[Archives] Game Development Tool – Crocotile 3D First Impressions

Archives, Art, Game Development, Review

A while ago I came across a 3D Tilemapping tool that was unlike anything I had ever seen.  It’s called Crocotile 3D, and I’ve been itching to try it out for months.

Create 3d models and environments with tiles. Typically tiles are used from 2d tilemaps to construct flat scenes, but Crocotile 3d adds another dimension. 

Scene in Crocotile3D

Image source

Let’s get into what makes Crocotile 3D so interesting!

It’s easy for pixel artists to understand
Most pixel artists already understand how tilemaps work and have a grasp on how to make tileable textures.  The only extra knowledge needed to start is an understanding of 3D space in order to conceptualize the area.
The program also comes with some default assets loaded in, so artists can worry about learning the program before needing to make new assets for it.

It’s still potentially slower than low-poly modeling and texturing, especially for someone adept in that workflow, and it has an awkward learning curve (which comes at no surprise given what it is).  But someone like me, without a background in 3D, may have an easier time understanding it than trying to model an object and then texture it.

It’s visually interesting.
Very few modern games exist that still use pixel art textures on 3D objects.  By using tiles instead of 3D modeled objects, the environment is stripped down to the barest of its planes and angles, giving the scene a unique look.

It has a pixel art editor in the program
This wasn’t a necessary addition (sure, you can tweak an image in Photoshop, save it, and load it into Crocotile every time you need to make a change), but it’s an amazing timesaver.  

It’s options are vast, and include keybindings.  You can also save keybinding presets for easy toggling!
Keybindings are a must, but so seldom included in tools developed by small companies.  That you can rebind every key, and you can save presets of keybindings, goes above and beyond.
Options also include the ability to change the skybox image, toggle camera modes and camera-based selection, and change the undo limit.

It exports to a variety of formats, including JSON and OBJ
This makes your scenes usable in a variety of formats.

Reuse tiles by using tile maps instead of a texture on a UV map
I’m not sure how exporting works yet, and how importing into other projects works, but this might be more efficient than a set of textured objects that aren’t able to reuse sections of tile as easily.

At just $10 for a license, it’s an absolute steal!
Seriously just go get it!  I’m considering it myself, and I don’t even know what I’d make with it yet!

Crocotile3D Editor

Image source

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