```FOV using recursive shadowcasting - Bj????rn Bergstr????m [dungeondweller@swipnet.se].txt

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1.INTRODUCTION
--------------
A working field-of-view (or commonly known as line of sight) algorithm is one of
the essential parts in any roguelike. A FOV algorithm is used to calculate which
mapcells, within a given radius, that can be seen, or in the case of a
lightsource, which mapcells that are lit.

The simplest approach is to trace lines from the center out to all of the
mapcells at the edge of the radius and stopping when a mapcell is blocking line
of sight. The problem with this approach is that many mapcells are visited
several times, most often near the starting point and more seldom at the edges.
There are a few things that can improve the performance of this simple approach.
The most obvious is improvement can be made when a blocking mapcell is hit.
Using a simple calculation all rays that cross the blocking mapcell can be
skipped, hence improving performance. All of this is covered in detail in other
LOS articles. "Line of  Sight" by Tobias Downer is a good starting point.

Even if the "rayskipping" described above is implemented many mapcells will be
visited more than once, thus vasting CPU time. To overcome this a totally
different approach must be used. This approach is called shadowcasting.

---------------
Shadowcasting divides the FOV calculations into eight octants and visits the
mapcells in a totally different way than normal raycasting, described above.
Instead of tracing lines from the center out to the edges, shadowcasting visits
mapcells row by row or column by column, starting with the nearest row or column
and working it's way outward.

------>  6 row 6 last
----->  5 .
---->  4 .
--->  3 .
-->  2 row 2 second
->  1 row 1 is scanned first
@  @ this is the starting point

When a scan comes across a cell that blocks LOS it calculates which other cells
in rows/columns farther away that isn't visible because of the blocker. Those

-...---  - = visible cells
-..---  # = blocking cell
-#---  . = cells in blocker's shadow
----
---
--
@

Fig.2b Cells in shadow of blocker

Normal shadowcasting is described in detail in the article "Computing LOS for
Large Areas" by Gordon Lipford. Gordon's algorithm uses a temporary array and
is rather complex. Using recursion one can achieve a clean and pretty fast
algorithm that only visits non blocking and blocking cells, leaving out the
cells in shadow. The algorithm is especially fast in confined areas such as
corridors and small rooms.

3.DEFINITIONS
-------------
In order to understand recursive shadowcasting one need to understand what the
slope and inverse slope of a line means. The slope is calculated using this
simple formula:

slope = (x1 - x2) / (y1 - y2)

If we draw a line between [6,6] and [5,3] the slope would be:

slope = (6 - 5) / (6 - 3) = 1 / 3 = 0.33333

If we were to walk along this line we would find that for each step that we
decreased y, x would be decreased 0.3333.

The inverse slope is simply 1 / slope.

-------------------------
Recursive shadowcasting divides the field of view into eight octants with shared
edges. The field of view will look like this when the octants are marked:

Shared
edge by
Shared     1 & 2      Shared
edge by\      |      /edge by
1 & 8   \     |     / 2 & 3
\1111|2222/
8\111|222/3
88\11|22/33
888\1|2/333
Shared   8888\|/3333  Shared
edge by-------@-------edge by
7 & 8    7777/|\4444  3 & 4
777/6|5\444
77/66|55\44
7/666|555\4
/6666|5555\
Shared  /     |     \ Shared
edge by/      |      \edge by
6 & 7      Shared     4 & 5
edge by
5 & 6

Fig.4a Area of coverage by each octant

octant row by row or column by column, depending on the octant. In each octant
the rows/columns closest to the starting point are scanned first.

In octant 1 and 6 the scans are performed row by row, going from the leftmost
cell to the rightmost cell in each row.

In octant 2 and 5 the scans are performed row by row, going from the rightmost
cell to the leftmost cell in each row.

In octant 3 and 8 the scans are performed column by column, going from the
topmost cell to the bottom most cell in each column.

In octant 4 and 7 the scans are performed column by column, going from the
bottom most cell to the topmost cell in each column.

When a blocking cell is found a new scan is recursivly started one row/column
further away, covering the area up until the first cell in shadow of the
blocker. The rest of the initial row/column is scanned and subsequent blocking
cells directly adjacent to the initial blocker is skipped. If a new section of
non-blocking cells, followed by a blocker, is found the procedure is repeated.

I will try to illustrate the procedure described above using some simple ascii
drawings. The area that we wish to calculate a field of view for looks like
this:

................. 16  @ = starting cell
......###....... 15  # = blocking cell
.....###....... 14  . = non-blocking cell
....###..#..## 13
...##........ 12
............ 11
........... 10
.......... 9
......... 8
........ 7
....... 6
...... 5
..... 4
.... 3
... 2
.. 1
@

Fig.4b Field of view

Rows 1 through 11 are all scanned without any problems from left to right. When
the rightmost cell is reached a new scan is started one row further away, just
as described before.

If we were to draw a line from the center of the starting cell to the center of
the leftmost cell in any of these rows we would find that the slope is 1. We
call this the scan's start slope. If we would do the same for the rightmost cell
the slope would be 0. This slope is ofcourse called the end slope.

When we reach the 12th row things are becoming a bit more interesting. The
recursion is started when we get to row 12 and hit the blocking cells.

