Ace Preview: Mapping Features

in Announcements

Hey its another preview (It’s almost like we are actually getting closer to release or something!)

This time, I’m going to cover some things that are near and dear to many users’ hearts. Mapping features. And why shouldn’t they be? Your maps are the representation of the world the player is interacting with. But that is a conversation for another time. Let’s look at some awesome features that return from XP, and a tool that is appearing for the first time in VX Ace.

First thing: Tilesets

Isn’t that just a beautiful screen? This is the Tileset tab from the database. You can have as many Tilesets as you have maps, and each one can individually select a separate A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B, C, D, and E independently of any other Tileset. The RTP includes 4 Tilesets: World, Outside, Inside, and Dungeon.

You can also see the return of a lot of useful functions. 4 way Passability, Bush Tag, Terrain Tags, etc.

VX Ace Tileset format is very similar to VX. The only changes are in a couple of parts of TileA, which actually now has two different layers. I’ll show pictures of that in a minute but first lets talk about another thing.

Let’s look at the Shadow Tool. VX Ace, much like VX, still automatically adds shadows to your maps. This was a huge pain to a lot of RMers that hated the default autoshadow setup. But we’ve got an answer to that now.

This tool gives you complete control over them. Shown on the left is using the shadow tool to add shadows where they didn’t exist before. Shown on the right is using the shadow tool to remove existing shadows.

You can do this with any shadows you like, even those made automatically by the program. It follows a 16×16 grid instead of the normal 32×32 tile grid so each tile has 4 sections to add shadows to.

I mentioned earlier the 2 TileA layers, and now I’ve discussed the autoshadow tool. So lets put together what all that means:

This image shows from left to right, two tile A tiles, the shadow tool, and a TileB-E tile. On the bottom you can see how they can all combine on to one tile in your map.

(Near) Infinite Tilesets! Controllable Autoshadow! Tall Grass on Water?! Aren’t you excited?

13 comments… add one

  • Denn February 13, 2012, 5:24 pm

    I love the ability to ge rid of the auto shadows. However, I would prefer if we could set up the editor to not add them by default. Is there any chance of that feature to be added before the English release? It’s pretty tedious to manually remove every shadow on a large mountainous map.

    Also, The shadow tool should be part of the layer selector, not it’s own pen, that way we can use the fill tool, or box tool with shadows as well.

  • Robin Porter February 13, 2012, 5:47 pm

    ASCII

    Not sure what happened between E! and them, but there seem a lot of repeat effort.

    Other then changing to ruby, this is looking more and more like RPGMK2K with lower resolution and a few add-ons. Is this on purpose?

    No ill intent, just curious.

  • Brian February 14, 2012, 10:30 am

    I always felt a bit put off by the limitations on tilesets by VX, it seemed like a step back. Glad to see the return of (nearly) unlimited tilesets!

    • Nick Palmer February 14, 2012, 12:30 pm

      Indeed. I mean, its not LITERALLY unlimited, but considering you can have as many tilesets as you have maps, its practically unlimited.

      • Jon February 22, 2012, 7:56 am

        This will definitely make a change to how we make games. I know that I will be looking into this one as well! After all, as many tilesets as maps means (if I remember correctly) 999 tile sets.

  • GermanFan February 15, 2012, 4:32 pm

    Good preview, but I think I didn’t get the new Layer-Feature.
    In VX, the A-Tiles still had two Layers (i.e. by adding Rocks to the Water Autotile, I think, it was done with two layers). Is this now possible for A5-Tiles too?
    Is it possible to extend this part of the preview?

    Oh, and what do this mysterious new buttons in the tilesettab? (*_*)

    Anyway a nice preview, please more of this. :)

    • Nick Palmer February 15, 2012, 4:46 pm

      A5 tiles are part of the lower A layer. The upper A layer are things like counters, fences, and high grass.

      The buttons down the right are pretty easy. Passage is the VX style passage settings, Passage: 4 Directional sets passage like in XP (where you can say that someone can leave a tile say, to the north but not to the south)

      Next is stairs (though ladder would be appropriate term). When you move across a tile like this you ALWAYS FACE NORTH. So even if you are going south, you continue to face the ladder.

      Bush makes the bottom 4(?) pixels of the character sprite to be semitransparent (used mostly with high grass).

      Counter lets you interact with an event on the other side of it (used for store counters)

      Floor damage does damage to characters if you walk on it (like Swamps in DQ)

      Terrain tag is used mostly for scripting.

  • Thijs February 16, 2012, 1:35 pm

    Hey,

    Looks promising! Is there already a release date of VX Ace? Could we expect the release this month already, or not?

    Anyway, I’m glad the mapping features are improved. :)

    • Nick Palmer February 16, 2012, 2:23 pm

      No official release date yet, but we should have it out within two months (and probably within one).

  • Zach February 22, 2012, 6:18 am

    Ahh yeah! Unlimited tilesets!

  • Kieran March 3, 2012, 8:53 pm

    Does anybody know if you can put this on a site for people to download without the RTP file?

  • Alicia January 22, 2013, 9:09 pm

    Why is the delete option greyed out when you go to make your map? Any way to fix that? And I tried erase the parts I didn’t want with the “transparent” tile. It didn’t work. How the heck do I get rid of tiles I don’t want? So far the only way to correct my mistakes is to use the “undo” option, but that will only undo so many actions and it will suck if I have to quit the project and reload it again just to get rid of some unwanted tiles. Help!

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