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RPG Graphical Style Poll

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Hi everyone, I am in the process of designing the graphical system for my RPG, Geomancy. Now I need to make a choice between doing a fully 3D world, like Dragon Quest 8 or 2D backgrounds with 3D characters, like Final Fantasy 7, 8, 9 and the old Resident Evil's. I was wondering what everyone's preference is and why. Personally I love the 2D backgrounds with 3D characters as it allows me to have highly detailed renderings for my backgrounds and also because of the nostalgic factor from FF7, 8 and 9. Another bonus is that a style like this is much easier to implement than a fully 3D style. So what is your guys' and gals' opinions on the matter? Thanks!

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I'd say go with 2D. I'm of the opinion that 3D should be reserved for the games that really need it, like FPS, because pushing 3D into games that have no need for it acomplishes nothing apart from raising system requirements. Besides, you can never have polygonal models with the level of detail of 2D sprites.
The downside of 2D is that it's much more work for the artist.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
The main thing in favour of going fully 3d is if you ever want your camera to move around in the scene. In FF 7/8/9 they did this by streaming FMV for the background, which is going to mean a whole lot of art work and offline rendering. Doing this sort of thing in 3d is basically for free.

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I'll vote 2d world with 3d characters IF you can make the characters blend in well with the background.

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Quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
3D environments with 2D characters, like Final Fantasy Tactics


One of the most beautiful games ever created.

I've always liked the mix of 2D and 3D, whether 2D sprites in a 3D world or 3D models on a 2D background. I enjoy it the same way I enjoy the "twisted" nature of Tim Burton films. It adds a bit of fairy tale to the design.


[Edited by - Way Walker on July 7, 2006 12:26:34 PM]

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I'd go with 3D characters and 3D environment, and hope it will not look too craptistically. It's significantly easier to create 3D world than 2D, and there would be better interaction.

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Quote:
Original post by Raghar
I'd go with 3D characters and 3D environment, and hope it will not look too craptistically. It's significantly easier to create 3D world than 2D, and there would be better interaction.


I've never really understood a statement like that, how is a 2D world any harder than a 3D world? If you are using prerendered 2D backgrounds, then the art department can be a little more lax in some of their work. 3D scenes for a 2D game? "opps, that tree I generated is 20,000 polies? oh well, this will just take a little extra to render". full 3D game "Holy shit, this tree looks so perfect,... opps, this is going to take a few hours per frame in game,..."

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If there is no interation and its entirely turn based, you can do 3d/2d mix. For any sort of action RPG, fully 3d is probably going to be better.

As far as pure graphics, I don't think any one way is 'best.' Do what style fits the game your playing technically and artistically. Some more information on Geomancy may allow us to help you further.

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Quote:
Original post by Professor420
If there is no interation and its entirely turn based, you can do 3d/2d mix. For any sort of action RPG, fully 3d is probably going to be better.

Best action RPG ever: Secret of Mana - 2D :)

I agree that you should pick what's best for your gameplay, as well as presentation. 2D gives you more flexibility in presentation quality because while 3D is easier to animate, creating professional 3D models is much harder. I see too many crappy looking indie 3D games because they don't have the artists to back up the extra requirements.

As far as gameplay goes, here I am assuming that you actually mean 3D over-the-shoulder vs 2D-isometric (if the 3D game is isometric, then it only matters presentation-wise):

- 2D gives the player an easier interface, and less visuals to have to process, leading to a more relaxed experience.
- 3D gives the player a better feeling of being in an open space, which is turn creates a more epic feel.

- 2D can traditionally have faster action, as small control inputs can have bigger results without seeming "jerky".
- 3D can allow for more realistic action, as moving in a 3D space is a more fluid experience.

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