Creative Ed's Isometric Solution (Alpha 0.2)

Creative Ed

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CREATIVE Ed's
Isometric Solution

(Alpha 0.2)
made possible with bblizzard's Ultra Mode7 plugin



Introduction
This is a demo that you can download showcasing my own solution to achieve Isometric graphics. This method was achieved using bblizzard's Ultra Mode7 Plugin and tweaking some parameters in order to render the map in a way that makes it possible to achieve the famous isometric look. The topic can be found by following the link below:

https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?threads/ultra-mode-7.94100/

Requirements

In order to achieve this effect it is recommended that you start the project in the Demo provided as a lot of the groundwork is already done. The Ultra Mode 7 plugin is required in order to achieve this effect. Any work done with this solution falls into Ultra Mode 7's license & terms of use, which can be found by following the link above. Credit must be given.

Explanation

How was this achieved?
By reducing the field of view down to 1, rotating the camera by 45 and pitching it by 60 degrees and adjusting sprite size to game's resolution the grid becomes isometric. I then had to figure out how to to achieve vertical lines in order to give height to objects, which I did so by creating diagonal lines on the tiles themselves. In order to fully understand how I achieved this you may look in the tilesets folder and figure out how I did it. (I may make a more extensive tutorial about it in the future.)

How's it like in the editor?
This is how your maps will look in the editor:

How does that turn into isometric?
Basically what happens is that when you launch the game and the Mode7 kicks in, it rotates the grid and distorts the tiles. Which means that any diagonal line becomes vertical, and any vertical/horizontal line becomes, well, isometric.
As you may also notice this is a legit mapping style by itself as well, so if for some reason you do not wish to use the isometric style, you can use this tiles in a straight grid as well.

What does a tileset look like?

Like this:
As you can see these tiles take up a lot of space, so your tilesets will have to be much more selective, which means you'll probably will have to have 2 or 3 Outside Tilesets for a complete game.

Fortunally not all sprites must be drawn like this. You can use tiles as characters and they will be placed straight up. This will be essencial for your mapping, as the engine at the current point still has a lot of limitations.
Here's how a character tileset looks like:​

Anything you wish to have be placed straight up you must put it into a charset, as if it were character.

How will I know how to do maps?
In the Demo itself there will be very simple explanations on how I do my maps and how I use the tiles. You can also come up with your own techniques, which may be better than mine.

LIMITATIONS
The project is still very under-developed and I did the best I could with the resources available, so there still are some limitations that may or may not be addressed in the future:
  • Star Tiles not working
    • As of the moment star passability does not work, so you can't pass behind objects. This is due to how tiles are drawn in the 3D environment. This fix is out of my hands and can only be achieved by the original creator or another scripter.
  • Dithering Pixels
    • This seems due to the environment being rendered with depth instead of being rendered in an orthographic manner which would give out a real isometric effect. So we could say I tricked my way into achieving an isometric effect but in the end it is still 3D, whilst a true isometric map would still be rendered in 2D (from what I can understand). This again can be only solved by the original creator or another scripter. Although it seems that at certain resolutions the dithering can be reduced, as well as by using simple textures.
  • Less Tileset space
    • Since it uses diagonal lines, a lot of the objects may take up to 4 times its original tile space in a tile sheet. Do not feel intimidated by this though, working around software or hardware limitations is part of being a game developer. RPG Maker still provides plenty tile sheets per map, so there's a lot you still can do.
  • Unintuitive Mapping
    • Although I think you can easily make maps with these tiles, somethings might be hard to visualize, since you're making the map in a completely different fashion than what is shown when you are testing. Requires some try and error but you will get the hang of it quickly.


Here's a Big screenshot of a finished map:
A Final Word
I was planning on releasing this a bit further ahead, but seeing I was dragging the development on converting the tilesets I decided to release this very early version, so that you guys could give it a go and try it out. I know this is a very desired feature for RPG Maker, so I thought I shouldn't be holding on to this for too long. Who knows when I'd have everything finished? There are a lot of tiles on the RTP, and I can't always work on this.

Although I would certainly like to provide you on this engine with as much content as possible, it does take some time to convert the tiles, organize them and get them working on the engine. So if there's any of you who would like to help on this project you are very welcomed. There's no need to sign up or anything. You can make your contribution and PM me if you wish me to add it to the demo. You can also leave contributions on the comments below. Any help is appretiated, since I'm not making this for myself, but as a contribution to the comunity, you guys.

