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Old 08-22-2006, 04:32 AM   #1
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Default What does 3D in Adventures mean?

I thought it means an environment where movement is direct controlled and you can look into every nook and corner (i.e GK3, Sentinel, Tex Murphy) and the environmental background changes as you move through it. This would be as opposed to a set backdrop where you move the avatar through the space (ie. Grim Fandango) and only see certain camera angles. Maybe I'm confusing 3D graphics vs. 3D movement?
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:43 AM   #2
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3D_computer_graphics
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:53 AM   #3
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Thanks for the link, but the technical description is over my head. I want some reference as to what it means when we use the term pertaining to adventure games with some examples.
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:55 AM   #4
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You have it right Colpet, sort of

EDIT:

Except for the direct control thing..... Ankh is 3D point and click for example, (havnt played GK3, but is´nt that also pnc?)
And also you don´t always have control of the camera in 3D games as in "you can look into every nook and corner " .... think Ankh or BS3.

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Old 08-22-2006, 07:05 AM   #5
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I dunno, to me 3D has always meant a 3D rendered environment, whether its prerendered 3D still images, or real time 3D environments.
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:39 PM   #6
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Now I think about it, apart from character models, Grim Fandango is only as 3-D as the first King's Quest.
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Old 08-22-2006, 02:39 PM   #7
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Grim Fandango has both 3D and 2D graphics. Surely everybody knows the basic definition of 3 and 2 dimensional images?
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Old 08-22-2006, 03:04 PM   #8
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3D in adventure games usually means it controls pretty bad, or have problems with camera.

2,5D means games like The Longest Journey and Grim Fandango. Some of these work fine.
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:19 PM   #9
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3D in adventure games doesn't have to mean anything regarding controls. Broken Sword is now using a pretty standard-fare point and click interface in a 3D enviroment. Meanwhile Dreamfall uses direct control. If a game design necessitated it, a 3D adventure game could be controlled with your voice.

So, no. 3D in adventure games doesn't mean direct control. Or sucky controls.

And no, it doesn't even have to mean that you explore every nook and cranny of an realtime enviroment. As with control, it's up to the developer. Of course, the most obvious implementation of 3D in adventure games would be to give the player the chance to freely explore every nook and cranny. Only problem is that most developers use it in pretty much the same way as they'd use 2D.

So, no. It doesn't have to mean explorable enviroments either.

So, to sum it up: 3D in adventure games hasn't been exploited as it should, and therefore gives these false ideas that the controls must be sucky and that it has to be about exploring enviroments (or lack thereof). It merely opens up new game design, exactly like graphics opened up new possibilities yet started out being used to display photographs in text adventures.
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:12 PM   #10
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In many modern adventure games the characters and sometimes a few objects will be 3D rendered. But these are then placed in a 2D environment with painted backgrounds etc. This is what I'd call 2.5D. Secret Files: Tunguska looks to be a prime example. In a 3D game the gameplay environment is rendered in 3D (some objects could still be 2D sprites though). Tex Murphy 3-5 are good examples of first person 3D adventure games, and Dreamfall or BS4 of 3rd person 3D adventure games.

In a 3D game you could _theoretically_ take control over the camera, and explore the game. In a 2.5D game you couldn't, because the world itself isn't 3D.
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Old 08-23-2006, 12:33 AM   #11
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Trying to define things always leads to some discrepancies.

Myst for example... currently playing IV. By some of the above definitions it can't really be called "3D" because it's all pre-rendered with some real-time stuff over it, but then it's not really "2.5D" like your Syberias etc and you certainly can't call the format "2D" either. Shall we call it "2.9D" ? At the same time, it is first person and supports stereo 3D glasses, which makes it 3D by ( Crapstorm's definition). But then it includes FMV, which adds another crook in the crank.

And to build on what colpet said in the opening post... are we talking about the rendering or the movement? Pre-rendered vs real-time rendered? All or partially realtime or pre-rendered?

Po-tay-to po-tah-to, spanner, wrench. My wife's American, I am South African... if we had to argue about the definition of what a "biscuit" actually is, we'd never enjoy them with dinner, whether they be by her or by my definition.

I guess it does become relevant when one has to ask whether a game will beat the crap out of my PC's video hardware or not.

