Are 2D games dead?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by sofakng, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. vjvj

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    Dis be another good example:

    http://blogs.ign.com/NB_Klonoa/2009/02/19/113068/

    That's teh hotness both in terms of gameplay and graphics. And it's running on hardware that is, essentially, a piece of junk (including the motion controller, but that's another topic hehehe).
     
  2. 320x240

    320x240 New Member

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    Now we are talking about the way a game with 2d gameplay is represented on screen and I have to disagree with the last two examples. They may look better in certain ways but I'm quite certain that they would play better if they were made to look flat. You loose much of the directness and precision when adding depth to a game that has two-dimensional movement only. This precision is really at the essence of 2d games.

    If you have to add depth, look at the original Pitfall for an example of how to do it right. In Pitfall a platforms edge is represented by a straight line "into" the screen. Later games would add a skewed perspective to the platforms, making the game appear more realistic but at the same time making it much more difficult to judge a jump between two platforms. It was no coincidense that the art of the pixel-perfect jump became lost around that time. The Commander Keen series is a good, later example of this development. A 3d representation of a 2d world is really just a continuation of this. It all about form over function really and one of the things that the retro trend has shown is that a flat representation of a 2d world is always the best choice from a gameplay perspective: Cave Story, La Mulana, Spelunky, Legend of Princess, Seiklus, Knytt and countless other games made with Gamemaker and Multimedia Fusion.

    Of course, I'm not denying that today it is much easier to make a 2d world in full 3d.
     
  3. Applewood

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    I've always been talking about that. 2D gameplay is never gonna die. If the original question had the word "gameplay" in it then this thread would've ended at the second post with the first guy who said "no".

    But as to how you present 2D gameplay... If you or anyone else thinks those games mentioned above are somehow inferior to purely flat equivalents, then fine, there's no point arguing over preference. So, let's settle this with who sells the most copies - Cletus or your own favourite purely 2D platformer that's in development somewhere on this board right now. I'll even let you pick...
     
  4. 320x240

    320x240 New Member

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    I don't take part in childish discussions of this sort. We both have a skewed perspective. I value gameplay. You value money. Other than that we are in agreement.
     
  5. Applewood

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    LOL, WTF?!? Of course I value money. I'm a professional game developer, the clue is in the title. If you're not, then why the hell are you here? There was a time when we were listened to by the amateurs, but whatever - you go your way, I'll go mine.

    The thing you seem to be missing here is that I back this option for the money because it sells more. I'm sure there's a reason for that, but I can't quite put my finger on it....

    Yes, an extremely mature response indeed.
     
  6. Spiegel

    Spiegel New Member

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    Before we all start jumping each other throats...What is the definition of a 2D game were talking here?

    • Full 2D , 2d graphics, 2d gameplay(no 3D actualy involved)?
    • 2D game using quads in a 3D engine behind it, 2d Gameplay?
    • 2D gameplay with 3D graphics (a.k.a. 2.5D)?

    After that, does it really matter? This idea that a game must be 3D to sell has gotten so out of control that even streetfighter IV was made to be a game with 2D gameplay with 3D Graphics made to look like good old 2D sprites (altough I admit its very cool :cool:, and animation wise its golden )

    Its like discussing what's the best programming language, and the answer is the same... theyre just tools, we can use them all when we see fit.

    My problem with 3D is that for some reason 3D graphics become bigger than the game, a bad 3D art might ruin a game with good gameplay, for some reason that doenst seem to happen with 2D art even when its "bad" 3d art rendered.
     
  7. Applewood

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    For me, it's a game that's basically flat in it's gameplay.

    3D requirement games like flight-sims, etc. have been done in 3D since the 80's, because they needed it. So all that's left to talk about is if you're gonna leave your 2D game looking flat and lifeless, or if you're gonna put the effort into making it look modern and sexy.

    Some game types won't fit the above regardless, to name worms and lemmings as two. Most games would go 3D nicely though, but people will come up with all sorts of excuses why they won't put the effort in.


    These are the same thing to me. I've no interest in how you draw the screen, just what it looks like.
    This is what I'm talking about, but I don't like this 2.5D badge. Maybe "Planar 3D" ? :)
     
  8. 320x240

    320x240 New Member

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    Sure, I have always found NN to be a trusthworthy fellow. What you seem to miss in this discussion is that we agree on all the major points. Go back and read my posts (for the first time) and you will see it clearly.

    You are quite right. That was an immature response. It did hit the mark however, even if it were presented in a rash and immature way.
     
  9. Applewood

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    NN? As to the rest, you're probably right. Not that I was trying to start a fight with you anyway. I guess I'm mostly taken aback with how much resistance there is to what I'm saying generally, despite the fact that "my" way is (with some exceptions) a win-win for everybody.
     
  10. Spiegel

    Spiegel New Member

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    2.5D is a bad tag for these kinds of game, its 3D actually, just with 2D gameplay, better yet, sidescrolling gameplay ... Its cant be defined as 2D graphics actually, but since your are defining a game as 2D / 3D based on gameplay its 2D :p
     
  11. 320x240

    320x240 New Member

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    In light of this discussion it seems fitting that the champions of the shmup-genre, Cave, released footage of their latest game today. Gone are the static, pre-rendered backgrounds:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XzApy01byU&fmt=35
     
  12. Applewood

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    Now that looks sweet.
     
