The term “isometric” refers to a perspective that presents a 2D environment in a 3D view, thus creating an illusion of three-dimensionality. If one looks back, one can find numerous iconic games that have been isometric. For instance, there was “SimCity 2000” a game that allowed players to build and manage their own cities from an isometric viewpoint.
Then, there was “Diablo,” a game known for its immersive dark fantasy world. More recently, “Stardew Valley,” from the solo game developer ConcernedApe also made huge waves.
Isometric games have a unique charm, offering players a perspective that adds depth and dimension to the gaming experience.
Because of their popularity, game developers are also eager to create games in this specific genre.
In this guide, we’ll help you do just that.
Below is a thorough process of creating your own isometric game, covering everything from conceptualization to publishing. Let’s get on with it.
Effective game design is essential for an engaging player experience. It transforms a bare idea into an effective game.
To do this, first, define the game’s genre. Is it an RPG, a shooter, or a city builder? Nail this part down.
Next, comes the setting. Are you going for a fantasy setting? Or are you leaning toward a sci-fi look? Whichever one it is, create an expansive setting that the characters in your game feel right at home in and not out of place at all.
Then, see if your game needs a storyline. If yes, then craft a narrative that is centered around the game world and setting. Create a plot that has intrigue, surprise, and drama. Write characters that fit seamlessly into the plot, each of them playing a key part in the narrative.
After all this, comes the technical aspects. You can tailor the gameplay mechanics, interactions, etc., to the specific gameplay experience that isometric games allow you to provide.
For instance, there are certain gameplay mechanics that have a better impact on the gameplay of isometric games than they do on other genres of games. Incorporate such elements to maximize their potential.
You can also embrace the unique strengths of the isometric perspective and distinct viewpoint.
Consider, that your game is a puzzle game. In such a case, you have the option to create puzzles that rely on spatial awareness. On the other hand, if your game is an action RPG, you can devise combat systems that exploit the added depth or invent movement mechanics that enhance exploration.
By tailoring your entire game design to leverage the isometric perspective, you create an experience that feels not only immersive but also perfectly suited to the visual style.
Engines like Unity, Unreal Engine, and Godot offer powerful tools for isometric game development. Here’s a brief overview of each:
Unity provides a robust environment for isometric game development, primarily because of its 2D capabilities. The famed game engine is known for its user-friendly interface, advanced feature set, and huge asset store.
For maximum visual enhancements, Unreal engine game development is the best choice. The high-fidelity graphics capabilities help developers create visually stunning isometric games.
Godot is an open-source game engine that is growing in popularity. In addition to its lightweight footprint, it is renowned for its support for multiple scripting languages including GDScript – its own native language. Furthermore, Godot offers flexibility and performance, both integral for isometric game development.
Before you choose one among these or any other popular and powerful game engine, you have to first consider the specific needs of your project.
Because choosing the right game engine is akin to selecting the canvas for your masterpiece. Each engine offers its own strengths and weaknesses.
Your familiarity with the game engine is also of importance as it would be easier for you to develop a game if you already know the programming language the game uses or have prior experience with the engine.
Also, consider the pricing. Unity and Unreal have their pricing policies for developers. Godot meanwhile is a free-to-use game engine.
So, take the time to evaluate your project’s requirements, your own familiarity with the engines, and the specific features offered by each.
Creating isometric assets is an art form in itself. It requires an acute sense of perspective and proportion.
First, you design the sprites and tiles. However, you must have conscious awareness of the isometric grid; Because this grid serves as the foundation, allowing you to align elements accurately within the 2D plane.
Your attention to detail is also integral. To maintain a cohesive visual style, ensure consistent angles and proportions across all the assets you create.
In addition to design, it is also imperative to keep perspective in mind. Every element should seamlessly integrate into the isometric world you’re crafting.
To assist you in this process, you can utilize guides and templates. These serve as invaluable aids in maintaining visual harmony and perspective accuracy.
You can also hire game artists who have experience doing the same. Such a team would help create the right types of assets for the game without a hassle.
Robust testing is the linchpin of a successful isometric game. It ensures that the intricacies of your game, from movement mechanics to collision detection, function seamlessly within the isometric environment.
For this, it might be better if you have a team of competent testers. Opt for the resources that have diverse experience in the gaming industry. If you amass a team of testers, the team would be able to find out and help eradicate the errors and bugs that plague your game.
Outline specific scenarios to test. This should encompass a range of interactions, from basic movement to complex object interactions. Pay close attention to how elements within the isometric world interact with one another.
Don’t limit your testing to a single platform. Explore how your game performs across various devices and operating systems. This will help you identify and rectify any platform-specific quirks or challenges.
Through rigorous testing, you’ll fine-tune your game, ensuring it delivers a seamless and engaging experience to players across different platforms.
Once your isometric game is polished and thoroughly tested, it’s time to share it with the world.
Package your game appropriately for your chosen platform(s), whether it’s PC, mobile, or another medium. Ensure that all required files and assets are included, allowing for smooth installation and execution.
Decide on the best distribution method for your game. This might involve releasing it through popular app stores, distributing it via your own website, or even launching it on dedicated game platforms like Steam. Consider the preferences of your target audience and the visibility each platform offers.
You must also market your game through appropriate channels. You can go for paid and organic marketing channels to help the word regarding your game be spread across the globe.
Isometric games continue to capture the hearts of gamers worldwide. Their unique perspective and engaging gameplay make them a popular choice among both players and developers.
With the right tools and a creative vision, you can bring your own isometric world to life.
In conclusion, creating an isometric game involves a combination of artistic skill, technical know-how, and a clear vision for gameplay. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be well on your way to crafting your own captivating isometric adventure.