Complete map in tiles?

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Complete map in tiles?

Post by Mana Trance » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:02 am

Has anyone done this? By this I mean creating an entire map, then breaking it down into tiles for reconstruction later.

This is in contrast to making some tiles, then using them to build a map.

Personally, I think this would make for some absolutely beautiful maps. Is this doable from a code perspective, or will the resulting tileset be too large for the engine to handle?
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Post by Crush » Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:38 am

Noone has done this yet but it would work in theory. Tilesets are limited to 256 tiles, but it is possible to use an infinite number of tilesets per map. Mapping it would be a real pain when using the current editor, but it would take just a few hours to write a little program to auto-generate the map.

But don't forget that it would take really long to create a normal sized map with this technique. An average TMW map got 100x100 tiles with 32x32 pixels each. So you would have to create a massive 10 million pixel image. This would take forever when using conventional pixel art techniques as it is encouraged for TMW. You could cut some corners by using 3d rendering techniques, but this wouldn't work with the graphic style of tmw. Or you could copy&paste a lot, but then you could use tiles in the first place.

There is also the lack of maintainability and reuseability of the map. It would be very hard to change the layout of the map later and it would be impossible to reuse the graphics for a new map with the same theme.

I could imagine to use this approach for one-screen "special location" maps, though.
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Post by Mana Trance » Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:51 pm

I was thinking of how beautiful Legend of Mana is, and how that kind of scenery could be adapted to next-gen 2D tile techniques. It would certainly set Mana World apart.

That said, I see what you're saying and understand the difficulty and time-consuming nature of this particular approach. It's probably better for an open-source project to just use reusable tilesets, as you said.
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Post by Dave » Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:24 pm

From the game "Sword of Mana"
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As difficult as it would be to manage scenery like this, it would be neat. I suppose the scenery in this image could still be crammed in to a tileset, it'd just be useless for anything but an arena.

..and I apologize, for this is completely off-topic, but I saw it on the same page and had to share.
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Post by Matt » Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:06 pm

dabe wrote:From the game "Sword of Mana"
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Let's all shake our fists at Square for choosing that name. :x
We talked about this ages ago... but I can't find the thread.
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Post by Jaxad0127 » Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:22 am

What about instead of breaking it up, we use it as a background image for the map (keeping the ground layer transparent) and use the layers for those items that we need to?
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Post by Modanung » Tue Dec 04, 2007 2:37 am

Matt wrote:We talked about this ages ago... but I can't find the thread.
Here's the first: "Squaresoft is trying to clone us"
And the second thread about this: "The World of Mana"
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Post by Matt » Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:06 pm

Seems that Modanung is better at searching than me. :)
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Post by Mana Trance » Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:10 pm

jaxad0127 wrote:What about instead of breaking it up, we use it as a background image for the map (keeping the ground layer transparent) and use the layers for those items that we need to?
This sounds interesting. What if we constructed maps like this:

Top Layer - "Invisible" layer, contains script triggers and no-move zones to prevent player movement
Mid Layer - Bits of map that are rendered above the player
Bottom Layer - Entire map in one image

The more I think about it, the more I wonder if we can't implement something like the Warcraft 2/Starcraft level editors...still 2D, but more advanced than the present system.
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Post by Jaxad0127 » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:20 pm

Mana Trance wrote:Top Layer - "Invisible" layer, contains script triggers and no-move zones to prevent player movement
Mid Layer - Bits of map that are rendered above the player
Bottom Layer - Entire map in one image
You still need one more layer, the fringe layer (for those extra-high tiles in the current system). Of course, if the collision and over layers were images, (think b/w for collision: black collide, white open), those things could be "objects", like the npcs are now.
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Post by Modanung » Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:30 am

Mana Trance wrote:The more I think about it, the more I wonder if we can't implement something like the Warcraft 2/Starcraft level editors...still 2D, but more advanced than the present system.
More advanced map editing options have been suggested are are on the todo list of Tiled, I think. Like automatic tile picking for roads, water, cliffs and the like. I think you mainly meant that, right? And random placement for variation tiles.
Would be great if that last feature would have options for setting the abundance of the different tiles. Like grass1 30%, Grass2 30%, Grass3 30%, Rock 5% and a Flower 5%.
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Post by Crush » Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:40 am

Mana Trance wrote:Top Layer - "Invisible" layer, contains script triggers and no-move zones
Script triggers and the like are in a special 5th "Object group" layer on maps for the new server.
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Post by Jetryl » Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:30 am

This can be done, but it's an enormous amount of work.

Like, for serious. Until you can draw regular, reuseable, 32x32 tiles at breakneck speed, don't even consider doing this. Only think about it if you're good enough to put out an entire tileset in one night's time. Few professionals are that fast - I'm certainly not among them.

Just forget about it. :|
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Post by Rotonen » Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:21 pm

Listen to Jetryl on this.

I would only recommend this approach for the small places we would like to be especially stunning and memorable. Should not amount to more than a fistful of small (one screen) maps.
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Post by Bjørn » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:41 am

Crush wrote:Noone has done this yet but it would work in theory. Tilesets are limited to 256 tiles, but it is possible to use an infinite number of tilesets per map. Mapping it would be a real pain when using the current editor, but it would take just a few hours to write a little program to auto-generate the map.
Just a small correction here. The 256 tiles is just a policy limit rather than a limitation of our mechanism. We limit to 256 tiles because larger tilesets are hard to work with for mappers mostly, but tilesets could easily contain 1024 tiles when necessary.

I do agree that with the exception of very special places, the technique of drawing an area first and generating the tiles later leads to an unwanted lack of reusability. One needs to take into account the convertion to 32x32 tiles while drawing. For example by drawing the map while having a 32x32 grid readily available and already copy/pasting reusable parts around.

Note that large chunks like the rounded wall in Sword of Mana or the arch we already have in Tulimshar are already not a problem. The development version of Tiled even allows copying such sections from the tileset to the map in a single operation.
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