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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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well that game was made to run in a max 800x600 resolution, with optional but not recomended 1024x768 resolution which was the standard of that time. they didnt expect people to play it in 1920x1200 12 years later

eternity will obviously be scalable to the various modern HD resolutions. it is made by professional game designers after all, but they cant make a scale for the 3840x2400 resolution that will be the standard for screens in 2020 or the 14400x 9000 in 2030


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I care more about art design / playability than the tech behind it. For example, those STASIS screenshots in the first post look good at first, but upon closer inspection they're way too dark for how far removed the camera is. Looking at some of them, I can't even tell what I'm looking at, and the carefully placed detail is lost.

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Baldur's Gate Trilogy/Planescape/Icewind Dale and even Fallout still look great to date with High Res Patches:

Check out Baldur's Gate 2 in HD, 1920 x 1200:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xl9A4bSTsTo

 

It's like playing Sim Ant. ^^

 

Unless you have a really big screen to keep the textures organic, resolutions this large tend to cut the atmosphere to me, because the action's focus is switched from the characters to the scenario, to a point where you start feeling too much like navigating a map instead of exploring a world. The charm of a torchlight in a small corridor is lost with really big resolutions. I see the point in fitting a bigger area onscreen for fighting purposes, but more than that just takes away some of the visual charm.

Edited by descalabro

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

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It only looks like "Sim Ant" because you're watching it in a tiny youtube window. I'm playing BG2 on both a 27" (2560*1440) and a 24" (1920*1200) monitor, and it really isn't appearing much tinier than it did years ago on my 15" 1024*768 monitor. You're just seeing a lot more on the screen.

 

When I play it on my 1080p 13" laptop screen it's a bit hellish, though. Allowing for DPI scaling is far more important than what resolutions they render anything in. If you render everything to a particular resolution that's popular today, it will date as quickly as the IE games. If you render it with 2x, 4x, etc. DPI scaling in mind, it'll look amazing forever. I doubt their hardware could feasibly render all their areas at 4x in a reasonable time, though.

 

Anyway, that brings me to the best looking top down 2D game I've ever played: Commandos 3 (2003) ... and this game was rendered from 4 different angles. It also had a lot of animated 3D bits, and water was animated, driveable vehicles, mood-setting weather effects...

 

(massive picture, do look at full version!)

 

commandos2_14.jpg

 

 

commandos2_105.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by mstark
  • Like 4

"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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Mstark, those screenshots are from Commandos 2, which came out in 2001.

You are right, and I'm an idiot. Thanks for correcting me :). I much preferred Commandos 1/2 to number 3, now that I looked them up. Too long since I played them!

"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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Impressive pic. Unfortunately you can see the tiling in the water area, which detracts from the scene. Maybe they need to use Penrose tiling, or some similar non-periodic method?

Edited by rjshae

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Impressive pic. Unfortunately you can see the tiling in the water area, which detracts from the scene. Maybe they need to use Penrose tiling, or some similar non-periodic method?

 

XSI uses Mental Ray renderer so they're likely using the water shader (I would assume). Anyway, if that image is from a game in 2001 then it likely was done with a scanline renderer in 3DS MAX or something like it. I would expect much better images in the final game.

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It only looks like "Sim Ant" because you're watching it in a tiny youtube window. I'm playing BG2 on both a 27" (2560*1440) and a 24" (1920*1200) monitor, and it really isn't appearing much tinier than it did years ago on my 15" 1024*768 monitor. You're just seeing a lot more on the screen.

 

When I play it on my 1080p 13" laptop screen it's a bit hellish, though. Allowing for DPI scaling is far more important than what resolutions they render anything in. If you render everything to a particular resolution that's popular today, it will date as quickly as the IE games. If you render it with 2x, 4x, etc. DPI scaling in mind, it'll look amazing forever. I doubt their hardware could feasibly render all their areas at 4x in a reasonable time, though.

 

Anyway, that brings me to the best looking top down 2D game I've ever played: Commandos 3 (2003) ... and this game was rendered from 4 different angles. It also had a lot of animated 3D bits, and water was animated, driveable vehicles, mood-setting weather effects...

 

(massive picture, do look at full version!)

 

commandos2_14.jpg

 

 

commandos2_105.jpg

 

 

 

 

I've always liked the way Commandos games looked (except Commandos 4). I also recommend you Spellbound games like "Desperados", "Robin Hood: TLoS" and "Chicago 1930". I really enjoyed the atmosphere on Robin Hood, and adding to the great graphics, the game had impressive physics involving combat and scenario interaction.

