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DeviantCrisis

Sprite-based Overworld with 3D Battles

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Hi everybody ~
I'm new to this forum and I've come with a specific question in mind: what would be the most ergonomic way of creating an RPG in which the Overworld and dungeons were in a 2D sprite-based plane, but the battles were in 3D, or even 2.5D? Some examples:

Fire Emblem Fates: 

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Persona 3 Portable: 
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 (Tile-set school and story progression with 3D dungeon crawling and battles around 19:00)

Is there one engine I can use to accomplish this? I understand it's a complex ambition, I'm trying to wrap my head around the theory of it as I'm pretty much only familiar with RPGMaker and some Unity.

Thanks for any and all replies.!

 

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In UnrealEngine 4 you have a bunch of template projects, image below, so I guess you could start with the "Top Down" template and fix the camera to match FireEmblem camera angle, while for the 2d part dialogue, you can still imagine it as happening in 3D, meaning you can imagine a 3D empty scene with flat illumination (no shadows) where you overlap 3 planes (with some depth in-between to avoid Z fights), let's say one is the "school background", the other is the character drawing, the third is the empty dialog box and the text to be desplayed goes on top of it. Now if you have a static front camera and flat illumination, even if this layers are arranged in a 3d space, the whole final resoult cannot be distinguished from plain 2D, just like 3 layers stacked in photoshop. So you just work with the "highest" level of dimension you need all the time (3D) and cheat into the lower dimension when needed, trough a fixed camera and flat illumination, and switch between scenes :P

 

NewProject_FPSExample.jpg

Edited by MarcusAseth

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1 hour ago, DeviantCrisis said:

Is there one engine I can use to accomplish this? I understand it's a complex ambition, I'm trying to wrap my head around the theory of it as I'm pretty much only familiar with RPGMaker and some Unity.

Unreal and Unity is the best ones.

Using Unity you will start quickly and have some good quality 2D tools. Choose Unity if you like seeing visual progress.

Unreal will give you some very powerful 3D tools including there upgraded animations system that makes 3D games a lot easier to make. Unreal also has some good 2D tools.

 

You will want to decide on one of those two if you plan on building a team. Although what you are aiming for can be achieved with any 3D engine.

 

As for the theory that is easy. Just keep the two parts of the games separate and use you global settings to link them.

Edited by Scouting Ninja

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On 8/1/2017 at 4:43 PM, MarcusAseth said:

In UnrealEngine 4 you have a bunch of template projects, image below, so I guess you could start with the "Top Down" template and fix the camera to match FireEmblem camera angle, while for the 2d part dialogue, you can still imagine it as happening in 3D, meaning you can imagine a 3D empty scene with flat illumination (no shadows) where you overlap 3 planes (with some depth in-between to avoid Z fights), let's say one is the "school background", the other is the character drawing, the third is the empty dialog box and the text to be desplayed goes on top of it. Now if you have a static front camera and flat illumination, even if this layers are arranged in a 3d space, the whole final resoult cannot be distinguished from plain 2D, just like 3 layers stacked in photoshop. So you just work with the "highest" level of dimension you need all the time (3D) and cheat into the lower dimension when needed, trough a fixed camera and flat illumination, and switch between scenes :P

 

NewProject_FPSExample.jpg

That's a really good idea, and I can see how it would be really useful in Visual Novels or something of the sort. I can't see that working well for actual player movement through the 2D plane, though. Maybe I missed something in your solution? Thank you for your response. 

On 8/1/2017 at 5:57 PM, Scouting Ninja said:

Unreal and Unity is the best ones.

Using Unity you will start quickly and have some good quality 2D tools. Choose Unity if you like seeing visual progress.

Unreal will give you some very powerful 3D tools including there upgraded animations system that makes 3D games a lot easier to make. Unreal also has some good 2D tools.

 

You will want to decide on one of those two if you plan on building a team. Although what you are aiming for can be achieved with any 3D engine.

 

As for the theory that is easy. Just keep the two parts of the games separate and use you global settings to link them.

That's a pretty thorough answer that solves a big part of my question. I was afraid I'd have to link two separate engines and I didn't think that would be feasible, I'm glad to know I can accomplish that in either of those engines alone. Thank you!

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13 minutes ago, DeviantCrisis said:

I was afraid I'd have to link two separate engines and I didn't think that would be feasible

All your 3D engines need 2D tools for textures and the GUI. So all 3D engines have 2D support.

Unity is better at the 2D stuff and Unreal at the 3D stuff, so deciding what engine to use will be based on that. Both Unity and Unreal is about the same download size(That is if you don't take Unreal's extras) and both will do what you want.

16 minutes ago, DeviantCrisis said:

That's a really good idea, and I can see how it would be really useful in Visual Novels or something of the sort. I can't see that working well for actual player movement through the 2D plane, though.

Your visual novel part is done in the UI part of the engine. That is it's stuck to the camera, and stuck in a 2D view, you will use your z axis to decide what is drawn over what.

Both Unity and Unreal have some amazing UI options, with Unreal's taking longer to learn and is more powerful , Unity has added some tools for visual novels because of the popularity these games have now and Unity is vaster to get the basics up.

 

What @MarcusAseth was saying is that moving in 2D is just a constraint. So you can use a 3D scene and limit moving on only 2 axis as 3D has 3 axis.

The Fire Emblem Fates game was 2D but worked on a 3D plane

3D2D.png.a1ac6577951ae142152332f3e5046d93.png

.See this is what @MarcusAseth was explaining. This way you can go 2D to 3D fast and use similar code for both. This is how Fire Emblem Fates had a 3D map, as can bee seen when it zooms for battle, and the only reason the didn't use full 3D is the performance limits of the device.

The art used here is from https://opengameart.org/

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