Neighbours From Hell 1 & 2: Linear Interpolation

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Neighbors from Hell and its sequel are strategy games released by JoWood productions in 2003 and 2004 respectively on the PC. You play as a man named Woody who takes revenge on his troublesome neighbor on a new reality TV show by the same name.

The game makes use of linear interpolation. Linear interpolation is used to interpolate between values in a table. It can also be used as a way to animate an object moving between two points by using time as the ratio.

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Linear interpolation in game programming is utilized quite often; it has applications in every aspect from AI to rendering and rasterization. Linear interpolation can be seen as a means of incrementally advancing from one point to another by steps. The parameter used for this advancement is denoted as t so we’ll use that. ‘t’ is passed to the parametric equation constructed from the two points to evaluate the line at an arbitrary location. When t==0, the equation evaluates at the first point, while when t==1 it evaluates to the second point. At t==0.5, the result is halfway between the two endpoints.

In this game your character moves around by clicking in different locations, your walk to the point you clicked at and can go through doors or hide through the same action. Your goal is to play several tricks on the Neighbour, you do this by collecting objects and using them to set up pranks and traps. All of this is done through clicks from the left mouse, the right mouse is used for sneaking in areas that require quite such as the presence of the guard dog, this just causes you to mouse slower.

The interpolation isn’t perfect as your movement are limited to certain paths. If you’ve ever play old overhead games like the original Legend of Zelda, your character can’t move diagonally or in a circle, it’s always up, down, left and right. Neighbour’s From Hell’s movement interpolation controls are essentially the same, fortunately the primitive physics don’t hold down the gameplay and controls.

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Interpolation is also useful for calculating positions of moving objects over time. If you know that a given object is at one point at time t=0 and will be at another point at time t=1, then the object’s position at any intermediate time can easily be calculated via interpolation. This is useful, for example, in smoothing out the visual frame-rate of your animation cycle.

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