FEAR THE PRESCHOOL ISOMETRIC TILE ENGINE:
This is something I've wanted to try for awhile, making an isometric tile map. I've made alot of top-down rectanglar tile maps, and side-scrolling tile maps, but no isometric ones yet. One thing I was never able to figure out was how exactly to draw one of these. I thought about it today, and came up with a method which apparently works. Although, it didn't work at first:
This is really part of a broader game concept that I've been thinking of for quite some time, and that I will elaborate on now.
It really started when I started getting into Warhammer 40,000 tabletop this summer. I've started collecting a small army of Orks(mob would probably be a more appropriate word). I really like tabletop strategy games, ever since the days years ago when I used to play a little known Warhammer spin-off called Epic 40,000. One question I've always had is, why aren't there some computer strategy games like these? By that I mean, turn-based tactical games about battles between armies. Now obviously dice-rolling would be replaced by health bars and slightly random accuracy, but the key concepts and flow of the game could remain intact.
Now it could be argued that games like Final Fantasy Tactics and Fire Emblem count, but they really don't. Those games are about small groups of characters who level up in RPG fashion. Furthermore they take place in a Fantasy setting, where I'm talking about modern or futuristic warfare. What I'm talking about is a tactical turn based strategy game with large armies consisting of soldiers and war machines. A game like this would have no RPG elements, instead having players field armies of equal value against each other. How the player commands their army would be more important than what abilities their troops have.
Strategy games of warfare are usually reserved to Real Time Strategy games, like Command and Conquer, Starcraft, or my favorite, Dawn of War. The problem with these games is they rely too much on the mechanics of base-building and resource managment, rather than tactics. Meanwhile, Turn based strategy games are usually 4X games, or simplified military games like Advance Wars. Ofcourse I realize there are some exceptions, such as X-COM(which I really, really need to try, I know).
Picture the game tile map as a tabletop. In a 40K game, the unit of measure for movement and shooting is inches. Just the same, in the computer game version, one tile represents one unit of measure. Some units, such as tanks, will be several tiles large. Things like morale and squads, and even what direction a unit is facing would all be important aspects of gameplay. In other words, this is just a computer version of a tabletop wargame, such as Warhammer 40,000.
I think this would be a great game, because playing a tabletop wargame is a hobby in itself, and an expensive one at that. People would be able to get the same strategic depth of one of these games in a computer game. Obviously a computer version would never be as good as the real thing, but it will provide a more casual alternative.
Just to be clear, I'm not saying that I'm working on a game like this right now, I'm just talking about an idea that I've been thinking of. I plan to make a game like this one day, possibly soon, but not right now. I think it can be done, and I've already thought of how to implement several of the concepts in the game, but I need to study on some things before I could make it. I just think it's a great concept for a turn based strategy game, but it might just be something only I'm interested in.