you were just looking (the red line above), you will get an error. It's because Marathon still thinks you're viewing along down that Polygon P, since Polygon P is still in your ear of view. Doesn't matter if it's over to the left or not, it will still draw ALL of Polygon P when looking that direction.

This max's out this particular view to around 32WU!

Solution? Grendel cuts up those nasty long polygons to make two smaller length polygons. See how Polygon P is now two polygons? (the red circle shows the split points)

By doing this, the long polygon is no more. Now when you look along Line B, it is safe. The green shows the safe viewing now. The grey line, following the green line, is where the view used to go before you cut the polygon.

Now turn your attention to where the splits are. Notice how they are just past green line A. This is so that the second polygon made will NEVER be viewed from that hallway. If it is never viewed, then it will never be taken into account for distance by Marathon. Neat huh?

So as you can see, if you have a long polygon that is out near danger zone of max distances, you should hack it up as much as you need to make the polygon in view, shorter.



Back to the Litterbox