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Official soft shadows soon?


vorob
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So i followed this message:

 

But back on a serious note, as nbhor has mentioned hopefully for TDM 2.04 we will have fully working soft shadows.

Any screenshows of how it work? Will it work by default? So all FMs will become softshadowed?
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There's no guarantee this will be working for 2.04, before people start getting their hopes up.

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I can't see any value in building expectations when we don't know what is or isn't possible.

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What there is so far is a proof-of-concept that isn't good enough -- some major glitches -- and if it ever gets good enough, there'll still be a pile of work to do to integrate it nicely with the engine, in a way that makes it complementary to other engine enhancements we'd like to try: we want a general OpenGL3 rendering path, not just isolated features tacked on to the existing OpenGL2 path here and there. That said, the SS proof-of-c using OpenGL3 and GLSL does work pretty well and efficiently as a standalone module without messing up any existing code. It's not a PP effect, it integrates tightly at every rendering stage by wrapping the existing code, instead of altering it. So it *could* be released it we can get it good enough. But I've slowed off after a month or two of trying every trick in the book to get rid of the remaining glitches, and finding that each of them sprouts as many new glitches as it cures. So no promises at this stage. SS is an imprecise art -- no engine does it correctly at fast frame rates, so you have to try lots of things and pick the least bad option. With hindsight, I'd have started with one of the other OpenGL3 enhancements that we discussed instead of SS. Those do have perfect answers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Loose lips sink ships. ;)

 

 

Today it's "Loose tweets sink fleets" :D

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"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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I know this has been asked and answered elsewhere already, but i forgot the outcome actually. Will it be possible in future versions of TDM to display the shadow of the protagonist? I remember that someone said that the protagonist doesn't have a full play model or so and therefor it would be impossible to display the shadow. Not sure if this is possible in any way, but when displaying the shadow of the player, there also would be an option that AI gets alerted when the shadow falls somewhere they can see it and stuff like that, and it would open up a whole new possibility gameplay wise.

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It's already possible to turn on the shadow, although the player animations are limited. It's not officially supported so it's rough around the edges, but I think some people play with it on.

 

Having AI notice it would be very difficult to do, and would make the game insanely difficult.

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It's a console command but you can add it to Darkmod.cfg too:

 

http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=Performance_Tweaks#Player_Shadow

g_showplayershadow 1

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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I use the playershadow, it doesn't animate all that well and the arms just stay by your side as you move, but it can be useful here and there as you're moving around to know where you are relative to a light source behind you. I find it to be a gameplay vs fidelity issue, and I'm fine with how the shadow looks (crouching is kind of funny), at the cost of it looking a bit silly at times.

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It actually adds a lot to the atmosphere. I always found it a bit weird to see AI shadows, but not the players one in the game which doesn't have it. Btw, i could have sworn that in Splinter Cell Chaos Theory the AI sometimes actually reacts to seeing the players shadow. Not entirely sure if that's the case, but i sometimes wondered why i got noticed when sneaking up from behind. Didn't always happen though, so i'm not 100% sure if it's true.

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It actually adds a lot to the atmosphere. I always found it a bit weird to see AI shadows, but not the players one in the game which doesn't have it. Btw, i could have sworn that in Splinter Cell Chaos Theory the AI sometimes actually reacts to seeing the players shadow. Not entirely sure if that's the case, but i sometimes wondered why i got noticed when sneaking up from behind. Didn't always happen though, so i'm not 100% sure if it's true.

 

They probably hard-coded it for a few places. It's a surprisingly hard problem, either the game gets insanely difficult, or the effect is worthless.

 

I'd too would love to see the player shadow getting fixed, tho. It adds to the athmosphere a lot when it looks correct.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -- George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)

 

"Remember: If the game lets you do it, it's not cheating." -- Xarax

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They probably hard-coded it for a few places. It's a surprisingly hard problem, either the game gets insanely difficult, or the effect is worthless.

 

 

 

Or the thing gets implemented like this: AI sees the players shadow, stops its guarding routine (if any), wonders "What's that?", turns around, sees the player (unless you hid in time), then draws his weapon and attacks if player is visible. But true, you got to have full knowledge of where the light sources are at all times, and with a couple of light sources, and the need to figure out which shines more bright, or which is nearest this can get damn hard, not to count the multiple shadows with multiple light sources then.

 

Nonetheless, as you said, a fully working shadow would a nice thing to have. :)

Edited by chakkman
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It actually adds a lot to the atmosphere. I always found it a bit weird to see AI shadows, but not the players one in the game which doesn't have it. Btw, i could have sworn that in Splinter Cell Chaos Theory the AI sometimes actually reacts to seeing the players shadow. Not entirely sure if that's the case, but i sometimes wondered why i got noticed when sneaking up from behind. Didn't always happen though, so i'm not 100% sure if it's true.

 

I actually ran into this same statement on the RPGCodex forums. Someone was complaining that TDM wasn't realistic and was crap because AI don't notice player shadows and/or silhouette . When I told him that no game does this he mention SC CT.

I downloaded the game and tested it, and it does not. Unless of course as was stated, there are scripted events.

 

I also noticed that loud noises affect AI's hearing, but again, it's not a comprehensive system; it's only affected by ambient noises such as thunder, so it's scripted.

 

So it did a few cool things with Stealth, but in almost all respects, Thief 1/2 surpassed it.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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Or the thing gets implemented like this: AI sees the players shadow, stops its guarding routine (if any), wonders "What's that?",

 

How would you code that? How often does a persons shadow look like a person and not some weird blob? What's to stop me in real life, from standing in the light a certain way, so my shadows blends into the surrounding shadows? In the game the AI would either have to always know the players shadown belongs to the player, or they have to have some insane image recognition coded into the game, something on par with advanced facial recognition but redesigned for body shape.

Also, that would make the game too hard, we already have tons of complaints from the general public that our game is too hard even on Easy.

 

TDM is in a perfect spot in my opinion; hard but not too difficult, and if I want it harder, I can increase AI hearing and seeing acuity.

I always assumed I'd taste like boot leather.

 

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I think a lot of these questions (wether AI would know whose shadow is that, recognize its an enemy's rather than a neutral, or a friendly's shadow, etc) would be solved by the mapper, really. Its the same for doors or missing loot, the mapper assigns important things that AI are supposed to recognize, according to his understanding of the mission's structure and common sense. If we were to have an Area system where you can tag rooms (like the one previously discussed for tagging places as neutral or forbidden to the player), you would be able to use shadow recognition is a meaningful way: yes, a cast shadow of someone is not particualrly suspicious in the lower quarters with all the maids and servants going about their business and what not, but inside the throne room that is locked where the guard knows for sure nobody should be there, or inside the master chamber where you are the lord and you wake up and see a shadow moving around, you know for a fact theres something wrong going on and you would investigate.

 

So the mapper would know which places inside the mission are right for AI to be suspicious of another presence beside theirs, be it the treasure room or a small storage room nobody should be at this hour, so perhaps this could be a way of making it work.

Edited by RPGista
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I think AH was talking about the technical logistics in recognizing a shadow as a human's shadow. If the player is standing still, his shadow could look like anything depending on the angle the light is hitting him and what other shadows are intersecting his shadow. That's a totally separate issue from whether the guard would find a human shadow suspicious.

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