Are 2D games dead?

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

  1. PoV

    PoV
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    Hold on... I think the dead horse just moved.

    Speaking of that, when does the iPhone version come out? The game is lowres enough it should run fantastic on it. ;)
     
  2. vjvj

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    LOL, that's probably where I should have ended my post. Typing out paragraphs comes too easy for me.


    ROFL, but the damn touchscreen keyboard! I can see it now...

    "cast firevall" FUCK!!!!
    vjvj was killed by a sewer rat.
     
  3. nadam

    nadam New Member

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    Now I think that how hard it is to create a game in 2D or 3D really depends on what engine you use. If you use an off-the-shelf game engine, then your main responsibility is to write the game logic, which can be easy/hard depending on the complexity of your game independently of whether it is 2D or 3D.

    Now if we compare which is 'hard'-er: writing a top quality 2D game engine or a top quality 3D game engine, than I think there is really no doubt that writing a top quality 3D game engine is much harder.

    This is a top quality 3D game engine nowadays:

    http://www.crytek.com/technology/cryengine-2/specifications/

    Top quality 3D nowadays isn't something that we put some models on the screen with some diffuse lighting... It is about specular lighting and other lighting models implemented in shaders, dynamic soft shadows, Screen Space Ambient Occlusion, Parallax Mapping or even Displacement Mapping, Screen Space Partitioning, Level of Detail, etc... Doing these efficiently is a very complex topic, in fact it is a research area. Comparing these to the complexity of a 2D game engine would be crazy. There are only a few people on this planet who are able/have the time/have the funding to create a top quality 3D game engine nowadays. This is not misinformation, this is fact. Not everybody can do what John Carmack can do. Although using an off-the-shelf 3d game engine, or write your own, which doesn't have all the features as the newest engine from ID Software or Crytech is not that hard of course.
     
    #103 nadam, Feb 12, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  4. Applewood

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    ok, my last post on this too.

    "Is 2D dead?" is actually "I'm stuck on ancient tech, can I still get by?" and if the answer isn't what was hoped for, it then seems to be wise to ignore the answer.

    Which is fine. Please go right ahead and keep flogging your 2D horse to death. Bottom line is that I really don't care and I've no idea why I keep posting to these silly threads.
     
  5. vjvj

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    Nevermind. At this point, I might as well let myself be trolled LOL :)
     
    #105 vjvj, Feb 12, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  6. MacMan45

    MacMan45 New Member

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    If we step away from the difficulty debate (I agree with you on this point), what about appropriateness?

    Some games lend themselves better to pure 2D, don't they?

    For example, look at Democracy. It is completely a menu based game, where camera angles don't even come into play. There is little threat that Cliff would want to view an element from a different angle!

    Or is your argument completely based on the tech, as in democracy could have been done in 3D with billboards & a fixed camera, because it would be easier, or more flexible?

    What about something like Lemmings?
    I don't have experience with destructible terrains, so I might be off the mark here, but wouldn't that sort of thing be easier to implement in 2D at a pixel level?

    I'm not attacking your point of view by the way, I have had experience with both 2D & 3D, I prefer the later, but I feel my current game idea is better suited to a 2D world, isn't it a case of the right tool for the job?

    Ignoring all of the difficulty arguments, would you agree that there is room for 2D games still, or do you believe that even they should be put through the 3D pipeline, and does that mean that 2D games (as in rendering technology) are dead?
     
  7. hippocoder

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    Yes 2D technology -is- dead. Its over, all that remains is for older tech to catch up. For example iPhone hasn't got any 2D hardware at all. Its all wrapped in OpenGL ES. Flash will catch up in a couple of revisions, it is already doing so in small steps.

    If the programmer of Democracy had access to stable technology that was 3D, I doubt very much he would stick to using 2D images with no transforms. I'd expect a much more slick user interface, possibly some scaling and rotation of elements (think google maps for example) and so on.

    Basically, 3D isn't about 3D models, its about 3D hardware giving you freedom to express your ideas better. Interestingly, it will be the PC that will be the last to finally get rid of 2D-based hardware due to the mess of configurations and outdated technology still in use.
     
  8. Applewood

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    I own the sequel to that game, but if I wrote it, yes I would've done it in 3D. Not casting aspersions here, it's just my choice over his.

    I would've presented all those icons and graphs as small models on a largely flat plane and stuff in fixed viewpoint 3D like they do on the news all the time. No need to try making an FPS out of it as I keep on about.

    The do it on the news as they know everyone, even the moms, get more information out of something presented with perspective. Your TV might be flat, but the world you see out of your eyes simply isn't. If 3D was inferior to 2D, we'd be a race of cyclopses.

    Jesus why can't I stop? Few care and nobody's listening.
     
  9. MacMan45

    MacMan45 New Member

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    Haha, sorry to drag you back in, just letting you know that I actually was interested & listening!

    Ok, I have a question for you though.
    I asked hippo in pm, but stuff it, I'll ask here anyway.