-Contributions-
malonkey1
This thread is great, and I've kind of built on @Creative Ed's idea using Events. Now we have buildings you can step behind!
First, create a parallel event that tracks what region your character is in: Then create events for each building. These events need to have two identical pages, one with priority BELOW, and one ABOVE to make sure the overlap changes. Then set it to a region value. Priority for this starts from the bottom right of the map, increasing as you go up and left. Direction fix would be best, just in case. Then make the map. Make the actual ground squares you want the building to occupy impassible, and then put down region tiles where you want the buildings to overlap on top of your character. Remember, if you're in Region 3, then the Region 2 and 1 buildings will ALSO be ABOVE. It's a little fussy, the buildings kind of shift a little bit, and I had to use Yanfly's Event Sprite Offset to fine tune the position of the events, and it's not perfect. The Offset appears to be in relation to the window, and not the map, so keep that in mind and adjust accordingly. You should be able to get similar results with Yanfly's Doodads plugin, too, but I haven't tested with it. Keep in mind that you can't actually step on these if you do it this way, so you'll want to actually map in the parts you intend your players to walk upon. Happy mapping everybody! EDIT: Quick tip for the isometrics, and this might vary a little depending on your Mode7 setups, but "squares" on the map are 32px vertical (up off the map), 32px North-South, and about 55.3̅3̅3̅ East-West

Feel free to ask questions, comment, or just tell me what you think about this. Thank you so much for reading this. I hope you enjoy this project and hopefully we can work together to improve it.

Cheers!


LINK TO DEMO
http://www.mediafire.com/file/em8rj3495c9egwy/Isometric_Demo.rar/file
 

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WickedWolfy

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Thank you for your dedication to this. Definitely going on my radar.

Quick question, since I can't check at present and won't be able for a while:
Is it possible to apply "isometrics" only to certain maps, or the moment you include and configure the plugin all maps will have to be isometric?
 

FleshToDust

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Very cool. This along with a good tactics plugin could add a new genre to the rpg maker scene.
 

okthenmyeah

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It keeps saying 'error, attribute not defined'
help??
(occurs when attemping playtesting)
 
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GoodSelf

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This. Is. AMAZING.
Bravo, well done.
 

gstv87

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. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hm.
(raises eyebrow)
 

malonkey1

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This thread is great, and I've kind of built on @Creative Ed's idea using Events.

Now we have buildings you can step behind!

First, create a parallel event that tracks what region your character is in:
Event2.png
Then create events for each building. These events need to have two identical pages, one with priority BELOW, and one ABOVE to make sure the overlap changes. Then set it to a region value. Priority for this starts from the bottom right of the map, increasing as you go up and left. Direction fix would be best, just in case.
event1.png
Then make the map. Make the actual ground squares you want the building to occupy impassible, and then put down region tiles where you want the buildings to overlap on top of your character. Remember, if you're in Region 3, then the Region 2 and 1 buildings will ALSO be ABOVE.
map.png

It's a little fussy, the buildings kind of shift a little bit, and I had to use Yanfly's Event Sprite Offset to fine tune the position of the events, and it's not perfect. The Offset appears to be in relation to the window, and not the map, so keep that in mind and adjust accordingly. You should be able to get similar results with Yanfly's Doodads plugin, too, but I haven't tested with it.

Keep in mind that you can't actually step on these if you do it this way, so you'll want to actually map in the parts you intend your players to walk upon.

Happy mapping everybody!

EDIT: Quick tip for the isometrics, and this might vary a little depending on your Mode7 setups, but "squares" on the map are 32px vertical (up off the map), 32px North-South, and about 55.3̅3̅3̅ East-West
 
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Creative Ed

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@malonkey1 Very good alternative to allow walking behind buildings. Thank you for sharing!
 

Creative Ed

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As suggested by @Crestfall9 I added @malonkey1 's post under "Contributions" so that this solution can be easily accessed.

@Crestfall9 skew the assets to 45 degrees to the left. The point is to turn 'what would be' vertical lines into diagonal ones. I also advise you using Nearest Point resampling, so that it looks right after the Mode7 does its thing.
 
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Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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This is very nice... Now I feel like I want an isomstric RPG Maker..
 

Ezzio1

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How could I set the direction of the character on the same plane as the map or tileset? like this:
 

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