Posted by: Ocean's Dream | January 22, 2008

Super RM2k3 auto-tiles


Okay, time for auto-tile fun!

So far we’ve made a grass tile, a crate, and some walls. I went ahead and made a dirt tile. I used some browns that weren’t too dark or bright. The lighter browns are to make a rocky looking dirt, and the darks to be like little holes to give it some depth. You do not need to make it pure brown, use dirt path pictures or tiles as a reference. I also made some columns to be the sides of the building. I will go over rounded objects in the future. The base of it wasn’t meant to be rounded.

We’re still going to need plenty more if we want a tileset that isn’t plain and boring to work with. How about some ceiling auto-tiles, dirt path auto-tiles, roads and such? Since there are 12 auto-tile sets, sometimes you may have more auto-tile sets available than you need, and if you’re running low on space in the lower tiles, you can put some in the auto-tile section. All you have to do is copy the one tile to all of the tiles in that auto-tile set, like so:

Let’s start with the ceiling auto-tiles, as they tend to be pretty simple. Then, by example, I’ll show you what goes where in the auto-tiles. There are 4 rows of 16×16 tiles per auto-tile. The 1st row is for when you place only 1 of the auto-tile (The tile on the left), and for the corners of the auto-tiles (The tile on the right). The bottom 3 rows are for the corners, sides, and the middle of the actual auto-tile.

Let’s start with a pure black. You may use a dark unsaturated color instead of black, it’s up to you. Fill the bottom 3 rows with that black. For the top row, fill only the tiles to the left and right, leave the middle one empty. The middle tile in the top row is useless, so you’ll frequently see it empty.

We’re going to outline the auto-tile. You can put any design you like, but we’ll keep it simple for now. Just a 3 pixel wide line around it. How about a blueish color for it? A solid color will do for now. Leave the top row alone for now. You can make the line thicker or thinner if you’d like, but try not to go over 8 pixels wide. For shading it, ceiling auto-tiles usually go from light to darkest near the middle of it. So I’ll color the inner most line a darker blue, and the outermost line a light blue. This is the easy part.

There are 9 tiles total in this bottom section. The 4 corners are only use at the edges, obviously. The 4 sides (Excluding the corners) will be tiled when you want to make it longer or wider. The middle 16×16 tile is the one that will fill up all the space in the middle, the other 8 tiles are just an outline for it.

In the top section, the top left tile is how it would be if you only place one tile of the auto-tile on the map. Make it like a mini version of the bottom 3 rows. Shouldn’t be too tough, especially if it’s just a rectangle.

Now, let’s go with an 8×8 grid. Go to the top right tile that’s still plain black. In an 8×8 grid, there will be 4 parts of the 16×16 there that can be used to make the corners. Here’s what I got for mine (Zoomed in), I’ll show you how to do yours. Testing this out in RM2K3 while working on it would be helpful.

I recommend making a new file, a small one, like 96×96 or something. It’s time to work on the corners. Here’s something which could help you avoid the guesswork. Take the black tile, place it in the middle. Take 2 corner tiles (The same corners), and place them as you see in the picture.

Notice how there is a gap between the 2 corner tiles? Your task is to connect them together. (You can also make other designs there, but let’s keep it simple for now). Once you’ve done that, unless your other corner tiles have very different designs and aren’t the same when rotated, you can just use that tiny corner piece and copy it over and rotate it to fit the other sides. Like so:

This resulting tile will be placed in the top right tile of the auto-tile. You’re set, try it out! One last auto-tile and I’ll call it a night.

I’ll work with the dirt auto-tile this time. Let’s put some grass around it so it isn’t square when you place it on the map. Since grass can cover other auto-tiles as well (Like taller grass, roads), I recommend making a new auto-tile with just grass tiles. We’re going to work off of that, and leave it so we can copy it over other tiles and reuse it.

Similarly to the previous auto-tile, we’re going to go to the bottom 3 row section. Determine what you’re going to use for the background color when you import the chipset. With the chipset template, it’ll be pink, so use that pink. As in the previous auto-tile, you do not want the grass to be over 8 pixels wide for each tile. To save time, once I finish one side, I’ll just flip it over and copy it to the other sides, and make the middle tile a flat pink.

For the top section, do a similar thing for the top left tile as you did for the previous auto-tile. You’ll want the grass on the outer edges of the 16×16 tile, and the pink in the middle.

Now for the corners for the top right tile. Remember what we did for the previous auto-tile? Again, repeat the same process. Place 2 corners together with the pink in the middle. Connect the 2, and copy over and rotate that piece in the tile.

So now, you should have a grass auto-tile that’s ready to be copied over to whatever you want. I suggest that unless you already have the grass auto-tiles you need and need the auto-tile space, to keep it as is. Go back to the dirt auto-tile. Make sure the pink is selected to be a transparent color before you copy it. Then, paste it on top. All you’d need to do then is make the shadow colors for when the grass/dirt meet.

So, this is the resulting chipset!

And a sample silly map:

Hint 1: As I said before, you can use auto-tiles if you run out of room in the lower layer. Either put single tiles and make it as an autotile, or if you have a set of tiles that are meant to just be made in a square (Stairs are actually a pretty good example of this), you can use that too.

Hint 2: If you hold shift while placing auto-tiles, you’ll just place the middle tile of the bottom section of it, like if you were placing a regular tile. It could be very useful, so try it out!

For those who aren’t using RM2K3, but are using another maker, talk to the person who’s coding the game for them to give you info on how auto-tiles will work in their game. It may not be the same as in Rm2K3/RMXP (They may only need 9 tiles instead of 12 for example), and sometimes there is no auto-tile support and you have to consider the corners and everything into each tile. I believe Isometric games usually don’t have auto-tiles.

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