Mapping in five easy steps

Discussion in 'RMVX Ace Tutorials' started by Indrah, Mar 6, 2012.

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  1. amerk

    amerk Veteran Member

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    Great start, I'll definitely keep this in mind. Anyways, I've been going about it all wrong, I think, trying to make it more complicated that it needs to be, when it should be simpler with an RM like VX(A).
     
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  2. Denn

    Denn Veteran Veteran

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    I love mountainy terrain, but mapping it in VX was terrible. The autoshadows were pretty good at ruining anything you tried to make; thank god they can be tweeked now. Still, Ace's RTP isn't the best at mountains, but at least the editor itself isn't trying to undermine you anymore.
     
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  3. AstoXx

    AstoXx Subconscious Punmaster Member

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    NO, DEY SUK REAL BADS! No, I joke, of course... they're really great. While not as fancy as parralax mapping, usually "quick" maps are horrible. It seems like you've hit the speed:quality balance right on the head here! I'm sure plenty of people will be using this technique. I already do before this, so I can't say this is new to me but just goes to show that you DON'T need amazing mapping talent to create an excellent map!

    And, yeah, I struggle with mountains, too... it seems good mountains are infamous in their difficulty. Keep up the stellar work there, Indrah.
     
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  4. Rexxon

    Rexxon Veteran Veteran

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    A very useful topic, Thank you very much for the information.
     
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  5. Rex

    Rex Warper Member

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    Until this, I never seen someone who talk about the wall/floor style.

    And except the error in the "cut-off floor style" a beautiful tutorial. :)
     
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  6. JumpingGinger

    JumpingGinger Villager Member

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    You are an artist, the map samples you made are beautiful! :) Great tutorial!
     
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  7. Denn

    Denn Veteran Veteran

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    Something I'd like to add if you don't mind is that the interior of a building or cave, should match with the exterior. Rectagular buildings look bad on the inside, so if you make a complex building, the facade should reflect this. If you have two stories, the outside should be much taller. If your building is larger than other buildings on the inside, it should be larger on the outside. This should go without saying

    [​IMG]

    See how I've got the L shape appearing on both the inside and outside? It's also important to match the entrance location inside and out. And try to keep track of where your windows are so you don't place a wall where there should be a window. On an unrelated note, I suggest avoiding too much lining up in your maps. If you have three tries, stager them a bit to keep them from being too straight. That kind of goes with the lack of symmetry advice given earlier. Alos, with this example, I was experimenting with the cut-off floor style since I never considered that before. It's kind of awkward to use, but I like the advanatages it gives. I might consider using it in future games.

    Another point that I think is important is that you should never let the player reach the edge of your map unless it's a path to another map. Know how annoying invisible walls are in 3D games? Edge of map access is the same thing. When something seems like a transition point, it's frustrating to realize that it's not, and failure to make the path obvious can result in a player being lost and confused. Personally, I make the transitions before the player even gets to the end of the map to make things more seemless, but that's optional, I think.
     
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  8. Link

    Link Hero of Slime Veteran

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    I love the cut away look, however, while you're interior does semi match the exterior, the interior still feels a bit smallish.
     
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  9. Indrah

    Indrah Megane Berserker Veteran

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    Magad, did I seriously forget on mentioning the outside/ourside thing? faaaail~ OTL

    But yeah Denn, that's a good point. and @Link: That's actually a very respectable size and ratio, beliveme me, KEEP EM AS SMALL as you can work them. They make for much more compact maps and are easier to decorate. Sure, it's not a BIG house, but i don't think it's supposed to be. Havign interiors with large empty spaces makes it tricky to decorate, and reflecting the size on the exteriors is a pain.
     
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  10. Denn

    Denn Veteran Veteran

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    I tend to prefer smaller interiors for a number of reasons. It's just an opinion, so I'm not saying you're wrong or anything. But yeah, I like my interiors closer to the size of the exterior because it helps me better shape the inside. The main reason though, is that large interiors tend to harder to fill. Either, you get too much clutter and it's tough for players to lose focus on the important things (NPCs or objects you can interact with), or you leave a lot of open space (see Indrah's example of square shapes vs more intricate buildings). It's a tough balance between clutter and sparsity.

    I tend to design my maps in RPG Maker as if I were designing them in Minecraft. Make them look good, organized, and functional. I should feel comfortable walking around in there. It's important to note that I might go against these points for some maps, if I want the player to feel uncomfortable or something.
     
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  11. GemFall

    GemFall Villager Member

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    Thanks for this! Amazing what a simple change to the tavern does for the interest of the map. I'm also still learning about VX-style tileset base-mapping, so this helps immensely.
     
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  12. outlandish-artist

    outlandish-artist Villager Member

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    Great job on this tutorial! I'm horrible at mapping and until Ace came out I was working with RMXP, as I liked the tile sets better. Now that Ace has as many sets as are needed I'm changing over. But mapping has always been my weak spot. This tutorial has helped a lot. Great job!

