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AndyGeers

Must 3D be better?

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Like so many threads of these boards this is bound to be an unanswerable question due to the lack of solid examples, but I personally do not see any reason why 2D graphics must necessarily be deemed to be inferior to 3D graphics. I shall be using 2D here to refer to sprite-based games rather than a 2D perspective (but 3D models). It seems to me that because there are thousands and thousands of old 2D games that have dated graphics, and hundreds and hundreds of new 3D games that have quite impressive graphics, it is assumed that this is caused by the intrinsic limitations of 2D rather than the limitations of the programmers and, more importantly, the technology available when 2D games were produced and sold on a large scale. It is my firmly held belief that we have yet to see what 2D is truly capable of, and that given enough investment, vision and dedication, a sprite-based game (admittedly using 3D acceleration, but that''s fair enough) could knock the socks of anything the 3D world can produce any time soon. We have enough memory now that storing high quality character animations is a definite possibility, and GPUs are meaning that bump mapping is more and more practical so there is no reason not to have dynamic lighting and probably even shadow casting in a sprite-based game. The trick is to include so much realism and detail in your game that it makes use of the processor cycles that going 2D possibly gives you (or if not, that faster computers give you) to make your game world as immersive and realistic as possible. When your development cycle is not tied up writing a fancy 3D engine you can invest time in nice little touches that really add to the realism. I''m hoping to add little spiders to my game that go around spinning webs in the tunnels of my underground cave network, which are destroyed as realistically as possible when you start running through them. It may add nothing to the gameplay, but when you''re writing a 2D game you have more time on yours hands to do that sort of thing, and it adds tonnes to the realism and immersion factor that in turn makes for a good game. Sure, if you have sucky gameplay then you will have a sucky game, but I would argue with anybody that said the gameplay of rubishy old BBC games was less fun than fancy 3D games, even with the nostalgia factor taken into account. The point of my post is really just to argue that 2D isn''t necessarily worse than 3D, just that in our experience the 2D graphics we have seen are worse than the 3D graphics we have seen. Make 2D better, don''t abandon it! If your game doesn''t need 3D, don''t waste time writing a 3D engine when you could invest that time in more important things.

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One word counters any argument you could possibly give, and you even hinted at it yourself.

Immersion.

I live in a 3D world. No 2-D game you make can come close to making me feel a part of it, but 3D games, some made even a few years back, have come very close.

Is 2D dead? Is it an invalid game medium? No, and no.
Is equally-well-done 3D in all ways better for immersion? Yes.

Later,
ZE.

//email me.//zealouselixir software.//msdn.//n00biez.//
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quote:
Original post by ZealousElixir
One word counters any argument you could possibly give, and you even hinted at it yourself.

Immersion.

I live in a 3D world. No 2-D game you make can come close to making me feel a part of it, but 3D games, some made even a few years back, have come very close.

Is 2D dead? Is it an invalid game medium? No, and no.
Is equally-well-done 3D in all ways better for immersion? Yes.

Later,
ZE.

//email me.//zealouselixir software.//msdn.//n00biez.//
miscellaneous links



I would agree with you about the immersion thing, but I dont really think that really "counters" what he is saying. Although immersion in a game can be great, games do not need to be fully immersive to be fun (and not that you are saying they have to be). Lots of people like to play games for what they are - games. Like chess or darts or whatever; some people simply enjoy the challenge in a skill or strategy based game. Honestly when I play a game of Warcraft III, I really dont care about feeling Im part of the world. I care about beating my opponent; figuring out what he is trying to do and what I can do to beat him. When I play a deathmatch game like quake, I dont care what planet "Im on" or why Im fighting or what the hell Im fighting over. Im just playing because I enjoy the skill element of the game.

I guess this sort of applies to multiplayer games slightly more than single player (at least in my case). But I guess what Im saying is I agree with AndyGeers, and though you are right about the immersion thing, it doesnt really make what he''s saying any less valid in my eyes.

Ratman

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Lots of people like to play games for what they are - games.

But what are games, aside from being themselves. Surely you cannot gauge the effectiveness of something if you don''t know what it''s supposed to be doing.

A clear defination of a game must be agreed upon before anyone can agree as to what is best for games, no?

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See, I don''t believe that 3D is necessary to achieve effective immersion. Films are shot with a fixed camera from a 3rd person perspective (much like a sprite-based game) and nobody would argue that films can''t be immersive. Realism and attention to detail create immersion, not 3D.

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quote:
Original post by LockePick
But what are games, aside from being themselves. Surely you cannot gauge the effectiveness of something if you don''t know what it''s supposed to be doing.

A clear defination of a game must be agreed upon before anyone can agree as to what is best for games, no?


Yeah I suppose, but thats not really what Im saying. I''m not trying to telling you what is best for games, or trying to lay down a universal definition of "game". There certainly are multiple ways to define what a game is. My point is that some people play some video games because they enjoy the challenge in the skill and strategy that some of them are based around; Similiar to other non-video games such as darts, chess, billiards, etc. And in those cases, immersion is a small, if non existant factor for a lot of people.

I''m not trying to say immersion is never a factor, just that some games dont require a immersion to be succesfull or "good".

Ratman

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Some types of games (FPS, simulations) could not reasonably be done without 3D. On the other hand, there are games (such as platform games) where 3D graphics don''t really add anything, and there are some games I''d much rather have seen in 3D - for instance, I cannot for the life of me imagine what possessed LucasArts to abandon the wonderful graphics of The Curse of Monkey Island when making the next sequel, if not for the widely held belief that "2D is dead".

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With 2D, you have to pre-render the animation. It will look the same each time.

With 3D, you can use IK and animation blending to animate the skeleton of the actor in any arbitrary way, determined by environment.

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quote:
Original post by ZealousElixir
Is 2D dead? Is it an invalid game medium? No, and no.
Is equally-well-done 3D in all ways better for immersion? Yes.



Don''t tell me you''d find a 3D Tetris particularly immersive... :D
I''d be hard pressed to come up with examples where 2D is better, but "equally well don" 3D isn''t always better

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