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with no surplus or deficit in time between frame ticks, the step value is 1 . If the current frame
tick took longer than a single frame to finish, the value is greater than 1 (a deficit). If the cur-
rent frame took less time than a single frame, the step value is less than 1 (a surplus).
For example, if the last frame took too long to process, the current frame will compensate by
movingeachobjectalittlebitmorethanthe step valueof 1 .Let'sillustratethiswithasimple
Let's say we want the saucer to move five pixels to the right on each frame tick. This would
be a dx value of 5 .
For this example, we also say that our desired frame rate is 40 FPS. This means that we want
each frame tick to use up 25 milliseconds ( 1000/40 = 25 ).
Let's also suppose that the timeDifference between the current frame and the last frame is
26 milliseconds. Our game is running at a deficit of 1 millisecond per frame—this means that
the game processing is taking more time than we want it to.
To calculate the step value, divide the timeDifference by 1000 : 26/1000 = .026 .
We multiply this value by the desired fps for our game: .026 * 40 = 1.04
Our step value is 1.04 for the current frame. Because of the deficit in processing time, we
want to move each game object slightly more than a frame so there is no surplus or deficit. In
thecaseofnosurplusordeficit,thestepvaluewouldbe 1 .Ifthereisasurplus,the step value
would be less than 1 .
This step value is multiplied by the changes in movement vectors for each object in the up-
date functions. This allows the game to keep a relatively smooth look even when there are
fluctuations in the frame rate. In addition, the game updates the screen in a relatively consist-
ent manner across the various browsers and systems, resulting in game play that is relatively
consistent for each user.
Here are the new movement vector calculations for each object:
player . x += player . movingX * frameRateCounter . step ;
player . y += player . movingY * frameRateCounter . step ;
tempPlayerMissile . x += tempPlayerMissile . dx * frameRateCounter . step ;
tempPlayerMissile . y += tempPlayerMissile . dy * frameRateCounter . step ;
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