2D vs. 3D

edited September 2006 in General Chat
Who around here agrees with me that the old school 2D adventure games had a better atmosphere than most of the new 3D adventure games?? Sam and Max looks really good so far and is one of the few adventure games I can say of that it feels like the 2D adventure games, but the 4th monkey island game was ruined by the 3D style (probably because the 3d graphics weren't very advanced back then) and while I loved Grim Fandango I didn't like the 3D much. The controlls were kinda hard. I love how telltale uses the point a click style in 3D.

I guess it takes a much longer time to make a 2D adventure game than a 3D modelled one, cause in 3D you can reuse items and models etc.. The game a runaway is fully in 2D and I think that captures the atmosphere the best. It really gives you the feeling you're playing a cartoon and not a 3D shooter.. The 3D style makes a lot of adventure games look dull.. Take the demo of broken sword 4 as example.. It just doesn't feel right. The game Ankh had a good atmosphere though and felt more old-school. Still if I had a choise I would say 2D adventure games for the win..


  • edited September 2006
    I personally quite like Adventures in 3D. But many games just don't seem to get the whole 3D control system down right. BS4 being a prime example. George's pathfinding is abysmal. On the other hand, Bone has worked really well with 3D so far. As for Runaway, I thought it was okay, but it's quite overrated. Sure, old skool 2.5D adventure games are great and all, but having some decent characters in there is usually a great help. The heroine was a *censored* and the hero started off as a really unusually muscley dork and ended up giving up on all his hopes and dreams just so he could go off and have his stupid "cool" short shorts and his slightly more unkempt hair and live with the random swindler he'd met only days ago. All the other characters were more novelty than well written.
  • edited September 2006
    I'm not talking about the game itself.. I'm talking about the look.. I prefer a 2D game look over a 3D game look if it's an adventure comic game.

    I mean how can you not prefer graphics like this:


    over this:

  • edited September 2006
    Who around here agrees with me that the old school 2D adventure games had a better atmosphere than most of the new 3D adventure games??
    I do.
    It's not that I don't like the look of, for example, S&M Episode 1.
    I just don't get this "it must be 3D" philosophy.
    Furtherly, I always thought that videogames are a form of art so I don't understand why companies always seem to research for morbid, obsessive realism.
    Think of painters: centuries ago they could be perfect and incredibly realistic, but then someone invented styles like impressionism, where they didn't try to be realistic and couldn't care less about reality.
    Perhaps someone will do the same with pc games once, leaving this reality obsession and venting other types of expression.
  • EmilyEmily Telltale Alumni
    edited September 2006
    I don't think those two screenshots are a very fair comparison. Broken Sword 4 isn't going for a cartoony look. (And I personally think the facial expressions on BS4's characters are awesome.)

    Cassius Pearl is one game that seems to be pulling off a crazy cartoon world in 3D quite well.

    [img]http://www.adventure-eu.com/images/zoom/Cassius Pearl/viewsize/AECassius08.jpg[/img]

    As far as the "it must be 3D" philosophy, Telltale has a lot of reasons for doing graphics in 3D (and I'm sure many other developers have the same reasons) - it's faster and cheaper (allowing smaller companies to make games for less money, with fewer resources), it's much easier to edit camera angles and animations on the fly (which allows for a shorter development cycle), and it's a must for a downloadable game. It would be impossible to keep the file size so small with 2D graphics.

    I personally don't mind 3D graphics at all, and I don't really get why people are so passionate about them. I like 2D or 2.5D (which is what the Runaway screenshot above is - those may be prerendered backgrounds, but the models are 3D) but I like 3D just as much if it's done well. And keep in mind that 2D graphics can be ugly and poorly done, too!
  • edited September 2006
    wow.. the last screenshot you posted is awesome.. gonna check out that game..

    Anyway, like you said it's cheaper and faster to go 3D. I really like the look of Sam and Max, but I was talking about adventure games in general. Sometimes the adventure games just look too empty if they're in 3D. 2D or 2.5D games just have this certain charm around them that can't really be done with 3D games.. A lot of emotion gets lost in 3D games. If you look at 3d models, they have a fixed pattern. If you look at games like Call of Duty, you see the same boxes of wood all over the place. A lot of the 3D stuff is reused too often.

    One action comic game that I thought had a great art style was Psychonauts.. It looked great and the art style fit the game perfectly. I guess I just like games wide a wide colour pattern and not with dull environments..

    A lot of people thought syberia was a great game, I just couldn't get into it because first it wasn't funny and secondly it just looked a bit dull..
  • edited September 2006
    I vote 3D! - Or actually, whichever seems most relevant to the project...

