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EDI

Forum Dying?

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I am very interested in iso programming, but I have been learning 3d and will change to this, which will take time. I also dont have any questions regarding iso programming at this time. But I think 2d iso programming is dying and will turn into 3d iso games soon enough, which these people are moving to the dx and ogl forums.

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It''s sad to see the 2D iso genre is given up by so many people, especially when the new gaming platforms (like PocketPC devices) do not support 3D, and as such are archetypical 2D-game platforms.

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yeah =/

I admit after i finish my current game and maybe one other my focus will turn to 3D games *though with a 3rd person isometric view*

i will still keep my 2D engine around, as it is very capable, and probably use it for smaller free games.



Raymond Jacobs,

www.EDIGames.com

www.EtherealDarkness.com




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As well, just about all that can be said about iso HAS been said. I''m not saying that the sum of all iso knowledge is fully available, or that there isn''t still room for innovation. But the things which make isometric games work are all in the public domain and easily found by searching. What new topics that do crop up around here are generally re-hashes of problems that have usually already been covered.

I first read about isometric games in an issue of Dr. Dobbs'' Sourcebook back in 1996, when the style was still fairly new. It stands to reason that in the intervening span of time, most questions that can be asked about isometrics (a style of game that to be honest, isn''t all that complicated) have been asked at some point, and answered. Archived posts in this forum are still a base for research as I program Golem, but I highly doubt anybody will bring up anything new for which I can say the same.

It does, however, still pain me to see this forum so quiet. I have an absolute love for isometric games that I am afraid full 3D bonanzas simply can not touch. Even games such as Neverwinter Nights or Dungeon Siege strike me as pale, imitational wannabes, and nothing makes me sicker to my stomach than seeing a game character rendered as a low-polygon count model, full of ugly planes and angles, as these aformentioned games do.

Josh
vertexnormal AT linuxmail DOT org


Check out Golem: Lands of Shadow, an isometrically rendered hack-and-slash inspired equally by Nethack and Diablo.

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I second that (ugly models)
which is why when i start doing 3D games it will have to be up to par in quality, the whole reason to make things as stunningly beautiful but in 3 dimensions, im sure it''s possible to do=)

especialy with new hardware coming out every day.


speaking of hardware a long while ago i was warey of using hardware accelerated api''s since i figured users would not upgrade, but it now seems the industry operates on the notion that ''in order to play our game you will probably have to upgrade your hardware'' so i guess if the big companies are doing it then why not develop for next generation or atleast current generation top of the line hardware... it''s just interesting back in the early 90''s you could play most any game on your 486 with a standard vga card, but now you have to buy hardware with the game=) heheh they should offer bundles *buy this game, or buy this game bundled with the Geforce FX, you save $80!* LOL


Raymond Jacobs,

www.EDIGames.com

www.EtherealDarkness.com




Voice your discontent! help stop the flames!

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Yeah, I''m going to have to actually play Age of Mytholgy one of these days and see if they had reason to abandon the great look of AOE/AOE2. The screenshots for AOM look like shit if you ask me. I can''t see why they wasted all that calc time on the units just so someone can change their camra angle? (I hope they can, or there is just no reason to have that bad of graphics)

I myself see no reason to use inferrier looking graphics just to save maybe what? 10% or less disk space for the graphics, and then increase the time the processer is working on them, and not AI or something. A 3D shooter does need 3D graphics, but a Tatics or startagy game comanding multiple uints is so much nicer in tile/sprite isometric. Anyone every play Myth? I see no real reason why that was done that way. Sure no one else had a game that played like that, but really the rotating view just pissed me off, and i was forever trying just to find my own men, let alone fight the battles. (Needless to say, I only got to level 2 by luck, and only saw level 3 with a cheat,...)

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the only real benefit i would see in doing my game in full 3d would be to enhance the feel of battle and character interaction...

for instance you could be running down a hall, passing by torches hearing the doppler effect of the flames,

and all of a sudden be attacked by a horde, you cross swords with them, sparks fly, camera moves round the scene... it could make things more dramatic, almost like watching a movie=)

all in all 2D is the way to be for me at the moment=)

Raymond Jacobs,

www.EDIGames.com

www.EtherealDarkness.com




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I think the main reason for using 3D on look down games is they are easier, faster and cheaper to develop. There is a hell of a lot of work in getting a prerendered unit to the screen in an RPG. Getting the attached animations to line up is murder. In 3D all you need to do is skin the model and animate it and the engine does the rest.

