Poll

Top Down, or Side View?

Top Down
8 (66.7%)
Side View
4 (33.3%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Voting closed: February 22, 2015, 08:46:55 am

Author Topic: Preferred Battle Perspective  (Read 5065 times)

Offline Helrouis

Preferred Battle Perspective
« on: February 20, 2015, 08:46:55 am »
The team is talking about changing the current side view battle system, but we want to discuss with everyone else first before committing. The primary reason for changing is mainly because it doesn't fit with the scale of the battles at the story + the other issues that keeps on piling one after another with regards to the fake 3d weapons and ships + fluidity of the gameplay/performance (+the backer ships).

Pros of the Top-Down view in our gameplay system:
1. Same top-down-ish bg instead of creating another side view bg = faster production.
2. Performance wise, we'll be using 2d sprites instead of 3d models (it doesn't really change visually all that much) so it adds more units in battle and more room for smoothness/visual effects and the battles can potentially scale from a small mission to a grand mission (5~15 UTV vs 20~30 Ares units + more waves).
3. Welp... Long term, this is better, because porting to mobile or w/e won't be too tedious whereas if using the 3D models, we'll have to go through optimizing them further.
4. Backers will just need to do the top down silhouette of the ship and/or apply textures (or using our premade lego blocks), since there are many top down games, they can easily take references for the shapes.
5. In the weapon installation and grouping screen, you'll just need to install the weapons on "top view" instead of rotating top/down/left/right which also provides us simpler UI.
6. You can start literally at any point of the battle without feeling awkward.

Cons of the top view implementation:
1. The top view of the current ships aren't that established, but one thing i can say is that they're all... Thin biscuits at the moment. However, producing the 2D ships doesn't really take a lot of time (especially now that we have a full texture set), considering their scale in game, plus I'll just do it similarly to how the backers will do their ship, like decide the shapes/each parts, place texture (based from the existing designs), repaint a bit to make it look natural then that's it.

2. The current code needs to be changed, but this change isn't anything too hard, and rather it makes everyone's lives easier.

Pros of the current side view system:
1. It's fancy, more cinematic (especially if a different/more detailed background is used)
2. it's the current implemented system so we just have to sail forward.
3. The ships yaw whenever they take continuous damage + fanciness.
4. Pressing H to rotate makes people go "lol the ships are in 3D. MIND. BLOWN." ( - Youko )
5. We can potentially add 3d lighting which will go terribly wrong performance wise with the way how the weapons check distances between other ships

Cons:
1. Just as stated in #5, the ships may be in 3d, but the 3d lighting per explosions and stuff will be costly. I'll give you an idea how it's unthinkable for our game to be so expensive:
If this was a typical shmup, say 1vs100, that's fine, since 1x100 of loop of checks.
However , the UTV can potentially have 5~15 units. Fighting against 30 ares units are 15x30 = 900 loop of checks, that's how insane it is. Not to mention, our missiles counts as objects to be checked since they can be intercepted. Just imagine if both sides' ships has around 10 each... D; Anyway, top down allows us to make use of full 2d solutions rather than the current 2d-3d.
2. You can only start on the right or left. Some missions portraying that you're surrounded feels a little odd.
3. The scale of the war couldn't be felt much, unless we group the enemies by waves to optimize performance.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2015, 08:53:05 am by Helrouis »
[email protected]InnoMen Productions
Web/Game Developer
2D Illustrator/3D Modeler
"Fortuna Audaces Iuvat"

Offline Arraxis

Re: Preferred Battle Perspective
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2015, 08:31:10 am »
I think I prefer top-down. A lot of other space games use it, and it's always been simple and effective. You can see everything, and even when there's a lot of stuff on the screen you don't struggle to work out what's going on. The current side-on view has a cinematic view to it, but it kind of feels gamey in that the ships are all perfectly staring at each other as they move up, down, left and right. Given the size of the ships, it also makes things feel really sluggish, and feel constrained. Top down gives a better illusion of freedom and looks more mobile. It'd be cool if you were keeping the 3D ships so you could rotate the camera during battle, but I'm fine with 2D ships on a plane. It sounds like a functionality versus style debate, and I've gotta go with functionality here.

I do have a question, though - if you're only putting weapons on the top of a ship now, how does this affect the amount of weapons you'll be able to place on ships, both your own and for enemy ships (on the dev side)? Will this affect gameplay balance in any way?

Offline Elvis Strunk

Re: Preferred Battle Perspective
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2015, 10:21:10 am »
Sounds like the top-down view would be the better option, solely based on ease and quickness of development. However, I say you should choose the option you feel fits best. If you honestly believe that the current system is what would be most appropriate, you can probably work out the kinks over time, and be happier that you stuck with it to the end. On the other hand, if you believe the top-down view could be a better representation of what you want to accomplish and where you want the game to go, you should definitely switch to that. All things considered, I vote for listening to your own heart on the subject.

Obviously, this applies to the entire team. Find out which style everyone feels would best represent their vision of the game, as opposed to what would be best for immediate satisfaction, and the correct answer will probably become apparent.

Offline IshE

Re: Preferred Battle Perspective
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2015, 01:44:39 pm »
Top-down looks better.

Offline ciryon

Re: Preferred Battle Perspective
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2015, 07:08:38 pm »
I have voted a few hours ago but...I do not remember what  :o
The coward does not know life
the hero does not know death

Offline Marx-93

Re: Preferred Battle Perspective
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2015, 08:50:44 pm »
While I understand the benefits of top-down view, and love epic scale battles it helps that I'm better at them than at any kind of shmup, I have to admit that I would prefer side-view for the simple fact it looks a lot cooler. And top-down is already very used, so if there's hope of having something new and interesting I'll jump. And I admit that the system of Sierra Ops sounded deliciously complicated, one of those that I would want to master.

