Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Isometric tilemaps allow object tiles to overlap one another because the tiles are drawn
from back to front, which means object tiles closer to the viewer are always drawn over
tiles behind them, adding to the feeling of depth. But this approach requires careful
design of individual tiles and the tilemap itself, because too much overlap or overlap-
ping the wrong tiles can quickly destroy the illusion of depth.
As a good practice, try not to overlap object tiles that have wildly different shapes but
use the same or similar color palette. In the case of Figure 11-5 , for example, you
would not want to place the crystal tile directly behind the doorway. The loss in con-
trast and merging outlines of these tiles could easily destroy the perception of depth.
Likewise, although you can create isometric object tiles that span much higher than
twice the tile height, it's very hard to create a convincing 3D look if objects appear
very high because the player will see only part of the tilemap. If you were building a
huge castle whose walls span a dozen tiles high and the player approached them from
below, the walls could easily be mistaken for a large section of ground floor. You can
even end up creating optical illusions like the drawings of M. C. Escher because the
isometric tiles do not get smaller the farther away from the screen they are. So, there's
always a fine line between what works and what doesn't when designing isometric tiles
and tilemaps.
Figure 11-6 shows a finely crafted isometric tileset named dg_iso32.png , which
contains a good variation of ground floor tiles; object tiles such as walls, trees, and
houses; and adornment objects or items that can be placed on any ground tile. The tiles
in this set are each 54x49 pixels in size. The height can be chosen arbitrarily; it can be
more or less than 49 pixels and depends on how much overlap between tiles you like in
your tilemap. The actual height of the diamond shape is 27 pixels. This will become
important when you create the tilemap in Tiled (Qt) Map Editor.
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