Map Making Tips for RPG Maker XP

Written by brenton shields
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Map Making Tips for RPG Maker XP
RPG Maker XP is available only on PCs. (notebook pc image by Albo from Fotolia.com)

RPG Maker XP is the fourth generation of a RPG making software program available for download online. The maker allows users to create an expansive 2D role-playing game using various virtual tools, implementing either pre-created props and objects or allowing users to create their own. A map in an RPG is essentially the game world in which your various characters will traverse, and the software provides all the necessary tools to create one using sections of road, dungeon, grass, water or a variety of other elements. If you want to make a truly great and original map for your RPG project, there are a number of tips you should keep in mind.

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Use unique artwork

Creating the game world involves the heavy use of tile sets, which are essentially pictures that are laid out on a grid to make a map for the game. Because many people elect to simply use pre-made tile sets available online, players may see the same creatures, cities and textures popping up in various games over and over again. For a truly special map, try creating your own artwork using the software's tile set editor. Here, you can virtually paint your tile sets and assign them attributes, giving your game a unique air that may be missing from other projects.

Add weather

Adding random weather will give your game map a sense of realism and change the atmosphere. For example, a cemetery is probably made much more atmospheric when mist or fog is added. Fog and other weather can be added using overlay settings, and the process for creating it depends on what's in your map, so you'll need to consult the RPG Maker XP manual or a tutorial for exact instructions. However, before implementing your fog, you must make the basic texture for it using either an art program like Photoshop or simply download a fog texture from the RPG Maker XP online community.

Check solids

Checking your solids can be the most important part of any mapmaking process. A solid is an area of the map that a player cannot move through, like a tree or a wall. Nothing hurts your map quite like having a character suddenly move seamlessly through a bunch of bushes or trees or even over water, so make sure that you check every tile that's to be solid, right-click it and check off the "set solid" box.

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