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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Driftmoon - New Camera Angle

Default Driftmoon - New Camera Angle

January 27th, 2013, 22:54
Instant Kingdom has spoken about this on our forums but for those who missed that, Driftmoon now has an optional "tilted" camera view that many may like:
The top-down camera angle is something that often comes up when people see Driftmoon for the first time. I've never seen a feature that divides people more, some people love it, and some people don't even want to try the game because they fear the perspective. I believe it's largely an issue of what you have become accustomed to. I started my gaming life playing games with a top-down perpective like Ultima VII, and grew up with isometric games like Planescape: Torment. The fully top-down camera of Driftmoon has never been an issue to me, but that may just be because I've been playing too many ancient games. And here's the important philosophical point, I'm not here to make games for me, I'm here to make games for other people to play. That's why we're adding controls to change the camera angle!
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January 27th, 2013, 22:54
The option to tilt the camera angle of Driftmoon is not yet available in the current version of the game, but you'll all get your hands on it soon, starting from our next update.
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January 27th, 2013, 23:12
Yep, I soon lost interest in Ultima VII precisely because of the camera angle. You don't get a good sense of the surroundings and it feels like you're constantly working your way out of a box.
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January 28th, 2013, 00:06
@anne.monkkonen

Having confirmed the engine is in fact 3D capable, what would be the limitations or implications in applying an 'isometric' tilt instead of a 'square' 90 degree oriented tilt? - have you tried this, just curious.
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January 28th, 2013, 01:18
Now, I become interested in the game.
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January 28th, 2013, 02:16
Originally Posted by Von Paulus View Post
Now, I become interested in the game.
Yep, dito.
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January 28th, 2013, 02:39
Me three! I find the new angle more appealing

Anne, I think you should work this addition into the trailer as well. I suspect it will garner more interest.
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January 28th, 2013, 04:01
I don't see how Ultima VII is top-down. It's still isometric. Driftmoon before this option is 100% top down over the head of the player.
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January 28th, 2013, 04:11
Ultima VII was not completely top down; it was at an angle. The default angle for Driftmoon, however, is directly top down, which I find very limiting.
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January 28th, 2013, 05:30
The first time I saw a screenshot from this game it reminded me of Gauntlet.
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January 28th, 2013, 07:00
It was explained elsewhere that changing the angle by more than they have would have serious repercussions on all the artwork. Being a very small team, I assume the costs associated with altering art, not to mention the time it would take limits what they can do.

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January 28th, 2013, 08:15
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
Yep, I soon lost interest in Ultima VII precisely because of the camera angle. You don't get a good sense of the surroundings and it feels like you're constantly working your way out of a box.
I get a feeling you were very late to the game i had absolutely no such problems with VII, it looked absolutely fantastic too.

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January 28th, 2013, 08:41
We're happy to hear you find our upcoming adjustable camera angle feature a good addition.

Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
Yep, I soon lost interest in Ultima VII precisely because of the camera angle. You don't get a good sense of the surroundings and it feels like you're constantly working your way out of a box.
True, the camera angle in Ultima VII is quite terrible, even though I really like the game otherwise. But my brain adjusted to it soon enough, it's weird how it can do that.

Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
@anne.monkkonen

Having confirmed the engine is in fact 3D capable, what would be the limitations or implications in applying an 'isometric' tilt instead of a 'square' 90 degree oriented tilt? - have you tried this, just curious.
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
It was explained elsewhere that changing the angle by more than they have would have serious repercussions on all the artwork. Being a very small team, I assume the costs associated with altering art, not to mention the time it would take limits what they can do.
With the way our characters are currently built, it's possible to go a bit further down still than shown in this screenshot. That means the maximum adjustment for the camera angle will probably be a bit more than in this particular screenshot. Our characters are not completely 3D (although the new characters appear much more three-dimensional than our current ones), they're made from cleverly positioned and layered sprites - a bit like in Aquaria, if you've ever played that indie gem.


