MAPPING IS YOU: PERSONAL STYLE PHILOSOPHY

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Pages: 1
Thread Note
This is NOT a map help or critique thread, if you even mention a tile error I am coming for you.
Every post you make, every screen you take, I’ll be watching you
What I Want From You
I want to see screens and general images of your maps and talk about how you like to do things; how you like to place tiles, decor, philosophy of placing them.

Some Points to Hit
Overworlds
The map(s) the player walks on! Tell me about stuff like if you like using roads, multi-tile towns, or other stuff!

Exteriors
Including but not limited to: Towns, woods, roads, extra-planetary bodies

Interiors
You know what the insides of buildings are I hope

Dungeons
Both the insides and the outsides

Other
Stuff that isn’t strictly mapping or bound to a particular type of map like:
Map Connections
Path Placement
Drawing the Eye
Visual Cues
Scale
Through Lines
Camera
Things I Didn’t Think Of
*If you think something should be added up here or I should elaborate on something feel free to PM me.
**I decided to stop stressing over this so smack me down with errors you see or if it sucks
***Credit for half the thread name to ESBY
Alright so, here goes.
After examining a ton of my maps made over the years, I have to say, damn my old maps sucked! There's some things I liked, but some things that I definitely didn't like that I tended to do a lot.


This is an example of one of my old maps. It's serviceable and gets the point across (desert oasis tent town), but it has the glaring issue of having open edges. this is confusing as heck for gameplay is you don't set a teleport signifier precedent in place.
One thing that has stuck that's sorta a stylistic touch is how the map has a visible skyline. Now, I know this doesn't make a lot of perspective sense, but honestly, I just like to be able to see the sky once in a while, you know? The cave from the area to the north can also be seen slightly over the horizon, as if this were animal crossing wild world and stuff was all on a rolling log shape or something. Again not realistic for the perspective, but it fulfils a gameplay purpose by reminding the player what's up ahead.

Also, within gameplay, this is also changed between the day and night versions of the sky background for this particular town, since there is an event which takes place after dark here (with proper tinting, of course). It uses an edited pokemon tileset mostly just because I was on a tileset downloading spree back then but the base tileset didn't have all the pieces I needed.


This is an example of a looping map, specifically the hypothermia maze from creeptacular shack. because there are no map boundaries to worry about and it just flows into itself, it can successfully feel like an endless forest. I limited myself to basic vxa rtp here because it was an event game and I didn't wanna waste time on fiddling with tileset stuff. Regardless, it works well for its function of being a maze that resembles a forest, with plenty of organic shapes.


This is a much earlier looping map from a much earlier event game known as "The Lost Mom" back on rpgrpg revolution. Once again, looping is used to convey the vastness of the city without blocking the player in entirely and being able to limit how much you show them at the same time. Have I mentioned how hard it is to make a modern looking city with 2k3 rtp? This city is supposed to be set in 1993/2010, but with most tiles optimized for a much older building style, I had to rely upon (vaguely) modern architectural design patterns to convey the modern nature of this city.


This is a non-looping properly enclosed map, much closer to my more recent standards. It is quite messy, being a town in the middle of an old growth jungle inhabited by pokemon, but it manages to have a decent sense of style to it. That bridge right up there I haven't been able to get working quite right, but under optimal circumstances it would be pretty badass to have a bridge that can be walked under and over if desired. Again, the visible skyline is present here, though only visible if at the top of a treehouse at the top of the map. This conveys a greater sense of height than if the sky were not visible.


This is a more recent map, with some interesting use of the parallax layer to bring depth to the "mirror flooring". Because of the very limited selection of tiles available here, much of the focus is put upon the arrangement of the elements in the room, many of them in a symmetrical setup to drive home the mirror theme of the dungeon.


Another use of the parallax layer for reflections, this time reflections of the sky on windows for a sense of camera movement. Yes, I realize this design doesm't make perspective sense either, but dammit, I wanna see the sky more often!

