2D or not 2D (that is the question).

Let’s just start off by saying that General Staff will be in 3D. It’s the only way to display the blocks that represent units. But the question is: should the map be flat with just 3D unit blocks (simulating the original Kriegsspiel ) or should we employ a technique that I used for a project for theĀ  U. S. Army in which a 2D topographical map was used as the skin for 3D elevation that was extrapolated at runtime from USGS (United States Geological Survey) data?

A screenshot of a project that I did for the Army. Click to enlarge.

A screenshot of a project that I did for the U. S. Army. Click to enlarge.

There are certainly pros and cons for both ideas. Frankly, I like the idea of using a flat, 2D, map with only the unit blocks in 3D. However, the one thing I don’t like about ‘traditional’ Kriegsspiel is that the unit blocks are rigid and always perfect rectangles that do not conform to map contours or allow units to change formations.

On the other hand, I’m concerned that if we go full 3D (like in the above screen capture), it’s going to be to similar to current 3D wargames (I won’t mention names, here).

I’ve tried to keep the overarching theme of ‘simplicity’ for General Staff in clear view. General Staff is supposed to be a fun, simple game where the graphics don’t get in the way of a pure tactical, enjoyable real-time game.

Either way, we will be employing my optimized 3D Line of Sight (LOS) algorithms. That is to say, units behind ridges will not be visible to opponents.

What do you think? Send us a note or leave a reply.

2 thoughts on “2D or not 2D (that is the question).

  1. Dominique Rousset

    This looks like fun. I am a GIS analyst, and one of my areas of interest is least cost path analysis. I’d be interested to know what parameters you considered and the weight you assigned to each of them. Also, will the player be able to over-ride a path taken for tactical reasons? Can a player say “I know what the easiest, fastest way is. I understand the added cost to choosing an alternate path, but I also know what my enemy expects, and I want to surprise him, so I’ll go this way, instead.” In other words, can the player gamble?

    1. EzraSidran Post author

      Yes, the user always has a choice of selecting optimal path via roads or ‘direct route’.

      I really need to find the time and write this up as a paper. One of the advantages of not being in academia anymore!


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