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Author Topic: Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2d  (Read 1755 times)

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Mamoruanime

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Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2d
« on: February 06, 2015, 11:32:14 pm »
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I've decided to make a short list (that I want people to add to FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PLEASE ADD TO THIS LIST) of things that every Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, etc in 2d has done wrong, and ways to solve the problem. It's more of a uh... what to avoid sort of thing, since we've had a new OoT2d crop up yearly here or there by somebody, either in public or private. Please note, this list is just kind of overall observances- of course there are ways to do these things properly. This just observes how they don't fit. These are just things I feel devs get hung up on when trying to make a 2d remake. Focus is on Ocarina of Time.

Identifying why Certain Mechanics Exist
This is important. A lot of times people try to justify having elements in their 2d versions that only exist to progress the 3d version in a way that makes sense only to that version. Don't be afraid to rework things to make sense for your version of the game. This is the basis behind each item in this list, especially the next one.

Trying to Make a 1:1 Conversion from 3d to 2d
This... Isn't possible. You have to make necessary changes and adaptations. Sometimes outright, completely different chunks and mechanics to the games to make it work. A good example is Z targeting in a Link to the Past or Link's Awakening style game. Some plotlines might need to be adapted to make things work.

Epona
Epona may work for ALttP, however in GB games (with a small screen and room size), it doesn't make sense to have her at all. Moosh and that other thing from the OoA/S games worked because they weren't fast travel- instead, they offered new mechanics to progress. Epona doesn't offer much in the way of progression in a 2d lttp/LA environment with the exception of crossing into Gerudo Valley, but even then- you can find other ways to allow the player to cross that bridge without her. Replace the race to get her with an Ingo milk drinking competition or something, and give Link a goddamned Roc's Feather.

Map Size
Often developers will try to make a huge 1:1 overworld. The problem with this is you end up with a lot of unimportant space. There's no real scope from the top down perspective. In Ocarina of Time, you could see things in the distance; know how far you had to go. Not every part of the map had to serve a purpose. In LA or ALttP style, 80% of the rooms on the map serve some form of purpose, or convey progression. A giant over world would feel boring. I feel the trick would be to condense the overworld portions, and rearrange some side quest elements through it to give it more importance.

Trying to Find a Place for EVERY NPC
This just can't work. Kokiri Forest for example has a LOT of NPCs that simply tell you about game mechanics that shouldn't exist in 2d. They could either be removed, or repurposed with different dialog- but keeping the same dialog or trying to replicate the mechanics that don't translate well would be a mistake.

The Adult/Child Link Conundrum
This is one thing that's always bothered me. For aLttP you *can* have an adult link, but he always looks very strange. Link's Awakening however, there's no way to have an adult link. How do you solve this? Well simple- Think of Adult Link Hyrule as a new map; like the Dark World. There are differences in it that allow you to progress certain places you couldn't before. There's no need for crawly holes because in the future they could just simply *not be there*.

So Many Items
The core items are nice, and they make sense. There are some however... that don't need to be brought over. This isn't necessarily a problem with 3d to 2d, but it's a general observation. Bottles for example don't need to exist in a GB port. There are ways to tighten up the item load and eliminate some additional event threads that have a harder time existing in 2d (planting those damned floaty plants for example in OoT). Things like the hover boots are a bit strange, because they can be used, but then the Iron Boots don't really fit in aLttP style. In LA style you could use the iron boots for platformer underwater segments easy. Even then, you can probably figure something out around this whole mechanic.

Making Ledges you Jump Across
No. No no no. Come up with another mechanic that works in 2d. This always feels gross and terrible. It's barely necessary in 3d. In Link's Awakening, there would be a switch to press that extends a bridge if it's 100% necessary to cross.

Ignoring the Established Mechanics of the Style you're Working With
This is the final, probably most important thing. If something doesn't fit in the world you're trying to cram the conversion into, you shouldn't do it. Come up with a more unique way to convey what they tried to convey in 3d. Make something that works for 2d. It can be completely new, or borrowed from the style of game you are working from, but don't take from the 3d version if it's something meant for 3d. Again, those little floaty plants are the best example. You're better off making them create holes in the ground with new grottos to give you the item they'd lead to.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 11:36:20 pm by Mamoruanime »
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Re: Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2...
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2015, 11:48:04 pm »
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(Edit: By the way, those are a bunch of very good points).

