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I need some direction on how to proceed in the graphics dept

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Hello all, Over the past few months I’ve been working on RPG project and I’ve come to a point where I need some direction on how to proceed in the graphics dept... Thus far I have pretty much completed (85%) the base engine framework. By this I mean the governing rule set, character and monster classes, treasure system, etc. Basically, it’s evolved enough so I can play a MUD type game at command prompt, minus the dungeon. Now I have a fair amount of experience with 2D graphics, and I’m just now starting to experiment seriously in 3D. My plan from the start, was to keep it simple enough to see the project through (I’m a one man band), but avoid rehashing the same old thing. My original idea was to do a Top-Down RPG, but with a twist. (I’m sure that you’ll agree when I say there are enough isometric RPGs in the world already.) I’d like to make this a real “Dungeon Crawl”, where everything is pitch black, short of your small torch piercing the blackness. Lots of dancing shadows, and things moving just out of view, that kinda thing… Dancing shadows in 2D?!? That’s the kicker; I’m thinking I could have very basic, hidden 3D geometry for the walls, columns, stalactites etc., which cast shadows and would really set the mood. Now that you have some kind of idea what I’m talking about, maybe you could help me choose the best method of approach. I’ll list my major questions for clarity: 1. I was thinking about using 64x64 tiles and storing the geometry within the tile structure. Based on my initial figures I could keep the number of vertices at about 12 – 32 per tile without problem, short of a few odd balls like columns. I could then use AABB collision testing on the geometry. Or maybe I should stick with basics like zoning with bytes[]? Should I separate the geometry and tiles? I also considered using 384x 384 tiles. 2. What is the beast way of doing the “Fog of War” thing where most of the screen is dark and only the surrounding area of the player is lit? The player will probably always be in the center of the screen, so maybe just an alpha blended circle layer? This will need to be sizable. 3. Sprites or animated meshes for the characters and monsters? Even the 2D sprites would have to be rendered in 3D first, so any constructive opinions on the way to go here? Thanks in advance, ~Inkog

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