Design Isometic vs Oblique for ARPG: Your Thoughts

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by o_minus, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. o_minus

    o_minus Member

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    Hi Guys,


    I have been planning to make an ARPG for a while now. I have most of the systems, and story, combat etc all planned.

    One thing I can’t decide on is whether to make it an isometric or oblique (RPG MAKER) perspective game. The are many

    Advantages to the oblique style: easy depth sorting, collisions, path finding and art as well. With isometric, especially in game maker,

    Everything is a little more difficult to produce good results. I like the isometric perspective much better visually

    I feel with the oblique perspective, the game will be difficult to take seriously. This is an issue because the story of my game is quite mature.

    I would like to know how you feel about both perspectives? Would you not buy one simply based on which perspective it is?

    Thanks.
     
  2. guyinboots

    guyinboots Member

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    You should choose the style that adds to the atmosphere or aesthetic that your going for, or choose the perspective that best suits the type of gameplay you're going for :D I dunno, just pick what feels right!
     
  3. o_minus

    o_minus Member

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    Thanks your input. I am after peoples personal opinion on the two perspectives not for advice on which I should choose to do but thanks again for replying
     
  4. JackTurbo

    JackTurbo Member

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    Hyper Light Drifter was oblique and is one of the most visually stunning and atmospheric games out there (especially as far as gms as a platform goes).

    Meanwhile there are plenty of ugly isometric games, where the art does little to support the narrative themes or atmosphere.

    The quality and consistency of your art is of way greater importance than the perspective imho.

    That being said I do like an isometric perspective and think it can add a real extra something to a games presentation.
     
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  5. wadaltmon

    wadaltmon Member

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    I personally prefer the isometric style of Baldur's Gate or Icewind Dale.

    [​IMG]

    Specifically with ARPGs (rather than true RPGs), you could compare this with Heretic Kingdoms: The Inquisition (a.k.a. KULT: Heretic Kingdoms).

    [​IMG]

    In my opinion, it gives better opportunity to have a detailed environment that can be viewed from multiple angles at once. Considering the logic will be the same in 2D, it just comes down to how you design your assets, and I think the isometric view gives better perspective and opportunity for detail than oblique. These games often deal with going behind something with just applying transparency to the occluding object, rather than having the jarring effect in other games where there is a particularly obvious threshold between being "in front of" or "behind" an object. I think this view is also more beneficial for combat, as it gives a better overview of where enemies are attacking from, and how to best tactically approach a situation.

    Disadvantages to this view exist, though. It is much harder to make the art and objects in this view, and it doesn't really allow for pixel art quite as adeptly (if that's what you're going for). It also does kind of require analog input for aiming and choosing, as the actual directions of forward, backward, left, and right aren't exactly the same in the player's view as they are from the characters'.

    But, frankly, it is as @JackTurbo said... none of this really makes any difference if your art does not fit the style or if you cannot make your art fit the style somehow. If you can only draw pixel art objects from the basic cardinal directions, then go oblique. If you think you can fit something more advanced into the mix, I'd suggest isometric.

    That said... if you're worried about not being able to have mature themes in your game while having an oblique perspective... I'd recommend looking at @Geoff Jones 's game, Code of the Savage.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  6. o_minus

    o_minus Member

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    100% agree with you. Though I think a large portion of HLD appeal was the unique art style and not the oblique perspective. I think any oblique perspective game that uses a 'normal' type art style will be placed into the same box as rpg maker titles and I think that is detrimental.
     
  7. o_minus

    o_minus Member

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    I agree I think if the art fits together and is good isometric would be the way to. Yes code of the savage looks great and I hope it is a success for him. I did look at that game when deciding which perspective to use and I think the low res art fits together with that perspective great. I want art a little higher res than that though so I'm thinking isometric might be what I'll do.
     
  8. sylvain_l

    sylvain_l Member

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    I'd say, doesn't matter, there are good game in both style, but:

    Due to the "RPG Maker" large use of the oblique for those "wanabee: I going to make the best game even if I dunno how to draw nor code" it has some kind of "bad reputation". If you use the same kind of art style with static tileset and no depth sorting. It can have a bad impact upon some player on the appreciation of your game :-/
    As soon as you just stand out from that (depth sorting, more animated environnement, etc...) you are good.

    nuclear thorne, relic hunter, hyper light drifter, etc... all GM oblique that are rely nice and fun.


    But my heart goes to isometric. I thing because of the fun tycoon games and the baladur's gate&co that have fantastic artwork.
    the angle in isometric offer certainly a better perspective to play more with the art, to give it more depth.
     
  9. o_minus

    o_minus Member

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    Definitely agree with you. I prefer isometric though oblique will be much easier to work with but as you said I don't want people to over look the game because of the bad reputation of rpg maker games.

    As many have said, nailing the art style appears to be the best way to help stand out
     
  10. Yal

    Yal Member GMC Elder

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    As far as I can tell, the only advantages of isometric graphics is that you only need two sprites for everything, while oblique requires 3, allowing you to save storage space. And furthermore, isometric graphics look 3D-ish even when you don't use actual 3D graphics.

    ...the thing is, both of those kinda stopped being a concern a decade ago now when we have terabyte hard drives and textured primitives. Isometric graphics are harder to get to look right, gives you convoluted depth sorting to do, and get harder to draw and assess since you can't use good ol' axis-parallel rectangles. There's probably a reason they're mostly dead these days, they're obsolete and people only use them for nostalgia reasons.
     
  11. YanBG

    YanBG Member

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    Isometric for me, i can talk a lot about it from my work. But i think you should mockup a few versions to show us, it will be easier to give direct feedback.

    As for most popular, well it's first person :p
     
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  12. o_minus

    o_minus Member

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    Not very good at art but when I get a few tests together I'll make a post
     
    YanBG likes this.

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