How do you make walls that block dynamic lighting

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TheOneHawk

How do you make walls that block dynamic lighting

Post by TheOneHawk » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:19 pm

this would make my life much, much easier. I couldn't figure it out either be reading the manual or by playing with buttons, so I figure I'll ask. Halp?

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Post by heruca » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:34 pm

Battlegrounds does not have a line-of-sight-based fog of war system, so you can't draw walls that block LOS or that block dynamic FoW reveals. Instead, you use the Manual FoW Reveal tools to reveal the parts of the map that would logically be exposed. For example, in this setup, I used the Polygon Reveal tool on the FoW panel to reveal what lies to the far right, beyond the open door.
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Post by TheOneHawk » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:40 pm

Is that something you're working on, or is it not really in the works? Do you know of any VTT's that do have that other than maptool?

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Post by heruca » Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:55 pm

It is something I might add to BRPG v2, if I ever produce it.

SceneGrinder supposedly had such a feature, but that VT is long dead and the site is gone now. I am not aware of other VTs with this feature, and although MapTools has it, I've heard it can slow games to a crawl under certain conditions or on some computers.
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Post by heruca » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:01 pm

Actually, TTopRPG has such a feature. See it in action in this video.
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Post by TheOneHawk » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:55 am

Thanks for the information. I'll take a look at TTRPG.

It seems strange to me that the only VTT's with this function are ones that seem a little less polished than the big name ones (BRPG, Fantasy Grounds, D20pro). It sucks because this is something I think i would really love to have as both a DM and a player, but the tabletops that are fantastic in every other way are missing it. May I ask why you in particular have decided not to put it in?

Thank you again. :)

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Post by heruca » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:07 am

I'm not too keen on increasing GMs' prep time, which can be considerable already (even for a traditional PnP game). Plus, hard-coding in everything means there's no wiggle room for exceptions in the rules. A lot of special cases seem to occur in many RPGs due to spell effects, special equipment, and the like.

There are several ways of implementing such a feature, but they each have their drawbacks and can experience sluggishness under different sets of circumstances.

I'd be willing to make it an option in v2.
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Post by TheOneHawk » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:11 am

That makes sense. I was just really excited when I saw it as an option in maptools, but then I saw all the other amazing things the more polished VTT's can do and just wish I could put it all together into one perfect VTT, y'know?

I'm sure I'll live without having every single thing in one package, though.

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Post by Omnidon » Wed Jul 17, 2013 4:31 am

heruca wrote:I'm not too keen on increasing GMs' prep time, which can be considerable already (even for a traditional PnP game). Plus, hard-coding in everything means there's no wiggle room for exceptions in the rules. A lot of special cases seem to occur in many RPGs due to spell effects, special equipment, and the like.

There are several ways of implementing such a feature, but they each have their drawbacks and can experience sluggishness under different sets of circumstances.
Well, I don't really feel those are valid arguments for not adding line of sight. Yes, it would require more than one approach to satisfy all maps & playstyles, but there's no reason that more than one technique cannot be implemented at the same time with very little extra effort as long as you keep it in mind from the outset. Yes, it would probably require a highly robust unit manager with flexible custom variables and custom definable rules, but that would already be extremely useful for many other things anyway.
In regards to prep time, I personally find that manual line of sight management requires a lot more prep time than an automatic system would. For example, creating manual masking objects for other rooms inside a building takes a lot of time both before and during game, whereas drawing lines over the walls to indicate they block light does not.

As far as performance is concerned, it is certainly possible to do dynamic lighting at much greater performance than is achieved by the existing VTs. I'm not sure why they haven't optimized their code better, but my own experiments with line of sight have produced fairly efficient algorithms, despite the fact I was using flash which is notorious for being sluggish. The fact that all modern RTSs and shooters include dynamic line of sight calculations proves that it is certainly possible to do in an efficient manner, although I realize that you don't have the staff or budget of a modern game.

My understanding is that the real main reason line of sight hasn't been added to BRPG is due to the fact it would require such a massive rewrite of the code, which is definitely a good reason. That's why it's something that is slated for BRPGv2, if v2 is ever developed.

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Post by TheOneHawk » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:27 pm

Is v2 something that's likely to ever happen, and if so how far down the road is it?

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Post by heruca » Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:55 pm

It's possible. It's even possible that 2013 is the year I begin working on it. But I wouldn't expect anything finished enough to run an actual game on until 2014.
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Re: How do you make walls that block dynamic lighting

Post by Paladius Darkhelm » Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:15 pm

Any updates on v2 and including Los with blocking walls?

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Re: How do you make walls that block dynamic lighting

Post by heruca » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:20 pm

Nothing to report, other than the fact that with a new official release of BRPG (v1.8b), and with the fact that v1.8c will likely be the last update to BRPG v1, we are a bit closer to starting to really think about getting v2 started.
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