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  Thoughts on 2D isometric perspective?  (Read 3788 times)
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Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel

Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years

Game Engineer

« Posted 2009-05-06 19:19:44 »

Hey guys.

I've got 2D isometric in a game, and I was just wondering peoples' thoughts on how they preferred to achieve it. Here's what I did:

1) Rotate 45 degrees.
2) Scale Y by tan(30) (creates 30/60/90 triangles in each grid space, ~0.57).

Doing the whole tan(30) thing doesn't really optimize much, it just uses a known triangle shape so that any subsequent calculations I can know the length of the hypotenuse etc. from the top of my head. As of now, that hasn't been useful at all. Tongue

I was looking at images at some past 2D isometric games, and one I found with clear grid spacing was Sim City 2000. In it, it looks like they do this:

1) Rotate 45 degrees.
2) Scale T by 1/2.

I discovered this by looking at a screenshot of the game, where a grid space is 32 pixels wide and 16 pixels tall.

A classic game I really enjoyed called Nethergate looks to have used 2/3 as the height scale. A more recent RPG I played, Eschalon, looks like it used 1/2.

The common theme is that people appear to have accomplished this pseudo-3D look is by rotating 45 degrees and then squishing everything vertically (or stretching everything horizontally, whichever you want to call it). My question and discussion topic to you all is this: what have you guys tried in order to achieve this effect? Have you used different scaling values? Do you do it some other way? Why do you think different people made varying choices for the height? The more it's squished, the more you can see on the screen at one time. Do you think that the game genre determines the squish amount, or do you think it's simply preference? The closer the squish ratio gets to 0, the more it looks like you're looking directly at a horizon level, and the closer it gets to 1, the closer you get to a straight-up bird's eye view.

Etc. etc.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline Mike

« JGO Spiffy Duke »

Medals: 144
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Exp: 6 years

Java guru wannabe

« Reply #1 - Posted 2009-05-06 20:08:21 »

I did it just like sim city apparently. rotate 45 degrees and squeeze it with 50%. I tried different values but I thought it ended up looking nicest like that.

My current game, Minecraft meets Farmville and goes online Smiley
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Offline pjt33

« JGO Spiffy Duke »

Medals: 40
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« Reply #2 - Posted 2009-05-07 07:51:51 »

One factor affecting the scaling parameter is pixel art. I think that's probably the reason for a lot of games choosing 1/2.
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Offline SwampChicken
« Reply #3 - Posted 2009-05-07 08:22:36 »

Thoughts on 2D isometric perspective?

.....It's my absolute favourite gaming platform.
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder

Medals: 2

pixels! :x

« Reply #4 - Posted 2009-05-07 08:34:46 »

A good article:

Personally I think that iso stuff looks nice, but doesn't actually work that well in most games that use it.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel

Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years

Game Engineer

« Reply #5 - Posted 2009-05-07 18:21:44 »

Brilliant link. Definitely does a great job of explaining the math of each perspective.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline Wildern

Junior Devvie

« Reply #6 - Posted 2009-05-08 14:32:49 »

You may also find this site very useful.
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel

Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years

Game Engineer

« Reply #7 - Posted 2009-05-11 07:26:22 »

You may also find this site very useful.
Thanks, man.

See my work:
OTC Software
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