Why Rock of Ages Has 3D Art

By Ishaan . November 12, 2010 . 11:33am

Rock of Ages was initially supposed to have 2D artwork using sprites in the form of “billboards,” which is a technique by which the sprites are always facing the camera. The karts in Mario Kart 64, for example, were constructed using billboards.


Ace Team and Atlus have an interesting developer blog post up about creating the art work for Rock of Ages on the Ace Team forums, that details the decisions that ultimately led to the game being in 3D.


Here’s part of what the problem was with billboards, for instance:



Check out the devblog, linked to above, for another example.

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  • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

    Good thing they took the 3D approach. That cardboard cutout body with individually rotating parts is disorienting.

    2D mixed with 3D works best when the camera is always fixed parallel to the sprite. Or when you’re drawing attention to the flatness like Paper Mario or the new NBA Jam. That said, Mario Kart 64 did a pretty good job of hiding it. Having played that game for so long with my friends rarely did I feel the characters were flat.

    • malek86

      Many games in the old PC era used the 2D/3D approach. To be honest, most of them were very good.

      • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

        Indeed, when done right it can be good. I just haven’t encountered many. What are some you consider to be good examples of blending the 2?

  • Code

    rarr, I’m more concerned about how terrifyingly naked that old man is.

    • Exkaiser

      Welcome to Art History, also known as Nudity and Violence 101.

      • Joanna

        and you ain’t seen nothing yet! That old dude was censored, for the full glory you need to see the actual artwork from, I am assuming, the Renaissance. xD

  • Tom_Phoenix

    Quite frankly, that kind of artstyle was essentially 2D desperatly trying to be 3D. So while I am always happy when a developer chooses a 2D artstyle and advise them not to stop (I am so fed up with people labeling 2D as “outdated and archaic”), I think it was better in this case that they just went with actual 3D.

    • Code

      Yeahh, I LOVE my 2D, but if it’s not working it’s not working, it’s better to switch over to 3D then end up with something that just isn’t visually going to work.

    • Yusaku_Matsuda70s

      You know what the real reason was? Their 2D animator suffered a fatal heart attack and died in the middle of Aaaauuuggghhhh

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