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2D Isometric Graphics (Warning: Large Pictures)

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  1. 1. Would you like to see graphics like this in Project Eternity?



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I don't consider The Witcher 2 a valid example.

 

Anno 1404 isn't bad looking, but it still has that slight cartoony vibe I get from all 3D rts games. Age of Empires 2 is about a decade older, and I honestly prefer how that game looks.

 

Civ 5 is just ugly looking. Bad example.

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In any case, it's simply an artistic choice, it's not about technology.

 

Some people (I count myself among them) prefer the look of 2D backgrounds and the level of detail it bring to the table.

 

I find it much more atmospheric and appealing.

 

51774-the-temple-of-elemental-evil-a-classic-greyhawk-adventure-windows.jpg

Edited by Karranthain
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Perrrrrsonally, I don't care if the game uses 2D or 3D environments as long as it ends up looking good and playing well.

 

Both have their obvious advantages and shortcomings.

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Something stirs within...

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In any case, it's simply an artistic choice, it's not about technology.

 

Some people (I count myself among them) prefer the look of 2D backgrounds and the level of detail it bring to the table.

 

I find it much more atmospheric and appealing.

 

51774-the-temple-of-elemental-evil-a-classic-greyhawk-adventure-windows.jpg

 

I completely agree with you, it's all about the style. Looking at locked isometric games reminds of how I felt when looking at those small house models at real estate stores when I was little. It has a char of its own.


Project Eternity: Interactive/animated or descriptive? Check my poll and vote!

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After watching the STASIS footage, the only thing 3d has over 2d is the ability to rotate yhe camera.


The area between the balls and the butt is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

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I don't consider The Witcher 2 a valid example.

 

Anno 1404 isn't bad looking, but it still has that slight cartoony vibe I get from all 3D rts games. Age of Empires 2 is about a decade older, and I honestly prefer how that game looks.

 

Civ 5 is just ugly looking. Bad example.

Regardless of your personal preferences, the level of detail shown in this screenshots demonstrates that any style can be achieved using real-time rendering.

In any case, it's simply an artistic choice, it's not about technology.

 

Some people (I count myself among them) prefer the look of 2D backgrounds and the level of detail it bring to the table.

 

I find it much more atmospheric and appealing.

 

51774-the-temple-of-elemental-evil-a-classic-greyhawk-adventure-windows.jpg

That looks exactly like a pre-render of a 3d house model. The only thing "2D" about this is that the render happened on the dev's computers rather than on yours, and the limitations inherent to that approach. As you said, it's not a matter of technology but of style, and a real-time rendering approach, while allowing the same artistic freedom, would bring several technical advantages. Edited by Zeckul

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That looks exactly like a pre-render of a 3d house model. The only thing "2D" about this is that the render happened on the dev's computers rather than on yours, and the limitations inherent to that approach. As you said, it's not a matter of technology but of style, and a real-time rendering approach, while allowing the same artistic freedom, would bring several technical advantages.

 

And again, let me reiterate : it's not about technical advantages. It's about a certain style, which some people find very appealing.

 

Such level of detail is simply unattainable when using a real-time rendering approach.

Edited by Karranthain

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The Witcher 2 Recommended Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Quad Core or AMD equivalent
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 260, 1 GB memory / Radeon HD 4850 with 1 GB memory
  • Memory: 3 GB for Windows XP / 4 GB for Windows Vista and Windows 7
  • Hard Disk: At least 16 GB of free space

I can't play this, and I'm not buying/upgrading my computer. No one here will, because that's not the point in Project Eternity. Besides, you can't compare a console to a computer in terms of gaming.

A lot of people will buy and upgrade computers between now and 2014. The Witcher 2's recommended specs will represent a fairly dated computer by then.

