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3rd person camera versus Diablo III style camera


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#1 Vidar son of Odin   Members   -  Reputation: 1320

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 04:52 AM

Me and my team want to make and RPG but we can't agree about the camera style. We are 6 people and 3 want 3rd person and 3 want diablo style. Maybe its a problem with my team and we don't share the same perspective about this game but my question is: What is the best camera style for a RPG that want to highlight the STORY of the game? And another question: Do the player have any preferences about the camera?


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#2 Ashaman73   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6885

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 05:04 AM

The camera setups are very similar (both are 3rd person camera), what differs is control. Point'n'click vs WASD with either fixed, free or shoulder attached 3rd person camera.

You can deliver an interesting story with both approaches, what is more important is the level of immersion. Immersion depends on a lot of factors, camera is only one. In my opinion the level of immersion decreases with following camera setups:

1. FPS camera (best)

2. shoulder attached third person

3. free third person

 

But it only matters if your story elements are equally embedded in an immersive world. If you only have some text, cut scenes, dialogs, the camera doesnt matter much at all in my opinion. In this case it would be more important to setup the camera to support the game play.


Edited by Ashaman73, 03 June 2014 - 05:06 AM.


#3 ilreh   Members   -  Reputation: 281

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 06:01 AM

What is the best camera style for a RPG that want to highlight the STORY of the game?

 

Camera angles are completely unrelated to the story. What you probably mean is means of delivering a story. But this is game design question in disguise. So you should wrap it up from the other side and ask yourself: what and how do you want the player to experience? 3rd person feels more like being the character and isometric camera feels more like steering world events from above by using the character. Once you're clear about the kind of experience you want to deliver (and the target audience you want to adress) decisions like these might fall in place.



#4 Vidar son of Odin   Members   -  Reputation: 1320

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 07:49 AM

Someone told me that the fps camera in rpg create some unpleasant things for a small indie team. In this case you must have more detailed graphics for world and character. But if the camera is like in Diablo 3 we can cheat a bit and make our job easier by making the models faster.

 

We have more than text, cutscenes and dialogs. We want to make a rpg like path of exile, torchlight, even skyrim.


Edited by Vidar son of Odin, 03 June 2014 - 07:50 AM.

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#5 ferrous   Members   -  Reputation: 1819

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 08:22 AM

No right answer.  One thing to be wary of, is that if you do have a diablo style camera, and you are at all similar to diablo, first impressions are going to be that you are a clone.  Not that you can't be a highly successful clone, as you already mentioned two of them.

 

Third person cameras are more work, but it's also a trade off, as you can't really do some things well in diablo style cameras.  For example, having things ambush the player from above, like spiders in a cave.  On the bright side, most of the camera penetration issues won't come into play, same with forcing the player to either control the camera manually to see, or use some sort of lock on feature.

 

Story wise, it's mostly irrelevant, as really, you can always change the camera angles during a cutscene.  If you have cutscenes.



#6 Vidar son of Odin   Members   -  Reputation: 1320

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 08:52 AM

We won't be similar to diablo. Do the average players have any preferences about camera? If we will let the player control the camera (free camera)?

.


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#7 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6938

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 09:49 AM

Quick aside:

Who is the vision holder on your team?

Who's entitled to make the call? (Is it really just a democracy? If so, your project is bound to fail at one point or another, maybe not because of Cameras, but it will hit many other hurdles.)

 

As for the original post:

By "diablo-style" camera, do you mean fixed? Because both of these cameras are certainly 3rd person (one is Iso, and I'm assuming the other is orthogonal / tile-based)?



#8 zee_ola05   Members   -  Reputation: 322

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 11:03 AM

If you have hordes of enemies like Diablo, then go for Diablo style camera. If you don't have that many enemies at once then maybe the "other" camera style would be better (with some right analog control maybe?).
 



#9 Misantes   Members   -  Reputation: 541

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 11:05 AM

Personally, just as an "average gamer", I'm fairly ambivalent about the camera as long as it's smooth and not frustrating. If I feel like I'm constantly fighting with it, or if it's awkwardly colliding with things, it kills my desire to continue playing rather quickly. Diablo III, if I recall (it's been a few years) was rather convenient because there was no need to control it which left the player free to concentrate on playing the game. However, if that was implemented poorly, I think it would have frustrated me. It worked because generally, it gave a large enough view to not merit needing to rotate it, walls were clipped to avoid hiding the player and enemies, etc.

 

But, since you're really asking about two different approaches to a 3rd person camera, what it seems you're asking is how much control to offer the player. So, this rests entirely on your ability to offer a reason to allow or restrict the view. I personally don't think either approach is better or worse as long as you use that perspective to make life easier for the player. I.e. if you allow rotating the camera, make sure your collision check isn't annoying, or that there isn't wall clipping blocking enemies/player, controls are smooth, etc. But, if you're not offering any benefit or reason for rotating the camera, it's just one more thing for the player to handle, and one more thing to get in the way of gameplay.

