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Ketchaval

2d vs 3d

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Compare and contrast, what are the differences? 1. Scale, 3d games are often on a bigger scale than 2d games. Many 2d games show large areas of space but "scale" them down to fit onto one screen. (Ie. Tile scale). 2. Graphical style, 2d can have a great handdrawn look (that I like), but 3d graphics can often look more realistic. 3. Representation of three dimensional space.

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I remember this issue has been addressed before... maybe a google search, a forum search(if it''s working now, I don''t know) or a visit to the Articles & Resources here on gamedev would help you. I think there is one that address the 2D vs 3D issue specificly.

However as I remember the articles I have read do not address the issues that you post here so I''ll answer ''em anyways

1.With 3d games, it''s easier to make huge worlds... but the bigger the world is the less quality it has usually. Remember also that 2D can use scrolling so they don''t have to scale worlds, but rather things like maps and other stuff that you would like to look quickly just like 3D games do with their maps.

2.3D graphics are easier for realistic graphics. You can make handdrawns or cartoony look with 3D, but it''s harder than 2D, however I beleive a 3D handdrawn style is more interesting than 2D handdrawn style so the work pays off.

3.That''s the obvious. You have more space for things in 3D. However 3D also makes the game more complex for the player.

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2D games are usually easier to create than 3D games.
Some 2D games have awesome gameplay, like Worms.
2D games tend to be cartoony. 2Dish games are good for games like WarCraft and StarCraft.

3D games are more detailed and people are more likely to spend money on them, they take more time and energy to produce.

Most 3D games are action type games where you run around killing things, and people care a lot about how graphics look, gameplay is secondary (Doom, Quake, etc), unless you are talking about Duke Nukem.

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quote:
Original post by clayasaurus
Most 3D games are action type games where you run around killing things, and people care a lot about how graphics look, gameplay is secondary (Doom, Quake, etc), unless you are talking about Duke Nukem.

That''s a bold statement.

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The revenge of the long poster. Sorry, I really can''t make short posts, it is practically impossible for me...

2D vs 3D? What exactly do you mean?

If you mean the representation of the game, all games are eventually on a 2D screen, so there are really no 3D games in the strictest sense (unless you have special hardware). If you mean the game world, that would basically make Wolfenstein 3D a 2D game and Age of Empires a 3D game (since there are differences in height in the world). If you mean 3D-accelerated games (using OpenGL or Direct3D) as 3D and the rest as 2D, keep in mind that you can use those APIs to make 2D games (that is, 2D in the "traditional" sense). Also, you could classify games that use a perspective projection as 3D and the rest as 2D, which seems to be a quite usual classification (even though not a very good one). It''s hard to answer since these definitions aren''t equivalent.

That being said, I will consider separately the subject in the light of the dimensionality of the game world, the method of representing it and the perspective projection, respectively.

As for considering the question of the game world being 2D or 3D (despite how you represent it), 2D worlds are usually much easier to comprehend, let alone create. Usually the controls are more intuitive, as you move in one plane only. However, a 2D world is much more rigid than a 3D one. That extra dimension gives you many more possible strategies and structures you can have in your game world.

However, is it really all that important to make the game world so dependent of the way of representation? I mean, the game world could exist without any representation (on an abstract level), the representation just transforms the current state of the game world to a viewable form, so the player will know what is happening. The point is, you still can view a 3D game world as 2D (if you consider the isometric view 2D take that as an example, for true 2D-view for 3D-game consider the archaic game "How to be a complete bastard" on C=64 ) and a 2D world can be disguised to be a 3D one (eg. Duke Nukem Manhattan Project).

As for using sprites and tiles as opposed to polygonal models, I would generally disagree with the fact that it is necessarily easier to make realistic graphics with 3D systems. Since in modern, percpective projected 3D games you really don''t have the choice to limit the possible points of view, sooner or later the player will zoom so close to the models that they start looking awfully polygonal and despite all the trilinear/anisotropic filtering in the world a zoomed-in texture still looks bad (of course you can use some sort of overlaid detail texture and different levels of details for the models, but we were talking about realism being easy, not it being possible).