This is less "3D to 2D mistake" and more "something everybody seems to do wrong/forget about when developing a fan game":

Zelda is about the goddamn dungeons and puzzles.
Too many people focus on "Add All The Items!" (here's looking at you, Community Project \o/), among other things, and never even get past a bland walking demo in an empty, uneventful area. Zelda is, and always has been, first and foremost about the dungeons - creative puzzles that have to be solved to progress. The dungeons don't exist so that the player can use the bombs to blow a hole through something - bombs exist because they add a puzzle element for the dungeons. Follow an agile system - design the dungeons, and implement support for items as they are needed in your dungeons.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 11:57:15 pm by Cassyblanca »
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Re: Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2...
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2015, 12:01:56 am »
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Incidentally, a comment on one of your suggestions:

Quote
The Adult/Child Link Conundrum
This is one thing that's always bothered me. For aLttP you *can* have an adult link, but he always looks very strange. Link's Awakening however, there's no way to have an adult link. How do you solve this? Well simple- Think of Adult Link Hyrule as a new map; like the Dark World. There are differences in it that allow you to progress certain places you couldn't before. There's no need for crawly holes because in the future they could just simply *not be there*.

There's a problem with this one, I think. And that's whether or not the Adult/Child Link thing should even be implemented in the first place. In Ocarina of Time, it made sense because it was central to both the plot and mechanics of the game. But before you decide to implement adult/child Link forms, you should really think about whether or not you should. Does it really provide any measure of value to your project, or is it just a "feature" that exists because you kind of want to do it and maybe it'll push out you having to do any work on actual, meaningful content for a little longer? It works in Ocarina of Time because it's OoT's expression of the "two worlds" concept that it, Link to the Past and Link Between Worlds were built around. If you add adult/child link at all, it has got to be at least that important to your game. If you're going for the "two worlds" setup, maybe you could come up with a more unique thing between the worlds?
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There's such a double standard about religion in the modern world. Catholics can gather, wear white robes, and say "In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti" and be considered normal.

But if my friends and I gather, wear black robes, and say  "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn", we're considered cultists.
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Mamoruanime

@Mamoruanime
Re: Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2...
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2015, 12:31:45 am »
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Koh

Re: Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2...
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2015, 12:56:53 am »
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(Edit: By the way, those are a bunch of very good points).

This is less "3D to 2D mistake" and more "something everybody seems to do wrong/forget about when developing a fan game":

Zelda is about the goddamn dungeons and puzzles.
Too many people focus on "Add All The Items!" (here's looking at you, Community Project \o/), among other things, and never even get past a bland walking demo in an empty, uneventful area. Zelda is, and always has been, first and foremost about the dungeons - creative puzzles that have to be solved to progress. The dungeons don't exist so that the player can use the bombs to blow a hole through something - bombs exist because they add a puzzle element for the dungeons. Follow an agile system - design the dungeons, and implement support for items as they are needed in your dungeons.
Actually, Zelda is more about the exploration.  Miyamoto himself said the idea was spawned because he liked to explore nearby caves in his childhood. 

With that said, the fangames tend to fall into this trap a lot...

Overly Linear Gameplay Experience
There's nothing wrong with wanting to tell a good story, and it's something you should be doing if you're going to have a story anyway.  But there is a problem when the story gets in the way of actually exploring the world around you.  "Can't go here until you talk to this person, can't go there until you deliver this item to this guy." Zelda 1, A Link to the Past and A Link Between the Worlds are perfect examples of having a story (albeit a minimal one for the former two), while still allowing the player to have choices on where they can go next, and putting down a few roadblocks here and there.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2015, 12:58:53 am by Koh »
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rhalifax

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Re: Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2...
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2015, 04:02:20 pm »
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These are all really good points, in order to adapt something from 3D to 2D it takes more than just taking every single aspect from the 3D version and trying to make it all work in 2D. It just ends up feeling like a force smash up of different things and ends up making the game feel like a chore to play (almost all the OoT2D variations made me feel this way)

IMO I think people are also afraid to change things because they're worried the fan base may lash out at them for not being as close to 1:1 with their 2D port.
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Mamoruanime

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Re: Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2...
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2015, 11:14:04 am »
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The Lens of Truth Sucks in 2d
Everyone adds filters over the screen and makes things disappear. Well that really sucks. The lens works great in 3d because you can look around with it. Ya know, like you're looking through a lens. In 2d, it really sucks as an equipped active item. It should be a passive, always-on setup for 2d games. It doesn't even necessarily have to have a completely revealing effect either.
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Re: Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2...
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2015, 11:57:59 am »
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I get a lot of these points, and in OoT 2D, we've been working around a lot of these.