So yeah, there's a handful of my old maps. Hopefully I wrote about the right stuff here.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
21729
I'm a bit set in my ways, but I will try different styles with different teams. Mostly, I've learned mapping from Liberty's tutorials and have mostly gone from there.



Here is a map I made for the 2k3 RMlympics. It's a pretty standard example of the types of forest maps I like to make. There are some issues with it that bug me, primarily the way the tiling around the waterfall is laid. I found that there is no perfect way to map a waterfall with White Screw, so whenever I make a waterfall, if I run into that problem, I just edit the chips until I get them the way I want them to look.



This is for a Final Fantasy fangame I occasionally work on. I'm really particular about something things. If I don't have something, if I can't find it in fifteen minutes, I'll make it just because I'm impatient, like this sewer drainage pipe spilling water.



When an engine allows me more flexibility in making a map, I'll definitely take it, such as the case here with my spaceship interior from Across the Universe, made in Unity, but if you look, you'll see that my method continues to be influenced by how I design maps in RPG Maker.



My method of mapping building interiors has, to my knowledge, never changed.



At all.



Ever.

(Yes, I know there's a height error in this map. I caught it quickly and fixed it but not before uploading this image many moons ago. I also know that the graphics don't all match. This is an old map, and please remember what I said about my sewer pipes.)

I'm very pedantic about interior doors and will usually, though not always, insist they be properly set into the walls, like above.

Anyway, I think these are all fairly okay examples of my mapping.
all hail 3 tile rule bitches



idk if 2008 me ever adhered to any mapping guidelines as I tried to just vary the locales much as possible while still going by "why did you put that rock there?" miyamotto logic. I wish I had the full map because as you might tell it's actually pretty linear at first, but then lets you explore this village afterwards.



I was definitely interested in making even the most blocky of rooms look varied though, but tend to disregard stuff like water/sewage. I forget if I edited this chipset myself, because I know I made the red door, but unsure if I made that sewer pipe.



Some random edited RTP game I was working on. Interesting to see I don't bother varying the grass and swamp too much, but the trees themselves are. Though this is a very gameplay centric map as swamp tiles actually hurt you.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/204/locker/SCREENSHOT6.PNG
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/204/locker/hotsasdas.PNG
Started learning how to do my own custom art but gameboy graphics. THink I didn't care too much about mapping so much as getting the graphics done, it was a great starting point.





2009/2010 - Here's where I return to rm2k3 and attempt a steampunk game with my own custom art. The varied-ness of tile placement is in full force as I can just make whatever I want. Though there are multiple versions of this map... I started really getting into making unique set-pieces for each map and balancing it out with re-useable tiles. I think there was a lot of time spent learning about negative and positive space in regards to how the snow acts as neat decorating but also isolates on where to go next.


I start going really hard on the cliffs here and again, it's as simple as understanding the negative and positive space. The darkness and further lack of detail as the cliff face trails off makes for some nice implications (and not having to map the rest of the canyon). Again though I really liked having unique set-pieces, lot of things in this game were made only for one map.


Time passes and I decide to make a "weird rpg" in the spirit of space funeral I guess. The color palette was taken from some pixel art contest and I go really inventive with deciding what was what. Red would typically be metal, purple would be biological/water, and green would be stone/wood work with the lighter being paper. Again with the water you can see me really using negative space to play with how submerged this place is. The animation is done by cycling the chipset with slightly different water frames.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/204/locker/buidlings.jpg
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/204/locker/townshot3.jpg
Still have some in progress maps here. Interestingly I think I just abandon having varied tiles in favor of creating more varied locales (figuring out how each house was going to have different doors/windows).


This map in particular isn't too much different from the cliffs I did for SG. The same principle of relaying where you can walk and can't apply here. The green highlights were the only way I could get across that there was a top to the cliff face. Another thing to note is that I think instead of trying to vary the tiles I tried to make a single tile itself varied, it's mostly accomplished by pasting a 2x2 tile everywhere and making it seamless enough to imply there's more to it. I think I was also studying FF6 narshe cliffs around this time.


