AuthorTopic: GR#036 - Tile Layout [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread]  (Read 45556 times)

Offline Olothontor

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GR#036 - Tile Layout [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread]

on: February 02, 2010, 08:03:30 pm
This is a brand new area for me, and I'm a bit lost.  :(

I'm working on a post-apocalyptic sandbox RPG iPhone web app with a programmer friend, and I've been tasked with the graphics. Unfortunately, having never done this kind of thing before, I barely know where to begin.

Before I even show you anything (not much), is there any particular palette I should be using? Any general information that I might find useful while spriting for a game?

UPDATE:

« Last Edit: February 06, 2010, 12:37:47 am by Olothontor »
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Offline Anonymous6

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 08:05:31 pm
Sorry olo, I can`t see the image :(
When life gives you lemons, make grape juice, then sit back and watch people figure out how the fuck you did it.

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #2 on: February 02, 2010, 08:07:38 pm
There will be an obvious grid when viewed tiled.  I can already tell by a border around the tiles.

Other than that I think they're fine.

Offline Olothontor

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #3 on: February 02, 2010, 08:24:49 pm
I was kinda of going for a border around each tile, just because that's how the movement system will work.

Thanks. I'm kinda freaking out, so I might be second-guessing myself in terms of quality.
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Offline Anonymous6

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #4 on: February 02, 2010, 08:28:31 pm
Now I can see the image ;D

The looking good, but those rock things look little off, on the shading, because the way I see the light coming in on the sand, is different from the rocks.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 08:48:11 pm by Anonymous6 »
When life gives you lemons, make grape juice, then sit back and watch people figure out how the fuck you did it.

Offline Olothontor

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #5 on: February 02, 2010, 08:38:36 pm
Off?

Do you mean they're too dark, too light, too contrasted... ? I don't mean to be rude, but 'off' doesn't really help me...  ;)

Alright, awesome, thanks. I'll work on that.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 09:10:22 pm by Olothontor »
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Offline Mathias

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #6 on: February 02, 2010, 09:10:04 pm
Olo, is it tiling knowledge you lack  -OR-  are you just looking for comment on the pixelling done, despite technical tiling techniques? I may be able to expand your understanding of square tiling systems.

As for the pixel art alone, IMO, there isn't nearly enough there to comment on. Whether or not they have sufficient contrast depends on other game art elements. At least post a test world, populated by tiles done thus far and we see if they're doing their job or not. Right now, you're asking us to judge the looks of a Miss America contestant by showing us only her left arm.

Offline Olothontor

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #7 on: February 02, 2010, 09:29:43 pm


Something more like this, anonymous?

And I'm working on it, thanks. Alright. More stuff, test world.

I'll leave the characters for later, as I imagine I will be exceedingly bad at it.

Alright, the previous tiles were extremely bland. I have yet to work out how to keep them from tiling like they do here, but it's a step forward none-the-less.



« Last Edit: February 02, 2010, 11:42:58 pm by Olothontor »
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Offline circuscommando

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #8 on: February 03, 2010, 12:12:53 am
kittenmaster is right, the grid is painfully showing.
he hobbles and hobbles.

Offline Olothontor

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #9 on: February 03, 2010, 01:00:46 am
Yes, I realize. I'm not sure exactly how to avoid that, however. That's my problem.
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Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #10 on: February 03, 2010, 01:03:18 am
Draw the tiles without trying to create a grid.  If you want a grid, just draw grid lines in-game and you'll get a more pleasing effect than what you have now.

Offline Olothontor

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #11 on: February 03, 2010, 01:29:41 am
... Good point.  :o

The major problem I see branching from that is that they'll end up being segmented. How would I solve that problem?
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Offline vierbit

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #12 on: February 03, 2010, 07:23:18 am
I just describe how I create stuff like that, itīs not necessary a tutorial. There probably also other ways to do it,
so dont see it as THE way.

Offline Olothontor

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #13 on: February 03, 2010, 02:10:03 pm
Excellent! I will certainly take some of those tips into account. Thank you, I really appreciate it.
"In a mad world, only the mad are sane." - Akira Kurosawa

Offline HughSpectrum

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #14 on: February 03, 2010, 02:38:33 pm
That is brilliant.  I thank you so much for the maptiling tip.