 

I agree with you about the lava in IWD and IWD2, very often I wished it wasn't static (and they animated it in one small place inside Dorn's Deep), but (again) it's 10 years later, games like Commandos 2 and 3 don't have any problems with animations and they look great. Even STASIS, the one-man-self-funded game looks good enough and has great animations. But that's not the point anyway, the point is people like me and other users here enjoy locked isometric view because it's a style on its own, it's a way of looking into the game world, it's a video game art form and aesthetic current in videogaming, the same way 3D is. I think this is what you're missing.
An isometric view is just a projection, and a real-time rendering approach can use whatever projection desired including, but not limited to, an isometric one. That said the only difference between a pre-rendering and a real-time rendering approach is the time and place when the rendering happens, not the style or quality of the graphics. That's the point I'm trying to make. A technology is not an aesthetic.

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That looks exactly like a pre-render of a 3d house model. The only thing "2D" about this is that the render happened on the dev's computers rather than on yours, and the limitations inherent to that approach. As you said, it's not a matter of technology but of style, and a real-time rendering approach, while allowing the same artistic freedom, would bring several technical advantages.

 

And again, let me reiterate : it's not about technical advantages. It's about a certain style, which some people find very appealing.

 

Such level of detail is simply unattainable when using a real-time rendering approach.

Yes, and what I'm saying is that the same style can be achieved using both a real-time rendering and a pre-rendering approach; that being a given, a real-time rendering approach presents interesting technical advantages, so it's overall a much preferred approach today.

 

That particular screenshot you showed is something that real-time rendering engines can easily achieve today on just about any hardware.

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Yes, and what I'm saying is that the same style can be achieved using both a real-time rendering and a pre-rendering approach; that being a given, a real-time rendering approach presents interesting technical advantages, so it's overall a much preferred approach today.

 

That particular screenshot you showed is something that real-time rendering engines can easily achieve today on just about any hardware.

 

And yet, the examples you have posted don't look even half as good.

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The first image you have there feels bulky, the second one is great, and both of them require a lot more hardware power than the way Obsidian is planing to do it (unless the programming is terribly bad).

 

The Witcher 2 Recommended Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Quad Core or AMD equivalent
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 260, 1 GB memory / Radeon HD 4850 with 1 GB memory
  • Memory: 3 GB for Windows XP / 4 GB for Windows Vista and Windows 7
  • Hard Disk: At least 16 GB of free space

I can't play this, and I'm not buying/upgrading my computer. No one here will, because that's not the point in Project Eternity. Besides, you can't compare a console to a computer in terms of gaming.

 

Trine's(first picture) a 2d platformer with 3d elements great game by the by if you've never played it, both(trine and trine 2) are very fun. But, as for the spec's? Really now? You're telling me that a rig that would cost you under $220 to build right now is too much? You could build that today with a bit of searching on parts to get the deals but very doable. Maybe a bit more if you bought it all from one place like newegg or tigerdirect. By 2014, in terms of processing and GPU power though? Meh, it'll be over-reaching overkill. The recommended specs right now are dated.

 

Really though, processing and GPU processing is realtive specially two years down the road. And what's really being holding everything back for the last 6 years has been consoles and their limited power. Which is why everything in the PC market in terms of power(GPU and CPU) has been very small incrimental increaes. It's nothing like it was 10 or 12 years ago, that was insane. Though that might very well change at the rate the console market is being abandoned, even with the new consoles on the horizon.

 

Oh and I'm fully in the "don't care" crowd on this poll.

Edited by Mashiki

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If Project Eternity does well we may see a rush of copycat games going back to 2D. Wouldn't that be awesome.

 

It's stupid how expensive games have become because of Feature Creep on expensive 3D.


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If you appeal to "realism" about a video game feature, you are wrong. Go back and try again.

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And yet, the examples you have posted don't look even half as good.

That's your subjective opinion. On any objective criteria they are superior:

- they are higher resolution

- they are more detailed

- they present a variety of effecitvely realised graphical styles, from cartoonish fantasy to dark and gritty realism

- they are more dynamic (although that doesn't show on a static screenshot)

 

On that note, most of the artwork in Infinity Engine games was actually 3d models. GPUs didn't really exist back then so the team had no choice but to pre-render everything. That did nothing to alter their style, it merely meant that the rendering happened on the devs' computers rather than the players'.

