General => General Discussion => Topic started by: drakus2011 on March 14, 2011, 04:49:14 am

Title: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: drakus2011 on March 14, 2011, 04:49:14 am
I have developed cross-platform software that may help you with creating terrain tiles for two-dimensional tile-based games. Its called The Tile Wizard. The Tile Wizard was designed for the main purpose of testing your tiles to see how they look together as they would be in your game.

The program is being constantly improved.

Find updated information at www.twodimensionalgames.com (http://www.twodimensionalgames.com)
Title: Re: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: drakus2011 on March 16, 2011, 09:27:10 pm
The program has been slightly updated today.
Title: Re: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: drakus2011 on March 16, 2011, 10:57:28 pm

Tile Menu:
 ID - Shows the Tile's number out of all of your tiles. Clicking this button selects this Tile as the active Tile.
 New - Clears any pixel drawing made to this Tile and erases its stored history.
 Load - Load a .png .bmp .gif .jpg or .jpeg image to work with.(You must load an image of the size you specified at startup)
 Save - Save your Tile as a .png .bmp .gif .jpg or .jpeg image.(Saves the image as the size you specified at startup)
 Grid - A grid that overlays a Tile area if you want that feature turned on for that Tile.
 ANIM - (Animation Sequence) - Create an animation sequence within this Tile. Placing this Tile in the Tile Tester's Override Mode will cycle through the frames of this sequence(using the specified delay values) where it would normally be displayed. Holding the control key down and clicking this button will remove the Tile's animation sequence if it has one.

 Allows basic pixel editing of tiles. Edit tiles at a 1000% zoom level.
 Undo pixel - Undo as many pixel markings as you want until you reach the beginning of the active Tile.
 Redo pixel - Redo pixel markings until you are at the most recent action on your active Tile or until you draw a new pixel.

Tile Tester:
 Default Mode - See tiling of your active Tile in an 8x6 tiled area.
 Override Mode - Place custom tiling of any of your opened tiles in the same 8x6 area. Now supports Animation Sequences.
 Default and Override Modes - See the editing of your tiles instantly take affect in the Tile Tester.

Real Size Display:
 See what your current page's tiles look like at a 100% zoom level.

Color Creator:
 Color Bar - Shows a horizontal bar of each possible R, G, or B color one pixel wide for each hue.
 Value - Each R, G, or B Color Bar has its numerical value displayed to the Color Bar's left.
 Slider - Slide the vertical bar onto the desired R, G, or B value.
 Set Palette Color - Click this solid colored rectangle( R, G, B Color Bar values combined ) to set the selected Palette Slot's color to be this color.

Palette Menu:
 New - Clear any customized colors and start from a blank palette.
 Load - Load a saved Palette from a previous session. Also loads your previous Color Quickbar.
 Save - Save your customized Palette and also your customized Color Quickbar.

 Customizable color Palette with 256 Palette Slots.
 Copy a Palette Slot to a different Slot by dragging a color to a new location.

Color Quickbar:
 10 Color Quickbar Slots to quickly change color while editing your tiles. Accessable with your keyboard's 1-0 keys, - and = keys, and the keyboard's numberpad.

Color Grabber:
 Hold the control key and left click a pixel in your Tile to place the selected pixel's color into the currently selected Palette Slot.

Custom Tile Size:
The program now supports a custom Tile size. You can enter a custom width and height during the program's startup. The size must be: an even number, greater than zero, and less than sixty-five.. Only one size may be used per instance of the program.

More tiles:
 The program is not limited to four tiles anymore. You can have as many tiles as you need to work with using the Back and Next buttons.
Title: Screenshot #2
Post by: drakus2011 on March 16, 2011, 11:21:31 pm

Thats the program in action.
Title: Re: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: Mathias on March 19, 2011, 02:51:39 am
Great! Now if only it could handle more than 4 tiles at once. Instead of changing the sizes of the areas containing the 4 tiles' data/image, why not add more pages you can page through? Or even a scrollbar so more fit in. Have the left 2 thirds of the app be scrollable, vertically.

