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.

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