RMVXTUTS Maptech Tut#1

The first part of the RMVXTUTS mapping tutorial series will teach some mapping techniques that mainly involves height in maps, properly creating cliffs, using waterfalls, and other effective ways to increase depth and generally improve the quality of your maps.

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Part One : Cliff Creation

Cliffs, the common problem that mapping novices usually face in the process of mapping outdoor maps, for instance mountains. The trick on doing it is to first always remember to avoid boxy shapes which is often the result of mapping in RPG Maker VX. The second thing to remember is that nature is random, there is no such thing as symmetry in natural terrains such as mountains and forests.

An easy shortcut to avoid boxy shapes are to subtract the original boxy cliffs with other boxes, shown in the example below which is a considerably simple example.

You will be able and used with creating cliffs with time and practice, so don’t forget that knowing isn’t doing and go do some practices on your own. It’s best to start with small maps first then move on to a bigger map as we tend to pay more attention to quality in small maps. Practice it one step at a time, don’t rush it.

The examples above shows what to do and what not to do, be sure to follow the good examples and avoid the bad ones ! Well, this should cover the basics of cliff creation.

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Part Two : Usage of Height/Levels in Maps

Flat maps are boring. A map with a good feel of height and changing terrains however, is not. Those kind of adventurous maps are exciting to play in. So why haven’t we made such maps? Meet the forgotten tiles :

I have seen quite a number of VX maps, and I have to say that few mappers (there are some that do, mind you) actually use the stair tiles for both interior and exterior maps. Yet you can clearly see on the above picture that the RTP comes in with outdoor stairs. We will use them in this part of the tutorial to see how much of a difference they can make.

Alright, compare the two maps below :

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The atmospheric forest map on the right clearly has more depth and an adventurous feel to it, rather than the boring, simple and flat forest map on the left. The stair tiles do make a difference, and they make a big difference in the overall mapping quality. It’s one of those little things that count.

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Final Part  : Waterfall Creation

Well, here we are at the last part of the RMVXTUTS Mapping Techniques Tutorial #1 which covers the creation of waterfalls – my personal favorite. Waterfalls are a map element that can really bring out the best in your map if it is done correctly. Not only does it increase the depth of a map, such tiles are actually animated in game and will bring more movement in the map – making it seem more alive and natural.

The tiles we are using:

Now let’s see what to do and what not to do :

Remember, nature is random and there is no symettry in the cliff placements. Try dividing the waterfalls like the rightmost example to optimize the effect of the waterfall on the map. Creating multiple waterfalls in a map is recommended although it is not always necesarry and too much may also decrease the map quality.

The tiles that you need to pay attention to:

You can also add the below “sparkle” events on the waterfalls to make it more complex and it makes the waterfalls considerably “prettier”.

Finally, here’s what I’ve made quite some time ago for Project Leviathan, pay attention especially to the waterfalls and the rocks at the bottom. Notice that I also used the sparkle events to generally imporve the quality of the waterfalls.

I’ll conclude this tutorial with a simple statement : “Practice makes Perfect”. To master these skills will take time and effort, not to mention a certain amount of patience. The most important thing is to have fun while doing it because if you’re not…what’s the point of doing it?

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And that’s the end of the tutorial! We’re always open for suggestions and comments are highly appreciated, hope you learned something from this tutorial as much as I had fun making it.

-Leventhan

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