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Multiple tiles for the same thing: yes or no?

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by danzibr, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. danzibr

    danzibr Guest

    Looking back at old RPG's, they have different tiles for things like plains, forests, rivers (and even connectors and angles and whatever). But I haven't really seen multiple tiles for the same thing.

    For example, I drew up 4 tiles for regular ol' grassland. They're not radically different, but they add some variety. Problem is, when I actually implement them in the game, I think it looks *worse* than just using the same tile over and over.

    Thoughts? Maybe 4 isn't enough to give good variety, or maybe I simply wasn't placing them well. Maybe there's some magic number, like 1 is fine, but if you want more, better go straight to 9, order them in a certain way.
     
  2. RangerX

    RangerX Member

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    Its all about drawing them in a way they tile good. There's no magic number. The only reason many games don't have multiple tiles for the same thing is simply a time and money question. (and in older games, a memory question too!)
     
  3. rui.rosario

    rui.rosario Guest

    I think a thing you could do is think of the grass tiles as being a wall tile. You have around 9 tiles to make a simple wall border, right? Then you could have 9 tiles of grass to create a more "organic" patch of grass / grassfield that occupies more than 1 tile. Add in an extra tile for no grass and you can add more graphical variety. Add more oddly patterned patches of grass and you can even make it visually more distinct. However, you should know when it is "good enough", "very good" or just plain "overboard". So according to your time constraints, money constraints, skill constraints, memory constraints, performance constraints, etc etc you should adapt.
     
  4. YanBG

    YanBG Member

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    Jun 25, 2016
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    They deffinetly used multiple tiles for say a grassy map. Diablo 2:
    [​IMG]
    Sometimes it's hard to notice it but they are there. This a new game Balrum:
    [​IMG]
    That's how i'm doing it in my game, you can see 2 tiles(i'll add more) but it looks better than only 1:
    [​IMG]

    I was using a different style larger tiles before, but they stood out from each other and i'm trying more seamless design now. So the most difficult part is to get/create a good tiles.
     
  5. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    Apart from tiles being different enough but not too different, and tiling well, you also need to make sure they're placed well enough so that bit looks natural as well.

    I did something similar in Bushido Panda, and my approach there basically was to place a few 'flair' tiles randomly depending on region (here's a mountain area, for instance, so I used alternate tiles with pebbles) and then fill in the rest of the walkable area with the default dirt tile. Doing it the other way is just harder to pull off correctly IMO, both technically and aesthetically.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  6. DariusWolfe

    DariusWolfe Member

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    Depending on how the tile... well, tiles, you can also potentially use rotation to add more variety, and break up the obvious patterning that using a single tile can cause. If the tile is a simple texture tile like the grass shown in YanBG's examples, rotation would work pretty well.
     
  7. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    It's feasible for fractal/natural things like grass and sand, but IMO it's really limited... if your style has any sort of lighting (e.g. like the grass in the first Secret Of Mana game, which is made from several obvious tufts rather than being just a texture), rotating a tile makes it look off. And the same thing goes for things like brick floors, pillars, and such.

    And to be honest, I don't even think you can rotate tiles via code, only stretch them. So you can't do this to save space either.
     
  8. DariusWolfe

    DariusWolfe Member

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    Good point. While I haven't tried it, setting xscale or yscale to -1 may get a similar result. Your other concerns are valid of course, either way, but you see a lot of tiles, like those in the example above, that would work fine with rotation or "rotation" as I suggested it.
     
  9. danzibr

    danzibr Guest

    Thanks for the responses! Very insightful. I had a close look at my tiles, I think one reason they were looking off was a rather large disparity in brightness (the D2 screenshot in particular helped me see this). Need more subtle differences.

    Oh, and Bushido Panda looks adorable :) I'll be giving that a go when I have the opportunity.
     
    Yal likes this.

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