Options For 2D

I admit it, I’m new to 2D. I’ve been doing 3D gaming stuff for years now and somehow thought that 2D would be simpler. For some parts it can be (art pipeline for example *can* be easier, but not necessarily).

Idea #1
I first was thinking of getting somebody to draw me sidescrolling (pixel) art. This is still viable option, although I can drop the “pixel” part too if necessary.

Idea #2
Switch to top-down view. This makes some things much simpler (animations & perhaps character details).

Idea #3
I’ve also considered extending idea #1 so that instead of getting somebody to do me art, I’d draw stuff myself. This will require time so that’s a bit of an issue.

Idea #4
Pre-rendered 3D. I’m quite familiar with 3D but then of course I’d still need to find a way to get this 3D stuff.

Idea #5
One artist suggested hand-drawn backgrounds (2D) and then pre-rendered 3D characters and items. I’m not sure if I’m fan of this style, but idea is worth considering nevertheless.

And of course a mix of these ideas is possible.

I’m not fan of many ideas to be honest. I don’t want to “leave many door opens so I have tons of options”. Makes life more complicated. Next step: picking 2-3 doors and checking what’s behind them. Then going from one for now and being happy about it.

Right now I need something visual for my game.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. I say: go with pixels, its really damn easy, and the limits you have with pixels are actually quite interesting to “exploit”.
    You dont have to draw 16 frames of animation, You can of course, a la Flink or Metal Slug, but basically 8 frames are enough for cartoony look and style.Pixel art is en vogue again, and thankfully it distinguishes itself greatly from the flash style art you see everywhere now.

  2. Doom 2? Voxels? Where ?!!? Doom 2 uses flat floors and vertical walls. Not even Doom 3 had voxels.
    Voxels are used for terrains, like in Crysis and Delta Force, but not for in-doors games like the Doom series.
    The problem with voxels is that they require drawing pixel-by-pixel, while video cards are optimized for polygon rendering. That’s why when video acceleration appeared everybody dropped voxels.

  3. I loved Voxels since I saw one game using it on Amiga, and Delta Force 1 on PC. After that I only saw polygon games which I hated first, but then had to get used to them since nobody had skills to make Voxel games anymore. Doom 2 and Crysis used Voxels again, and idTech 6 engine uses it too.

  4. @Lumooja the same is true about 3D voxels: you can build your whole world out of voxels and have simple physics for each.

  5. One thing where 2D graphics is better than 3D graphics is that you can build the whole screen from pixels, and you can destroy and build everything pixel by pixel, and have also a simple self-made physics for each pixel.

    It will be possible with 3D in a few years with Unlimited Detail Engine, but today everyone still uses polygons which can’t do that.

  6. You should drop the “pixel” stuff. Most 2D artists hate doing pixel art because it requires painting one pixel at a time and they can’t focus on the whole picture.
    Also, unless you’re developing for a resolution-challenged device like an old J2ME phone, pixel art is useless. If I want “retro” I go play vikings :)
    I’d like to see a game with hand-drawn backgrounds and hand-drawn characters, but in an obvious way. I mean extremely flat, like your whole game is nothing but a coloring book with some cut-out characters, also from a coloring book.

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