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Thors1982

Converting Tile based to Isometric

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I am a newb game programmer, got my C++ skills down but suck at DirectX. I am working on a 2D engine of sorts. But all the tiles i wanted to use are for an isometric so i was wondering for a newb is it extremely hard to later on convert a tile engine to isometric. I don't want to try to create a isometric right now because it will just add a layer of complexity I don't need right now :-) Id rather just get a working tile engine so i can celebrate for a while.

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Iso rendering really isn't that difficult once you wrap your brain around it.

its basically the same thing with the small adjustment of using a bit of math to place your tiles in the right spot.

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Yeah, it didn't look that bad at all. Thats why I figured i could convert it.

Should I just jump in and make my first tile engine isometric. Or think it will be easier to just write a regular one and convert it?

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Well..the problem isn't that its difficult...its that you are going to be making art for one engine or the other...the art is very very different.

so...if you are going to eventually go ISO then id suggest doing the work up front instead of switching gears later on.

if you start iso now...you can use exsisting tile art and when you start creating sprites you wont have to redo them later on.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
2D Isometric is quite a lot of work, especially if you want complete freedom of movement and arbitary object sizes.

'jumping' from tile to tile is easy, but when your sprites start crossing tile boundaries and you have large objects which themselves occupy multiple tiles, for which you have to do correct clipping against moving sprites, then you'll have some fun.

If you are going to use OpenGL, or some other proprietary 3D layer, then you might as well set up your game world in full 3D and set the camera to give you an isometric look. If I was going to do my iso engine over again, i'd be pretty tempted to do that.

Isometric will also complicate your artwork a lot, especially if you don't have a decent interactive editor. The amount of art resources required for fluid animation in a 2D iso engine is high - there isn't much symmetry you can take advantage of due to the need to maintain a '3dish' lighting effect, and many artists will balk at the complexity of doing artwork in iso tiles.

Basically, unless you have a lot of walls in your game, and all your sprites are guaranteed to be smaller than your tile size, true 2D isometric may be more trouble than it is worth.

Still, it is very educational to write such an engine, and 2D isometric has a certain magic that you just dont get with other rendering methods.



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Quote:
Original post by Thors1982
I am a newb game programmer, got my C++ skills down but suck at DirectX. I am working on a 2D engine of sorts. But all the tiles i wanted to use are for an isometric so i was wondering for a newb is it extremely hard to later on convert a tile engine to isometric.

I don't want to try to create a isometric right now because it will just add a layer of complexity I don't need right now :-) Id rather just get a working tile engine so i can celebrate for a while.


A good example is nethack. This was a terminal based game, that was later converted to tile based 2d and even later isometric gaphics. The code is the same (except the rendering), and for some builds you can even switch in-game between ascii art, 2d tiles and iso 3d.

Viktor

ps: It's open source, so you can download it and see the various rendering codes and how they work under posix, dos, windows and x-windows.

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