Game Development Reference
Instead, consider the diamond shape from Figure 11-2 as your drawing canvas of the
floor. The simplest isometric tiles you can design are flat ground tiles. Just fill the dia-
mond shape with a certain pattern, and you get yourself usable isometric tiles. Figure
11-4 shows a number of flat-colored isometric tiles laid out next to each other, creating
a ground floor pattern. Ground floor tiles are not impressive and look very flat. Yet
they are essential as the game world's background layer.
To add actual visual depth to an isometric tilemap, you need to have object tiles that
extend beyond the diamond shape. The most commonly used approach is to draw
three-dimensional objects as if they were viewed at a 45-degree angle and then draw
them up and over the diamond shape, typically extending no more than one tile above.
In the example in Figure 11-5 , you can see this quite nicely by looking at the doorway.
The door arch is drawn mostly over the isometric tile above the one that the door's
frame is standing on. This gives the arch its visual depth.