Delaney King

Delaney King



On last tip before bed time: A "Dog leg" is a section of a level where you cannot see both exits from any point in the room. An S shape or a Z shape, for example. They allow you to hide or unload one area when you pass through a trigger volume in the middle of the dogleg.

There is nowhere you can stand in the middle corridor here and see both A and B no matter how you turn. So the minute you hit the green and red line in the middle you can load and unload A or B.

*joker voice* ta daaaah... and... it's gone.

You can use this trick to not only remove sections of your world, but switch them out instead. For example, you cross a bridge, go into a tower and down some spiral stairs (a dogleg) and as you exit the tower, you see what appears to be the bridge you just crossed.

However, while you where on the staircase, some bugger switched out all that complex geometry with a simple one sided exterior-only version of the bridge that is set up to collapse for a cut scene.

With a few careful uses of doglegs, you can keep the scenes very light and quick to stream from the hard drive, rather than having to pause the action to... I dunno... very slowly push open a heavy door or cut to a loading screen.

Remember, optimising doesn't just mean rendering speed- it can mean loading speed and memory usage, which results in seamlessly transitioning around an open world or respawning quickly after death.

The downside of dogleg triggers is that they can fail to load areas if the player glitches or exploits to the location. It can also mean AI doesn't kick in, depending on how you set up your triggers. Adding additional trigger volumes to correct this is a good idea.

Just remember when you unload art that the enemy AI may need to retain the path collision mesh for movement. Otherwise walking around some corners will have hostages falling off into the void before you reacue them.

If you wanna see some interesting results of this, speed runners deliberately force parts of the ship on Goldeneye to despawn, forcing the AI to use a direct b-line from door to door of loaded sections, speeding up the time you can complete the level. Very smart.

So that is dog legs. Enjoy.

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