This video popped up in my youtube feed and it made me think about how Cataclysm would be with this kind of upgrade to it’s engine. How difficult would something like this be to pull off, would tiles translate over well? Would it kill turn based, and would it kill my computer with all of the content in CDDA? If we could take any concept from this video I would want to see a fully rotational camera and some middle ground between the Z-levels we have now and the cliffy terrain shown in this video.

Doesn’t cataclysm already have a mode that’s kinda like this? Z-levels + experimental 3d view options enabled? Neat concept regardless.

I’ve never used the experimental 3D view or rather never got it to work. Doesn’t that require an external application to render the game, even then it’s a static view that can’t be rotated, correct me if I’m wrong.

With the current group of developers, roughly impossible.
The problem isn’t just the sheer amount of work involved (which is massive), it’s a matter of interest and skillsets. We have people willing to dive into graphics libraries and such just enough to keep tiles working, which frankly is easy mode compared to the kind of stuff in this video. A smoothly rendered and rotating 3D environment is a much bigger feat, and the game is architected all wrong to support it.

I have plans for “better 3D” in dda, but it wouldn’t look remotely like this.


ASCII / Tileset is the reason why Cataclysm is such a complex and immersive game. Developers do not need to work on animations, advanced physics, collisions, and other things that make Red Dead Redemption 2 great. In my opinion it is not a good idea to replace present Cataclysm’s engine with a 3D engine which looks like a cheap minigame for kids (ASCIICKER). ASCII graphic in Cataclysm is VERY clear when compared to Dwarf Fortress, Ultima Ratio Regum, Caves of Qud etc. It works very well


Experimental 3D Field of View is an experimental feature that allows the player character and other entities to see and target things on a different Z-level than itself. It doesn’t make anything look different, though it has had a history of causing odd behaviour.

It’s not like DF’s third-party Stonesense program.

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I remember there really is a 3D render for CDDA the result looks like an outrun game but can’t find where that thread is

That is not quite true - enabling 3d-fov changes visibility between different z-levels.

What you see in the video is just a fancy 3D renderer which uses colored ASCII characters instead of pixels/textures. It is kinda like or You can render any 3d scene like this, but we do not use any 3d-models in CDDA, so it won’t work for us.

Huh, it does not even use 3d models, just a bunch of sprites.

I’m going to imagine it’ll look something like this?

This makes Z-levels far more bearable in DF.
Mind you, are slopes planned?
Hiking mountainous terrain could be interesting.

huh, are they actually used anywhere?

Saw tjem around an lmoe shelter

It could be nice, but I feel it will create another project zomboid. I feel that fancy graphics are not the main objective of CDDA. It’s the depth and complexity and realism of the gameplay that made CDDA so great. I’m totally fine with decent 2D graphics with excellent deep and more realistic mechanics. I like imagining my own graphics … like when you’re reading a book as opposed to watching a movie.