2D + 2D = 3D pt.4
Monday, March 2, 2009 at 10:56PM
Richard Terrell (KirbyKid) in Abstraction, Dynamics, LittleBigPlanet, Mario Strikers Charged, Pikmin, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Monkey Ball

Continuing from part 3...


3D Punctuation

Many 3D games don't use all 3 dimensions evenly. For these games, the gameplay is mostly either 2D side-scrolling or 2D top down while only occasionally using the Z or Y axis respectively. I describe such games as punctuating the 3rd dimension. The range for this classification includes games that shift between quantified dimensions to games that fall just short of supporting gameplay dynamics that use every dimension evenly. The best way to go about understanding the distinction between 3D punctuating games and full 3D games is to look at examples that gradually move from one end of the spectrum to the other.


Quantified Dimensions


Analog 3D with Minimal to Sub Full 3D Gameplay


Full 3D Gameplay

Instead of combining a variety of largely independent design layers to create 3D gameplay like with the examples above, the core dynamics of the following games depend on 3D interactions of 3D objects and 3D space.


For all games that aren't full 3D gameplay games, understanding the 3D design is only a matter of understanding how the underlying 2D systems are put together and/or how the 3rd dimension is punctuated. But there's another important issue that has plague 3D game design that must be discussed. If perspective is a new dynamic for 3D game spaces, then a game's camera design can make or break the gameplay. In part 5, I'll uncover why camera design is so inherently tricky, and what designers have done to simplify 3D back into 2D.

Article originally appeared on Critical-Gaming Network (http://critical-gaming.com/).
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