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Dimensions of 2 or 3?

  • Anaryu
  • 02/23/2014 05:46 AM
  • 8692 views
This is a question we've long been pondering, and we've done a prototyping on both sides of the spectrum.

I want to ditch RPG Maker because of resolution limitations more than anything else.
Krisanna (artist) wants to ditch it because she's not good at spriting; environments in particular.

So we started working in 3D, and we've gone through a lot of tests, iterations, and prototype games (BoutallesTogether, Death Wish, even Ginger) to make stronger and better tools and learn our limitations, capabilities, and tools.

After several iterations we came up a 3D model design we liked and built it so it animates well:






So why 3D for a hobby game? Because we don't want to keep it a hobby game. I'd like to Kickstart and eventually sell the project.

While I enjoy making games and can do it in my spare time for fun, for Krisanna this is work - and as such is mentally exhausting.

So we need to either making money on some of these projects or she has to get a part-time job to help deal with the medical bills and costs of finding a residence in the city we moved to for my job.

The best solution to us seemed to be to do a commercial project. An unpleasant decision for me.

Trying to Kickstart or sell an RPG Maker game just felt... childish? Inappropriate? But I've seen a lot of successful people using it - people who aren't making junk games (though there are plenty of those.) So maybe keeping it 2D and in RM is a possibility?

So the questions we're pondering and would like some input on:
1. Do you think RM is okay to use and go commercial with?
1. Should we go with 2D or 3D?

Posts

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1. Eh, I think RM is okay to go commercial with, as long as the appropriate effort is made to not pass off a game that hobby projects can best without breaking a sweat. In art, mechanics, and just overall.

2. But that said, I do think the 3D models are pretty charming looking so far. They seem like they have the potential to be more expressive and animated than sprites, which is a great thing. I'd say that if you can handle the load of 3D, go with that.
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
18722
My two cents:

I'm sure I don't need to explain this but graphic development and content creation is tremendously more difficult and time-consuming in 3D than in 2D, and the end result probably won't look quite as perfect. Anything that increases development time is an obstacle and so just from a pragmatic point of view I think 2D is the better way to go unless you're confident the increased workload from doing 3D won't be a problem. Plus, while Krisanna might disagree with me, I think her 2D assets look great.

I don't personally see a problem using RPG Maker specifically because the end result of Aetherion isn't going to look like "another RPG Maker game" the sprite work and battle system, enemies and facesets are already different, and if you went the full haul and did completely custom tile work (which, for a commercial project, I think is the right decision) you'd have a game that is definitely distinct from other RPG Maker kickstarters out there. You wouldn't have to market it as an RPG Maker game and many consumers likely wouldn't know the difference if you hide the seams well enough.

That said, kickstarting and selling a game commercially and relying on it to any degree for your livelihood is a risky prospect. Just making the game is only half the battle, marketing it effectively is essential if you want to make any money off of it and offhand I, personally, don't know of many good ways to do that. My personal recommendation would be to try to get the game on Steam Greenlight, but that's a difficult process.

All that said I think Aetherion has a lot of great material to work with and could be viable as a commercial venture.

Also: 3D Alaria is adorable and someone needs to make plushies.
Personally I think the 2D assets are quite nice, but if you really hate working with them 3D might be better. I agree with Skie that the expressiveness of the models is important -- the 2D facesets were incredibly expressive and gave the characters a lot of personality. It'd be a shame to see that go if you can only afford to make stiff, blocky models.

I have no advice for the Kickstarter thing personally, but this may be helpful to you.
BurningTyger
Hm i Wonder if i can pul somethi goff here/
1289
author=argh
I agree with Skie that the expressiveness of the models is important -- the 2D facesets were incredibly expressive and gave the characters a lot of personality. It'd be a shame to see that go if you can only afford to make stiff, blocky models.
This. Though so far the models are adorable. The question is whether you can get the facial deformation right to cover the expressions without losing the feel. However I could definitely see the 3d ones using anime facial expressions such as >_< and the sweatdrop.
Thanks for the responses so far!

To clarify a few things:
1. We will continue to use the face sets and 2D ART assets:


It's just the spriting that Krisanna isn't good with - we'll still use a lot of 2D artwork and faces for the expressions.

The monster design will remain the same designs, just in 3D:
Cello
Flute



2. 3D IS more work, but not too much more - I'd say probably double or a bit more than 2D? But you gain a lot of advantages from that (expressive movement like jumping, or reeling back in shock, etc.)



@Solitayre: It's not a do or die kind of making money, it's to help pay some extra bills faster and get some money stored up for buying a house. We won't starve if it doesn't sell well (or at all) or anything. : )
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
18996
I don't think RM is a bad engine, per say. However, seeing the 3D ideations on this page, or on the screenshot thread, kinda makes me a bit giddy about the possibilities.

