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Dark_Oppressor

Making an isometric game

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I am playing around with an action RPG, and I want to learn a couple of new things while making it. First of all, I would like to make my first 3D game, as all of my previous projects have been 2D. Secondly, I would like it to have an isometric perspective. Currently, I've got a basic game working with a 2D top-down perspective. I have no 3D math experience or anything like that, but I've learned some basics of OpenGL, and I'm thinking about trying out OGRE for this game. I've been reading some articles on isometric games, and so far I haven't really learned much of anything. So I've set to thinking about it myself, and here is my current idea: The game is technically still 2D. To make it isometric, I simple render the whole scene rotated around the x-axis. And I render characters and items and such in 3D, and presto, it looks cool. However, I am almost positive this won't actually work, since it sounds way too easy. I've tried reading some stuff about making a game isometric, but it all sounded incredibly complicated (moreso than making a "simple" 3D game) Am I making this subject harder than it is?

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Ogre does actually make it pretty easy. I've done some isometric projects using it. In my opinion, there really is no reason any more to go with "old school" 2D-technique based engines, even for "simple" isometric games, especially with the availability of 3D engines such as Ogre to preclude having to write the low-level guts of the thing.

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The 3D route is probably the easiest way nowadays. For example, the new Alien Breed / Diablo III games. One problem with isometric view is occlusion, not being able to see the player behind a wall between him and the camera.

The camera itself is just an isometric transform, instead of a perspective transform, that's is quite trivial to achieve.

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So, am I essentially correct in thinking that the game is 2D top-down, with the camera transformed to make it look isometric? And that this is a decent way to do this?

Bear in mind, I have no experience with 3D math, 3D modeling, or programming for a 3D game.

The more I think about it, I don't see how my original idea would work very well. What if I want stairs or hills or something?

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