Been thinking about something a bit, thought I’d “take it to the internet” and ask you guys what you thought.
The issue is whether I should build a 3D duel board or a 2D duel board. Each has it’s pros and cons.
A 3D duel board would look something like this :
The advantages of a 3D board are :
– Screen real-estate is less of an issue, especially when you’ve got lots of cards on the board. It’s easy to adjust the camera a bit to take in everything at a glance.
– Adjusts to different resolutions fairly easily.
– 3D looks nice.
– It’s a convenient layout scheme for mobile devices (remember, the plan is to develop for PC/Mac, then port to iPad, then to mobile) as you can push extra cards ‘deeper’ into the scene and rely on camera shifting to allow the player to move around and get a grasp of the scene.
Disadvantages of 3D are :
– Take a look at those pictures. How well can you make out the card art? For me, half the fun of a CCG is looking at the pretty art. I feel that, in 3D, you tend to not be able to see the cards themselves much. Yes, the background looks nice. But the card art is the prettiest part of the game, I feel you end up missing a lot of that in 3D.
A 2D board interface would look something like this :
Now, you’ll note that it still isn’t that easy to see the card art in the MtG version, there. But I think that’s because they’re trying to show the entire card, text and all. I like the trick Spectromancer/ Six Gun Saga uses, where the card rule text and details are hidden in the play-area version of the card, all the space goes to the art with a few vital numbers displayed around it. If you hover your mouse over that, then you get to see the full sized version.
The advantages and disadvantages of 2D are essentially a mirror of 3D. Card art is clearer, but screen real-estate is a struggle. Especially on mobile, check out what Spectromancer’s successor, Kard Kombat, looks like. Clearly they’re struggling to fit everything in as best they can.
So, what do you guys prefer? 2D or 3D? For me, honestly, I think the card art should be the focus and 2D displays that better.
A third option is to go 2D for PC/Mac and then switch to the 3D representation if I need to for mobile. I’d prefer to avoid extra work, but compared to building the whole game engine it’s not that much extra.