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What kind of games are SNES RPGs? (Harvest Moon, Final Fantasy, etc) Tile based?

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I'm trying to create a very simple Final Fantasy game (using sprites like most SNES games did), but I'm a bit unsure on how the game is setup. What I mean is that the game appears to use tiles but when I think of tiles I think of squares that either contain grass, rocks, etc. What are the buildings considered? Are they layed on TOP of the tiles? Lets suppose I wanted to add buildings to the landscape (and keep track of them), how would I do that? Finally, what kind of datastructure would I use to save the maps (is everything a tile?)? Thanks in advance for any help...

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It depends on the game. Basically they don't have just one layer of tiles, they have many which pile up on top of each other. So for example in the bottom layer you might have grass and floor tiles which you want to appear on the bottom, and in the next layer you might have house walls etc which you want to appear above the grass.

A better way for you to understand this would be to use an emulator which allows you to enable and disable the layers (ZSNES does this using the number keys) and see how some of the maps are built up. If I remember the SNES has 4 normal layers and a sprite layer

I'm working on something similar and I'm referencing the filename of each tile in a certain map with an int, which I then put in a 2d array to represent the map. You also have to do things like load the next map when your character moves into sight of it etc.

Also go and read some of the stuff in the Isometric forum. Theres a lot of useful stuff in there if you make the effort to find it

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There are several ways you could do it, but the easiest is simply having a single layer of square/rectangular tiles which are either passable or not. That way you simply split your building image up into a group of tiles, assign them to the correct map locations, make those tiles unpassable, and you now have a building in the world, and the impression of height.

You could store this as a single 2d array of tile objects which store their image, and other stats such as passibility.

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