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Why don't people use direct top-down sprites

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#1 Moe091   Members   


Posted 06 May 2013 - 12:33 PM

I'm making a 2d top down game and I want to be able to make my characters/monsters rotate to face any direction. I don't like the look of having 4 directional sprites(as in left facing, right facing, up and down) and just using the closest one to the direction the character is moving, and I don't think I can afford to have sprites made with 8 or more directions for every animation, so I'm just going to have 1 set of sprites for each animation and all the images will be from a directly top-down view, that way I'll be able to rotate the sprite in code to face where I want it too.


I was looking online for some graphics I could use temporarily while I'm working on the code because I'm not ready to pay somebody for real graphics yet, and I noticed there is a huge lack of sprites from this view. Almost no games use them. Anybody know why? what is so bad about them, the few I did find didn't look to bad to me. Do you think I should just go with 8-directional sprites and use the closest rotation?

#2 Prinz Eugn   Members   


Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:43 PM

For characters (people rather than vehicles), top-down looks very unatural since you almost never see humans from that perspective in real life... or anything for that matter. In pure 2D it's also extremely hard to create a sense of depth ("Is that square a different floor tile or a pillar? Guess I'll have to run into it to find out..."), so getting the graphics to integrate with the gameplay can be a challenge.


Have you looked into pre-rendering sprites? That's how most games that have a 3/4 or isometric view deal with the issue of animating from every angle. If you don't want to do that, I would just roll with pure top-down and be careful about making sure there are visual cues to the player about what's a wall, what's a floor, what's a pit, etc.

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#3 eppo   Members   


Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:17 AM

If you mean top-down as in Alien Breed top-down, you can simply create a single sprite and let the rendering hardware do the rotation for you. That way you're not restricted to a finite (4/8) number of directions.


Note in the screenshots how shadows are used to convey a sense of depth.

Edited by eppo, 10 May 2013 - 10:24 AM.

#4 Servant of the Lord   Members   


Posted 10 May 2013 - 05:30 PM

It's done - I've played quite a few games like that. Counterstrike 2D for example.



You only need one image, and you just rotate it for every direction (though usually you still have it animated).



It looks horrible. (subjective + mild exageration)

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