Offline Olothontor

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #15 on: February 03, 2010, 02:53:58 pm


I am incredibly dissatisifed, but at least it's progress. I'll work on making more varied tiles.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 03:42:38 pm by Olothontor »
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Offline Mathias

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #16 on: February 03, 2010, 03:49:58 pm
Nice demo, Vierbit!
Hopefully Olo understands the offsetting part. I do this with Photoshop, which has a filter that does it, found at Filter > Other > Offset (just input half of the image's pixel dims in the horizontal and vertical fields). Very fast.



Olo, what about transitions? All you've posted so far are solid tiles. How do you plan to handle transitioning from one surface type to another?

You may not be ready to jump into transitions but you'll benefit greatly from getting a grip on the following.

Here's some more square tiling theory for you. (the following tile examples use 32px X 32px tiles. It's best to keep your tile's dims to a binary number for video card optimization [2,4,8,16,32,64, etc])


The simple 16-Tile System. With only 16 base tiles, you can make any combination of terrain. Vierbit gets into creating tile variations above. Variations aren't even a concern here with this, though very relevant with making nice random tiling solid tiles that obfuscate the grid. You can have as many variations as you want, but they're not necessary to make the 16-Tile System work. Check it out:




See what Blizzard did with this method for WarCraft II. Below I've taken a screencap and overlaid the "simplified" tiles illustrating where the transitions are. (ignore the grey stone walls, they use a different tiling system than the rest)



And here are the simplified 16-tile master sets I made to create every bit of the simplified overlay in the above screencap:



An additional example of WC2's tiles being simplified:



Seam Points are an important feature of creating good transition tiles. They're simply a standard place in the edge of each transition tile where the visual transitions between tiles must meet in order for all tiles to link up correctly.
The yellow dots overlaid in the image below depict where the Seam Points are. Critically important is that they're all the exact same distance from the corner of the tile closest to where the visual transition is taking place . . . if that makes any sense. I know it's confusing at first, but I promise it's all very simple in reality.



BONUS TREES 1 - BONUS TREES 2 - BONUS TREES 3


This is all my own research, so lemme know if anything is unclear. A lot more could be said, the images may not speak for themselves.

« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 08:45:34 pm by Indigo »

Offline Olothontor

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #17 on: February 03, 2010, 03:55:50 pm
I will study this in-depth. Transitions between one type of ground to the next is something I had considered, but I figured I would put it off until I could at least master overall tiling for ONE ground type.

And, hey, I was actually looking for Warcraft II tiles for study earlier, never found any. Those will help immensely.

Also, I figure it's worth mentioning: my partner and I have made this a sort of one-month deal. We intend to finish by February 28. It's like NaNoWriMo for game development!
« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 04:12:45 pm by Olothontor »
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Offline Mathias

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #18 on: February 03, 2010, 04:34:07 pm
It may be wise to wait to tackle transitions. It's whatever you're comfortable with.

I think anyone reading this interested in tiling should go ahead and grab WarCraft II, and play with the level maker. Using it you can easily slap down tiles of any kind and see how they work together.
You know you understand when you can create a random configuration of tiles and overlay the simple tiles on top to match WC's tiles.



***EDIT      Most users will have to use DOSbox to run WarCraft II these days.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2010, 07:18:12 pm by Mathias »

Offline vierbit

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #19 on: February 03, 2010, 04:55:04 pm
@Mathias

Great tutorial :y:
Yeah thats exactly how I do it too. I actually posted a similar explanation for transition tiles some time ago, not that detailed though.
But canīt find the image now.

Well, hopefully the explanation is no overkill for Olothontor  ;)
-
edit: found the image
http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=6499.msg76586#msg76586
« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 08:32:48 pm by vierbit »

Offline Olothontor

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #20 on: February 03, 2010, 05:02:08 pm
Hah, I think I'm handling okay. I may prove to be a poor judge of such things, though.  ::)

I really appreciate the help here, guys.

