Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
ArchangelMorph

How'd they do it?

This topic is 5404 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I've recently been playing the RPG 'Sword of mana' on the gameboy advance, i'm not sure if anyone else has played this game but from what i could see, the game didn't seem to use the standard 'tile-based' RPG engine which most games of this genre have used in the past.. I was wondering.. I'm considering starting on my own 2D RPG game and i wanted to try to build the engine using a different method to the tile-based one.. i'd like to know if anyone knows what methods they may have used in the 'Sword of mana' game? or if anyone has any ideas on alternative approaches to building 2D RPG's in general? (Considering i'm looking at games like FFVII, Sword of mana and Legend of Zelda rather than games like boulders gate for my RPG..) Also I'm curious as to the pros and cons of building a tile-based engine rather than any alternative for an RPG? If anyone can help me out withany of my questions then it will be much appreciated.. Thanx!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Tile Based

Pros:
1. Tile Reusability
2. Easy Collision
3. A certain 'style' about it.

Cons:
1. Square Looking (if not done right)
2. Overused sometimes (maybe there is a reason)

What are some other methods?

You could always create something like Baldur's Gate. They took a gigantic image (say 2048 x 2048) and drew a city, with all of the buildings, on it. Then at time of rendering, they cut it up to 256x256 and rendered giant squares (256x256 for older video card purposes, 512x512 now a days should be fine).

Pros:
1. Your artist has to REALLY suck to make it look blocky.
2. Amazing amount of details (unparelled compared to tiles)
3. Dumb-simple to implement.

Cons:
1. Ridiculous hard-drive storage (Baldur's Gate was 5 CDs!!)
2. Collision done with predefined planes, which takes time to map out (I heard someone at BioWare was paid just to do collision for maps!). Certainly not as intuitive as tile based.

As far as 2D, I can't really think of any other solution to tile based or whole image. It's also 8am, so it's hard to say if I'm thinking straight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The game looks like Secret of Mana. I'm willing to bet that they used the same code base, or at least made a very concerted effort to simulate the SoM look and feel.

The Secret of Mana was tile based, but they also used layers and some very good art.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah thats true.. the artwork in Secret of Mana and Sword of mana is incredible.. Thats why i'm not too intent on not useing the tile-based approach because i think if the artwork is good enough then it shouldn't look tile-based at all.. But how does the use of layers work?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On the GBA they have to use tiles, as the gfx hardware is based on 8x8 tiles. You can, however, use meta-tiles, which do not have to be 8x8 and are composed of several 8x8 tiles.
The layering is done in hardware on the GBA were you can have up to 4 hardware layer, which can even be alpha blended.
The gfx are very good and hide the tiles-based look. So if you have good artwork, you won't notice any tiles while being able to make use of all the mentioned pros of this approach.

Layers work by having a number of seperate maps that are drawn on top of each other and can (on GBA in hardware) be scrolled independently, too. You can have a background layer that is draw first, an object layer (for trees etc.) and effect layers (for clouds, shadows, fog, etc.). Opaque areas can be marked by special invisible tiles (tile index zero on GBA hardware).

Conclusion: Tile-based systems are easy to use, flexible and fairly efficient. Provided good artwork and clever use of techniques like meta-tiles, nobody will notice the use of tiles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tiles are the standard when it comes to 2D games.

I challenge anyone to make a 2D game that can be implemented better (more efficient, faster execution, faster implementation, better looking) by not using tiled graphics.

If you are doing 3D, then that's a different story, but for 2D tiles are the way to go.

Just because a game uses tiled graphics doesn't mean it'll look like the kitchen floor. Sword of Mana is a perfect example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmm, have you considered polygon-based maps. I am working on a method using Direct3D right now. Rather than using suqare tiles, it uses various triangles and quads. The nice thing is, I can map the textures onto the polygons any way I please, and it natually supports polygonal hit-detection. It's actually saving more RAM than my old tile-based method too =)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm doing exactly what "lack o comments" is doing as well. I'm defining all world objects as polygons and doing collision detection accordingly. I can have a "tile map" but it would actually just be an array of square polygons, technically, in my game. This lets me get around the "looks too blocky" problem and also lets me do other neat things like having uneven or sloped surfaces to walk on.

Anyway, Secret of Mana et all was done with tiles. Even though it looks wonderfull, it's still tile-based. You can thank the project artists for that one.

In fact YOU MUST READ THIS COOL WEBPAGE on tile-based maps and pixel creation, inclufing on Mana and FF6. The front page is here. Enjoy!.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!