Lot of people like this shot. Mainly I guess cause it's cool a robot is being used as a house in a submerged junkyard. Not only is the map layered but so is the locale itself. There's a lot of things going on with how one would assume this world is lived in, and I think that's the key to good map making imo. Not the superficial tile placement stuff, but just whether or not you're conveying an interesting scenario with imagery alone. Not my map at all (it's from Mog's Adventure) But I feel with these sort of maps there's something going on even without provided context. Maps aren't just a jumble of tiles to wade through!



Fast-forward a bit and I go hungry with power after learning how to 3D model. I think even before being accepted at the college I was figuring out how to angle the camera in such a way that an RPG character could walk along it. I settled for orthographic cameras (non-perspective) that actually makes it 100% correct. But ultimately I think I just like seeing the side of walls at times, so the bathroom shot in the bottom left has a perspective camera. In regards to "varied" """tiles""", lighting actually became a pretty good way in simply undoing the the monotony, in the top left I crafted a lot of shapes to imply light shafts. Also to note a lot of the props in the background are mostly the same shit, but just rotated in a lot of different ways with the textures slightly altered. The biggest problem with pre-rendered backgrounds is that the sky's the limit, there's almost TOO MUCH you can do. There's also issue of not being able to test the maps as fast as there are a lot of in-between actions of setting this sort of stuff up.

With the same game I returned to the gameboy aesthetic I started long ago:

Interesting to compare this to Nastrond.

Fastforward a bit and I started focusing less on RPG Maker and more on side stuff and Unity. Though I did crank out one last rm2k3 game WIP.


Think I was less focused on the actual tiles and just wanted to understand a better way to go about lighting, colors and mood. It's a very dark game but it was mainly so the the lit sections of the game would have more contrast. I had a lot of ambitious ideas for how the maps would function and connect. A lot of people relied on overlays but I wanted to bake the lighting within the tilesets themselves (another example). This would require a lot of fine tuning and wrestling with the limitations though.

I was heavily inspired by anime films like Kite and Perfect Blue (don't watch these movies if youre a kid btw ((even though I was)), they're so dark and yet use colors like red in really interesting ways. I think I was just really hyper focused on creating that look in an rpgmaker game and I don't mean in a loose inspired way but more in an academic color theory study way. I think I was far removed from the tile mapping at this point and was obsessed with other aspects than simply just mapping, but it's interesting to see how the journey ended up.

I did oldschool mapping in Nemoral and Kryopolis using preset chipsets, but they don't really reflect my actual mapping style as they were kinda rushed. But it does show my sub-conscious map skills in what I see as "good enough"


This is what happens when I take too much time on mapping, almost everything is uniquely placed and carefully shaded. Though really, there's a trick to it.

In the same vein as rotoscoping I block the scene out with a jumble of 3D primitives then trace it over with pixels where I get to do the fun stuff.

Though since it's not in rpgmaker, there are some interesting things to consider.


Slapping in the prerendered scenes that are to be traced later can be useful for prototyping or feeling out the scene. Though maybe tracing isn't the best word, a lot of times my ideas will change for how I want the actual background elements to be, so the result will change, but the fundamental space will be the same.

Suffice to say my outlook on art and mapping has changed a lot and I might have not covered some really core aspects of RPG Maker mapping, but I do think it's a really a unique aspect of the community and culture. I think some people are too dismissive of it at times as just (3 tile rule rudra shit) and don't realize how integral mapping is to a lot of people getting their start in game development. 90% of the games I've worked on never released, but idk at least it makes for some content on this very post. It's fun to look back on and see where the influences lie.
zDS
Besr Richard Slayer
5025
Let's do this!

My mapping philosophy is to build everything around level design. Aesthetically I focus on a big picture. I primarily use RPG Maker VX Ace so bigger maps are discouraged via lag problems with the program. So I like to make a big picture with small maps.

I have a generalized idea in my head and set a standard map size. For Cope Island I used 20 x 15 as my standard. If I want a larger map, I add on 20 or 15 as needed.

