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Thread: Tearing my hair out with smooth camera scrolling

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    Tearing my hair out with smooth camera scrolling

    I've tried everything. I bought RAGE platform engine and studied it. I've studied this: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/ItayK...eScrollers.php I've used a great smooth camera from an old game engine, but nothing is perfect. I want to be able to have the camera lerp ahead/behind the player if the player either gets too close to the screen or even if they change their X velocity, just to have some element of lookahead! That's the biggest problem I'm having, getting a decent lookahead AND a smooth camera that doesn't try to cook my brain cells with each attempt!

    If ANYONE has a really good example of a platformer camera that's smooth, and doesn't have any blind spots when falling and jumping, please. I'm desperate. I've spent several weekends on this with my painfully bad coding skills and I'm getting nowhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elvisish View Post
    I've tried everything. I bought RAGE platform engine and studied it. I've studied this: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/ItayK...eScrollers.php I've used a great smooth camera from an old game engine, but nothing is perfect. I want to be able to have the camera lerp ahead/behind the player if the player either gets too close to the screen or even if they change their X velocity, just to have some element of lookahead! That's the biggest problem I'm having, getting a decent lookahead AND a smooth camera that doesn't try to cook my brain cells with each attempt!

    If ANYONE has a really good example of a platformer camera that's smooth, and doesn't have any blind spots when falling and jumping, please. I'm desperate. I've spent several weekends on this with my painfully bad coding skills and I'm getting nowhere.
    Have you watched the Youtube 'smooth scrolling tutorial' by Almightyzentaco?

    It sounds like it is exactly what you need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taccy View Post
    Have you watched the Youtube 'smooth scrolling tutorial' by Almightyzentaco?

    It sounds like it is exactly what you need.
    That technique is actually the same as I'm using, albiet the one I borrowed has a shake value as well. The problem all of these smooth scroll methods overlook is there needs to be some lookahead, and usually smoother = laggier = super-short lookahead. Ideally, there needs to be a catchup to allow the camera to overtake the player, or there needs to be a nice, smooth lerp space added in front for when the player changes direction. The same goes for jumping and falling, there's usually no way of easily seeing what's below or above you (while some games use this as a gamepaly mechanic, it's also not ideal). If there was some foolproof way of being able to push the player to, like, 2/3 behind the direction they're travelling to allow for some visibility, it would be a lifesaver for me.

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    I think I may have figured the things you're talking about, though I'm not sure. For example, I don't think I have horizontal lookahead, but Spryke can fall quite fast, and when she picks up speed while falling, the camera begins to fall faster than she does (vertical lookahead).

    Search for Spryke on gamejolt.com, download and play the demo for a bit. If the camera seems to do what you're after, then let me know and I'll take some time to isolate and clean up the camera code so I can share it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Volnaiskra View Post
    I think I may have figured the things you're talking about, though I'm not sure. For example, I don't think I have horizontal lookahead, but Spryke can fall quite fast, and when she picks up speed while falling, the camera begins to fall faster than she does (vertical lookahead).

    Search for Spryke on gamejolt.com, download and play the demo for a bit. If the camera seems to do what you're after, then let me know and I'll take some time to isolate and clean up the camera code so I can share it
    Hey Volnaiskra, I'm a big Spryke fan! Been following development, one of my most anticipated #madewithfusion games! If you could do an example, that would be perfect for me to take a look at, if you have the vertical lookahead, it should be easy enough to adapt to horizontal. It's crazy how few smooth engines have the lookahead, this article really opened my eyes to how much design has been put into scrolling cameras over the years: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/ItayK...eScrollers.php - thanks again, really would like to see your example!

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    Yes, I read that article too - it was my main point of reference while I was making Spryke's camera! There's a really surprising number of factors to take into account with a good camera, and a lot of approaches to consider. I ended up doing stuff that had never occurred to me before.

    For example, when jumping up a wall, you don't want the camera to have any horizontal movement at all (since you just want it to follow your character upwards without distracting left/right wobbling), yet when jumping off a wall, you need the camera to shoot out horizontally really quickly, so that you can see where you're jumping. This was a tricky balance to get right (actually, this part is still a bit buggy and needs more work, tbh). Whether the camera moves a lot or not at all is a huge difference, yet the engine can't possibly know what is needed until the last last millisecond (if/when the player suddenly changes direction while on a wall) and needs to smoothly adjust to either extreme as quickly as possible.

    Anyway, I'll have a look at it - hopefully today - and try and get something. Hopefully I can get you an MFA, though it might only be a screenshot. The reason is that while I'm more than happy to share my camera solution, I don't want to publicly share my character movement. Not that there's anything particularly revolutionary with Spryke's character movement, but it took me months to fine tune and get just right, and its somewhat unique feel is a fundamental part of the game. If I can manage to separate out the camera code and combine it with a more generic character movement, I'll publish it. Otherwise, I'll need to just post a screenshot of my camera code.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elvisish View Post
    ... this article really opened my eyes to how much design has been put into scrolling cameras over the years: http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/ItayK...eScrollers.php - thanks again, really would like to see your example!
    That is a very good article! So far my games do not require any camera movements, but I keep this in mind for future projects.

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    ok, I'm working on it. It's taking some time to untangle all of my code, remember how it works, strip out the irrelevant stuff, etc. But check back in a day or two (hopefully you can wait that long).

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    Here's the example I've been using: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qqx29vux764qood/TEST.mfa?dl=0 - it really needs some way of being able to catchup properly so there's some lookahead for both directions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Volnaiskra View Post
    Yes, I read that article too - it was my main point of reference while I was making Spryke's camera! There's a really surprising number of factors to take into account with a good camera, and a lot of approaches to consider. I ended up doing stuff that had never occurred to me before.

    For example, when jumping up a wall, you don't want the camera to have any horizontal movement at all (since you just want it to follow your character upwards without distracting left/right wobbling), yet when jumping off a wall, you need the camera to shoot out horizontally really quickly, so that you can see where you're jumping. This was a tricky balance to get right (actually, this part is still a bit buggy and needs more work, tbh). Whether the camera moves a lot or not at all is a huge difference, yet the engine can't possibly know what is needed until the last last millisecond (if/when the player suddenly changes direction while on a wall) and needs to smoothly adjust to either extreme as quickly as possible.

    Anyway, I'll have a look at it - hopefully today - and try and get something. Hopefully I can get you an MFA, though it might only be a screenshot. The reason is that while I'm more than happy to share my camera solution, I don't want to publicly share my character movement. Not that there's anything particularly revolutionary with Spryke's character movement, but it took me months to fine tune and get just right, and its somewhat unique feel is a fundamental part of the game. If I can manage to separate out the camera code and combine it with a more generic character movement, I'll publish it. Otherwise, I'll need to just post a screenshot of my camera code.
    Absolutely understand your situation, I'm lucky, all my ideas are pretty rubbish so it doesn't really matter what I share! :p

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