Number of 3D games

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by bodgey, May 3, 2005.

  1. bodgey

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    Hello,
    I'm sure this question's been asked before but I couldn't find any recent threads. I've only heard of a few 3D casual games (not including shooters/space combat). Is there a good reason for this? I know requirements are higher, and it's more confusing for some players, but couldn't it be used to make it stand out from the crowd? Even if it's just the same 2D gameplay but with 3D graphics?

    Ballistik , for example, uses 3D graphics but is essentially a 2D game. Do you consider this a good or a bad idea? Would you use 3D graphics in your games?

    Bojan
     
  2. ManuelFLara

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    Considering that a 3D game:
    - May give you more compatibility problems among potential customers
    - Will have higher computer requirements
    - Will usually need resources that take more time (and money) to make

    I will only make a 3D game if it could not be done in 2D. And if that were the case you'll probably have more disadvantages like being more complex, code-wise (handling collisions, physics and so on).

    Can it be done? Of course. There you have Magic Ball 2, that's been doing very well for some time despite being in 3D.

    I wonder how many people choose Magic Ball 2 between other Breakout clones for being in 3D (and the added eye candy it may have, I haven't played it), if any.
     
  3. Nexic

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    I'd personally say magic ball's graphics are pretty lame, especially when compared to BreakQuest and Ricochet ^.^

    Xeno Assault 1 and 2 were 3D used as 2D - a lot of people emailed me saying they would like the game better if it used high res 2D renders of 3D models rather than realtime 3D - so thats what I'm doing for my next game.

    3D done well can look much better than 2D, but most people can't do 3D well enough.
     
  4. Anthony Flack

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    When you say "casual" games... do you mean it?

    Heh, strangely enough, I've often felt that "2D done well can look much better than 3D, but most people can't do 2D well enough". And I think both statements are equally true.
     
  5. sparkyboy

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    Well speaking for myself,I prefer 2d games to 3d.There are a number of people that just dont like 3d and vice versa.
    For all my future projects,i'm gonna be using a 2d in 3d library.Lets you make a 2d game but with the eye candy of 3d.
    Checkout www.dxgame.com for some neat examples.

    Plus theres also the fact I suck big time at proper 3d


    just my 2 euros.


    @Nexic

    If you dont already know about it,check out
    http://www.x-pressive.com/SpriteCandy/ for blitz3d.

    later peeps.
     
    #5 sparkyboy, May 3, 2005
    Last edited: May 3, 2005
  6. dima

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    2D is definitely easier than 3D, but good 3D is better looking that 2D. Basically it's easier to make better looking 2D games than 3D. Using software like 3DsMAX or even trueSpace you can get some really good looking sprites, and you don't have to worry about your polygon counts and how many promitives you used to create that detailed effect. In realtime 3D, it's much harder to get good looking results, but when you do, they look really good.

    Having said all that, 2D and 3D have their place. I know some people only play 3D games, and some are completely confused by them. So it all depends on the game I guess. Nowdays there are more and more 3D. Even 2D is powered by 3D, so naturally all games will use 3D hardware eventually.
     
  7. ggambett

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    I agree with this in general; but take Wonderland for example. Wonderland is a fantastic game which is essentially 2D, but looks very good in 3D. It really gives it a different depth (no pun intended).
    I think what happens here is that it's easier to make half-decent 3D graphics than making half-decent 2D graphics; but it's easier to make good 2D graphics than making good 3D graphics.
     
  8. Sirrus

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    You also need to consider longevity when deciding whether to go 2d vs. 3d.

    A 2d game will stand up much better graphically five years down the road than a dated 3d game.
     
  9. z3lda

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    That's why 3D games need an stylistic flare, such as Viewtiful Joe, animal crossing, cubivore. Those graphics will last beyond their days. I think when people think 3D they think high end graphics, but something like Best Friends is simple, cute and appeal to all gamers.
     
  10. bodgey

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    I definitely agree with this. That's pretty much the biggest reason I'm using 3D for my first game. Although I'll find a way to market it as a feature, not a bug ;-)

    Bojan
     
  11. arcadetown

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    Personally think the stigma of 3D in the casual market is on it's way out as your typical casual gamer's system more often supports 3D. A true 3D game like Wonderland or Magic Balls makes sense as it helps differentiate the game and increase CR for those with 3D compatible systems. Games that are essentially 2D using 3D hardware just for lighting effects for example make better sense sticking to 2D only to maximize system compatibility and broader user base. If you go 3D don't go crazy with hardware requirements, keep it simple and low performance.
     
  12. Nexic

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    Possibly the real statement is as follows:

    good 3D is easiest
    good 2D is harder
    really good 2d is harder than that
    and really good 3D is the hardest

    Or maybe I'm just speaking out of my rear end!
     
