Browbeating Auto-Tiles: Shift Clicking

in Tutorials

-A Beginner Tutorial-

Autotiles are a great concept. They make drawing up maps incredibly fast. Look at the map below. Yes, I mean, it is simple and not good looking yet, but its a solid base and it took all of a minute to draw out. The walls, roof, and path all have nice edges drawn automatically. But sometimes, the autotiling gets it wrong. Wouldn’t it look better if the path went all the way to the door? And what if we didn’t want the path running off the bottom edge of the map?

That is where shift clicking comes in, and is one of the most basic, but powerful tools you have for making a great looking map. Let’s tackle that path going to the door first!

Shiftclick1First, you need to remember that right-clicking on a tile on the map copies it. But it copies just the general “idea” of an autotile. It doesn’t remember which permeation of the autotile it is. To do that, you need to use Shift. To grab the exact permeation of the autotile, find it on your map (in this case I found it in the section highlighted below) and hold down shift and right click on it.

Shiftclick2Now, if you were to then just left click on the place you want it, it still would just place a generic autotile. To use the permeation you copied, you need to once again hold shift while clicking. And with a shift left click: Voila. The path now goes under the door!

Shiftclick3But what if you don’t have the permeations you need? Well, just draw a shape that will create them in a blank spot. To get the shape of the path bottom I need, I drew the rectangle below.

Shiftclick4Also remember you can copy MULTIPLE tiles at once. Just hold down shift while right click dragging over the section you want…

Shiftclick5… And shift + left click where you want it to go. Its THAT easy!

Shiftclick6After that, you can erase the extra stuff you created to grab the autotiles you wanted and you are ready to continue on with your map!

Shiftclick7Remember, there are no restrictions on the groupings of tiles you select. I could shift right click the whole building up there if I wanted to, allowing me to place it EXACTLY as is anywhere on the map. Unlocking the power of shift click copying in VX Ace will allow you to make your maps much, much more organic looking, and make up for the not so perfect AI of our autotile system.

Questions? Suggestions to newbie mappers? Join us in the comments section below.

3 comments… add one

  • amerk April 21, 2014, 3:16 pm

    The auto-tiles in VX / Ace are great and easy to use, but sometimes it makes me long for the days where you could double click and pull up each piece to map (like in XP), where you had various corners to use. I’m wondering if in the next maker, they’d consider doing a combination of the two, or if it would get too difficult for the program to understand. Otherwise, shift-clicking isn’t hard, just gets a bit more time consuming if you have to do a lot of it.

    • Nick Palmer April 23, 2014, 3:32 pm

      Honestly, I agree that autotiles could be handled a bit better than they are in the current maker, but they are definitely manageable.

  • Wiimeiser April 21, 2014, 10:15 pm

    The “select piece” could probably be added in an update, as it’s just editor functionality.

    Also, always have a border around your maps, never have the edge accessible unless it’s a slide transition like in Zelda. Always block it off with obstacles or transfer events.

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