Fixed 3D

In techniques for computer games, fixed 3D is a three-dimensional (3D) representation of the game world with game characters rendered in real time against a pre-rendered environment.

Used heavily in the survival horror genre, it was first seen in Infogrames' "Alone in the Dark" series in the early 1990s; it was later revived and brought up to date by Capcom in the "Resident Evil" series.

Other notable examples include:
* "Little Big Adventure" (Adeline Software International)
* "Final Fantasy VII" (Squaresoft)
* "Parasite Eve" and "Parasite Eve II" (Squaresoft)
* The first 3 installments of the "Mario Party" series (Nintendo)
* "Blade Runner" (Westwood Studios) - apparently the backgrounds are rendered in real time, using millions of polygons, although this is difficult to tell
* "Ecstatica" and "Ecstatica 2" (Andrew Spencer/Psygnosis) - unusual in that the backgrounds and characters are rendered with ellipsoids, leading to a very natural looking set of creatures. Like Blade Runner, it again is rendered entirely in real time, although it is difficult to tell at first sight
* ' (Nintendo) was mostly complete 3D but used fixed 3D for many of the building interiors and for one entire town. This technique was dropped for complete 3D in its successor, ',
* "Grim Fandango" (LucasArts)
* "3D Movie Maker" (Microsoft Kids) featured several premade sets rendered in Fixed 3d, but also allowed for users to create their own Real-time scenery.

Admittedly, there seems little to separate fixed 3D from its precursor, the graphic adventure game ("The Secret of Monkey Island", "Sam & Max Hit the Road", etc.), but whereas the latter overlays 2D characters over a 2D background, fixed 3D is at least 3D overlaid on 2D, and often onto 3D.


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