Tilemap object questions & concerns

  • digitalsoapbox: With all due respect, the hard way / "the way it always has been" isn't always the best or most efficient way. Last time I checked, Scirra has gone to great lengths to make it seem like C2 is one of the most convenient, easy-to-use, and all-in-one game creation programs out there, and pride themselves on ease of use. All we're trying to do is nurture this app to give it that extra edge it needs.

    Call me crazy, but I feel that having a robust and easy-to-use in-engine tilemap editor without having to resort to a 3rd party app helps give C2 that extra edge and would be an extremely big selling point.

    I never said "the way it always has been." Obviously things change over time, and hopefully for the better. Try comparing Deluxe Paint to Photoshop, and then apply that comparison to a tile editor from the 80's and Tiled. Obviously, much better.

    It's also not an issue of "resorting" to a 3rd-party app. You use the tools that are best for the job at hand...you're not going to use a hammer to drive a screw into a piece of wood because you'd have to go find the right screwdriver and don't feel like you should have to. Unity isn't a 3D model editor/creator. MSPaint isn't Photoshop. Construct 2 isn't a self-contained game development platform, it's one of many tools you can use, if you want to, to make games.

    I think my point is that it's not actually that hard, and it's far more efficient/realistic, to use the tools available instead of pining for features that may appear at some point down the road. I don't see anything wrong with C2 having an in-game tile editor, but at this point there are other options - and they're really not complex options (3 events maybe), and I'll even go so far as to happily provide code on how to do it, if anyone wants it, though it'll take me a little time to package it up and strip out my game code - that accomplish the same or better than imaginary features that currently only exist in our heads.

  • End, nice point, maybe sorting the animated tiles as a feature for paid license maybe can give Scirra a good plus.

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  • digitalsoapbox: With all due respect, the hard way / "the way it always has been" isn't always the best or most efficient way. Last time I checked, Scirra has gone to great lengths to make it seem like C2 is one of the most convenient, easy-to-use, and all-in-one game creation programs out there, and pride themselves on ease of use. All we're trying to do is nurture this app to give it that extra edge it needs.

    Call me crazy, but I feel that having a robust and easy-to-use in-engine tilemap editor without having to resort to a 3rd party app helps give C2 that extra edge and would be an extremely big selling point.

    quoted for the truth, I don?t see what can be more urgent other than tile mapping, now that the debugger is working, since it?s an essential feature to make lenghty games.

    Auto-tiling, better collision control, animated tiles, flipping/rotation controls and runtime controls aren?t gimmicks o.o

  • quoted for the truth, I don?t see what can be more urgent other than tile mapping, now that the debugger is working, since it?s an essential feature to make lenghty games.

    Auto-tiling, better collision control, animated tiles, flipping/rotation controls and runtime controls aren?t gimmicks o.o

    Two things, because these arguments I'm hearing here and all throughout this thread for not figuring things out how to do things for yourself and wanting everything presented to you on an effortless fully-featured silver platter just don't make any sense.

    1: Just because you think they're the most important thing doesn't mean they are. While I'm also making a tile-based game, there's a long list of other features that I'd consider more important, like killing some physics/collision quirks, which also affect tile-based games.

    2: All of those things are entirely possible right now, as I've said. See above in the thread for some short example code.

  • IMO the most important things are: Animation support, Custom Collision per tile(on the tileset), and events/runtime commands/editing.

    Other than that it's all graphical (rotation) and convenience and low priority as tools like TILED and Pyxel Edit have more focused features. (Not to say rotation and stuff wouldn't be useful, just low priority due to lack of use(rotated tiles provide less creative freedom))

    I personally use Pyxel Edit as it's focused more on making tiles/art rather than being a pure tilemap program (you still make tilemaps, but not as many superfluous features as TILED).

    I doubt there will be total TMX support, as TMX files have more than just tiles in them. In time with the tilemap plugin more feature complete, someone can code a level-editor in C2 to use for more accessibility as limiting someone to making levels in C2 is counter productive. This way Scirra doesn't have to re-invent the wheel because even if they did, it would be closed off in the jungle of features that is the entirety of C2.

    Basic necessary feature support for editing is the most efficient thing they can do.

    Even if it had advanced edit-time features I'd use my more reliable and focused programs anyway as they would have less bugs and run better. (which is why the image editor doesn't need to be fancy)

  • digitalsoapbox This thread is about the future and potential of the new tilemap object & features. C2 is on the brink of having a very powerful level editor that is actually designed around the rest of the program, unlike Tiled, and we're just trying to figure out the best way to get there. There is no need to be so insulting about it or provide examples - further bloating & derailing this thread - as many users, including myself, already utilize Tiled & The TMXImporter and know all the "tricks" such as pasting tiles into a canvas. You are correct; it's not that difficult. Fact is, using C2's own layout editor allows you to do many things Tiled cannot, while at the same time Tiled allows you to do things C2's layout editor cannot. In the end, you can use whichever you prefer, but both need to be good options.

  • Agreed, I was addressing points made that are tangential to the OP. No insults were intended, and a high WPM doesn't make me consider length. Let's move along.

  • 1) I'm not sure how custom collision masks per-tile would fit in to the editor. How workable would it be just to place sprites on top and use them for collisions as well? It seems to be a good middle ground.

