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AndrewH

2D or 3D?

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So guys, I joined up here to ask a very important question about my game I'm making. It's a space arcade/rpg where you pilot your very own spaceship and go on an open ended journey throughout the galaxy. It's not going to be a simulator or an RTS which like nearly all of them are.

But in order to complete my game I need art and I was wondering if people would prefer A 2D top-down game or a 3D 3/4'ths view. I'm not using 3D models outright, I'll have pre-rendered 3D models for a 3/4'ths view or 2D sprites for a top down view.

Do 2D games sell well in today's market? My brother is an artist on this and he's being swamped with 3D work, but he doesn't like the idea of going 2D. For him it's "go big or go home", but for me it's "let's get this done".

I'm asking a very mature question too. 3D art can look pretty but be honest, will you play a 2D game over a 3D game? I need to know, because even though my brother says go big or go home I have a feeling he's right about today's gaming market. However, for 2D I look at Terraria, and how they were like Minecraft without being 3D. So, what do you guys think?

Pros 2D:
Faster production time. (less work to do).
Less overall memory and filesize requirement.

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Neither. Worry about making the game fun. If it's a lot of fun, I'll play it whether it's 2D or 3D. If it's not, I don't care how good your graphics are or whether it's 2D or 3D, I won't play it. Look at today's successful indie games. There's a good mix of 2D and 3D.

Your brother needs to realize that "go big" doesn't preclude going 2D.

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Neither. Worry about making the game fun. If it's a lot of fun, I'll play it whether it's 2D or 3D. If it's not, I don't care how good your graphics are or whether it's 2D or 3D, I won't play it. Look at today's successful indie games. There's a good mix of 2D and 3D.

Your brother needs to realize that "go big" doesn't preclude going 2D.



I and he knows that gameplay must come first. That was not the question. I have researched these games a lot and realize where their faults are at. Yes, gameplay is essential, but an ugly game?

Hmm... If we were to do a fully 3D game are 15,000 polys for a large model okay? Or should we tone it down a bit.

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Yes, gameplay is essential, but an ugly game?


Who said 2D is uglier than 3D, or 3D is uglier than 2D? Either one can be gorgeous. Or both can be downright ugly. One is not inherently better than the other. Your number of customers won't really change much (if at all) based solely on a game being 2D or 3D.


Hmm... If we were to do a fully 3D game are 15,000 polys for a large model okay? Or should we tone it down a bit.


Depends on your target audience and how many of these models you'll be displaying. You can try coming up with an estimate of what your target audience's machine's specs will be, and then see how far you can push that machine.

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I and he knows that gameplay must come first. That was not the question. I have researched these games a lot and realize where their faults are at. Yes, gameplay is essential, but an ugly game?
[/quote]
This sounds crazy but this problem is similar to hitting on a girl. The bottom line is whether to turn your weakness to strength; or that your biggest weakness exceeds a threshold. In a way, your concern is right. Certain people turn their face if they find it ugly; however, tastes differ. Nobody knows that girl likes you or not until you approach. Launch your game first. The answer you seek is not ahead of you since the game you're describing doesn't exist yet. You look getting a fruit before planting it. I understand that you afraid of making a failure. Anybody wants to know an answer in advance. But you, who are tackling your project, have nothing left to lose. If you failed? You'll learn a lesson, of course! it would be the only one in the world for you. It's a beautiful thing, isn't it? At any rate, we shouldn't bother such a thing before completing a game. Some will like it. Some won't. Just like that if it would have a PERFECT appearance. Good luck.

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I and he knows that gameplay must come first. That was not the question. I have researched these games a lot and realize where their faults are at. Yes, gameplay is essential, but an ugly game?

This sounds crazy but this problem is similar to hitting on a girl. The bottom line is whether to turn your weakness to strength; or that your biggest weakness exceeds a threshold. In a way, your concern is right. Certain people turn their face if they find it ugly; however, tastes differ. Nobody knows that girl likes you or not until you approach. Launch your game first. The answer you seek is not ahead of you since the game you're describing doesn't exist yet. You look getting a fruit before planting it. I understand that you afraid of making a failure. Anybody wants to know an answer in advance. But you, who are tackling your project, have nothing left to lose. If you failed? You'll learn a lesson, of course! it would be the only one in the world for you. It's a beautiful thing, isn't it? At any rate, we shouldn't bother such a thing before completing a game. Some will like it. Some won't. Just like that if it would have a PERFECT appearance. Good luck.
[/quote]

Hey, thanks for the inspiration. I've made many games that were unreleased I just didn't want to have 20 versions of my same project with the past 19 as failures or different visual styles. It's an important question to ask regarding 2D and 3D style.

I guess I'll prototype the two styles see which I like best and go from there. Prototyping I have came to find out is going to be my best friend.

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Players are unforgiving when it comes to graphics. I've no doubt avoided potentially great games because I didn't like the graphic style.

That said, I think 2D is still viable, but not as a downloadable game. I think browser, flash and portable games are the only things that will let you get away with 2d graphics and still make a profit.

Going 3D is a big commitment, and can add more complexity than your game may require. You need to weigh what 3D will bring to your game against all the extra work and time a 3D project requires.
On the other hand, something like Hero Engine that handles all the server stuff for you can make the transition to full 3D very tempting.

I say if you can live without 3D, don't do it.

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It's an important question to ask regarding 2D and 3D style.


I agree it's an important question to ask and decision to make. I'm not here to say go either way, because I've seen it go both ways. Which ever way you choose, just make sure you do your best to do it right. I vote you pick the one you have the highest likelihood of doing it right.

In the end though, your gameplay is still 2D, so 3D vs 2D doesn't make *that* big of a difference, assuming you do it right, which ever you choose.

And I'm a huge fan of prototyping. I agree 100% with your idea to prototype it. Good luck with your game!

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I guess I'll prototype the two styles see which I like best and go from there. Prototyping I have came to find out is going to be my best friend.
That's completely insane, you can't make 2 completely different prototypes to see if 2D or 3D is better :) That's a total waste of time and resources.

1) What kind of game it is exactly? Your description is extremely vague. Is it a space simulation like the old Elite? You have to go 3D route then without any thinking.
2) How many people you have in your team? What is your budget? Are you able to meet the hard requirements of a typical 3D production? If you have less than 10 people then there is no brainer, go 2D (assuming you are trying to make more or less standard 3D game, but if you plan to do a dirty trick that let you save content, like in Minecraft, they you can do otherwise).

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