 

Alternatively, you could use the 3rd person camera to your advantage to limit perspective, to make the player worry about what's behind them, out of view. Which, if done right could be a fun thing, if done poorly could just be annoying tongue.png

 

 

Either way, neither approach should affect your story I wouldn't think. I don't think either way is more immersive either(as they're both technically 3rd person cameras). I don't think either approach will make you look like a "clone" on its own, as there are countless examples of dungeon crawlers with that camera perspective. You'll simply just fall into that genre, the way FPS shooters aren't all called clones of any particular game(well, sometimes they are, but not simply because they use an FPS perspective :P).


Edited by Misantes, 03 June 2014 - 11:16 AM.


#10 ferrous   Members   -  Reputation: 1819

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 04:53 PM

We won't be similar to diablo. Do the average players have any preferences about camera? If we will let the player control the camera (free camera)?

.

 

Yeah.  World of Warcraft.  I don't know if they are still the standard third person camera, but I have a feeling they are.  When we released NWN2 way back in the day, one of the first major complaints we got was that our camera controls were not like WoW.

 

A couple of big things to note with a fixed iso camera over a third person camera is Draw Distance, and the need to do things like a Skybox.  These are things you don't really need to do with a fixed iso camera.  You can never see the sky in Diablo, or see very far either.  Also, because of that camera style, ranged attacks can only go so far.  No sniping, which is something to keep in mind.


Edited by ferrous, 03 June 2014 - 04:55 PM.


#11 Ashaman73   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6885

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 11:06 PM


In this case you must have more detailed graphics for world and character.

It depends. If you choose an art style, which depends heavily on details (photorealistic direction), then a diablo like camera would avoid close up views and therefor you would need less details. On the other hand, many stylized games (diablo III itself is stylized) demonstrates, that a FPS with low details works too (eg TF2). Comparing TeamFortress 2 with Path of Exile, I would say, that it needs much more work to create Path of Exile art than TF2 art.

 

At least it is a good idea to reduce the workload, nevertheless, you need to limit your world extremly to handle the asset creation, regardless of what camera style you choose. A good example is grimrock , which was made by 4 people, has a clear vision (dungeon master clone) and a very limited scope, still it is FP and has amazing photorealistic art.



#12 ivan.spasov   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1743

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 11:44 PM

As it looks to me, you guys are still in early, early development stages. Why not playtest both ? This is the stage you get to experiment at and this is the stage where such changes will cost less.

Let's say that you decide on a camera and at some point you end up disliking it. By then you've developed a really good chunk of your game and such a change may come in expensive - glitches, aesthetic issues and so on.

You should really experiment on this since it is one of the most important parts of what you are about to do. Try both cameras and try several angles, see what you and your team like the most. Develop it further until you get a result that fits your needs.



#13 DavitosanX   Members   -  Reputation: 271

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Posted 05 June 2014 - 10:40 AM

Storywise, I think that whether the story revolves around characters or around events could help you decide which camera approach is better. The further away you are from the characters, the less you see things like facial expressions or body language. Of course, as others have stated, this has no relevance if you (the developer) control the camera during cutscenes.

 

I happen to favor isometric views because the game seems more independent from my own actions than from a FP perspective. Curiously I feel more immersed when my mind can be fooled that the little people are moving of their own accord, merely guided by my will.


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#14 Jon Alma   Members   -  Reputation: 301

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Posted 10 June 2014 - 09:30 AM

 

We are 6 people and 3 want 3rd person and 3 want diablo style. 

 

From my experience both playing games and developing my own, this is fairly typical response.  For example I always prefer first person perspective as it is both more immersive for me and easier to control.  However, some else playing the same game might (as indicated by DavitosanX above) find a third person or isometric view better.  Could be because of experience with cameras in other games, whatever.

 

As a result my advice is to be flexible and probably give the player the choice.  With the ability to switch from first to third person perspective this adds a bit of work, but with care usually not too much - the camera classes I've implemented in the past are pretty compact with the only difficulties coming when I wanted to implement six degree of freedom.

 

Looking at your specific case the difference between third person perspective and diablo style might be very small (as small as having a third person perspective camera fixed to a predefined angle and distance from the character or scene).  Even switching from full 3D to an isometric display can be pretty simple (switching from a dedicated isometric engine to 3D can be trickier!)

 

As suggested try all options and see what works for the team - it may be that the prototyping may highlight one option that really gives the game the right feel - it just feels right and everyone agrees on the approach going forwards.  And if not then you have several options up and running with no need to select one or the other - this becomes the player's choice.


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#15 c-Row   Members   -  Reputation: 291

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Posted 13 June 2014 - 07:41 AM

A fixed camera has the advantage that players don't have to care about where Up/North is. Fixed points are easier to locate in your world space when the entrance to the graveyard is always in the lower left corner of the map for example.






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