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Pretty simple and common problem here. The world I'm designing is fully explorable, no invisible walls or tricks. It's presented as a single seamless area, a School complex with 9 buildings, some of which have 2 or 3 floors and contain many rooms.

The perspective I've chosen is simple, inspired by topdown RPGs: enter image description here

A problem arises with walls. They obscure the player.

enter image description here

I've tried some shaders which draw a silhouette of the player ontop but I don't like this approach, other objects and decoration remains obscured behind the wall. Some kind of dissolve effect allowing you to see through the walls would be preferable, but writing my own shaders is not my forté...

Another problem is with large buildings outside. The camera is at a fixed distance, about 14 metre's away. If the player walks behind a large building (over ~10 metres tall) then the camera cuts off the top of it as it is now within the building.

enter image description here

The only way I can think of fixing this is to adjust the distance between player and camera, but some of the buildings are so tall the zoom-out looks very unusual and impractical.

I suppose this is why you don't see this simplistic camera setup in large explorable games...

While I've been developing games for some years now, I've only come to 3D and Unity fairly recently, so there might be a jaw-droppingly simple solution which I'm not seeing.

Anyway, I'd like to hear some interesting or novel approaches towards fixing these problems, besides the simple ones I've suggested.

I hope that's not asking too much.

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There are 3 options I have seen:

  1. Draw a placeholder, usually a silhouette of the player in a highlight color (orange, red, or maybe blue or neon green), in just the screen area where the body is obscured.

  2. Partial or complete transparency of walls or objects that hide the player.

  3. Change the camera position and/or angle.


The disadvantage of 1. is, as you said, that you still can't see anything but the player, unless you draw placeholders for other objects too.

The disadvantage of 1+2 is that it allows the player to look through walls.

The disadvantage of 3 is that it's near impossible to get right, and there will almost always be cases where the camera behaves erratically.

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