Standard 2D Map Editor w/Metatile Support

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Flygon, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. Alright. Still not use to making topics on these forums, but let's give it a jolly old go whatnot. :v:


    Whilst doing investigations for tools with a Master System project I've been doing some work for, I've been unable to find any standard Map Editors that can support Metatiles.

    I would trust almost anybody actually reading this topic - from this forum - to understand what I'm going on about, but for the uninitiated, I am referring to large tiles - say, 16x16 tiles, that're actually indexed to four smaller 8x8 tiles.
    For example, most of the Sonic games use 128x128 metatiles, that index back to 16x16 metatiles, which themselves index back to 8x8 tiles.

    Given the machine we're working on, and the fact we don't have unlimited ROM sizes, metatiles are a space saving we're very much taking advantage of. :eng101:


    Anyway, all that much will be bleeding obvious to anyone reading this topic. What concerns me is if there is any mapping tools that can actually handle metatiles. I've looked through the likes of Tiled, and Mappy, but neither seem to quite support the concept.
    Whilst I've asked around in other quarters for if there's any tools that can handle them, I've generally not gotten positive answers from those I've asked.

    It would drastically speed up map design, having a tool that can handle these sorts of things live. Whilst we can probably manage without, it would be a real effort saver. Hope this isn't being a bother!
     
  2. MainMemory

    MainMemory

    Have no fear...Amy Rose is here! Tech Member
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  3. Ritz

    Ritz

    Subhedgehog Member
    Pro Motion NG. Start an 8x8 tile project, build your larger tile chunks and save them to the brush container for reuse.
     
  4. Yeah, I actually considered the SonLVL fork idea beforehand. Given your own suggestion, and the lack of other suggestions - Bar Ritz's (Which I will be coming to) - it seems that may be the go-to suggestion.

    The issue with that is that we actually need the metatiles saved in the actual map output. So you have the table for the 8x8 tiles, but also a separate table for the 16x16 metatiles. From what I understand, Pro Motion MG doesn't support that.
     
  5. Asagoth

    Asagoth

    Behold! The mighty, the flawless, salted cod eater Member
  6. We had actually considered the TUME option. The main issue is - There's no Windows port!

    It's a shame, because the feature set, on the face of it, would be about exactly what we actually need.
     
  7. Asagoth

    Asagoth

    Behold! The mighty, the flawless, salted cod eater Member
    It's an underrated tool... and is available since the year 2000... unfortunately no one seems to note it (no offense) ... It's an "Historical Artifact"... and yes... it just needs to be ported to Windows... until a "Lonely Hero" decides to port it... i guess...
     
  8. Ralakimus

    Ralakimus

    "I want to die alone tonight~" Tech Member
    Luckily, the tool IS open source. It was made to be built with Borland Turbo C and TASM, but it's probably more desirable to port over to GCC or MSVC.
     
  9. Asagoth

    Asagoth

    Behold! The mighty, the flawless, salted cod eater Member
    Yes... is open source... you guys have all what is needed for porting it to windows in that .zip file... Echidna was also kind enough to share some libraries and utilities they used during their time as programmers in the 90's ... you can read about them here ... as I said before I'm not a programmer... I'm just sharing this with you guys... you guys might know what to do with them... better than me for sure...
     
  10. nineko

    nineko

    I am the Holy Cat Tech Member
    Flygon: I made a few map editors in the past, but they were tailored for specific games. I don't think I would be interested into making a generic one, but if you give me an outline of the features you need (other than the metatiles), and they are somehow reasonable, I'll gladly whip something up for you. Given that you mention the Master System I guess we can remove tile mirroring from the list, also any rough idea about the map size and the output format (RLE or something)? No promises, but as I said, if the requests are reasonable, I can do it.
     
  11. Techokami

    Techokami

    For use only on NTSC Genesis systems Researcher
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    tUME runs fine in DOSBox...
     
  12. Hey, I'm sorry about my quietness. I've been hammered with work. It's basically been wake up, work, return home, handle evening stuff, sleep.
    Basically wanted to come up with a decent reply.

    I considered the offer, but I think we'll still stick with the option of branching SonLVL. It's an already existing tool, and something that we're already relatively familiar with.
    I do need to say, however. The Master System actually supports native tile flipping! Something that caught some of the devteam offguard - We've used it liberally, too, for those much needed VRAM savings. :v:/>

    I had considered that option, but decided against complicating factors by involving DOSBox. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but it's potentially enough of a pain to make working with a SonLVL branch more desirable.


    I've been very grateful for all the assistance here! For now, I think we have our solution.
    I'll leave this topic open, simply because I know others are inevitably going to need help on a similar kind of thing to what we have, and the fact that I suspect there'll be further developments on this sort of subject as time runs along.
     
  13. nineko

    nineko

    I am the Holy Cat Tech Member
    Indeed it does, I somehow forgot about it, or maybe I was thinking about some other console, but you're absolutely right, it's all in the docs, I can't believe I was wrong about something I used to know about, this shows once more how rusty I'm getting when it comes to these things, I should really try to regain some interest and get out of my semi-permanent hiatus.

    But that's not relevant! Back on topic, I'm glad to hear that you found your solution. Good luck with your project :)
     
  14. Techokami

    Techokami

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    Yeah, you probably mixed it up with sprite flipping, which the Master System cannot do.