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No Point In Zooming IN?

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Is there every any point to zoom *in* in an overhead view or isometric game? It seems to me that the only real point would be to get a detailed view of the game's objects. But there seems to be no gameplay point. If you have to zoom in on objects to identify them, or to manipulate them, then that seems like bad game design. ? [EDIT] Thx for the replies so far! However, I should have mentioned that this was for 3D isometric or overhead (Total Annihilation), not 2D iso. Pixel scaling would be waaaaaaay to ugly. [/EDIT] -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership... Edited by - Wavinator on June 29, 2001 7:12:38 PM

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Absolutely right. Zoom is NOT used the way it can be used.

I have a zoom feature thought out for my fantasy game. Zooming in wouldn''t be on a small level, but on a grande level instead.

Imagine the first zoom being at a point about 1 mile up into the sky, the second zoom level being about 100 yards up, the third about 10 yards up. On the first level, you''d be able to control entire armies, on the second you''d be able to control entire platoons, and on the third you could control individual characters.

I still think that each and every element you put into a game should be used to the fullest. Zoom, in most games I''ve played, is just being used as eye candy. ''Look, I can zoom in on this rock here and see the insects crawling all over it.''

Make zoom a game tool, not a just another game feature.

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I don''t see any point if the game is designed properly, because it should never NEED to zoom in at all. Everything should be designed to a scale that makes the whole game workable... But if you are doing ISO in 3D it might be possible, though I still agree that if the game is designed properly then this would be obsolete.

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While I agree that zooming in beyond a certain point is useless for anything but eye candy, I dont think it is something that necessarily needs to be dropped out. In a 3d environment, implementing a zoom is trivial, so why limit it just because it doesnt add anything to the game? If it doesnt cost you any time, but looks good, leave it in.

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I agree with Sandman. It''s not like you''re sacrificing anything by having a zoom and it doesn''t take very long to implement.
Even if it has no gameplay purpose it IS nice to be able to zoom in on a character and see some stunning detail.

This is off topic and probably deserves another thread but I''m just curious: Why does everyone dismiss eye candy as not being very important? It''s definately not as important as gameplay but is still a rather large part of what can make a game enjoyable.

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Eye candy is just that; candy.

Game play is the only real factor in the value of a game. Revenant had awesome graphics but suffered because it wasn''t that great of a game.

Just look at the Gameboy for how many games were really great on it despite being limited in graphics ability.

Ben
http://therabbithole.redback.inficad.com


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I have to point out that eyecandy is AS OR MORE IMPORTANT than gameplay, not to the gamers, always, but certainly to the people who are going to be paying YOU (Unless you''re Derek).

And that sucks, because sexy looking bad gameplay is still bad gameplay.

Anyway... the thing about zooming in on a 2D/iso? Can''t see a reason for it, but it would make a neat dying effect, have the camera view zoom smack into the ground and antialias the screen all to hell to get that nice "fade to black" effect as the zoom approches moderate pixelation.

---------------
-WarMage
...pouring gasoline on the flames since 1973!!

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I''m usually the first to talk about how gameplay is so important, but what I really object to is spending development time on eye candy instead of gameplay. If something can be that is just a neat effect and doesn''t really add to gameplay then I don''t have a problem with it as long as it is not used to replace the creative gameplay aspect of the game.




...A CRPG in development...

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.

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It's funny you should mention this because one of my interface sketches features a big ol' zoom icon/slider as part of the viewport controls. You object specifically to zooming in, but how do you feel about zooming out? You can't have one without the other.

In games like Sim City and Railroad Tycoon the zoom feature plays an important role. At the farthest distance you get an overview of the playing field while at the nearest distance you get to focus on the task at hand. In between you get progressively less overview and progressively more detail. Zooming out can help you gauge your progress, devise a strategy and find any areas which require attention. It's an interface element, true, but it does contribute to the player's experience.

Edited by - chronos on June 30, 2001 5:58:06 AM

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Hmm, you''re talking about zoom _in_ in particular, ey? I can''t see any real gameplay reasons for it... zooming _out_, on the other hand, would be usefull to many players because then they could see more playing area, and be more of a power user. In fact, I never zoom in, I always zoom out - but maybe that''s just me. I wouldn''t put it on the GUI or anything, I''d just have it hidden away in your (well designed) options menu:

Camera Zoom - Close / Medium / Far

or something. Because more options = better game in many peoples'' books.

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In my RTS spec I have decided upon multiple levels of zoom. I am attempting to incorporate things on a grander scale and to add additional importance to things like intelligence gathering and reacting with strategic hypothesis when presented with this intelligence. I use these multiple views to allow the player quick shots of the land. There is a super high up view that can encompass vast plots of land, a somewhat lower view that can encompass an entire battlefield, and a playable view that is suitable for manipulating units.

***Note: Fog of War style hiding is implemented; the high view doesn''t give you free reign to see what you;re not actively spying on!***

To add the ability to make better choices based on superior intelligence, I felt that this was the best way to get the info to the player quickly without detracting from the real time gameplay. However, these are switchable camera views, and I do not know if they fit your definiton of zoom. If you mean smoothly approaching and focusing in on a rock, then no, for a RTS iso that would be silly. Maybe acceptable for some sort of Puzzle Adventure game, but those tend to be more of a first person deal.

So I am curious, do some of you anti-zoomers support my zoom style, as it is based on intelligence (as opposed to rock collecting)?

--OctDev

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quote:
Original post by freshya
In fact, I never zoom in, I always zoom out - but maybe that''s just me.


So once you zoom out you never zoom back in?

Eliminating zoom is not the answer. Concentrate instead on the camera''s initial position (zoomed in, zoomed out or in between) and how close to the ground the view should ever get.

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chronos - no that''s not wht I meant. What I mean is that the default zoom level for all games I play is adequate if not too close - therefore I tend to zoom out, if at all.

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Sorry about that freshya. That question was meant more as a hint than a question. In games where it''s possible to zoom out it should also be possible to zoom in. Generally it doesn''t make sense to have one without the other.

Zooming in can serve a purpose. Zooming in provides an intimate view of the game world just as zooming out allows for a more detached perspective. Lots of games can benefit from this contrast, where both directions of zoom are important.

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