  13. Sparks

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    It depends on the quality You are aiming for.
    Laying out UVs takes quite ome time, which You can invest in more detail if You do 2D.
    In 2D You can use all the procedurals and shaders Your program offers, which, normally, gives You more freedom in what You can create.
    You can use radiosity, cool lighting and shadowing effects, outlines etc.
    Unless You go for a cartoony style in 3D, You better tune those lowpolies if You wanna keep the userbase with machine older than 5 years.
    In my job, the lowest number I ever had to work with was 300 polies for characters and creatures.And it sure was hard to meet the detailed, cartoony, curvy characters we were given by the concept artists.
    Today, I would suggest 1000 polies as the lowest umber for characters.
    The tweaking can be tedious and endless, and whenever You change the geometry, that has an impact on the UVs, so You better plan ahead.
    Doing the modeling and animation first, then doing the Uvs and texturing.
    All in all there's good and bad to everything, for most casual games I think 2D is still the fastest way to produce good looking content, especially when prototyping and refinement are important.
    I would also agree that customers of casual games don't really want 3D, they want something that looks convincing, and most of the time, nice and cute.
    Unless You know how to draw like the Rayman 3 artists, making a 3D game as appealing as a2D one will be more difficult.
     
  14. cliffski

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    depends on genre too. A good 2D RTS looks WAY better than a 3D RTS and runs at 6 times the framerate :D
    But most people prefer 3D for flying games, racing games and space shooters.
    so it really depends on genre.
     
  15. dima

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    I must politely disagree :), Warcraft 3 is one of the best looking RTS games (IMHO, I like the cartoony colorful graphics) and it's fully in 3D. Animations are superb, colors are vivid, and some of the best texture work. 2D games are limited by the number of frames for animations, so you can't expect them to look and feel nearly as smooth as 3D. For RTS games, you need character animation, and in 2D that most likely means that you must have 8 directions of pre-rendered frames, each direction perforning an action or a dozen. This aproach is very limited oposed to the full 3D, where you can have one model and one set of animations, then do as you please and render at any angle.
     
  16. Evak

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    you can doa lot in 3d that you can't in 2D. I recently made a vertical shooter prototype in 3D and rotated the camera 15 degrees to give a littel perspective, as well as a wider FOV. with lighting, and takk buildings distorting as they come up towards the player it looks awesome, but the gameplay is essentialy 2D with simple 3D animation for the enemies.

    The game is based on the old 1942, 1943 arcade games, with the WW2 fighters and ships. In the original you can do a loop to avoid the bad guys, in my game the airplane really does do a loop, and there are only a couple of collision types.

    Anyway, as far as 3D in 2D. I did a casual puzzle game, entirely in 3D using our 3dsmax exporter. The entire GUI was made in 3dsmax and coupld be skineable as the gameplay board works on a grid of nodes, so you can move and scale the grid around, or move the camera for different looks.

    http://www.leadfootproductions.com/mark2_TN.jpg

    http://www.leadfootproductions.com/mark3_TN.jpg

    http://www.leadfootproductions.com/markhi_TN.jpg

    Not saying it's great, but doing it in 3D was more fun than 2D and I got to play with the 3dsmax exporter and set up the graphics in a WYSIWYG way
     
  17. Sharpfish

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    As I have said before, it's not whether it is 2D, 3D or "2D in 3D" that really matters.. it is what you do with it. If your game benifits from either style then go with that. The "stigma" that comes from 3D in low budget/indie games is usually because the devs bite off more than they can chew and try to chase the FPS or other high graphics quality genre. I use 3D - sometimes with a restricted camera for "basically 2D" games but with the added flair or "pop out" appeal because I prefer to dev for it and to play it if it is done as well as good 2D stuff. The trick is making it as "playable" and "intuative" as the mass casual market leaders like stuff from popcap for instance.. this IS much harder in 3D and causes no-end of headaches. There are a few devs (and more each day) trying out full 3D or "2D in 3D" and it will take us a while to tune things but given time and importantly *RESTRAINT" and allowing enough resources to polish a burgeoning world/collection of assets the standard of indie 3D should rise. By this I mean gameplay more than GFX (sadly a lot of 3D indie stuff has been lacking pure fun compared to it's more intuative/easier to polish 2D counterparts - prime example, the supreme "Break Quest" versus the 3D brick breakers) - but with experience the latter should come as well.

    I have no doubt that if profits are your prime factor... stick to DX7 and 2D for a while yet. I started 2D stuff on the spectrum, and did quite a bit on the Amiga - I can't find the motivation anymore for "pure 2D" as it seems for me I would just be re-treading old (dev) ground. Lastly, as a tech nut - I do enjoy the things 3D can bring but can apreciate a good game regardless of whether it is 2D or 3D. We will undoubtedly see the ratio of fun and polished 2D games to 3D games in the formers favour for a while yet... eventually though - something will have to give.. even windows is "going 3D" in the not so distant future. All windows will need Hardware to run which should raise the common platform a bit higher.
     
  18. impossible

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    This was true when they first started making 3D RTS games, but it's just not true now. 3D has finally advanced to the point where its really nice for RTS games and you can do a lot of stuff that you just couldn't do in 2D. Look at WH40k: Dawn of War, Rome Total War, Age of Empires 3 or the upcoming Starwars game and show me a 2D RTS that looks better or has the same sense of scale as those games.
     
  19. bodgey

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    Not that they'd run on anything indies are targetting... ;-)
     
  20. impossible

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    Yes, for the most part, but how many indies are developing any sort of RTS game?
     

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