-----8<------ snip ------8<------

... cut out the rest of my post, ranting on and on and on and on about labels and narrowmindedness etc. Thought I'd spare you all the horror.
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Old 08-23-2006, 01:31 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacog
Trying to define things always leads to some discrepancies.
Still it's interesting to hear how people define their biscuits. Understanding the discrepancies makes it easier to understand what different people mean when they say 2.5D for instance.
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:37 AM   #13
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Ok. So now I know it really isn't cut and dried. I suppose at the most basic level, 3D would be a game that made you feel as if you were in a tangible world. I can argue that Riven did that for me, yet I think that Riven is considered prerendered 2D background.
What I am finding more and more is that the definitions of the things we use to describe Adventures are often up for debate themselves. It's no wonder why it is hard to find common ground for discussing the genre .
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:40 AM   #14
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Care for a biscuit?
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Old 08-23-2006, 10:15 AM   #15
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Sure... wait a minute. What kind of biscuit?
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:11 PM   #16
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I'm as confused now as I was before. I've played GK3, supposedly a 3D adventure, and I just finished another decidedly 2D adventure. And neither was better, or worse than the other. Except that the "3D" figure modeling for the characters in GK3 was horrible.

Why should this make a difference to anyone?
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Myst for example... currently playing IV. By some of the above definitions it can't really be called "3D" because it's all pre-rendered with some real-time stuff over it, but then it's not really "2.5D" like your Syberias etc and you certainly can't call the format "2D" either. Shall we call it "2.9D" ? At the same time, it is first person and supports stereo 3D glasses, which makes it 3D by (Crapstorm's definition). But then it includes FMV, which adds another crook in the crank.
Myst IV is a 2D game with some realtime effects thrown in. The FMV is pure 2D, the hand is probably a 2D sprite, although it could be a realtime 3D mesh, as well. I can't remember characters but they're probably 2D actor or sprites or 3D meshes that were saved out as animated sprites. The FMV transitions combined with the ability to look at each node gives the illusion that is is a 3D world, but it's all flat, 2D graphics using a special technique to make it appear 3D.

On the other hand, Myst V is a pure 3D game, as is Dreamfall, BS3/4, and Fahrenheit.

Grim and MI4 are 2.5D because they combine both 2D and 3D.

Controls are irrelevent, although it's usually a better idea to have direct controls in a pure 3D environment(even if it's 3rd person, fixed cameras like BS3/4). P&C is a lot harder to make work rightin realtime 3D, but it's been done before....just not all that great. The best direct control was BS3 if you had a gamepad(PC version). Camera relative is the way to go because character relative requires you to rotate the character and then press whatever the move forward key is to move. In a camera relative world, it doesn't matter which way the character is facing. If you press the "up" key the character automatically turns into the direction the camera is facing and goes that way. If you press down it heads towards the camera, and the same for left and right. If a camera transition occurs, then the character should continue on it's current course until you let up on the key you were pressing. After that, the controls reset themselves. If the controls reset themselves immediately after a transition from one camera to the next, this will lead the character abruptly changing directions depending on what key was being pressed. Grim Fandango did this, and it was awful sometimes(but better with a gamepad).

However, character relative works well if you use a mouse for rotating the character. Doing via a keyboard can be pain if not implemented correctly.
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Old 08-23-2006, 11:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crapstorm
Sure... wait a minute. What kind of biscuit?
Realtime rendered 3D biscuit with anisotropic filtering, mipmapping and antialiasing.
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Old 08-23-2006, 11:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orange Brat
Myst IV is a 2D game with some realtime effects thrown in. The FMV is pure 2D, the hand is probably a 2D sprite, although it could be a realtime 3D mesh, as well. I can't remember characters but they're probably 2D actor or sprites or 3D meshes that were saved out as animated sprites. The FMV transitions combined with the ability to look at each node gives the illusion that is is a 3D world, but it's all flat, 2D graphics using a special technique to make it appear 3D.
You just proved the point I was trying to make.. you can't just plop that game under one label. It has lots of real time 3D elements thrown in on top of the 2D panoramic views, combined with FMV. 2.5D is probably the closest label that fits it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orange Brat
character abruptly changing directions depending on what key was being pressed. Grim Fandango did this, and it was awful sometimes(but better with a gamepad).
GF's character-relative control mode worked fine though, unless you think the character turns too slowly.
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Old 08-25-2006, 06:28 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colpet
Ok. So now I know it really isn't cut and dried. I suppose at the most basic level, 3D would be a game that made you feel as if you were in a tangible world. I can argue that Riven did that for me, yet I think that Riven is considered prerendered 2D background.
I think of 3D as a pretty firm concept. It's difficult to explain, but think of it this way: in 2D the gameworld and characters consist of static, flat images while in 3D they consist more of coordinates, showing the height, depth and width of things which your computer then interprets into the final image you see. The key difference is that the computer can theoretically show the scene from any angle or position, depending on the player's choices and how much freedom the designer has allowed the player. I hope that's a bit clearer for you, and if it sounds patronising that really wasn't my intention.
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