I kinda like the Lens of Truth in 2D, though, it does seem, easier, in 2D.
So here it is, exactly what you said not to do:
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=w0fzeEoMfEM
(I'd post the video directly, but it won't take a link from my tablet, sorry. :-\)

I think I understand why you hate the Lens of Truth in this game, but out of curiosity, I was wondering if you actually had an alternative suggestion. How would you implement the Lens of Truth?
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Re: Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2...
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2015, 01:58:37 pm »
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I think I understand why you hate the Lens of Truth in this game, but out of curiosity, I was wondering if you actually had an alternative suggestion. How would you implement the Lens of Truth?

One thing I did in my old zelda fan game was to make the viewing lens smaller.  I used surfaces to uncover secrets as you scanned the room with the lens rather than making everything just appear when you hit the button.  It made it feel more authentic.  At least to me.  Admittedly this method is more difficult to implement though, but the result left me feeling more like I was searching through a lens.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2015, 02:00:14 pm by Aero88 »
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Mamoruanime

@Mamoruanime
Re: Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2...
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2015, 08:32:42 pm »
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@GodsTurf I'm not referring to yours directly :p there have been countless iterations of OoT2d in the past 10 or so years. These are common mistakes/things that feel wrong in each of them.
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Re: Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2...
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2015, 10:38:00 pm »
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Stickying this, great thread. 10/10 would read again.
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Re: Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2...
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2015, 12:27:18 am »
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I think there is a continuum between 3D and 2D - and rarely does a mechanic flow from one side to the other completely intact. We've mentioned Epona, platform jumping, and the Iron boots, and each has elements that could be brought over to 2D, but the correct question has been asked, "Why would you want to?"

It's a struggle between faithfulness to the original, and workable mechanics. We can't be all things to all people, and neither can games. So that is the foremost problem, imo. (the 1:1 conversion mentioned.) If the purpose is to create "the 2D version of _____ " developers must stake out on that continuum where each mechanic fails to be faithful to the original, and must also stake out where the story forces an unworkable mechanic.

Example: Majora's mask requires Link to don the Zora's mask to journey underwater to pinnacle rock. If we are transitioning 3D to 2D ala LA, can side scrolling be faithful to the story? In 2D Lttp, would the story force an unworkable mechanic? Futhermore, could we dispense with the story element altogether? If it does not move the story forward, it is a candidate for cutting, imo. Again, balance between faithfulness and workability.

Continuing with MM, stone tower would be almost completely unworkable in 2D; it exists purely as an obstacle - would we be willing to dispense with the stone tower altogether? Maybe, maybe not. What about the Pirate Fortress? Certainly there are mechanics that would need to be replaced, but cutting the area entirely would be a significant deviation from the original story.

edit: changed subject line to reflect reply
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 03:25:44 am by xMurrCattx »
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Re: Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2...
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2015, 12:42:43 am »
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Speaking of doing things in the Lttp/LA/MC/ et al format, I think basing the design off an established nintendo design is a significant cause of fan games getting caught up in the same snags when designing remakes from 3D to 2D. This goes for making fan games, period, actually. If there is one thing I would do to stir creativity in the approach to designing Zelda fan games, it would be to forbid the use of graphics from any nintendo game. Use placeholder graphics that are not from any game in the series, even use graphics from other games entirely rather than a Zelda game. Making games is a visual process; visualizing in the mind, on paper, on the screen. And if you are looking at the same things all the time, you are going to keep gravitating towards the same ideas. So, after rereading this post, I guess you could say that the theme of this reply is that the "Things done wrong in every 3d Zelda turned 2d" is that every established 3D Zelda game is translated into every other already established 2D Zelda, giving us the same ol' same ol'.

edit: changed subject to reflect reply
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 03:26:23 am by xMurrCattx »
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