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Isometric game - 2d or 3d?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Xaron, May 31, 2014.

  1. Xaron

    Xaron

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    Dear all,

    I currently scratch my head about if it would be better to create an isometric style game in 2d or better in 3d for mobile devices. What do you think would be the best options for that and why? Both have pro and cons.

    Thanks!
     
  2. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

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    If its isometric then their is no point of having it 3D.
     
  3. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

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    Not true. If you have mobs and/or complex interactions it can be better looking/easier with full 3D rendered seen from an isometric perspective. Consider shadows, explosions, physics, etc. For example see Torchlight.
     
    StickyNinja3 likes this.
  4. the_motionblur

    the_motionblur

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    Depending ob the complexity of your art style 2D can (possibly) be produced faster and is more performant. 3D can be more flexible in the long run.
    If you are going to have hundereds of character models on screen at once mybe 2D is the way to go for you. Then again in 3D you have way more freedom with animations and dynamic lighting and mood changes as you have in 2D. Is it a Rollercoaster Tycoon type game or a Zelda like game? Do you need a lot of people at once or do you need flexibility? Do you want to create levels yourself or do you want to give players the opportunity to do so.
    Are height changes in maps a conern for you (3D) or is the world flat (2D)?

    It depends a lot on the game design document ify ou ask me. This is not an easy yes/no question, I'm afraid. :)
     
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  5. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

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    Maybe, but 2D always has the potential to look way better, I'd think most would go with a mixture, using 2D for the background and possibly players/enemies and using 3D for some effects. But IIRC Torchlight was not isometric.
     
  6. the_motionblur

    the_motionblur

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    3d also has the potential to look better. You really can't generalize it as easy as that.
     
  7. Acumen

    Acumen

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    We are building this in 3D at the moment. 2D was never an option due to our gameplay and level transition ideas. So Isometric cam setup was perfect fit for our needs :)

     
  8. TheRaider

    TheRaider

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    looks really good? Got any vids?


    How did you do the lighting?
     
  9. Acumen

    Acumen

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    Hey thanks a lot :)
    I'm just in the process of converting the mockup into the actual level - it's only level blocks that i had inside unity and then painted over all the assets.
    So far it's working wonderfully. Basically I use a 128x128 texture that features a colored square for each color shade that you see, which is applied depending on the viewing angle in my modelling app. The shadows will be faked using overlaid planes that sliiiightly hover over the actual level meshes. Did that process before since actual shadows are quite a bit harder and complicated to get on mobile devices. I love coming up with little tricks like that to match my mockup screens as precisely as possible :)
    The little bricks on the side of the green platforms will be added later on as well in the same technique.
     
  10. TheRaider

    TheRaider

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    And what technique do you use to get each colour show without any lighting at all ?
     
  11. Acumen

    Acumen

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    Oh, it's just a built-in mobile shader, I think Unlit (supports lightmaps), if I remember correctly. So I have full control over the look I want to achieve.
    I'm still waiting for some tech insight by Monument Valley development to understand how they setup their scenes :)
     
  12. Deleted User

    Deleted User

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    Nobody here can answer question as vague as yours, but your options are full-3D, 3D geometry rendered as 2D sprites or even 2D sprites hand-painted from scratch. Also, all three can be combined with clever staging or planning.
     
  13. Xaron

    Xaron

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    Thanks guys for your thoughts!

    The game will play in space, where you have some kind of a station which you enhance and build stuff on platforms. You will have ships to attack even though not masses of them.

    Animations are a very good point which acquire quite some work especially in 2d. I have a talented 3d modeller so doing everything in 3d might be much easier.

    Cheers!
     
  14. the_motionblur

    the_motionblur

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    Isometric 2D Sprites may very well also be modeled in 3D. They just don't need to be created specifically for realtime and thus have different benefits and drawbacks. I'm a 3D artist as well but I've still created a significant amount of 2D sprites through rendering.
     
  15. deram_scholzara

    deram_scholzara

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    You can always do both. 2D sprites, placed in a 3D environment, using a 3D isometric camera. You can use 3D collision and pathfinding this way as well. And you won't have to worry about depth sorting.

    And now for a little shameless self-promotion... you can use Camera Perspective Editor to adjust your camera's view to get exactly the perspective you're looking for, instead of just a regular orthographic projection. https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/16349
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  16. CharlieSamways

    CharlieSamways

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    Whenever working with isometrics I just use 2d, but thats as its what im stronger with. id say go 3d if you want dynamic lighting and shadows. 3d gives you more room to play I think, just more hassle to polish.
     
  17. BIG-BUG

    BIG-BUG

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    If ship movement animation is involved I would do it in 3D. You will be able to smoothly turn your ships towards an enemy or target position. Also particle effects and trails could be easily positioned at the thrusters positions and you will be able to apply different lighting, even light ships by nearby explosions. (Of course within limitation of your target hardware).
    However if you want to draw many ships even on low-end devices you probably have to use 2D.
     
  18. Xaron

    Xaron

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    Thanks again for your help guys, I really appreciate it!
     
  19. akenaton

    akenaton

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    I'm not a specialist of RPG development but I have a question:
    What is the best for an Rpg quest game like Zelda: 2D or 3D?

    In 2D Isometric that needs a lot of pictures for player and ennemies animations:
    ie : Player moving in 8 directions (North South, Est, West, North-Est,South-Est...)
    if i want a player in different animation states(Idle,Walk,Run,Sprint,Attack, Defend,...)
    This player should also have all these animations with equipments( a small sword, powerfull sword, poor Armor,strong armor,shield,...) and in all directions.
    That means if we make 8 frames per animation, we have to make all this animations per state, per direction, per equipment.
    ie 8 direction times 8 frames =64 images x 8 states = 384 images x 8 equipment=3072 pictures in 512x512 to want a good quality for zooming.
    What about ennemies if we have ie 3 different type that means a lot of pictures nearly 10000!

    we can reach easily 2Go bytes or more.
    but maybe there is another conceptual technic.

    So if anyone has already made this type of game. Is 3D more efficient compare to 2D isometric?
    1) in terms of time development?
    2) In term of weight? definitively not for smartphones. only for PC or consoles.

    Sorry for my english. I'm french!
     
  20. Arowx

    Arowx

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    Just something to note, if you use an isometric camera then the shadows don't work correctly. Lights pass through objects and objects don't correctly cast shadows.

    You can get around this problem by using a normal camera with a small viewing angle.