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That's your subjective opinion.

 

And that's exactly what I wanted to stress. It ultimately boils down to this.

 

On any objective criteria they are superior:

 

- they are higher resolution

 

I think that the 2D backgrounds can be in a high resolution as well.

 

- they are more detailed

 

Well, that's very debatable, and the screens you provided actually prove otherwise.

 

- they present a variety of effecitvely realised graphical styles, from cartoonish fantasy to dark and gritty realism

 

Same with the 2D backgrounds - e.g. Stasis and Icewind Dale look very much different.

 

- they are more dynamic (although that doesn't show on a static screenshot)

 

No argument here, obviously.

 

On that note, most of the artwork in Infinity Engine games was actually 3d models. GPUs didn't really exist back then so the team had no choice but to pre-render everything. That did nothing to alter their style, it merely meant that the rendering happened on the devs' computers rather than the players'.

 

And that bring us back to the original point - an artistic choice. Obsidian could just as well make a full 3D game (the technology, after all, is readily available), but they chose not to.

 

Technological superiority means very little on its own.

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The pic of Van Buren (the original Fallout 3) on the 1st page was renderend realtime in 3D. :no:

 

Anyway, you could render Stasis in a realtime 3D engine and it would also look better with dynamic lighting, but it would also require a more powerful computer. You can also scale the resolution with a 3D engine very well.

 

Pre-rendering 3D backgrounds and flattening them to 2D does not look better (it still looks good though), and is definitely not the superior technology, it just means that you can run the game on a ****ty computer. ^^ But that is probably not a bad idea. I really don't care, flattened pre-rendered 3D can be good if it is done properly.

Edited by dlux

:closed:

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The pic of Van Buren (the original Fallout 3) on the 1st page was renderend realtime in 3D. :no:

 

sweet jesus it looked so good!


"if everyone is dead then why don't i remember dying?"

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"if we're all alive then why don't i remember being born?"

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The Witcher 2 Recommended Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Quad Core or AMD equivalent
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 260, 1 GB memory / Radeon HD 4850 with 1 GB memory
  • Memory: 3 GB for Windows XP / 4 GB for Windows Vista and Windows 7
  • Hard Disk: At least 16 GB of free space

I can't play this, and I'm not buying/upgrading my computer. No one here will, because that's not the point in Project Eternity. Besides, you can't compare a console to a computer in terms of gaming.

A lot of people will buy and upgrade computers between now and 2014. The Witcher 2's recommended specs will represent a fairly dated computer by then.

 

I agree with you about the lava in IWD and IWD2, very often I wished it wasn't static (and they animated it in one small place inside Dorn's Deep), but (again) it's 10 years later, games like Commandos 2 and 3 don't have any problems with animations and they look great. Even STASIS, the one-man-self-funded game looks good enough and has great animations. But that's not the point anyway, the point is people like me and other users here enjoy locked isometric view because it's a style on its own, it's a way of looking into the game world, it's a video game art form and aesthetic current in videogaming, the same way 3D is. I think this is what you're missing.
An isometric view is just a projection, and a real-time rendering approach can use whatever projection desired including, but not limited to, an isometric one. That said the only difference between a pre-rendering and a real-time rendering approach is the time and place when the rendering happens, not the style or quality of the graphics. That's the point I'm trying to make. A technology is not an aesthetic.

 

I use my computer to work most of the time. If I can play a game once in a while that's great. I'm not counting on upgrading mine because it's a mac mini and I hope it will last long as it is. And to play Project Eternity I won't need to upgrade it.

