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Open letter to people asking about 3D in construct

  • In my request thread for a specific shader (if you can write .fx shaders please take a look, lol ). Another user suggested meshes, I'd heard about them but hadn't actually used them or seen any documentation on them. Even found a tool hidden away that lets you edit them, which I didn't know existed.

    Now while there's no way to create them automatically that's within my knowledge, thus rendering them impractical for my needs *cries*. I did realize something...

    ..It seems the majority of people wanting 3D in construct are ones wanting those 3D looking backgrounds for the bullet hell shoot-em-ups. Well how come your not using these meshes? They would work perfectly for those kinds of backgrounds required in those kinds of games. And by creating the artwork to be used on them in a pre-stretched way, you'd easily avoid distorted textures. The vertexes move X and Y and there's an impression of moving in the Z axis, so there would be nothing stopping you from making damn near anything in "3D" with them, and having your backgrounds look as 3D as you want them.

    So yeah, I just wondered what I'm missing, cause they do seem perfect for that particular task, and anything more complex than those, could be pre-rendered and nobody is going to tell the difference really.

    So yeah, made this thread cause maybe with getting a discussion going about it, we can learn more about them, they look very useful and I'm certainly curious why they've not been embraced by those wanting 3D added to construct.

    Oh yeah and anyone who can write shaders, request thread n all that *smiles sweetly*

  • Meshes can be kinda hard to grasp for people new to making games or unfamiliar with 3D... and the ways of rotation you can do with them is kinda limited by default means. They're most easy to use with topdown 3D stuff (or completely sidescrolling stuff) - anything beyond that requires a lot more thought and math to pull off. I was thinking about using meshes for my danmaku thing but ditched the idea for now since I couldn't be arsed to think about the math involved with moving stuff through the screen properly.

    EDIT: The mesh editor itself is simple to use and easy to grasp, and so is loading meshes at runtime. Doing UV distortion stuff via the events is where things get a bit more complex, and that's what is required to pull off basically all the 3D stuff people have been asking about.

  • I think most people who are using 3D in Construct are using some combination of 3D boxes and 3D mesh distortion. There are a few open bugs on the tracker about both though, which might be preventing more people using them. Daiz raised a good point that generally 3D stuff is harder, more mathematical, and more difficult to reason with in your head, which is why 2D is quicker and easier to use.

  • Meshes can be kinda hard to grasp for people new to making games or unfamiliar with 3D... and the ways of rotation you can do with them is kinda limited by default means. They're most easy to use with topdown 3D stuff (or completely sidescrolling stuff) - anything beyond that requires a lot more thought and math to pull off. I was thinking about using meshes for my danmaku thing but ditched the idea for now since I couldn't be arsed to think about the math involved with moving stuff through the screen properly.

    EDIT: The mesh editor itself is simple to use and easy to grasp, and so is loading meshes at runtime. Doing UV distortion stuff via the events is where things get a bit more complex, and that's what is required to pull off basically all the 3D stuff people have been asking about.

    Yeah, that's true, I wouldn't want to try model anything too complicated with them either (would be like modeling in Sculpt3D all them years ago *shudders uncontrollably*), but various shaped surfaces and using the normal map shaders for the smaller details, they look to be quite capable.

    They look to be perfect for the shoot-em-up environments though. I was looking at R-Type Dimensions earlier for the XBox, and the sideways scrolling view of it's 3D mode could easily be duplicated with them, including a small number of actual enemies, while the rest could be pre-rendered to appear three dimensional. Though don't know how one would go about getting the realtime lighting effect.

    BTW turns out the mesh was loading correctly, just the amount of displacement wasn't matching once inside construct and became unnoticeable (but I'm not giving up yet! lol).

    I think most people who are using 3D in Construct are using some combination of 3D boxes and 3D mesh distortion. There are a few open bugs on the tracker about both though, which might be preventing more people using them. Daiz raised a good point that generally 3D stuff is harder, more mathematical, and more difficult to reason with in your head, which is why 2D is quicker and easier to use.

    Yeah, the more advanced 3D stuff is going a bit overboard for a 2D app IMO. Though I love seeing what people manage to create with them. I could certainly see them being of great use in top down games like Diaz mentioned just then too. I suppose it's possible to layer them (since they are still 2D sprites), so suddenly "flat" tree canopies would have all kinds of depth to them, banks of rivers would appear to dip into the water, even some kind of isometric feel to larger buildings. Hell I didn't think of that earlier, wow, awesome! lol.

    Seems like they're useful and capable of quite a lot of subtle little tricks and effects before even having to worry about how to rotate them in 3D space (which even having worked in 3D most of my adult life, I wouldn't be able to do via mathematics lol) or other advanced effects. Course I'm still thinking of more basic usage for them, more along the lines of enhancing 2D a little, rather than replacing it like I understand many are hoping for. Since I'm still in the "construct should remain a 2D app" camp and it's unlikely I'll change my mind on that.

  • i agree construct is a 3d game creator, but a little bit of model loading and rotation control using an xyz vector on those imported models, would open up alot of possibilities to add 3d "sprites" to 2d gameplay.

    Dont talk about the idea of 3d in Construct as if we need to have a 3D inquistion and try to limit the amount of 3d things possible within the program. Construct it a game creator, and the more power it gives the users, the better

    if i knew how to program id think translating the my rotation stuff from event logic into extra mesh controls for the sprite objects wouldn't be very difficult at all. and having control over rotation in said object would be a godsend to those who can't grasp the math (heck i can barely even understand exactly what i did after not looking at it for a few months)

    i can assure you alot is possible with the current system right now though, and im probably going to release an engine with a custom loader and editor which makes 3d objects pretty easy for anyone with a good understanding of construct.

    but thats gonna be on hold for a bit as i work on mah 3D ping pong game, which'll show any damn thing is possible in this program

  • [quote:3uw63gew]i agree construct is a 3d game creator, but a little bit of model loading and rotation control using an xyz vector on those imported models, would open up alot of possibilities to add 3d "sprites" to 2d gameplay.

