2D or 3D platformer?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by Reanimated, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. Reanimated

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    Im about to start work on my platformer. However, Im not sure whether I should make it 2D or 3D. I want to sell this game, so my number one concern is to try and allow for a range of machines that can run the game at a good speed. Advantages of 2D, is that most PCs should be able to run it. Also, I'll probably port it to Bmax so that I can have it crossplatform. However, if I make it 3d, I can use all the special features that 3D allows you to use and make it more like Viewtiful Joe in terms of looks. What do you guys reckon? The game is going to be side scrolling, the Earthworm Jim, but after having seen Viewtiful Joe, Im tempted to make it in 3D to get better effects.
     
  2. C_Coder

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    It's always a matter in how easy it is for you to do 3D graphics or 2D graphics and how much time you have to finish your project.

    In the end it is up to you to decide but make sure you take the way that you know you can go through it all.
     
  3. DanDanger

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    This is what im doing.

    Hello.

    Id recommend going for a 3d api as most modern hardware has support for this in some way. Im slightly biased in that I am working on my own platform game using opengl for the graphics, its the first time ive used opengl and its a breeze.

    Another reason for picking a 3dapi is that im not actually aware of any crossplatform 2d api that you could use (actually SDL has 2d capabilitiy so i'll just shut up).

    Opengl is pretty cross platform (as far as im aware) so there should be no problems there. I dont know what bmax is so i cant comment. However I used SDL as a base and im fairly confident that has good cross platform stability.

    I can send you more details if your interested in the technichalities of the stuff that im doing, as im working on cross platform developement as well (who isnt though :)
     
  4. Triple_Fox

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    It's almost certain you want to use a 3d api; from there it's an aesthetic(or monetary) decision. Pure 2d is relatively slow for full-screen blits at the high resolutions and color depths everyone uses today, so scrolling is out unless you're willing to sacrifice something(downgrade to 640x480 or 8 bit color, or else set a low target FPS). It's not IMPOSSIBLE, as I have done scrolling tile engines using pure Pygame, but it uses most of a gigahertz of CPU to do one layer and a couple of moving sprites. So much for low sys requirements. I'm making a non-scrolling game so as to get the efficency of dirty rects while still using pure software...takes about 500mhz of cpu power at the moment, with possible optimization(but also more stuff to add).

    So assuming you don't want to face that particular challenge, it's a question of sprites versus models....sprites are a bit easier to get up and running, but models are generally a bit easier to produce in the long run(esp. if you're animating a lot of stuff).
     
  5. Reanimated

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    Thanks for the replies.
    I was thinking on doing 2D on 3D. ie, everythings pretty much 2D, but I have the ability to use 3D features when I need them. Would this be too slow, or would the computer automatically use any 3d acceleration and things required since, effectively, it is a 3D game? If so, would that be the best option, or would that cause many problems?
     
  6. Anthony Flack

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    You'd want to do everything in 3d then, including the sprites (ie, make the sprites from a 3d quad). The computer does not decide things like this automatically for you.

    For any kind of graphic-heavy sprite game, I'd recommend 640x480 or thereabouts, anyway. The reason being, if you want nice big sprites and lots of animation, you're going to run out of memory pretty quickly at high resolution. Besides, I think antialiased 640x480 looks totally fine myself, and it's my target resolution. But we're getting slightly tangental here... so, I say you may as well go with 3d also, however it sounds like you might have some research to do yet...
     
  7. Carrot

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    Hi,
    We're currently working on a 3D platformer called Gizmo (www.purplenose.com). I think even if you are looking into implementing a 2D viewpoint, the 3D option is still the best method for implementing it. Besides advantages like the hardware acceleration and consistency you get with using 3D APIs (2D implementation can be a bit inconsistent on different cards), creating models is much easier than drawing 2D art in my opinion.
    Also, having the added advantage of dymanic lighting, easy camera controls, many physics libraries etc. makes 3D the route to take, I think.

