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JD

top down terrain, anyone?

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Is anyone here working on a top down perspective 3D terrain for a role playing/adventure type game? I don''t mean height maps more like a mesh with control points and some tools to give shape to the terrain possibly csg it with brushes/cells. Castles would be brush based for example. I''m thinking of creating a final fantasy game type environment but instead of using 2D maps I was thinking of 3D ones. The trees would be smaller and the fighting would be realtime. So a camera would be pointing down at the player. Something like ''quest'' console game but with more top down angle. If anyone is working on such a thing could you post your website with pics for me? Thanks. What do you guys think of this anyway? The type of rpg games I''ve researched so far has been predominantly first person view like arx fatalis, summoner, asheron call2, but that view is too serious and environments have to be expansive and you do lot of walking between spots. With top down view you get the old retro feel but in 3D. I could then cram more detail per meter into this type of terrain by having scaled down houses and such, not real to life scale. I also thought of using an overworld heightmaped map to show you where you''re going and to show major world locations. Then once you arrive at such a location(by walking, flying in airship, etc. on the map) the area would expand into a close up view. Good idea, bad idea, what do you think?

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I think this would look a bit weird in 3d (just being able to see the top of the guy''s head and all). Perhaps a slightly offset view - i.e. not straight from above but somewhat from the side (say 30 degrees to the vertical). These kinds of views are quite widely used, for example in the RPG Silver.

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Doz, you''re right ofcourse Forgot to explain myself better. I''ve had something in mind like blueisle game http://www.planetquake.com/tdk/BlueIsle/ but more kiddie/cartoony looking. For the terrain I thought of using a heightmap to get basic geometry going then I would modify it in an editor by pulling/pushing on vertices to give it more distinct look. Would then like to offload geometry to static/dynamic vertex buffers. Perhaps using quadtrees/bounding volumes for collision detection. An optimized lower poly terrain mesh for collisions?

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