There are many little details you have to look out for when it comes to creating a good map. Listed below are the tutorials that should help you with that.
- 1 Trees
- 2 Water
- 3 Caves
- 4 Mountains
- 5 Interiors
- 6 Other
The pine tree is possibly the most used tree in all of PWO maps. All the needed tiles can be found in Tilesheet #102.
As a rule of hand: If a pine tree is facing open space or a small object, there should be no shadow. If it is facing another pine tree or a large object (e.g. a house) there should be a shadow.
Single Tree & Vertical Row
A single tree or a row of vertical aligned trees don't have any shadows surrounding them.
Rows of trees have shadows at the base but not at the top. This also applies when there are fences or water behind the tree(s).
Groups of trees should have shadows withing the group, but no shadows on the outside.
Also as seen in the example image, when a cliff is behind a row or group of trees, there should be a shadow in between the trees. When a cliff is to the side of a group of trees, there should be no shadows. If the cliff turns a corner, there should also be no shadows.
Diagonal Row and Group
Rows of diagonal trees work as a combination of a single standing tree and a row of trees. The bottom of the pine tree that is touching the middle of the pine tree next tot it should use the base tile with the shadow, whereas the bottom of the pine tree that is facing open space should have no shadow. Similarly, when the middle of the pine tree is touching a base tree tile, there should be a shadow. When the middle of pine tree is facing open space, there should be none.
A group of diagonally placed trees should work as a combination of a group of trees and a row of diagonal trees.
Tree corners like this one need to be done in two layers. Place the 'base shadow' tile in base layer and the transparent tree top in mid layer over it.
The same technique is used when grouping trees in a zigzag pattern.
To achieve borderlesss rocks you simply need to place the rocks (Tilesheet #102) in mid-layer and water below them in the bottom layer.
We have many different tiles for a floor in our Tilesheets, so it's only logical that we need several different tiles for the transition to a water ledge. To get the results shown in the example on the left, take the base water ledge from Tilesheet #14 and place it in bottom layer. Then proceed with choosing the correct edge from Tilesheet #5 or #114 and place it in mid-layer above the base.
When placing water edges, like for example while mapping an island, make sure you place the little edges. It's only a small detail but it makes a huge difference.
Waterfalls are relatively rare in the original games, so there are very few examples to go of from. Nevertheless, here are 4 examples how to build one, you are however free to find your own style if you deem it to be more fitting. There are 2 different water tiles available in our sheets, the first one can be found on #13 & #14, the second one on Tilesheet #40.
Bridges are one of the special tiles in PWO. In the example on the left you can see, that all but the solid part of the bridge goes into mid-layer. You can easily check if some part of the bridge needs to be in mid-layer by placing it in bottom layer. If you then see some black parts somewhere you'll need to place it in mid-layer. Take the bridge/walkway on Tilesheet #6 for example: If you place the top stairs in bottom layer you'll notice a black stripe at the top, meaning you need to place it in mid-layer instead.
Exits and Entrances
West-, East- and North-Entrances should be placed in bottom-layer so that the placer walks on top of the tile when they enter. Meanwhile South-Entrances need to be in top-layer to make a player go under the tile when they exit or enter.
Also, make sure to add the surrounding cave-tiles in both mid- and top-layer, otherwise you'll get the result as seen in the image to the right.
When creating mountains, remember that most of the times there are two sets of tiles. The first one that should be used for the first ridge is the one with a transparent bottom. Every following ridge uses the set with an already filled in bottom.
In the example on the left you can see the difference: The left side was done using only the transparent set, while the right is following the rule mentioned above.
Every set of mountain tiles in our Tilesheets already comes with two corners ready to be placed as is. The other two corners need to be made by placing the vertical mountain tile in bottom-layer and the horizontal one in mid-layer. (Mid + Top would work too)
The imaginary light source in PWO is on the top left. Shadows inside of houses follow that rule too and therefore have a shadow outline next to the top and left wall, as well as huge objects like stairs. Aside from the light source you can just get creative with your shadows. Some floor tiles in our Tilesheets offer more than just the full shadow tile, so feel free to come up with some interesting concepts.
When creating a new map, the bottom layer gets filled with the very first tile which happens to be a grass tile. Since that doesn't look very nice you should go ahead and switch to Tilesheet #11 where you can find a 3x3 square of grass tiles that you can use to fill the whole bottom layer. This is done easiest by selecting the bucket tool(F) and just clicking somewhere on the map, while making sure the bottom layer selected.
When using ledges, make sure that you use the proper tiles to end them with. Otherwise your ledges are left looking cut off and incomplete. Also note that ledges need to go in mid-layer for them to work.
Paths are pretty easy to map, the only thing you need to look out for is to make sure you place all the little corners that give the path a smooth look.
There are two very similar looking stair tiles in our Tilesheets. As shown in the example, the steeper looking one is used for stairs facing north, while the other one is used for stairs facing south. These two can be found on Tilesheet #1 & #2, while the sideways stairs are located on Tilesheet #109 & #110