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

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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

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.

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