Playing around with cameras

I’m busily adding new stuff to the game; but all this stuff seems kinda disjoint. I’ve added lots of different models, items, and a couple of new mechanics (like hunger and eating), but they don’t yet form a coherent whole, and as such I don’t really intend to write about them.

In the meantime, I have something to show and discuss. While Xenos is a 2D game mechanically, it is rendered using 3D models. This means, among other things, that I can change camera behaviour willy-nilly, without affecting the rest of the game. I’ve played around with different camera angles lately, and here’s the results:

High camera

High camera

High camera

This is the “default” setup that was used in all screenshots to-date. The camera is pretty high, with a small field-of-view. It’s supposed to add a “toy-like” feel to the game, but I’m not sure it’s working. Character controls use a “top-down” style: WASD moves in cardinal directions, and mouse is used to target things.

Low camera

Low camera

Low camera

This is a variant of previous setup where camera is moved closer to the ground, but its field-of-view is increased. This gives a sort of fish-eye effect, exaggerating the 3D feel. Controls are the same as with high camera.

Isometric camera.

Isometric camera

Isometric camera

An opposite to low, this is “infinitely high” camera. Perspective is disabled at all, and the game looks 2D. Every model is always seen from the same angle, which is both nice (because I only need to worry about this angle when creating models) and bad (because it may be hard to see in this angle). Isometric look is sorta “real old-school”.

Top-down camera

Topdown camera

Topdown camera

This camera uses the same height and field-of-view as “high” one, but it’s looking directly down, and in a cardinal grid direction. This view reminds me of original Grand Theft Auto, which is probably a good thing. It’s also old-school, and my shitty 3D-models look least shitty in this view – mainly because it’s hard to make out anything (-8. Now, for something really different…

FPS camera

FPS camera

FPS camera

Yes, I can easily switch to full first-person view! Control scheme has to change – now, WASD controls forward/backward and strafe movements, and mouse rotates character around. I suppose that any on-screen menus would have to be modal with this camera (that is, you’re either moving around or using inventory or whatever, never both at the same time). First-person view make the world around seem way bigger and more mysterious than bird’s eye views. However, voxel models don’t look so good, and repetition becomes more apparent. Also, I need to add roofs for this view.

MMO camera

MMO camera

MMO camera

As a compromise between FPS and bird’s eye, I tried this view. I call it “MMO” because the characted is controlled in the same way as in WoW and the likes: WASD moves forward/backward and turns character, and mouse is used to interact with the world and on-screen GUI. I must say that the character model looks especially ugly this close.

 Poll

I actually like all of these views, and have a hard time choosing. So here’s a little poll where anyone can vote for whatever camera mode you like.

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