Out there in the vast universe of video games, there lies a genre not yet explored to its potential. I like to call it: The 2.5D First Person game. It has primarily been seen as an old school first-person shooter game. However, I believe that style was just the tip of the iceberg of its potential. I’m not sure if many people have considered this to be a genre of its own, but I believe it has a subtle charm and style, along with some features that give it a unique characteristic.
The most well-known games to note are Wolfenstein 3D and Doom I & II. These are some of the first “3D” First Person Shooters. What gives them a unique style and why they can be considered as 2.5D is that they use flat 2D sprites for the characters and objects instead of actual 3D models.
As I noted earlier, these are First Person Shooters, so they aren’t exactly what I’m looking for. Looking at them at face value seems like an old FPS that did what they could at the time, given the technology, to be a shooter game in a 3D world. The potential I see in them, though, is the capability to make an interesting “retro-looking” adventure/story game.
There is a game designer by the name of Zykoveddy that I believe does this well. You can play his games for free on Itch.io. When I first saw his game style, it made me realize how interesting and potentially captivating this style can be. His games have a more psychedelic aspect to them, which I love but, I can see why it can throw some people off. I do recommend trying out his games though here at https://zykoveddy.itch.io/
My goal here is to share an approach to game design that I don’t believe has been explored often enough. The visual aspect of watching the 2D sprites in this 3D world move around to face you as you move around in the world is a unique quality that you don’t get in any other style of games. One of the fondest memories I have of a concept similar to this is the old Windows 95 & 98 3D Maze screensaver. I used to love watching this screensaver as a kid and would often pretend like it was a game I was playing.
It is for this reason why I chose to use this screensaver as a level in a game I’m currently working on. The game will be an exploration game with levels that incorporate some nostalgic memories of my past.
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my little rant on the incredible dire need for this game style… For some reason, this art style really appeals to me, and I wanted to share it with you. Let me know what you think about this idea, and please check out Zykoveddy’s games and anyone else who has explored this concept of game design. You can find more on the website Itch.io Some recommendations that I have are: