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[ 2.10 ] New Frob Shader


duzenko
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I'm honestly not convinced this belongs in a menu option. You can always change or disable it via cvars as an advanced user, but menu entries should be limited primarily to those options that have the most use to the majority of players, otherwise the menus just get overloaded with a plethora of options nobody will fully understand. If we conclude that the majority of players actually has a use for turning the highlight off, it would be better to kill the feature.

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Agreed. There is no need to have every possible rendering option exposed via the GUI, just as we don't expose things like image_useNormalCompression or r_skipBump via the GUI.

If advanced users want to configure these options, they can do so via the console.

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Sorry, but I disagree. This is no rendering option, it is a graphical feature completely ruining the atmosphere for some players! Why should we not be able to turn it off? We can even turn of the frob helper and this is just a small white dot...

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12 minutes ago, wesp5 said:

Sorry, but I disagree. This is no rendering option, it is a graphical feature completely ruining the atmosphere for some players! Why should we not be able to turn it off? We can even turn of the frob helper and this is just a small white dot...

r_frobOutline 0

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4 hours ago, cabalistic said:

otherwise the menus just get overloaded with a plethora of options nobody will fully understand.

Yeah? When I played, say, Dishonored and Prey, I sure appreciated having all the HUD customization options in the menus, as opposed to having to hunt down console commands in forums or wiki articles.

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I'm in favor of keeping the menu clean and only having popular and necessary options: IMHO that's the softest approach especially for less technical users.

As far as the obscure settings go... just a thought: Many games now have a menu that lists all vars and lets you edit them, as seen it in both Xonotic and Minetest. It's a list that dumps all cvars, their value, and their description... you can click on any and set the value manually, just from a GUI instead of having to search from the console. With some category grouping added to the mix this might make some users happier to have. To offer the actual example:

xonotic20210811210858-00.thumb.jpg.71c26764f11390d1c49143eca851cab1.jpg

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We could probably at least swap out the menu option for the frob helper with one for the frob outline, since the outline is a much more substantial effect. Or have neither if we don't believe such options should be accessible in the main menu.

There are probably quite a few cvar-only settings that'd be interesting to some people, such as texture resolution, that could go in a submenu as suggested by Mircea.

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42 minutes ago, Dragofer said:

We could probably at least swap out the menu option for the frob helper with one for the frob outline, since the outline is a much more substantial effect. Or have neither if we don't believe such options should be accessible in the main menu.

There are probably quite a few cvar-only settings that'd be interesting to some people, such as texture resolution, that could go in a submenu as suggested by Mircea.

Or make it a single menu entry with multiple options? 1 = "Off", 2 = "Frob helper", 3 = "Frob helper and highlight". Or something among those lines, whatever works best.

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I do wonder if the frob outline is rendering for me as it is supposed to: it shines through everything!  I can see frobbable items from half way across the room and behind obstacles, I can even see frobbable objects inside boxes and drawers.

Have to confess, sometimes I'd be grateful for this, but it's feeling a bit like cheating at the moment.  For instance, the impossible switch in A Good Neighbour (I had a little rant at the time about being unable to find it even after being told exactly where it is) will probably stand out the instant I look towards it.

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1 hour ago, Araneidae said:

I do wonder if the frob outline is rendering for me as it is supposed to: it shines through everything!  I can see frobbable items from half way across the room and behind obstacles, I can even see frobbable objects inside boxes and drawers.

This is exactly what annoys me too. We can pretty much go ahead with quest markers and a mini map if we force this on everybody ;)!

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If you add a menu option to disable/enable the frob highlight, someone else will ask why there isn't a menu option to control the colour. Then somebody else will demand a menu option to change the frob distance. Then another option to control the fade in/out time of the highlight. And on and on it goes...

Dumping everything into the menu is a UI design cop-out. It's basically saying "We can't get this feature to work well, so we'll just get you to figure out how it should work". In my view there are already too many menu options. I have no idea why I would choose "16/32/64 bit colour" or what this means in terms of appearance, although I'm sure it's useful for somebody, somewhere.

If the frob highlight is too bright, or appearing at too great a distance, these problems should be fixed. And if some people still hate it after that, they can turn it off using the cvar. It is factually false to claim that there is "no way to turn it off" when there is an easily-accessible command that allows you to do exactly that.

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11 minutes ago, OrbWeaver said:

I have no idea why I would choose "16/32/64 bit colour" or what this means in terms of appearance, although I'm sure it's useful for somebody, somewhere.

I for one absolutely need the 32-bit colour override (old graphics card?), but it doesn't need to be a menu option.  On the other hand, the advantage of menu options is that you can see what's available.  How do I know what the tunable options are?  There isn't a clear link to documentation as far as I am aware.

Regarding the frob highlight, I think if the new highlight didn't shine through everything it would be less trouble, and it would make sense to me to have a menu selection between "shining" and "subtle" options.  To be honest, the shining bright option is quite nice when you can't find your way around ... but, yes, it is cheating really.

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21 minutes ago, Araneidae said:

On the other hand, the advantage of menu options is that you can see what's available.  How do I know what the tunable options are?  There isn't a clear link to documentation as far as I am aware.

This is it exactly. If it's not in the menus, it might as well not even exist as an option. When I sit down to play a game, I don't start off by searching the internet for what obscure variables I may be able to hack into a different form. I look at the menus and see what the developers have deemed important enough to be customizable.

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13 minutes ago, roygato said:

I look at the menus and see what the developers have deemed important enough to be customizable.