................. 16  # = blocking cell
......###....... 15  . = non-blocking cell
.....###....... 14
....###..#..## 13
...x#........ 12  x = first blocking cell

Fig.4c The first blocking cell

When the first blocking cell is hit (x) a new scan is started on row 13. The
start slope is ofcourse the same as for all of the previous rows (ie. 1), but
the end slope is different. The end slope is calculated using a line from the
starting point to a point that 'brushes' by to the left of the blocking cell. If
we zoom in it looks something like this:

+---+xxxxx#####  x = first blocking cell
|   |xxxxx#####  a = point that 'brushes' by to
|   |xxxxx#####      the left of the blocking cell
|   |xxxxx#####
+---axxxxx#####
+---++---++---+
|   ||   ||   |
|   ||   ||   |
|   ||   ||   |
+---++---++---+

Fig.4d Zoom in on the first blocking cell

Thus, the end slope is obtained using a line from the center starting cell to
the point marked 'a' in the figure. This gives an end slope of about 0.82.

Ok, so now we have two scans; the original that continues to scan row 12 until
the rightmost cell is reached and a new scan that scans row 13 from the leftmost
cell (start slope 1) to the cell at row 13 that intersects the line with a slope
of 0.82 (end slope):

2222............. 16  # = blocking cell
2222..###....... 15  . = non-blocking cell
222..###....... 14
222.###..#..## 13  1 = original scan
111##11111111 12  2 = new scan

Fig.4e Current scans

the first blocking cell and recursivly started a new scan one row further away
with a new end slope. The original scan now checks the next cell and finds that
this one is also a blocking cell. Since the previous cell was a blocking cell
too, we have come across a section of blocker and just continue scanning until
we reach a non blocking cell:

................. 16  # = blocking cell
......###....... 15  . = non-blocking cell
.....###....... 14
....###..#..## 13
...##o....... 12  o = first non-blocking cell after a section of blockers

Fig.4f First non-blocking cell after a blocker

When the first non-blocking cell is found after a section of blockers we need to
calculate a new start slope for the scan. This is done using a line from the
center of the starting cell to a point that 'brushes' by to the right of the
blocking cell. If we zoom in it looks something like this:

##########aoooo  o = first non-blocking cell
##########o   o  a = point that 'brushes' by to the
##########o   o      right of the blocking cell
##########o   o
##########ooooo
+---++---++---+
|   ||   ||   |
|   ||   ||   |
|   ||   ||   |
+---++---++---+

Fig.4g Zoom in on the first non-blocking cell

Thus, the new start slope of the original scan is obtained using a line from the
center of the starting cell to the point marked 'a' in the figure. This gives a

Ok, once a scan has reached it's last cell the scan is finished and a new scan
is started one row further away if, and only if, the last cell was a
non-blocking cell. In the case of our original scan the last cell was a
non-blocking cell so a new scan is started one row further away with the new
start slope of 0.68 (instead of the old 1).

When the original scan starts on row 13 a blocking cell is immediately found:

................. 16  # = blocking cell
......###....... 15  . = non-blocking cell
.....###....... 14
....##x..#..## 13  x = blocking cell in original scan

Fig.4h Starting with a blocking cell

When this happens we continue scanning until a non-blocking cell is found. In
this case the next cell is a non-blocking cell and we calculate a new start
slope in the same manner as on row 12 when we passed the section of blockers.
After this is done we continue to scan from left to right until we reach the
last cell or until we hit a blocking cell. In our example a blocking cell is
found before we reach the last cell:

................. 16  # = blocking cell
......###....... 15  . = non-blocking cell
.....###....... 14
....##...x..## 13  x = blocking cell in original scan

Fig.4i Another blocking cell

A new scan is now recursivly started in the same way as on row 12. The scan has
the same start slope as the original scan (0.68) and an end slope of a line that
'brushes' by to the left of the blocking cell (marked x in fig.4i). Now we have
three active scans:

2222......33..... 16
2222..##333..... 15
222..##333..... 14
222.###11#11## 13

Fig.4j Active scans

The same procedure is repeated once more when we move out of the blocking cell,
find two new non-blocking cells and the run into yet another blocking cell:

2222......33444.. 16
2222..##333.44.. 15
222..##333.44.. 14
222.##111#11## 13

Fig.4k Active scans

When the original scan ends at the rightmost cell in row 13 we end with a
blocking instead of a non-blocking, as we did in row 12. Since the original scan
ended with a blocking cell a new scan is NOT started one row further away. We
now have scan 2, 3 and 4 to do the job of scanning the rest of the field of
view. These scans follow the same procedures and rules as the original scan.

When the scans are done we get this field of view:

....ssssss.....ss 16  @ = starting cell
....ssss#..s..ss 15  # = blocking cell
...ssss#..s..ss 14  . = non-blocking cell
...ss##..#..## 13  s = shadowed cells
...##........ 12
............ 11
........... 10
.......... 9
......... 8
........ 7
....... 6
...... 5
..... 4
.... 3
... 2
.. 1
@

This procedure is repeated on the other octants, thus producing a complete
field of view. An implementation along with source and DOS executable can
be found here.