About Us

who we are

Lovers of adventure games

They are our favorites. We like to play with it, we like to create it. During our work, we realized that we spent a lot of time preparing the environments for 2.5D worlds. Building the navigation mesh with third-party software cost much effort and often needed to start from scratch because the game required changes in the background. Placing objects in 3D space also took away a lot of time that we could use instead in the most important stages of game development. We had to speed up these phases of the process and we designed the 2.5D Toolkit for Unity.

2.5D Toolkit for Unity by VB Game Studio
2.5D Toolkit for Unity by VB Game Studio

Indie Games

why 2.5D?



The following considerations are partly our preferences / beliefs but otherwise they are the statements of many players who have told us about their experiences and what they would have liked to find in an adventure game.


2.5D vs 2D
Compared to pure 2D, the characters move more fluidly and in any direction, not just in the eight directions typical of sprites.
We will therefore not have that bad experience of seeing the character walking sideways that risks reminiscent of the retro games (which still have many supporters).
Animations also benefit and reduce our work.
Suppose we collect an object or knock on a door, with the sprite we should create an animation for each direction (or always use the same one that limits us in the construction of the scene) with a 3D character a single animation can be used in any environment and location.
Furthermore, the resizing of the character is managed directly by the game engine and we will not have to worry about working on it.

Even compared to 3D, the 2.5D has several points in favor.
We remember that we are talking about indie games and we do not have the support of teams of developers and graphics like those of Benoit Sokal (Syberia) or Charles Cecil (Broken Sword).
Imagine an environment, a scene, of your favorite game with a 2D background (e.g. Broken Sword 5).
Can you see the titanic effort to build such an environment in 3D?
Weeks of work to assemble a scene and it will never have the same rendering of the 2D one. Indie developers often fail to get their work done for this very reason. There are many elements to take care of in the development of a game (story, dialogues, environment, animations, movies, music) and the 3D environment complicates things further.
From a 2D image you can cut out the sprites and then place them in the scene. The character will walk in front of or behind them. Furthermore you can also use 3D objects (a cat, a table, a key to collect) which will make the scene even more real.

Tips for a successful adventure game.

History
Find a topic you are passionate about, research it, delve into every detail. It is true that the development of the story comes from your imagination but if you refer to real events it must have solid and consistent foundations. If you talk about Eskimos, Mayas, ancient Egyptians, you must make real connections, provide reliable information to the player who can find in your history information that he already knows or that broadens his knowledge. If you refer to peoples you have to mention their customs and traditions, when you visit new places you have to mention their monuments, statues, churches for which they are known throughout the world.
It is about telling an original, exciting, intriguing story within many small real stories.
When you write the story you start by defining a beginning and an end. Then develop it by deciding if and in how many chapters to divide it and the most significant events for each of them. The script may not be meticulously detailed but must contain the main passages on which the story is based.
Very often, according to some developers, it undergoes changes during construction and some original ideas are replaced by new ideas that better suit the context. So stick to the project but be dynamic.

The environment
The 2D background allows you to start working immediately. You can take photos of environments that fit your story or download images from the internet and start your creation right away. You can then reproduce the background image at any time by redrawing it or by having a graph do it. This operation can also be done at the end of your work, just replace the background image and crop any sprites again.

The puzzles
Pay attention to the most delicate part of a successful adventure game, the puzzles.
They must be sensible, they must arouse interest in the player, his wit, his intuition.
Have you played Secret Files: Tunguska? If you haven't, do it and at the end of the game you will have an idea of what you absolutely must not do.
Never block the player at the beginning of the game, gradually accompany him through the story starting with uncomplicated puzzles. The journey is long, there is time to test his wits. Let it enter the story, let it be passionate.
The puzzles don't have to force the player to go through the entire inventory, item by item, trying senseless and stressful matches.
You have to provide information, suggestions sometimes quite clear, sometimes hidden between the lines but the player must always know what to do. A comment from the character, a page from a book, a writing on a painting, are elements that must never be missing to allow the player to reflect and make his move.
Forcing the player to consult the solution to continue the game is a bad practice that should be avoided.
Throughout the game you can expect a series of medium difficulty puzzles, two or three rather difficult puzzles and one, perhaps in the final part of the game, particularly challenging. If you really care you can insert a couple of nonsense puzzles but don't go further or you will just annoy the player.

