It just seems like a very easy way to distinguish it from Spore is if right away, the cellular stage was 3D. Is there a reason this people decided against that?
I think he means that why it doesn’t use 3d movement. So even if the graphics are 3d the gameplay is 2d.
It’s been debated quite heavily. The main argument is that 3d wouldn’t add much to the experience only difficulties and complexity. And the eventual transition to full 3d movement will be more impressive. I don’t have any links to previous discussion on hand and I can’t remember all the arguments, hopefully that was enough of an answer or someone can offer more reasons.
I think that makes sense. One of my concerns was just that people would look at it and say “oh, it’s just a copy of spore.”
@NickTheNick’s list of reasons for choosing 2D over 3D which he posted in the developer Slack a while ago:
It takes away the progress and transition of 2D to 3D. Having the player start in 2D and transition into 3D is part of the “zooming out” process which underlies the entire game.
Keeping the player in 2D at first allows us to hide many of the creatures and features of late multicellular and allows us to keep them trapped in a flat “zone” of their world’s ocean, without having to simulate or render any of the 3D world yet.
It takes away a lot of the simplicity of the gameplay and the editor of having a 2D organism, including the hex grid. Calculating surface area and volume, placing organelles and cytoplasm, mutation point costs, placing cells in the early multicellular stage, fluid mechanics and dynamics, compound cloud calculations, etc.
It takes away shortcuts we can use to make Microbe look good but run fast like using sprites or models that are detailed on one side, certain blur features and other visual effects, backgrounds, etc.
It allows us to “hide” the 3D world and reveal it during the 2D-3D transition. Bear in mind, cells are incredibly smaller compared to the 3D world. It’d be a little ridiculous to try and have them in the same world with the same level of detail. Having them have the possibility to interact even would open up a whole new can of worms.
In 3D How will we hide distant organisms? 2D we just use the edge of the screen. 3D we have to put blur and fog. A less significant point but it’d very visibly require seeing fog everywhere you look. Additionally how do you show massive 3D organisms? In the current system there is a very neat and simple way to just hide the large organisms until after the 2D-3D transition.
The aim was to have a 2D view because it gives a petri dish look and it makes the cells look like the common images and videos of cells we have seen. 3D would look strange, especially if it’s in the same game world as the macro 3D organisms.
During the 2D to 3D transition is a perfect opportunity to make changes between early and late multicellular. As I mentioned above there’s a huge difference between the two world and the 2D-3D transition I feel is a perfectly fine transition to put the player through that is not 100% seamless, plus it’s not even that bad it’s a really simple transition.
You can change the control scheme of 2D/3D to be consistent with later stages, we don’t need fully 3D to do that.
With full 3D we can’t use the click and drag on membrane to move feature.
Being different from Spore for the sake of being different from Spore is not a good reason. If spore did something right we shouldn’t not do it for the sake of being different. Plus we have plenty of differences from Spore.
We should be careful not to think that 3D is better than 2D just because it’s an extra dimension. We should think why should we switch to 3D? What does it offer that 2D doesn’t? Microbe is not intended to be a complex stage.
To sum up, I don’t think there is any need to have 3D for the Microbe Stage. It’s not going to automatically make the stage more amazing or fun, if anything it’ll detract from it and the atmosphere in several ways. Plus, Microbe is a pretty simple and short stage, the player will only be in it for a few hours tops. We don’t really need to worry about making it really in-depth and complex.