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What kind of visibility system for objects hidden behind walls do you like best in isometric games? (1) 90° rotateable map (SimCity3000, Anno1602) (2) walls disappear around interesting objects (Fallout, TheSims) (3) walls appear 50% transparent (Diablo 2) (4) walls appear dithered (Ufo? can''t remember) (5) show outlines of hidden objects (Age of Empires) (6) show hidden objects 50% transparent (7) show hidden object dithered (Jagged Alliance 2) (?) ... I''m tending towards option 7, but please give your opinion. BuschnicK Life would be much easier if I had the source code. blackfish.sourceforge.net

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I prefer to have a rotating view of the world via 90 degree increments. Sometimes objects are located behind one another in such a way that the only easy means of accessing them is having them rotated to the front of the screen. In a simulation type game where you are building and placing objects into the world, this is often the case. For a game such as Diablo, however, you often don''t need to see the world from different angles. In this case, partially transparent walls may be a better choice.

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My favorite is #5. However, making walls partly transparent around interesting objects would be a good idea as well , it depends on the game - I wouldn''t use the latter in an RTS, but it''s find in an RPGish game.

Don''t ever do the 90 degree rotation. It''s only confusing the players.

cu,
Prefect

Resist Windows XP''s Invasive Production Activation Technology!
One line of sourcecode says more than a thousand words.

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#5 is the best. It worked extremely well in Age of Empires 2. And it would probably be the fastest to render also.

But having it alpha blended by making the wall slightly transparent there would also work. They couldnt do that in aoe2 because that game only uses 256 colors, but with 16bit+ colors it could be done.

Possibility

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I think each were choosen more so to support their respective gameplay types than anything else. Perhaps we should examine why or how they helped or hindered gameplay for their respective games.

#1:Slow paced game, allows redraw of entire map in 90 degree increments, gameplay required true 3d spatial maniuplation.

#2:Few characters, large prerendered worlds, 90 rotation would have been expensive graphically. Objects which were obscured by walls where the character was not near couldnt be picked up (a big pain). Transparent area cant be too large or it would destroy the look of the game. Could have been better if they implemented scheme #3 for Fallout i feel. It has all the advantages of their method plus those mentioned below.

#3:Allowed large semi-transparent area so picking items off floor far away wasn''t so much a problem. Large transparent area doesn''t destroy look of the world. Single character player. Lots of prerended tiles, and fast action gameplay prevents the use of 90 degree rotations. Better system than #2 all around.

#4:The original X-com had no hidden object compenstaion mechanism. This is actually quite an approprate choice for some types of games. Becuase in X-com : line of sight was important and real, realism (no object transparency or deletion) was better in this case as it added to the drama of creatues comming out of their hidding places etc.., and it''s turnbase so quick object identificaion and location behind hidden/obscureing terrain was not needed, and object pickup was tile based (you had to be on the tile to pick up an object).

#5:Large realtime strategy game, involving hundered of units. Needed fast mechanism to show object occulsion. 90 degree rotation is out due to the realtime constratins of the game (gameplay would be disorienting if you had to rotate everytime you wanted to select an obscured unit). Due to the large number of important units, transparency was unsuitable as it doesn''t allow for rapid and clear identification of obsurced units, which there can be very many of. Good for RTS, not the best for TurnBase or SlowRealTime games.

The rest are really varations of #2 and #3.

So it boils down to what type of game your making.

Good Luck

-ddn

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>
I think each were choosen more so to support their respective gameplay types than anything else. Perhaps we should examine why or how they helped or hindered gameplay for their respective games.
<

Very good analysis! My game will be slow paced, turn-based along the the lines of UFO and Jagged Alliance.

>
#1:Slow paced game, allows redraw of entire map in 90 degree increments, gameplay required true 3d spatial maniuplation.
<

I wouldn''t identify redraw speed as the critical factor here but increased art requirements instead. Redraw should be no problem, because most games will have to redraw the whole screen each frame anyway, because of dynamic objects and drawing order. You''d need art rendered from all four perspectives though - this will probably be the budget and memory killer. I can''t remember which game (SimCity2000?), but there was one, that although you rotated always showed you the same side of an object. irritated the hell out of me.
I don''t like rotating for games where you are only concerned with a small number of units, since it breakes immersion for me: you get to think about perspective and have to reorient yourself. You are remembered that you are only watching a scene from the outside instead of being part of it.

>
#2
Objects which were obscured by walls where the character was not near couldnt be picked up (a big pain).
<

Yeah, the work around for this I thought of was to always have a transparent bubble around the mouse cursor. Would have the immersion braking qualities I''ve mentioned above though.

>
#3
Better system than #2 all around.
>

Don''t agree here. I didn''t like the ''move inside house->house is gone'' effect. Made them so unreal, unsubstancial. Also, I like dithering better than transparency for cases like this because transparency always seems to modify the objects. Difficult to explain, but since it changes the object''s color it seems as if the object itself changed. With dithering I somehow don''t have that feeling.

