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I want to make a game (turn-based RPG) that looks very similar to Bastion.

Here is what I need to implement:

-> The overworld is 2d, with an isometric view. The graphics would in no way be rendered in 3D, but rather drawn in 2d.

-> The characters would be rendered in 3d, moving about in the 2d isometric world. (Even if the characters are in 3D in a 2D environment, its not much of an issue since a 3D character may actually be rasterized in a series of 2D images, in other words, this isn't much of a problem I feel)

I have looked at several game engines, but I find it very difficult to know which would be best to implement this sort of look and feel. Which game engine do you guys feel could be best for me so that I would have the least amount of coding to do for purely the isometric view aspect?

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closed as off-topic by Byte56 Nov 11 '14 at 19:15

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2D isometric is just a 3D orthographic projection, with a little camera work you could use almost any 3D engine really. The screenshots that I find of Bastion look like they are 3D rendered, but built simply and angular like it was built on a 2D grid.

Note that similar games like Diablo3 or Wakfu that look like they are 2D are really built and rendered in 3D.

The key words and features you need to look for when considering engines now is whether the camera is is programmable and it can do an orthographic projection. Also you will need to change the character controller to gracefully handle diagonal movement.

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It might appear that way but Bastion is really a fully 2D game (source). It's completely made up of sprites drawn "at the right place" so there's no 3D or camera work being done to render it isometrically. – David Gouveia Feb 6 '12 at 11:35

It could be any 2D engine, but you need to design your tiles somewhat diferent. Also remember that you need to draw your tilemap from top-left to bottom-right to paint the nearest tiles in the last time, so nearest tiles are always painted over the other tiles.

You can refine your algorithm by making semitransparent or not drawing tiles when these tiles are painted over sobre important tiles (your player, enemies, etc)

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