Posted August 19, 2011 at 1:29 in Games, Graphics, Illustrator, Scriptographer - Say something

Far from being as violent as the Judge Dredd story; Block Mania (although I’d squeeze in a reference to Old Stoney Face any chance I get), I’ve spent a few evenings drawing a bunch (and more to come) of isometric blocks. Isometric tile editors are usually associated with pixelart, not vectors, so my original intent was to script a tool in which I could sculpt with these blocks. I discarded that idea after realizing it would be a massive undertaking and not a very stable solution. Not really knowing what I would do with them, I continued drawing anyway, as I’m just so fond of isometric projection, as evident in one of my earlier posts.

This fascination stems back to the days or yore when I was playing games on my Amiga 500 (those where the days!) such as Marble Madness, Populous and D/Generation to name a few. Well, not to mention cyberpunk-awesomeness Syndicate, of which there are rumors that swedish Starbreeze Studios will “reinvent”.

Anyway, I ended up with all these building blocks, wanting to create miniature worlds (there it is again, my megalomaniacal behavior), but not wanting to manually drag them into place and having to adjust the layer order all the time.

The solution – which might not be the best in terms of time efficiency – was to script a little tool that could parse a text file into a nested array representing the X, Y and Z-axis. Instead of handling mouse events and coming up with a smart solution as to how I was going to manage selection of blocks (which most likely would have to involve some inconvenient keyboard input), I just lay my “world” out on graph-paper, an excel document or such; one sheet per level, like this.

Perhaps time consuming, but I think it could work to my advantage, having to carefully plan ahead instead of throwing myself Head Over Heels (isometric pun intended).

And to top it off, here’s some isometric galore to – literally – fill your screen with!

Left to right: Syndicate, Populous, Cadaver, Darkmere, Uropa², Marble Madness, D/Generation, Head Over Heels and Escape From The Planet Of Robot Monsters.