If more tiles were easily tossed into the "minimap" square it would become much more robust for tile testing. A typical tileset for one terrain type has 16 tiles. And tiled worlds are comprised of numerous terrain types - 16 x [quantity of terrain types] = tiles possibly viewable at once.

Title: Re: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: drakus2011 on March 19, 2011, 04:01:48 am
Thanks for the feedback Mathias.  I can start doing that this weekend.
Title: Re: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: Mathias on March 19, 2011, 06:08:19 am
Sounds good!
Title: Re: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: drakus2011 on March 19, 2011, 07:27:56 am
Thanks for the great suggestions Mathias!
I can try my hand at an Icon but it will most likely not be pretty. (graphics are not my best skill, however I am starting to learn so the practice should be good for me anyway)

I have thought about different sized tiles but put it on the backburner since I was only going to be practicing with 32x32 sized tiles for my games, since I put it up for everyone I can start messing with different sized tiles.  I'm thinking that the tile tester(minimap) should have a consistant value for a tile's size, so maybe at the start of the application you would enter in the tile size you'll be working with.  Unless I should try and figure something out for an assortment of different sized tiles being pieced together.

Originally the program was a fullscreen application and it supported a large screen.  I shrunk its resolution to work with smaller laptop computers as well and changed it from fullscreen to a window.  Thats why the custom pop-up dialog boxes are not OS based, because with doing fullscreen I had to stop using Java's prebuilt components like dialog boxes because they would minimize the application and interrupt your workflow a lot more than you'd like.  As the program is no longer fullscreen it will not get minimized due to being fullscreen, so I could give you some normal dialog boxes.  I was also constrained for space in the small window so I shrank the tile tester from 10x10 to 8x6, thats actually a great idea, to put it in a seperate window.

Maybe some way to link as many tiles as you want into an animated tile.  Set their frame number and their timings.

I pretty much made the application to help train myself in pixel art for terrain tiles.  That was the original purpose.  To be able to edit a tile and see the effects it had on the game world in real time.
I however, have no problem enhancing this for everyone elses purposes either.  Makes it more helpful for you and me.

Thanks again Mathias.
Title: Drag and Drop
Post by: Mathias on March 20, 2011, 03:55:08 am
In my little circle of game developer wanna-be buds, I'm known as the master feature creeper, so even though I try hard to only supply ideas I think are useful, you should use wisdom in filtering out the pointless suggestions you may get from me, or others. You're doing the work, afterall.

Anyway . . . another one for ya . . .

You mention linking tiles. One irritation for many users will be that their folder structure has to be changed, or at least their flow for managing assets is affected a little awkwardly - enter, your Tiles folder. It only find tiles in that folder. Since the vast majority will not use theTile Wizard for editing, this means they'll continue to use their own editor, whatever it is, and then paste copies of their tiles into the tile folder, then hit load, then have to manually type the filename. This rather wreaks of the DOS-like days of computing don't you think? Drag and drop functionality would be a huge upgrade - just grab a file from yer file browser and drop it onto the desired tile pane, which there are 4 of currently. Drag-and-drop, it's so fast.

I have pretty high hopes for this app. I've always wanted a tool to quickly test tiles. One thing I strongly urge you to do, like I've already mentioned, is remember The Tile Wizard's purpose, and therefore it's prospective place in an artist's workflow - to test tiles, how they look together when juxtaposed to one another, their seamlessness, do they obfuscate the grid well enough, etc. Try not to don't dilute your efforts and bloat the program with unnecessary features - a common pitfall for so much good software. This'll never replace Photoshop or Promotion, but it may become the most valuable stand-alone tile tester, who knows. Go for it!

