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ToddMcF2002

How do people feel about Jeff using Icons in his RPGs?

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In a chat Vogel did recently he mentioned his next engine would be icon based and top down.  I’m assuming that means similar to Battle Brothers.  I was hoping he would stay on the progression path towards a 2D experience like Baldurs.  So while I’m open minded on the topic I’m also really not happy with an “abstract” gaming experience.  What say you?

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Doesn't "icon-based" simply refer to using series of still images (sprites?) made from 3D models to create creatures that look and behave as though they were 3D models while they are actually 2D animated images? That is, what all Spiderweb game since Geneforge have done (before that I guess they weren't 3D models, but drawn frame-by-frame).  I believe that's how games like Fallout and Baldur's Gate were designed back before your average personal computer could be counted on to support a complex true 3D game.

Edited by Minion

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Yeah, having just read the post you're referring to in his AMA, my understanding was that he was using "icon-based" to include everything he's ever done, and that "top-down" (as opposed to isometric) was the point of distinction from his other recent games.

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I've had this debate elsewhere and some suggested what you folks are saying.  If so that's very good news.  I'm a big worried about "top down" but if that means "slanted" vs isometric I can live with it even though I'm a big fan of isometric.  I won't freak out anyway.  If its 100% overhead I'm worried.  I know occlusion is difficult with isometric but I'd rather deal with occlusion issues with walls and things than go full blown top down.

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Video game graphics terminology isn't exactly my forte, but is "top-down" completely flat graphics like the original Exile games or does the term include the mid-era Spiderweb games like Nethergate and the original Avernum?

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10 hours ago, Minion said:

Video game graphics terminology isn't exactly my forte, but is "top-down" completely flat graphics like the original Exile games or does the term include the mid-era Spiderweb games like Nethergate and the original Avernum?

 

Nethergate and original Avernum would still count as isometric, so it may or may not look anything like Exile but it won't look quite like those either.

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Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/7vyv09/im_jeff_vogel_founder_of_spiderweb_software_since/dtwdvob/

 

Quote

At the time, I really likes the look of isometric games and wanted to try that. For the new game engine, we like the look of top-down games and want to do that. We have to change things up sometimes to stay interested.

1

 

I have slightly mixed feelings - Exile fills me with nostalgia, but it's hard to imagine that kind of UI looking good in a modern game. But if Jeff thinks it can work, I'll probably be pleasantly surprised.

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I guess you could have multiple layers even in top-down view. 2D works in Hollow Knight, Ori and the Blind Forest and the games of similar style perfectly well, and they're both modern games. That is, the games still look good because of layered graphics.

Edited by Zaego
No reason to edit. Just felt like it.

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2D, yes, but those are side scrollers. There are actually a fair number of modern, pretty side-scrolling games, but I can't think of any top-down examples.

 

—Alorael, who wouldn't be surprised if there were good strategy examples of top-down. But that's a very different genre and probably more tolerant of graphics that are iconic rather than representational.

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A few examples sprung to mind after a bit of thinking and pushing the brain. Title#1 is metroidvania-like, and Title#2 roguelike, both top-down. Then again, they haven't sold by the millions (sales 600,000+~ copies, and 500,000+~ copies, respectively) but haven't had triple-A tier publishing either. From the other end of the spectrum, there's Title#3, which has actually sold more than 2 million copies as of early this year.

 

I wonder when the next season of indie games comes around, could we see a renaissance of top-down indiegames?

 

EDIT: I forget, is it considered inappropriate to mention other game titles on the forums? If so, I'll edit 'em away myself. I'm mentioning them for the purposes of examples in conversation and education, not advertising.

 

EDIT2: Checked sales figures so I'm talking out of the side of my mouth. (Also edited the names pre-emptively because the titles aren't important, the figures are what matters, and that there's a market for 2D.)

Edited by Zaego
Legals. Questions. Legal questions. About illegal things.

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Given that one of the other active topics in General right now is about recommendations for RPGs that are similar to Spidweb games, you're fine mentioning the names of other games here.

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