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Author Topic: "Isometric" display for DF  (Read 17249 times)

Mike Mayday

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"Isometric" display for DF
« on: May 15, 2009, 05:37:33 pm »

I'm well aware that the moment when a projection different than top-down is even considered is a song of a distant future. Nevertheless I'd like to explore the mechanics and benefits of employing such a method of display.
After many discussions, we have agreed that for a functional display, oblique/cavalier projection works best.
To start gently, I've devised a mix of oblique and ASCII that requires no new graphics except for a few bases which I've already made (floor tile, wall tile, ramps and stairs):



The height of the wall could be dynamically modified. In an optimal situation, the tip of a wall tile would only reach as high as the middle of the floor tile behind it. This way, a single wall tile would only obstruct at most 1/4 of any object.

The greatest benefit of a 3d projection is being able to view multi-level constructions and many levels at a time. To clearly display which level you're currently viewing, the lower levels could get less saturated colours. Here we're looking at the top of a tower at night, the lower dwarf also carries a light source apparently?


Floating/flying/falling units would have a spot of shadow on the ground below them, so that you can tell where exactly they are. This shadow would be visible even if the layer where the creature is was sliced off.

I've been doing some tests on how that display may then be used for "prettiness" (since it's bound to start happening) and basically a welcome possibility would be to have tiles that have graphics larger than the space they occupy:



The original post is located here:
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 08:59:27 pm by Mike Mayday »
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Duke 2.0

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Re: More "isometric" blues
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2009, 06:09:19 pm »

 I applaud you on bring this back up again with more mockups, as this issue is a fun one to mess around with.

I feel no matter what method we use, there will always be problems. We should just focus on a system whose problems don't impact gameplay as much.

 I rather like the clever method. We already have to view the levels individually, so this system just makes things prettier. And we all get used to the quirks of various tilesets, a simple thing like opening looking a little wide won't be a problem.

 I would like to see these mockups with height shading(Lower displayed lavels are darker/lighter to show depth) and the clean and alternate methods used with a multi-z-level construction. Preferably showcasing a small tower and a small pit.
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AncientEnemy

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Re: More "isometric" blues
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2009, 10:40:55 pm »

I prefer the clever method, I wouldn't mind only viewing one z level at a time anyway. plus, you could have a multi-z level view where higher z levels show up transparent, or simply use 'xray vision' where anything that would obscure a lower level isn't displayed at all

Neonivek

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Re: More "isometric" blues
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2009, 10:42:29 pm »

I am probably the only person but I like Alter the most.
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Jadael

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Re: More "isometric" blues
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2009, 10:55:46 pm »

Alter most closely matches the current setup, with each wall section being a tile.
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Sunken

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Re: More "isometric" blues
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2009, 11:14:09 pm »

I'm not saying it's better, but what about the version where a "thin" wall runs throught the middle of a tile, rather than along one side? Maybe the geometry gets more complicated. It'd be somewhere in between "alter" and the other two, I guess.
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Grigorij.Gluhov

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Re: More "isometric" blues
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2009, 05:01:10 am »

hahaha! Ultima 7?  ;D

Much better to use simple 3d-engine than old tile isometric. It will be simple to make and use.

Forget to say... Good pics!  ;)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2009, 05:15:16 am by Grigorij.Gluhov »
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Tack

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Re: More "isometric" blues
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2009, 05:50:15 am »

just one quiery. will the tiles interact with a door to create more wall to fill the gap?
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Grimlocke

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Re: More "isometric" blues
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2009, 06:02:53 am »

I like these drafts! quite well made  ;)

And I dont quite agree with it that making a 3d engine would be better then an isometric one. Isometric suits DF much better if you ask me.

Anyways, back onto the actual purpose of the topic, I like the clever method the best. The height of the walls looks better, and it wouldnt obscure anything.

Wouldnt you be able to solve the wall conjuction issue by moving the z-level on top downwards by the walls diameter? That way the base of the top wall over overlap the top of the base wall nicely.

Though the alternative one might be the most realistic in its depiction (not showing corridors wider then they are), I would preferr it over 'clean'.

EDIT: typos
« Last Edit: May 16, 2009, 10:10:32 am by Grimlocke »
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Tormy

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Re: More "isometric" blues
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2009, 08:02:54 am »

I am probably the only person but I like Alter the most.

Nop, you are not the only one.  ;) I also like Alter the most....however I still say that: 2D top-down > isometric in DF.
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Volfram

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Re: More "isometric" blues
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2009, 10:25:51 am »

I'm still a bigger fan of the "Depth by Darkening" ideas(particularly mine, "Depth by Scale") largely because I think they would be much faster to impliment than anything approaching isometric, and they do go a long way towards improving the appearance of the game.

[edit]I didn't say it, but I was thinking it when I posted this, those mockups are impressive, and if implementation time weren't an issue(which it is, for me), I'd definitely be more in favor of them.  I prefer Alter, due to improved clarity and reduced number of possible variations the computer may have to go through depending on the adjacent tiles.[/edit]
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 02:19:17 pm by Volfram »
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Randominality

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Re: More "isometric" blues
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2009, 10:27:18 am »

another vote for lter here
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Re: More "isometric" blues
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2009, 10:30:31 am »

Clever seems nice for single-layer depictions.  The one-tile pillars look awful with the first two methods, as they don't really depict what is going on.  I think alter is the most honest depiction - could you possibly mock-up alter w/ transparency for obscuring tiles?

I don't think a 3D depiction would outclass isometric.  Iso is simple, clean, in most cases, rotatable, and its more of a standard for this type of game (I can't speak for roguelikes, but it can certainly be said about other building/design games (Roller Coaster Tycoon, Age of Empires, Zeus/Pharaoh/Caesar).  Iso also allows for local texture on each tile without having to simulate each bump.  One clear downside with Iso will be when lighting is overhauled, as that is VERY tough to depict without planning hunderds of tiles, or sacrificing appearance.
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Re: More "isometric" blues
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2009, 12:07:31 am »

2D top-down > isometric in DF.

I always go with 2D in roguelikes, but the huge amount of Z-level switching is the sole reason I might actually prefer a well done isometric version. Is there really a good way to show multiple z levels in 2D?
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Neonivek

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Re: More "isometric" blues
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2009, 12:15:10 am »

I should say... if Alter loses my vote is for Clever
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