Creating The Illusion of Curves/Roundness With Square Tiles

TheGentlemanLoser

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Hey so when mapping primarily with tile-based mapping, not "parallax mapping" (you can use "parallax" background elements and some foreground overlays or whatever, in fact you kind of have to, but the question is about mapping primarily with the square-grid-locked 48x48 (or w/e) tiles) how do you create the elusion of curved corridors and walls and circular rooms and whatnot?

Circle is a very common shape for rooms in level design and presumably provides a visual alternative to rectilinear arrangements indoors and the chaos of nature outdoors, but you can't actually make circular rooms or curved walls with the map editor. So how do you use a background or w/e in conjunction with the gridlocked tiles (again, short of full-on "Parallax Mapping") to create the illusion of a round room or a curved wall? I need hints and tips!

Because the entirety of what I can think of on my own after attacking the problem from a few different angles is that isometric walls help a little, even if they're technically diagonal, which is uh...not enough. So how do you approach this challenge, if and when you do?
 

Frogboy

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I'd think that you'd just need tiles that fit together to make your rounded edges for anything you'd need to be rounded. The only potential issue I see is passability. Due to tile-based movement, the players and events will either stop a little short of where they look like they could go if the corner tiles block movement or might look like they're partially in a wall if they're walkable. But you're not going to get around that even with parallax mapping. It would very tedious to map these out because you wouldn't be able to rely on auto-tiling but other than that, I don't see it being much of a challenge, assuming you have or can make rounded corner tiles that fit together seamlessly.
 

TheGentlemanLoser

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I'd think that you'd just need tiles that fit together to make your rounded edges for anything you'd need to be rounded.
show me some! I probably won't be able to use them (my game uses POP! graphic which have a pretty specific style) but I want to see what they look like
 

Frogboy

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Well, I don't exactly have any to show you. It's way too much work for my taste. You're best bet would be to detail them out as if you were parallaxing and them chop them up into tiles that you can paint onto your map where you need them. The biggest issue is that you would need a different set of tiles, not only for each set of walls but for each size of rounded room. For instance, for a 6x6 room, you need a tile for each square that has black in it (image below). If you needed a 10x10 room, you'd need a whole new set of tiles that covered this. That's why you won't find these kinds of perfectly rounded tiles in the tile-sheets. They're not practical in the general sense. I could see them being useful in some very specific situations, like say, castle towers that can always be the same size and reused over and over. If you wanted to do this everywhere, you're probably better off parallax mapping and drawing your maps by hand.

1617145577638.png
 

TheGentlemanLoser

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thank you frogboy that is actually super helpful!!

does anyone have any examples of tile-based curvature in this style?
 

alice_gristle

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Uhh, kinda sorta? I don't have any rooms, but here's a stone hut I doodled for my 8-bit game. I'm not super pleased with it, but Imma work with it!

hut.png
 

Htlaets

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Depends on what the size of the room is. You can sorta-fake a large scale round tower with square tiles. But, yeah, if you want to actually have a visibly round shaped room, you've gotta make specialized rounded tiles to add to your tilesets which isn't terribly difficult for anything but the top walls, but it becomes a lot to do if you're trying to do it throughout your game for multiple tilesets. You could use something like paint.net, there's even some dlcs that have rounded tilesets.
 

Featherbrain

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I use fully customized tilesets and usually make multiple "edges" so it can fit together in various shapes. Others have covered the need to make customized tiles that fit together into the shape you want. I'll just add that you can use something like TileD to assist with the collision side of the problem. I use TileD with 24px tiles and half-tile movement. If you set one corner of the tile impassable, it creates a diagonal-shaped passability that approximates a curve. This solves the curved-collision problem. As a bonus, TileD also allows for essentially unlimited tilesets (so you're not forced to replace tiles in the tileset with the curved versions, you can just add them) as well as unlimited layers.

Here's an example of the kinds of maps you can make like this. There is zero parallax mapping here.
 

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