AuthorTopic: A Few Starting Out Questions  (Read 471 times)

Offline garrarufa

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A Few Starting Out Questions

on: October 22, 2018, 05:44:38 pm
Hello everyone,

I recently got the urge to try my hand at creating a side scroller tile set. I have used PS for years as my main painting tool of choice, but fancied the notion of working in a fresh environment to stimulate my engagement. I joined this forum a few days ago and have been reading a lot of posts. This has led me to try out and buy Aseprite, which I'm enjoying experimenting with, but now I have a few questions before I start any real work. Hope you guys can help.  :)

I'm familiar with normal texture set creation, colour palette considerations and texture size increments, but I would like to know if working on the framework for a pixel tile set (say, blocking in my bigger shapes and overall structure) in a few large files - with a smaller grid structure for later segmentation in mind - is a decent way of working; and if so, any advice on the most efficient way of chopping up the image into it's needed smaller components?

If the above is not really a viable way to go about things, some suggestions and pointers would be very much appreciated.

Secondly, can I mix up tile sizes for separate elements... say, 32x32 for the "playable" interactive layer (apologies for not being familiar with the lingo yet), and then maybe use 64x64 for a secondary parallax layer to add depth? The same for a third foreground layer set.

I have no plans on trying to make a game, but if I do manage to finish a tile/level set, at the very least I would like to throw it out there for anyone else to possibly use. I would be very appreciative of any considerations going forward that I should take into account and/or look up further.

Regards

Offline eishiya

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Re: A Few Starting Out Questions

Reply #1 on: October 22, 2018, 07:18:00 pm
As much as I like Aseprite, I actually prefer PS to Aseprite for environment work, because I prefer the way it does grids and because it's easier to move stuff around xP Aseprite's strengths lie in sprite work and animation, imho.

Having a tile grid and blocking in larger shapes and then refining from there with the tile grid in mind is basically how I make my tilesets, so yeah, I'd say it's a decent way of working.

Chopping up the image: you shouldn't need to, since tiles are usually used from a tilesheet rather than as separate files. If you create your tileset with the grid, then all your tiles will already be placed according to the grid, so the most you should need to do is rearrange them to avoid repetition and empty space. Both PS and Aseprite make it easy to snap selections to the grid, so you can easily move tiles around.
For example, here's a screenshot of one of my work-files and the relevant part of the tileset once it's been arranged. (Also, here's another screenie from the blocking-in phase, just to make sure we're on the same page regarding that.)

If for some reason you do need every tile as a separate file, both PS and Aseprite have slice support, and both allow snapping to the grid while creating slices.

Mixing tile sizes: That depends on your engine and your tools. There's nothing inherently wrong with having different tile sizes per layer, but you may run into problems using them. For example, Tiled Editor has a fixed tile size for the entire map, so you can't mix tiles of different sizes. If your tile sizes are multiples of each other (e.g. 64 is exactly twice 32), then you can use the larger tiles as meta-tiles composed of several real tiles, though this does also mean you won't get to make full use of the editor's auto-tiling tools.
If you know your engine and your level editor support tiles of variable sizes, then by all means, make them! Otherwise, stick to a consistent tile size to be safe.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2018, 07:29:50 pm by eishiya »

Offline garrarufa

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Re: A Few Starting Out Questions

Reply #2 on: October 24, 2018, 01:56:40 pm
Eishiya, thank you so much. I did not expect such a concise response. I appreciate your time.

I did think PS would very likely be my best bet for the task, but I honestly felt the need to branch from my usual work environment. I paint somewhat loosely so going from that to trying out pixel work is a little jarring for me. Aseprite seems to be giving me the right frame of mind and enthusiasm I need.

I never even thought about animations in a basic tile set, so thank you for bringing it up.

Chopping/mixing: Thanks again for the clarification. I'll take your advice and stick to 32x32. I don't feel like getting too adventurous until I've got a feel for everything.

Nice work by the way. I love the figure and colour palette.  :y:

Regards