Posted by: Ocean's Dream | March 24, 2008


Working on a modern office set. I got up to this part at work, more to come later.

Step by step. My main problem was just getting it to tile. It did require a bit of playing around and trial and error, so don’t assume that you’ll get it exactly right after a few clicks.

This is simple enough. Make sure the middle tile can be tiled vertically, unless you want to have a fixed wall height.


Let me know if you have any questions on this.



  1. After checking your tileset tutorials, are there any decent techniques for getting tiles to “tile” properly? I’ve managed to get it to work by placing copies of the same tiles down, then continuing a given pattern across multiple tiles and lastly going back and editing that new pattern into the original tiles I was working with so it looks like it repeats perfectly. Is this how you do this, or are there other techniques you use? I’m just not sure if I’m going about this process the fastest way.

    Also, any advice on shading for tiles? My problem is that I’m working in a 32 x 32 size and I want there to be some contrast so the player can see details, but I don’t want it to stand out too much. Is there a good range (in numbers) to play with for shading and highlights? I’ve been experimenting a lot, but once I start spriting, I get used to much greater contrasts, and that messes up my tiling until I remember to adjust the contrast. I’m having trouble just eyeballing it, though.

  2. It depends on the tile. I always like to test it by having a group of 4, and see if there’s any obvious tiling there. It’s good to have a subgrid to a smaller amount, like 8×8 or 16×16 or even 4×4 depending on what you’re working on. The main thing is to worry about the edges. Make sure that the left edge matches the right edge. Make sure the bottom edge matches the top.

    Some tiles can have obvious tiling to them. Others like natural grass and stuff can be more tricky as you want it to not look tiled. You can use trial and error for that. Studying NES and Gameboy tilesets/screens can be quite helpful.

    As for colors, it depends on the type of color. You don’t have to worry so much with blue as you do with red for example. I tend to use higher contrasts, so this grass I have starts with 44,84,44 as the darkest color, and 164,190,64 for the highlights. Quite a big range, but there are 4 colors for the grass, so it’s not that hard on the eyes, and the midtone is almost around the middle grey around (127,127,127), which makes up most of the tile. Changing the highlight to a very bright yellow still didn’t make the tile too contrasty. Changing the midtone lighter really made a difference though, and hurt my eyes.

    Making your midtone around the middle grey area can help (I don’t mean in saturation, just around those numbers). Your colors can actually be relatively far from each other, but as long as it overall doesn’t stick out too much, it shouldn’t be a problem. Try to avoid bright highlights for floor tiles though. Walls aren’t as much of an issue there, and objects can stand out more.

  3. That’s all good info. Thanks for the help. The toughest part about all of this is, of course, the massive amounts of trial and error I have to go through at this point to get anything that looks at all usable. I think the test groups right off the bat are a good idea rather than trying to start a too large of a size and then worrying about whether it’s tiling well or not.

    Just as food for thought, what about tile sizes in the 64 x 64 range? Are there any special considerations? Do you need a wider range of shades and highlights to work with? I’ve been looking at some larger tiles, and they seem to use a much wider range of colors. For example, I ripped some graphics from the Battle for Wesnoth (it’s a free, fantasy wargame) to check out their map tiles, and when created a color palette from their basic grass tile, it had about 9 shades of green. It also didn’t look like they used any blending techniques. Just wondering why they did that as opposed to using a smaller selection of colors.

  4. The larger you go, the more colors you can use (unless you’re specifically making it cartoony). If you want a more realistic look to it, use multiple colors rather than different shades of green for grass. If you do that with say a 16×16 tile, it’ll just look like a mess. For something like 64×64, you can have a lot more variety. But then it starts to get time consuming to making tiles that size.

    Once you start going that big, you have the option to make textures or to draw out your tiles rather than pixel art them. Of course you still can if you’d like. It’s not really too hard to make new colors, so they can have lots more for bigger tiles to make it look more real. Doesn’t work as well for smaller tiles like 16×16, as I said before it could look messy if you don’t pull it off right. But they choose the colors, and don’t use tools to just add them.

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