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Submitted on
April 24
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Metatiles - In a Nutshell by Pix3M Metatiles - In a Nutshell by Pix3M
This thing won't teach you how to make awesome metatiles more quickly, but it's something to help explain what they are.

Poke me about anything if there's confusion

Also check out this tutorial to making better tile textures by Cyangmou
Basic Tiling by Cyangmou
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AzKai Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Professional Interface Designer
Love it! Thank you, Pix3m :)
pickledtezcat Featured By Owner Jun 30, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
If you offset the tiles by 50% you only need to calculate the N/NE/NW neighboring tiles, so you can have a 2x2 grid of metatiles (just 16 variations per terrain type) further if you use an alpha channel and render several layers in multiple passes you can limit yourself to 16 tiles per terrain type, and also have feature tiles to go on top.

Like this:…
finticemo Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The base set you show there looks like suitable input for Tiled's terrain (which basically does the handling of simple edge blending, where you can draw solid grass or stone, and it uses your blending tiles to make stuff fit in.). I mention this because that means you can make your (single layer) tilemap with the smaller 'metatiles' and then generate the needed full size tiles from a bitmap export of the map.
blazah99 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
Good examples and explanation Pix3m, going to be saving /using this to refer to in the future. =)
Geneen-Bones Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is useful, not only for games but creating scenery aswell
skittlefuck Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very well done tutorial, you picked a very good palette too!
immortius Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014
These are also known as Wang tiles/tiling - programming-wise there are some good papers under that term, particularly a GPU Gems article.
Metagenki Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014
Also, you explain things well.  I like how you walk us through the thought behind it.
Metagenki Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014
Reminds me a lot of Warcraft 2 map editing.

Hey, what about hex metatiles?  I imagine those might look less gridlike, though straight paths might be weird to do.  I guess some games must have done it, by now.  I never thought much about it.
Pix3M Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2014   Digital Artist
Most hex grids I've seen are used for strategy games that makes the tile grid part of the game, so hex tiles actually look very grid-like for the sake of good game design.

They sound a lot more difficult to work with too, and I have never had a need to work with hex tiles.
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