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January 28th, 2014, 14:15
Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
A large part of the hilariousness of this whole convo is that he refuses to simply give a definition of what he thinks 3D means. Instead, he'll throw out Wikipedia links, discuss how you're arguing not with him but the industry or textbooks, or speculate about how you must work at Walmart or a gas station (likely the night shift).

Regardless of that…through his posts, one can mostly put together the pieces of the puzzle and figure it out. He seems to think that the critical piece to a game being 3D is that it features levels/maps that make heavy use of all 3 axes. For example, in his world, Doom isn't called "2.5D" because it uses 2D sprites to represent objects (which is why most people would call Doom "2.5D"). Nope, it's called "2.5D" because its levels/maps are all single-level and you can't fire your guns at an up or down angle. The thing that still mystifies me, though, is that with his definition in mind, he'd think Ultima Underworld was the first 3D game. Games as far back as Zaxxon (1982) or Star Wars (1983) should be equally 3D under that definition.
I'm not so sure - as he doesn't understand the technical limitations of said engines.

You actually CAN fire a gun at an up or down angle in Doom - it just does it automatically for you depending on where the enemy is located. You also have vertical movement - it's just done using "blocks" instead of "smooth inclines".

You can't manually look up or down, however - IIRC.

It's 3D but not "fully" 3D or "true" 3D - if we're talking about vector math. That's why 2.5D is a stupid term, because it's not about the lack of a third dimension, it's the incomplete implementation of vector math for all the objects and texture-mapped faces.

Ultima Underworld also uses sprites for both weapons and objects and it shares similar limitations - except it does have smooth inclines. But when you look up or down - you can clearly detect the trickery, because textures don't align naturally. They twist and bend because of this limitation.

I forget the details, but back in the day I read about the limitations - and how System Shock was a step forward, because the only "non-3D" part of that game is the sprites. You can look up and down correctly without trickery.

My guess is that correctly calculating the vertical changes according to the camera view in terms of polygons and texture maps using vector math was too expensive for the CPU back then.

Duke Nukem 3D shared the exact same limitation by the way - which is evident because they DID implement looking up and down - and it looks fake as hell.

I used to care a lot about these things - but that was almost 20 years ago
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