Minor update, I'm on the precipice of transitions. But, obviously, before I get into transitions I need more than one tileset. So with that in mind, I set off to do a dead grass tileset.

Surprise, surprise, it's no good at all.

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Offline PypeBros

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #21 on: February 03, 2010, 05:05:36 pm
I am incredibly dissatisifed, but at least it's progress. I'll work on making more varied tiles.

You keep working with a too high level of detail for that resolution. You picked a better palette : we can now see what you did while your early tiles were almost reading as a plain color. Problem is that it gives high contrast to your dirt that is obviously seen from far away (further than, e.g. a Zelda top-down distance, more the command-and-conquer distance to the ground). The result is that we mostly see noise because it's extremely hard to properly render textures that approach granularity of a pixel through pixel art. At greater distance, you lose the contrast of small details (since rays of light mix together) and only notice larger structures. The stylized waves for the dirt on the warcraft II are a perfect example of this.

Offline Olothontor

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #22 on: February 03, 2010, 05:36:08 pm
Alright, PypeBros, I see what you're saying, but... I'm not sure how to make it work.

While I try to figure that out, have an update:



UPDATE: Nearly there...



(@PypeBros: Nifty blog. It makes good practice for me, I'm studying French in school. From your blog I can probably learn words one would never learn in your average French classroom, like 'devkit' and 'program' and 'sprite')

UPDATE: DONE! I feel accomplished. :D



« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 07:00:09 pm by Olothontor »
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Offline Mathias

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #23 on: February 03, 2010, 07:15:01 pm
Hey, now you're getting somewhere, Olothontor! I feel encouraged to start on a new set of my own. Just don't really have a reason to . . . our group has already decided not to use this type of tiling for our current project.


. . . I actually posted a similar explanation for transition tiles some time ago, not that detailed though.
But canīt find the image now.

What is it one of these maybe? Both are useful, and neat examples of tiles.

http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=5601.msg66515#msg66515

http://www.wayofthepixel.net/pixelation/index.php?topic=9528.msg103743#msg103743
« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 07:19:41 pm by Mathias »

Offline HC_Bret_Measor

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #24 on: February 03, 2010, 08:14:02 pm
Excellent post from everyone. I'm learning a few things on a setup side of things. Can't wait to start my next set.

Offline Olothontor

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #25 on: February 03, 2010, 08:22:14 pm
Yeah, they're all really helpful, aren't they?  ::)

Anywho, further updates:



Cleaning up of the corners; some of the edges were awkward. Also a few grass detail tiles.

Filesmelt appears to have broken again. I apologize.



UPDATE: Added mud tiles, plus a transition to grass. Also began work on the battlefield wasteland tiles. The craters were done by the programmer, actually. We're multi-talented :P



UPDATE: I continue to steam right along...



« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 02:13:51 am by Olothontor »
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Offline Crow

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #26 on: February 04, 2010, 08:42:53 am
Transitions still look edgy and blocky. You should add a few variations, or just add some general randomness to them.
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Offline Olothontor

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #27 on: February 04, 2010, 07:17:58 pm
Mmh, good idea. I'll get to work on a few tiles like that, but not until I finish the general tilesets and transitions. Here's my task list:

   1.  Tilesets
         1. --Wasteland--
         2. --Wasteland (Battlefield)--
         3. --Wasted Grassland--
         4. Cityscape Ruins
         5. Wasted Forest
         6. Water
         7. --Mud--
   2. Tileset Transitions
         1. --Wasteland to Mud--
         2. --Wasteland to Wasted Grassland--
         3. --Wasted Grass to Mud--
         4. Cityscape Ruins to Wasteland
         5. Wasted Forest to Wasted Grassland
         6. Wasted Forest to Wasteland
         7. Water to Wasteland
         8. Water to Wasted Grassland
         9. Water to Cityscape Ruins
   3. Sprites
         1. Characters
               1. Main Character
               2. Major NPCS
               3. Extras
               4. Dead
         2. Buildings
               1. City Ruins
               2. Inhabited Ruins
               3. Derelict Slums
               4. Aegis Township
               5. Junker Tent City
   4. Other
         1. --Pre-menu--
         2. --Main Menu--
         3. --iPhone Icon--
         4. Loading

The items marked by double-dashes are struck through, indicating their completion.