    2D graphics can definitely add a storybook atmosphere, but I can never get over the impression it's just some 2D graphics with a load of bounding boxes thrown on the screen... PacMan with a storyline :D

    Whereas with 3D the character is genuinely moving around & interacting with their environment (abet in a mathematical sense).
  • edited September 2006
    Cassius Pearl.... thanks for the info, I'll be checking it VERY often :D Looks great!
  • EmilyEmily Telltale Alumni
    edited September 2006
    Sometimes the adventure games just look too empty if they're in 3D. 2D or 2.5D games just have this certain charm around them that can't really be done with 3D games.. A lot of emotion gets lost in 3D games.

    I think this depends a lot more on the art direction than whether the graphics are 2D or 3D.

    If you look at a game like Syberia... a lot of people think those are gorgeous graphics. To me, they're very blah and drab, and it's not helped by the fact that there's practically nothing to interact with.
  • edited September 2006
    Personally I think that 3D really helps to improve the visual narration, because it allows to change shots without the additional work Emily was talking about. Looking at the comparison between the BS4 shot and the Runaway 2 shot the first thing I think is that in BS4 I will be able to watch the characters from every angle. The only chance I'll have to do that in Runaway 2 will be during the cutscenes. ;)
    When I play old-school graphic adventures I feel like I'm watching a play, with the characters acting on a stage. It may be more detailed, but it's static. I'm not a rookie, I've been playing adventure games for more than 15 years, but I really think that a good solid 3D is the way to go for the future.
    That said, I don't mind a good 2D adventure game like Runaway once in a while.
  • edited September 2006
    More info on Cassius Pearl (incl. link to trailer) here on the Adventuregamers forums.
  • edited September 2006
    2D games feel to me to be less enthralling for the player. Sure, you're clicking away and having fun but YOU can't really explore the world presented yourself. 3D on the other hand allows you to actually see the world and explore it much like reality. It's a little like the difference between looking at a picture of an event and watching a video of the event. You get a lot of detail from one but the other allows you to actually almost experience the event for yourself albiet in a basic way.

    As for more "emotion", I've been replaying Dreamfall lately. That has got to be one of the most beautiful worlds I have ever seen in a game. Apart from the vibrant and stunning graphics, the world was detailed and alive enough to actually seem real. It doesn't really matter which way you set the game (2D or 3D), what really gives it an "emotional" feel is how much effort the developers put into it. Furthermore, as I was able to personally explore the world and there was still plenty enough to see and do, it gave me that warm fuzzy feeling that games like Monkey Island and Sam and Max give me as it was exceptionally detailed.

    That said, I also enjoyed playing The Longest Journey. In my opinion, it doesn't really matter whether the game is 2D or 3D, it all comes down to how alive the world is. If the world is poorly designed and coloured, then the game isn't going to be particularly fun regardless of whether it's in 2D or 3D. If the world is filled with interesting things and little bits of detail PLUS it's actually easy to explore, then you've got a winner.

    Finally, having clicked numerous links it appears there's going to be a DS port of Cassius Pearl. I'm excited despite only having a very basic level of knowledge surrounding what the game is about! But it's by the French which can only be a good thing!
  • edited September 2006
    I started to play Dreamfall yesterday and I must say it really impressed me. In spite of 3D and a "serious" plot, it's really fresh and lovable to play.
    Anyway! I can't wait for the release of The Whispered World and The Orgastic 4, if you never heard about them take a look http://www.bad-brain.com
    Old-school adventure fashion!
  • edited September 2006
    I agree that dreamfall had a great world.. It looks great.. I love the colours. The game was more like a movie though and I prefer the longest journey 1 over dreamfall.
  • edited September 2006
    I agree with you, absolutely. There's something intangibly wonderful about the atmosphere of cartoony, 2-dimensional adventure games.
  • edited September 2006
    For graphic adventure games, it rarely matters. It's all about solving puzzles at no particular pace, exploring environments, interacting with characters, seeing a story unfold.... Where do any of these things have particular advantage in 3D or 2D? I suppose you could make an argument that environments are more alive in 2D games, but it still comes down to art, basically. 2D or 3D, they can be ugly if the art isn't any good.

    I'm not really a fan of choosing 3D for bone. Moving to 3D lost the feel of a graphic novel. Maybe they could have kept it with a much larger budget, but whatever. From what little I've played of Bone, it seemed to nail the writing, character voice and story of Bone with more than enough accuracy.
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