My experiments with active zones on a Pocket PC and on the emulator seem to fit with David's and Tydirium's descriptions (if I've understood them correctly). The current behaviour seems to be...
(i) If the "Visible" checkbox is checked in the Builder (in the edit zone dialog), the zone is always visible to the player in the "locations" list, wherever the player is in relation to the zone.
(ii) If the "Visible" checkbox is not checked, the zone is never visible to the player in the "locations" list, even if the player is actually in the zone (unless you add a script to make the zone visible).
(iii) The OnDistance and OnProximity events can be used by author-defined scripts to make zones visible or invisible.
(iv) The values in the "Distance" and "Proximity" boxes in the Builder relate only to the firing of the OnDistance and OnProximity events: they don't have an effect on visibility except through author-defined scripts.
Could we get official confirmation this is right?
If so, is this current behaviour actually intended? If so, then it would seem that the Glossary is wrong to imply that visibility is directly affected by the Distance and Proximity values.
Furthermore, *should* this be what happens? At the moment, I'm considering writing a cartridge in which the player sees only the locations that are near. So the behaviour as described in the Glossary would be ideal for me. The current behaviour means that I have to write a huge number of scripts to make zones visible or invisible depending on the player's position. Very tedious, and prone to errors when zones are added, removed, or redefined.
However, the current behaviour is more general: it leaves it open to the author to decide what is the effect of moving nearer a zone. There are going to be some cartridges where if the Glossary behaviour were in operation it'd be tricky to have to turn off the visibility of a zone before the player saw it.
So which behaviour should be what happens?
How about changing the current boxes in Builder so that the "Visibility" checkbox and "Distance Range= -1" option are dropped and instead the author can choose for each zone one of the following options...
Show this zone in the Locations list:
b. When the player is in the zone
c. When the player is within the Distance Range
d. When the player is within the Proximity Range
And also allow the author to define the default option for this setting under "Preferences" (as is currently done for the Distance and Proximity Ranges).
Such a change to the Builder would enable the author to have visibility easily defined by an event (as now), by the player's location (as in the Glossary), or on always.
Or is the situation more complicated than this?