Developer Diary – 90 – Defining a 3D Space

In this developer diary, we talk about the changes we made based on your feedback to Neverending Nightmares to better create the feel of a 3D world despite our 2d art style.

Hello and welcome to another in-game developer diary, I wanted to talk more about the 3D world and creating that since I did the other developer diary.
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So if you recall this is the doorway and one of the hallways in the starting level, when you went through it there was some disorientation. We got a lot of feedback and gave a lot of thought to it, so let me go over some of the solutions we came up with to create the feeling of a 3D world with 2D art. So first let me go through this door
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The first thing you’ll note is that when I went through this door I started moving to the left immediately and then after about half a second I started turning up. That is our input remapper, that’s what I call it anyway, it’s what ‘Parasite Eve’ and some other games did to revolutionise the way controls work with fixed camera angles. The idea is now we have it set up so if you walk through a door it keeps the input the same way, basically if you hold in the direction you’re travelling you’ll continue to travel that direction for a period of time and then your controls go back to normal. So what this does is if you continue to hold the direction through the door, it will give you a 3D clue for the way space has changed. I mean the best way to get what I’m saying is to just play it yourself and you’ll feel the difference, the one thing though is that you’ll want to continue to hold the direction when you go through the door because if you stop then things are just normal again.

One of the other things you’ll notice is that when you entered this room, you entered on the right side rather than the left.
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The main reason for that is someone mentioned the 180 degree rule, where as when you entered through that we had a 180 degree flip of the camera which is disorientating. Now instead we have a 90 degree rotation of the camera so then when you go through this door into the bathroom
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So there’s another 90 degree rotation and now the camera is parallel to that of the hallway which means this window can actually exist.
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You continue through the bathroom, hold the direction, go through the door and now you’re in the girls bedroom
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Again you’re entering through a different door in the girls bedroom than you did previously
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And now we enter the door at the end of the girls bedroom and find that we’re back out in the hallway.
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Now the question is will people choose to go right or left? I’m hopeful that because we’ve changed it to be better matched 3D space, it’ll be clearer and the camera angles less confusing. The other thing we did, besides the closing doors, was when you go through a door and you’re not pressing any input you automatically face the correct direction. Hopefully now when you go through doors, there’s a cue to which way you’re supposed to be going.

So I think that’s about it for this in-game developer diary, we’re really just trying to make the 2D space feel more like a 3D space in order to give you more clues.

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