Overview » The map structure
OpenSpace is a tile-based isometric engine. Each tile can have one or more skins associated, which contain the actual tile graphics. Tiles are the building blocks (just like the Lego!) you can use to create the map “architecture” with great flexibility.
Tiles in OpenSpace
OpenSpace gives full control over the tiles appearance by making their size and aspect-ratio customizable: you can choose between an isometric view and a top-down view, or set your preferred view angle in between. As tiles aren't plain surfaces, but flexible building blocks, you can create countless different tiles by playing with the elevation of the upper and lower sides.
When choosing the top-down tile aspect-ratio, you can obtain a real top-down view or a very skewed form just like in the glorious “Ultima Online”.
Also, tiles can be stacked one above the other to create complex structures which include bridges, overpasses and underpasses. You also have four-directions sloped tiles to make avatars reach different floors on the map.
2D objects in a 2.5D world
Adopting the techniques described in the OpenSpace Editor documentation, you can place large, tile-exceeding 2D objects on the map (like buildings, for example) without affecting the perception of moving inside a tridimensional space, and without having to split each map object in tile-shaped parts (obtaining a usually ugly “pattern effect”). You can also group tiles in a so-called supertile, for fast reuse of complex map objects in your environments.
Background and foreground
OpenSpace handles the background and foreground on separate layers, so there’s no need to fill the map with “terrain tiles”: simply create your background/foreground graphics in Flash and they will be placed below (background) and above (foreground) the map. This makes a lot faster and easier to create the map base with a lot of freedom and avoiding (again) the typical “pattern effect” of tiled backgrounds.
For more informations on the map structure, please read this tutorial.