Anyone else feel like RPG Maker should go back to the 3 layer setup?

Discussion in 'Useful Development Tools' started by Bridgeman, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Rukiri

    Rukiri I like to make Action-RPGs Veteran

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    Use the TileD plugin, problem solved.

    But by default, I mean... they need to rethink layers and no I don't mean remove them but they just need to think of how to design the UI, heck even taking hints from TileD is a good idea or just bumping layers up to 10 would solve 99.9% of peoples issues but still leaves tile size problems as not everyone wants to use 48x48 or 32x32 tiles...    
     
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  2. amerk

    amerk Veteran Member

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    Ever since VX, a topic on what we'd like to see in the next maker comes along. And in each one of those, a request for the XP style mapping / layering is mentioned, usually several times. And each time the next maker comes out, those requests seemingly get ignored.

    There's currently a dream topic in the General Lounge for the next (now that MV has been released) and sure enough post number 1 requests a return to XP mapping if not something better.
     
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  3. arcthemonkey

    arcthemonkey Veteran Veteran

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    I don't think it's really fair to boil this issue down to, "We make demands and Kadokawa ignores them" since, by and large, that's not really how most software companies work. I've also become increasingly convinced that many users actually prefer the automatic layering, and the people complaining are a vocal minority. 75% of my mapping is actually sped up by the automatic layering, and the parts that aren't could be sped up with more practice and attention to my mapping technique. I used to feel like I preferred the layering system in XP, but the more I use MV, the more I have grown to actually prefer MV.

    I'm an IT professional who develops healthcare EMRs (electronic medical records), and something that is often considered to be a huge triumph in my field is reducing "clicks". That is, I try to find ways for people to do the things they already do, but with fewer clicks of the mouse. It's a double win if the new, fewer clicks method has a similar or otherwise acceptable error rate.

    So let's say I'm working on a roof in XP (I am kind of a roof tile aficionado, apparently), and I'm on layer two laying down some tiles and I realize that, oh shoot, I've got a tile on layer 1 that really should be on layer 3.

    So I switch to layer 1 (1 click), right click a grass tile or some such (2), overwrite the offending roof tile with a left click (3), switch to layer three (4), select the tile I just deleted from my tileset (5), click it down in the appropriate place (6), and switch back to layer 2 to continue was I was doing (7), and selecting my original tile (8. So in XP, correcting an error where a tile is on the wrong layer can, sort of worst case scenario, take 8 clicks.

    But what about MV? With MV, sadly, we won't know that the mistake was made until we try to put a tile down and discover that the layers are all screwed up, so let's count that click (to be fair) - 1 click. So we right click some grass or what have you and click it down on the spot we messed up (2 and 3). Next, we grab the tile we wanted on the second layer, and click it down (4 and 5). Finally, we lay down layer three (6 to select and 7 to place). 

    So, in order to fix a layering mistake, MV requires one fewer click. It is also true, however, that it is a little easier to make a mistake in MV because it's not always clear which layer a tile is on, but with experience that shouldn't/doesn't happen often. I'd call it a tie. The plot thickens, though

    In the XP example, we used a worst case scenario (the most clicks I could think of during common use). That sort of thing shouldn't often if you know what you are doing, but it definitely can happen. If we instead imagined that the misplaced tile needed to go on to the layer we were already on (layer 2) then we can actually get rid of two of those clicks, leaving us at 6. As far as I can tell, this is the best case/most likely scenario for a layering issue. Does this make XP the clear winner?

    Nope. The MV example was also a worst case scenario. The best case scenario is that there was already a spot on the map that had the layering we wanted, so all we have to do is right click that and click it down. 3 clicks, counting the mistake. Or maybe we had a spot that had only the bottom two layers right, pushing us up to 5. Still fewer than 6. You actually can't do anything like that in XP. I mean, I guess you could go up and select the selection tool (1), click and drag a box around the spot you want to copy (2...and a half?), copy it (3), and paste it (5). That's a few more than 3, and isn't as normal a workflow as right/left clicking - so it may take even longer). What if, back on the MV side, we only had two layers to begin with? That only takes 5 clicks to fix, worst case scenario. Tied with the fastest conceivable way in XP. Keep in mind, as well, that working with all three layers is (for most of us) probably less than 95% our time spend mapping. Most of the real estate of a majority of maps is just 1 layer (where neither MV or XP has an benefit) or two (where MV should always be easier, and not more prone to errors).

    The fact that XP breaks its layers apart the way it does means in order to do a deep selection of all layers, you need to use the selection tool, which adds steps to a process that is streamlined in MV.

    That is actually where MV plows ahead of XP in my mind - It effectively streamlines every mapping workflow I can think of. You can save a click and save time every time you would have otherwise needed to change layers in XP - because you don't have to do that to get the same result in MV. And again, MV lets you select all three layers at once without doing anything fancy. Unless your technique is off this should only ever be an improvement.

    Obviously, a lot of this comes down to technique and experience and knowing how to use the tileset correctly - but that is true for both MV and XP. Those dumb, niggling mistakes that I make with my layers in MV are always either my own fault for not planning ahead, or a result of me not being familiar with the best usage of the tileset - both things that can crop up in XP just as easily.

    And I don't believe for a second that the fact that XP gloms all of its tiles into a single palette is an advantage over MV. If I know my tileset, I probably know which tab the tile I'm looking for is on, and I can get to it way faster than scrolling through an endless field of tiles. Mouse scrolls count as clicks, too.

    So yeah, I prefer MV's automatic layering. I think it's objectively more efficient while being simpler, especially for the lay-people that RPG Maker is meant to appeal to. That said, I would love the ability to manually switch to a specific layer and turn off automatic layering for a second. Make auto-mode a button next to the 1, 2, and 3 buttons. I also wouldn't mind another layer, but that doesn't mean I don't want automatic layering.

    Seriously, I like it better, and I don't think I am in a minority in feeling that way.
     
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  4. DoubleX

    DoubleX Just a nameless weakling Veteran

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    (Just my imagination)How about providing both manual layering and automatic layering and letting users choose which one to use?

    At the very least, maybe upon the creation of a map(or even the whole project), the user will have to choose whether this map(or even the whole project) will use manual or automatic layering, and this choice can't be changed for this map(or even the whole project) once created.

    Of course, if it's indeed possible to toogle between manual layering and automatic layering on the fly for the same map, it'd give users even more control and freedom.

    Again, it's just my imagination of a seemingly possible alternative, as I don't know if it's even possible at all :)
     
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  5. arcthemonkey

    arcthemonkey Veteran Veteran

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    This is essentially my dream state, and I doubt there is anything technical preventing them from doing something like this besides the work of actually doing it, but I also doubt that most people would actually use the ability to toggle. Haha, I'm highly suspicious that the average user will basically leave it on automatic.
     
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  6. amerk

    amerk Veteran Member

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    Automatic is sort of convenient for world maps, but within actual areas (dungeons, fields, towns, etc) the manual would probably work better. I could see people actually toggling both within a game, depending on the map they are making, and the style they're going for.
     
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  7. XGuarden

    XGuarden Veteran Veteran

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    I agree, but why rpg maker dont do auto tile adjestement, I mean that keep the back tiles for stacking will be great, curently we need to edit tilesset.


    a layer for bird will be great
     
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  8. amerk

    amerk Veteran Member

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    I find it a bit odd that this problem still persists, even with the fix for Ace. You'd think it would have been fixed by default, but at least there is still a fix.
     
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