I know this is probably going to duplicate a lot of what gets said in other places, but I thought it'd be nice to have a discussion of just the mapping without the limits or distractions of the other existing discussions. What I'd like to see here is reasonable ideas of what RM could do to make mapping better for the next engine. I specify reasonable because I don't want this to be so much of a wishful thinking thread but more of a "what ideas do you have that might actually be made". For example, 3D could be fun, but it would need to be a separate engine, not just a new iteration of the existing 2D engine. I'm thinking more of a refining of the existing setup to work better. To start out, here are my thoughts on how mapping could be improved. A1: Putting animation into a sheet format makes things fairly limited, and I'm not sure it's the best way to go. In VX/Ace/MV the first animation autotile slot is kind of the "master water" position, meaning that the tiles such as waterfalls and the transparent autotile and the next slot's animation map inside of this one. This is due to the fact that the transparent A tiles aren't actually on a separate layer, they get smashed down into one layer by the program (at least, this is what I've been told). I would much rather be able to have those transparent A tiles be their own layer. This would allow me to use some of the tiles on other water tiles. This is especially important if I'm using one of the autotile slots as a kind of alternate edge for the first autotile. If you have something like that and then try to map something like, say, a flower floating on top, the current setup will remap the bottom to be the first tile, regardless, and completely destroy the careful edging setup as it tries to guess what the other autotile edges should really be. Having exactly one tile of transparent autotile that maps on top of the water is just too little for me. It could be used for so many fun things like a patch of rapids or a bunch of reeds with ripples and swaying in the wind, or a group of dolphins jumping in and out of the waves. Things that I would like to have more than one of on a single map. The animation for everything on A1 is pingpong style, meaning that it does a 12321232 sequence. This is great for some things but it ruins the flow of a lot of water animations. Waterfalls in particular would benefit from being able to be switched to a 123123 sequence instead. A hard frame limit is very frustrating. Sometimes I'll only need 2, sometimes (especially for the animating of ocean waves) it would be really wonderful to get a 4 or more frame animation possibility. Some of the need for duplicates here could be resolved by allowing for A1 style animated autotiles to be transparent and map on top of the A2 and A5 tiles. In fact, it would allow for some very fun ground animations, like adding a field of grass that sways or some scattered leaves being shifted by the wind. A2: For the most part this works, left being bottom layer and right being transparent makes a lot of sense. Here not technically having the transparency be on it's own layer isn't too bad, I haven't run into any problems. Probably because it can map on top of any of the tiles, not just one. It does have a "master tile" thing here too for the first slot, but it's not as invasive. I still don't find it useful, especially when mapping water along a varied edge. This is especially a problem when doing an overworld map, I've noticed. It does make things quicker if you working exactly the way the program expects you to, but in this case I'd much prefer having more control and having to fix awkward edges myself. There is one element that is really, really weird, so much so that it ends up not being useful if you're using anything other than the default tiles and/or sprites. I'm talking about the counter tiles. They're not automatic, you have to change a passage setting in the database, but they change how the actual tile is drawn. It does an odd thing that lengthens the height of the tile by doubling part of it (potentially useful) but it also takes part of it and shifts it to one side and overlays it on top of the existing art. I suppose it's there to make the top of the counter be slightly less repetitive but it's very, very awkward to make something with it that looks right. Especially if you'd like to be able to set something that's not a counter as a counter tile, such as a fence. If it didn't do the shifting, I'd bet the counter marker would be a really great feature, especially if you could specify how much taller you make it. A3: It really bothers me how the roofs match up exactly with the walls here. Since this section seems to only be used for exterior buildings with pitched roofs, why not allow the roof to be shifted outward a bit at the edges, overlapping the ground a bit. It'd be best if the edges would be mapped higher than the middle, above the player, but if it's a small enough shift it wouldn't be a big deal if it wasn't. It be really amazing if this edge bit could be mapped to overlay the same roof tile if you're doing a house with multiple stories, though how to easily choose that option could be tricky. A4: For the most part this works well, and is very clever. I would just like it to be on it's own layer, with the other transparent tiles. Having transparent edges here makes so, so much sense, and