On 28 Sep 2011, at 21:14, Curtis Olson wrote:

> I suppose it would make sense to grep through the code, but as far as I know, 
> the primary uses of the visibility value is to properly set the OpenGL fog 
> parameters and determine how many rings of tiles to load centered on the 
> current location.

>From a software engineering perspective, it would be great to have a 
>centralised, explicit place where visibility is managed, and especially the 
>purpose of visibility - since what's needed for scenery loading vs 'fog' 
>(atmosphere effects) vs weather loading vs AI / multiplayer ranges may not all 
>agree, but most of those things currently look at the global visibility 
>property and make some guesses, or apply some heuristics based on that number.

Unfortunately, going through the code to find out what will break, is an ugly 
job -  as you have probably realised. In the short term, I think most systems 
need a 'how far away do I conceivably need to load / simulate items' metric - 
not necessarily in meters - but really that should be dependent on the observer 
position of course.

Hopefully ThorstenB will have some comments, since he's the person who most 
recently touched the tile-loading code, which is by far the most sensitive 
thing (in terms of system performance) for how we compute visibility.


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