I decided to implement an isometric 2D game for iPhone, using SpriteKit and GameplayKit, and Inkscape/GIMP as graphic tools. I prefer vectorial graphics because as a iOS programmer I am required to create multiple versions of my assets, each one of different size in order to adapt to different screen resolutions. I use GIMP just rarely, in the case that I need to adjust the images created with Inkscape. 

I draw my hero using Inkscape, and this is the result: 

enter image description here

Now since it's an isometric game, the hero needs to move in all the four directions, and he also needs to aim the shotgun to different directions. I will also need to draw the hero with more weapons, but for now I have this one. Now the question is: should I draw a new version of the hero for all the possible directions in which the shotgun could be pointed, or there is a smarter way? 

The only options that come to my mind are:

  • Drawing the hero aiming the shotgun only in the main directions (maybe 0°, 15°, 30°, etc...)
  • Drawing the hero aiming in 3 directions (0°, 45°, -45°) and then finding a way to interpolate the images in order to draw the hero aiming in the intermediate directions
  • Using two separate layers, the top layer to draw the arms and the shotgun of the hero, and rotating it in the desired direction

Clearly the best way would be to redraw the hero for each aiming direction, but it requires too much work. If instead I choose the 3rd option I think I'd get not so much realistic results. What do you suggest? or maybe there is a smarter way?


1 Answer 1


Drawing each position takes an incredible amount of time and I believe the old isometric games just did that. Nowadays developers use 3D assets to render all possible directions. Once you have created a character you setup a simple scene with a orthographic camera and a light. For each character you render each frame for each animation in as many directions you want by rotating the character so the light source stays the same.

So Inkscape is certainly not the tool for what you want. You can cut corners here and there but even with 4 directions, 4 frames of walking and 4 frames shooting you need 32 images and 4 frames look very jumpy. And if you want to add another weapon you need to have another 32 images where in 3D you would just replace the gun (and alter the pose and animation depending on the weapon). If you want things to play smoothly you need at least 8 directions and 16 frames for a walk cycle and 8 frames for a shot. That is 192 images for just walking and shooting and that amount of vector/spriting work is insane.


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