UPDATE: Began Water tiles, now I need those transitions. Added some variety to the border tiles, working on expanding that to every transition. Also added a character test sprite, and a horrible one at that. No surprises there, really.

I would seriously appreciate any advice you can offer in that area. The examples with images and edits have helped the most so far, I'm more of a visual and tactile person than I am a 'read-em-an-learn'.



^ UPDATE: Base water tiles for the Water -> Wasteland transition are done. Now for detail tiles.

UPDATE THE II: Hey, all, tiny internet hiatus there, but I'm back.



There's an update for you. Updated the water -> grassland transition, and added in a test abandoned building. How does everything look? Please do C+C and make edits. After all, I want this game to look good not just to me, but to you guys as well.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2010, 08:28:52 pm by Olothontor »
"In a mad world, only the mad are sane." - Akira Kurosawa

Offline Olothontor

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Re: Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles

Reply #28 on: February 05, 2010, 11:03:33 pm
BUMPDATE: Sorry, but I need you guy's critique here... if you need me I'll be awaiting the swift and horrible judgment of one of the moderators here for malicious double-posting.

Anywho, the updates here: I have the base city tiles done, give or take a few detail tiles. Also began testing out a good abandoned house look to see what I could do with it. So far it works well enough, I'm relatively happy. The tiling around it, however...  :mean:



UPDATE:



Also: SUCCESS! We have our first version of the system we're going use to assemble the in-game maps. Now we're talkin'!



UPDATE: This thread is starting to take minute or two to load. Need to go back and trim unnecessary updates from the mass of images in here. Anyway, yet another update:



Changed the palette of the city tiles so that they didn't mesh with the building quite as well, and made the tile around the building itself... make more sense. Shadowing and all that.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2010, 04:19:34 pm by Olothontor »
"In a mad world, only the mad are sane." - Akira Kurosawa

Offline blumunkee

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Re: [WIP] Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread]

Reply #29 on: February 06, 2010, 09:57:45 pm
Looks almost like JSON, nifty.

The ground textures are awfully busy. I think you need to tone down the contrast and get some bigger chunks of solid shapes in there. The cobblestone texture is pretty harsh too.

Offline Olothontor

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Re: [WIP] Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread]

Reply #30 on: February 06, 2010, 10:05:56 pm
Bigger chunks make no realistic sense, though... hmm.

I'll see what I can do for you, no guarantees, however, considering that I've pretty much DONE everything so far...

Anywho, your post grants me the opportunity to post another update. Been mostly addressing the building.

« Last Edit: February 06, 2010, 10:14:47 pm by Olothontor »
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Offline Mathias

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Re: [WIP] Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread]

Reply #31 on: February 07, 2010, 04:08:00 am
Your building doesn't make sense. Why tile it? The idea behind tiles is that they're re-usable in different combinations, in order to adapt to the given circumstance. It looks like you've simply drawn a building and chooped it up into 24px squares. Doing that, you leave no room for re-usability. If your building can't obey the grid then you'll have to take a different approach, and I wonder if you've thought of it yet.


Though, I say your buildings can easily be adapted to tiles. See my example below.



I stuck with the graphics you'd already created as much as possible so you could see just how close you were to making competently tiling buildings. You were almost there. Countless other architectural features are possible with additional tiles.



And here's a snapshot of my construction file, which will tell you even more than the above image. I hope it speaks loud enough.





You'll notice many problems and missing tiles. If this was my game, I'd create entire full sets of buildings for my map-makers to work with, but hopefully I've done enough to get my point across, which is my only goal here.


WARNING: Your colors are out of control. Check your palette thoroughly BEFORE doing anything else. One wrong pixel will multiply until every tile has stray colors.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2010, 04:09:54 am by Mathias »

Offline Olothontor

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Re: [WIP] Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread]

Reply #32 on: February 07, 2010, 07:03:57 pm
Thank you, Mathias. Dear God, thank you.

