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Rasm

Side 45 vs Top View?

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Greetings, I haven't logged onto gamedev for awhile and things have really changed. First, I'd like to say that I'm working on a 2d online futuristic shooter/rpg. While designing the game, I've come up with bit of dilema. I can't decide whether to go with a side 45° view (like traditional japanese rpg's) or go with a pure top view. Both sides have their advantages and disadvantages. What I'm looking for is something where I can see alot of details in characters but still have the correct looking geometry. If the player is drawn from a side 45° angle and can shoot 360° then he must at least turn 8 solid directions to make the weapon look like he is firing in the correct direction. 16 directions would be the ideal amount if I went 45° but I'm sure there would be just way too many frames of animations per character to make it worth it. If I went the other way and did the player and world from the top view, I could just rotate all the objects and have them able to face 360° perfectly with no extra frames per direction. The problem with a top view is that you won't see much of the players equipment. A key feature in the game is having a customizable character. If you're only limited to whats on the top of the players head and shoulders then there won't be much of a distinction between players. That's where I can't decide whether to go 45° or pure top view. This game is a community based game so I'm hoping that if more people like a certain view over the other, then it would solve the problem. What I'm asking for are some suggestions of how I should go about getting a detailed player but not having to create an insane amount of animations. Any questions or feedback are appreciated. Thanks. -Rasm www.rdxgames.com

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Personally, the faster the action the less I want obscuring walls and terrain to block my view. Also, if the customization is less graphical and more meaningful in terms of gameplay, I'd vote for top view as well because it'll be easier to do and you'll thus be able to add even more customization.

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Don't know if you have plans but how would you show changes in elevation? How would you show the height of cover? It's things like this that make me lean towards ISO or a forced top-down
perspective.

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I'm pretty sure now that I will make it top view. The last thing I want is a player leaving the game because they can't tell where their player is at all times.

I do realize though that I'll be losing a lot of detail. As far as being able to tell the height of obejcts, it will be left up to the player to know what he/she can/can't shoot/move through.

Here is a clipped screenshot from a previous game demo I did.
Shooter game screen (sorry for the popups)

Just by playing the game, you know that walls and boxes block bullets where as the bushes outside the building do not. Since the world will not be changing backgrounds like those 2d top view airplane shooters like aero fighters, I'm pretty confident that players will not be frusterated.
Aero Fighters Screen

I always hated running into buildings and objects you didnt know stuck up into the players plain...

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