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2D or 3D for my first RPG?

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Hi, I'm completely a noob in game development. I want to make an RPG that has to be completed within this semester. Considering that I still have other classes, my time commitment for this project is limited. I understand that 3D means a lot more work than 2D, but how much more? Can I even make anything with 3D? We have 3 people in our team. One of them is really good at 2D digital art, but none of us have substantial experience with 3D graphics, so we will have to start from 0 if we want to do 3D. Any estimate/advice would be greatly appreciated!

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I think you should go 2D as well, if you have a 2D artist and no 3D artists.

Learning 3D art can be difficult and it takes time before you'll be good enough at it to make presentable stuff.  I think 3D art generally takes more time to make than 2D art.

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If you're going for an RPG you might also want to consider a pre-made engine like RPGMaker or some such (unless of course the assignment is to program your own...). You'll be able to focus on scripting, writing, music, and art that way instead of pointers, bitmap formats, and serialization.

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Go to 2D. 2D is already a time commitment in itself. It will challenge your ability to solve problems. You rather have a project that you can finish on time than a delayed project that requires MUCH MORE of a time sink to get done than 2D

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I understand that 3D means a lot more work than 2D, but how much more?

I'm a 3D artist and it took me months to master the skills that I needed to model/texture/animate/light a scene/etc. I think what you should do is plan on making a 2D game and try 3D modeling just so you can see what it is about. Its a bit complex.

 

I don't think you would have time to complete the project in 3D :(.

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I would go 2d, since it is a lot easier to create the art and you avoid a lot of troubles with collisions and camera.

 

Still, you can also mix them. For instance, if you want more detailed animations (3d characters on a 2d world) or environment (2d character on a 3d world). If you want to check the end result, soma bringer is a nintendo DS action RPG that uses 3d characters on a 2d world and Ragnarok Online is a MMORPG that uses 2d sprites for characters in a 3D world.

 

Good luck.

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3D art and programming is only as complicated as you make it.

3D content isn't really harder or more time consuming than 2D. It has lots of advantages to save time.

-It's easy to build up a bunch of low poly templates and use them to create environments quickly.

-Follow Peter's Massive Blender Tutorial on Youtube to learn how to make simple player models. Once you have 1 nice model, you can animate a skeleton and build up a library of animations. You can keep modifying your base character to make new ones, and they acquire the entire set of animations automatically.

Want to get started quickly? Rig a minecraft-like box character to your skeleton. That's 15 minutes of work tops.

2D is a whole different workflow. You want a new character in a 2D game? You have to to start from scratch and animate everything again on a new sprite sheet. In 3D if you want to introduce a fat guy with red hair, you just scale out the belly, move a few polygons around, and then modify a texture map and then save or your new character. Even the texture is easy to make. Bake in the vertex colors and ambient occlusion, then just add in the details in your paint app.

You want to add a new action for all your characters to do? Now you have to go back add them to every sprite sheet which will take forever. In 3D you just add the animation onto your shared skeleton and everyone can use it automatically.

-As for the programming, there is no reason it has to be any different. A game with 3D graphics doesn't mean it has 3D logic. A tile based 2D RPG and a tile based 3D rpg work the exact same. Camera is overhead and the character does simple tile / box collision. The hard parts aren't the graphics of which dimension, it's the scenario setup, the inventory system, the battle rules and AI, etc... Edited by Daaark

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