TF Mapping Tutorial: Cliff Walls

Discussion in 'Time Fantasy/OSM' started by Des, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. Des

    Des timefantasy.net Veteran

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    Before we get started, I also want to make a special note. IMPORTANT: Gameplay and level design comes first.

    This tutorial doesn't cover level design-- I'm only talking about maximizing the tileset to make good-looking areas. Prioritize player readability and navigation over visual interest. If there's ever a conflict between aesthetics and game design, put gameplay first!

    Time Fantasy Mapping: Cliff Walls

    I've noticed that a lot of people will create straight-lines with the cliff tiles, with a little break. Usually they'll look something like this:

    [​IMG]

    The problem with this way of mapping cliffs is that they look unnatural and man-made (though sometimes that is the effect you want!) In most cases, we'll want to make the area look more visually dynamic. We do that by breaking up these straight lines.

    A simple way to make this look more appealing is to expand on the same idea: more of the same, with a little more variety in the shape to break up the straight line:

    [​IMG]

    Most of the time, people will stop at this point. To take it to the next level, and to make the most out of the Time Fantasy tileset, we can create some additional variety by mixing up the elevations of the cliff walls.

    We can start with a simple offset. The most important part of getting this to look right is to make sure that the overall height remains consistent-- if a wall is three tiles high at one point, then it needs to be that same height even when you include the offset.

    In the example below, the offset is one tile "deep"-- which pushes the cliff downwards by one tile in order to retain a consistent height of three tiles (three tiles + the top border tile). The image on the right has the offset's top border tile highlighted in blue.

    [​IMG]

    Once we have made sure that our base offsets are the correct heights and everything is lined up correctly, it's straightforward to pull it together with the corner tiles:

    [​IMG]

    Note that the Time Fantasy tileset has a specific tile just for this use! The tile highlighted here is used to bridge the cliff-side tile to the bottom of the cliff. (this is a screenshot of the RPG-Maker formatted tileset; if you are using a different format the tile might be located elsewhere on the sheet). Every Time Fantasy tileset with cliff or cave walls has a tile like this, to be used in this way.

    Now, we can make use of this elevation technique to break up the cliffs and create more visual interest.

    It's effective to avoid parallel cliff-lines. See how the corners and turns on the projected level are different than the curves on the upper level. That makes it more visually interesting and enhances the "natural" look.

    [​IMG]

    And... this... is... to... go... even.... further beyond!

    [​IMG]

    This mapping style can be used for any Time Fantasy tileset that has cliffs or cave walls-- and some others, too. It can also be used to enhance your level design, allowing your player to traverse multiple elevations of terrain, and break up an area with more distinctive sub-locations.

    I want to leave you with another example-- in this last image, you can see how this style is used to create different elevations within the cave wall and builds up towards the ceiling tiles.

    [​IMG]

    These mapping examples should give you some ideas and inspiration to take your Time Fantasy creations to the next level.

    Have fun!

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    GolfHacker, jonthefox, M.I.A. and 7 others like this.
  2. bazrat

    bazrat Veteran Veteran

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    You da man!
     
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  3. Yougotsomechocolate

    Yougotsomechocolate Random Chest Veteran

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    this has helped me achieve my inner map maker!
     
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  4. Meike

    Meike ||Telling Stories Through Games|| Veteran

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    Encouraging definitely! Inspired me to touch up a map I've been working on!
    upload_2019-10-15_18-48-39.png
     
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