Poll

Laser appearance?

Keep it as in RC5 (on the left in the video)
5 (100%)
Revert to pre-RC5 appearance (on the right in the video)
0 (0%)
I don't like either
0 (0%)
I don't mind either way
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 5

Author Topic: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc  (Read 1791 times)

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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2021, 05:53:06 PM »
Alright, definitely sticking with a laser then. A lot of people don't care either way, but among those who do, the preference to stick with a laser is much stronger than that for changing it.

Customizable beam might be tricky. I specifically chose not to use a graphic file in this case to keep the rendering fairly simple (it's already by far the most complex skill as far as rendering goes). However, simple tweaks like changing the color or making it a bit thicker are more feasible. The "blast" effect at the end is another matter - it's fairly feasible to make that come from a graphic file (it already gets the shape, just not the color, from one).

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2021, 11:47:53 PM »
Out of the suggestions around the laserer graphic so far, the most viable (other than alternate sprites, which is utterly trivial to actually implement and is simply a matter of someone making them) is thickening the laser beam. Here's a mockup adding an additional 1px to either side.

EDIT: To be very clear, this is about the visuals, not the destruction size; and is about the laser beam.

It's personally not my preference, but I would be okay with it. Putting up a poll.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2021, 04:45:17 AM by namida »

Offline Proxima

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2021, 03:22:58 AM »
1px thicker would still allow shimmying up the tunnel from inside it, and a basher to continue from the top of the tunnel to the bottom, so I'm okay with that. 2px thicker would still allow both, but the basher continues all the way without ever removing any terrain, which looks decidedly odd ;P

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #18 on: January 29, 2021, 04:44:34 AM »
1px thicker would still allow shimmying up the tunnel from inside it, and a basher to continue from the top of the tunnel to the bottom, so I'm okay with that. 2px thicker would still allow both, but the basher continues all the way without ever removing any terrain, which looks decidedly odd ;P

Sorry, you're misunderstanding. I'm talking about the visual appearance of the laser beam, not the destruction area (visually or physics-wise) around the impact point.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #19 on: January 29, 2021, 01:27:55 PM »
The exact width of the tunnel is as wide as the graphic needs to be, to avoid potential confusion.

Out of interest, how exactly is the laser graphic generated?

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2021, 07:00:26 PM »
The exact width of the tunnel is as wide as the graphic needs to be, to avoid potential confusion.

Try firing a laser where the (current) beam just misses the corner of some terrain, by a couple of pixels, and you'll see why this is a bad idea.

Quote
Out of interest, how exactly is the laser graphic generated?

The lemming, including the laser pointer he's holding, is a completely normal lemming sprite - nothing special about it whatsoever.

The laser itself is just three 1px thick diagonal lines, drawn together, from the lemming to the impact (or range-expiry) point. (The mockup above just adds one further line on each side.) Each frame, it alternates whether it's "inside white, outsides red" or vice versa.

The impact blast uses the additional circles (other than the destruction area one) from the laserer mask file, with hardcoded colors, overlapping them over each other and changing the colors around (with the outermost one sometimes being skipped altogether on certain frames) to create the mock-animation.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2021, 10:11:03 PM »
The exact width of the tunnel is as wide as the graphic needs to be, to avoid potential confusion.

Try firing a laser where the (current) beam just misses the corner of some terrain, by a couple of pixels, and you'll see why this is a bad idea.

I'm not seeing what you mean. However, maybe there's a misunderstanding here... Are you talking about the ball of light at the end of the beam, or the beam itself?

The ball of light should be no wider than the thickness of the tunnel it creates; meanwhile, the laser is perfect as it is (3px wide).

Offline Minim

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2021, 08:07:42 AM »
Sorry that I'm late to the party, but I have some important thoughts to raise after trying out the laserer on a few levels now.

Visually, I'm finding the alternating red and white part of the laserer's diagonal beam far too flashy and strobe (And would certainly give my mum a migraine if she saw this). :XD: I think yellow and white would be less stroby if we still want a flashing effect; otherwise we should have a constant line with white in the middle and red around the outside (See picture below).
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Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2021, 07:46:16 PM »
^ I'm certianly open to this if people would prefer it. I'd like it to have some kind of animation, but perhaps this could just be a more-subtle change in the lightness/darkness of the beam rather than the alternating colors.

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2021, 09:00:11 PM »
Visually, I'm finding the alternating red and white part of the laserer's diagonal beam far too flashy and strobe (And would certainly give my mum a migraine if she saw this). :XD: I think yellow and white would be less stroby

+1, and I'd also promote the idea of reverting to the previous single-strand laser, rather than the double one, for much the same reasons - it's less stroby and more naturally laser-looking IMHO.

^ I'm certianly open to this if people would prefer it. I'd like it to have some kind of animation, but perhaps this could just be a more-subtle change in the lightness/darkness of the beam rather than the alternating colors.

Maybe we can brainstorm some ideas and get something swish :lemcat:

Offline Dullstar

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2021, 06:42:49 AM »
I think something subtle is a better idea than alternating colors, which generally aren't too pleasant to look at (although the laser blaster isn't horrible in this regard, but still).

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2021, 05:06:08 PM »
Here's a video of a laser from shutterstock: https://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-33970387-animation-laser-beam-on-black-background-alpha

The main strand of the beam stays white, whilst the outer part of the beam shimmers varying shades of red. The light beam also appears to move in a definite direction (in this case, towards the ground).

I've made a laser beam object which attempts to emulate this style using alpha channel reds to create waves either side of a single-colour strand. Note that this is a fairly thick graphic just to demo the effect; I'm sure it could be modified to fit the size of the laserer's beam.



(Place the object into your copy of the willlem_special style).
« Last Edit: June 13, 2021, 05:15:16 PM by WillLem »

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2021, 07:57:44 PM »
The whole "varying intensities" thing would be very complicated to implement, and could also result in a huge performance hit (especially if alpha blending is used).

I'm going to narrow the scope down a bit here. I am open to the following changes, specifically:
1. Making the whole beam wider or narrower. Not "different thickness at different points" (but it could be different in different frames of the animation, as long as it's the same for the entire beam in any single frame). However, the beam will remain just a straight line in one or more colors.
2. Altering the colors of the beams in the direction of the laser. To be clear about what I mean here - see the attachment; A is fine, B is not. (I should be clear that I don't see A as a good actual suggestion to use, it's just good for illustrating what I mean here.)

There's a bit more flexibility with the impact blast - the shape of the blast comes from a graphic file, with only the color being determined at runtime.

Do keep in mind that it needs to be adaptable to high-res, too. The same rules apply to high res, although there's twice as many diagonal lines making up the laser, so it can certainly be more detailed - and it is perfectly fine for the high res one to contain a larger variety of colors than low-res (I'd imagine this would most likely be in the form of "some inbetween colors are used to create a nicer gradient" than outright "it's more colorful", but right now I'm just talking about what's technically feasible more than what's a good idea).

Offline WillLem

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2021, 03:55:00 AM »
How about this? It needs a bit more finessing, but you get the general idea.

Offline namida

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Re: [DISC][PLAYER] Laserer - Naming, visuals, etc
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2021, 05:31:47 AM »
I've done something like that (but a bit simpler) in commit 72386dc.