I do agree with you though. 3D models in prerendered games look ugly. Take a look at the failed Static project if you want to see what I mean.

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This is the only forum on GameDev that I read everyday - so it will really be a sad day if it dies

I''ve bought Iso Programming with Direct X 7 but its really a Iso beginners book and there are lots of things not answered in it - and also I havn''t been abl;e to find good answers on the net for:

Fog of War
Control structures to manage building of buildings
The problem EDI just had
The creation of Levels in a 2D map - Also position of units in same

There is a lot of information about 2D iso that isn;t readily available.

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cairnswm,

I agree, I bought the same book and while it did help me it was not everything I thought it would be, didint answer many in depth questions that it could easily have.

it really only covered things that didnt apply to real-world game development, I had to develop many techniques on my own which should have been explained, and if it wasnt for Mike and other tallented people here on this forum I might never have succeeded.


A lot of people seem to think that everything has been written on isometric problems, but like the problem i just faced i wasnt able to find anything on it, and i can imagine that this would be a major blocker for most game developers.

I was thinking of writing an article on the solution to the problem I had, though i''m not sure I have the time for it, or if it''s my place since I didint develop the solution.

This is pretty much the only forum I freuqent so it''s a shame to see it slow to a trickle.


Raymond Jacobs,

www.EDIGames.com

www.EtherealDarkness.com




Voice your discontent! help stop the flames!

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quote:
Original post by EDI

I was thinking of writing an article on the solution to the problem I had, though i''m not sure I have the time for it, or if it''s my place since I didint develop the solution.


Raymond Jacobs,

www.EDIGames.com

www.EtherealDarkness.com




Voice your discontent! help stop the flames!


If you''re talking about the problem I helped you with, feel free to write an article about it. I didn''t realize it was a common problem. I don''t have an iso engine, so I probably wouldn''t be the ideal person to write about it since I couldn''t provide source code utilizing an iso engine. But if it could help other people, I''d think it would be cool for somebody to write about it.

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Cool=)

Then I will work on it in my spare3 time =D

lol

ive actualy just made an agreement with another game designer who has done a huge amount of work in resources for a (please dont flame me) MMORPG, i''ve been communicating with him the last four years he''s been developing the story stats maps, details, sounds graphics etc. for it, he is not a great programer though so i''ve made a deal with him that i will weld his resources together using my game engine for a 50% cut of NET Profits on sale of the game, so that should be good, of cource we are looking at atleast a year or two of development time, especialy with my current project in full blast =D

but yes, if anyone else feels that an article should be written on correct rendering of a diamond isometric map that needs to use structures that are more than 1 tile area large please let me know, and i''ll see what i can do =)


Raymond Jacobs,

www.EDIGames.com

www.EtherealDarkness.com




Voice your discontent! help stop the flames!

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I''ve played Empire Earth and a demo of Age of Mythology and I must say that I don''t have any clue what these game designers were thinking... They went out of their way to make everything 3d, they even resorted to crappy models like you guys have said... then they proceed to not take advantage of the 3d aspect at all!!! In Empire Earth you are able to zoom in and out a little bit but that''s all and in AOM, there is no abstract movement of the camera at all... I honestly don''t get it... They basically took AOE and made it so that it wouldn''t work on older machines.

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Sup Mr.Maniac the 2D Enthusasit himself =)

I agree ''Isometric Land'' doesnt really strike the feeling of professionalisim into my heart, 2D Graphics and Theory would be a much better title to the forum and might encourage more people to frequent here since it wont seem to be limited to Isometric and Tile based game development.



Raymond Jacobs,

www.EDIGames.com

www.EtherealDarkness.com




Voice your discontent! help stop the flames!

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The one advantage I have with 3d over 2d is the speed and graphic detail. I really shouldnt have to explain but I will just in case.

