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Old 5th January 2015, 07:09 PM   #1
Pia Carrot
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Default How to Map: Gen II Style

Right, so I've been working with Gen II graphics for nearly 4 years now, and I've picked up quite a few things in the process of many transitions between ROM Hacking, RPG Maker XP, and just simply Pixel Art.

Now, from time to time I see a Gen II fan project, or a map on DeviantArt, or someone trying to make a Gen II themed hack on GBA. Now, what I don't see, is proper mapping; Single trees, inverted fences, and incorrect searock formations are some of the tile errors I see all the time. So in this guide, I'll be teaching you how to map Gen II, the correct and awesome way

Table of Contents
1--Tiles and Blocks
2--Trees and Paths
3--Fences and Ledges
4--Ocean Mapping
5--Final Words
6--Credits

1. Tiles and Blocks

If you work with Advance Map, or even RPG Maker, you know that blocks are 16x16 chunks of 8x8 tile graphics that you use for mapping. Well, it's no different for Gen II, except that blocks are 32x32 chunks of 8x8 tiles. This was originally made to save space, but it now serves as an iconic reminder of the Gen II Style.

Here's an example:


The original blockset for Gen II is rather limited, with oddities ranging from certain headbutt tree formations missing to a lack of unique tiles for most routes. Many of these can be forgiven in a hack, obviously, but there are some errors that are just plain awful and deter from the experience.

2. Trees and Paths

Tree tile errors are among the most common that I see. Many people do not take into account that trees are a 32x32 block, with exactly two tree tiles standing next to eachother. Let's say you wanted to make a very thin path in your game, perhaps to have an easy guard event or the like. I will often see uneven lines of trees, which is incorrect and could easily be remedied by headbutt trees. Here's an example of what I mean:



As you can see, one of the blocks has a single tree; this is rather off as you won't see this anywhere in the vanilla Gold/Silver ROMs, and it looks weird. Here's the right way to do it:



Very simple fix, and it makes it look that much more appealing.

3. Fences and Ledges

Fences are the worst offenders of ill mapping that I see. Here's a reference from route 38, a correct way to format fences:



Oftentimes, I will see this:



I myself used to make these mistakes, so I know they will happen. But keep this in mind if you are using a lot of fences in your map. As you can see, the latter example is just awful and uneven. Don't do this or your family will be dishonored.

4. Ocean Mapping

This is a really short example. Just keep in mind border rocks (the little white ones that are in rows of 2x2) shouldn't be inverted. A very easy mistake to make, and I even still make them on occasion. The single best reference to how border rocks should be mapped is Route 41 (With an incorrect palette for your convenience):

Spoiler:


5. Final Words

While short, I hope your time with my tutorial has helped if you ever are mapping with Gen II tiles. I would like to see more properly mapped hacks and games when using the style. If you would like me to add anything else to the guide, let me know

6. Credits

Max - Teaching me how to map Gen II Style nearly 4 years ago
Justin - Supporting me in my spriting endeavors
Michael - Spriting tiles for Mint, which helped me with spriting in general
Alice - Supporting mai fengemmus
Nicole - Getting me back into Gen II Hacking
Chaos Rush - His attention to detail rubs off on you, tbh
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Old 9th January 2015, 01:34 AM   #2
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Hmm... This is quite nice!

When all you can find are examples of maps using newer tiles and styles, it can be frustrating to make maps in the Gen. II (or older) style, and you do a nice job of countering common pitfalls related to that!
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Old 9th January 2015, 06:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itari View Post
Hmm... This is quite nice!

When all you can find are examples of maps using newer tiles and styles, it can be frustrating to make maps in the Gen. II (or older) style, and you do a nice job of countering common pitfalls related to that!
Thanks, I will try to remember some more oddities I see, but most honestly are related to things sticking out of their block pattern and can be inferred from this guide that it's wrong.

I know Christmas version and some other hacks purposely do their own thing and will go out of block pattern, but since it's a rom hack they can do as they wish and it's fine. It's just when a game claims to be gen 2 styled they tend to not be up to par.
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Old 25th January 2015, 05:37 AM   #4
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Thaks for this tutorial.

I recommended it to a few guys who just hack at GBA with GBC graphics!
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