Gaming designs come in two forms; 2D and 3D. 3D designs surpass 2D design in many ways. We are discussing how designing games in 3D is easier than 2D.
Game designing and development started as soon as people started using computers for entertainment purposes along with its computing and processing utility. Games development and design became a full-time occupation and vocation for gaming enthusiasts. 2D designs have been
developed for a long time now. 3D designs are somewhat new. Having inherent differences comparison of difficulty or easiness in development between 2D and 3D can never be truly objective. We will do a general comparison based on certain factors that are more or less common between the two kinds of development processes .
WHAT ARE 3D AND 2D DESIGNS?
2D means two-dimensional and 3D means three-dimensional. Both of these terms refer to designs. To best describe the two types is that 2D is painting while 3D is a sculpture. When you apply the principles of painting and sculpture to a digital world, they become 2D and 3D designs.
In game development, while the 3D design is much more common these days 2D has seen a significant revival especially among the Indie developers.When talking about which design is better than the other, there are many points of views which vary from user to user. We are going to look at these variables here.
VISUAL ASPECT OF 3D
- 3D designs don’t have resolution and aspect ratio limitations like 2D designs have.In 3d development it much easier to handle different aspect ratios, resolutions, and scaling accordingly. This can get a bit tricky in 2D some developers may have multiple versions of a single graphic and load the one closest to the display resolution.
- One of the main attractions towards 3D modeling is the realism or how life-like it looks with which 2D characters cannot compete. In 3D design, the characters are made with a focus on making them look ‘real’. Gamers who like to feel the game like it happens in the real world prefer 3D design. 3D games basically give us a first-person experience which most people find much more exciting and exhilarating experience than 2D.
DESIGN ASPECT OF 3D
- For 2D, each character is to be drawn separately and a new frame has to be drawn for each movement. With 3D, you just have to keyframe the new character and the same programming can be used to move different characters. For 2D game design, each instance of animation requires programming as there is little reusability. Any change would require updating every frame.
- Since 3D games have more dimensions literally and figuratively they are more complex to develop at the core level but once a base engine and objects have been developed any change can be applied easily and availability of a large number of ‘game engines’ allows developers to skip over that difficult phase. A game engine handles things like rendering, physics, animation, collision detection and response, AI, input etc. Since these are mostly common among different games, game engines reduce the amount of work immensely. Some well-known game engines are unreal Engine, Unity, and CryEngine etc. that have been used in many big budget multiplatform games.
PROGRAMMING ASPECT OF 3D
- In 3D games, design ambiguities are removed as there are little misinterpretations and next to none downstream errors.
- 2D designs are not cut out for prototyping. And whatever prototyping may be done digitally may not be reliable. In 3D, once prototype design is made, it can be key-framed and used on any character. This makes it more efficient and reliable.
These are some of many reasons why 3D design is preferred by most game designers. Games in 3D have bright future ahead as the world is moving towards 3D based designs in every aspect of life and While 2d game development has seen a bit of revival recently mostly among small budget indie games, it cannot compete with the freedom and realism that 3D allows for the developers.It still is being used in the development of the games around the globe but people’s desire to get that first-person experience and hyper-realistic graphics will eventually make it hard for 2D design to ever take center stage in the game development industry.
AUTHOR’S BIO: The author of this article, Hillary Simpson is a professional video artist & she offers Video Animation Services, as well as She, is a game designer and a game enthusiast who’s been designing games for the last 10 years. She has experience in designing both 2D and 3D games.