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2D or 3D for a Fantasy RTS?

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Hi all :)

 

I am building a unique RTS game. I like the graphics style and mechanics of Warcraft 3....I am aiming for a game that is fun and friendly, but also will be for competitive gaming. A few questions:

  • Is Warcraft 3 a 3D game? or is it a 2.5D game?

  • Is it possible to build an RTS game in 2D and have great mechanics as well as graphics?

  • Will building it in 2D save time?

  • Is Unity 2D or 3D a good engine?

I know this game is not an RTS, but it is 2D and the graphics are quite epic.

 

Thanks

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I'll skip all the 'an RTS is an enourmous project' warnings, although they are very valid.

1. WC3 is 3D.
2. Brood War was 2D.Enough said.
3. A little perhaps, but in an RTS there will lots of other stuff that will take much more time than the graphics anyway.
4. There is no such thing as Unity3D or Unity2D. The game engine is called simply Unity, and it contains tools for both 2D and 3D workflow. It is a quite good engine, and it has an enormous user base, so there is alot of resources online.

In conclusion, I'd reccomend 2D, because it will make it a bit easier to create placeholder assets while experimenting, and performance issues won't pop up as soon.

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I prefer "Stronghold crusader" (2D) visually over "Stronghold 2" (3D) because the 2D graphics is round and smooth rather than flat and edgy and the perspective is barely visible.
The problem with getting the highly detailed 2D graphics is that you probably have to design everything in 3D and render to 2D eventually.

 

I have made a few 3D RTS games and the nice thing is to be able to move the camera if something is behind a wall. This allow buildings to be taller without affecting gameplay. A common problem with 3D is that buildings are designed for flat ground but 3D wants to have smooth hills to the ground or the buildings will have to adapt to the other in an always ugly way. Tiles will have to be a lot bigger since there is no pre-drawn background to have an infinite number of tiles in. Using one model on multiple tiles will allow better graphics and less draw calls.

 

I am currently experimenting with a 2D RTS where things are drawn in 2D but with depth maps to allow walking around inside a large tile without the weird overlaps that old games have. Having to draw depthmaps by hand turned out to be a real pain so I will probably have to make highly detailed voxel models or something to generate depth, ambient occlusion and normal maps. With depth maps, one can have fully animated orthographical 3D models intersecting with a 2D background as if everything was 3D.

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Thanks for the reply. I understand the enormity of an RTS, but I am aiming for a basic game that I can add to over time. I plan to use Unity.

 

Anyone know a great place to hire very talented designers for 2D graphics?

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