I’m working towards finishing/remaking an old Flash game of mine called Wasted Youth in OpenFl.
My biggest challenge (as you can see by screenshots of the original on Google Images or videos on YouTube) is design. I am not the greatest artist, I need all the help I can get to make my game look stylish and attractive.
The game has a night and day system, light levels change from room to room, there are interactive lights, and so on, so a dynamic lighting system of sorts would be a huge help.
A great way to add depth to my characters and environment would be to have some kind of lighting system, but I just can’t see any way of doing this with this sub-2.5D style.
If I normal mapped everything, from characters to objects, I still have the problem of this illusional z-depth.
Imagine in my environment, a box, put a light directly behind it. The light (as far as I can tell) has no way of knowing not to light the front of the box. A costly ray-casting method of directional lighting doesn’t work either, considering objects have varying height or can be non-cuboid shaped.
I can’t imagine any method of lighting (bar simplistically multiplying a radial gradient) is possible without making the environment fully 3D.
I’ve been preparing to start work on this project for months but I consider this task (as well as character design & animation) to be my greatest hurdle.
A part of me is entertaining the idea of rebuilding everything in 3D, despite having very little experience in the realm of 3D design, but this would require a huge amount of work, not fit for a 1 man team.
This digresses from the main problem at hand, but another problem I encountered in the original was that I could only show the front interior wall and the back exterior wall in a room. It made for quite a confusing experience for some players, sideways doorways were difficult to see due to the height of the wall obscuring the floor, and as a result I avoided using them, or any side facing objects. I had so many complaints from players I had to add visual markers. So there are certainly pros and cons on either side, but realistically i don’t think I have the time or ability to make this 3D.
I apologize for the vagueness of my question, but confronted with this task how would you tackle it?How do you add dynamic lighting and depth to a world like this without going 3D or possibly 2.5D isometric?