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Isometric Map - Should i go 3D or 2D?

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I was thinking of just trying to create a isometric map just to have something new to try. And my concerns are if i should use 3D or 2D?
The main reason for using 3D is because i wanna be able to have nice entities in the game - ex. a Player or something that would spin around. (I've never worked with 3D before so is it hard?)
Im going to do this project in C# with XnA, so is there anything special i should think about before i jump into this?
- Maybe some good tutorials about creating something simple in a 3D Environment using XnA

All tips are greatly appreciated!

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You've never worked with 3D at all? It will probably be hard to produce great looking assets any time soon, but it depends on what complexity you want your graphics to have. You could realistically be able to stumble your way through if you're looking to use simple or stylized graphics, but if you wanted realistically animated humanoid forms I would be super surprised if you could produce anything satisfactory just starting off.

3D works great for isometric games, especially if you want to allow camera rotation or entities that are viewable from multiple angles. XNA will likely be quite adequate for your purposes. 2D works well too, but you will have to draw sprites from every possible angle they will be rendered at. Personally, I love 2D isometric graphics, but they're labor intensive. If you're a really good 2D artist, you could make some pretty sweet looking isometric games, though.

The MSDN has plenty of tutorials about XNA, and will be your most valuable resource I reckon. Here's a starter tutorial on loading and displaying a model with XNA.


(note read the comments, this article's a bit old so a couple things have changed with XNA 4.0).

XNA is also capable of producing procedural geometry if that's what you're interested in.

Edit: It occurred to me that you may be asking more along the lines of "how difficult is it to program in 3D". With XNA, not all that bad actually. In many ways 2D and 3D have a lot of overlap (much of the math is similar). 3D rendering does end up being more complex usually, but a lot of the complexity is alleviated by using XNA.

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Thanks for your information!
I will read it tomorrow, it's late here and i have a test tomorrow morning so i better get some well-needed sleep!

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