Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 6:11PM
Volcano Storm XNA game 012709 from Allan Chaney on Vimeo.
I've been struggling with perspective. My original intention was to mirror my work on Paladin's Legacy and just create a Top Down game. The problem I've run into is, due to the current state of game graphics, even the simplest graphics don't look good in pure Top Down. It's very hard to convey depth in top down... much harder than I thought it would be. Back in the day, graphics were so simple, depth didn't matter. Now it does. Some things work but most do not. For instance, my player looks like a spider running across the screen in Top Down as you can see from my first video. (Admittedly, there are only 2 frames of animation for each direction so he looks pretty choppy. But until I have a fully sculpted 3D character, there's no point in going through the painstaking task of texture grabs for each direciton times 16 or 20 for smooth animation. I'll wait to do that once I have a character worth animating. I'm still learning ZBrush.:-) My volcano looks acceptable but I'm unable to recreate any depth with mountain terrain in Top Down.
Here is mountain terrain, a tree and a burnt tree in top down. The mountian is just barely acceptable but not really. The tree and especially the burnt tree look aweful. The burnt tree doesn't even look like anything. At least the green thing could be mistaken for a bush. But no one would think that black thing was a tree.
I decided to go for isometric but apparently I'm not smart enough to figure out the tiling for isometric.
I did some searches online and found a few sites but nothing that came even close to just laying it out in C#.
And that's the problem. I need to see a code example in C# preferably using XNA to create a 2D isometric scrollable map. Of course even if I could recreate that isometric tiling code in my game, I would probably lose my cool 2D camera that I spent a lot of time getting to work.
So I think I'm going to shoot for a Top Down/Isometric game. My world will be a Top Down Tiling scrolling backdrop. But the objects I place in the world will be at varying angles relative to 90. I have a tree at -45 at it looks pretty good. I rotated my Volcano and the one mountain I have to -20 degrees and I like them. I'm referring to the z axis regarding degrees. This is the huge advantage of creating everything as 3D models. It takes some time but once you have the model, it's fairly easy to reposition the object and do a texture grab in any angle or position.
So now when you zoom out you can see the mountain peeks extending above the tiled world map. I think it looks pretty cool. I had to spend some time getting my Volcano Rocks to come out of the top of the Volcano instead of from the center of the Volcano rectangle, as they did when my volcano was top down. I also had to add a Y based arching effect combined with scale to make the rocks look like they go up, up, up and then down. I'll keep tweeking that look.
I have several issues with relative scale of objects and the size of my textures. Microsoft is limiting Community games to 150 megs. I never thought that would be an issue but just my mountain alone is 1.4 megs and my little project is already over 50 megs right now! Granted all of my game textures are larger than needed but that's on purpose so when I scale in or out everything still looks crystal clear. At some point I'll have to make some decisions about clarity while zooming vs. texture size.