Tile Architect
Updated 10 months ago
Tile Architect
Tile Architect is a Unity editor tool for generation of 2D tilemap tilesets. It comes with a suite of features and tools to vastly speed up the development and iteration cycle when creating 2D tilesets for Unity's 2D tilemap system.
Created By: Kyle Rockman @ Red Owl Games Documentation:


Hey everyone, thanks for dropping by to check out Tile Architect, this project was inspired by a number factors in my personal adventures doing game jams and creating the painstakingly tedious tileset art assets over and over. I've also watched many videos on YouTube about how to create certain tileset effects and this got me thinking there has to be a better more automated way. My day job is as an infrastructure automation software engineer so I figured lets use these skills to make making art easier and faster - then the Unity 2D challenge happened and I thought what a better time then this to dive in and make something to help everyone else too. With that I set out to make a tool to help others make their 2D tilemap dreams come true easier, faster and (hopefully) better (or at least more consistent).

Introducing: Tile Architect

This is a tileset of 16x16 tiles - the above could painstakingly be made by hand in some 3rd party art package and allows you to create scenes with Unity's 2D tilemap systems like this:
But in my opinion it takes a lot of time and manual effort, the iteration cycle is slow, you only start to get good results after you've made a number of them over and over... and who has time for that right? We've got games to make! So my philosophy is to make tools that get out of your way, make you faster and (hopefully) better at what your doing to make your dream game come true.
While Tile Architect is my first entry in the public space for 2D tools, I've developed a number of in-house tools previously that have sped up mine and others workflows and made us better then we otherwise would have been without the tool. So I'm no stranger to making tools that fulfill a need to speed up iteration cycles and after using Tile Architect I never want to go back to making tilesets by hand in a 3rd party art package again!
Here is a Demo video of the tool in action making the previously shown tileset:

Current Work-In-Progress

This is the tileset's ability to render certain shapes using the generated rule tile asset in a Unity 2D Tilemap. The dark grey boxes are tiles that the current generated tileset doesn't make (but that will soon be remedy) - its not a technical limitation I just haven't written the code that generates and places those tiles into the tileset for use yet (since there are 53 permutations of tiles that need to be generated).
The system does all the heavy lifting for you so its super easy to swap out a tileset. The image to the left is a new Tile Architect scriptable object I made using the system and then I exported it over the existing asset files (png and rule tile assets) and it automatically updated the working scene's tilemap (show below). In a matter of minutes (the time it took to draw the 3 textures and 2 masks) i had a whole new look for a level in my game! Sweet! I was also able to reuse and slightly tweak the grass cap from the previous one.

The Inner Workings

Tile Architect is made up of a few things: - A scriptable object that holds all the configuration and pixel art data (purely for the editor it does not need to be included in your runtime build so it won't bloat the size of your game) - An Editor window that allows you to view the generated tileset and a preview of the tileset in action - An Editor window that allows you to edit the pixels of the source images (and masks) which when changed automatically updates in real time the tileset and preview of the tileset in action to speed up development and iteration cycle time
Tile Architect generates a two things for the runtime of your game: - A PNG texture asset pre-sliced into tiles that makeup the tileset (with proper import settings for 2D textures) - A rule tile asset for integration with Unity's Tilemap system for showing the proper tile in-game based on the surrounding tiles

Current Features:

  • Generation of 53 unique (Square) tiles including 45 degree slopes, all inward corner variations, horizontal and vertical single tile platforms
  • Supports 4x4, 8x8, 16x16, 32x32, 64x64 and 128x128 tile sizes
  • Generation of rule tile asset that helps integrate the tileset with Unity's 2D Tilemap system
  • Pixel Editor - Interactively paint on source textures with realtime preview of changes made
  • Pixel Editor is also standalone for loading, editing and saving 2D texture assets
  • Mask generation algorithms - Circle

Future Features Planned:

  • Generation of 2 tile wide slopes (~ 30 degree slopes)
  • Support for higher resolution tile sizes - 256x256, 512x512 and 1024x1024
  • Support tileset variations which could be hooked into the "rule tile" asset to further breakup the "tiling" look of a tileset (would add extra base texture variations that would need to be supplied by the user)
  • More mask generation algorithms - Diamond, Cross
  • Pixel Editor - "Brush" system for easier and more custom painting (photoshop like)
  • Normal map generation for the entire tileset to support Unity's 2D lighting systems
  • Editor UI styling (light and dark) to make the tool feel more professional
  • Support for non-square tiles (Hex)
I've received alot of intrest in making Tile Architect available to others so i'm currently considering selling it on the Unity Asset Store - please reachout to me as i'd like to ask you a few questions if you think this tool would be something your interested in buying.
Kyle Rockman