Originally Posted by Dr. A View Post
Me three! I find the new angle more appealing

Anne, I think you should work this addition into the trailer as well. I suspect it will garner more interest.
Yes, we'll definitely make a new trailer soon, and it will show of the new tilted camera angle!

Oh, and in case you haven't read it somewhere yet, the camera angle will be fully and easily adjustable while playing (probably with Page Up & Page Down), not just from the game settings.
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January 28th, 2013, 11:44
Now that's a revelation! I have to say I've obviously been confounded by Driftmoon's camera angle so far. While the change is objectively quite minor, it changes the "feel" and atmosphere incredibly for me.
I imagine others might be similarly affected.
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January 28th, 2013, 11:46
Thanks ville, sorry if tilt came across in my question more than rotation.

To further enquire -> if the angle is not tilted any further than as you have planned and explained, yet the landscape orientation viewpoint is "swivelled" on axis to an isometric view (keeping the same tilt) surely the character sprites would appear the same.

I am *not* talking about changing the angle further as Corwin mentions, just the rotation, something similar to the Spiderweb games, isometric with square-on view menu's, maps etc'

still curious if you have considered this? - would the art work or landscape work be affected?

….very interested so far.
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January 28th, 2013, 12:15
@Wulf
Do you mean a change to a isometric camera, as we are used from other games, like the spiderweb games?

Some time ago I was experimenting with different views myself in unity and just made two shots as comparison:
The top pic has a perspective camera with a field of view of 60 degrees and an agle of 65 Degrees. That means that in the perspective view you see the right side of a guy standing on the left and his left side when he is standing on the right.

The bottom pic has an "Isometric" view, consisting of an Orthographic Camera and a typical isometric angle of 26.565 degrees. With that view the objects always look the same, no matter how near or far, left or right they are located.
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January 28th, 2013, 13:46
@Kordanor

Yes indeed i am, if your lower iso' shot could be swivelled to a "square-on" 90 degree shot so as to appear as the Driftmoon view, then obviously it could be returned to iso' any time.

I'm not saying "i want this" - just discussing further on the original concept decision, which has now altered since the tilt was added.
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January 28th, 2013, 14:00
The thing is, that this perspective only really looks good in a 45 degree view. That's probably because in that case you have "fake" 3 dimensional pictures of everything (left, right, top). If you make it a 90 degree perspective you would shrink that to top and front view. It also loses any sense of depth, which is a strange thing to say about an isometric view I guess. Even the 26.565 degrees I mentioned before as the vertical rotation aren't something I chose by random. I found this odd number on wikipedia as this is the one number which looks "right" as it gives a 2 to 1 perspective ratio. Well, probably also because we are so used to it - compared to the weird look of ultima7 which was mentioned before.

So, all I did here was to change it to 0 degrees - nothing else. And I think you'll agree that it looks "wrong" and that is even without furniture or game objects in general.
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January 28th, 2013, 17:40
Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
Thanks ville, sorry if tilt came across in my question more than rotation.

To further enquire -> if the angle is not tilted any further than as you have planned and explained, yet the landscape orientation viewpoint is "swivelled" on axis to an isometric view (keeping the same tilt) surely the character sprites would appear the same.

I am *not* talking about changing the angle further as Corwin mentions, just the rotation, something similar to the Spiderweb games, isometric with square-on view menu's, maps etc'
Ah yes, now I get what you mean. There is no technical reason why the camera couldn't turn around freely, even follow the player's back. But our current plan is to keep the camera pointed North, that way we can more freely position objects and items so that they aren't suddenly blocked by a large table for example. Rest assured, most buildings in Driftmoon aren't stuck to a South-North axis like the one in the screenshot. In fact, I might even change that one right now.

I'm very glad to see all the positive feedback about our viewport change! We're doubly motivated to get a new version out soon.
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January 29th, 2013, 00:28
Thanks for adding this feature. I remember not even being able to watch the original pre-release video due to the camera angle, despite my interest in the game. I played many older games as well but I consider adjustable camera angles and distances an evolution.

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