Tutorial Using Tiled (NEW)

Discussion in 'Starbound Modding' started by SpazDiesFirst360.0, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. SpazDiesFirst360.0

    SpazDiesFirst360.0 Phantasmal Quasar

    Well, this is my first tutorial. Please forgive any mistakes and please point them out without being salty. Saltiness is the last thing people need in a tutorial thread. If this tutorial gets removed due to tutorials already existing, people were asking for a new tutorial, so I am simply giving them what they want.
    (sorry no screenshots. I don't have a screenshot tool, and would prefer to not have one)

    This is a tutorial for beginning modders who want to know how to use Tiled for BASIC maps.

    To get started, download Tiled at http://www.mapeditor.org/download.html and run through all the fun installer stuff. Good idea to read the agreement, but that's just what I do. If you have Tiled already, simply open it up.
    After you open Tiled up, it may be a good idea to copy the tilesets folder, make a folder called "packed" in /assets in your main Starbound folder, and stick the copied files in the "packed" folder you just made. Tiled does not read .pak files, so if you do not do this, Tiled will not load images and you will get nowhere.
    Next, click on "Map" on the top ribbon and click on "Add External Tileset". It will open a browsing window. Go to the packed file you created, go all the way through the subfolders until you see a file structure similar to this;

    objects-by-category (folder)
    objects-by-colonytag (folder)
    objects-by-race (folder)
    objects-by-type (folder)

    You should add liquids, materials, and miscellaneous as a must. Liquids adds, well, liquids, materials adds every block in Starbound, and miscellaneous adds tools such as player start and special tiles. Supports add platforms, which is not required. All the object folders have all the objects by however it is sorted.

    Now, before you save at ALL, you should set up exactly where it is going to be in the end, and save it there. Also, you should never click embed tileset. It will render your file unreadable, and it will not work.

    Some things you should know before you create a map;
    • Starbound understands only four tile layer names; front (tile layer), back (tile layer), objects (object layer), and wiring (object layer; polyline tool will work fine). No other names will work, or map will break.
    • Paint bucket tool may crash Tiled, so be careful.
    • All white boxes in miscellaneous with an X through them are boundaries. First two (very transparent one and white one) are boundaries that the player cannot go through. The blue one is a boundary that players cannot go through, but liquids can. 02.png 18.png 19.png (works in front layer)
    • The red box with "ps" is the player start box. The player starts there. 03.png (works in front layer)
    • Boxes with "Su" are for biome surface tiles. 08.png 09.png 10.png (works in front and back layers)
    • Box with "So" requires that a solid tile be placed there. 05.png (works in anchors etc. layer)
    • Box with "BI" places a biome item there. 06.png (works in objects layer)
    • Box with "BT" places a biome tree there. 07.png (works in objects layer)
    • Boxes with "G" are for zero-g tiles, blue one being protected, white not protected. 20.png 21.png (works in front layer)
    • Dark box "So" is same as light So box, but background. 17.png (works in anchors etc. layer)
    • Boxes with "Air" requires that air be placed there. 04.png 16.png (works in anchors etc. layer)
    • Empty tile is just air. (works in front layer)
    • Pink tile is special; it says to the world generator that "you should take whatever you were told to put here and put it here". 01.png (works in back layer)
    • Blank tile (in third row) is air that is overwritable. (works in front layer)
    • C tiles are connectors; will not discuss those as those are far above me right now. 12.png 13.png 14.png 15.png
    • Custom tiles require you to create your own tilesets. This can be done a couple of different ways, both of which require you to use images from /tiled/packed in Starbound's main directory;
      • Copying + pasting another Starbound tileset where you want yours to be, then editing it to use your tiles.
      • Creating your own tileset using Tiled.
    You should be familiar with materials and liquids in the game.
    One thing to know about objects; they should not overlap. In the object layer, boundaries are defined as dashed lines. Dashed lines should never overlap, or errors can occur.

    Here is a typical layer setup:

    Questions? Comments? Leave them in the comments section!

    Attached Files:

    • 00.png
      File size:
      214 bytes
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
    Marinebeast and Cyel like this.
  2. Fevix

    Fevix Heliosphere

    From my understanding: Connectors will connect to identical connectors placed on the opposite side. I forget what kinds there are, but for example, a a Blue connector on the rightmost side of a part will connect to a Blue connector on the leftmost side of another. This is useful for village dungeons, as you can have each building as its own piece and the game will select pieces to connect until it finds a piece with no connector.

