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Old 10-03-2009, 06:50 AM   #1
puduhead
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Default Console: 2D -> 3D

I never managed to successfully negotiate this transition adequately. It didn't help that I left my home world of 2D Southern California in Spring '95 (for a 2-year church mission assignment) only to come back to a consumer civilization virtually taken over by really shitty looking 3D. Some people never got over 'Nam. I never got over the death of 'hand drawn' gameplay.

A recent blog on destructoid helped me to see how 2D -> 3D was not so much a necessary evolution but rather a premature/outright coup of 2D. The blogger made what I thought to be a great analogy to painting and photography which totally opened my mind:

I think that today, with the passage of time, we recognize that 3D games are not the evolutionary next step of 2D games: they are completely different genres in the same way that we recognize photography and painting as two equally valid art forms even though photography was initially heralded as the evolutionary next step and replacement for painting.
-tascar

This is a big reason why emulation became so important to me. Even if it is not specifically a function of retro-gaming. There clearly exists an element of that within this community of gifted and ambitious coders and enthusiasts.

What do you think?
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Old 10-03-2009, 12:27 PM   #2
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i 100% agree. I was lamenting on games today in another thread,in regards to gameplay falling to the wayside, and graphics becoming #1 priority, but I will briefly say that 2D will always have my heart. I even prefer games with a slightly angled 2d/3d overhead perspective (diablo,Zelda[snes] etc.) over 3D.

A majority (seemingly) of players nowadays tend to prefer the 3D environment in order to feel 'immersed' in a game. I feel this is unfortunate, as the human race is , as such, de-evolving into unimaginative curs.

"I don't need good graphics to have a good time" (should put that in a sig lol)
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:26 PM   #3
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They can definitely both exist. I love me some 3-D games, but I'll always have a part of my heart set for the 2-D titles of old (and the new ones, many of which are on the DS).

I'm not like some though, 2-D and 3-D don't make games bad/good based solely on them being 2-D or 3-D. 2-D games DO still come out, just mostly on the DS, as I said. I think some games work better as 3-D, but some work better as 2-D (some styles of gameplay almost need to have one or the other...FPS for example, and Metroidavania apparently, given how much better Castlevania does in 2-D). It's hard to make that transition right (Nintendo's franchises for some reason being the exception since they've always done great at bringing those games into 3-D).

I do love some beautifuly drawn 2-D though. Just something about it sometimes. Case in point (wall paper made from a screen capture of the game):

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Old 10-03-2009, 03:54 PM   #4
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i 100% agree. I was lamenting on games today in another thread,in regards to gameplay falling to the wayside, and graphics becoming #1 priority, but I will briefly say that 2D will always have my heart. I even prefer games with a slightly angled 2d/3d overhead perspective (diablo,Zelda[snes] etc.) over 3D.

A majority (seemingly) of players nowadays tend to prefer the 3D environment in order to feel 'immersed' in a game. I feel this is unfortunate, as the human race is , as such, de-evolving into unimaginative curs.

"I don't need good graphics to have a good time" (should put that in a sig lol)

I absolutely love that offset 3D overhead view as in Diablo and it made real 3D games like Neverwinter Nights also have a more workable feel. The real problem with true 3D is you have no clue whats behind you. In real life you hear, smell, and if attacked feel instantly where the attack is coming from. In 3D you are blind behind and it a huge drawback but with the overhead angled view you can see as much as you would hear in real life.

Zelda OOT kind of drove me nuts like Mario 64 for N64 did because I was always totally unaware of what was behind me and even if I knew something was behind me unlike real life I couldn't just spin around to the proper angle to defend attack myself since in real life nerves would tell me where I was hit so I would instinctively turn around but not when playing N64 which made it absolutely unrealistic and all games are like that to my knowledge. That lack of a real response makes immersion impossible for me since in real life you concentrate on what's in front of you and spin around to see where a sound came from without thought. Once nintendo gets that normal human reaction programmed into a game realistically then they will have a more 3D experience instead of just worrying about textures.

That's also the reason overhead offset is still king and why Diablo3 will be my new favorite game.
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Old 10-03-2009, 08:42 PM   #5
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Castlevania in 3D. That is all.
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:39 PM   #6
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I absolutely love that offset 3D overhead view as in Diablo and it made real 3D games like Neverwinter Nights also have a more workable feel. The real problem with true 3D is you have no clue whats behind you. In real life you hear, smell, and if attacked feel instantly where the attack is coming from. In 3D you are blind behind and it a huge drawback but with the overhead angled view you can see as much as you would hear in real life.

Zelda OOT kind of drove me nuts like Mario 64 for N64 did because I was always totally unaware of what was behind me and even if I knew something was behind me unlike real life I couldn't just spin around to the proper angle to defend attack myself since in real life nerves would tell me where I was hit so I would instinctively turn around but not when playing N64 which made it absolutely unrealistic and all games are like that to my knowledge. That lack of a real response makes immersion impossible for me since in real life you concentrate on what's in front of you and spin around to see where a sound came from without thought. Once nintendo gets that normal human reaction programmed into a game realistically then they will have a more 3D experience instead of just worrying about textures.

That's also the reason overhead offset is still king and why Diablo3 will be my new favorite game.
Holy Crap, thank god I'm not the only one that hates 3D for that very reason(though some games do it right and the control schemes allow for avoiding the 'back-stabbing-disorientation" crisis.).

