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Kaisel

Strengths of 2D games

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Kaisel    163
I just saw a thread talking about 2D games, and how they were a dying breed, so I was wondering, what strengths do 2D games have over 3D games. The few that I can come up with are: -More intuitive controls (It's far less likely that a 2D game will have the "tank" controls of say, Resident Evil) -Few, if any, camera issues -Less costs (this is debatable, as quality sprite-work, I assume, is expensive) So, what other strengths does a 2D game have over a 3D game?

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Kaisel    163
I guess I forgot to consider technical reasons for 2D being better, but one thing that I remember hearing, not too sure since I'm not up to date on console development, was that most of the consoles have a horrible time doing 2D.

Overall though, I wonder what gameplay advantages 2D holds over 3D, although technical reasons are a good point to consider.

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OrangyTang    1298
Quote:
Original post by Kaisel
I guess I forgot to consider technical reasons for 2D being better, but one thing that I remember hearing, not too sure since I'm not up to date on console development, was that most of the consoles have a horrible time doing 2D.

They might not be too hot on old-school style 2d (ie actually bliting sprites direct) but any modern 2d game will be using proper 3d acceleration anyway (ie. textured quads). That'll run blazingly fast on pretty much any current console (well, except the GBA, but thats got some very cool 2d hardware instead).

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remi    150
I sincerely believe that 2D games will always be around even though 3D games or applications have their place and play an undeniebale role in the industry!
I still love many old 2D games even if they're "dying"!

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SonicSilicon    122
2D supports almost any artistic style, easily, since it isn't nescesary to rationalize how it would appear in three dimensions or even bother with that being possible.

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There was talk years ago of "voxels", but no 3D game has ever made terrain as deformable as what Lemmings or Worms had. Playing Clonk Planet now, I'm very pleased with the 2D format.

Having played the demo of Worms Mayhem, I can tell you that 2D is far easier to visualize for strategy or puzzles. Aiming a bazooka in 3D, with wind and little things sticking out of buildings and such, is hard on my parietal lobe. In 2D, that sort of thing is second nature.

There's a sense of solidity to 2D gaming. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I'm consistently infuriated by most 3D jumping puzzles (excepting Super Mario 64, which put heavy jumping sections in a 2D camera view). Look at the difference between 2D and 3D for Ninja Gaiden games. 2D was quick and easy, with walls factoring into strategy seamlessly. The new one requires such frenetic maneuvering that it's almost impossible to do well without a healthy dose of luck.

Sometimes, a game is better off being distilled into just two dimensions.

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mengha    130
I still love 2d games like the first civilization and also colonisation. Soldat is also in 2D using 3D and is a really addictive game.

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Jiia    592
3D development is realistic to a point where the developer doesn't need to figure out how this or that representation should be 'emulated', and instead just literally builds the world and throws objects into it.

It also offers a huge degree of flexibility. In my engine, I can add one animation resource (like swaying or limping), and have it work in conjunction with 20 action animations (walk, turn, run, get whacked) for any number of character shapes or outfits.

With that said, I will always prefer to look at sprites rather than polygons. Sprites have souls, but it's a pain in the ass building that soul. I didn't move on from 2D to 3D development because 3D sells, I moved on because the math curve is twenty times easier than drawing sprite images :P

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fireside    122
I think 2d has a definate advantage over 3d when it comes to puzzles. They require a kind of standing back and looking at the whole picture, and a certain level of abstraction. Very few puzzle games even work in 3d, and if they do, it doesn't add anything. Puzzles in 3d haven't come much farther than moving boxes around so you can get higher or finding the right key for a door.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Most 3d games are very expensive big-budget productions with lots of work put into special effects and such, just like hollywood. The problem comes up when all that matters is the special effects and the story just crumbles and dies. In 2d games like chrono trigger, final fantasy 3 (6?) etc. the story was very well done and I really got into it, and for certain types of games I had much more fun with them in 2d. Ultimately, I hope that (3d accelerated) 2d can make a comeback and live beside 3d.

I agree that 3d is superior for racing and shooting, but i'd rather have 2d for rpg's, adventures like mario etc. etc. They were just funner to play and less cumbersome to control.