Title: Re: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: drakus2011 on March 22, 2011, 04:13:27 am
I'll check out Java's built in file chooser dialog box and I'll mess with dragging and dropping some more and see what I can do with that.
I will keep each program short and sweet and for pixel art.  I will be making more programs for other things than just terrain tiles... when I get to those areas in my current game project.  I was thinking of integrating them into one main program with seperate sections perhaps, or keep them single applications, not completely sure until I make the others.
Title: Re: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: drakus2011 on March 24, 2011, 09:31:20 pm
The program can now load and save tiles in directories other than the default Tile folder.  The documentation has been slightly improved.  There have been a few minor fixes and enhancements as well.
Title: Re: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: drakus2011 on March 28, 2011, 08:05:16 am
The Tile Wizard now supports tiles 8x8, 16x16, 32x32 or 64x64 pixels in size.  It is no longer limited to having only four tiles, you can have as many as you need.
Title: Re: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: Mathias on March 31, 2011, 02:51:21 am
Excellent. Will take a look.
Title: Re: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: Gamer36 on March 31, 2011, 06:12:24 pm
The way of selecting colors is difficult, if not outraging for ppl who are used to PS. A color wheel might help. And, change the app name to "Tile Wizard" instead of "Wizard"?
Title: Re: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: drakus2011 on April 01, 2011, 02:39:34 am
I will look into some other methods of selecting colors very soon.  I just finished programming animation support for the tiles and I'm testing that now.
Title: Added : Animations and Custom Tile Sizes
Post by: drakus2011 on April 02, 2011, 10:59:37 am
The newest version of The Tile Wizard now supports animations and custom tile sizes!
Title: Re: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: Mathias on April 03, 2011, 03:40:17 am
(Yikes, set that site bg back to somethin' dark again!)


a) A successful little game dev experiment I guess.
b) It's possible to lose your pig because he's not confined to the viewable area; you can fly out of the screen and never find your way back.
c) When you die, you have to reload the page to start over.
d) No pause (just go barely out of screen for as long as needed, for same effect)
e) Aliens all glide by at the same exact speed. Some varied (but still constant) speeds would be an easy and effective improvement, well within the scope of the project.
f) Since the pig's hitbox covers only the front part of his body it's possible to exploit this by staying behind aliens where they can't hit you and simply fly over them, from behind, and take them out, letting them shoot your invincible rear all they want.
g) Similarly, since aliens don't fire until they're fully in-screen, yet always susceptible to your fire, you can stay at the front of screen and take them out while they're defenseless.
h) You get points for getting hit??
i) E,S,D,F?? Why not the standard W,A,S,D?
j) Piggy's simple cartoony black-outlined illustrated style clashes with the rest of the game pretty bad.
h) Piggy quickly gets overpowered and the aliens no longer stand a chance. Capping aliens on-screen at 5 could maybe be increased.
k) Bacon.

. . .oh wait this is the tile wizard thread . . .

Just getting back into it . . . haven't tried everything yet but . . .

1) Are the two "nag" screens really necessary? Why not a readme in the root DIR with the .jar? Not a huge deal. It is a free, and I am thankful you're sharing it. My little group isn't so fast to give tools away for free, but I think you're doing a good thing.

2a) Color picking/management is cumbersome. The way you have to click the "Set Palette Color" square to save the new color into the "Palette" and then click a place on the "Color Quickbar" to set it there. Can we get a more typical color selection method? Look at Photoshop's color picker, or even the default OS color picker. Could your app just call the OS picker?
2b) Need to be able to set a color for the left mouse and different color for right mouse buttons. This will speed up drawing.
2c) Keep numbers on all "Color Quickbar" swatches visible at all times. Find a new way to convey which swatch is currently picked. Pro Motion does it by drawing a white line and black line horizontally across the swatch, in the middle.
2d) Allow users to enter RGB values manually. They may already have a palette and they'll want to get they're palette easily available to draw from. Is the quickest way to do this to load an image a CTRL+CLICK every color in it? What if, instead of only native palette files, you could load an indexed image and grab it's palette/color table automatically, inputting it into the "Palette".
2e) Does a color HAVE to be in the "Color Quickbar" (CQ) before you can draw with it? If so, the CQ is actually the app's drawing palette and the "Palette" is just swatch storage, like Adobe Illustrator.

