isometry - any good?

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by oNyx, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. oNyx

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    From a designer's pov it makes most sense to use perspective with the most benefits for the player. For example logic mazes usually use 2d top down (good overview) and jump'n'runs 2D side (accurate jumping).

    Isometry is a pretty nice thing. It looks pretty good and it's fast to render. Well, you can end up with alot overdraw but you get the same in a classic 2d game with paralax scrolling.

    There are some games which use isometry just for a better look (eg Sim City) and games which are somewhat annyoing to handle (eg Solstice [NEW/Famicom]), because isometry lacks any depth - accurate jumping is really tough (watching the shadows isn't fun).

    However, I don't know many games which uses isometry for adding something to the actual game (except better graphic) and/or (more interesting) make the game itself possible.

    Over at the old boards someone posted a link to a flash game where you'd to build a "machine", which moves a ball to the goal. That game for example used isometry very well, becaue you could see everything and because the height was an important factor. Another thing with was nicely avoided are navigation problems - since you didn't need to navigate a character it wasn't any frustrating/irritating.

    I would like to know if you know any other games were the use of isometry actually added something to the game and - of course - why it worked for you.

    Further information:
    http://www.compuphase.com/axometr.htm
    (types of isometry and some math)
     
  2. mathgenius

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    ooooh, can you post a link to this ?

    Simon.
     
  3. oNyx

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    Can't remember it, sorry. I would have posted the link straight away.

    I don't even remember any google-able details :/

    It was a page for kids (iirc?), the graphics were pre rendered, nice polished look, done in flash, you were able to do your own levels, you could play other's levels and rate it... but that's it. Eventually someone else will post the link.
     
  4. lakibuk

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  5. Gilzu

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    I can mention many games from the RTS (C&C, Dune), RPG (X-COM) and Simulation (Tycoons of any kind, Civilization) geners that benefited from the isometric view. I tried to mentions the most memorable game serieses that switched from top-down to isometric look and made a huge breakthrough by doing that. Check each one out, you'll see that switching to iso look (and quite gracefully) only made them better
     
  6. Air

    Air
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    Isometric pespectives are very common in strategy games, particuarly turn-based ones, and "builder" games. Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, Railroad Tycoon II, things like that. The advantage of isometrics in these sorts of games is in the fact that it gives you a clear view of three dimensions for strategic positioning. Since they are TBS there's no immediate demand on trying to gauge depth quickly, so the lack of depth isn't much of a big deal.

    Isometric graphics are sometimes used in roleplaying games too. I know Ultima 7/8 and Ultima Online used an isometric perspective. There are probably other examples. Again, isometric work well for RPGs because there's usually a lack of jump puzzles or any other particular need for pinpoint depth perception.

    I like isometrics. It's actually much easier for me personally to gauge depth in an isometric game than in most modern 3D FPS or 3rd person games. Go figure. :)

    - Air
     
  7. oNyx

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    Thanks for the link lakibuk.

    ---

    I know that quite alot of RPG, RTS and Sim games used isometry. But I'm not interested in these genres at all. I don't like playing em and I won't ever make a game like that - it's just way too much content.

    However, these games have in common that they use a point'n'click interface for (rather indirect) navigation. That seems to work.

    Back in the 8/16bit era there were also some racing games, which used isometry. Eg RC Pro-AM. Racing games avoided the direction control problem (in which direction will I walk if I press <up>?) and jumping wasn't a problem, too (because there is only one layer and no air control).

    What works:
    -indirect point n click mouse control
    -relative analog stick control

    What doesn't (really) work:
    -diagonally lining up (with the grid) [eg a shmup would be painfull]
    -determining the current position of floating objects
    -stacked layers

    I hope my brain got enough rough data for coming up with a good idea ;)
     

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