    How would you go about simulating a 2d Pixel art style, in 3D? (It is a visual style I want for a game concept I'm working on).
    I'm guessing shaders, but I have no direct experience with them myself.
    I would much rather work in 3D if I could, but I have been planning 2D up until now, so I can get the style I want.

    I'm talking about something like this:
    [​IMG]

    Do you think I could get a look like that from shaders?
    I'm not afraid to learn them (actually would be pretty cool I think!), but I am worried I will waste a lot of time, only to discover it is more difficult to simulate the look vs just doing this game in 2D.
     
  10. Applewood

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    Of course you could do that with shaders. It'd be easier than a conventional lighting pipeline because it doesn't need dynamic lights. A fixed aspect orthogonal camera, and boom - you're good.

    A wicked example of a game that might easily have gone isometric but didn't is here. And I'll just bet that made the art a helluva lot easier to author and the final screenies way better.
     
  11. MacMan45

    MacMan45 New Member

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    Thank you, It looks like I have some research and study to do!
     
  12. dima

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    I think there is some misconception between individuals on what is 2D vs 3D. To some, 2D is the pipeline (system memory blits), to others, 2D is the number of dimensions a game needs.

    I personally use BlitzMax which utilizes 3D pipeline to do everything, but I consider my game completely 2D. That's the way I handle pixel art/sprites, but I guess it is doable in 3 dimensions and I would imagine levels of detail pretty steep. Trick is always to use minimal geometry and offload detail into texture, and for me this is the hardest part of 3D asset generation.
     
  13. MacMan45

    MacMan45 New Member

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    Ahh, but then I would lose half the benefits of using 3D!

    I considered just doing it as textured quads, but I still then have to deal with placement in the isometric world, and do every angle of each 2D object.

    However if I keep it all as 3D models, I can move things in 3D, rotate etc.

    I like drawing pixel art, but in the end I'll be paying an artist to do the final stuff anyway, so using 3D models isn't a disadvantage, in fact it should give me a lot more flexability and freedom.

    The only thing really holding me to 2D was the style I wanted.
     
  14. vjvj

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    The separation between the topics of 2D graphics and 2D gameplay tends to get lost in these discussions. I don't think 2D gameplay will ever die, and as a result 2D graphics will always be worthy of consideration. It just depends on what you want to do. For puzzle games, or for stuff that looks like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, I'd generally stick to 2D graphics. For most everything else, however, 3D would be my first choice for reasons I've already gone into.

    That isometric gameplay image you posted is a great example of how it really comes down to choice. Both Sims 1 and Sims 2 use that viewpoint, and the former is 2D while the latter is 3D. Arguing aesthetics is pointless since it's all subjective, and arguing performance is moot because they both perform like ass :) And the inversed difficulty curves are plain as day here, too; 2D Sims was probably easier to set up from an engine standpoint, but sticking with 3D buys you a lot of benefits like not having to create new, redundant sprites just to handle various object intersections and objects placed on non grid-aligned boundaries. And that's ignoring the potential benefits of a dynamic camera, dynamic lights, etc.

    There's nothing really inherently different about shaders. Going from fixed function to shaders is like going from a giant state machine to an object model. You're just expressing the same things in a different (and, from a programming standpoint, easier) way. You can almost think of shaders as "display lists for render state", with the added benefits of them being far less verbose and error-prone.

    Is this performance advice? If this is a Blitzmax-specific thing then I will defer to you, but generally speaking, it's very rare for a 3D game to be geometry bound. In fact, most 3D games are CPU bound.
     
  15. dima

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    You kidding right? Why do they rely so much on the video card then? I know you can offload physics to GPU, and there bandidth limitations, but I'm not sure that logic has already surpassed rendering in performance.

    Sorry for derailing, it is true that 3D technology is more flexible, and the results are stunning.
     
    #115 dima, Feb 13, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2009
  16. Applewood

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    Most games don't anymore. You'll see em put DX9 on the box and that's the end of it. Longer shaders can be turned off very easily if the frame rate drops on a really old card.

    As we keep saying, 3D is a solved problem. On even a modest modern video card you can manipulate meshes that are so dense that they still look the same when you switch to wireframe!

    Scroll up a bit and click that link I made, then take a look at the screenshot with the crowd scene. Then look at the min spec for that game - very indie friendly indeed. I bought this thing as a boxed game many years ago.
     
  17. JGOware

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    Actually a "2d via 3d" game with lots of scaling, rotation, additive blending for particle fx, etc, etc, is some of the most taxing games on even modern 3d cards due to lots of overdraw, etc.

    Standard "direct x direct draw type 2d" is long dead. But 2d via 3d is here to stay.
     
  18. princec

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    I'm too stupid to do 3D.

    Cas :)
     
  19. hippocoder

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    Thats going into the "Book of Cas" which is a book of cas quotes going on sale at an indie emporium near you soon!
     
  20. princec

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    You can put that on the same page as "I'm too stupid to do C++", which is also one of mine.

    Cas :)
     

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