..who knows, maybe i'll help bring back 2d in the future...

Eric Irvine

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Trapper Zoid    1370
Here's my take on the advantages of 2D over 3D:

- more intuitive (in some situations); sometimes it's just easier to conceptualise the game world in 2D rather than 3D (see puzzle games such as Tetris, Worms etc.), as there's an extra dimension to think about with 3D.

- easier/cheaper to create and debug (in most cases)

- 2D can be prettier than 3D; this is becoming less so as 3D progresses, but it's still the case that a talented 2D artist can present prettier more detailed backgrounds than a 3D modeller can represent. This is certainly true if you factor in time and cost in the equation. See the drop in quality between Monkey Island 3 (Curse of Monkey Island) and Monkey Island 4 (Escape from Monkey Island).

- less hardware dependent; assuming this is true 2D (sprites and such), the game can be made to run well on any video hardware today, rather than be based on the speed of the 3D video card of the system. This will also mean the game is more likely to be stable.

- 2D is different to 3D, and differences will help make a game stand out.

I think 2D will be around as long as we are still forced to project everything we do on computers into a 2D viewing pane on our monitors. Even if we get 3D hologramatic monitors sometime in the future, we'll still have 2D games as well due to the 'intuition' reason; look at the enduring popularity of 2D board games.

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Jiia    592
Well, when you guys are speaking of certain genres being better in 2D, why exactly is that? It's not just the controls or view, is it? Because that could be accomplished by simply not moving the camera in a 3D world. Any 2D situation can be represented in 3D (compare Street Fighter series to it's EX 3D brother). I believe that under it all, it's the sprites you're in love with. Not the controls or view :)

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Trapper Zoid    1370
Quote:
Original post by Jiia
Well, when you guys are speaking of certain genres being better in 2D, why exactly is that? It's not just the controls or view, is it? Because that could be accomplished by simply not moving the camera in a 3D world. Any 2D situation can be represented in 3D (compare Street Fighter series to it's EX 3D brother). I believe that under it all, it's the sprites you're in love with. Not the controls or view :)


Actually, with me both are correct, in different genres.

For old-school type action games, such as the side-scrolling spaceship shoot-em-up, or the 2D platformer, the genre becomes 'different' when translated into 3D. Not necessarily worse or better, but different (for example, comparing the 3D Mario and Zelda games to the 2D ones).

Then there's the puzzle games like Worms and Tetris, where the extra dimension really does wreck the game. Worms is a blast in 2D, but in the 3D versions the extra dimension really wrecks it for me. I think this is partly due to the limitations of our 2D monitors in representing 3D space.

But in other genres, like the adventure games of Lucasarts and Sierra fame that were the backbone of the PC gaming scene in the early-to-mid nineties, really did benefit from the sprites. Like I said, Monkey Island 3 (all cartoonish sprites) was a lot better looking than its sequel, Monkey Island 4 (ugly 3D modelled characters). The adventure game genre never really made the transition to the 3D era.

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Jiia    592
I was just noting that there are three varieties instead of two. 2D, 3D, and 3D worlds with 2D interface (opposite of Doom 1[wink]). Imagine a fully 3D third person rpg. Now what happens if you force the camera to always look almost straight down and prevent any rotations? Compare this to the same game built completely with 2D resources matching the exact angle. The only difference is sprites verses polygons. There are zero other differences between the two games.

So what I'm saying is that it's not necessarily the number of dimensions that dictates how well the game controls or plays or feels. Tekken is 3D. Or at least most would claim. You can side-step. Other than that, the control and interface is extremely similar to Street Fighter.

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someboddy    100
Take a look at the 2D game n - way of the ninja. I don't think such accurate jumps can be made properly in a 3D game. The only game close this this level of accuracy I saw was "The Neverending Story: Auryn Quest" (I know this game sucks, but they had a good idea which alowed them to make those accurate jumps). Anyways, what I'm saying is that in 2D games you can do more stuff you can't do in 3D games.

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Guest Anonymous Poster   
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Kaisel
I guess I forgot to consider technical reasons for 2D being better, but one thing that I remember hearing, not too sure since I'm not up to date on console development, was that most of the consoles have a horrible time doing 2D.