>
#4
(you had to be on the tile to pick up an object).
<

yeah, but finding the object in the first place is the problem. Also, you mention simulation of line of sight, which is true to a degree, but also works the other way around, i.e. a small alien behind a wall right next to one of your troopers. You as a player will overlook it while your marine would certainly have spotted it. If he gets killed by that alien that''s frustrating, since by game world logic you should have noticed the alien.

> #5

agree 100%

> The rest are really varations of #2 and #3.

Actually I''d classify #6 and #7 as variations of #5, since they don''t modify the obscuring object, but rather draw the obscured object again.

>
So it boils down to what type of game your making.
Good Luck
<

Take a look at the link in my signature - and thanks!


So to my questions are really two:
- what system do you think is best for the tactical turn-based genre
- and what system do you like best from a purely aesthetical point of view

regards,

BuschnicK

Life would be much easier if I had the source code.
blackfish.sourceforge.net

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Guest Anonymous Poster
No doubt it should be #5 then. X-com 1 is the best turnbased tactical combat game ever made. It surpasses the JA series in several ways, depth of strategy/tactics (more unique weapons, more character developement, better strategy element : research/base devleopemt, etc.., and a better more realistic isometric view). It surpasses the fallout series as well, i feel, however i can see why the fallout series had to have transparency for the walls, as it was a RPG/tactical TB game. While X-com was really a just tactical combat game when you were in the isometric combat arena.

For a game which is simulating complex enviroments and is turbased, using the X-com method (remove the roof when inside a building, but otherwise no hidden object compenstaiton), is the best, I feel. From your screen shots, this method is quite amendable to your game. Dont forget X-com had lots of squad management buttons, and a overview map which indicated the location of important items, but either way if you win the battle you automatically pick up all the items anyway, so thats not really a problem. However you can use the tactcial map to see items you left, if your in the battle, and they are obscured. Also x-com had the quick target location key, when your squadies saw an enemy, you''ll need this as well.

The only weakness of the X-com system is that it cannot show very small creatures well, as they tend to be obsured all the time, however a small UI improvment would fix this.

Good Luck, your game is looking good!

Here is an idea, use simultanous turns instead of X-coms consective base turns. As show by games like Combat Mission, simultanous turnbase leads to faster games and just as fun, if not more so.

-ddn



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> X-com 1 is the best turnbased tactical combat game ever made.

True.

>
It surpasses the JA series in several ways, depth of strategy/tactics (more unique weapons, more character developement, better strategy element : research/base devleopemt, etc.., and a better more realistic isometric view).
<

I''d disagree on the character development issue: XCom''s characters are basically a collection of more or less meaningful and interesting stats, while Jagged Alliance has that + superb voice-overs and hilarious personalities (UFO doesn''t have any individual personalities at all).
Interesting to note that XCom''s iso engine was more flexible and allowed for more interesting dynamics (multiple levels, each destructible) although it''s so much older...
IMHO no game even came close yet to the amount and quality of animations in Jagged Alliance though.

> It surpasses the fallout series as well, i feel, however i can

That''s not really a valid comparison. I think since the two games focus on entirely different aspects. In fallout it''s role-playing, in UFO it''s the tactical combat. You say so yourself, so I guess we agree here...

>
best, I feel. From your screen shots, this method is quite amendable to your game. Dont forget X-com had lots of squad
<

Not really since we''ll have very fast and small aliens, think facehuggers from Aliens. They''ll be entirely hidden behind walls if we go the XCom route.

>
The only weakness of the X-com system is that it cannot show very small creatures well, as they tend to be obsured all the time, however a small UI improvment would fix this.
<

What would that ''small UI improvement'' be?

> Good Luck, your game is looking good!

Thanks.

>
Here is an idea, use simultanous turns instead of X-coms consective base turns. As show by games like Combat Mission, simultanous turnbase leads to faster games and just as fun, if not more so.
<

I don''t know Combat Mission, but I disagree here. I hate that real-time, turn-based mix stuff. For me it''s either or, or the game sucks.

What do others think about my original question though? I don''t want to totally stray from the original topic...

regards,

BuschnicK

Life would be much easier if I had the source code.
blackfish.sourceforge.net

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Forgive me for intruding. I saw some of the other forums and they appear to be somewhat less serious. (Not that I am not cracking up every once in a while...) But I have a question about a game called Tranquility. What do you know about it and where can I discuss more about it? I appreciate any help and am sorry for stepping in the way of your discussion.
Thanks.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
The small UI improvement would be a scope view. Scope view shows you the unobscured view of the target within a small scope window. In this window you can aim for any specific body part ala fallout.

Definetly check out Combat Mission ,it has revolutionized turnbase strategy war games, with its true 3d enviroments, relaistic combat simluations, and simultanous turn base.

Good Luck

-ddn

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