Terrain Tiles

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Veneteaou
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Veneteaou » Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:07 am

Continuous Desert.png
Continuous Desert.png (195.63 KiB) Viewed 22405 times
Continuous desert, at least the first draft of it. It brings me to a very important point however in our game mechanics of terrain tiling. This is three colors, spread around, and sponged out smoothly - it should have taken me 15 minutes to make this continuous. Instead, over the last three days, it's taken me about 10+ hours just for this one little tile.

The problem is that I couldn't do it without drawing errors. I had to scrap tile after tile because it wasn't working properly. In the end, this tile is as close as I could get, and it still doesn't look great when tiled:
Tiled.jpg
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And keep in mind: this is at least the 7th or 8th attempt I've made at continuous deserts. It had me so frustrated, that I went back and looked at the original Imp1 tiles to see what was going on. After playing with them for a bit, I've come to realize why they created six total desert tiles... they needed them all to fill space in. There's no other way around it. It's the same reason there is an extra continuous mountain tile as well - the first continuous tile is a bridge that connects the solid continuous tile with the edge tile. This method is how they achieve smooth transitions without dead spaces of plains between everything.

Eventually we should go back and correct this, add support for 3rd or even 4th or 5th continuous tiles. For now however, I'm happy to not draw more desert unless someone really wants me to. This is making me realize why staggered orthogonal never popularized.

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Trilarion
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Post by Trilarion » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:28 pm

Thanks for the recent additional tiles. I can understand the frustration. The continous desert tile still has too much green parts but obeying all the symmetry conditions is probably quite hard. I don't know if a second continuous tile will help much and would probably experiment with drawing bigger chunks (there are three combinations of two neighbored tiles (horizontally, diagonally up-left, diagonally up-right)) in one go. That would reduce the symmetry requirements.

Anyway orthogonally staggered is more or less equivalent to hexagonal with the modifications that not all sides are equally long and rotated by 90 degrees. So while Imperialism was probably the only series which used orthogonally staggered, I'm perfectly comfortable with it because from the connections of tiles to their neighbours it is the same as a hexagonal grid and that is state-of-the-art in strategic games.

My impression is that nicely looking, continuous terrain in our case is still unsolved. One way to go will be to enhance the number of continuous tiles or just improve on them. We can do that and a display mode of the map using tiles will be part of the game. But I also experimented with more random placements of smaller parts (trees, single mountains) and I remembger it didn't look that bad, so I will follow this possibility too. We just have to go along all these directions until we find something that looks decent enough.

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visitor
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by visitor » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:35 am

Edit:
Well it looks like you had already solved this on the other topic from 2013.


I took a look at this.

How would I solve this?

For the desert, I think it needs minimum of 1 base tile and 4 different "roads" / connecting graphics. In order to make it look good.

In the code, you first draw the base tiles. Then you draw the connecting graphics on top of them. These are not tiles, but more like the road graphics. Instead of road connections, they connect the similar terrains together.

Depending on how they are made, you might even need some extra parts, if they do not overlap well.

----

I would also remove any green / plains from the desert and any other tile and connecting parts. In the code, first draw plains everywhere, then add .png base tiles on top of that plains. Thou I am not sure if this is the case already.

Attachment: rough example of the connecting graphics needed:
Attachments
desert roads.jpg
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Trilarion
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Trilarion » Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:58 pm

Thanks for the revisit. We found out how the Imp1 was doing it and implemented the very same way (see below). Basically you have an inner and an outer tile and you mix them according to the current neighbor occupation. However this requires a lot of symmetries which are difficult to keep and it is still visible to the eye by repetitive patterns. Therefore we decided to go sets of more than one tile image with different symmetries or to procedural terrain generation at all. Currently both ways are explored.

So getting the tile transitions right is only half of the work you have to do. Make it look nice and non repetitive is the other half.

Crude example (non optimized tile) from post 70 of this thread:

Image

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visitor
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by visitor » Thu Oct 30, 2014 1:46 pm

Yes, it looks like it is going to be lots of work.

I had to play a little with your program. I made quick and very simple desert tiles. It seems that it is impossible to make it perfect with only those 2 tiles. Some extra smoothing pieces would be needed for the hard edges.
Attachments
simple desert test.jpg
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mongo
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by mongo » Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:17 pm

It seems that the tiles-link from the download section is broken:

http://remake.twelvepm.de/home/download/
http://imperialism-remake.googlecode.co ... et-1.0.zip

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Trilarion
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Trilarion » Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:32 pm

Googlecode stopped its service this year. I need to move the tiles to another place. Thanks for reporting it.

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Trilarion
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Trilarion » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:27 pm

I updated some links in the download page. The terrain tile set of Ven is now downloadable again.

pikovich
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by pikovich » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:07 pm

wow looks great!

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Andrettin
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Andrettin » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:09 pm

I have a couple of questions:

1. Why the 80x80 tile size, rather than a power-of-2 size (i.e. 64x64), which is more standard?

2. Is there any reason why Veneteaou's tiles aren't in the game's repository?

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