First off, thanks for all the responses to my previous post on this subject! I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on the various ideas you guys gave me.
Dave and Wynne, the vector idea would be a really good one if the game was space-only, but since I want the player to be able to land on and walk around on planets, that kind of breaks down. So I’m looking for something else. Thanks for the idea anyway.
Now I am going to reveal something. I have already decided that after I finish Star Revolution, my next project is going to be Inaria II. It’s going to have a real 3D engine, using technologies I am developing for Star Revolution. And I had already decided that I wanted a specific look for Inaria II, a look I first saw in Exult.
Two pictures in this case will be worth a thousand words. Here’s Ultima VII at double-res (640×400). (Click each image to view it at full size.)
Now here’s the same scene (still at 640×400) with the HQ2X image filter applied to it:
When I first saw a version of this filter (called Scale2X) in Exult I was very attracted to it. It doesn’t make things look blurry like most filters do. The tone and composition of the scene are still very apparent, but the blockiness has been smoothed over. I especially liked what the filters did to the trees – they almost look like watercolors now.
And just for the record, here’s how Inaria I would have looked with the HQ2X filter applied to it:
I had not intended to use this look for Star Revolution, and I hadn’t intended to get the look by using a filter but by composing my textures to provide the look…but the more I think about it, the more I feel that Star Revolution would benefit from the look. Hopefully I’ll get this darn combat prototype finished and can mock up some screenshots and you guys can see it for yourselves. I think it’ll give me the feeling I’m going for: high-resolution, but the world/universe almost looks like it’s made out of Lego blocks…I think that would be perfect.
I don’t think I’ve actually ever seen the HQ2X filter applied to a 3D scene before. This will be very interesting.
Quick google on hq2x images gave me these screenies of hq2x’d 3d scenes:
So, even though the art is in 2D, the game is in 3D, right? What would the game art look like with things like normal maps or virtual displacement maps? It won’t make a difference if the 3D art doesn’t parallax, but if it does parallax somewhat, you can gain a neat benefit, I think, from using sprites with shaders. You could have a pile of gold decal that looks like a pile of gold. You could even apply stuff like diffuse maps or HDR just to make it the prettiest damn sprite-looking game ever imagined. I think that’ll give it the “old school” feel while still giving it a modern, cool edge.
I think you worry too much. You’ll have two types of people, nostalgics (or romantics however you wish to call them) and non-computer geek types. Because the really geeky gotta have the newest graphics ever type people won’t even look at it because it’s 2d or whatever. You’re not really catering to this group. In fact you’re not even catering to any sort of hardcore group. (even die-hard rpg fans aren’t this kind of hard core… they’d play it just because it was an rpg so they could care less anyways)
Well, now I’m torn…if the game is going to be 3D (and it is, from top to bottom) why am I not going to be making full use of its…3D-ness?
Well, one answer is “because it would be more work”…
And please let me apologize for disappearing for the last two days…I was quite ill.