    An example of multiple connector types is the Floran villages with the massive trees: One type of connector is used for horizontal connections (One building next to another) while a second type of connector is used for vertical connections.

    A connector is required wherever you want two parts of the dungeon to connect.

    As for questions: How would one create their own json to use? For example, if one wanted to make a dungeon out of modded blocks?
  3. SpazDiesFirst360.0

    SpazDiesFirst360.0 Phantasmal Quasar

    Well, for example, (I literally just looked at this) I took a look at materials.json, and the materials are formatted like this;
    "1" : {
          "//description" : "A light metallic tile, perfect for a research laboratory.",
          "//name" : "lightmetal",
          "//shortdescription" : "Light Metal",
          "material" : "lightmetal"
    (there are more after this so that is why comma is there)

    Theoretically, it is easy;
    • Change description to description of your block.
    • Change name to name of your block.
    • Change shortdescription to shortdescription of your block.
    • Change the material to what your blocks material name is.
    • Just to be careful, change the number at the beginning to not match any that already exists.
    • Make a .patch that adds your material(s) to materials.json

    HOWEVER, I have never tested this. So while this sounds right, it may not be the proper solution.
  4. SpazDiesFirst360.0

    SpazDiesFirst360.0 Phantasmal Quasar

    Changed a single word. Tilesets was the proper folder to copy, not tiles.
  5. SpazDiesFirst360.0

    SpazDiesFirst360.0 Phantasmal Quasar

    Edited tutorial to include images and how to add custom stuff to tilesets.
  6. snakeanarchy

    snakeanarchy Phantasmal Quasar


    i feel i should attach the following in reference to the Tiled layers, i found this while exploring the .json files for the player station. that is by no means the only one that has a layer structure such as the picture describes, otherwise good guide.
    SpazDiesFirst360.0 likes this.
  7. Megatroll

    Megatroll Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    It is a pity that you can not "upload" ready-made or prepared theme sets, Apex Lab Set, Glitch Castle Set or Desert Village Set. Then it would be easier to stick to the main window of things like this, and maybe create something new by the way.
  8. SpazDiesFirst360.0

    SpazDiesFirst360.0 Phantasmal Quasar

    Updated tutorial to include what layers miscellaneous stuff goes in.

    Can I use that image? Feels like it is a very important part of setting up maps.
  9. snakeanarchy

    snakeanarchy Phantasmal Quasar

    sure, it was from tiled, no worry from me
  10. snakeanarchy

    snakeanarchy Phantasmal Quasar

    the "mods" layer is for setting the block level color options, both front and back. you can set it to display different color types, say like the Pirate ship uses a red variant of rusty curved hull blocks. you can determine what color it needs to by by viewing the .png file, where it should display 8 separate color codes, 0-7 (i believe). i think (not at my home computer) you can have two separate mod layers overlay, one front and one back, in case you want to modify background blocks and support blocks.
  11. snakeanarchy

    snakeanarchy Phantasmal Quasar

    Regarding the Player start block, oddly enough, i have seen this used in the templates in game assets under the object layer, however it works in either as far as ive found.
  12. Sarelth

    Sarelth Big Damn Hero

    Which version of Tiled is this for?
  13. bk3k

    bk3k Oxygen Tank

    I believe the last version we can use is v.0.15.2 from what I understand.
  14. SpazDiesFirst360.0

    SpazDiesFirst360.0 Phantasmal Quasar

    I use version 1.0.2 which is also the version I based this tutorial off of.
  15. bk3k

    bk3k Oxygen Tank

    I believe they had changed something after that version. Something about not writing parameters (some that Starbound requires) when they are empty. Have they reverted this behavior or left it configurable?
  16. GonDragon

    GonDragon Pangalactic Porcupine

    I'm using Tiled 1.0.2, and it works just fine. I haven't had any problem so far creating microdungeons.
  17. DeadSomething

    DeadSomething Subatomic Cosmonaut

    "Go to the packed file you created" which 'packed file'?! did you skip a step?!
  18. lazarus78

    lazarus78 The Waste of Time

    Its referring to the folder you copied that is called "packed". Not an actual packed file. Context is important here.
  19. DeadSomething

    DeadSomething Subatomic Cosmonaut

    but tiled cannot select anything besides those .json files and there is no such .json file.
  20. SpazDiesFirst360.0

    SpazDiesFirst360.0 Phantasmal Quasar

    No, you create the folder in the assets folder of SB's main directory.

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