That doesn't really help things, does it?
unity
You're magical to me.
12150
Your games are polished enough that the fact that they're on a RM engine is moot, in my opinion. While I generally prefer sprites to 3D, I also must admit that those renders are cute and amazing.

So basically, what Solitayre already said.

EDIT: Also wanted to say that Krisanna's artwork is always wonderful. I wish I had a thousandth of her talents/skills :D :P
author=Anaryu


Ah, that is perfect. Objections withdrawn.

Krisanna's artwork is indeed amazing.
author=unity
EDIT: Also wanted to say that Krisanna's artwork is always wonderful. I wish I had a thousandth of her talents/skills :D :P


I say embrace the 3D (which would necessarily mean ditching RM, I guess)! Those models look lovely.

Either way, 3D or 2D, RM or no RM, if you decide to kickstart this I'll be sure to throw a couple tenners your way (this might not sound like much, but I haven't backed any other crowd-funded games, so it's kind of a big deal -in an insignificant, cheap sort of way-! I love Aetherion, is what I'm saying).
If it's worth money I'll pay money.

I've seen and bought a fair share of commercial rpg maker games and all but one of them was fucking trash.

If you do go the commercial route, just make it worth the price I pay for it. (cause im gonna buy it. your games are good.)

As for my preference, I like 2D.
zomg those models are adorable!

I've seen a number of commercial RPG Maker games, some of which could be called successful, so I don't see why not.

That being said, I don't know much about what's all out there for 3D game engines. Even if making 3D assets is practical for you, the programming could potentially be a nightmare! However, if you do know what you're doing with 3D, the possibilities over 2D would definitely be worthwhile.
I believe that rpgmaker is ok as a 2d tool, but limited when it comes to how many plataforms it supports (windows only? maybe linux and mac if you make sure it works on wine).

For 3d, I'll just recommend to watch the RWBY tecnology panel where they sum up how much they cheated during development (it is about 3d animation using a software called poser).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gm9YmhzVeA4

The point is : 3d pay off in the end, since all that hard previous work you did will be reusable.

BurningTyger
Hm i Wonder if i can pul somethi goff here/
1289
Frankly I think going commercial might be a bad idea because it would add a;lot of pressure; I vote for the part-time job. Making signs and logos for clients on commission might be a good way to use Krisanna's art skills. I'm going to try singing "Light of the Sun" again . . .once i figure out how to get the best results from my mike.
I wanted to thank everyone for the input on this! It's been really helpful and we've been asking around through a few different avenues.

Our current plan is to take this commercial in 3D - before we get too far we'll be doing a small demo with a completed environment and some rough combat. If that looks as good as we hope we'll probably continue on the 3D path, otherwise we might switch to 2D if it doesn't look possible or too hard to maintain.

@BurningTyger: If Krisanna took on a normal job her rate of finishing either 2D or 3D artwork would REALLY slow down - to the point that it'd be half a year before we likely even had a working demo.
BurningTyger
Hm i Wonder if i can pul somethi goff here/
1289
author=Anaryu
I wanted to thank everyone for the input on this! It's been really helpful and we've been asking around through a few different avenues.

Our current plan is to take this commercial in 3D - before we get too far we'll be doing a small demo with a completed environment and some rough combat. If that looks as good as we hope we'll probably continue on the 3D path, otherwise we might switch to 2D if it doesn't look possible or too hard to maintain.

@BurningTyger: If Krisanna took on a normal job her rate of finishing either 2D or 3D artwork would REALLY slow down - to the point that it'd be half a year before we likely even had a working demo.
How's this coming? We haven't had an update in a while.
Gosh, it has been a while.

We tested the base engine out on a different project 'In Arcem Miseria' - the combat system wouldn't be like that of course, but the mapping tools and event editor and database, etc, are all working pretty well.

We moved recently again so it's been a bit of hiatus while the artist finishes some commission work. I'm pretty set on the tools, so not we're waiting on some resources and working on a test environment for a demo.
BurningTyger
Hm i Wonder if i can pul somethi goff here/
1289
author=Anaryu
Gosh, it has been a while.

We tested the base engine out on a different project 'In Arcem Miseria' - the combat system wouldn't be like that of course, but the mapping tools and event editor and database, etc, are all working pretty well.

We moved recently again so it's been a bit of hiatus while the artist finishes some commission work. I'm pretty set on the tools, so not we're waiting on some resources and working on a test environment for a demo.
Good to know. Still interested in a theme song?
While a theme song would be really cool, my fear with having people do resources for me is always that I feel bad if they make something and I don't want to use it! : )

Just an update that we're going back to 2D.

Krisanna got a job, so our time is more limited (job is ironically related to her 3D work...) and frankly the 3D stuff is just too big, mostly doing all the enemies we want.

I've got about 2/3 of the system (including all the new features we blogged about) ported into VXAce now and there'll be a full blog post on it soon!
Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13616
well so much for my input of "go 2d even though your 3d stuff looks better than persona q"
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