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Todays challenge: Top down SPS

  • Just some more experimenting, but the question is how would you do a second person, or behind view type game where the camera is top down?

    Off the top of my head I would probably say change the layer angle to the players angle, and then have the camera focus on player, but wow that can get pretty confusing with all the background rotation.

    Any other thoughts on what you might do?

  • I'd keep the camera fixed, facing one direction. The level would still be flat and top down, but the artwork would appear to be from a lower angle. I'd avoid rotation in that case, it would be a headache having to basically recreate the entire map for every angle. You could still happily have characters going behind objects though, and even fade them out when the player is behind them.

    Or, if Meshes can have their angles/perspective changed, I'd do it that way and then allow the whole level to rotate around the camera. But that's going in the realms of 3D and would be easier in something else.

  • Layout rotation in 2D is a bad idea, honestly. Some old games like Contra on SNES do this in their topdown levels, and honestly speaking it feels terrible.

    You could probably pull off some 3D stuff with meshes and so but honestly, instead of having all that work put into making a somewhat-decent sorta-3D thing just make a good 2D thing instead with the same work.

  • Screenshots from an old favorite of mine, using the look I mentioned (though you could make the angle a little closer to almost sideways and still get away with it), yet another on my "I wanna remake that" list, lol.

    <img src="http://www.lemonamiga.com/games/screenshots/full/pandora_02.png">

    <img src="http://www.lemonamiga.com/games/screenshots/full/pandora_03.png">

    <img src="http://www.lemonamiga.com/games/screenshots/full/pandora_04.png">

    As you can see, if you put invisible collision boxes at the base of walls instead of covering them completely, you'd still stop characters going through them, but allow them to go behind them. Then fade the wall out a little so you don't vanish completely (making sure you've got some artwork behind it, so when it fades out to show your character, it's not void behind there).

    -

    You could always make four layouts per level. With different angles of everything, all repositioned to match, and then any etc. characters, objects etc. only created in the first layout, and the others all told to copy them from the first, put reposition everything. But I'm not sure if that would cause things to stutter when changing angle/layout, and it would probably be more complicated than it needs to be.

    If Meshes were fixed for tiling though, and could have their angle of distortion changed (so instead of coming at the screen, they'd go toward the top of it) that "might" work and let you rotate to any angle smoothly, without requiring lots of extra artwork to display backsides (use pre-distorted images which look terrible flat, but perfect when stretched by the mesh). But I've a sinking feeling that meshes wouldn't rotate correctly in construct to do that, and they'd all end up rotating locally while rotating around the player, rather than just world rotation.

    -

    You could also use a magnify effect with a gradient, so the lower area of the screen magnifies more than the top, giving a fake mode7/perspective look to the screen (from an old thread I made about it). Coupled with the already angled artwork to appear more from the side than the top, it might help add to the feeling of over the shoulder view.

    -

    You could also look into what madster is working on, for the brawler/Golden Axe style games. That might work for something like this too?

  • Second person game? that sounds scary!

    The game character would stare at the screen and would make you do things O_O

    In games, like in literature, we talk about how will we perceive the protagonist.

    1st person: Me. I am the protaginist. I see through his eyes.

    2nd person: You. O_O maybe.... you're watching someone else play?

    3rd person: Him. He is the protagonist, and I control him.

    and then, there's "behind view where the camera is top down".... which would mean our character is laying face down on the ground?

    Sneaky edit: I get it now, both behind and top... usually called 3/4 perspective or isometric (btw isometric means a right angle pointed at the viewer will have projected 30? edges on both sides... it's a very specific projection).

    O_o I don't get it.

    If you meant 3rd person, from behind..... then I'd have to agree with LMK: either sprites standing up on an inclined plane or my very own 2.5d system which is not done yet ( D: ). You'd just go upwards instead of to the side.

    Like so!

    http://octavoarte.cl/25d_conceptv.exe

    Keep in mind this is the same engine as before, I just enlarged the layout, placed more objects and tweaked camera and blur. So it still crashes under 20fps.

    Edit: making this demo showed me I do need to consider height in the ordering. Notice how platforms below the "bridge" show over it. Try walking below the bridge. I'll have to think of something there.

