There are tons of simple tile edits that anyone can do to make their maps look better! Let's learn some of them!
We already talked about mapping in the past and we faced some graphic related challenges. A lot of people consider editing tiles and mapping as two different things, but to me they are one and the same.
When you map, you need the right resources and when you make tiles, you make them for (someone’s at least, maybe not your own) mapping. It's all about making your map the best it can be.
I don’t expect everybody to be a perfect artist, but today I want to put a focus on some basic editing how you can make maps look way better no matter what your skill level.
The programs I use are Graphicsgale and Gimp as usual: both are free and cover 99.9% of the graphic stuff you'll need for editing tiles.
So without further ado, I made a simple indoor map:
This is your average NPC house. I’d expect this to belong to a single business owner who has his or her flat separate from the shop (or maybe with a stairs leading to it this could be a second floor of a shop?).
As you can see: solid map with unedited RTP.
Now let’s have a closer look at things I can do (and you for your maps), to make it better!
Before anything else, we create a new tile sheet (here: Inside_D) where we can store all our new additions. I generally do not like editing the default sets as they have all their passabilites and everything set, I rather add my own sheet or build my own tileset from bits and pieces in general.
In Gimp, I create a new image in the size 768x768, background color: transparent.
Then, I adjust the grid to 48x48 pixels:
Then, I set the grid to be visible.
Voila, here we go.
A few things to keep in mind:
If you create a B sheet, the tile in the upper left corner stays blank! For C/D/E this does not matter.
The tilesheet will be split in half in your preview, so for more mapping comfort you should not place larger objects in the middle.
Your “moved” objects will need more space, that’s another reason why you should rather “source them out” than to mess up the whole existing set.
Here is the problem visualized:
The depth of all the shelves is the length of arrow in the turquoise rectangle, but due to its placement in the grid, there is nearly the same amount (the reddish rectangle) ob empty space behind it, which makes them look weird on the map.
To fix that, we copy all the shelves we need onto our new sheet (rectangle selection and copy) and place them so that they would align perfectly with the wall:
Now that these are applied and replaced, we have a look at our updated map:
All the turquoise marked tiles need an adjustment as well.
The chairs and windows are fine to me and the table cannot be replaced unless we make it not an autotile, but here I am okay with the look as well.
The wooden chair in the corner will be addressed later anyways, so let’s proceed with moving. Copy all the needed things onto your new sheet...
… and move them by copy and pasting them into their new position:
You see, in my case I had some remaining empty tiles, here it does not matter but I’d recommend you to watch for things you can put in those spaces to make the best use out of your sheets!
Just this one step already makes a huge difference:
I named this section doable, as they are mostly copy and paste and with some time and will invested, they don’t need much skill.
As you can see the rooms are a bit empty, as all tiles are leaned up in the back wall. The RTP has barely any side view tiles.
I want some side view solutions for the pink marked areas, I want the chair to be turned in the violet square and I want that table in the turquoise square to be smaller.
Some of you might say “Someone already did that for the RTP shelves!”
Maybe. But keep in mind: One day you might work with other styles or basic shelves someone else made. So turning shelves is a usable skill!
Start by turning the top of the shelf. Copy and paste the top to be a bit wider than ii was before, otherwise the shelf will look a bit too narrow!
Then Cut and paste the lower part until it has the same width.
Your result will be something like this:
As we talk about doable stuff:
You could now perfectly pixelate a wooden side panel.
Or you utilize the structure of the wood shelf back and recolor it to match:
There you go!
Now just place it onto your sheet and proceed!
Just by copy, paste and turn you can create a simple side view counter that matches your other kitchen counters perfectly.
If you now cut off the side view counter diagonally, you get a corner piece ready to use.
Copy your results into the sheet and proceed!
With your experience from earlier steps, you can probably already guess what you have to do here:
Cut and paste the table until it has the size you are looking for. Add the few pixels that are needed to keep the napkin below the plant the right shape. And you are done!
Use the front view as source for the parts and as reference while making the side view chair.
When you have a blocky object, chances are good you can puzzle out a side view version together with what you have.
My result here is not perfect, but what just five minutes and copy and paste can do. And that is what we are talking about here: not high end perfection, but small bits everyone can do to polish their maps.
Let us now apply our edits and have a look!
(I removed the autoshadows as I did not like how they looked with the side view furniture)
Now we are lose to the end, but let us now add some more tiny edits to flesh things out:
By “clumping” items together you can have a more natural placement and have more variety of items on a tile than mapping them separately would allow. This allows you to add some neat details without much effort!
Here I clumped a small collection “cheese and wine” for the table and some clutter for the kitchen.
And there we go, my total time invested (without the tutorial on the side), maybe 15-30 minutes work. Plus: What I made here, can be used on other maps as well!
Imagine how much of a difference these few steps make and imagine how much time a project takes anyways!