 

I don't care if it's pre-rendered or rendered in real time, as long as it's isometric and as long as it is not tiled. In Commandos 2 and 3 you could do 90 degrees turns with the camera, I think, and I'm also fine with that, and I'm fine with zooming too (the game WILL have zoom, as F. Urquhart stated). I just don't want it to look like 3D RPGs look nowadays, because the isometric charm is lost, and they look bulky unless you have the required hardware. If the methods you indicate are the best to make the game look great the way I'm saying, then I'm all fine with them; but I suspect that rendering highly detailed graphics in real time this way is the same as zooming The Witcher out and locking the camera at an almost isometric view, which I suppose requires a lot of processing power, because this way you'll have much more in-screen elements to render. I do like animations (which IE games lacked often) and dynamic lighting, but I'm really fond of highly detailed true isometric gameworlds.

Edited by descalabro

Project Eternity: Interactive/animated or descriptive? Check my poll and vote!

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Pre-rendering 3D backgrounds and flattening them to 2D does not look better (it still looks good though), and is definitely not the superior technology, it just means that you can run the game on a ****ty computer. ^^ But that is probably not a bad idea. I really don't care, flattened pre-rendered 3D can be good if it is done properly.

 

The thing is, I don't think you can achieve that "painted" look with the 3D game (at least I haven't seen it done yet).

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- they are higher resolution

I think that the 2D backgrounds can be in a high resolution as well.

 

- they are more detailed

Well, that's very debatable, and the screens you provided actually prove otherwise.

Are you really arguing that ToEE is more detailed graphically than The Witcher 2? How could they be anyway? They are also, just like The Witcher 2's graphics, 3d renders. The only technical difference is, at the risk of repeating myself, that for ToEE the calculation of the final picture happened on the developer's computers rather than yours, whereas The Witcher 2 uses your GPU to render in real-time. Otherwise the same basic techniques are used: modeling, texture, lighting - and The Witcher 2 uses higher-res artwork, much more detailed lighting, and entirely new methods that were unknown when ToEE was developed.

 

And that bring us back to the original point - an artistic choice. Obsidian could just as well make a full 3D game (the technology, after all, is readily available), but they chose not to.
... The choice between a pre-rendering and a real-time rendering approach is a technical one, because these are different technical means to produce graphics. Anything that can be done via pre-rendering can be done in real-time, given the proper techniques and computing power. What's so difficult to understand about this?

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Pre-rendering 3D backgrounds and flattening them to 2D does not look better (it still looks good though), and is definitely not the superior technology, it just means that you can run the game on a ****ty computer. ^^ But that is probably not a bad idea. I really don't care, flattened pre-rendered 3D can be good if it is done properly.

 

The thing is, I don't think you can achieve that "painted" look with the 3D game (at least I haven't seen it done yet).

Sure you can. You can hand paint textures and stick them onto 3D models if you want. I just haven't seen this done very often.... actually I can't even think of a game that does this off the top of my head. But it can be done.


:closed:

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Obsidian could just as well make a full 3D game (the technology, after all, is readily available), but they chose not to.
By the way did anyone from Obsidian said they would use 2d backgrounds? I've seen some articles mention it but never from the devs themselves.

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The choice between a pre-rendering and a real-time rendering approach is a technical one, because these are different technical means to produce graphics. Anything that can be done via pre-rendering can be done in real-time, given the proper techniques and computing power. What's so difficult to understand about this?

 

That's really quite simple, with real-time rendering you have to make compromises, as it, understandably, requires a lot more computing power.

At a certain point, you get something which is just too complex to render in real-time. So, no, you cannot always achieve the same effect in real-time as you would in pre-rendering.

 

As for the details - pre-rendered backgrounds are made to look the best at a particular angle and distance, so understandably more time can be spent on ironing every little nook and cranny, so it'd just look perfect.

 

 

 

And there's also the matter of that picteresque look, something I haven't seen replicated in any 3D game (I could be wrong about that though).

Edited by Karranthain

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Sure you can. You can hand paint textures and stick them onto 3D models if you want. I just haven't seen this done very often.... actually I can't even think of a game that does this off the top of my head. But it can be done.

 

Yeah, I don't know any full 3D games that would look like that.

Edited by Karranthain

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I kinda like Wasteland 2 camera. Obviously they need some work on the art style (colors!) and character animations, but it looks like a good concept overall. I would think that it could work for PE as well

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