The dialogues
They must not be excessively long, they must provide information for the advancement of the game (see puzzle), however, useless and sometimes funny jokes must not be missing.
Always expect the dialogue to be interrupted (e.g. with the right mouse button).
A diary to consult is an excellent thing, you will collect in it the suggestions given in the dialogues, images or symbols to consult, so as to allow the player to quickly and easily return to these important topics.
Dubbing should be present for at least one language (English or yours) but subtitles for as many languages as possible. For localization, provide separate files, both for speech and for the interface and subtitles. This is because, if your game is successful, someone might think about doing the translations in their language. If the texts are found accessible you will make it easier for them and you will indirectly benefit from them too.

The movement of the characters
The walk must not be too slow and the double click must include running or teleporting. If the character has to move several times from one point to another along different screens, foresee the teleportation to skip the middle screens (for example a double click on a hotspot with the image of a door or an arrow). If the player has to travel this route several times back and forth, perhaps because he remembers seeing an object and thinks he might need it, he must go back without wearing out the soles of the shoes.

The inventory
A well-designed inventory is very important. Scrolling is boring, the player always wants to have an eye on all the objects and possibly try to combine them without wasting too much time.
If your story includes many items in your inventory (do not exaggerate, they are confusing) use small images and if possible also on double lines so as not to have to use scrolling.
If an object is to be combined with another, expect a suggestion comment from the character, even just a hint that leads the player to reflect on it.
Don't use the right click practice too often on an object that splits into two or more objects. It is not very popular with gamers. If, on the other hand, it is a bag or an envelope, the right click will reveal their contents.

The music
The soundtrack must be adapted to the story and not the other way around. So forget it until the game is over, then you'll think about it.

Video clips
This is a sore point in game design, they should not be missing between chapters but also during the game. Unfortunately they are very demanding, our suggestion is to define during the development of the game where they should be inserted and at the end find a graphic designer who makes them on commission.

If you have any comments or something to add please write to us!
We will be happy to include new suggestions in the article.

Services

View Our Services

2.5D Toolkit for Unity by VB Game Studio

Need our help?

We build your environments if you don't have the time to do them yourself.
Send us your background images and we'll give you the sprites you want from it, the navmesh and the ready-to-use scenes for your game.
Furthermore, if you purchased 2.5D Toolkit, you'll get a discount of 30% on all our price list.

2.5D Toolkit for Unity by VB Game Studio

Want new features?

2.5D Toolkit is an indispensable tool for building 2.5D games and we are constantly striving to make it better. Your advices are essential for its development.
Write us if you have any suggestions for improving 2.5D Toolkit.

2.5D Toolkit for Unity by VB Game Studio

Support

2.5D Toolkit is very easy to use and will help you significantly reduce the time required to prepare game environments.
If you have any trouble, need clarification or want to report issues do not hesitate to contact us.

Latest Gallery

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Latest News

useful links, improvements, bug fixes

 

 

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In evidence

01/01

You Tube Channel Videos

Watch the videos to see what 2.5D Toolkit can do

04/06

2.5D manual

Download the latest version of the manual

News

04/06

Known bugs and fixes (2)


Fixed in v2.02.

"EndLayoutGroup: BeginLayoutGroup must be called first".

This report does not affect use of 2.5D Toolkit.


Char Control Script:

Field Play mode walk missing.
Just set character speed in edit mode.

It will be fixed in version 2.03

04/06

Changes in the version 2.03

Download text file


Improved Meter.
Values will update according to the changes you will make to camera and floor without the need to measure after each modification.
Added [tab Objects] "Auto position".
To be used with sprites of the same size as the background image. This mode allows to place sprites in seconds with just a click.
Fixed minor issues.
Updated manual.