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I want to create a sports simulation game, something along the lines of Championship Manager (if you're not familiar, you can check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2FlFWP3K28). It's essentially a 2D game with top-down view, with the exception that the ball seems to behave as if it was 3D.
Given that the game is almost entirely 2D and only the ball is 3D, is there a good way to deal with that without making an entirely 3D game just because of the ball? Can the ball be hooked into a 3D physics engine, the rest to a 2D engine and somehow reconcile the two, then when rendering, just make the ball grow the higher it goes and show a shadow, or something along those lines?