  13. vjvj

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    SF IV is IMHO another example of cost analysis working in favor of 3D visuals. SF III, as beautiful as it is, probably cost buttloads to do and because it's 2D art, it limits the effects they can do for stuff like super moves.

    I think it's just expectations. The original expectation of 3D was to make games look "more realistic" (whether you agree or not, that was the general press story back in the day). So a 3D game with 2D gameplay is still going fall under the same scrutiny as all the other 3D games. For example, people tend to be more forgiving about animation transitions in 2D art than they are about animation transitions in 3D art.

    I think the other aspect at play here is the fact that the interactive art movement has really latched on to bad 2D art for some reason, almost to the point where some won't even take your title seriously unless it has crappy graphics. Nintendo has helped propagate this, as well, with their "screw graphics, it's all about gameplay" marketing message behind the DS and Wii.

    OMG there's a DeathSmiles 2 already?! I haven't even played the first one, yet. Japanese gamers are so lucky...

    And I agree, I HATE the 2.5D moniker.
     
  14. Bad Sector

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    2.5D always remind me of wolfenstein 3d and doom engines (there is also 2.8D which is was people call(ed) the build engine :p). In any case i think the case is pretty simple: 2D "game" is any game that has a gameplay based on two dimensions even if the presentation is 3D. 3D "game" is a game that uses three dimensions for the gameplay.

    Also about the "using a 3D engine to draw 2D sprites"...
    Code:
    void glVertex4f(GLfloat x, GLfloat y, GLfloat z, GLfloat w);
    
    You're actually using a "4D engine" :D
     
  15. Uhfgood

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    My excuse as to why I won't go 3D is because I like the look of what you call "lifeless". Personally my brain can make a distinction, 3Dimension images/models don't look realistic enough for real life, and yet they are more relistic than most straight up 2d art. So when it sees 3D stuff it just doesn't look that impressive to me, because I know some of the lighting and perspective is right, but yet it's not good enough to be really right, and so it somehow sets me off a bit. 2D art doesn't fool my brain or eye, because it's not realistic at all, and thus it's pleasing to my eye because it's often less complicated. Even nicely dimensional paintings, are still flat enough that it looks good to me.

    Don't assume just because something that doesn't use 3D is "lifeless". I would say to me alot of 3d models and stuff are lifeless because they're just in that area (like uncanny valley), where it's just off. Flat doesn't mean lifeless to me at all.
     
  16. hippocoder

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    There's a lot of 3D games with 2D movement, whats the point?
     
  17. vjvj

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    I remember reading a study a while back where they were saying that as you approach realism, the viewer acceptance curve has a really odd property in that it's mostly linear as you get things more and more "right" (i.e. as lighting, animation, etc. get better, viewers appreciate it more and more), but JUST before you reach perfect realism there is a sharp dropoff in viewer acceptance. A good current example of this is human skin rendering. People are generally pretty accepting of anything flesh-colored UNTIL you start approaching the cusp of photorealistic skin; then all of a sudden people start immediately noticing that it looks plastic-y and stuff (due to lack of adequate subsurface scattering). So you have a point, there.

    THAT SAID, one major benefit to 3D is that it's easy to introduce randomization in things that greatly enhances the user response. For example, in skeletal animation you can work a little bit of randomization into the keyframe interpolation so that you get slightly different animation frames every time. This subtle change can give you a much more rich and "life-full" result (very similar to the evolution of midi and how subtle randomization of samples made midi sound WAY more realistic). Try doing that with 2D sprite animation with the same cost-effectiveness... Fat chance.

    If you're looking for an excuse to go 3D, look at Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. Just because all the AAA studios keep doing the same boring things with 3D doesn't mean 3D itself is the limiter.
     
  18. hippocoder

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    The realism curve is called uncanny valley and only really applies to super-realistic 3D, nothing any game has right now although its coming close... but then thats when we use style.

    Interestingly, Mortal Kombat didn't suffer this - but then you knew it was just scanned photos.

    I think UV's affect is mainly hardwired into us: we're designed to detect and reject unhealthy/freaks etc as part of our makeup.
     
  19. vjvj

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    Ah yes, uncanny valley was it, thanks. The context of the original article I read was actually about robotics... But it made me instantly think of some aspects of 3D rendering.
     
  20. 320x240

    320x240 New Member

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    The point is that you loose some of the precision that only a flat representation of a 2d world gives you. As I said in the part you don't quote, the game doesn't have to be 3d to loose some of this precision* but the chances are even greater then. Presenting a 2d game in 3d is always a trade-off between gameplay and presentation, especially in a platformer, and you have to adjust the gameplay around this trade-off. Usually this means floatier and more forgiving controls.


    *For an example of a classic game that lost much of it's much needed precision when 'updated' for a new format even though it wasn't 3d, look at the 16-bit versions of Chuckie Egg and compare it with the 8-bit originals. Of course there was a 3d remake for the pc a few years back too...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuckie_Egg
     

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