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Why Did Isometric 3D Rpgs Fall Out Of Vogue?

rpg ad&d isometric 3d

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#41
curryinahurry

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A camera that we could pan and zoom would be great.  Even if the zoom is limited to 2x - .5x, it would be helpful when coupled with zoom; especially during combats involving a lot of spell effects and auras.  Also, considering how detailed they're making these backgrounds, it would be nice to occasionally zoom in to see interesting items up close or zoom out in outdoor areas to get a greater sense of scale.


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#42
Bartimaeus

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[...]and a free-moving third-person camera for "tactical" party-based RPGs (NWN, KOTOR)

 

I don't see how I could possibly disagree more. I can't think of any games where that type of camera was done well, (including your two examples). Every time it's used, I find "tactical combat" impossible to actually do, and usually just let the AI control anyone that isn't the main character. "Tactical combat", because this "tactic" actually works most of the time, which makes me think these games aren't very tactical at all. What's worse is that these games also usually have crappy isometric cameras, (Dragon Age: Origins being the worst offender I can think of), as a result of the game not really being built for it. You know what I like about "complex", "tactical" combat? Not having to mess around with the horrendous camera system every time I click on a different character because it's always facing the wrong way, or getting stuck behind objects, or getting stuck in front of objects when I try and issue new commands to those different characters. It's enough of a headache to control just one character - there is no way in hell that I am going to try doing four to six characters every battle. Automatic AI control it is, then, for everyone besides me.


Edited by Bartimaeus, 06 November 2013 - 02:06 AM.

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#43
Karkarov

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A camera that we could pan and zoom would be great.  Even if the zoom is limited to 2x - .5x, it would be helpful when coupled with zoom; especially during combats involving a lot of spell effects and auras.  Also, considering how detailed they're making these backgrounds, it would be nice to occasionally zoom in to see interesting items up close or zoom out in outdoor areas to get a greater sense of scale.

The view angle is fixed but I am pretty sure they have said you can zoom the camera.


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#44
curryinahurry

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A camera that we could pan and zoom would be great.  Even if the zoom is limited to 2x - .5x, it would be helpful when coupled with zoom; especially during combats involving a lot of spell effects and auras.  Also, considering how detailed they're making these backgrounds, it would be nice to occasionally zoom in to see interesting items up close or zoom out in outdoor areas to get a greater sense of scale.

The view angle is fixed but I am pretty sure they have said you can zoom the camera.

 

Thanks for the zoom bit, I wasn't sure.  I wasn't referring angle, that can't be changed in a projected view without creating strange distortions as Zeckul pointed out.  I was thinking of panning the camera in plane when zoomed in (or even in regular view depending on how they do the fog of war) as one might an image in photoshop.  It would help us inspect areas as we deem necessary.



#45
Hassat Hunter

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As the background is a 2D image, panning will never happen...

#46
Karkarov

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Thanks for the zoom bit, I wasn't sure.  I wasn't referring angle, that can't be changed in a projected view without creating strange distortions as Zeckul pointed out.  I was thinking of panning the camera in plane when zoomed in (or even in regular view depending on how they do the fog of war) as one might an image in photoshop.  It would help us inspect areas as we deem necessary.

Like Hassat Hunter said, no panning, no altering of the view angle.  It is just like Baldur's Gate 1, or any other Infinity Engine game.  The cameras position is fixed and can not be moved, only moved to different parts of the map or zoomed in for closer viewing of the area or out to see more terrain.



#47
Silent Winter

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As the background is a 2D image, panning will never happen...

I'm pretty sure he means panning left-right and up-down across the 2D image - if we're zoomed in then moving the camera 'in-zoom' to the left/right/up/down should be possible.

In the same way that we could pan the camera in BG (that just didn't have zoom).

You just can't change the camera angle as it's pre-rendered at that angle.



#48
Hassat Hunter

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I wouldn't call that "panning", simply "moving"...

Panning implies the angle is changed, and whatever way you would, it would become painfully obvious the game was never made to be seen in another angle. Which is what isometric is all about...

#49
curryinahurry

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@ Silent Winter yes, that is correct.  

 

Normal convention for panning is rotation in camera and translation in isometric or 2d views when working with 3d software like 3ds max.  I probably should have said mouse scrolling or dragging the view in zoom.  Sorry for the confusion.


Edited by curryinahurry, 07 November 2013 - 03:53 AM.


#50
Lephys

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I wouldn't call that "panning", simply "moving"...


Hey... that's just how he scrolls... 8)
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#51
Hassat Hunter

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Don't say that... Bethesda might sue you too! ;)
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#52
Lephys

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Don't say that... Bethesda might sue you too! ;)


Crap! What have I DONE?! Next I'll say "elder" or some-

*claps hands over mouth* O_O

I'm doomed!

Wait, I didn't say "the" yet...

-______-.......

#53
curryinahurry

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I wouldn't call that "panning", simply "moving"...


Hey... that's just how he scrolls... 8)

 

 

Lovely.