    Btw, one idea for help in mapping that I do have (not sure if this was mentioned), is that people look up screen shots from classic games like the SNES Final Fantasy games, and the like, for ideas on how to map things. For example, Final Fantasy III for the SNES, and Chronotrigger, have great looking maps. Granted the art is a different style from the blocky VX Ace tiles, but those games had some great mapping layouts. Though I haven't actually put this idea into practice *yet*, I'm thinking that looking up pictures of their maps and how the masters laid things out, could be really helpful. You could use an emulator and play some of those SNES games and take screen shots. I've also thought that walkthroughs of similar style games that have pictures of the whole map levels would also be a big help to see how the pro games designed their levels.

    Also, using some graph paper to help do a rough sketch of how you might lay out the level is something I want to try doing. I'd like to hear what you good mappers think. I'm sure it's probably stuff that people already do, but I thought I'd mention it. I like the idea you mentioned of just mapping like crazy. I'm going to just open a project and just start mapping different areas as practice without worrying about making an actual game. It seems like it'd be fun. Again, awesome tutorial!
     
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  13. eigwayne

    eigwayne Veteran Veteran

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    The examples are all fabulous. I especially loved seeing different styles of walls and exits! It was a reminder that you don't have to do things the same exact way in every single game you make (like, as long as it's consistant throughout the first game, the second one can be a different style~).
     
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  14. Apollo

    Apollo Dark and Mysterious Rainbow Clown-Knight of Awesom Veteran

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    Exceptional work!
     
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  15. Tuomo L

    Tuomo L Oldbie Veteran

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    Indrah, thank you from the tutorial but I've got a problem. Almost all tutorials (this included) assume that the game takes place in old fantasy era. How can I make a city or town and their interiors that resembles a modern or futuristic style? Are there specific steps or anything I should pay attention to?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2012
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  16. RyanA

    RyanA Happy Cat Veteran

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    Well, a few things. Typically, buildings from our era are very symmetrical, structured and...plain (as in unintresting) 3: Just look at buildings around you and base your stuff from them!
     
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  17. Indrah

    Indrah Megane Berserker Veteran

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    I have one elegant, all encompassing tip: observation.

    Unlike the medieval setting, you have as many modern references as you could want. Look at your room. Look at the street. How are things placed? Try to imitate that within the rpg capabiltiies.

    As for scecific differences: generally (this is not an absolute) modern cities are way more organized (they are usually planned before construction), set in more square shapes (this helps rm mapping a LOT). Homes usually have rooms (which are usually rectangular) instead of one big area, have connecting corridors, etc.

    Mostly anything you need to know about modern mapping can be observed from your house or the street outside it. Also photography can help, and I'm sure there's enough reference in th internet to suit anyone's needs.

    This is all REALISTIC style. It's entirely possible to ignore some "reality" when it doesnt fit the rm mapping (for example, detailed rooms and corridors with the editor are hard to pull off thanks to how thick the walls are, taking way too much space).

    Overall, I'd say start with splitting space. Kitchens. Bedrooms. Bathrooms. Halls. Connect them directly or with corridors. Whereas medieval settins used a kind of "all in one", modern settings are more specialised.

    As for mapping, it's exaclty the same. Plan, structure, decorate, revise.
     
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  18. Crimson Dragon Inc.

    Crimson Dragon Inc. Crimson Dragon Veteran

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    i have a mapping question,

    say you have a well built temple dungeon and it starts of beautiful but then it starts to turn in to ruins where the elements have hit it hard or vice versa (sneaking in from a forgotten secret passage, but i dont want to make differnt maps for the same map like one whole map that covers the whole dungeon, which i plan to do with towns and dungeons thru out to save me some time, unless i'm moving diminsions or worlds, i want the only reason a map changed to be becuase you left it to go to the world map

    but i cant get the intergartion between ruins to non ruins or vice versa to look right anytips?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2012
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  19. Genii Benedict

    Genii Benedict Supervillain, Extraordinaire Veteran

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    You think you guys have it tough. Try mapping a space ship! ;)

    Seriously though. I don't think I ever got to read this originally. It's EXTREMELY helpful, and a must read for new mappers!

    GB
     
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  20. Indrah

    Indrah Megane Berserker Veteran

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    @Xaigoth: Next time please try to use punctuation and...well, make your text clearer, I had some trouble decyphering what you wanted.

    If I understand what you said you want a map that goes from good state to bad state (or viceversa) but without map transfers? What I don't get is if you want the ENTIRE map to be "nice" and "broken" at different times, or just a progressive destruction of the dungeon AS you advance.

    If the question is ONE SINGLE DUNGEON (and not the same dungeon at different times) It's easy. Simply put the "nice" and the "bad" tiles in one same tileset and decare what parts you want nicely and "destroyed" respectively, taking care to start out the "destruction" in small doses and getitng more spread out as youa dvance (so the first "dilapidated" room would only have a crack or two, the next would have more, and the last would be almost totally broken).

    As for the "only one map", I fail to see what the problem is. Even if it's one map it will still be split in smaller areas (rooms etc).

    If that's not what you meant to ask, please rephrase the question?
     
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