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[ 2.10 ] New Frob Shader


duzenko
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So we will get an identical looking highlight with shorter loading times, that is great! Still I think the outline difference is big enough to get a menu option, maybe like someone suggested as part of the frob helper menu point to not add another one.

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Yeah, replacing the frob helper with a disable outline can't really hurt.  I personally haven't had much of an issue with frob and brighter light in too many instances.  If people want the classic look, it wouldn't hurt to make outlines easy to turn off.  

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Only thing I care about is for the frob outline effect to remain on by default, it's a beautiful and modernizing addition that needs to stay. As far as the menu goes, am okay with whatever... would recommend one setting if possible though, to have both outline and frob helper together in some form.

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Although I like the frob outline and in the vast majority of cases it's only helpful, there are a few cases where I find it annoying, as a mapper.  For example, I have one of those secret wall-doors, not frobable but opened by switches on each side.  On one side the switch is hidden behind a moveable skull on the other side of the room, this being the side the player first enters the area.  On the other side I put the switch on the wall near the wall-door.  Now when I enter the room the hidden switch pops out as one of the first things visible, just when the player is first wandering around.  There's no longer a mystery, the switch is no longer hidden by the skull.   Also, the switch on the other side of the wall-door is clearly visible right through the wall as I wander around.  So as a mapper I have to figure a way to hide the frob outlines - else the area is spoiled.  No doubt I can do this, and go through my map to find other instances of the kind.

Less bothersome cases are where e.g. I put loot in a box and where I've put a water arrow or something down in a more easily visible area nearby, the water arrow serving the dual purpose of being a decoy - the impatient player grabbing it and thinking they've cleared the area out quickly moving on.  But lo and behold, when creeping in to grab the arrow, the frob highlight of the loot pops out right through the box.  So, I put the box further away or whatever.  However, what about the 150 already built missions?  This issue is going to impact them, too.

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My main issue with the new outline is that the default is too bright. Most FMs have you in very dark areas, so a flash of white across the screen is both jarring and hard to look at. I did find the settings for ARGB values in the config file, but it was pretty tedious to get the settings just right because of having to trial and error through loading screens.

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11 minutes ago, Gin said:

My main issue with the new outline is that the default is too bright. Most FMs have you in very dark areas, so a flash of white across the screen is both jarring and hard to look at. I did find the settings for ARGB values in the config file, but it was pretty tedious to get the settings just right because of having to trial and error through loading screens.

A bit dimmer it can be, agreed with trying that. I'd keep the color white, IMO no default color will match all environments, otherwise a little less alpha could do.

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7 minutes ago, MirceaKitsune said:

A bit dimmer it can be, agreed with trying that. I'd keep the color white, IMO no default color will match all environments, otherwise a little less alpha could do.

I went with black. A:1.5 RBG:0. The outline only kicks in when the background is bright, and when it's dark, it's still there but harder to see, but the object highlight kicks in instead.

capture.jpg

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8 hours ago, Gin said:

I went with black. A:1.5 RBG:0. The outline only kicks in when the background is bright, and when it's dark, it's still there but harder to see, but the object highlight kicks in instead.

That looks like an idea, althouth I can still see the artefacts at the bottom of the lamp. It might fix the issue of geegee though, which otherwise would make me suggest to keep the old version as the default to not spoil secrets in older missions!

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8 hours ago, wesp5 said:

That looks like an idea, althouth I can still see the artefacts at the bottom of the lamp. It might fix the issue of geegee though, which otherwise would make me suggest to keep the old version as the default to not spoil secrets in older missions!

A fix that requires the player choosing the right options on something as basic as this isn't good.  In v209a switches aren't seen through walls and with a bit of care in placement can't be seen in places like under the skull, either.   But with the shining frob outline, they're seen like with a spotlight - inescapable. As a mapper, my solution just in case the shining frob outline is included either as default or as a choice (once a player chooses to enable something like that they're not going to change it according as which FM they're playing at the time - such choices tend to be permanent), is to cover the switches with a clip textured atdm:target_set_frobable entity and give the skull a spawnarg immune_to_target_setfrobable = 1.   And to put items in boxes with lids or etc. so something has to be targeted - opened or switched on or etc - before the player can reach it.  

Anyhow, I'm glad I'm an end user and not a dev.  

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2 hours ago, geegee said:

A fix that requires the player choosing the right options on something as basic as this isn't good.

Which is why I said that if the developers can't find a solution to this, the default should be the old highlight.

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If switches are frobabble through walls that isn't a problem with the frob highlight, it's a problem with the frob line-of-sight check. It would imply that it was already possible to frob those switches through the wall, if the player could guess where they were without actually seeing the highlight.

As for the highlight being "too bright", remember that objects need to be frobbable even in bright light (e.g. candlesticks), so a universally dim highlight is a problem. There was some discussion about making the highlight adapt to lighting conditions, but I'm not sure if that turned out to be difficult to implement.

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3 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

As for the highlight being "too bright", remember that objects need to be frobbable even in bright light (e.g. candlesticks), so a universally dim highlight is a problem. There was some discussion about making the highlight adapt to lighting conditions, but I'm not sure if that turned out to be difficult to implement.

You get diminishing returns from applying white to already bright colors, that's why I set it to black. White doesn't actually solve what the outline is supposed to solve.

capture.jpg

Edited by Gin
Added example pictures
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2 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

If switches are frobabble through walls that isn't a problem with the frob highlight, it's a problem with the frob line-of-sight check. It would imply that it was already possible to frob those switches through the wall, if the player could guess where they were without actually seeing the highlight.