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

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Impressive pic. Unfortunately you can see the tiling in the water area, which detracts from the scene. Maybe they need to use Penrose tiling, or some similar non-periodic method?

Yeah, the water effects weren't the best, but the texture on the renders are higher quality than those of BG2/IWD2, in my opinion. It looks like PE will be have an option for using real time rendered water, which would look far better than sprites based water.

 

Adding to that, there were sliding doors, moving lamps, area lighting effects, the FlaK cannons were animated 3D obejcts... etc. Unfortunately, they didn't use any anti-aliasing for the 3D props, making their edges look far sharper than the rest of the map.

Edited by mstark

"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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wow Stasis is just amazing! Hoping he kickstarts it? or has he already? I am little late in the game here.

 

I could see dark atmospheric music for the BGM

 

and dark industrial style for the conflict cues. Raising tensions your typical minor 2nd tremlos.

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One of the things I realized upon seeing the new screenshot from P:E is that there really hasn't been a major 2D isometric game in a decade or so. Given how good some of them looked in the early 2000's (like your Commandos 2 example, mstark), it makes me really excited to see a decade of advances in graphics technology implemented in service of an isometric RPG.

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It only looks like "Sim Ant" because you're watching it in a tiny youtube window. I'm playing BG2 on both a 27" (2560*1440) and a 24" (1920*1200) monitor, and it really isn't appearing much tinier than it did years ago on my 15" 1024*768 monitor. You're just seeing a lot more on the screen.

Yes it is a lot smaller. 800x600 on a 15 inch monitor results in a 0.381mm dot pitch, while 2560x1400 on a 27" monitor results in a 0.234mm dot pitch, i.e. everything is only 61% of its original size in each dimension which means everything occupies about 37% of its original space, i.e. everything is almost only 1/3rd of its original size. That's just maths. But it gets worse when you add the psycho-visual effect of representing much more of an area and thus shifting the focus away from small details, making them even more difficult to notice.

 

So yes it looks like "Sim Ant" because objectively everything is much smaller, and because subjectively you're representing a much larger area within a single screen.

Edited by Zeckul
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It only looks like "Sim Ant" because you're watching it in a tiny youtube window. I'm playing BG2 on both a 27" (2560*1440) and a 24" (1920*1200) monitor, and it really isn't appearing much tinier than it did years ago on my 15" 1024*768 monitor. You're just seeing a lot more on the screen.

Yes it is a lot smaller. 800x600 on a 15 inch monitor results in a 0.381mm dot pitch, while 2560x1400 on a 27" monitor results in a 0.234mm dot pitch, i.e. everything is only 61% of its original size in each dimension which means everything occupies about 37% of its original space, i.e. everything is almost only 1/3rd of its original size. That's just maths. But it gets worse when you add the psycho-visual effect of representing much more of an area and thus shifting the focus away from small details, making them even more difficult to notice.

 

So yes it looks like "Sim Ant" because objectively everything is much smaller, and because subjectively you're representing a much larger area within a single screen.

Yes, this is all true. (I did say 1024*768, though, which is a much smaller difference, and how I played the game back in the day... but you're absolutely right).

"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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I like the 2D stuff for backgrounds but sprites for the characters them selves are better served, for a multitude of reasons as animated models instead of sprites. The videos kinda prove that. When you do sprites you have to render specific directions facing, 'animations' needs a specific angle rendered out for it... ends up being thousands of frames for some basic stuff. Full 3D model rendered in game doesn't have that issue, can ultimately do more animations, including extra neutral stuff, can blend things together more easily, and your not stuck to 8-16 directions. You have the full 360 degrees with out losing anything. Also that being the only models means you can afford more detail to them in comparison to full 3D games. Which in a fixed perspective game like this can be an amazing thing.

 

Those videos kind of prove my point. If the character isn't walking it all looks great, and he has some very fluid animations (lots of frames). Then he picks a direction and the guy kinda flash/teleport moves and walks in a direction his rendered angle doesn't really match. Stuff like that is easily fixed with a 3D model and, frankly, woulda looked about the same detail wise. Characters kinda blurry in that game for some reason... probably an art choice. Either way background looks awesome.


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PE will have 3D characters... so no worries there ;).


^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

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