Zombies line of vision

Hi all, new to the game and just curious. How much tiles vision has zombies? In wiki I readed “if you can see them, they can see you” but wich other conditions are to that zombie to see you? Crouch affects to that?. I would like to know how and when zombies vision mechanics works to understand it. If through a window a zombie spawns on minimap 40 tiles away, can see you? because makes no sense to see you through the window on a dark spot, and I saw gameplays too where zombies were attracted from a lot of tiles far under instant vision contact.

it really depends on which zombies.

I would say to not use the Wikipedia because it is severely out of date in many aspects, and you can look up specific zombies’ stats if you check the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to Cataclysm.

This said, the premise that “if you can see them, they can see you” is only true in regards to “some” monsters, and in many circumstances it’s not accurate.

For example:

  • A “normal” Zombie has a Daytime vision of 40 tiles, while it’s nightvision is only 3.

  • Whereas a Shady Zombie is the exact opposite: It can only see you 3 tiles away during the day, but it can see you from 40 tiles distance at night or in dark places.

  • A Zombie Hulk, however, can see you from 83 tiles away during the day, which is just a bit out of your character’s vision range if I am not mistaken.

As for what things affect zombies vision?

  • Weather (Raining and snowing cuts down their vision range, but I don’t quite remember for how much);
  • your location (someone who understands the code can potentially explain this better than I can, but the TL;DR is that if you have a roof over your character, the lighting calculations are different);
  • Lighting quality: there are places where even if you are in a “very dark” spot, some zombies can still see you because of how the variable lighting system works, which isn’t very well explained/conveyed to the player in game (other than a near-useless stat that displays whether it’s “bright, cloudy, shady, dark, very dark”, which is very ambiguous and in many occasions wrong and misleading).

Crouch affects to that?

Crouching does have an effect provided the furnitures/items around you have enough volume that it blocks the vision between you and them. For example, if are standing close to a counter near a window in a house, standing, you can see outside, but if you crouch, your line of sight is interrupted. Zombies that haven’t seen you won’t see you until you get up or move away from the counter. This works with cars as well, but the drawback is that your speed will be significantly impacted by this (ie you move slower than normal walking). Whereas if you crouch on open terrain, as far as I am aware, that makes no difference.

If a Zombie Hulk has a vision range of 83 it just means it has an effectively unlimited vision, as the reality bubble has a range of 60, so anything further away than that isn’t active, and thus isn’t seeing anything.

Crouching does have an effect provided the furnitures/items around you have enough volume that it blocks the vision between you and them

With the recent introduction of proning things get a lot more interesting (complicated).

Speaking of crouching, is there a way to Peep over the cover without being seen?

Using [X] (shift+x) and choosing a direction allows you to peek.

You will get the little things saying the zombies can see you, but they cannot. It’s just “simulating” what your situation would be if you were on that space at that particular time.

However, if your walking sound is loud enough for them to hear, then they will probably move to investigate where the sound came from.

(a good estimate is that if you peek around a corner and the zombie closest to you is like 8 tiles away or so, they probably won’t hear anything, assuming you have no traits that reduce your footsteps sound).

Ah yes. But there is no way to, for example, Peek Up (<) to see through a window you are crouching beneath, rather than trying to peek around something in an x/y direction? When I try this in-game, it just says that “there is nothing to climb here” or somesuch, if I recall correctly.

This remembers me another question. If you are saw and zombie comes to investigate, he comes to the place you were saw right? I mean, you can for example border the house in the contrary direction and feel safe?

Peeking only works horizontally or vertically (via z-levels). As far as I am aware, there’s no way to “quickly stand up and then come back down” from crouching or being prone.

So essentially, yes, you can only peek around corners in normal directions, (north, south, east, west, etc) or peek up and downstairs (assuming you aren’t in a buggy building like some houses and the Science Labs).

This remembers me another question. If you are saw and zombie comes to investigate, he comes to the place you were saw right? I mean, you can for example border the house in the contrary direction and feel safe?

If a zombie sees you they will come to where they last saw you, yes, and then if your scent cloud is still around, they will follow the scent cloud until it either weakens or they can’t get through an obstacle.

I’m working on the creature FoV arcs. So far I’m leaning more towards having 150degree field of vision towards the monster direction for most of the zombies. It’ll be possible to have FoV as a tag for monster. Also could have FoV more than 180 degrees.

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Most creatures have a FoV much greater than 180 degrees, and even creatures with forward looking eyes have a perception of more than 180 degrees, although the periphery mostly detects motion. A narrow FoV is something creatures dependent on depth perception have, e.g. predators (including humans, although the origin may well be an adaptation to a life in trees).

However, turn based games don’t mix that well with vision cones outside of specific situations, such as e.g. overwatch. General situation awareness will cause creatures to scan their environment as a general background task, and switch the direction they look when detecting things in the periphery in the real world. Vision cones sort of work in the FPS environment, but only sort of, as they generally implement blinds that artificially restricts the perception because of the distortions that rendering on a screen would cause.

True. Also, I’m not planning to apply it to the player at the moment, even though it’s possible(I remember the way it was done in Sword of the Stars: The Pit). The idea is to be able for a creature to have a blind spot if it’s not agitated by target creature when it’s faced away. 150 degree FoV is for active scanning/detecting at maximum vision range, works really well on diagonal facing directions too. The peripheral vision arc is also planned with way wider angle up to 270 degree, with range/detection(i.e. less likely to notice when person is crouching) penalties.

This will also allow to have sector scanning modes for turrets etc. All the features I’m working on currently will be configurable through debug menu and off by default.

I know this topic is coming up from time to time, and it still didn’t happened. That’s why I’d be happy to hear opinions/ideas on that. From my perspective, I’d like to have it in game in some form, but it shouln’t be overpowered, and shouldn’t cause too much performance stress.

Did you open a PR for this feature? A draft PR would help those interested in this feature keep track of it’s progress. I myself am very interested in this feature as it would introduce real stealth to the game.

I don’t know how it works, for this reason I asked. But my idea is exactly stealth. I don’t like the idea to just be in front of a window and a zombie see me instantly from 40 tiles away through a direct line of vision with a forest and a window in the middle (maybe don’t works right now this way, but you understand what I mean)

I’m going to create a draft with current implementation and a plan for the feature to discuss

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use keybindings for “toggle sight map” or whatever, it might be kinda cheaty but it works and shows all nearby monsters