Open letter to people asking about 3D in construct

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Post » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:17 am

In my request thread for a specific shader (if you can write .fx shaders please take a look, lol viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5265 ). Another user suggested meshes, I'd heard about them but hadn't actually used them or seen any documentation on them. Even found a tool hidden away that lets you edit them, which I didn't know existed.

Now while there's no way to create them automatically that's within my knowledge, thus rendering them impractical for my needs *cries*. I did realize something...

..It seems the majority of people wanting 3D in construct are ones wanting those 3D looking backgrounds for the bullet hell shoot-em-ups. Well how come your not using these meshes? They would work perfectly for those kinds of backgrounds required in those kinds of games. And by creating the artwork to be used on them in a pre-stretched way, you'd easily avoid distorted textures. The vertexes move X and Y and there's an impression of moving in the Z axis, so there would be nothing stopping you from making damn near anything in "3D" with them, and having your backgrounds look as 3D as you want them.

So yeah, I just wondered what I'm missing, cause they do seem perfect for that particular task, and anything more complex than those, could be pre-rendered and nobody is going to tell the difference really.

So yeah, made this thread cause maybe with getting a discussion going about it, we can learn more about them, they look very useful and I'm certainly curious why they've not been embraced by those wanting 3D added to construct.


Oh yeah and anyone who can write shaders, request thread n all that *smiles sweetly* :lol:
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Post » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:39 am

Meshes can be kinda hard to grasp for people new to making games or unfamiliar with 3D... and the ways of rotation you can do with them is kinda limited by default means. They're most easy to use with topdown 3D stuff (or completely sidescrolling stuff) - anything beyond that requires a lot more thought and math to pull off. I was thinking about using meshes for my danmaku thing but ditched the idea for now since I couldn't be arsed to think about the math involved with moving stuff through the screen properly.

EDIT: The mesh editor itself is simple to use and easy to grasp, and so is loading meshes at runtime. Doing UV distortion stuff via the events is where things get a bit more complex, and that's what is required to pull off basically all the 3D stuff people have been asking about.
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Post » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:49 am

I think most people who are using 3D in Construct are using some combination of 3D boxes and 3D mesh distortion. There are a few open bugs on the tracker about both though, which might be preventing more people using them. Daiz raised a good point that generally 3D stuff is harder, more mathematical, and more difficult to reason with in your head, which is why 2D is quicker and easier to use.
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Post » Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:07 am

[quote="Daiz":2f1183nm]Meshes can be kinda hard to grasp for people new to making games or unfamiliar with 3D... and the ways of rotation you can do with them is kinda limited by default means. They're most easy to use with topdown 3D stuff (or completely sidescrolling stuff) - anything beyond that requires a lot more thought and math to pull off. I was thinking about using meshes for my danmaku thing but ditched the idea for now since I couldn't be arsed to think about the math involved with moving stuff through the screen properly.

EDIT: The mesh editor itself is simple to use and easy to grasp, and so is loading meshes at runtime. Doing UV distortion stuff via the events is where things get a bit more complex, and that's what is required to pull off basically all the 3D stuff people have been asking about.[/quote:2f1183nm]

Yeah, that's true, I wouldn't want to try model anything too complicated with them either (would be like modeling in Sculpt3D all them years ago *shudders uncontrollably*), but various shaped surfaces and using the normal map shaders for the smaller details, they look to be quite capable.

They look to be perfect for the shoot-em-up environments though. I was looking at R-Type Dimensions earlier for the XBox, and the sideways scrolling view of it's 3D mode could easily be duplicated with them, including a small number of actual enemies, while the rest could be pre-rendered to appear three dimensional. Though don't know how one would go about getting the realtime lighting effect.

BTW turns out the mesh was loading correctly, just the amount of displacement wasn't matching once inside construct and became unnoticeable (but I'm not giving up yet! lol).

