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Deadlybones

Good looking top-down perspective characters?

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Deadlybones    93
Hello there. I'm exploring the web to find an art style that I like for a game I'm going to be working on this summer. In this game you'll be able to turn 360 degrees and attack in any direction(it's a 2D game). The easiest method is to just have a top-down bird's eye view perspective. It's easier for the artist/animator and for the programmer. The only problem is that from this perspective most characters look like crap. Just uninteresting circles with blobs around them. I'm wondering if you guys/gals have come across any really good looking characters from this view.

The more I search and as I type this out, the more I'm leaning towards regular 4 or 8 framed/directioned sprites(unless you can change my mind :P). I can still make it so you can attack from all directions and all that stuff.

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loom_weaver    321
When you say that the player can turn to face any direction... is it correct to assume that the player sprite changes? That is it is *not* the case that the sprite is fixed and the entire display rotates around it.

With that assumption in mind, something that is isomorphic can still look pretty good. The original arcade Gauntlet, albeit an oldie, has pretty decent graphics for top-down play.

[img]http://archive.gamedev.net/reference/design/features/makegames/gauntlet.gif[/img]

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PropheticEdge    150
Legend of Zelda a Link to the Past has quite good graphics, but they're not strictly top down. The sprites have some perspective on them, and have more-or-less side views. Still, adding a bit of perspective to the sprites could break up the whole "crappy blob" shape.

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Deadlybones    93
Well if the game had a completely overhead top down perspective then the sprite's frame would only change based on the animation, not the rotation of the sprite. In other words I wouldn't have to have a huge sprite sheet with every possible slight rotation of the character, but rather just rotate it.

However, I'm leaning towards my other method which I poorly described. It would still be a birds eye view but more on an angle like lots of games are. I cant just rotate the sprite because I'm viewing from a slight angle(ie I can see the face, torso, and legs instead of just the head and shoulders). So to be able to attack in all directions but my character only able to face 8 directions(up, down, left, right, and diagonals) the character would face the same way but the weapon would be able to freely move a little bit. Hopefully that's a bit better of an explanation.

Another problem with a completely top down view is that it's hard to make distinct looking characters(the game will have lots of characters so it's a bit important). I think I'll probably avoid it.

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JTippetts    12950
[quote name='B O N E S' timestamp='1306733571' post='4817391']
Well if the game had a completely overhead top down perspective then the sprite's frame would only change based on the animation, not the rotation of the sprite. In other words I wouldn't have to have a huge sprite sheet with every possible slight rotation of the character, but rather just rotate it.

However, I'm leaning towards my other method which I poorly described. It would still be a birds eye view but more on an angle like lots of games are. I cant just rotate the sprite because I'm viewing from a slight angle(ie I can see the face, torso, and legs instead of just the head and shoulders). So to be able to attack in all directions but my character only able to face 8 directions(up, down, left, right, and diagonals) the character would face the same way but the weapon would be able to freely move a little bit. Hopefully that's a bit better of an explanation.

Another problem with a completely top down view is that it's hard to make distinct looking characters(the game will have lots of characters so it's a bit important). I think I'll probably avoid it.
[/quote]

I have experimented before with top-down sprite games. I like the idea of them (the simplicity of just rotating a sprite) but I always end up hating it because of how bad the sprites look. However, if you are willing to alter the game itself (setting and the like) to suit the style, then it can work. I did a game that was about bugs once. Centipedes, beetles, scorpions. All of them look great from a top-down perspective because, unlike humanoid figures, their bodies are oriented along a horizontal axis.

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