Sometimes, we are looking for resources for our games and then we find the perfect things… but they were made for VX or Ace. A lot of people give up at that point or try to just use an algorithm to upscale said tiles. Both are not really the go to solutions - either you end up without the tiles or you end up with stuff that is somewhat blurry.
But don’t be scared, there are ways to get them to work!
As most of the things from the basic RTP are already covered by the ones from MV/MZ, I will focus on fanmade things, in this case, mostly the amazing tiles of PandaMaru.
Stuff works plug and play
Let’s be honest. Some things just need to be copied into the different grid and no one will see it was not made for this size.
Example: Things that can be different sizes anyways:
There is no certain scale for an air balloon, the only thing that needs to work is that someone has to fit into it. In the case of Maru’s VX Ace air balloon, it is big enough to hold up to 4 MV or MZ characters - which is already a full party - without looking off. And that without even touching the default file!
The same goes for trees. As the default trees are very tiny, all kinds of custom larger VX Ace trees won’t look off when mixed with them - even without any further editing.
For example, the trees by Ebanyle are not intended for use in the modern engines, but does that really make a difference?
The same goes for some of the trees by Maru of course and many other things by her and other authors.
When to use this:
How to use them:
Open an empty B/C/D tile and add the grid. Place your tiles in a way their passability makes sense. In case you have variation tiles, as in the Ebanyle set, you either have to use two layers to use it or have to edit it a bit so it works.
Then just import it as is.
This option usually counts for structures like walls and floors. Of course we have to make sure the structure works in the different dimensions as well, but besides that, we are pretty safe to go:
I took these as examples, they are by PandaMaru as well and I know a lot of you wish for more Sci-Fi or modern options for MV and MZ. A lot of people would advocate for “well, just upscale it” but that is not my go to method. Look at the structure! The details themself are not off, the tiles are just too small.
The tile size is 32x32. Now let us do some math (I know, I know…):
32*3 = 96 = 48*2
This means you can parallax any MV/MZ wall or floor with Ace Autotiles AS LONG AS the dimensions of that area have an imaginary grid of 96x96.
Sounds too complicated?
Due to that different grid size I would not recommend porting for example forest walls or rock cliffs that way, as this might look not very organic. It works best for “normal” square rooms, streets,...
Market stalls are an all-time favorite to add some life to your town center. Maru has these beautiful ones for VX Ace and if we take an MZ char and place it next to them you can clealy see they are just too small:
The wooden stilts are just way too narrow and there is no room for an NPC to stand below it.
Our glorious answer here is…
Copy and Paste.
Or to sound more elaborate: “some careful editing”.
At first, remove the shadow, you can add it in later, but due to the semi-transparency it makes editing very difficult if you keep it.
First, use the magic of copy and paste to get to the dimension you want. Make sure to just make straight structures that could loop longer. For the stilts you can get a perfect structure by carefully selecting the part you copy, for the fabric part it does not work but that’s okay for now.
It is definitely not the cleanest way to edit stuff, but here the smudge tool can help you fix the structure well enough.
And these two things are all you need, with two further steps that only include copy and paste and smudge (and a tiny bit of erase) I am done:
And the result works very well:
This works best for things that have long straight parts, like most furniture, anything with posts, chests and crates, signs, ladders...
My main issue with the MZ tiles is that the modern tileset lacks the variety that comes from years and years of fan creations, so to show you how well these methods work I will make a small modern outdoor map mixing in some VX Ace tiles casually.
Street(parallax); playground equipment, tree, manholes, signs, construction parts, trash can (as is), traffic lights, bench, street lamps(parts made longer/wider): PandaMaru
Cars, Truck(as is): WhenBugsRoamUrHouse
MV dog, MZ sidewalks autotile: Avery
everything else - vanilla MZ RTP
These techniques don't work for all Ace tiles that exist, but it will help you port a lot of beautiful items without any issues!
Cliffs are something that can make a huge difference on your maps. I don’t know where you live, but if I look out of my window the landscape is far from being flat and so there are probably parts of your game’s world that could benefit from some height differences for the ground - being it some hills or high mountains.