By using polygonal models you get transformations for "free" (translation, rotation and scaling), but then again if having a fully controllable point of view with maximum degrees of freedom does not make the game any better, such redeeming values of the 3D system are worthless.

I find the surreal look (not really the cartoony aspect as such but the diffecences in contrast etc as compared to polygonally rendered models) of many 2D games appealing too, but one of the problems is that you have to have all animations as sequences of frames, wich can take up a lot of space.

As for the question about perspective, it really makes me sad (of course I could post this in the "games that make you cry"-thread, but someone might consider it a bit off-topic ) that nowadays all games seem to have perspective projection. I mean, if you have a game engine that makes few assumptions about the parameters of the perspective projection, it should work fine with an orthogonal projection, since it really is a perspective projection with an infinite distance to the viewer. It wouldn''t be hard to just put an option to use the orthogonal projection. The rendering would still be the same, but the projection matrix would be different.

In my opinion strategy games (and other games from that point of view, say many rpgs) gain nothing from perspective. Empire Earth, Age of Mythology and similar games really disappointed me with the perspective - it makes estimating differences in distance much harder. Also, since most commercial shoot-em-ups are really from first person, we are losing the genre with the gameplay of unreal tournament from an orthogonal point of view (consider Soldat or even the C=64 Commando if you want ), which I consider a big loss (of course, it would be quite different from fpss, but personally I''d like to see more of those games).

Do note, that not using perspective does not eliminate the possibility to zoom or rotate the map (around the height axis; I''m thinking about rtss here) as long as you do it right, so orthogonal view is not so rigid as many seem to think.

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SimCity 4 and Divine Divinity both used an orthogonal view, and did some nice things to make their 3D models look BETTER than any sprites I''ve ever seen.

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in very specific cases, i like 2d over 3d -- namely in RPGs.

i think the baldur''s gate series is still the high water mark for RPGs. by having essentially hand-painted maps, you''ve got uniqueness at every step. you''ve got artistry.

neverwinter nights is soooo cookie cutter, it''s ridiculous. dungeon seige is a little better and doesn''t suffer from the tile-based system that neverwinter uses. but it''s hardly an RPG, so it''s tough to guage it. 3d in these games is superfluous, i find. i tend to like the same view angle. i get confused if i rotate my camera (which way is north again?), so the only 3d quality is the dynamic lighting (which isn''t so dynamic) and persepctive changing as you move around. big deal.

maybe the next gen will be better...

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Removed gigantic pointless quote: - Sandman

[edited by - Sandman on May 25, 2004 9:42:07 AM]

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quote:
Original post by miles vignol
i think the baldur''s gate series is still the high water mark for RPGs. by having essentially hand-painted maps, you''ve got uniqueness at every step. you''ve got artistry.

neverwinter nights is soooo cookie cutter, it''s ridiculous.



That has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it''s in 3D - it''s due to the fact that tile based levels make it much easier and quicker for players to generate their own maps, rather than having to faff around with industrial strength 3d modelling software.

They could have made the maps just as unique as in BG, at the cost of much larger data files, and reduced modability.

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I appreciate 2D games for the stylistic gameplay and atmosphere. Though for 3D, I enjoy those for their discovery and adventure from a first and third person perspective.

One could do some pretty sick (cool) stuff with 2D games with some 3D rendered content to give some impression of depth and realism. I personally would like to see more 2D games with more improvisation and innovation. It's a matter of mixing all the elements of a game well to achieve the purpose and effect - not speaking from a gfx standpoint only.

From 3D to 2D, an example would be like Mario Kart in 3D or something like that. A common word for these is "kiddish" or "kiddy" because it looks like your 2-year old would play em. But that isn't always the case, hehe. [edit]Don't misunderstand me here. I mention Mario Kart because it is 3D infact but the style of the game looks like it is for kids. The whole color theme is Crayola colorful looking - not the realistic approach so to speak. So there is some sense of 2D there.[/edit]

FPS games using cell-shading to achieve a 2D/3D mixture is just a big no-no for me. UNLESS someone uses the technique effectively and with point rather than approach.

