A quick first look at the combat level building tool

The combat level building tool is coming along nicely, so I've uploaded a quick video to showcase its progress. This is also the first look at the latest rendering engine after having made the switch from sheetengine to threejs.

When it comes to isometric, grid based combat, Final Fantasy Tactics really set the bar high. One feature that was so revolutionary at the time was allowing players to rotate and tilt the camera. Unlike Tactics Ogre and other strategy RPGs that came before it, Final Fantasy Tactics' combat levels were fully 3D worlds with two dimensional sprites positioned inside of them.

This allowed Square's level designers to really go nuts and create some unbelievably awesome combat levels. They didn't need to worry (too much) about units being obscured from the player's view. Player's could rotate and tilt the camera at will to view and target units if they were behind or in between level objects like pillars, trees or rocks. They even improved on this for the iOS version allowing almost total control of the camera.

When I first started building the GoldScript Engine, I was unable to do this as I had chosen a cool yet non Web GL enabled HTML5 renderer to do the job. After switching to three.js however, I knew that achieving the perfect blend of 3D and 2D was achievable and were determined to make it a reality.

So after a couple of weeks of refactoring code, here we are - fully 3D rotatable/tilt-enabled combat levels.