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non-square sprites

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Hi! I'm new to this forum. I'm creating a kind of virtual city with Flash. I know it seems to have nothing to do with games, but the town view is isometric. You can already see the town at www.malvesetown.com. It's just a dhtml beta test for now, but the next version will have new features that will make it look more like a game : characters moving in the city, probably an isometric tiles system (as opposed to the handmade background I use for now)... So, I have a question : how do you handle non-square buildings or sprites in a game? I couldn't find anything about this in the isometric section. In most iso games the buildings and units are square (think SimCity, populous...). I mean in a game with an iso grid and cells. So when you need to draw things around it's easy to know if they are above or behind.

___/  \____behind
   \  /    front
Let's say we have a building. anything drawn in a cell above the line between the left and right corners is supposed to be behind the building. anything in a cell below is in front of the building. In some games like ceasar III or Zeus you can see a huge rectangular coliseum. You can see screenshots here: http://www.mobygames.com/game/shots/gameShotId,11231/gameId,2640/ http://www.mobygames.com/game/shots/gameShotId,10458/gameId,1567/ How do they handle this? The first thing I imagined was "they split them into several square tiles". Yup, this can work pretty well. But in Zeus some units seem to be non-square too (the boats): http://www.mobygames.com/game/shots/gameShotId,15961/gameId,2640/ And I don't think they split every boat to have square tiles In some games they obviously had problems with these units: http://www.mobygames.com/game/shots/gameShotId,22340/gameId,2294/ Look at the boat at the bottom... uh oh In some other games the building don't seem to fit into a square: http://www.mobygames.com/game/shots/gameShotId,21770/gameId,5524/ (the house on the left) So, is there a right way to handle z-sorting with non-square tiles, other than splitting into squares? Thanks in advance (and sorry for my broken english) Edited by - elv on February 23, 2002 11:21:54 PM

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