The point to my post is that you don't need to limit yourself. If you have an idea, think how it would work best and go for it.

[edited by - zenaphex on May 25, 2004 10:40:22 AM]

[edited by - zenaphex on May 25, 2004 3:11:07 PM]

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quote:
Original post by clayasaurus
3D games are more detailed and people are more likely to spend money on them, they take more time and energy to produce.
They aren''t more detailed. Old 3d games (pre-bumpmapping days) are even less detailed. It''s that 3d-ness that attracts people. Immersion, so to speak.

However, immersion isn''t always necessary. There are types of games that don''t require player immersion such as RTSes, RPGs, and puzzles. These are the games that can still survive even when done in 2D.

3D, although it''s technically more difficult, can be more useful than 2D in some applications of (technical) game design. In game cutscenes, skeletal animations, physics, and many more that simply can''t be done (or has less effect) in 2D.

Players really don''t care whether it''s 2D or 3D. If you do it in 3D and make it appear 2D (i.e Super Smash Brothers for N64), they probably won''t even notice that it''s 3D. Or vice versa, you do it in 2D but using prerendered 3D graphics, they probably think it''s 3D. Think how you want players to play your game, how you want your game to look like. Then from that point, you can decide whether it''s best done in 3D or 2D.

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quote:
Original post by miles vignol
in very specific cases, i like 2d over 3d -- namely in RPGs.

i think the baldur''s gate series is still the high water mark for RPGs. by having essentially hand-painted maps, you''ve got uniqueness at every step. you''ve got artistry.


Uniqueness? Never viewed the area map and looked at the obvious tiling? Or seen how often a certain tree gets re-used?

I''ll be honest and admit that I am somewhat biased - I''m about an hour away from completing Baldur''s Gate 1 and I''ve found it to be one of the worst-balanced, buggiest, poorly-written and poorly-programmed games in quite some time. So my opinion on the graphics are probably a little coloured by everything else.


Back on topic though, I find 2D and 3D suit different types of game. Thief and Unreal Tournament wouldn''t be half as good in 2D, but a lot of 3D rpgs wouldn''t really suffer for being 2D and might even be more playable. Certainly you have to wonder whether the development time spent on 3D features might have been better spent on more gameplay in a 2D game.

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Generally I prefer 2D games to 3D games, for me many 3D would be better played in 2D, however, there are games that I wouldn''t imagine without a 3D perspective.

For example, Zelda OoT is glorious in 3D, I can''t imagine it being the same sucess in 2D.

However, take one of a common 3D multiplayer first person shooters. Remember that 3D == Not seeing what''s behind you. So poorly designed levels make 3D a pain in the ass.

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I find the "2D versus 3D" ridiculous. Long time ago 2D was constrained by resolution, pallete, sprite counts, blitting speed (PCs) and limited tile layers (consoles). A while ago 3D was constrained by polygon count and texture resolution. And both were constrained by RAM amount. Now the constraints are a lot more lax, so it''s very possible to have 2D graphics with really smooth animations, huge amounts of sprites on the screen, smooth scaling/rotation, alpha channels as masks. And 3D games can have characters and anvronments with enough detail to not look like origami figures, along with pleasant clipping distances and on-screen detail.

Now both are plain choices you can make when designing your game. Want to make a sidescrolling plataformer? There''s a load of ways you can do it, and you may choose the one that suits your skills and needs, like:

- Use full 2D graphics (sprites and tiles) and lay them on different overlayed planes for some cool parallax effects;
- Use 2D backgrounds, but use 3D models using orth´graphic projection, if you can''t afford drawing all the sprite frames, or if your game requires it;
- Use 3D backgrounds with projection, but use 2D sprites if you is capable of and desire such look;
- Build it all with 3D objects, and use either orthographic or perspective, depending on the effect you want to achieve

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