    Not to mention the need for getting 3d world coordinates. I mean you can take a sprite, distort it in to a 3dish terrain. You can even skew that so that you can view it from another perspective besides top down, but setting up movements on that skewed map is another bowl of worms.

  • its an awkward area being when you think 3d you think of 3d collision detection, dynamic lighting, shadows, pixel shaders, LOD management, terrains, etc etc. But for a lot of purposes, people only want 3d to do something like a 3d lamp post in the background, or a 3d spinning coin...the game itself is still 2d but the background is 3d...I've written an obj loader before so I might make a version of 3dbox one day that can load and render an obj...then its capable of rotating and everything..but it wouldn't be as brilliant as the engine in a program like Unity because that was build from the ground up to support 3d.

  • I realize that static 3d meshes have their place in 2d games but honestly if you want to make a 3d game use unity or the UDK they are both free now and BUILT for 3d. Construct is not built for 3D. Honestly if you are going to put in the time and effort to make construct do 3d things then why not just learn how to script (its really not that bad) and do it in a 3d engine.

    Honestly scripting is almost like eventing only in text and you have to manage objects differently. You really shouldn't just say I cant script. You should learn how to script, Scripting will make your events better and Making events will make your scripting better.

  • Also, while I think that a 3D model loader would be great, I'm sure that if we had one, people would be asking for animation XD so yeah. For 3D, go to a 3D engine.

    Now let's make some kickass 2D games!

  • However, pseudo-3D effects would greatly enhance 2D game experience.

  • Wow, some very cool replies. It's good to see that when it comes down to it, many don't want it to become another 3D engine after all, and are just looking for little extra's.

    But for a lot of purposes, people only want 3d to do something like a 3d lamp post in the background, or a 3d spinning coin...the game itself is still 2d but the background is 3d...I've written an obj loader before so I might make a version of 3dbox one day that can load and render an obj...then its capable of rotating and everything..but it wouldn't be as brilliant as the engine in a program like Unity because that was build from the ground up to support 3d.

    I think something like that would be just fine. To me, it's still WAY more than we had back in those days for making games (we were amazed and considered ourselves lucky when we finally got Deluxe Paint and could use 32 colors) lol. I don't want to see it becoming all about 3D though, like others say, can use a proper app for those things. Construct is and should always be 2D at heart. With 3D benefits as an extension and helper rather than a focus.

    For example. A point and click game. Granted, you don't need 3D to make one of those, using lots of events you could work out where parts of the image are, and if the player is in front or behind them. But 3D would make it easier thanks to the depth, without turning it into 3D (how many loved the first Monkey Island, compared to how many enjoyed the last one that was all 3D, yeah hehe).

    Or there's the way I'm intending to use current meshes, my game would be 2D, and I've no intention of changing from that, the meshes will simply be used to "pop out" the graphics in the locations and give a little depth to them. But it'll just be a visual effect only, it'll still be entirely 2D.

    A simple object loader would be nice to have, but as others have said. Open this pandora's box and people are going to start expecting more and more. I suppose it's a fine line to walk.

    Though even I have to admit, 2.5D like Duke Nukem or Blood, would be great fun to have

  • For example. A point and click game. (...) But 3D would make it easier thanks to the depth, without turning it into 3D

    Nice example. Monkey Island 4 was 3D but didn't have mouse control, just like Grim Fandango. Why? it was too damn hard to figure out what you were clicking.

    So no, it's does not make it easier.

  • > For example. A point and click game. (...) But 3D would make it easier thanks to the depth, without turning it into 3D

    >

    Nice example. Monkey Island 4 was 3D but didn't have mouse control, just like Grim Fandango. Why? it was too damn hard to figure out what you were clicking.

    So no, it's does not make it easier.

    Well just cause I suggested 3D in that example, doesn't mean go the whole hog and use different control methods too. (I didn't like Grim, and pretty much swore off Lucasarts later efforts) Once their point and click games started getting all 3Dy n stuff, they seemed to become.. crap and couldn't hold a candle to the older ones that are still immensely playable, as are all the other point and click games that did the rounds back then.

    What I said was use it as a way to build the scenes. Rather than an event or bunch of events saying where a bush is in relation to the character. Just use the z-depth and all that is handled by itself. Think of it as layering. Then as you point and click your character through the scene, it knows if it should be in front of or behind part of the scenery. The scenery of which is simply made up of flat sprites. Like a diorama you might have made early on in school, of flat pieces of cardboard. Only this way it wouldn't get destroyed when Jerry the token fat kid with a gland problem, doesn't see it when he sits down to eat his twelve packed lunches.

    Also there's a use for the 3D Box.. make it invisible and use it as a collision box around and behind the various parts of the scenery. Nice big square blocks should play nicely with something like the RTS behavior (which seems to be the closest in construct to how the path-finding could work in such a game).

  • i never really messed with 3dbox, but i dont think it has any 3d collision detection ability, also, the mouse/keyboard's click detection, doesnt account for z depth, so if something isnt at 0 z-elevation it doesnt work correctly

    you can try it out with drag and drop behavior, and change the z-depth a little

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  • Well just cause I suggested 3D in that example, doesn't mean go the whole hog and use different control methods too.

    [quote:1wqurm0i]Then as you point and click your character through the scene,

    This is precisely my point. A big company avoided doing point and click in 3D BECAUSE ITS TOO HARD.

    Don't say it would be easier. It woudln't.

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