Completing Wesnoth's isometric view

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Elvish_Pillager
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Completing Wesnoth's isometric view

Post by Elvish_Pillager » July 3rd, 2006, 6:19 pm

Almost everything in Wesnoth is drawn in an isometric view, except for one thing: the hexes. Everything in the hexes is drawn isometrically from about 45 degrees below vertical, but for some reason, the hexes themselves are just as wide as they are tall to the viewer, and thus, if the view were truly isometric, the hexes would be, in reality, wider in one dimension. :o

Thus, my idea is this: Squash the hexes vertically - now, don't scale them, because the things in the hexes are already in the right positions - but cut them so that the hexes are a different size with the same things drawn in them.

See the image for clarity. The top piece is the current state of affairs. The bottom one is my proposal.
Image
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Post by Ken_Oh » July 3rd, 2006, 6:37 pm

I like. Not sure if I wish the extra work on the devs, but I've noticed how it would look better when it's completely isometric.

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Post by turin » July 3rd, 2006, 7:18 pm

No opinion. It would be a lot of work, and I can't say right now whether it would look better or not. One thing it would require is allowing units to overlap the hex above, which has code problems and useability problems (I HATE how in HoMM the tall units like Titans and Dragons obscure the units above them).
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Post by Mille » July 3rd, 2006, 10:16 pm

turin wrote:No opinion. It would be a lot of work, and I can't say right now whether it would look better or not. One thing it would require is allowing units to overlap the hex above, which has code problems and useability problems (I HATE how in HoMM the tall units like Titans and Dragons obscure the units above them).
The problematic is correct. If it changeable is another question.
I thought for a week over it. The only solution i see is to make hexes wider. Making them less high is no opinion over all i think.
But even this a correct problem it makes a lot work for only a small satisfaction. That speaks against it. If someone wants to improve the general isometric view i would suggest to improve the grass and dirt tiles.

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Re: Completing Wesnoth's isometric view

Post by Rhuvaen » July 4th, 2006, 11:24 am

Elvish Pillager wrote:Everything in the hexes is drawn isometrically from about 45 degrees below vertical
Everything on the map, but not the units. It's an abstract representation with some isometric spicing on the map, and it helps to make the units stick out and give a good representation of distance along both the horizontal and vertical axis - the distance on the screen is proportional to the distance in the game.
Elvish Pillager wrote:the hexes themselves are just as wide as they are tall to the viewer, and thus, if the view were truly isometric, the hexes would be, in reality, wider in one dimension. :o
Yes, but most maps represent landscapes, where things like right angles and square features don't matter. For indoor or dungeon-type maps your observations would be important.
Elvish Pillager wrote:Thus, my idea is this: Squash the hexes vertically - now, don't scale them, because the things in the hexes are already in the right positions - but cut them so that the hexes are a different size with the same things drawn in them.
How would you for instance cut the castle graphics? They would have to be remade entirely.

I think a purely isometric representation would be more pleasing to the eye, but then our unit sprites would really look out-of-place (not only the angle, but you're also calling for a more "realistic" style in a way by wanting a more realistic view). One thing you never have with an isometric representation is a map grid where the spaces (hexes in our case) directly line up vertically, so we'd have to rotate our grid and map representation by 60 degrees.

In a realistic isometric view you also have to create interactions between objects in a hex and the units - i.e. the units would have to stand under the tree or in front of the house. It just doesn't make a lot of sense otherwise.

Sure, geometrically it's no big deal, and I've always wondered about the hexes in wesnoth. They are not even symmetrically hexagonal! But there are more far-reaching considerations in this one than just squashing one dimension.

I like the current view because it just looks like pieces standing on a planar map-board, which reminds me of the past age of strategy boardgames :).

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Post by zaimoni » July 4th, 2006, 4:58 pm

One thing you never have with an isometric representation is a map grid where the spaces (hexes in our case) directly line up vertically, so we'd have to rotate our grid and map representation by 60 degrees.
First, a rotation of 60 degrees doesn't do anything for the artwork; it just moves hexes onto hexes. One'd want a rotation of 30 degrees (so that they line up horizontally instead of vertically).

Second, one doesn't want walls running vertically. But none of the current terrain artwork has walls running vertically. [Castles follow the hex sides, none of which are vertical; villages are already drawn diagonally; and so on). A 30 degree rotation would have castle walls running vertically.

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Post by Rhuvaen » July 4th, 2006, 5:07 pm

zaimoni wrote:First, a rotation of 60 degrees doesn't do anything for the artwork; it just moves hexes onto hexes. One'd want a rotation of 30 degrees (so that they line up horizontally instead of vertically).
Read that as 30 degrees, which is what I wrote before I "corrected" myself with an edit. I see you understood my meaning, though :).
zaimoni wrote:Second, one doesn't want walls running vertically. But none of the current terrain artwork has walls running vertically. [Castles follow the hex sides, none of which are vertical; villages are already drawn diagonally; and so on). A 30 degree rotation would have castle walls running vertically.
I'm not at all saying a 30 degree rotation is without problems - actually I'm saying the opposite. But for a useful isometric view it's a must-have, unfortunately.

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Post by zaimoni » July 4th, 2006, 5:45 pm

Frankly, it would be useful to disconnect "board hex coordinates" from "screen hex coordinates". That would give the (low-demand) eye candy of being able to rotate the board by multiples of sixty degrees automatically, and with extra terrain graphics we could manage the 30-degres rotations as well. Major code hacking...no way I'm going to schedule coding that patch in the next few weeks.

Hmm...is the object to not draw walls parallel to the x-axis, or not draw them parallel to the y-axis? I was thinking that avoiding the y-axis ones was fundamental (it's hard to see them), but in terms of blocking view avoiding x-axis ones might be more important -- with realistic scaling (which Wesnoth unit graphics most definitely aren't).

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Post by Dragon Master » July 8th, 2006, 12:37 am

You'll also have to redo all the shadows.

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Re: Completing Wesnoth's isometric view

Post by Elvish_Pillager » July 9th, 2006, 4:41 pm

Rhuvaen wrote:How would you for instance cut the castle graphics? They would have to be remade entirely.
Nah, the towers are already isometric. You'd only need to squash the walls, and it wouldn't take *that* much correction to get them right (although, there are a lot of them, it would still be a bunch of work.)
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Post by zookeeper » August 2nd, 2006, 5:52 pm

This would be a nice improvement IMHO, but applied to units, not terrain (it already is applied to terrain in a sense). Not going to happen without the OpenGL support though for sure. It would also change how units are selected - now you just click on the hex, but if the unit positioning was changed like this most units would have a big part of them sticking out to the hex to the north, and obviously you should be able to select a unit by clicking on any part of it.

But still, it would look nicer.
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