For years I've seen friends of mine quit AE and go to WoW, and I honestly don't get it. I've played it, but it gets old fast for me.(Plus I cannot rationalize leaving a game /community of 7-8+years for a 3d game i cant get into)

If you ever wanna check it out (any of you) here's a screeny of me healing at a dragon boss in AE (only to show the 'tilted' overhead view, more than anything, but you guys are all pretty cool, and I'd love to have more people playing with meh )



(not the GREATEST screeny of the game but it will do for now)
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Old 10-04-2009, 06:46 PM   #7
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Default Just to clarify: The Subject Title did say Console. ;)

PC is a format where I am much more accepting of 3D. For example, I do enjoy FPS, but only on a PC with mouse/keyboard sitting in front of a monitor. I hate playing FPS with a game controller - which is the ultimate level of gameplay frustration for me, touching on what Shawn mentioned.

In contrast, console was always more adept at scrolling 2D. Console had a lot to offer still in 2D based on the legacy, the game controller, the casual nature of sitting back on a couch, recliner, or bed. And unfortunately, many of the existing franchises just did not transfer well to 3D. Ironically, most of those franchises never had their chance to be seen in the higher-res 32-bit thousands+ color 2D display. They were plucked from a fairly beautiful 16-bit 2D rendering and transplanted to the eyesore known as 1st Generation 3D.

Diablo 2 is one of those awesome rarities that uses real 'hand drawn' animation in a 3D plane. I don't know how often that will be duplicated now. Even it's descendant will use polygons for character animations. I don't really have a problem with this per se. I think Warcraft 3's graphics are adequate despite being all polygon. In general, overhead gameplay certainly benefits a great deal from a 3D plane. The only question then is whether you prefer classically drawn characters or the more mathematical looking polygon. I love this RTS/action-rpg genre so i'm not too picky on the details. Its best for PC anyway which is not even in my crosshairs for this thread.

To summarize - 3D is mainly for FPS, Racing, and (i guess you would call it?) 'Cinematic action-adventure'. Some of the games released for console today would be easier/more intuitive to control on a PC. 2D is a gorgeous genre of gaming whose extinction was forced. Making 2D/3D hybrids or half-inspired sequels for tiny screens is not sufficient evidence of 2D's continuation. A shell of its former self perhaps.

------

Now as for the Emulation factor:

The community atoned for some of the industry's 1st Generation 3D sins with enhanced graphics and reconfigured controls for mouse/keyboard.

I've actually played through one of the N64 Castelvanias in emulation after tweaking controls for use of mouse/keyboard. Really enhanced gameplay and made it more fun.

Anyone that can flesh out ideas for how emulation has improved early 3D console gaming - please add!
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Old 10-04-2009, 08:14 PM   #8
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Anyone that can flesh out ideas for how emulation has improved early 3D console gaming - please add!
In my opinion it really hasn't. Not the fault of emulation though. It just makes it possible to play on a computer. The problem I find since I don't use controllers is that there are WAY to many control options to make it fun and to get into it.

Take Diablo 2 for instance for a well designed game. Right click left click shortcut keys for potions or whatever you need. Bad is though I really like the game Zelda OOT. It's a bitch to use the scroll and the IKJL keys without dying a lot of times just trying to change from say slingshot to deku nut since you have to move your hand off the scroll and stop moving. Then you have the ASDZXC keys which I hit the wrong one so often.

Basically it comes down to getting used to remembering what does what and even with a controller it can be a bitch. Hell MS's Fable seemed like an incredible game but there were like 20+ keys to memorize and their Flight Simulator was even more frustrating with a massive amount of keys to memorize and both lasted maybe a day tops before I uninstalled and gave away the game to a friend.

When designing 3D games player movement and mouse movement should be default thinking when designing the game. As for controls like I said before the less the better and when you have a lot of choices games like Never Winter Nights with their right click to choose spells or attacks was a thing of beauty. Sure you had to remember what was where but by hitting the spacebar and pausing the game so you could find what you needed or assigning function keys with a visual icon at the bottom of the screen to remind you what each key did made the game less a chore of memorization and gave more time for coming up with strategies and made it a much more fun experience.

I think one of the major problems with 3D games is the designer/programmers. Not really their fault though since they don't realize that because they are incredibly smart and most have great memories they don't realize that memorizing 8 or 10 keys besides the scroll keys is not easy for most people and I was never comfortable with having to hit key combos ever.

Yes the problem is that they are to smart which is why they need basically a person of normal intellect to say to them occasionally to keep it simple and intuitive since we are not all computer geniuses nor do we want to be especially when doing something for fun like gaming.

So the worst thing about 3D gaming is to much complexity when it comes to game controls.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:41 PM   #9
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PC is a format where I am much more accepting of 3D. For example, I do enjoy FPS, but only on a PC with mouse/keyboard sitting in front of a monitor. I hate playing FPS with a game controller - which is the ultimate level of gameplay frustration for me, touching on what Shawn mentioned.
Words cannot describe how much I am in agreement on this...
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:36 AM   #10
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Words cannot describe how much I am in agreement on this...
I see what you're saying, but when I play something like Metroid Prime 3...it just feels really great. Then again, Wiimote + nunchuck is about the closest thing to a mouse and keyboard setup on a console unless you're hooking a mouse right up to the system or something (I *think* some X-Box games support this? Maybe?)
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