parralax VS editor

Morganis

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Hello, I was wondering why a 256x256 parallax map would cause issues but a 256x256 editor map would not? At least that's the impression I get :) Thanks for any help with this.
 

Poryg

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What kind of issues?
 

Bex

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Because you can use 10 Squares to Map thousands of Map Squares. All the Graphics the Engine needs to load are the 10Squares which are a few KB big. Your Parallax will be several MB big, in browser Games this could lead to slower loading times.
With Tiles also only the Tiles on the Screen need to be rendered, not the ones far outside of Screen. AParallax would be loaded as whole, if i understand that correct.
Tiles keep the Programm size smaler, in old times this was needed to get the max out of the weak PCs or Consoles of the past.

Iam a casual in this, so iam not totally sure.
 

Elliott404

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As I was trying to explain what Bex did. The common issue parallax maps cause in games would be lags and slow load. If you mean that kind of issue, then it because parallax maps are larger than editor maps.

You've probably noticed that most games with parallax maps would either lag, or sometimes (if most maps are parallaxes) crash in the middle of the playthrough.

Also, 256 are way too large. . . What kind of map are you planning with it?
 
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Andar

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OK, here is some info on mapping and the differences.

1) RAM use
For a tile-based map, you need one number (usually 2 Bytes for tilesets with more than 256 different tiles) per layer to identify the entire tile, and then the data on the tileset itself.
For a picture-based map like a parallax map, you need 3 Bytes per pixel (24 Bit Color) or more for truecolor pictures. A tile consists of 48x48 pixels (MV - or 32x32 for Ace and older), that means for the same area of a single tile the parallax map in MV needs 48x48x3 = 6912 Bytes, again per layer. It does not need tileset data, but that is sometimes still loaded for other purposes.
A tilebased map needs more layers however, but that still means that a parallax usually requires several thousand times the RAM compared to a tilebased map.

And here is another catch: The filesize you see when saving your parallax - that is compressed data.
To work with a map in RAM, it cannot be compressed.
Make a test - store your parallax as BMP instead of PNG. That is a file format that has no compression. So the filesize of a BMP tells you how much RAM the same map needs while used in the game...

2) Map design
This one is on the developer and has nothing to do with the difference between parallax and tilebased mapping:
In order to create good maps, you need to be able to design them correctly - to know what to place where and when.
There are a lot of very nice looking maps out there that are absolutely unplayable because the mapper couldn't design them correctly.
Simply because the nice look resulted in an unplayable labyrinth of obstacles for a map that the player has to pass hundreds of times while playing.

3) workload
A parallax map always requires much more work to create than a tilebased map.
You can get faster with experience, but you can't change that a parallax map needs several additional steps that are automatic with a tile map - things like setting passabilities. And more placement options (non-grid) means more work when placing.
When I started here and asked around, one of the artists here gave me this guideline:
A tilebased map is 10% the work for 90% the quality of a parallax map

Yes, a parallax map looks better - but if you know your map designs, then you can usually create five to ten regular maps that are almost as good-looking in the same time you create a single parallaxed map. And that is a lot of time saved for single person game developer with a game that has several dozen maps.

However, that all depends on the developer knowing what to do on maps - and that is why I placed the point about map design before this.
 

Weremole

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If you want bigger elements like say Diablo or Diablo 2 when using tiles you could make larger "mega-tile" modules. Say, instead of drawing your cliffs at an element of a tile per piece of texture you could do it in a block of four. The Suikoden games where very crafty with this as welll. If you look at a dumped Suikoden 2 map you'll see its built out of very simple, but large, repeating elements. But you don't notice in play because the designers knew that you where only seeing a bit of it at a time and that you would be busy doing player things rather than study individual cave floor textures.
 

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