You cant really get good performance with a 2d api, for example you dont get hardware support for alpha, and you spend a lot more time getting good graphics with a 2d game. You can make them just as good or better compared to 3d but it takes so much time to get all the animations done. For example say you have 1 unit, he has 3 states: walk, run, standing, in 8 directions. All of this done with 1 armor type and 1 weapon. thats a lot of graphics just right here, now consider you can have 5 weapon types, sword, dbl handed sword, bow, cross bow, staff. You have to make new animations for those weapons, and again with 1 armor type. This can take a very long time. With 3d, its very easy and you can have different types of armor for each area of the character, leg armor could be different from the helm. with not just different weapons that look alike, 1 model for 40 different types of swords but you can model and tex and have special effects for that weapon and its done. You can even do all of that by making it a 2d game with 2d graphics and such. just used well made 3d models, that dont have a 3d look to it. Also 3d is where its at, I know pocket pc can only use 2d, for now. But in 2 years that will be different. It isnt very hard to make a 2d iso game for those I would think, But your forcing yourself to be behind, in a way. Learn 2d and 3d. You will make better game..

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eh 2D, 3D

in all reality it''s all the same to me, i will be doing both.

i shall attack the competion on all side, lay waste to thier fortresses, grind thier bones to make me bread... er wait um... sorry kinda got lost for a second=)

at the moment though 2D is what i do,

you raise alot of good points though, graphics production is hell at best not to mention the limitation of how many graphics u need to have lots of differnt wear, of cource you can implement overlay systems but making graphics for those are a pain too, when it comes to dynamic graphics usage 3D is king=)




Raymond Jacobs,

www.EDIGames.com

www.EtherealDarkness.com




Voice your discontent! help stop the flames!

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quote:
Original post by Dalik
The one advantage I have with 3d over 2d is the speed and graphic detail.

*snip*

You cant really get good performance with a 2d api, for example you dont get hardware support for alpha, and you spend a lot more time getting good graphics with a 2d game.


The only problem I have with what you said is that you assume you have to use a 2D API to make a 2D game. Not true. You can just as easily make use of the 3D accelerated hardware to do 2D graphics, and get the benefits of depth buffering, alpha blending, smooth shading, etc... After all, no matter how 3D a game is, in the end it is drawn to the screen as 2D fragments of pixels, and that is what the hardware renderer works with. In fact, I highly recommend that anyone who is making a 2D game make use of the 3D hardware features, as it makes such things as smooth lighting, fog-of-war, etc... so much easier to implement.

You can also have more detailed characters with 2D, especially on older hardware where polygon counts are a serious limitation. You can create your models with 1.4 million polygons per model, if you wish, and it still renders down to the same 256x256 (or whatever) size bitmap that one of equal size but comprised of only 14 polygons will render to, and both will draw at exactly the same speed. Not true of a true 3D model composed of 1.4 million polygons vs. one made of 14 polygons.

But I do agree that creating a component-based animation system such as you describe is significantly easier with true 3D. And I also agree that art and animation generation is more tedious and time-consuming in 2D, even without the complexity of building a component-based system.

Josh
vertexnormal AT linuxmail DOT org


Check out Golem: Lands of Shadow, an isometrically rendered hack-and-slash inspired equally by Nethack and Diablo.

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I understand that you can use 3d for 2d graphics but many n00bs dont, they will use DDraw or sdl etc for there 2d games.

Also, you dont get as good performance as you do with 3d graphics, when I programmed with sdl, I did some basic stuff, and was geting about 45fps it was a pong game. Then I added fonts and it dropped to about 30. If I added about 50 chars of text the fps dropped to 20''s if I added more and more it dropped more. I didnt even bother to make it go faster. I wasnt very pleased with it. I didnt know and still dont know asm but it seemed if I had to much going on then I was getting less then 30fps, I didnt even have sound. If I turned on 32bit color at 800x600 I was in my 20''s with 3 different images.

But with 3d its much different.

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Hmm a background image, three full screen alpha blended images, a thousand particles and 2700 fps in software, you just have to know how. Except, you can''t see anything then, so that figure is utterly useless =p Once I actually transfer the finished backbuffer across the agp bus and flip it onto the primary surface, I''m capped at 280 fps, and not a penny more, because of Agp transfer rate, nothing at all I can do about that, but heh, for a 2D game, I''ve got enough fps and then some.
Using stuff like sdl or Direct Draw for 2D graphics is fine, but as you say, it''s not the best...

(Oh how I miss the good old days of 2D acceleration)

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as for me I dont bother trying to decided what API is best,

my engine''s core makes use of a logical interface that can be used with any 3rd Party api if an adaptor (dll) is written for it, so far it works pretty good, and no more worries about having my engine running on top of somthing that may suck in a few years=)


Raymond Jacobs,

www.EDIGames.com

www.EtherealDarkness.com

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