A tile-based video game is a type of video or video game where the playing area consists of small rectangular, square, parallelogram or hexagonal graphic images, referred to as tiles. The complete set of tiles available for use in a playing area is called a tileset. Tiles are laid out adjacent to one another in a grid; usually, some tiles are allowed to overlap, for example, when a tile representing a unit is overlaid onto a tile representing terrain. Tile-based games usually simulate a top-down or “2.5D” view of the playing area, and are almost always two-dimensional.
Tile-based video games usually use a texture atlas for performance reasons. They also store metadata about the tiles, such as collision, damage, and entities, either with a 2-dimensional array mapping the tiles, or a second texture atlas mirroring the visual one but coding metadata by colour.
- A tile is a small image, usually rectangular or isometric, that acts like a puzzle piece of art for building larger images.
- A map is a grouping of tiles put together to create a (hopefully) visually appealing “section” (like a level or area).
- Tile-based refers to the method of building levels in a game. The code will layout tiles in specific locations to cover the intended area.
- To get even more basic, I’ll put it like this:
A tile-based game lays out tiles in order to create each level.
In realtime computer graphics, a texture atlas (also called a tile map, tile engine, or sprite sheet) is a large image containing a collection, or “atlas“, of sub-images, each of which is a texture map for some part of a 2D or 3D model.