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Converting a 2D Video Game Into A 3D Game

How is it done?
What kind of software should I use?
How much Time and money would it cost me?

Friday, July 18, 2008
It is done by starting over and completely rebuilding the entire game from scratch.

You should use whatever standard programming tools are recommended by the vendors of the platform you are writing the game for.

It would cost less time and money than creating a new game entirely from scratch; you would be able to reuse writing, design, sound/music, and possibly some graphical assets.  But you'd need to budget more for developers and testers due to the increased complexity of 3D game code.

Any more vague questions we can give you vague answers to?  :)
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Disclosure, I am not a game designer.

You may need to:
* redraw all sprites and scenery using 3D drawing packages. This will make it look more natural (and look 3D), but won't make the game 3D. This will be proportional in cost to the amount of graphics content you already have, but may be more since 3D will be harder for the artists to draw. This can be done incrementally, since you are just replacing cartoon sprites with 3D rendered sprites.
* re-write every line of graphics code to use OpenGL or some other 3D graphics library. This will take advantage of the 3D card, and may make 3D effects easier. It is a 'do or die' step, you can't incrementally introduce OpenGL  (though I guess you could use a proxy object to gradually code the 3D card in ... for your programmers sanity).

If you want the game to be 3D, instead of 3D graphics, and you don't already know the answer, don't ask. Every part of the game engine and game content / design will need to be re-designed, re-written, re-tested, debugged,  re-tested, re-designed again, re-written, re-tested, and so on.

Good games like the later versions of HMM and Zelda have the gameplay completely messed up by some misguided attempt to make the gameplay 3D. Yay, free camera! Yay, I can't see where I'm going! Yay, the stupid item is hidden under a fern! Yay, 3D jumping puzzles that blow! Grrrrr.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
A good example of an game that was an intermediate step between 2D and 3D was Super Paper Mario.  Intriguing use of spinning into the 3rd dimension to get around obstacles.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
This question remembers me an anecdote from the information service of a telephone company here in Spain: A customer calls and asks:
- "Could you please tell me on which bus line am I and where it is headed to?".
After a moment of confusion, the operator reacts and very politely saids
- "That's hard to tell without more information, but why, don't you  ask the bus driver?"
And the customer replies
- "well, isn't you there to answer customer questions?"
Pablo Send private email
Sunday, July 20, 2008
If it's already in 2D, really, you just need one more D and you're set. How hard could it be?
BenjiSmith Send private email
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Yeah, at the very top there should be a line that reads:

int D = 2;

Right under that add:


Problem solved.
Ken Sharpe Send private email
Monday, July 28, 2008
Some 3D game engines also incorporate 2D game engines such as Irrlicht and I think, Ogre. If  you did your 2D game in this engine, you can use the same engine to do 3D. Although I think you may have to design from scratch, the same interface and engine makes it easier. To convert to 3D, you must re-visualize your game in 3D first. Because of the extra dimension, it will not be the same as 2D but you can try to imitate it as close as possible. All the sprites need to be redesigned as 3D objects. 3D maths is more complicated than 2D - you have to learn this. You may also have to think about camera angles in 3 planes, lighting and 3D collission and targetting. Very different from 2D indeed which is far simpler. Try to look at some existing 2D games which have been converted to 3D and see how they play.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008

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