Tiled Map Editor Is Making A Big Difference

Tiled Map EditorSo I have been working with the Tiled Map Editor and I am super excited about using this cool new tool. I already mentioned it when I wrote about my May One Game Project. But I wanted to share some of the cool things I have found when messing around with this tool.

First off, I cannot emphasize more just how darn cool this map editor is. This thing is super easy to use and super fast. I can churn out basic levels in no time. The sample map I am going to show you in this article was tossed together in about 5 minutes. I didn’t have to really work at this at all.

In comparison, my prior efforts to create hand coded levels were a bit convoluted in retrospect. That one took me over an hour to put together.

So let’s explore a sample level I created. This one is inspired by the level I created in my other attempt that I linked above. It isn’t quite the same, though.

First, I created the land. I imported a tileset that has some water, shore, streams and a grass block. Each tile is 32×32 pixels.

Tiled: LandI started by bucket filling the water. Then I drew a rough outline with the grass. I then bucket filled that. I then drew the shoreline followed by the stream. Took only a minute or two to do this. Very simple.

The next step was to draw on some mountains and trees. This one I thought was going to be difficult because these were 64×64 pixels. But it turned out to be just as simple as the earlier segment.

Tiled: Trees and MountainsWhen I imported the tileset with the trees and mountains, I specified that they were 64×64. This allowed me to select the whole tree or mountain block. Then it allowed me to place them at 32×32 spacing on the map. One additional feature that this had was that painting a tree or mountain automatically placed it behind the ones that had a higher x or y value. So this allowed me to paint in any direction without worry. Something I had to constantly watch out for in my earlier attempt.

Finally, to add a bit of flair to this sample map, I added a castle. The same process applied to this as the trees. Only this castle was 128×128 pixels.

Tiled: CastleSo there you have it. This tool is extremely powerful and extremely useful. With this, I will be able to create our Demon’s Hex map with ease. Importing it is also extremely simple. There is a very useful demo and code sample for this on the HaxeFlixel site.

Just as a side note, My 10 year-old son Alex saw me making this and decided he wanted to make his own level. He even mapped it out using Lego bricks.

Alex's Lego MapHe turned that Lego model, with some help from me, into this full map. See if you can see how it mapped out between the two mediums.

Alex's Full Blown Tiled MapSo Tiled Map Editor is so easy a 10 year-old can use it and powerful enough that a professional game developer can make something awesome.

I cannot believe I didn’t start using this map editor a long time ago. I had heard of it and looked at it on its website but never really chose to try it out until recently. I feel super ashamed that it took this long to begin working with it.

So if you are making any 2D games, you need to be using this editor. There is no reason not to be.

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