Visibility players calculating with delay

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This can applied to all similar 2D tile game. Is very useful for the performance because it group some calculating and it limit the displayed players.

Drop global position system to drop the maximum map limit, maximum group for map width/height.

This algorithm support partial map, you can keep large hole with border as map.


The player list of visibility is calculated as delayed of the move, instant for the insert/remove. To not reload all the distance list, keep all the list. Ignore very far player, and no store it.

The visibility distance is limited by maximum_distance_visibility and the number of player displayed.

For the local player only (all relative to the current player):

  • Visible player list (player pointer + distance):
while(visible list size < max_visible_player)
  add to visible list group by group, but to keep lower than max_visible_player
  • maximum_distance_visibility: screen radius + number of step before calculation * 1~2.5 (most case 1, but to be exact 2 due to walking to converging, 2.5 to have security)
  • max_visible_player: 30
  • maximum_player_calculation: 50

Distance calculation for the top map: (x+offset)-other_player_x and y+(top map height-other_player_y)

Distance calculation

Call at frequency of (step delay * number of step before calculation), mainly 200ms * 5 = 1s.

if(current map client > maximum_player_calculation)
  send remove order
  empty visibility list
else if(current map client) > max_visible_player || current map client + near map client) > maximum_player_calculation)
  Calculate all new distances (group by distances), on current map, temporary list keep all lower than maximum_distance_visibility
  Calculate all new distances (group by distances), on current map + near map, temporary list keep all lower than maximum_distance_visibility
Do the new Visible player list with max_visible_player
visibility limited = if have not displayed all the player;
if (one entry is not into the previous list)
  send insert order
if (one entry is not into the new list)
  send remove order


if(into visible list)
   Then send remove to player && remove from visible player list;


Calculate the distance
if(distance > maximum_distance_visibility || (distance > more far group && visibility limited == true))
if(visible player list size() +1 > max_visible_player)
  remove the more far group and send remove order
  visibility limited = true;
  if(distance = more far group)
Insert into visible player list && send insert order


  • To send the move: o(n^2), where n is visibility list size, then limited to max_visible_player
  • Distance calculation: o(n^2), where n is player present on the map and then with calculation distance, then limited to maximum_player_calculation
  • Worse case: o(max_visible_player^2)+o(maximum_player_calculation^2)/number of step before calculation


  • Blue: Where number of player < max_visible_player (here: < 30 players)
  • Red: Where player number < maximum_player_calculation (here: < 50 players)
  • Yellow: Stop calculate because player number > maximum_player_calculation

To have instant remove, you need store number of player ^ 3 into you memory, else you need remove on all the map, and it's complexity with all the player. Due to multi-map problem.

To optimize, you can calculate the distance only if player number need be limited. Wrong because it win few performance, and don't use max visibility.