it would solve so many problems like too sharp corners and needing duplicates for different ground types. It would also allow for neat things like hedges with small holes in the middle and interesting fencing. A5: I'm constantly running out of space here. Most of this is due to needing a lot of extra tiles when I want to work around the default, like if I want alternate damaged walls or to put windows on the background or adding curved edges to my transitions, and so on. If these are addressed elsewhere I would still like to have this, the allocated space for it would be plenty. I do find myself wishing that I could have some tiles here be transparent, like a B tile that went on the background layer. This could be so nice for things like sideways stairs or slopes and angled walls. This desire could be addressed in lots of different ways. All Autotiles: The current setup of the smaller subdivisions and only the center as a full tile is efficient, and sometimes even better for certain tiles, but most of the time it makes for very limited artwork and very square corners. This is one of the big reasons people are always citing XP's mapping as superior, even though in some ways VX/Ace/MV makes things so much easier. I almost have to insist on being able to use the XP style of autotiles, with a 3x4 square of full tiles for each segment of edge and corner. Having both could be good, there are some cases where the extra space in the edge is just extra data for no reason, but if I have to choose one or the other for an entire map I'd rather use XP style. Mapping with one autotile should not always remap the current already placed autotiles. This stuff drives me crazy when I'm mapping and I know it does other people. I'll get a ground tile all nice and interesting and try to map a wall and suddenly all my careful edging is destroyed. I'll have to map the wall on a different map entirely, then shift click it into place if I don't want my ground changed. I'll admit, this behavior does have it's uses, like when you're mapping out the walls and floors of interiors, but most of the time it gets in the way. I would much rather not have it than to have it, and work around the times when it's useful instead, but maybe some way to toggle would be nice. B-E: This is basically good setup. It would be nice to have some way to have transparent animated tiles, something that would just be on a loop constantly without needing an event, maybe not as a B-E tile, but somewhere as a transparent tile you can place. It would be very, very useful if you could have a little bit finer positioning on placement. Pixel perfect like the grid free doodads is really nice, or maybe just half tiles for ease of use. This would be especially nice for placing windows and things that are right against a wall. I use so much wasted space because I want things in the middle of a tile division even though the actual art only takes up a single square. Shadows: This one is so broken I don't know where to start. The half tile drawing is nice, though insufficient and often auto drawn incorrectly. I hate the auto placement on this, I personally would like it to all be done by hand. It should also go over the player, letting them be in shadow. Not sure why that isn't default. It would be very useful if there was an option to tweak the color for it somehow, maybe even the transparency amount. It would also be really great to have a few basic shapes, like a fourth of a circle or different triangles. I often end up using the E tiles for this, which doesn't always work, especially when I run out of layers. All Tiles: Being able to not use the formatting at all should be an option, so you can just import tiles that aren't made for RM and would overwhelm the default A5 spot for it. More layers is also good. MV's setup mostly works, though I think just one more layer would be vastly better. I'm sure I could find ways that having even more would be better, but if it needs to be as minimal as possible, I would really like 3 for B-E, and that transparent actual layer in A I talked about earlier. I cannot stress enough how wonderful it would be to be able to chose a tile size before mapping. Both smaller and significantly larger would be very useful. I know some people would like to mix sizes in a map but I don't think this would be necessary if the placement of the B-E tiles was a little more flexible. Being able to mark things that you can walk behind is essential, especially for the wall and building tiles. For buildings this would have to be a setting separate from the object itself to work correctly. Like a region maybe. There absolutely needs to be the expectation that characters are going to be more than one tile high. It would be really, really nice to be able to map in different styles than the default. Like Iso perspective or the proposed dungeon crawler fake 3D. This might be asking a lot, since I know how much of a nightmare the layering is for things like iso, but the option would be so amazing. If not a separate mode then maybe the ability to mimic it with enough layers and being able to set some tiles to be both in front of and behind the player depending on where they stand. Maybe, if we're getting really crazy, the ability to map cropped tiles, like click a modifier and change from mapping a full square into mapping only a triangle piece of that tile.