I used to make a plan by making an image with sloppy squares to have a basic idea of what I want to do, but lately I've been doing that in my head. But when you make a map you need to know what it will be connected to so you can build the level design section around that.

I will show an example of the first section of Cope Island. I started off very basic, where you only head to different maps to the north.





First map. I have the map set the overall atmosphere. Level design is mostly non-existent, only the first battle is had here.



Second map. This one was hard because I had to introduce a bunch of mechanics here. This one had to change a ton over time.



Gradually I have the atmosphere change a bit as it goes forward while the whole thing connects. When all connected these three small maps look like one big map.



You just take it a map at a time, make the edges connect and make sense, and eventually you get a world.

Super blurry image of the top section of Cope Island.



All of those consist of small maps with a tight knit level design philosophy. I made sure it's fast paced and plays smoothly. All that takes about 25-30 minutes to complete if you take your time. I also have an underground section that ALL connect properly to the top half.


There are a ton of ways to go about mapping, I just showed the style I currently do. Which is like one big dungeon with different sections. I may post about more ways to go about mapping in the future. Hope this was enough for now~
Sooz
Look, if you set a sheep on fire and hurl it with a trebuchet, naturally it's going to die.
4225
WELL SINCE YOU ASKED OH BOYOBOYOBOY I GET TO TALK ABOUT ME!!!

My focus in creating maps is chiefly herding the player around: I want to make sure movement isn't too limited, and I try to use feature placement to encourage exploration. If someone thinks wandering around the map is fun on its own, I've done things right.

I also want to give a sense of place. I want the player to feel like this is a place where things happen outside of whatever the characters happen to be doing, so I put a lot of thought into variation of object placement and adjusting little details. I also sometimes make interesting-looking but inaccessible places, just to give the impression that there's more to the world than what you can see on the map.

Overworlds
TBH I almost never use overworlds; I do linear games, so there's no reason to make the player walk between areas.

The one exception is Faxanadog:
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/9918/screenshots/FDscreen02.png


I treated it basically like its own level, just as one screen. :I

Each level in the game is set in a different part of the Dog Tree, so the entryways are at different levels. I placed the dog NPCs in front of the entries to encourage interacting with them first.

Exteriors

Three different games, three different types of exterior!

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/40236/locker/castlegaynia1.jpg

First is the first level of a game, an abandoned mining town in Arizona. I sure had a time shift-mapping all those cliffs, let me tell you! General mapping philosophy on this game is "get as close to something historically accurate as possible without making my own damn tiles for once."

The two buildings with green roofs are Plot Important, so they're highlighted- different color, set apart in design (size, unique ground tile), etc.

There's a little cave to one side with optional power up and plot stuff that I wanted to subtly guide players toward without really highlighting it, so I made the cobble path to it a bit disrupted: Alert or curious players might notice the path and follow it.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/40236/locker/blackfog1.jpg

Second is a WIP parallax map, including palette and dumb doodle in a dead area. Here's how much at once would show up on the screen, for reference.

The main gameplay in this one is about looking at things, so I worked on making as much unique detail as I could to encourage that.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/40236/locker/yw3.jpg

Third is another parallax WIP showing Stage 2 of the mapping. (Stage 1 is "draw vague blobs indicating where things go," Stage 2 is "detail those blobs so they look like something." I always draw on a template.

It's got more blank space than I'd normally have in a map (I don't hold to the three tile rule, but I don't like having a screen size's worth of no detail!) because it's for a Yume Nikki fangame.

Interiors
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/40236/locker/castlegaynia2.jpg
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/40236/locker/castlegaynia4.jpg
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/40236/locker/castlegaynia3.jpg


These are all from the same game.

I generally like to have the interiors have some of the exterior visible around them, to the point that I obsess a little over detail placement. The lab is surrounded by black because it's underground.

I also did a lot of color adjustment for the lab, because it's cobbled together from a bunch of different sets.