I will get right to work (I will also refrain from directly using your work, I will simply use it as a reference).
"In a mad world, only the mad are sane." - Akira Kurosawa

Offline Olothontor

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Re: [WIP] Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread]

Reply #33 on: February 08, 2010, 12:04:35 pm
I couldn't have done any of this without Pixelation.

And I'm not even saying that to be sappy, I'm utterly serious.  ;D
"In a mad world, only the mad are sane." - Akira Kurosawa

Offline Olothontor

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Re: [WIP] Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread]

Reply #34 on: February 08, 2010, 06:24:26 pm
Alright, update:



The door is kinda... fail...
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Offline Mathias

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Re: [WIP] Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread]

Reply #35 on: February 08, 2010, 08:16:56 pm
Haha, you're welcome. Feel free to use the tiles as I've posted them, I don't care. Even if the game profits. They're just modified versions of yours, anyway. Seems like yer getting the hang of it.



I'm gonna go ahead and move onto those pesky tree tiles now. You told me in a PM that you're having arbor-related nightmares, and that you hear the voices of trees in your head, taunting you when you venture outside. Hopefully this next bit will assist in that. Or it might just make it worse.

This post isn't comprehensive. It only covers tiling theory, pertaining to making a solid tiling texture depicting repeating objects that span multiple tiles. How does that work? WCII's trees are the prime example here. The rock tiles are good too, but screw them, we're doin' trees.



The following animation states this, but for clarity I'll say it now - the basic principle at hand here, is that you can create a square tiling texture with obviously repeated objects (not just a little detaily pattern) simply by spacing them apart a distance equal to your grid's X and Y dimensions.

(I hope the framing timing isn't too annoying; tried my bestest)



The above GIF is large, including seemingly unnecessary parts of the canvas, because I wanted to include some of my working area, for general consumption.
Especially notice the Master Tiles, sitting in the pink cloud. Minus some "special tiles", that are only revealed in-game as the tree tiles are chopped away by the worker units, the included Master Tiles are all you need to replicate any configuration of trees - works the same as most other tile-sets in WCII.




Next up: Tree Transitions. I'll cover it later, but here are some helpful animations 'till then.


Successive screenshots, recording the effects of a worker unit chopping out one tree tile at a time. Notice how the adjacent tiles react each time.
This is the game engine doing this, not me. Yes, only one tile is being removed at a time, though it appears that two or more are removed a few times.
If you scrutinize what's going on, you'll probably agree this is simply the way it has to work.
Can you find the "special tiles", mentioned earler?





Same winter grove as above, disambiguated, before any chopping occurred.




Large area of tree tiles disambiguated with simplified tiles.




(all credit to Blizzard, I'm just intrusively deconstructing what they created)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 12:33:33 am by Mathias »

Offline Olothontor

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Re: [WIP] Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread]

Reply #36 on: February 08, 2010, 08:55:42 pm
Simply amazing.

Thank you.
"In a mad world, only the mad are sane." - Akira Kurosawa

Offline krasimir

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Re: [WIP] Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread]

Reply #37 on: November 08, 2010, 12:42:36 pm
Love this tutorial, a real eye-opener!
Playing: online RPG with  over 4 dozen pixel units and a ton of pixel enemies.
Blog: Diablo 3 item duping

Offline Olothontor

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Re: [WIP] Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread]

Reply #38 on: November 08, 2010, 02:16:43 pm
That tutorial really did help me out, although my sprites don't do it any justice (it deserves its own thread, honestly).
"In a mad world, only the mad are sane." - Akira Kurosawa

Offline RCIX

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Re: [WIP] Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread]

Reply #39 on: November 08, 2010, 06:09:11 pm
I'd C&C if i could, but 90% of the images don't show up for me :(

Offline Olothontor

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Re: [WIP] Flak - Game Sprites and Tiles [WARNING: Image Heavy Thread]

Reply #40 on: November 08, 2010, 08:29:33 pm
Yeah, they're mostly gone. No worries, it's a dead project anyway. If I ever come back to it I'll necro this thread again.
"In a mad world, only the mad are sane." - Akira Kurosawa