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Some questions that reading and thought have raised....

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Hey there all you Iso gurus, I have of me some questions that I would love if you might be able to answer..... 1. This is just a general question. I was doing me a bunch of reading last night, and often there would be talk of tiles. My question is not "What are Tiles?", but rather, when someones says something like 5000x5000 tiles(possible over exageration there), how big do they mean? Are they meaning like 32x32 pixel tiles, or rather something else? Is there a standard size that you guys here use? It would help me to have an idea of how big these "maps" are when Im trying to put it together in my head. 2. This has to do with tiles. Nearly every statement in here talks of tiles, yet alot of recent Iso RPGs like Baldurs Gate I & II and Pool of Radiance seem to use a drawn background. Is it that they draw these images and then break them down into small tiles that they then draw as we would, or do they somehow put the whole thing up at one time? If they do break the thing down, to what kind of size are we talking? 100x100 pixels?? Bigger(1000)?? Smaller(32)?? This answer will lead into my third question. 3. So my guess for number 2, more from reading then actual guess work, is that they break it down, as that would be easier to work with. It would make the adition of an "atribute" map easier also. Now Ive used it but I dont really know what it is. An atribute map, I assume is a secondary structure that holds information on weather a certain area is passible or not, weather it is a click-able item, weather it is infront or behind the characters. Is this a fair asumption? If thats what it is then how do you implement such a thing?? Is it pixel perfect? What kind of data structure might be best?? Are there other such "maps" that add other bits of info?? What are these, and what do they do? The reason I ask about atribute maps and such is collision detection. It is a fiarly important task, and I have two ideas on how to do this. The first is, I feal, very memeory intensive, but also rather simple. For the drawn image, have a two dimensional array that is "behind" the image. Each pixel in the image has a entry in the array. These entries could either be bool, byte or int. This would allow for different amounts of info for the image. Anywho, the pixel would have a value, either 0 for none passable, or something else that could be attached to a script or trigger or something, or simply be passable. Then, whne the mouse moves over a pixel(or maybe a group of pixels, or every so often) then a check to the array would tell if the pixel was passable or not. Just writing that also tells me that, apart from the huge amount of mem needed for the array, theres also all the array accesses that are occuring, but I think you will get the idea that Im trying to say. The second idea was to get a big picture that is then broken down into small tiles, in my mind about 32x32, and then assign the value to them. This means that the size of the array is much smaller(yay), and the number of array accesses would also come down. This is not as simple as just loading up the big picture, but I think its probably a better way of doing it. So you got this far huh?? Well Im gunna tell you a few things. Im really still learning to program. I started about a year and a half ago, and I will admit, am not the greatest at it. Im strugling my way through C++... well not strugling, but having trouble find things that will help me with what I need help on, namley pointers and the OOP part. I have a deep interest in games and AI, and I would love to make them, so I spend alot of time here, reading and attempting to learn. So any help that you guys might have that will help with the above questions, much appreciated. And if something doesnt make sense, or is down right incomprehensible, then do tell and Ill fix.... Bye, and Cheers.

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1. I dont think there is any standard for how big tile are, but usually they will be a power of 2 x a power of 2 to avoid problems with some video cards( i think ).
When someone says 32x32 tile they mean that each tile is a 32 pixel x 32 pixel image.

2. Games like Baldurs gate arent really tile games. They have one HUGE bitmap file with the background on, no tiles. Of course when they actually use it in the game, they only load parts of it into memory(probably the current screen plus one screen worth around so it doesnt load from hd all the time). Im not sure how pool of radiance was handled though, but that whole game was pretty screwed up from a programming point of view i think.

3. You are right about the "attribute" map, they do have such a map to mark whether or not the ground can be walked on, but they dont have any object info in the map itself, all that is handled in the scripts i think.

Like you im new to game programming, im fairly proficient in Java programming and good at OOP, but im only just getting used to C++ programming and directX. So what im saying is that anything i just said could be wrong

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About the background question:
I don''t know too much about Baldurs gate and Pool of radience, but Starcraft for example of course uses small tiles as background. You can make very different backgrounds with 6 or 7 different tiles, but in rpg you''ll probably want one nice big drawn background image.

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