# How to determine the best approximate direction [duplicate]

I want to determine which sprite to use when one agent is "facing" another agent.

My game is 2d, and uses 8-directional movement. Deciding which sprite to use for movement is easy enough since there are only 8 options when moving form one square to another.

def direction(self, start, end):
# method for determining facing direction
s_width = int(start)
s_height = int(start)
e_width = int(end)
e_height = int(end)
# check directions
if s_height < e_height and s_width == e_width:
return 'down'
elif s_height < e_height and s_width > e_width:
return 'downright'
elif s_height == e_height and s_width > e_width:
return 'left'
elif s_height > e_height and s_width > e_width:
return 'upleft'
elif s_height > e_height and s_width == e_width:
return 'up'
elif s_height > e_height and s_width < e_width:
return 'upright'
elif s_height == e_height and s_width < e_width:
return 'right'
elif s_height < e_height and s_width < e_width:
return 'downleft'


It's verbose, but gets the job done. start is the agents current coordinate position, and as you might guess end is the next step in the list of waypoints which makes up an agents path. The problem is that using the same function for determining which sprite should be used when attacking another agent does not look very good at all.

For example, if the target is down, but only one pixel to the right, we would want to show the 'down' sprite, but this function returns 'downright' instead. How can we change it to appropriately return the fitting sprite?

• I'm not 100% sure, but to me it seems like I'm asking for something different than what you linked. – Anonymous Entity May 10 '13 at 5:37
• If you really think so. The answers in the question I linked show both how to get the angle and how to match it to the nearest direction. The answers I the question you linked I only show how to get the angle. – MichaelHouse May 10 '13 at 14:28

You can test the distance between self and target to determine what sprite to use. If the distance is greater than a set MAX, then it looking to left/right otherwise it is just looking down. For example,

let self = (sx, sy) target = (tx, ty)

if (sy < ty)
distx = abs(sx - tx);
if (distx <= MAX_X OR sx == tx)
return  "down"
else
if (sx < tx) then return "downright" else "downleft"
endif
else // handle up


Notes:

1. I am using pseudocode not any specific language
2. I used x/y pair instead of width/height since the former refers to coordinates not dimension like the latter.