VX Ace: Make Your Own Game Tutorial II: Intro to Mapping

in Tutorials

Our second RPG Maker VX Ace detailed tutorial is up. We are going to cover a bunch of mapping theory, as well as create the first map in our example game: A Mountain Village. This one is huge guys! Much too large to put into a blog post. This blog post will include the first 3 pages of the full 16 page tutorial that can be download in pdf here. Its incredibly hefty in size, so I would suggest right click save as rather than opening it in your browser.

Now on to the tutorial preview:

What is a Map in RPG Maker VX Ace?

A map in RPG Maker VX Ace is a single continuous collection of tiles used to visually create a location in your game’s world.

As we discussed in the last tutorial, a map is constructed from 32 x 32 pixel tiles. There is an element of layering as well, allowing you to put different types of tiles on top of each other, giving you a composite tile.

Combined these tiles will create a single location for your character’s to explore.

The First Step in Creating your Own Game

With this tutorial, we will take the first step into actually creating our short example game. This game will consist of the following:

  • 1 Town
  • 1 Small World Map
  • 1 Dungeon with two floors
  • 3 Playable Heroes with unique skills
  • A variety of Random Encounters
  • 1 Big Bad Boss

In the tutorials, I will show you the techniques I am using to create each component, but you can easily modify each step as you see fit. In fact, some steps will be left for you to finish using the techniques I am teaching.

Our first step will be to create the map of the main character’s home village. But first, we will look at some fundamentals.

The Map Editor Interface

Figure 2-1: Map Editor

Figure 2-1 shows the Map Editor with the important parts labelled. The labelled portions are detailed below.

A, Map Canvas: This is where you create your map. Just left click on it to draw using your currently selected tile.

B, Tile Palette: This is where you select the tile you wish to use. There are multiple tabs, listed from A to as high as E depending on how the way the tileset is set up in the database. The standard Exterior tileset shown here has tabs A through C.

C, Map List: This is where all the maps in your game are listed for you to select. You also create new maps by right clicking in this area, as well as adjust the properties of your existing ones.

D, Copy/Paste Tools: These allow you to cut, copy, paste or delete the map you have selected in the Map List.

E, Undo Button: This allows you to undo the last change you made to your map.

F, Layer Selection: This is where you select which layer you are working on. VX Ace has three selectable layers, Map, Event, and RegionID. This tutorial will focus on the Map layer, and its internal layering.

G, Tools: This is the drawing tools you have available. They are, Pen, Box, Ellipse, Fill, and Shadow.

H, Zoom Selection: This allows you to change your zoom level


Autotiles are a special type of tile that make creating maps quick and easy. An autotile is a single tile selectable in the Tile Palette that when used on the Map Canvas creates shaped tile areas. There are a variety of autotile types, which  are all part of the A tab in the Tile Palette.

There are two layers in the A tab, the bottom layer, and the embellishment layer, which can be seen with the fence below.

Figure 2-2: Various Autotiles

Tile B-E

The B through E tab tiles are all used on a third layer above the two A tab layers. They are used mostly for adding details to existing maps.

The blue checkered area in the Palette represents the transparent portions of the tiles, which will allow the A tab tile below it to show through.

Figure 2-3 shows a variety of B-E tiles added to the previous autotile example map.

Figure 2-3: Tile B-E

Want to read the rest? See the RPG Maker VX Ace tutorial section and download the full 16 page PDF version of this tutorial: Make Your Own Game Part 2 – Intro to Mapping

Any questions or suggestions? Don’t hesitate to leave us some comments in the section below.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Marty

    To me that would be a very short game.

  • … hence the phrase “short example game.”

  • amerk

    Excellent job with this tutorial. Very well detailed, and I especially thought the part of perspective was well done.

  • ventus

    uhm….where’s the rest of the tutorial????? sorry, im really newb to RPG Maker (but not on the Net) cause im soo excited 😀

    • The next tutorial should be up by the end of the week.

      • ventus

        oh, thanks :3 but the next week? :O

        • Wait are you referring to the rest of the mapping tutorial? There are links to the pdf version that has the full tutorial at the top and bottom of the blog post. The full tutorial is much to big to put on the blog in its entirety, plus the pdf version looks nicer anyway.

          This week’s tutorial will be on creating characters.

          • ventus

            LAST question. you said we were going to make a small game with 1 town and 1 small world map and big bad boss and stuff. but the next page is IGM tutorial, Adding Features… is that part of the tutorial? sorry if im a pain in the butt, cause i wanted to make a game of my own, and im having troubles with my script :S
            so is the IGM Tutorial part of the making a “mini game” tutorial?? thanks. 🙂

          • IGM is a separate program. It takes me a lot of time to write each RPG Maker VX Ace tutorial, so I am also putting up our series of IGM tutorials (that aren’t related) in between them since another person is handling writing those, and only take me the time to format them for the blog and do small amounts of editing. They have no relation to the series of Ace tutorials I am writing.

  • ventus

    thanks very much!! I’ll be expecting your tutorials soon!!
    oh and they rock! <3

  • nutmix007

    Is it possible to turn the screen? If your using a loaded sample map of a town for instance and you have a house that you can see from the back is it possible to turn the screen so that you can view that house and make it accessible to a party like any other building in the game?
    I just got the ace system and I cant find anything about it in the help menu.
    Thank you for any help with this,

    • Possible but not easily. You would have to remap the entire area from a different perspective, then use events to transfer you to the “turned” map. With 2D RPG Mapping, you really have to adjust to the medium. You can’t treat it like a 3D canvas.

  • KC

    the link you have to the pdf document isn’t working. I got an error saying it was broken or something, refreshed it several times, and it’s still not working. /:

  • Avadon

    I wasn’t able to find the Object2 tileset for the bottom of the waterfall tile. I got my version of VX Ace from Steam. How can I make sure I have all the assets I should have?

    These tutorials are great! I’m having a lot of fun going through them.

  • Dead Game

    Thanks for the tutorials. Now i can make the Dead game.