General Question

frankielaguna's avatar

What happens to characters when you're not looking at them?

Asked by frankielaguna (256points) May 6th, 2008

Just wondering what happens to characters or NPC’s in video games when the camera is not actually looking at it?

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8 Answers

richardhenry's avatar

The model will remain in the video memory for short term recall. If recall is unlikely occur shortly, then the model will be unloaded from memory, and reloaded on demand. All animations will cease to be calculated, if that’s what you’re wondering — that would be an epic waste of processing power. :)

Hope this helps.

Lightlyseared's avatar

they all light up smokes break out the cards and kick back till their next scene!

fortris's avatar

It depends, in games like GTA IV, they have to be pre-rendered so that when a player looks at a group of people, it doesn’t have to render them all at once, including cars. But in mulitiplayer games, it gets more complex due to multiple camer agales, so they tend not to have man modles on the world map at once.

cage's avatar

In games such as Halo 3, the world is constantly being used by the AI. This is easily proved by the fully 3D replays. I’m not so sure about other games. Oblivion is another good example though i that most characters have a set path, (even though it appears random) as in the monsters and so on are programmed to walk on set paths until disturbed. they would do this continuously on their level until disturbed. Much like Newton’s law of Inertia, in that an object will continue to stay in a set motion (still or not) until an external force is applied. Most games now I believe are built like this, simply because we now have the technology to keep them there instead of having to render them again and again, which would slow the game down considerably.

Hope that helps

richardhenry's avatar

@cage: Exactly correct. Although the model is animated and drawn, the positions and paths are predetermined (within a degree, and alterations to the predetermined path are written to a log) so that although an AI character is not being animated or drawn in any way, if required their position and behaviour is already known at any given time.

frankielaguna's avatar

Question Answered! Thanks! I’ve always wondered this, and now I know. :)

MrKnowItAll's avatar

They make funny faces and rude gestures at you behind your back.

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