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Thread: What is the best software for dealing with tilesets?

  1. #1

    Question What is the best software for dealing with tilesets?

    Hi there. I'm new here, and I don't know or do too much map-making...

    I've looked through the tutorials for all the help I can get, but I can't seem to easily find an answer. Forgive me if it's asked a lot.

    I'm making a little videogame with a friend of mine, and we're planning on creating and using 16x16 pixel tilesets to use in creating our maps. We'll then export the image file and import the whole image as a background in Game Maker. The problem is that I'm having trouble finding a good software to do this with... Game Maker's room editor has no zoom options, and you can only brush with one tile at a time. I tried Graphics Gale, but the selecting and brushing of tiles isn't seeming to work for me (plus the UI doesn't really work with my Windows 7). And Gimp's grid doesn't really suit my needs - I want a hard-locking grid, so all 16x16 tiles will be evenly laid out, not overlapping, and implementing tiles will be easy.

    So, do any of you know a program that will suit my needs? If you're familiar with the RPG Maker series, those had a wonderful map editor for my needs, but I can't figure out how to export image files from it.

    (here's a video of the map maker in RPG Maker:
    He starts going over it at about 1:45)

    So, to sum up my needs, what I need is a program that I can select one or more tiles easily, brush the tiles easily (hold the mouse button and drag it for multiple squares, while still being evenly spaced), has zoom options, allows you to change the map size at any time, and supports layers and transparency.

    Can anyone offer help?
    Last edited by IBBIAZ; 05-11-2009 at 04:57 PM. Reason: Added another need for the program.

  2. #2


    Never seen the programme before (it looks really nice to be able to animate our maps this way) but what the youtube tutorial did not show is whether you can import your own tilesets into the game.

    If you can then we could have a lot of fun with this. What format are the tilsets saved in?

    Welcome to the guild btw.

  3. #3


    Well thank you very much for the welcome.

    You can, indeed, import your own tilesets in RPG Maker, but you can't edit them inside the program. The program (I believe) is also limited on its grid sizes. I think the older ones only handle 16x16 tilesets and the newer ones only handle 32x32 tilesets. I could be wrong, though. I think RPG Maker handles bmp, and maybe png files. And like I said, you can't really use the maps you make in it for anything other than RPG Maker, since you can't export the maps you make.

    However, I'm looking into a program called "Tiled" and so far it seems to be pretty good foy my needs. I can't find any videos of it, but it looks to be pretty similar to the RPG Maker map editor, but you can make infinite layers and you can export each layer to image formats. Here's a link:

  4. #4
    Administrator Redrobes's Avatar
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    a) zoom options
    b) not brush with one tile at a time
    c) Windows 7
    d) hard-locking grid, so all 16x16 tiles will be evenly laid out, not overlapping
    e) brush the tiles easily (hold the mouse button and drag it for multiple squares, while still being evenly spaced)
    f) change the map size at any time
    g) supports layers
    h) transparency
    i) export image

    I write ViewingDale and I will say that it can do a,b,c,d,e,f,h,i

    G is a maybe. Theres no direct control of layers in it. If your looking at the icons overlapping in the perspective or isometric view then its unlikely to get the Z order right. Anyway theres a free demo on my site to try. The demo is not exactly set up for the hard grid but you will need to set the grid size, switch it on and set the snap to grid. If you want to detail what you need the layers for then ill let you know if it can do it. If you want a vid demo then I can bosh one up.

    Also look at Dundjinni which is a similar stamp tool. DungeonForge sounds similar too. I reckon that MapTool could have a go at this too and BattlegroundsRPG might be able to do this. There's one or two more I could get the names of but I don't know off hand if those don't work. I am obviously less familiar with all of these tools - you will have to get 2nd opinions about them.

    Another option is to use a text editor and turn the text into graphics with a script. A bit like this.

    EDIT - This movie is closest to what I think you want
    Codec is dodgy tho - use VLC or ill convert if you have hassle.
    Last edited by Redrobes; 05-11-2009 at 06:28 PM.

  5. #5

  6. #6


    DungeonForge will certainly do this. If you only want to do tiles, then that is all you would need; it uses a hard-locking grid size (you set the dimensions when you start to do the map) and will automatically scale any texture to fit into that grid with no overlapping. I think the smallest it goes is 20x20 though (but I could reduce that) - maximum is 512x512. Brush the tiles however you wish or define a rectangle for it to fill. Layers, transparency (in objects). Easy export. Free.

    MapX (also on the DungeonForge site) can also do this as can all versions of DungeonCrafter (1, 2 & 3). For this purpose, MapX has no advantages over DungeonForge, though it does have a zoom. The process of getting images into DungeonCrafter 1 & 2 is quite complex; DungeonCrafter 3 is a long way from being finished. Dundjinni has a set grid size of 200x200 and isn't free.

  7. #7


    Awesome. Thanks for all the help, guys. I'll see you again soon.

  8. #8


    This program does most of the things you asked for:

    It doesn't do the brush thing though.
    However, it does do copy + paste and allow you to select multiple things.
    and it's free.
    Last edited by CRasterImage; 05-13-2009 at 12:11 PM.

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