Dungeons
The stuff that's not parallax mapping is all dungeons. Otherwise, I tend to make games that don't strictly involve a dungeon/town/overworld separation (mainly because I don't make a lot of games with battles :V )

Other
I'm pretty inconsistent with how I do maps- sometimes it's a big ol' space, sometimes it's a lot of little connected spaces. I guess a lot of it depends on the setting; I plan according to environmental factors primarily.

In conclusion, here's a maze that's not actually a maze:
https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/40236/locker/yw2.jpg
Cap_H
DIGITAL IDENTITY CRISIS
6358
I'm only a mediocre cartographer, who managed to make some semi-decent maps. However I think that I managed to amass enough experience to school others and point at their mistakes. It's foolish. I started as an esthetic mapper. I was trying to make my maps look unique, detailed, beautiful. I haven't abandoned this approach entirely and there are still occasions, when I'm trying to work on captivating environments. But my maps are nowhere as good as Esby's, Frogge's or Blindmind's in this regard.
My philosophy is more practical. I build maps with game's design on my mind. I'm trying to take the best from games I played and use it where it fits. In particular Unity's layered dungeons are one of my greatest inspiration. Also flow in Indra's maps and ZD's condensed practical style. I actually like working on a grid, really trying to use every tile, have enough free space for manipulation, highlighted navigation, adequate amount of detail, good use of patterns and symmetry. I like keeping my maps consistent, repeating details, not using many location exclusive graphics. You could call it reductionist. I just adore old and new games, which can make maximum with minimal resources. Tak Tower of Druaga or original arcade Mario. These games have generic resources, yet their space management makes them look good.

And now some examples of my work:
Overworlds
These are enjoyable to work on, but I almost never need them.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/7677/screenshots/town2K3.jpg

An older RTP example. Basic and likable.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/47004/locker/BurntOnesXx.png

A newer map, yet still some 3 years old. This was for my own project, a dark Ultima inspired fantasy.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/47004/locker/ruraltown.png

Another example from 2016. This was for a mapping thread. I used resources from Vexxed. The map itself was mostly created in gimp. Making something pleasant was more important than function.

Exteriors
My exteriors differ wildly. I like to use elevation a lot, but sometimes it isn't suitable.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/6604/screenshots/s3.jpg

My first finished project and probably my first map ever using cliffs. I learned a lot from pictures of other games.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/47004/locker/ExteriorChip.png

I've always wanted to go custom. Most of my efforts are really simplistic. This is map showcases chipset I originally made for that Ultima inspired project. Funny fact is that I'm likely to make a third set of graphics for the game as I want it to look muddier and overall darker.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/9326/screenshots/horrorpage2.png

I love working with 8-bit rips and resources. They require an economical approach, good space management and cautious work with limited details.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/47004/locker/Screenshot_20180612_224347.png

D U M B G A M E is my last game and maybe the best example of my current approach to mapping. Ofc limiting myself to 11 tiles/layer was unnecessary, but i think that it helped me to focus on design. This game's dumb, but it's certainly a stepping stone.

Interiors
I think I made some good looking and some very mediocre interiors. My biggest struggle is to leave enough space for movement. I tend to make tiny houses with tiny rooms. https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/9326/screenshots/horrorpage3.png

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/9326/screenshots/horrorpage3.png

I like this one, but it lacks anything for the player to like.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/47004/locker/TTT_promo.jpg

Another birthday game and a very condensed map.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/47004/locker/Screenshot_20171227_202455.png

I made maps of a mansion for someone else's game some time ago. I edited half of the resources for that and I think that these are some of my best interiors. I'm not sure the house would make for a good dungeon, tho.

Dungeons
That's a wide topic. I guess it depends from project to project. I think every space in a dungeon should be meaningful and include a piece of story, a puzzle, ideally both.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/7348/screenshots/Screenshot_04.png

The first dungeon in Our Desolate Planet is an early approach . The dungeon consisted of many maps, each of them including one room. Later dungeons in that game are disjointed rooms all on a single sheet. JoSeraph learned me that approach. This is a later map in that game. I'm not sure if mine or Jo's.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/10775/screenshots/Screenshot_20171231_181305.png

And I stuck to it even 2 years ago, when working on Route Through Peaks.

