Could someone tell me what this projection is called?

It's as if you are looking at an object from directly above it and then smear it up and left equally. Only the one dimension seems to be true scale while the other two are skewed.

I'm not finding many games that uses this style, but some of the Ultima Series seemed to or at least something similar:

Ultima: The False Prophet

  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you post one or two screenshots or images of the projection you are talking about? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 9, 2015 at 17:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looks like a parallel projection with a slightly tilted camera... \$\endgroup\$
    – Vaillancourt
    Jul 9, 2015 at 17:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlexandreDesbiens I've added a screenshot from the only game I've played that seems to use it, however, a few others in the Ultima series used it as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mythics
    Jul 9, 2015 at 18:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tibia also uses that projection. \$\endgroup\$
    – Sopel
    Jul 9, 2015 at 19:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ The square on top should probably be a lighter color than the two sides. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 9, 2015 at 21:41

1 Answer 1


That's an Oblique Projection.

Oblique is a type of parallel projection where the projection "rays" are not perpendicular to the image plane.

Usually this is used to show two spatial axes perpendicular & without foreshortening (as though looking directly down the third axis), while the third axis is splayed off at a diagonal. In an orthographic projection, this third axis would be invisible because we're looking at it edge-on.

Depending on the amount of foreshortening on the diagonal axis we might call it a more specialized name:

  • a Cavalier projection (no foreshortening of the receding axis)
  • a (45-degree) Cabinet projection (receding axis foreshortened to 50% its normal length)

Projection examples

Note that both of these projection titles are used most commonly with the front or side of an object presented undistorted, with the depth axis skewed. In your case, it's the top view that's undistorded, with the height axis skewed. The principle is still the same though.

Further reading, including examples of additional games using oblique projections.


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