    In a way yes and in a way not really. Using separate sprites will indeed work, but there are a few caveats. If you want to do anything like an ingame level editor (which the Tilemap is perfect for), such "hacks" makes such a thing less likely to work decently, if at all. Another one would be how it affects the workflow, it plays into the next thing I wanted to address.

    inkBot:

    You can't move the tilemap if you have any tool other than the select tool chosen. You can also stamp sets of tiles by selecting a larger area of tiles with the pencil tool.

    The Tilemap object takes up the entire layout field, and I have to have it unlocked in order to edit it. Naturally I'm going to have other things on the layout as well, like the player character, pickups, enemies, collision sprites and so on. People have already talked about how objects overlapping can be a hassle (mitigated some by the addition of the Z order bar, but not completely so), now throw a huge object that takes up the entire field on top of that and I think you see the issue.

    Also, sometimes you just mess up and accidentally move something because you forgot you had that tool selected or that layer unlocked etc. That's just the reality of software use and I think minimizing the need for the user to switch between layers, lcoked layers and tools will only help in that respect. So a way to lock the Tilemap object without making it uneditable would probably be a good idea. I was thinking that maybe it could serve better as a type of layer than an object. Dunno if that would be doable (and probably not completely easy, if so) but it might be a better solution.

  • Remember the tilemap support in its current incarnation is very much a first release. We're aware it's missing many features and we plan to keep adding features over the next few updates. This is part of our release early, release often strategy - it's already been useful to read all the feedback about it and see where we want to take things in future.

    We don't want to reinvent the wheel, but we also want to make everyday tasks simple and easy in C2. Things like supporting collision masks is not reinventing the wheel, just something we need to add support for. On the other hand we want to try to avoid reinventing the wheel inside of Construct 2 as well - given we have things like Sprites which can be animated and have collision polygons, it's worth taking some time to plan how it's best to approach some of these features. Maybe it's worth adding that functionality again but separately for tilemaps, or maybe it's better to try and get the existing Sprites to do the heavy lifting. I suspect it'll end up being the former, but working out how to add tilemap editing to an existing and well-featured editor is something that should be approached thoughtfully. Hopefully the next few releases will address most of the immediate concerns about tilemap support.

  • When I do a tile map I want to add another on top of it to make things like props, and simi-transparent shadows. But when I load a second tile map, I can't go back to editing the first one's tiles!

    No matter what, when I open the tile editor window... I'm faced with the 2nd tilemap's tiles.

    Is there a way the tile map editor could be "pointing" to the selected object's tiles?

    I could just completely finish my first one before starting the second... But I feel I must be missing something

  • I did a little test, and using the tilemap just for collisions seems to reduce collion checks by like 90% compared to using lots of sprites, weird!

    Either it's amazingly efficient for collisions or the debug thing needs to be updated?

  • I did a little test, and using the tilemap just for collisions seems to reduce collion checks by like 90% compared to using lots of sprites, weird!

    Either it's amazingly efficient for collisions or the debug thing needs to be updated?If you look at the blog post it kinda reduces it to areas of collision VS individual tile collisions

    I assume this might cause you to see it check less.

    Blog post also says something about potential new collision detection, but it's not in atm.

    Are you using 2 tilemap objects on 1 layer? If so might be better off moving it to a layer above it, or have a spot where they each do not overlap the other.

  • Here's a link to the blog post:

    https://www.scirra.com/blog/ashley/3/tech-blog-tilemap-tidbits

    I guess it's best not use it for collision until Ashley decides what he'll do with it, if it's just going to change.

  • I'm just posting here my comment made on the blog.

    Ashley,

    I started to work in a new game to use and abuse of the new features, and learn from it.

    Using the TMX system to map a stage is awesome, and mix it with invisible solid shapes is amazing.

    Looking for the feature, like it's actually, I just missed animated tiles. Using your philosophy of commas, it could use something like this:

    X = Grass / Earth;

    Y = Water;

    XXX XXX YY XXX

    While Y use 3 consecutive tiles to be animated, with 5 fps of speed, so, it could be, in the tileset, an arrangement like this.

    X Y1 Y2 Y3

    And inside the code with commas, 6x1, 3x2x3, 3x1, and then, setting the fps globally for a tileset object, so, whenever it call a third part of the multiplication.

    Plus, if it turn too much complex, you can have it turned into an auto-tile system, like RPG Maker did, using this type of procedural:

    6x1, 2x3c, 3x1 (where c is an alternative index of a pre-formated tileset, see below)

    blog.rpgmakerweb.com/tutorials/anatomy-of-an-autotile/

    It's can be a special part of the software, where it will always be displaying animated tiles with the same exactly setup, making the image format standard and easy to use, also, smaller tilesets specially designed for animations like water, doors, etc.

    Plus, auto-tiles have the nice behavior of know where the edges are, and fill them always when possible.

    blog.rpgmakerweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/AT-OSeperate.png

    And on platform games, make water surfaces with those animated tiles, also auto-tiling the scenario would be great!

    I'm very excited with this new feature, and everyone here sent you a special hug and thank you!

  • alspal - oops, I think the debugger doesn't count tilemap collisions at all yet. Will fix that for next build.

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