Overall though, I wonder what gameplay advantages 2D holds over 3D, although technical reasons are a good point to consider.


This distinction should be kept in mind. WCIII was a 2D game with 3D graphics. You're asking "Why would I want a 2D game instead of a 3D game?" and not "Why would I want 2D graphics instead of 3D graphics?".

My answer: You want a 2D game when you want a 2D game. Sounds stupid, but that's all there is to it, really. Worms was great. 2D suited it well. Hogs of War was similar, but in 3D. Hogs of War was great. 3D suited it well.

Really, when I look at a game, I don't think about whether it's 2D or 3D. I always knew Worms was 2D and Hogs of War was 3D, but never thought about it until now. That was just the universe that the rules for those games applied to.

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Hawkins8    100
The biggest problem of nowadays 3D games is that they fail to capture the best camera views for human eyes, the 'bird eye' view fits human perception the best so far, unless we see some smart alpha blending is supported by 3D engines softwarewise and hardwarewise. 3D fails to represent in narrow environments and for house decoration in an mmorpg. 2D view is also better in capturing the feeling of char/toon control. It's annoying in games like EQII or WoW when you fail to watch your "back". In FPS games however, 3D is always better.

some workarounds in 3D mmorpgs:

1) WoW (and EQII)
Use WASD and an extended First Person view, realism of narrow environments and tight spaces is well represented, but you wont have much control in "watching your back".

2) Lineage II
Use PnC such that you have a better sense of your surroundings and need not worry about your 'back'. But no narrow environment is allowed, eg, all dungeons are made to be *huge*.

3) Dark and Light
Easy, use PnC and simply remove *all* dungeons from the game, lol.


[Edited by - Hawkins8 on July 4, 2005 11:18:01 PM]

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Kaisel    163
Jiia, the anonymous poster got it right that I was talking more 2D gameplay vs. 3D gameplay. Megaman X8 and Super Smash Bros. come to mind when it comes to games with 3D graphics and 2D gameplay. I also agree with you though, that one of the reasons I like 2D games so much IS the sprites, and that's one of a game with 2D gameplays strengths. I know that I usually end up caring way more about a character that's a sprite than a 3D modeled character.

Someboddy, I've actually played N. It's a great game, incredibly hard at times though. I actually can't imagine this game with even 3D graphics, because of the pace it moves. Then again, I suppose a minimalist graphical game could produce some very nice 3D models and animation.

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ishpeck    154
The technical aspects of art-rendering are more for the "Programming" forums than the "Design" forum. So I will leave the engineering aspects aside (as difficult as that is) and emphasise the _DESIGN_ of games.

We have come to an evolution in technology where games should not be designed around the hardware we play them on but more around the things the kinds of experiences we wish to have. We get ourselves into a design rut when simply recreating 3D versions of 2D gameplay and calling it creative and new. Do we really need tweakable camera in a Real-Time Strategy? How does that contribute to the gameplay?

Which leads me to my contribution to the thread's topic: The strengths of 2D games are that they allow the player to focus on the important aspects of the game's design rather than on the superfluous ones -- such as torturing the camera into the right position. A fully two-dimensional RTS (StarCraft) allows the player to focus on building his armies and hurling them into a mixing pot of destruction. In a game like "Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation," the three-dimensional aspects work against the playability of the game.

Games that are designed from a fun gameplay point of view tend to be 2D on the principle that the designer did not hinge the concept of his game around hardware capabilities but rather, around entertaining and challenging the player. There are exceptions to this rule, of course.

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PsYcHoPrOg    115
Quote:
Any 2D situation can be represented in 3D (compare Street Fighter series to it's EX 3D brother). I believe that under it all, it's the sprites you're in love with. Not the controls or view :)


Bad example. The EX series is garbage and has no competitive merit as far as the hardcore community is concerned. D;

My qualms with 3D have already been covered. Too much time and effort goes into the presentation, and not enough into gameplay. In any case, it feels like certain games don't even really need to be in 3D-- lots of times it just makes the whole experience awkward (i.e. the 3D Castlevania game on the N64).

Whoops, gotta go. More thoughts later, maybe. D:

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