[quote="Ashley":2f1183nm]I think most people who are using 3D in Construct are using some combination of 3D boxes and 3D mesh distortion. There are a few open bugs on the tracker about both though, which might be preventing more people using them. Daiz raised a good point that generally 3D stuff is harder, more mathematical, and more difficult to reason with in your head, which is why 2D is quicker and easier to use.[/quote:2f1183nm]

Yeah, the more advanced 3D stuff is going a bit overboard for a 2D app IMO. Though I love seeing what people manage to create with them. I could certainly see them being of great use in top down games like Diaz mentioned just then too. I suppose it's possible to layer them (since they are still 2D sprites), so suddenly "flat" tree canopies would have all kinds of depth to them, banks of rivers would appear to dip into the water, even some kind of isometric feel to larger buildings. Hell I didn't think of that earlier, wow, awesome! lol.

Seems like they're useful and capable of quite a lot of subtle little tricks and effects before even having to worry about how to rotate them in 3D space (which even having worked in 3D most of my adult life, I wouldn't be able to do via mathematics lol) or other advanced effects. Course I'm still thinking of more basic usage for them, more along the lines of enhancing 2D a little, rather than replacing it like I understand many are hoping for. Since I'm still in the "construct should remain a 2D app" camp and it's unlikely I'll change my mind on that.
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Post » Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:28 am

i agree construct is a 3d game creator, but a little bit of model loading and rotation control using an xyz vector on those imported models, would open up alot of possibilities to add 3d "sprites" to 2d gameplay.

Dont talk about the idea of 3d in Construct as if we need to have a 3D inquistion and try to limit the amount of 3d things possible within the program. Construct it a game creator, and the more power it gives the users, the better :P

if i knew how to program id think translating the my rotation stuff from event logic into extra mesh controls for the sprite objects wouldn't be very difficult at all. and having control over rotation in said object would be a godsend to those who can't grasp the math (heck i can barely even understand exactly what i did after not looking at it for a few months)

i can assure you alot is possible with the current system right now though, and im probably going to release an engine with a custom loader and editor which makes 3d objects pretty easy for anyone with a good understanding of construct.

but thats gonna be on hold for a bit as i work on mah 3D ping pong game, which'll show any damn thing is possible in this program :P
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Post » Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:34 am

[quote:3uw63gew]i agree construct is a 3d game creator, but a little bit of model loading and rotation control using an xyz vector on those imported models, would open up alot of possibilities to add 3d "sprites" to 2d gameplay.[/quote:3uw63gew]

Not to mention the need for getting 3d world coordinates. I mean you can take a sprite, distort it in to a 3dish terrain. You can even skew that so that you can view it from another perspective besides top down, but setting up movements on that skewed map is another bowl of worms.
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Post » Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:56 pm

its an awkward area being when you think 3d you think of 3d collision detection, dynamic lighting, shadows, pixel shaders, LOD management, terrains, etc etc. But for a lot of purposes, people only want 3d to do something like a 3d lamp post in the background, or a 3d spinning coin...the game itself is still 2d but the background is 3d...I've written an obj loader before so I might make a version of 3dbox one day that can load and render an obj...then its capable of rotating and everything..but it wouldn't be as brilliant as the engine in a program like Unity because that was build from the ground up to support 3d.
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Post » Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:44 pm

I realize that static 3d meshes have their place in 2d games but honestly if you want to make a 3d game use unity or the UDK they are both free now and BUILT for 3d. Construct is not built for 3D. Honestly if you are going to put in the time and effort to make construct do 3d things then why not just learn how to script (its really not that bad) and do it in a 3d engine.

Honestly scripting is almost like eventing only in text and you have to manage objects differently. You really shouldn't just say I cant script. You should learn how to script, Scripting will make your events better and Making events will make your scripting better.
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Post » Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:33 pm

Also, while I think that a 3D model loader would be great, I'm sure that if we had one, people would be asking for animation XD so yeah. For 3D, go to a 3D engine.
Now let's make some kickass 2D games!
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Post » Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:58 pm

However, pseudo-3D effects would greatly enhance 2D game experience.
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