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Dark_Oppressor

Representing a 3D world in only two dimensions

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I'm currently prototyping an idea I've been mulling over recently. I've taken a half-finished roguelike of mine, and made it real-time as opposed to turn based. Now, I am planning on making it a 3D open world, as opposed to the current "set of 2D dungeon levels," which is fairly standard for a roguelike.

When I say a 3D world, think of Dwarf Fortress. The game display itself will remain 2D (in fact, like Dwarf Fortress, this game is currently just using ascii graphics). So, I am using a simple 2D display of ascii characters (and perhaps later, sprites) to represent a three dimensional game world. The only example of this I can think of is Dwarf Fortress, which is why I used it as an example. Are there any other games that do this?

I am currently trying to decide what the best way to handle this is. For instance, say I am walking down a hill (this is really when I see this somewhat unconventional way of representing the world as being a problem). I start on top of the hill. I see a slope to my left, and I walk onto it. I am still on the "top of hill" layer of the world. I walk left again, and now I am on another slope, this time just below the top of the hill. It seems to me that when running down the side of a hill, the screen would change a number of times in quick succession. This might be disorienting. You can somewhat mitigate this by doing what Dwarf Fortress does, and showing a couple/few levels "below" the currently active level, but faded out a bit. Thoughts?

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Use multiple levels on top of each other. When you go down a slope, the current level is not drawn and the one below does. The player also get's removed away from the upper level and inserted into the lower level.

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Latest versions of UnReal World sort of do this, although you don't really get deeply layered areas so much there. It's more of a topographic thing that affects FOV.

URW is graphical, but I mean, you might consider showing layers closest to the player in a more vibrant color then fading them the further down they go.

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