  • Like so!

    http://octavoarte.cl/25d_conceptv.exe

    THAT'S AWESOME

    Seriously, looking really good, man. Needs a little work on the clipping and such but it's coming along

  • Thx thx... I have to come up with proper ordering.

    Right now, spriting requirements for this system are:

    -Everything is cylinder-ish (a base, extruded upwards).

    -Collision mask must be drawn as the cylinder's base.

    -Hotspot must be vertically set to the top of the collision mask (horizontal doesn't matter, I think)

    Right now I just order by the internal vertical (ry) coordinate, so objects further away go behind. But height (w: distance from base to zero plane) is not even considered. So when you walk under the bridge, the bridge is further away and it's drawn behind you... but you're lower and it should cover you!

    I'm thinking it's probably ry+w*c, where c is a constant indicating camera inclination, 1 is 45�.

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  • Um, all I get is a stick figure dropping down...???

    Edit:

    Let me clear this up a bit. What I'm looking for is something similar to the Ghost shooter tut, but with the player always facing north. The camera would be behind the player just a bit, and all the objects, and backgrounds would rotate into view as the players angle changes.

  • I've seen that game mechanic before (though I don't recall where) and that kind of control just seemed kind of sluggish to me. Not that it actually was, it's just that psychologically speaking it didn't seem like I had as much fine control over the player. It's like you're lugging the world around rather than moving through it.

    It's not quite as bothersome in 3D, but a few 3rd person shooters I've played have felt like that a bit too.

  • Let me clear this up a bit. What I'm looking for is something similar to the Ghost shooter tut, but with the player always facing north. The camera would be behind the player just a bit, and all the objects, and backgrounds would rotate into view as the players angle changes.

    That is still a third person shooter for some reason.

    Unless the in that view you are actually a second person shooting over the first person.

    Now that's a second person shooter.

  • Well its not first person, and its not third person, but it is something no ones come up any ideas for.

  • Perspective in games is derived from literary terminology. If you are experiencing it as the player, then it's first person. If you see the player in the game world, then it's third person.

    In literary terms, first person is when a story is written from the perspective of the main character. "I went to the graveyard." Third person is written from the perspective of the reader. "He went to the graveyard."

    Second person is a rare and tricky form of literature where the reader is actually a character in the story. "You (the reader) went to the graveyard." It's not used very often in literature. Second person doesn't really have a gaming equivalent that I can think of. Dance Dance Revolution, maybe. Or WiiFit.

    Half Life and Shadowgate are both first person games, even though Shadowgate is 2D. Resident Evil and Super Mario Bros. and the Ghost Shooter tut are all third person games.

    From what you said here:

    The camera would be behind the player just a bit, and all the objects, and backgrounds would rotate into view as the players angle changes.

    You're still describing third person, just an unusual way of rendering the view.

    Of course, I could be completely misunderstanding you . Do you have a mockup or example of what you mean?

  • Geez

    First person is the person doing the talking.

    I'm going over here now.

    Second person is the person being talked to.

    You go over there now.

    Third person is the person being talked about.

    Then he went over there.

    So you see third person shooter isn't literally literarily correct for games that show the player... unless its in replay mode.

    Bleh screw it I'm finding more bugs than figuring stuff out.

    I was going to try the layer rotation thing, but tiled backgrounds are acting weird with layer rotation.

  • Third person is the person being talked about.

    Then he went over there.

    So you see third person shooter isn't literally literarily correct for games that show the player... unless its in replay mode.

    No, it's not completely analogous to the literary term, but that's what it means in in gaming terminology. When you see the main character in the game world then it's 3rd person. You see the character and the game world from an omniscient point of view. Saying "I gotta jump on the goomba" is incorrect, because Mario is the one who has to jump on the goomba. The player is a third entity that is separate from character (Mario) and storyteller (Super Mario Bros.), hence third person perspective.

    Of course, 3rd person isn't really a term that is applied to 2D gaming, I was just using Mario to make a point.

  • So choose-your-own-adventure books/games are second person? Eg. "You go in to the cave... press A to light a match, B to shout etc"

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