Other
I have no idea what to post here. Writing that post made me super tired too.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/47004/locker/samplesample.png

Battlefield for Might be Magic. I totally failed at mapping that game. I spent some 3 weeks collecting resources for a single map of town.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/47004/locker/Screenshot_20171210_213231.png

Layouts for KnighOwl's game.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/47004/locker/Hutts.png

Chester is a funny one. I made a concept art of every character and every location in that game.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/games/6795/screenshots/arena_2.jpg

I went all custom in my second game. Arena was made in one day and it probably still is my most consistent game.

https://rpgmaker.net/media/content/users/47004/locker/BurntOnesXxx.png

A more representative screenshot from my big. I quite like how this town looks. The main path is clear, individual places are recognizable and the whole place has sense of continuity.

That's all for now. You can browse my locker for more.
Frogge
"nothing can beat the power of gay"?
11172
My philosophy for mapping might be a little different from those of others (wow such anarchy such unique), because I'm a total crowd stand out guy who's not like anybody else (that is only an assumption, I have not actually read what anybody else has written).

Anyway, the basic idea I like to abide by is that I want my maps to stick in your head. I want people to, years later, have a sudden image of the map develop in their mind and go "oh ya that map was neat." Even if not, I want the maps to leave an impression, in a way that you can recognize where it's from when placed next to others.

-----EXTERIORS--------------------------------



Parallel Shores, to date, has my favorite exterior maps that I have made. I think this mainly boils down to one factor. Usually, when making exteriors, I don't particularly think about what I'm doing, I just kinda puke tiles all over the place to see what sticks. However, Parallel Shores was one of the few cases where I actually had a very, very clear image of exactly what I was trying to make in my mind. I knew exactly how I wanted the town to look, and I thought about the end result every step of the way. While I like a lot of the exteriors I make, I haven't been as proud of any of them as the town I made for Parallel Shores, because none of them had as much thought that went into making the location one that sticks in your head as much as the Parallel Shores town did. It's not the only time I've mapped exteriors this way, however.


Here you can see something similar. I knew beforehand how I wanted the orphanage's exterior to look and I mapped to fit that aesthetic I had in mind rather than just making a building and calling it day. The shape of the building itself is actually very different from what I was hoping to make and it gave me a bit of trouble, but ultimately, I'm happy with how it turned out. The dirt blending into the grass, the lush variety of trees surrounding the area, the placement of assorted objects like the benches and well, they all came from a clear image I wanted to reproduce - picnic in Cyprus. It's probably the same in many areas, but I used a visual idea I liked from real life and applied it to the map, which is why it rests as another one of my favorite maps.


This is from an old game that I never worked on significantly enough for even a demo release, but this map is also one of my favorites because not only was it meant to be a breather area in an otherwise very same-y dungeon that looked like a generic castle area, hence being one of the more significantly different looking rooms that would probably stick in your head, I also experimented a lot with it. While some of it is off-screen, I actually played around with both the cliff tileset and castle tileset in a lot in ways I had not before, and managed to learn a lot while making it.

I actually tried remaking this map in ace later on with Nekura graphics, but I've never been too happy with how it looked in comparison to the original 2k3 version. Maybe it's how much brighter the original is or how the tiles blend in much better, or maybe even how the original has an interesting little overlook above the gate.



I do, however, feel very proud of the interiors I've made for this particular dungeon in the ace version, and I'll get to that soon enough.

-----INTERIORS--------------------------------

I really enjoy working with interiors, a whole lot more than exteriors for sure. I just find it a great fun to try out all sorts of different room structures, decorating it with all sorts of furniture and colors.


Just like with the exteriors, these are all maps I like because I had a very clear idea of what I wanted them to look like beforehand. I did not just make a random room and fill it up with objects, which I generally do when I have a lot of interiors I have to make, so I could spend more effort on making each one look more like I wanted them to. I also love messing with different sorts of room concepts, such as a climbing room in the top right image, because I don't think I've ever seen one of those in an rpg maker game before, and I like working with unpopular room concepts a lot. It's great experimentation and the end result can generally end up looking really interesting.


