Tutorial: How Autotiles Work?

in Tutorials

If there is one thing that artists trying to make materials for RPG Maker ask me the most, it is this:

Magnets… I mean… Autotiles, how do they work?

Miracles man. Ok, no not really. It can be really easy to misunderstand the system, that is why I’m going to break it down to you, by breaking down one of the A2 style autotiles into its component parts to show how the editor assembles them.

First, let’s start with what the auto-tile looks like in the sheet:


Note: All tile images are increased to 2x their normal size for ease of view. Actual tiles in the sheets are 50% this size.

The first thing I want to do. Is tell you to completely ignore the top left tile. This tile is ONLY used as what is shown in the tile selection part of the editor. None of it will ever be used in your actual maps. So we’re just going to delete that section from the further images here.

The second thing is: Stop thinking of the auto-tile as sets of 48×48 tiles. Instead, each tile is made up of 4 mini-tiles of 24×24 pixels. So let’s break down the autotile in to 24×24 sections:


This is how the editor thinks about autotiles. But how does it pick the components it needs to assemble a tile? This is important because knowing how it picks the individual tiles will make it super easy to put together your own pieces.

So first of all, there are 4 types of minitiles. Each one ALWAYS goes specifically in a specific corner of the combined tile the editor makes. I’m going to mark the four types with colored squares in the corner so that you can understand what I mean:


From now on, I’ll refer to any 24×24 minitile with a red square in the corner as a red piece, and the same with the other colors.

A 24×24 minitile in the position where it has the red square on it above will ALWAYS be used as the upper left quarter of the tile. Green will always be used as upper right. Yellow as lower left, and blue as lower right.

So for example, if we were placing an autotile, and all the tiles around it were using the same autotile, the editor would pick the following 4 pieces, then, the important step, it would place them in the correct corners of the combined tile:


Notice that the selected bit from the lower right, in red, despite being to the lower right part of the autotile, and to the lower right of the rest of the pieces, but as it is in a red piece position it is ALWAYS used as the top left of the combined tile.

This means for each top red piece, the right edge has to match to every top green piece left edge with matching features. for instance, this 24×24 tile piece:


It’s right edge, should match every green piece left edge that has snow on the upper edge on the left side. The two pieces that match this description: the green piece with snow running along the entire top and the green piece with the snow forming an inside corner. Its left edge should match up with the right edge of any green piece with snow on the upper edge on the right side, the green piece outside corner, and the green piece with snow running along the entire top edge again.


And you can follow this logic to find all the pieces that need to match with each edge. The top edges of every blue piece needs to match the bottom edge of every green piece with matching snow features. It’s bottom should match the top. And so forth on so on.

With this information, you should be able to make your own autotiles, but if you are still having issues, in next week’s tutorial, I’ll walk through making a standard autotile by making one myself!

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