Yes.  But since a player doesn't frob randomly at everything (like wall-strafe-frobbing in wolf-3d) throughout the game a mapper doesn't have to worry much about that except at obvious places like chests etc. where putting a atdm:target_set_frobable entity is the fix - there's nothing to frob 'till the player opens the lid.  But with the frob highlight shining bright through a bare wall there's no guessing - the player is attracted right to it and clicks it.  Thus the need to use a atdm:target_set_frobable entity there, too - and that isn't always so straightforward.  

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A frob "highlight" is all about contrast. When its bright, adding more white really doesn't cut it. Gin's solution obviously always works, but looks ugly.

The ideal frob highlight would brighten objects in dark environments and darken them in bright environments. It would most certainly not show objects hidden by geometry.

Maybe, it could additionally increase the saturation of the object to "highlight".

And if GLSL can do that, it would be nice to have a surrounding background blur instead of the glow as that would make small objects stand out more in front of "noisy" backgrounds - without being too "in your face".

Edited by Abusimplea
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11 hours ago, Abusimplea said:

 

The ideal frob highlight would brighten objects in dark environments and darken them in bright environments. It would most certainly not show objects hidden by geometry.

 

 

Having the outline appear behind objects is one of the things being tested, so if people don't like it, they should chime in.

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2 hours ago, Springheel said:

Having the outline appear behind objects is one of the things being tested, so if people don't like it, they should chime in.

That you can see it right through geometry is anti-immersive and I've never seen such a thing in a game.  Aside from the issues I mentioned above, consider the player sneaking through a room with stuff hidden under papers, vases etc, none of which is now hidden.   Desks aren't mysterious, perhaps containing drawers with loot or notes.  Instead, with the whole drawer brightly x-ray highlighted it becomes center of the scene - the desk becomes this semi-transparent afterthought.  This seems totally alien to TDM - which has a deep and beautiful game world.

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25 minutes ago, geegee said:

That you can see it right through geometry is anti-immersive and I've never seen such a thing in a game.

It's not uncommon. Drawing outlines is one of those things that sounds like it should be pretty simple, but is actually technically difficult. Even harder is drawing outlines that are properly occluded by depth. The option `r_frobIgnoreDepth 0` is a total hack that has numerous drawbacks, but it is also the only method I'm aware of doing it without spending an obscene amount of time on the implementation.

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55 minutes ago, geegee said:

This seems totally alien to TDM - which has a deep and beautiful game world.

I completely agree! It may be fine for a game where the player has occular implants or similar tech like in Deus Ex or Cyberpunk but it destroys the TDM atmosphere.

Edited by wesp5
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IMHO the current system is sufficient too. Its the same as in Thief which worked well I think. I find these dark auras not very fitting, especially if they're hard to implement. But again, that's just my opinion on what I saw a few posts above.

"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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58 minutes ago, cabalistic said:

The option `r_frobIgnoreDepth 0` is a total hack that has numerous drawbacks, but it is also the only method I'm aware of doing it without spending an obscene amount of time on the implementation.

Is the major drawback that the outline will then be obscured by doorframes etc?  Can the outline be changed to have a subtle "inline", so the "inline" would then be visible?

An option to ignore depth wouldn't be quite right since the casual player wouldn't know why or how to choose it - and really the only fix would be to hardcode it so the player can't in effect break the game for what seems to me to be a lot of FMs.

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3 minutes ago, geegee said:

Is the major drawback that the outline will then be obscured by doorframes etc?  Can the outline be changed to have a subtle "inline", so the "inline" would then be visible?

The drawback is that it has a fairly huge performance cost, and yeah, that the depth will block it. Inline is theoretically possible, but not trivial, and will not resolve the issue in all cases.

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16 hours ago, cabalistic said:

The drawback is that it has a fairly huge performance cost

I reverted to v209a and played for a couple hours and still think the frob outline in the 2.10dev build is better in general, and by quite a bit.  I wouldn't want to go back to the old style.  So what is the performance cost of depth blocking?  Wouldn't that cost only be paid out for the brief moments something is in frobbing distance, and at those times where the player is paused or almost paused isn't fps much less of an issue? 

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3 hours ago, geegee said:

I reverted to v209a and played for a couple hours and still think the frob outline in the 2.10dev build is better in general, and by quite a bit.  I wouldn't want to go back to the old style.  So what is the performance cost of depth blocking?  Wouldn't that cost only be paid out for the brief moments something is in frobbing distance, and at those times where the player is paused or almost paused isn't fps much less of an issue? 

It should be remembered that you can only frob-highlight one item at once, must do so from up close and will usually stare at a wall while doing it, and will only do it for a brief amount of time to frob the item; A rare and temporary performance impact caused by one model for a second wouldn't bother even me, unless it's massive enough to truly notice a slowdown. And I've actually been a bit obsessed with maximizing my FPS in TheDarkMod.

Like I said my main issue with occlusion for the highlight is that it looks bad in some circumstances: Objects will also hide the highlight when it would be bet not to. Try looking at a drawer in a stack of drawers from a desk: The drawer below / above hides the highlight of the currently selected drawer which makes it only show on the sides of that drawer.

Idea: If we do add a menu option for this, we could give it three values; Off, on, on with occlusion.

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

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