What factors govern whether a 2D game should be vertical or horizontal?

There are 2 types of 2D games, ones where you have a bird’s eye view and ones where you see a cutaway from the same altitude. What factors determine which direction is best?
Also, shouldn’t there be a third kind of 2D game? In top down 2D games, we perceive the Z axis (depth) and X axis (width) but not Y (height). In cutaway 2D games, we perceive Y and X but not Z. Where are the games where we perceive Z and Y but not X?

Seeing Z and Y but not X is exactly the same thing as seeing Z and X but not Y.

No. He means the character is seen from in front or behind, and can move up and down and side to side, but not towards or away from you.

It’s a stupid idea, that’s why it’s not done. :smack:

Breakout (block removing ‘pong’ type of game), along with space invaders and the like would be y and z games.

If jumping is a big part, it will be side view, as overhead games sometimes have jumping but it’s usually awkward. Shooting can be in either mode, with the side view emphasizing dodging (Contra-like) and the overhead mass shooting (bullet hell like plane games).

The big difference between the two is how much screen space you can put in front of you, especially on wide screen monitors.

Isn’t that basically most racing games?

Back to the OP:

It depends what kind of gameplay you want. If you want your game to be about dodging and flanking, make it top-down. If you want it to be about jumping, make it a sidescroller.

Cars go up and down? :dubious:

Cars go forward, but are viewed from behind. Since the motion is in the direction they are driving, with lateral deviation, the viewpoint would be in the y and z axes, but the motion is still in the x and z axes.

Of course, which direction is what axis is up for debate. Generally speaking, most three-dimensional coordinate spaces are shown with the x-axis pointing towards the viewer, the y-axis pointing right (positively), and the z-axis pointing up (positively). If you think of it that way, a 2-D game like Mario is actually happening in the yz plane.

Space Harrier?

Now that I think about it, Star Fox and Race the Sun (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGAgrq-BhEM) correspond to that type of arrangement. I have a vague memory of a 90s arcade game where you played as a fighter jet and where you could go left-right and up-down. Not this but something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pz8FJk7qcs
It seems to be useful for games involving racing/going fast and dodging.

Those games are not 2-D. They are 3-D, with the viewpoint fixed along the x axis. To be 2-D, you would have to be stationary in the “forward” and “back” direction.


That’s the one, thanks - YouTube

Might as well have been called “Coinburner” though.