3) When I want to start a new session with a different tile size I have to quit and restart the app??
4) If I'm on page 20, how do I get back to page 1? Click 'Back', 19 times??
5) When in "Override" mode, placing tiles in the "Tile Tester", how do I select a different tile to paste down without drawing on the tile I select? Why can't you select the top gray title bar that turns green when selected?
6) Needs a tilemap - a little panel with all tiles in the session, that you can pick from when pasting tiles into the "Tile Tester". Otherwise you have to page through all tiles to find the one you want? Ouch! A tilemap you can use to select from when in "Override" would be giant.
7) When in "Override" mode allow CTRL+CLICKing on already pasted in tiles, in the "Tile Tester" to automatically select them for pasting, just like an eyedropper shortcut when drawing. This would be HUGE.
8 ) Nix the 4 1:1 tile previews in the top right and give each "Tile Editing" slot view options - 1x, 2x, max, etc. (conflicts with #9)
9) When I create a new session and choose to my tile dimension settings to be 8x8, why only four per page, still? Quantity of "Tile Editing" slots per page should depend on the total height. With an 8x8 tile, there's a ton of wasted space, vertically. (conflicts with #8)
10) And regardless of what tile size is used, there's also wasted space horizontally. That gray/green title bar and buttons doesn't need to be so huge-ishly huge-like. App window space is precious, you're using a fixed window size afterall.
11) Can you draw animation frames for tiles in the app or just preview it's animation?
12) Give EVERYTHING keyboard shortcuts.
13) If the "Tile Tester" only has two modes (default and override), two buttons is redundant, just use one toggle button. Simply UI!
14) "Tile Tester" "Override" mode brushes! Think of how much work is involved in filling the "Tile Tester" with an 8x8 grass tile so you can test your rock tiles within it here and there. Ever seen the Warcraft II map editor it had three sizes of brushes to quickly plop down tiles. I'm asking for pretty much the same thing.
15 ) Pop-ups (like the one that asks you if you want to quit when you hit the X and the animation ones, appear arbitrarily in the middle of my left monitor, even though the Tile Wizard is in my right mon. I suggest finding the app's center for the pop-up location.


Lord of Feature Creep and Destruction
Title: Re: The Tile Wizard Software
Post by: drakus2011 on April 03, 2011, 10:50:18 am
If you're seeing a site background color other than black something funky is going on with my newbie web code.  I haven't learned much about web development yet.

A friend and myself made that little Java applet game in two days, he did the programming and I did the graphics.  I haven't had much practice with graphics, nor have I had any proper training in the field but I plan to improve my artistic side pretty soon.

a )  Thanks for trying the game, it was fun to work on.  I know it could be a lot better but we didn't really plan to keep programming it, we just wanted to make a two day game project every once in a while to have a little collaboration session.
b )  I think the reason for being able to fly off the screen was for a quick pause type effect or something.
c )  I may not have the most recent version up on the website because I think my friend put in a reload option after you die.
e )  I was pushing for varied speeds and a boss alien at the end of the level but with the time constraint of two days we just have an endless level one.
g )  I think I've taken out some aliens when they were offscreen too.
h )  Yeah I think the point behind that was something like "If you get hit and can stay alive you should get some points".
i )  E,S,D,F instead of W, A, S, D because we were going to use those keys in our roleplaying games and that may be more natural when you're resting your hands on the keyboard.  Middle finger for the E key like when you're typing.  Pretty much the same setup as normal typing usage for your hands, no shifting your hands over for hitting the W key wih your middle finger.  I think it allows for more keys to be used with greater ease.
j )  The graphics could be better.  I probably will revamp the graphics at some point when I know what I'm doing with them.  The whole program may be enhanced at some point, possibly when the next flying game project comes up.
h )  The pig was super-overpowered where the bullets came flying out so fast it was a solid line,  until limitations on power-ups were added.  I think there were tons of aliens that came at you and it was really difficult so it was toned down.
k )  Bacon instead of corn?

We had a whole little story devised for the game.  The game over screen was going to be you on the dinner table being served to the aliens.

1)  I'm not sure on the two introduction screens, they may always be there, I'll need to do some more research on the Terms of Use subject.  The second introduction screen will probably stay in there so the user will know where it came from and where to look for updates.  I'll do some thinking on the subject and maybe shorten the content.  Originally the title of the application and the website was on the main screen that you work with.  The reason behind having the second introduction screen was in case the program was distributed by anyone other than me.

