Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Remi Noorlind

2D or 3D star map?

This topic is 2031 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I am starting to develop a space empire building game. I have made a rough prototype in Python, but now I am redoing it in C++. But I can't deside wether to do a 3D map or 2D map.

 

I envision that the 3D map was something like in this video. Skip to about 00:10 to see the 3D star map.

 

I don't think that implementing it would be any more difficult than implementing 2D map. Only thing that would change, is that every object has additional coordinate. I don't plan on having too many objects cluttering the space anyways. Dots for stars and triangles for fleets. A fairly minimalistic game, where I try to keep everything at macro level. Implementing map overlays, on the other hand, would require an innovative approach.

 

I am worried that a 3D map would be too confusing.

 

Help me decide, please.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

Well since the current  scientific theories suggest the universe is more or less flat I'd make it 2D.

 

Also 2D is far more easier to work with and visualize for the player. For one thing you don't have to start rotating the star map around to find which is the closest planet to send your fleet to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ask yourself what going 3D will add to the game. 

 

Negatives to 3D are that it is harder to visualize, and represents a vastly more complex world to work with. 

 

Positives are that it represents a vastly more complex world to work with. (You have to pick if that is actually a positive or negative impact on your game.)

 

Personally I like 3D when it comes to something that I explore, but control relatively few things in. 3D strategy games become far more complex and aren't always actually an improvement over similar designs done in 2D fields.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Navigating with a 3D star map gets very complicated. 

 

I favour a 2.5D approach. At maximum zoom have a 2D map, once you get down to a dozen or so star systems, go to a 2.5D system.

 

Something like an isometric view would work

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2D, definitely.

Any reason why?

Can you name one good game with 3D star map (excluding shooters of course)? Or popular one? Or playable one? Just one, because I never, ever found any. I still remember the terrifying 3D star maps of Imperium (EA)... It was horror :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

2D, definitely.

Any reason why?

 

Can you name one good game with 3D star map (excluding shooters of course)? Or popular one? Or playable one? Just one, because I never, ever found any. I still remember the terrifying 3D star maps of Imperium (EA)... It was horror smile.png

 

Planetary Annihalation is a pretty sweet game, that has 3D maps. Battles on planets take place on a 3D sphere and inter-planetary action is perfectly represented aswell.
 
Homeworld RTS was supposed to be a 3D game - or was it wnother space RTS, I don't remember.
 
Starshatter: The Gathering Storm carrier-command ship command mode featured a 3D map to assign missions for the fleet.
 
Those all are from the memory, I might be totally wrong about them having a 3D map though.
 

Ask yourself what going 3D will add to the game. 
 
Negatives to 3D are that it is harder to visualize, and represents a vastly more complex world to work with. 
 
Positives are that it represents a vastly more complex world to work with. (You have to pick if that is actually a positive or negative impact on your game.)
 
Personally I like 3D when it comes to something that I explore, but control relatively few things in. 3D strategy games become far more complex and aren't always actually an improvement over similar designs done in 2D fields.


Now that I think about it, 3D map would make my game little bit more enjoyable perhaps. It features as few micro-magamement stuff as possible. Only things that a player is going to look at, are stars and the lines between them. And the only things a player can interact with, are stars and fleets orbiting a star. And fleets also, can only fly from star to another star. There are no cliche starlanes though(although I might implement a possiblity to create a starlane at a high price.
 
Since my game is stripped down macro-management game, a more complex world to work with could compensate for the general emptyness.
 

Well since the current  scientific theories suggest the universe is more or less flat I'd make it 2D.
 
Also 2D is far more easier to work with and visualize for the player. For one thing you don't have to start rotating the star map around to find which is the closest planet to send your fleet to.


Milky will appears flat if we look at all the billions of stars from a far away. My game is more about looking at 300 - 1000 stars at a time. Like watching at a cluster or a section of one of the Milky Way's arms.

 

Technical problems can be easily solved with map overlays. For your concern, there could be a proximity mapmode. You activate it and select a star as the target. Then all stars will be overexxagerately bigger the more closer they are to the target star.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Planetary Annihalation is a pretty sweet game, that has 3D maps. Battles on planets take place on a 3D sphere and inter-planetary action is perfectly represented aswell.

Homeworld RTS was supposed to be a 3D game - or was it wnother space RTS, I don't remember.

Starshatter: The Gathering Storm carrier-command ship command mode featured a 3D map to assign missions for the fleet.

Planetary Annihilation has no star map, it's more like you are on one planet (sphere) and launch missiles on another. And this concept could not work in 2D at all.

I think OP meant "a star map with hundreds of planets/suns" like in a typical space empire builder.

EDIT: LOL, I just noticed you are the OP :D

 

Homeworld RTS - well... I played it and I say it was confusing, plus, this one has no star map either, it has 3D "environment". You don't need to "locate Prokyon V which is changing position in realtime" (like in the accursed Imperium from 1999), you just move in 3D of an empty space (much less confusing).

 

Starshatter: The Gathering Storm - a good example, in Elite style space trader games 3D map works perfectly.

 

 

Anyway, you can check for yourself how such map "work" in practice (maybe I'm just biased...):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperium_%281990_video_game%29 (you will find in on any abandonware website, athrough, making it run on a modern machine might be challenging smile.png)

Edited by Acharis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Acharis.  It's okay to have the map rendered in 3D, but only on a mostly 2d plane.  Most 3d maps I've seen that try to take advantage of their 3d nature are a real pain to traverse and to grok at a glance without a lot of zooming and rotating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!