And that's the point, isn't it? The frob highlight isn't designed to be some obscure optional feature that players can enable if they like it. Highlighting the selected object is a necessary part of the game interface, because otherwise you can't really properly interact with the game world. Does the highlight have to take the form of a shining outline? No, of course not. There is a technical reason that we need to replace the current highlight system, which is going to happen one way or another. Since we are replacing it, anyway and since there have been more than the occasional complaint that the existing highlight is barely visible depending on the scene lighting, an outline was suggested as a possible alternative that we could try.

If the outline isn't popular, it can be removed again, that's perfectly fine. I'm not attached to it in any way. We'll just have to find a different new implementation that more closely resembles the existing highlight. But it is *not* the goal to have several different highlights that the players are meant to choose from to their liking. We already have too many obscure options to maintain for too few developers, I don't want another unnecessary choice on top. So let's agree on an actual highlight a majority can live with instead of putting a controversial option behind an obscure menu entry.

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6 hours ago, Araneidae said:

I do wonder if the frob outline is rendering for me as it is supposed to: it shines through everything!  I can see frobbable items from half way across the room and behind obstacles, I can even see frobbable objects inside boxes and drawers.

Have to confess, sometimes I'd be grateful for this, but it's feeling a bit like cheating at the moment.  For instance, the impossible switch in A Good Neighbour (I had a little rant at the time about being unable to find it even after being told exactly where it is) will probably stand out the instant I look towards it.

 

4 hours ago, wesp5 said:

This is exactly what annoys me too. We can pretty much go ahead with quest markers and a mini map if we force this on everybody ;)!

The default design ignores depth in an attempt to address cases where the player can from things inside containers but cannot see them ( see the many missions where cash boxes are under the bar counter at a pub where you cannot see all the coins ). To avoid this "frob highlight through objects" behavior, simply set "r_frobIgnoreDepth 0"

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Is it technically possible to simply make the new highlight clip normally against the existing environment?  That seems to be the main issue with the current design, the fact that it currently shines through anything covering it.

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Just now, Araneidae said:

Is it technically possible to simply make the new highlight clip normally against the existing environment?  That seems to be the main issue with the current design, the fact that it currently shines through anything covering it.

"r_frobIgnoreDepth 0"

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18 minutes ago, cabalistic said:

But it is *not* the goal to have several different highlights that the players are meant to choose from to their liking.

I see, that was the impression I was under. Or maybe I came to that conclusion by myself. :awesome:

In that case, sure, if the new one is how the game is meant to be played, then it by definition shouldn't be an "option".

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28 minutes ago, nbohr1more said:

"r_frobIgnoreDepth 0"

Keep in mind though this will cause the highlight not to appear correctly for some items and be covered when you don't want it to, such as doors where it will be obscured by the doorframe when closed. I preferred that option myself but upon testing I agree with the current default for the majority of frobable items.

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3 hours ago, stgatilov said:

Given that old frob stages will be gone soon (btw, maybe good time to do it already?), what will be left if you disable outline?

Why will the old frob highlight be gone in the first place? What is the problem with something that worked fine for over ten years? If there really is no other way, the new highlight should not be so bright that it kills the atmosphere, it should not be visible through containers and stuff and it should not show any pixel artefacts like it currently does!

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18 hours ago, MirceaKitsune said:

Keep in mind though this will cause the highlight not to appear correctly for some items and be covered when you don't want it to, such as doors where it will be obscured by the doorframe when closed.

Would it help if the glow on the outline extended slightly inside the edge of the object as well (if that's an option)?  I see what you mean about the highlight being obscured when a door is closed, though in a dark environment the highlighted object is bright enough anyway.  I haven't tried frobbing in a well lit environment yet.

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3 hours ago, wesp5 said:

Why will the old frob highlight be gone in the first place? What is the problem with something that worked fine for over ten years? If there really is no other way, the new highlight should not be so bright that it kills the atmosphere, it should not be visible through containers and stuff and it should not show any pixel artefacts like it currently does!

The original frob-highlight was a total hack: As we didn't have the full source code available, we had to resolve to increasing the brightness of objects via the material definitions. Not only is this inefficient, but it also clutters up the material definitions. So, the goal was to fully implement the grob highlight in GLSL, and giving the user the option to customize their frob highlight (thereby increasing accessibility), and while we're at it, fix the frequent criticizm that you cannot see the frob highlight on brightly lit objects. That's where the idea of the outline was born, which you can easily disable through the cvar "r_frobOutline ". Without the outline, the frob highlight should look pretty close to the original hack, at least that was the goal.

To prevent the outline from showing through objects, use the cvar "r_frobIgnoreDepth".

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8 hours ago, stgatilov said:

And... what is meant by "disable new highlight" ?
Given that old frob stages will be gone soon (btw, maybe good time to do it already?), what will be left if you disable outline?

r_newFrob 1 is virtually identical to the old highlight and has no outline.

It can be enabled without setting r_frobOutline 1 which adds the new outline.

4 hours ago, wesp5 said:

Why will the old frob highlight be gone in the first place? What is the problem with something that worked fine for over ten years? If there really is no other way, the new highlight should not be so bright that it kills the atmosphere, it should not be visible through containers and stuff and it should not show any pixel artefacts like it currently does!

The old frob highlight uses material stages. This means that when levels are loaded, every texture def must be scanned for this additional frob data which dramatically increases load times. The additional stage activation also complicates render improvements. "r_newFrob" replaces this with hard-coded GLSL so that texture authors no longer need to include frob stages in their materials.

 

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  • nbohr1more changed the title to [ 2.10 ] New Frob Shader

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