2a )  Now that the program is no longer a full-screen application I can add a default OS color picker dialog box.  While the application was fullscreen I had a heck of a time figuring out anything other than the basic R, G, B color bars.  Thats why the R, G, B color bars are the only thing in there.  I could allow for the control key + clicking on a palette slot will bring up the color picker and then the selected color in the dialog automatically sets the palette slot color.  I think I'll work on that as soon as I send this message.  That will also provide me with more screen space to work with on something else if I remove the current R, G, B color bars and color picker components.
2b )  I will definitely do the left click and right click colors.
2c )  I will have to think on how to seperate the left and right click's selected colors while keeping the numbers visible and allowing you to switch selected colors with the keyboard for the different clicks.
2d )  I could allow for clicking the R, G, and B's number value and bringing up an input dialog.  I can't use components like input fields directly in the program while drawing the contents using a backbuffer, I just can't figure that out and I've worked with it a lot.  If I keep the current R, G, B color bars I'll do some sort of input for them.  I'll check out what the default OS color picker dialog offers and come up with something.  Hmmm..  I'll research the topic of loading an image's indexed palette.  That would go well with a seperate palette for each tile, and also having a default shared palette.  I'm considering each tile having a unique palette.  Somebody suggested that and I think it would be a good addition.
2e )  Yes the color has to be in the color quickbar to draw with it.  Interesting I did not know that the current "palette" was actually a swatch storage or that the color quickbar would be called a palette.  I can hear art classes calling my name.  Thanks for clearifying that for me.

3 )  Yes currently if you want to select a new tile size you need to start the application anew.  I'll think about allowing the user to resize all tiles after startup.
4 )  I was thinking of adding a "First" and "Last" button next to the "Back" and "Next" buttons.  I'll work on that soon.
5 )  Instead of drawing on the tile you can click on the tile's identification number on the tile's menu to make that your active tile.  Maybe I should expand that to allow you to click on the gray menu bar.
6)  A tilemap would be helpful but it needs to wait until the performance of the program greatly improves by enhancement of the code.  I was working on a new window for a large tile tester, but sadly I could not get the program to perform very well most likely due to the way the program is coded.  So I had to stop working on that and release version 1.46.13.  The seperate tile tester window was taking a couple days of my time and I wasn't making any progress so I put that on hold.  Once I get the program performing excellently the tile tester window will be added and then a tile map!
7)  I'll think about control + clicking to eyedrop in the tile tester's override mode, that would be helpful especially in the large tile tester window.
8 )  The point of the seperate 1:1 tile views was so you could see what the tile looks like at its normal size while editing zoomed in.  I personally would miss the feature if I took it out.  Working with (9 I could allow you to change zoom levels on your tile up to a certain level depening on the tile size.  I'd have to consider taking the real tile display feature out after I allow zoom level changing and see how it works out.
9 )  The resaon behind there only being four tiles per page when the tile size is 32x32 or less is because thats how it used to be and I haven't found a way to condense the menu to work with small tiles.  I could perhaps use some sort of hover menu type component and do away with the static menus...  That would allow for more tiles per page depending on the size of tile.
10 )  I will test out my options for condensing the menu and trying out a menu that pops up when you perform some certain action with the keyboard and the mouse on a tile.
11 )  You can draw animation frames in the program and link them together into an animation sequence then place them in the tile tester's override mode and view them.
12 )  I'll do some thinking on shortcuts.
13 )  Yeah I could do what I did for the tile's grid button on the tile tester's menu or I'll just jump right in and do away with all static menus and hide them away.
14 )  Brushes could be worked in with the popup menu of the tile tester.  No I have not seen the Warcraft II map editor but speaking of Warcraft I just lost a mission in Warcraft III a few hours ago, my mind was busy thinking of The Tile Wizard.
15 )  I'll look into the popups coming at you on the wrong monitor.

Theres been a lot of good times working on this project, thanks Mathias for keeping me busy on it.  Also thank you for all of the great suggestions and feedback.