Parallel Shores, sadly, is one game that fell victim to what I mentioned above. This game had a house for every NPC character. There were 40 characters, granted some of them were families and couples. All in all, though, I had to map about at least 20 different house interiors and it got really tiring at some point. As such, I'm not a particular fan of any of the generic house interiors I made for the game, but I do like the buildings I made that were different and I could play around with more. This image is from the local library, the second floor in particular. It has a touch of personal nostalgia to it, because I based it off of the second floor of a clothes store my aunt used to take me to as a child that was owned by her friends. It was a womens' shop, so I wasn't actually shopping myself, but just sitting there waiting for her to finish her shopping in the brightly lit, adorable little shop makes me feel very nostalgic. That's what's reflected in this map, and when I look at it, it actually makes me feel something, something that generic interior #17 doesn't.

There's one other building in Parallel Shores that I like even more, though.


This is the Beach Hotel, a building I absolutely loved designing. It's tropical and it's a hotel, two types of settings I absolutely love combined into one. When I was working on the hotel, this was absolutely not the image I had in mind for it. It was actually meant to look a lot more cozy, hence it had more yellow-ish tiles and a softer atmosphere to it. However, I eventually turned it into a much more corporate looking hotel that feels like a fresh packet of mints when I look at it. There's so much inspiration in this building from so many different places. Jazzpunk was a huge influence in that cafe, and the bedroom is based on my memories of a cruise ship I had been on, with the indoor palm trees meant to give off slight vaporwave vibes. And thanks to the amount of experimentation I had done with it, I do certainly hope that it achieves its goal of sticking in your head, and I feel like playing the game it easily could. It's a place I could see myself living in, or even just visiting once in real life and feeling very nostalgic of later on. It combines a lot of themes I like and a lot of experimentation, like I said, to create a series of maps that I think I'm gonna remember pretty fondly for years to come. Granted, there's a bit more empty space that I could have gotten rid of than I would like to admit.


And if I hadn't talked about experimentation enough, here's another example! This is the interior of an RV, a map I'm very proud of for actually very accurately portraying what I think the inside of an RV looks like without having actually ever been in one. There's various different sources I looked to for inspiration on what it should look like, all from cartoons I've watched, interestingly.

----------------------------------------------

I'll end it here for now because I have to leave, but I might be able to talk a bit about dungeons when I'm back later on.
I'm on my kindle so I'll have to tell you, not show you.

I tend to favor the idea of minimalism, so cluttered maps with nothing to check or talk to tend not to be me thing. Typically my approach when playing games that if you have a bunch of book shelves and you can't read about fairy tales or the fall of the Western Phalanx, you've dropped the ball. As much as possible, I'd prefer an empty room to a "pretty" one where you can't interact with anything.

This in turn means my town maps tend to have a lot of space to walk around since I typically underestimate how big the map actually is.

I don't believe in sprite consistency or mapping consistency or sprite-map consistency. If I have a load of charsets (which I always do), it's a waste of time worrying about one charset looking like RTP with the furniture looking super-serious. Nor do ppl in the same town always look the same. Nor do even different parts of the same chipset line up, because I sometimes splice chipsets (super-real war painting inside a shabby house? No problem!) to make new ones.
Fflo
Be careful ! I'm French
1203
My turn now:

Overworlds

I have a particular procedure when it's about overworlds. I generate a random world map layout on a website called donjon.bin.sh. When satisfied, I save the map image, resize it a little on GIMP (width & height multiples of 32) and save it as a parallax on RPG Maker VX Ace. Now I've got the layout as a layer: I draw on it and decorate with elements. The map above was made like that. I've added the paths, and the boulders that lock progress.

Exteriors

I'm not satisfied with my exteriors, as RTP are not very eye candy... But I've been underestimating the powers of Shift mapping since a long time.

