I wanted the game camera to have the following features:
For the scripting in the game I am using an amazing Unity addon called Adventure Creator. It has a pretty amazing built in camera controller, but it failed me on few features: Focusing on player character, mouse wheel zoom and dragging for looking around. Luckily programming these features was pretty easy.
For the minimum and maximum zoom ranges I went big. I wanted to allow the player to come down really tight and look at the artwork up-close. I also wanted the player to get a really wide view of the level. More than making the usability better, I feel that generous camera zoom allows the player to enjoy the scenery more.
The game camera view could have been anything, but I was really really inspired by this painting my brother Antti did years and years ago and I have been thinking of the game in ”isometric thoughts” ever since.Picture © Antti Kemppainen
Ultimately I did not use a real orthographic camera, but went with a perspective camera just placed really far away, The reasoning for this was simply to allow me to add in a depth of field or a fog effect later in the game. The technical price I would have paid for real orthographic rendering was too steep!
The camera feels right at the moment and thus I may not touch it again for a long time.
As you can see the character is a blocky mannequin, walks the stairs like a maniac and the boat railings are missing posts and everything is beige! This is normal at this stage of production. The art will be broken and look funny for a long time!