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honds

Debate - Isometric v. Tiled

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Ok I need some oppinions to help my artists and me come to a conclusion. It also might generate some lively but controlable discussion so I thought I would bring it to this forum. What do you think is better to use, isometric or square tiles? The application of the tiles would be in a StartCraft/WarCraft/Age of Empires type game in the isometric view. Remember that square tiles can be made to look isometric. Keep in mind: * The look and feal of the final product. * The ammount of tiles the artist needs to draw. * The ammount of tiles that need to be rendered. * The ease of placing the tiles in an editor. * The level file size. * The ease of programming rendering amd loading. * The ease of programming terrain colision. * Any other items you may think of...

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essentially, it all depends on how much effort you are willing to put into this. an isometric game can make a much bigger impact on buyers, but you have to take the consideration that coding for an iso game is MUCH more tough than a standard iso game. i had decided to start a little side project a while back and coded up an iso renderer, and once i finished that i realized how damn hard collision detection, mouse-to-tile checking, and virtually everything else would be.

case in point, if you want to get your game out there in a reasonable amount of time, go with a standard tile scheme. if you want a much more effective game and will put in all of the extra effort it will take to accomplish it, go with isometric.

just my 0.02 worth.

dave


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david@neonstar.net
neonstar entertainment

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Now elaborate on what you mean by if I want a "much more effective game..."
I think I know what you mean but I am not certain.

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i mean that if you want more people to try out/buy your game, going iso would be the way to do it. people usually consider isometric games as better, just because iso looks better.

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david@neonstar.net
neonstar entertainment

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I am reffering mainly to an "isometric view" ( 45% down, 45% left or right). Which can be accomplished by using true isometric tiles <> or square tiles with icometric like images [].

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If I recall correctly, Blizzard did Starcraft with a normal perspective tile engine (i.e. not isometric). They tweaked it to look Iso. In the end, in a post-mortem type interview, they mentioned that it was a lot more work to do things this way, and if they had to do it over, they would have gone straight Iso.

If you want your perspective to be Top-Down or Side-view (for side scrollers), a simple tile engine is best. If you want an Isometric projection, make it a true Iso-Tile engine. It may seem like more work, but in the end, it will be less.

Before you even think of beginning coding, you should have all this info mapped out in at least an informal design doc.


Eboz

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i''ve done the psuedo-iso approach before, and it''s a good bit easier to code for, but there are still some elements that you have to take into perspective. you will have to do some funky stuff with your tile collision methods, because if you do square collisions with tiles that are drawn to look iso, your engine will act really funny. i got around this eventually, but it''s not all that easy. also, it''s a bit harder to draw fake iso tiles than it is to draw real iso tiles or real square tiles.

some more food for thought...

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david@neonstar.net
neonstar entertainment

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Iso doesn't seem particulary hard to program. Collision "should" actualy be easy if using true isometric shaped tiles (then of course there are the flying units that can just bypass it all ). The hardest thing I see about iso is drawing the tiles that are on the edge of the map. Since unlike other graphics engines, if the sprite doesn't fit entitely on the screen, it doesn't get drawn at all, unless there is a way to work around that other than what I will inebitably do (create a RECT that selects the area to be rendered right up to the edge of the screen).
In any case, I think I decided to definately go with pure isometric.
Once I get rendering done I will be back posting at the "DirectX, OpenGL, and Other APIs" forum to ask about translucencies, not to be confuzed with transparent. Unless I find that out myself or a run into other problems befor then.

Thanks every one for you input!

Edited by - honds on June 11, 2001 1:22:22 AM

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