Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Challenge: A 3D Modeling Tool for 2.5D RPGs

Posted by Rampant Coyote on October 24, 2013

Woodchuck_landscapeYeah, I *wish* I could participate. I suck at making tools, and I’m behind schedule as it is. But I love this idea, and I hope somebody (maybe even somebody from this community) rises to the challenge…

Daniel Cook (DanC) has issued a challenge to make a 3D modeling tool for creating content for 2.5D art. He doesn’t want the blocky voxel-style art that some editors do — he wants something with far more flexibility.

The realization he made – and maybe this was more related to the kind of perspective he was going for – was this:

When making this art, it occured to me that there is a rather magical property of the traditional 2.5D view that I don’t think has been well tapped before. Once you adopt a forced 2.5D perspective, most 3D primitives are possible to be represented in a 2D plane. This makes a ton of traditional 3D operations dramatically simpler. You can think of a 3D space being reduced to a couple of 2D controls.

I dunno. When I think of 2.5D, I think isometric or other kinds of views, not necessarily the 16-bit RPG view he’s going for here. But he’s got some interesting ideas. I’ll be curious to see who takes him up on this….

Prototype Challenge: A 3D Modeling Tool for 2.5D RPG Art

Filed Under: Art - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

  • JT said,

    The project as it’s laid out doesn’t really appeal to me, to be honest. For one thing, with just a few hours practice, such basic shapes are actually quite trivial to make in existing general-purpose 3D modelers.

    The oblique from the front style, excluding isometric, limits the tool’s use too much in my mind; additionally, excluding basic operations such as primitive rotation drastically limits the usefulness as well.

    I have to wonder if the time expenditure to make such a tool is really worth whatever time savings you might get over creating, say, a basic primitive and material library in Blender, then using those pieces to mix and match.

  • Danc said,

    My interest in this mini-art editors comes from a very specific place. In Realm of the Mad God, we had a pixel editor that was integrated into the game. By integrating the art pipeline into the game itself and making it light weight enough that players could quickly start modifying and building new objects, the community was able to get quickly involved.

    You can do similar things with 3rd party tool and targeting only trained users. This is the mod community / Steam workshop approach.

    What we ended up with was something closer on the spectrum to the Spore editor (though we moderated all the content that made it into the game). There’s something really delightful about asking for art in a theme (ex: Egyptian dungeon!) and then seeing a hundred new pieces of surprisingly high quality artwork pop up overnight.

    So downside:
    – Game specific art style
    – Limited functionality

    – Infinite source of high quality, game specific art
    – Heavy community involvement and excitement

    Take care,