    If you want the game to look 2D, you can always just view the action side-on, or even with orthographic projection if you really true-2D.
     
  8. James C. Smith

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    Another important consideration is how much animation will be done and how much of your download size budget you want to spend on them. If you want lots of characters with lots of animation then a 2D art set will take a lot more space then a 3D art set. A 3D game will often have a smaller download size than a 2D game assuming they each have a lot of art. It is also important to consider what art resources/talent you have access to. Is it easier for your artist to create 3D models and animations or 2D images?
     
  9. Reanimated

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    In terms of graphics, I was hoping for something like viewtiful joe/rayman. Im not going to be having 3D models at all, as its all going to be 2D. But i dont want to sacrifice potential customers, by doing 3D, just for some extra touches. Will most people be able to run 3D games in a years time or so? (As thats when my project should be finished)
     
  10. gmcbay

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    Most people (who are likely to buy a game) can run 3D games now.

    Seriously, we're up to like the 7th generation of 3D videocards at this point. Anyone who hasn't bought a new computer or upgraded their videocard in the past 6-7 years is very unlikely to be in the market to buy your game, especially if it is a platformer...

    The one notable exception here is laptops, on which you can reasonably expect at least basic 3D on any new model, though this wasn't true a couple of years ago... But again, I doubt notebooks are a big factor when it comes to platformers.
     
  11. Evak

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    my 6 year old system with a 5 year old video card can run most indie games just fine even today. Admittedly it was pretty high end back then. Have to admit though it's just starting to be too old even for indie games as it stutters in Bejeweled 2 delux when there's a lot of action going on, particularly at the start of a level with the large moving sprites

    Allthough some not so old computers still have TNT2 generation video hardware.
     
  12. Anthony Flack

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    I think trying to do this sort of game in software would require quite a lot of processing power. So much that your potential audience may actually shrink (by including people with fast computers with no 3d, but excluding people with slower PCs but a reasonable 3d card).
     
  13. Nutter2000

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    Be aware also that there are new computers still being bought today which have cut down graphics cards with little or no 3D.
     
  14. Carrot

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    There are? I can't imagine many new computers being sold these days with out basic 3D capability, surely? I really can't see this being any issue, especially if the release date for the game is next year...
     
  15. Nutter2000

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    It depends how you rate them.
    What I'm talking about is the integrated VGA chips that a lot of motherboards are shipped with. New budget PCs and business PCs are often shipped with just integrated graphics to cut costs.
    Plus as little as a year ago there were integrated graphics chipsets on new motherboards which were 2D only.

    I think most of them now have basic 3D but I wouldn't expect too much from them in terms of capabilities and these machines are still going to be heavily in use for the next few years by the average budget user market (ie non-hardcore gamer).
     
  16. Anthony Flack

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    My mum's computer has an integrated graphics chip. One of the ones that uses system memory as graphics memory. My game (all 2d-in-3d) runs quite all right on it, although the fill rate is low - to avoid frameskipping I need to run at <640x480 res.

    Typically this will be your problem with a 2d-in-3d game. You'll likely have quite low polygon counts, but many of these polygons will be large, possibly transparent and overlapping - you'll need a decent fill rate. But since 3d games are resolution-independent, you can always give people the option to go with a low-res screen mode. It works out all right.
     
  17. Nutter2000

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    What he said. :D

    Don't get me wrong I wasn't saying don't go the 3D approach, just be aware there are some truly shite graphics adapters still out there. ;)
     
  18. Reanimated

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    Thanks for the help guys. I might make it in 3D and have variable resolution options, so the user can choose what works for them. If it doesnt work, it doesnt work, cant please everyone :D
     
  19. Jim Buck

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    At work the other day, I was trying to figure out why a graphics app of mine wasn't working on a co-worker's computer. It turns out that his computer has a Matrox Millenium G550, and even the latest drivers for that are only OpenGL 1.1 (I use some 1.2 stuff in my app).
     

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