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suliman

Help with 2d tile terrain

8 posts in this topic

Hi

 

Im having trouble getting the terrain right with my dune 2 style top down rts. Lets have a look at a test of the terrain (see attached).

How would i make it more alive? I need at least these terrain types:

 

Base ground (grass, might work something like i already have)

Water (seems ok for now)

Cliff (to the left in the pic, looks silly)

Solid rock (walkable and buildable, grass in not buildable. This might be hardest to look nice since no shadow can be added)

Sand? (in the bottom, not too nice...)

Edited by suliman
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I've never seen a straight top-down game that, to me, looks 'alive'. Top-down is such a hard perspective to make look acceptable, because it is so far removed from what we, as ground-based humans, see and interact with on a day-to-day basis. Most people of my acquaintance who have set out to make top-down games usually have ended up switching perspectives after a time.

 

That being said, the chief area where I can suggest improvement is by adding variation. Add bits of clutter, flowers, things like that. Break up the repetition. Tile-based games suffer a lot from repetition, so you really need to provide tile alternatives to break things up a bit.

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New version!

I moved to desert theme (easier!). So there is much more variation now. I plan on adding random stones of the same type close to the border of cliffs and walkable stone.

 

Any comments?

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Use your previous water with your desert theme. The water seems too dark/black in your new image. Definitely like the look of the cliffs and such more.

Edited by Dragonsoulj
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Though your display is top down, it looks like you actually have a couple of very subtle faces on some transitions. These faces make your cliff formation look like it could either be like a mountain or a hole depending on how you happen to look at it. I think this is why things look a bit off to you. I think you want something more like what you have for your desert lake where there's a little bit of edging on all sides.

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I think it's missing a few things:

1) A definitive light source and shadowing.
2) Blending between the different materials.
3) Doodads: Random trees, rocks, cracks on the ground etc. that ornament and give variety to the scene.
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I think it may help if you were to look at examples of what you are trying to recreate. Personally, if I were trying to make these tiles in this perspective I would take some time to browse around something like Google Earth. It should give you a lot of good reference material for how to make your perspective look a little less flat. Aside from that, consider adding some variations in your lights and darks to make your "Mountains" pop up a bit, so they don't just look like a plane of obsidian or dust. 

 

Also I wouldn't shy away from the challenge to make grass just because you feel the desert might be easier. If you take the time now to study the craft and make something you are proud of then it will only make your game better in the long run. Right now you seem to be limiting your creativity because of the tile-size mindset. If you can break out of that and try making something bigger and more detailed that uses multiple tiles then your game will come across much more polished. 

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