Guide to simple tileset edits
Once upon a time I submitted a mapping tutorial, and towards the end mentioned:
“Simple edits and recolors: Everyone can do this, and it helps a lot to create ambience. You may find that repeating, for example, the same weeds and flowers in fields over and over across the world gets old. It’s simple enough to recolor the flowers or make a simple cut/paste job to come up with new items. Small objects like flowers and single tile decorations are usually simple to cut and combine.
There’s also recoloring. The same grassy tiles can become a different map just by changing the colors (making the coloring greyer, more vibrant, a different tone, whatever) same goes for walls and floors.
So if you ever feel like those trees, caves and stones are looking boring, crack open a graphics editor and mess with the tiles a bit.”
That said, I rarely see people posting screenshots of edited tilesets that are NOT parallaxes (those usually go hand in hand with editing so no need to mention them here), and there seems to be the fact that some people claim they could not “do that sort of thing”.
Simple edits can go a long way, and give the dreaded “RTP style” a fresh look if used well.
Now, what I will describe here is extremely basic. I will not talk about complex editing because frankly, I can’t do it myself so well, nor will I explain how image editors work in detail: there are many tutorials out there and help files to help you out, I will only give basic instructions.
There are roughly 3 very simple techniques: rearranging, clumping and recoloring.
-Rearranging is by far the easiest, it simply means moving the tile around in the grid so it has a different position (for example, moving furniture so they line up better with the walls).
-Clumping is to combine one or more tiles in a pattern so they create a cohesive and visually nice tiles. It’s usually done with plants (for wilderness natural effects) and small items.
-Recoloring means changing the color of a tile. This can mean changing the color of only one part of the tile or the entire thing (such as the bloom of a flower or the whole plant, leaves and all).
A few things before we start:
I won’t be fiddling with the A tiles except for recoloring the basic grass, since autotiles require some knowledge and I’m not here to explain that. What we will do is simple: create an edited tileset for a new area.
I’ll be making a sample map of a shop in a forest so we can illustrate the change from the default to the new edited tileset.
The very first thing you should think about:
What are you doing?
Even if for the purpose of this tutorial I’ll be editing almost all the pieces for the tileset, that doesn’t have to be what you do. Maybe you simply need a few extras or adjustments to an existing tileset, in which case you may want to simply edit a tile sheet directly.
But let’s say you want to make a thematic tileset. For this tutorial, as I said, we’ll be making a forest area with a small shop, but we will make it all slightly different so you can see all the steps.
Gather your materials.
Get all the materials you think you will need beforehand. The default tileset, the custom materials, stuff you found on the forum (don’t forget to credit the creators when you’re done!), anything you feel you will need.
If you’re doing an entire tileset, copy one of the default sets (Interior/Outside/Dungeon) from A (1 to 5) to B (B to E are all the same, so one will suffice. Rename them to whatever you want. Especially for the A tiles, it’s important to have some reference to work with so you don’t accidentally mess up the autotiles.
Those will be the final images you will import into the game. I strongly recommend you use another, larger image file to do the editing so you have the space to comfortably manipulate the tiles.
Ok, now off we go!
So now that we know the three ways of simple edits we can mix them all to create our tileset. Here we have all we need for our little forest shop. To make things easier on ourselves, we will do the recoloring first, then the rearrangement and clumping.
Now what’s left? Arranging them on your tileset sheets. Keep in mind the sheet size (512*512) and make sure you align the tiles to the grid well.
Here we added the recolored A2 tiles to an existing Ouside_A2 tile, and created a new B tile:
Import the tile sheets and configure the tileset.
Remember that if the tileset setup is similar to a default one you can save time configuring passabilities by copypasting a tileset and substituting and fixing the new tiles.
And we’re done! Now to map the bastard!
Here, have a before and after (if we had tried using the normal exterior and interior tilesets).
Before: [with default RTP tiles]
After: [with new edited tiles]
Not bad for a quick editing job, is it?
This was done in a very shallow way, so putting even a little time into the process makes a difference. Above all, it breaks the “I’ve seen the rtp tiles seven thousand times already” feeling.
There are many more ways to edit tiles out there, but I’m not going to get into that.
Cut-pasting, changing size and angle; I recommend you experiment a bit to see what works and what doesn’t. Learning to use the image editors is a big factor to editing, so be patient and start small.
I hope this helped and encouraged people to try their hand at simple edits!
Edited by Indrah, 21 July 2012 - 09:13 AM.