 

Ok, the point I was trying to make still stands, I really would like to be able to drag the view with my mouse while in a zoomed frame.  I would prefer this to screen edge scrolling, but that would suffice in a pinch.  It would likely have to be done in a paused state with an Alt or Ctrl + Mouse button command.  NWN2 tried this with the camera patch, but it was a bit of a mess.  

 

I'm wondering if any other isometric games have this type of function.  


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#54
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Ehm, all IE games allowed you to move the camera over the map. I doubt PE would be different, zoomed or not.

#55
Lephys

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Ok, the point I was trying to make still stands, I really would like to be able to drag the view with my mouse while in a zoomed frame.  I would prefer this to screen edge scrolling, but that would suffice in a pinch.  It would likely have to be done in a paused state with an Alt or Ctrl + Mouse button command.  NWN2 tried this with the camera patch, but it was a bit of a mess.  
 
I'm wondering if any other isometric games have this type of function.


I hear ya. I'm also not very fond of edge-scrolling. Which is weird, 'cause I used to do it all the time (and be fine with it) in all the old, old strategy games. Then one day, I discovered things like right-click-drag scrolling (a la Black and White 2), and arrow-key (or W A S D) scrolling. And wow... SO convenient and intuitive. You're mainly interacting with things with the mouse, so either a mouse function allows to move the whole field of view instead of just the cursor OR the keyboard (which you've most likely already got your other hand situated upon) can perform that function while your mouse is free to interact to its heart's content. :)
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#56
Zeckul

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Hey everybody

 

I am SO hyped to discover that Obsidian are working on a new rpg especially one that ISN'T first person which leads me to wonder...just why did isometric 3D rpgs fall out of vogue?

Darklands, Wasteland, Ultima, Dungeon Seige, Fallout, Planetscape: Torment all had one thing in common; they were isometric.

 

I suppose you could argue that as technology improved it was a natural progression to move to first person; however, I disagree, why weren't the advances in technology  applied to isometric 3D?

 

This article indicates that the genre is back in a big way, so why exactly did it fall out of favour?

I would attribute this to the move towards console and cross-platform titles. This itself was motivated by gamer expectations requiring bigger budgets which in return required bigger markets. PC-only games became much more rare, and with them, controls that required a mouse and keyboard. A gamepad is a clumsy device to manipulate a group of characters, so party-based RPGs didn't make sense. But if you're controlling a single character, then you can simply attach the camera to that character and simplify controls even more that way.

 

The only reason games like Project Eternity and Tides of Numenera are possible today is crowdfunding, which allows a developer like Obsidian to target a more limited market and make the game they truly want to make rather than try to please a theoretical mass market.

 

Ultima was in part first-person by the way; I think it was the main inspiration behind Elder Scrolls.



#57
curryinahurry

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Ehm, all IE games allowed you to move the camera over the map. I doubt PE would be different, zoomed or not.

 

Different engine; you're right in that I doubt there will be much problem with screen edge scrolling, but its a fairly crappy solution for 2014.  Direct dragging with the mouse cursor would be best, but I'm not sure if there are re-draw issues with Unity-generated graphics when zoomed in.  This could make the game choppy on some machines.


Edited by curryinahurry, 07 November 2013 - 07:32 PM.


#58
Silent Winter

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Ok, the point I was trying to make still stands, I really would like to be able to drag the view with my mouse while in a zoomed frame.  I would prefer this to screen edge scrolling, but that would suffice in a pinch.  It would likely have to be done in a paused state with an Alt or Ctrl + Mouse button command.  NWN2 tried this with the camera patch, but it was a bit of a mess.  
 
I'm wondering if any other isometric games have this type of function.


I hear ya. I'm also not very fond of edge-scrolling. Which is weird, 'cause I used to do it all the time (and be fine with it) in all the old, old strategy games. Then one day, I discovered things like right-click-drag scrolling (a la Black and White 2), and arrow-key (or W A S D) scrolling. And wow... SO convenient and intuitive. You're mainly interacting with things with the mouse, so either a mouse function allows to move the whole field of view instead of just the cursor OR the keyboard (which you've most likely already got your other hand situated upon) can perform that function while your mouse is free to interact to its heart's content. :)

 

I always use cursors to scroll around  when playing BG (via BGT mod - not sure if that makes a difference) - that way I can keep my mouse ready to click - I'm hoping PE has a similar ability



#59
ShadowTiger

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Having played a bunch of isometric games, I have never once felt the need to rotate the camera. I think it is a huge waste of time and resources creating a 3D world if you can get away with a 2D one. 

 

I certainly don't want to be required to rotate the camera to know where everything is, that is the beauty of a well designed isometric game. 

 

I like being able to use the arrow keys to scroll around instead of the mouse, not every game supports multiple monitors.


Edited by ShadowTiger, 07 November 2013 - 11:17 PM.

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#60
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Having played a bunch of isometric games, I have never once felt the need to rotate the camera.

it was a big relief to me when I found out I could do it in the Commandos games. But then, it was rather essential for solving the encounters there.





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