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How to use the Tile API

by Jon (Updated on 2015-10-15)


Note: This guide is adapted from this ongoing forum topic. Please ask all of your questions about the Tile API in that forum discussion.

What is the Tile API?

The Tile API is a collection of functions that let you modify a scene's terrain at runtime. The Tile API is essential for games that dynamically generate terrain. Here's what the Tile API can do:

  • Change tile at a location
  • Remove tile at a location
  • Determine whether a tile exists at a given location.
  • Determine what tile exists at a given location. Determine which collision group it belongs to. Determine which tileset it belongs to?

How do you install the Tile API?

In Stencyl 3.2 and above, the Tile API is part of the regular block set. You can find the blocks under Scene > World > Tile API.

Additional Notes

Tile coordinates are measured in Rows and Columns. It is important to note that a Row coordinate is a measure of the tile's position on the Y axis, while Columns are measured on the X axis. Initially this may appear to be incorrect, but it is necessary to remember that "10 rows" means 10 tiles vertically (rows are stacked), but "10 columns" means 10 tiles horizontally.

Row and column coordinates start at 0 (zero), at the top-left corner of the scene, and increase in number going down (for rows) and to the right (for columns).

Tileset ID numbers can be found by looking at the bottom bar in the Tileset Editor. If a single tile is selected you will also see the Tile ID of the selected tile.

Layer ID numbers can be found in the Scene Designer's Layer box.

Aside: For performance reasons, layers cannot contain tiles unless they have one already at compile time (from the Scene Designer). Attempting to place a tile with the Tile API into a non-tile layer will fail. To resolve, include at least one tile (it can be invisible and without a collision shape) on the desired layer.

Individual Block Information

Get (Column/Row) Coordinate Of (number) In Scene

Type: Number

This blocks produces the tilemap coordinate of a position in the scene. To get the coordinate in Rows, use a positive Y value. To get the coordinate in Columns, use a positive X value. Negative values are accepted, however they represent tile coordinates that are out-of-bounds of the scene (to the left of or above the top left corner of the scene).


Set Tile At Row: (number) Col: (number) LayerID: (number) Using TileID: (number) From TilesetID: (number)

Type: Action

This block creates a new tile in the scene at the designated coordinate and layer. The tile to be used is determined by the other two ID's given; the Tileset ID and Tile ID of the desired tile from that tileset. Note that placing a tile into the scene in this manner will create a new collision shape each time if the tile placed has a collision shape assigned to it. Significant numbers of these tiles can incur a performance penalty due to the many collision shapes


Tile Exists At Row: (number) Col: (number) LayerID: (number)

Type: Boolean (True/False)

This block indicates if there is a tile of any kind at the given coordinate and layer.

ID For Tile At Row: (number) Col: (number) LayerID: (number)

Type: Number

This block produces the Tile ID for a tile at the given coordinate and layer. If there is no tile at the position, this block returns the value -1 instead.


Tile Collision Shape Found At Row: (number) Col: (number) LayerID: (number)

Type: Boolean (True/False)

This block indicates if the tile at the given coordinate and layer has a collision shape or not. If a negative value (e.g. -1) is used for the Layer ID, it will check all tile layers automatically. Note that to do so, the block must loop through all tile layers in a scene to check; doing so could incur a performance penalty.


Collision ID For Tile At Row: (number) Col: (number) LayerID: (number)

Type: Number

This block provides the numeric value of the collision ID for a tile at the given coordinate and layer. If there is no collision shape found, it will return a value of -1 instead. This includes if there is no tile, or if a tile exists but lacks a collision shape.


ID For Tile's Tileset At Row: (number) Col: (number) LayerID: (number)

Type: Number

This block provides the numeric value of the Tileset ID of the tile at the given coordinate and layer. If there is no tile found, it will return a value of -1 instead.


Remove Tile At Row: (number) Col: (number) LayerID: (number)

Type: Action

This block will delete the tile at the given coordinate and layer. Note that deleting a tile will only remove it's collision shape from the scene if it was added through the Tile API. If the tile was placed in Scene Designer, the tile's visual image will be removed but the collision shape will remain behind (invisible unless Debug Drawing is enabled).

Example Usage

The following image demonstrates how these blocks might be combined to produce a behavior that places, or removes, a tile in the scene when the player clicks the mouse

Example

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Disclaimer: Use comments to provide feedback and point out issues with the article (typo, wrong info, etc.). If you're seeking help for your game, please ask a question on the forums. Thanks!

14 Comments

magewarrior2222
Okay, Abigail solved my first problem, but now when I take away a block the collision stays and avatars can't move it. I'm in Stencyl 3.2, but it also doesn't work in 3.3 which I've also tried.
0 1 year, 10 months ago
magewarrior2222
The thing I'm having a problem with here is the fact that I don't know what tile/tileset code goes to which. Can you add that into the article?
0 1 year, 11 months ago
Jon
Starting in 3.2, the Tile API is now part of the built in block set. You can find the blocks under Scene > World.
0 2 years, 3 months ago
Jon
The Tile API is now available as blocks in Stencyl 3. Article updated to reflect that.
0 3 years, 1 month ago
Tuo
Agreed Major. In my "Demo- Sonic-Style Running" on the Forge, I had to create the tiles that would disappear in my "when created" coding, and it still has some hiccups with that workaround.
0 4 years, 4 months ago
majormax
@coleislazy

It is actually somewhat true. The tile appears to be removed, but you can still collide with it.

0 4 years, 4 months ago
Abigayl
For some of us not as used to programming, it would have been helpful to state that you just use ONLY the numbers in parentheses and that you can find the tile IDs by going into the tileset you want and then the tile you want (look at the bottom to find the tile IDs), and that you need semi-colons at the end. For example, a code could look like: setTileAt(10, 1, 1, 6, 0);
0 4 years, 8 months ago
ChunkyMonkey
How would you program it to be the location of the mouse? I don't know the coding in stencyl, just the blocks
0 5 years, 5 months ago
coleislazy
The article states that you can only remove tiles added at runtime, but that is untrue.
0 5 years, 8 months ago
gigaclon
any chance we could get some of this as a block?
0 5 years, 8 months ago

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