Interiors

Recoloring items are a must for me.

Dungeons
I didn't build any dungeon since a long time ; so I will pass that part.

Other

I rarely do parallax mapping. The only game I used that technique was the Duelist Master. There's a twist: as I don't really know how to manage the collisions, the characters can go through every tile! (But you don't control anyone so you won't see that)
author=Fflo
I rarely do parallax mapping. The only game I used that technique was the Duelist Master. There's a twist: as I don't really know how to manage the collisions, the characters can go through every tile! (But you don't control anyone so you won't see that)


This is what my parallax mapping chipset looks like (it's 2k3 but anyway).



As you can see, there are a lot of the transparent (on 2k3 pink is often the transparent color) tiles. But they all have their own passibility arrows. That's basically how you do it. First, draw the scene in non-transparent then use the pain bucket to replace.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5146
My town mapping philosophy has been characterized as "stick a giant cannon on it"
Sooz
Look, if you set a sheep on fire and hurl it with a trebuchet, naturally it's going to die.
4225
author=LockeZ
My town mapping philosophy has been characterized as "stick a giant cannon on it"


A sound plan.
One of my biggest considerations, before even thinking about the map's function, is the mood. What should the player be "feeling" at that point in the story, and how can the environment reinforce that? What is time of day, the Hero's mental state, the lighting, the colors, or even sounds that culminate for a distinct flavor?

When I started using RPGMaker, virtually 75%+ of developers still used rips from SNES/PSX games. It was real archaic, but it forced you to think creatively about atmosphere...while having virtually no artistic control over the underlying materials. You basically had to reinterpret someone else's work, usually to mixed results.

Old screens:




I usually landed in the range of clutter-for-clutter-sake, to a handful of decent maps.

When I moved onto creating a commercial game, I decided to very consciously change my approach. I decided to study old SNES titles like Rudra, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana etc to see how the professionals handled it. They were much less indulgent than I had tended to be: visuals were in the service of the map's function, and the gameplay itself.

I've tried to juggle my old tendency of prioritizing ambiance/detail, with a newfound sense of restraint while mapping. When you couple that with the fact that I've started to use original pixel art, it hasn't been easy. XD

Some prototype maps from 2018-2019:


People are very excellent mappers it seems!
JosephSeraph
奇跡なゲイパワー♡
7121
All of you are doing amazing work and shout out to @Blind whose work on Beloved Rapture is absolutely gorgeous, but @Darken
Darken
Darken you in particular

you, especially and specifically you

have reawakened and retaught me what love means.

sincerely, i had already seen most of the stuff you just posted but it just makes me cry with joy with all the awesomesauce and also gets even me more hyped up to work on my 3d pre-rendered maps I've been doing for Records in Blue...

speaking of which, I might as well share a bit of my current stuff?

This is a heavy WIP. Window and door needs more details, there'll be stuff hanging to the walls and etcetera, colors are WIP and such.

I've been doing a lot of pre-rendered work lately. I've ran through the same dilemma about which perspective to use, but eventually I settled on the very convenient sideview perspective, as I can get funky with the camera perspective and still have everything work into the actual in game gameplay. I tried some ortographic topdown for an old project, but it just kind of defeated the point a little? I was quite happy with it though. But yeah, some stuff just looks really bad when it's ortographic and locked to 90¢ rotations. Sad really

I've done a few handdrawn maps before for Resonate and a few other projects but it always ultimately runs into the issue that drawn maps require you to decently build up your perspective and i get lazy on that end and they look shit or lazy. so it doesn't work quite as nice. Eventually I might try a hybrid method of sketching something with blender geometry and drawing on top, I really dig the SaGa Frontier II look.

The SaGa Frontier 1 look though is also amazing, but that requires pixel movement at the bare minimum, with a decent collision map.

As for actual tiles tho... Well, I don't have a lot to say about it other than I enjoy mapping and I like to just make more tiles on the go and busy things up, BUT my level design is often pretty poor and i often get stuck on that phase before actually moving on to the mapping, so...

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