So, side view for me.
Why can only the evil have empires, power and majestic theme music? I reclaim the possibility of creating the Federal-democratic-free Empire! A (democratic) tyranny fueled by the Power of Love!

Started writing. You can check it out here: Home

Offline Helrouis

Re: Preferred Battle Perspective
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2015, 03:49:46 am »
Sounds like the top-down view would be the better option, solely based on ease and quickness of development. However, I say you should choose the option you feel fits best. If you honestly believe that the current system is what would be most appropriate, you can probably work out the kinks over time, and be happier that you stuck with it to the end. On the other hand, if you believe the top-down view could be a better representation of what you want to accomplish and where you want the game to go, you should definitely switch to that. All things considered, I vote for listening to your own heart on the subject.

Obviously, this applies to the entire team. Find out which style everyone feels would best represent their vision of the game, as opposed to what would be best for immediate satisfaction, and the correct answer will probably become apparent.
We have decided to go for top view since it's what everyone literally wants dev side but was in denial at first. The side view was merely a product of "LET'S PUSH FORWARD TO THE FINISH LINE NO MATTER HOW CRAPTASTIC IT GETS, MY COMRADES!". It has already pushed everyone to the limits in many ways and the wall just kept getting higher as we progress. That's why we're stepping a bit back to leap a mile forward. The gameplay shouldn't be a red herring to the actual valuable part of the game, which is the storyline (Most people backed the game for the story, anyway!).

While I understand the benefits of top-down view, and love epic scale battles it helps that I'm better at them than at any kind of shmup, I have to admit that I would prefer side-view for the simple fact it looks a lot cooler. And top-down is already very used, so if there's hope of having something new and interesting I'll jump. And I admit that the system of Sierra Ops sounded deliciously complicated, one of those that I would want to master.

So, side view for me.
If this was a 90~99% purely gameplay driven game, I would've went the extra mile and add full-on parts customization, and that the models not being just simply extruded at the z-axis for depth when yawing/rotating (yes, that's how crappy the 3d models are at the moment!), we basically accepted our weaknesses when it comes to this subject and instead focused on our strengths, which is 2d art. People didn't back us to do studies about 3d and doing complex gameplay, it was something we've almost overlooked until a couple of backers told us about it. But overall, it was a good experience and what we've learned can be applied to the new system. The new top-down will literally just make it more accessible and not really a downgrade of the battle system (In fact, it has made everything become visually pleasing - I'll show a gif soon),it's still complex enough especially when played at hard difficulty where only auto-saving is just available and cannot change difficulty modes when using that particular save state.
[email protected]InnoMen Productions
Web/Game Developer
2D Illustrator/3D Modeler
"Fortuna Audaces Iuvat"

Offline Marx-93

Re: Preferred Battle Perspective
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2015, 02:37:15 pm »
Sounds like the top-down view would be the better option, solely based on ease and quickness of development. However, I say you should choose the option you feel fits best. If you honestly believe that the current system is what would be most appropriate, you can probably work out the kinks over time, and be happier that you stuck with it to the end. On the other hand, if you believe the top-down view could be a better representation of what you want to accomplish and where you want the game to go, you should definitely switch to that. All things considered, I vote for listening to your own heart on the subject.

Obviously, this applies to the entire team. Find out which style everyone feels would best represent their vision of the game, as opposed to what would be best for immediate satisfaction, and the correct answer will probably become apparent.
We have decided to go for top view since it's what everyone literally wants dev side but was in denial at first. The side view was merely a product of "LET'S PUSH FORWARD TO THE FINISH LINE NO MATTER HOW CRAPTASTIC IT GETS, MY COMRADES!". It has already pushed everyone to the limits in many ways and the wall just kept getting higher as we progress. That's why we're stepping a bit back to leap a mile forward. The gameplay shouldn't be a red herring to the actual valuable part of the game, which is the storyline (Most people backed the game for the story, anyway!).

While I understand the benefits of top-down view, and love epic scale battles it helps that I'm better at them than at any kind of shmup, I have to admit that I would prefer side-view for the simple fact it looks a lot cooler. And top-down is already very used, so if there's hope of having something new and interesting I'll jump. And I admit that the system of Sierra Ops sounded deliciously complicated, one of those that I would want to master.

So, side view for me.
If this was a 90~99% purely gameplay driven game, I would've went the extra mile and add full-on parts customization, and that the models not being just simply extruded at the z-axis for depth when yawing/rotating (yes, that's how crappy the 3d models are at the moment!), we basically accepted our weaknesses when it comes to this subject and instead focused on our strengths, which is 2d art. People didn't back us to do studies about 3d and doing complex gameplay, it was something we've almost overlooked until a couple of backers told us about it. But overall, it was a good experience and what we've learned can be applied to the new system. The new top-down will literally just make it more accessible and not really a downgrade of the battle system (In fact, it has made everything become visually pleasing - I'll show a gif soon),it's still complex enough especially when played at hard difficulty where only auto-saving is just available and cannot change difficulty modes when using that particular save state.

Well, if it's like this I think everyone can accept it. If you were really that taxed with the lateral perspective you could have told us since the beginning though. Everibody would prefer a top-down Sierra Project over nothing, after all. Will the top-down perspective be on the demo? (the one Youko talks about in the writing Progress thread?)
Why can only the evil have empires, power and majestic theme music? I reclaim the possibility of creating the Federal-democratic-free Empire! A (democratic) tyranny fueled by the Power of Love!

Started writing. You can check it out here: Home