Sudokil Devlog #4 – A problem with perspective

I was supposed to release a new build of Sudokil with the released art this week, but a problem with the art perspective has ended up halting development somewhat. Right now we are using an orthogonal 3/4 camera perspective. Trying to figure out a perspective that both looks good and is as functional as possible is hard. My art requirements are that it should look good, and CLEARLY show ALL entities and objects on map in order not to obstruct puzzle solving. Here is a screenshot of the game:

We’ve gone for the perspective where the upper wall just takes up 1 tile, while the lower wall starts a bit higher and overlaps the lower floor a little bit. The art works quite well in the case of having a square room. However an issue arises when trying to design some rooms with one thick walls, and having overlapping walls. This is my attempt at it.

While it looks alright, there are definitely some issues with the 1 thick walls because they don’t look like they are indeed 1 thick. Also, once we start putting walls into the actual level area as opposed to the outside, we place them slightly differently as to not obstruct entity movement and such, but this creates inconsistencies. Another issue is that we are trying to make doors that span over multiple tiles and having a lot of trouble with the current perspective. I’ve looked to some other games for solutions and found a few.

Halfway. Here the one thick pillars take up physical space in the tile above them.

Pros:

  • Nothing blocked/obstructed
  • Looks like it is in perspective
  • Looks good in general

Cons:

  • The minimum height for a wall/pillar is 2 tall instead of 1 (restricts level design)
  • When being physically obstructed by the upper half of the pillar, perspective looks off
  • Lack of any overlap does not help perspective when above wall

Steam Marines. Here, all walls stick to their own tile.

Pros:

  • Nothing blocked/obstructed
  • Very clear which tile entities and walls are in
  • Level creation will be much less labour intensive

Cons:

  • Tiles look strange in some places (such as vertical doors)
  • Height of walls might not match entities
  • Perspective less realistic

Nuclear Throne. Here all the wall tiles overlap the tile above them slightly.

Pros:

  • Perspective works
  • Kind of what we are currently doing, but our walls are a different height

Cons:

  • Entities sometimes obstructed and less clear
  • Obstruction may limit level design for objects that might be covered
  • Height of walls might not match entities

This is our previous placeholder art. It uses a more true top down perspective.

Pros:

  • Nothing obstructed
  • Entity position very clear
  • Cheap art

Cons:

  • Looks kinda shit

And finally here are some images of playing around with perspectives

While that middle island wall pillar thing looks great in terms of the perspective (where the perspective overlaps half the tile above it), it does present the problem of blocking entities. The robot works fine because it is tall, but once you start using small objects such as crates, it is hidden behind the wall.

Just some playing around with cheap and dirty “3d models” I made out of paper. Helped a little bit when trying to go for realism, but does not help much in the gameplay practicality as it isn’t always tied to realism.

If anybody has anything at all to contribute, feel free to share! Should I stick to the current style or try for another? Would love to hear ideas on the current options, proposing new options, or any games with perspectives that might be interesting to look at and consider. Thanks!

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