ASCII/Retro tilesets

Last update:
All code is now merged, so both ASCII png (using a font png) and ASCII fallback (showing ASCII whenever a graphic tile isn’t defined) are in the last experimental.

This is a small package that includes the required .dlls (otherwise you’ll get crashes) four ASCII sets (9x9 used by default, a 8x8, a 10x10 and a 15x15), and my last tweak of RetroDays tileset with built-in ASCII fallback. Plus my color definitions.

By default the game will run in a 1120x736 window with standard Terminus font for UI and a 9x9 ASCII set for map graphic. To switch to graphic tile just use the game option.

To switch UI or map font you have to edit /data/fontdata.json
To change default colors /data/raw/colors.json

The file should be unzipped in the main Cataclysm directory after you unpack the latest experimental:,Platform=Windows/lastSuccessfulBuild/


I was posting updates on the announcement thread since I’m relying on the most recent patches and not the official releases, to test the new features of tile-mode. We still need a couple more things before the tile mode is actually well playable but I’m posting my experimental tileset here so that people who are interested can see it more easily.

It was originally based on just a 10x10 ASCII so that the map would use a square font, while you could use whatever Truetype for the normal text. Then I started editing things little by little, and more recently I’ve replaced some basic ASCII with some pretty tiles.

I’m now using a publicly available tileset and adapting/tweaking it:

As long I was just fiddling with things on my own everything’s fine, but I guess if we start using this more officially we should probably tell him and ask permission.

Anyway, whenever I update my tileset it pops up here, but consider this always need the most recent experimental/SDL build to work, and right now it replaces Deon tileset (since the files have those names): (bigger but aliased)

Theorycraft: standard tiles won’t work well with Cataclysm because it’s a cell-based game. You want to display a lot of screen, so tiles need to be small enough. At the same time if the tiles are small then you just can’t see them properly. Same issues of Dwarf Fortress. So ASCII mode is always better because letters are always easier to read than tiny colored pixels. Moreover: with tiles and “standard” graphic you get all sort of weirdness, like vehicles looking impossibly huge. But if you instead have icons instead of detailed sprites then everything looks nicer, because it’s a symbolic representation. In this case I mixed some basic tiles with ASCII trying to find a compromise between pretty and readable.

Latest stuff I added: redone the fences, doors, added variations between zombies types.

This is a screenshot from my recent version. Having a black background makes things much better to see compared to other tilesets:

Other experiments I tried was a 16x16 version:

And my standard ASCII:

But for now I’ll stick with the version of the first image.

Gorgeous. This might be the one I end up using personally.

throws up rainbows

I like the 16x16, and I hope that you know many people will want this tileset.

I agree. this takes the reason why I didn’t use tiles until now, and makes it appealing. I think I would keep mobs as letters though… as a personal choice.

[quote=“FunsizeNinja123, post:3, topic:3676”]throws up rainbows

I like the 16x16, and I hope that you know many people will want this tileset.[/quote]

Allow me to join you in throwing rainbows up.

The 16x16 has its own issues since stuff is way too crammed and when there’s stuff together it gets ugly.

The ideal would be 19x19, which uses the 16x16 and adds some space, but I think 19x19 starts to get too big, unless you have a big display.

But I’d say 10x10 and 19x19 can be two decent choices.

latest tweaks to 10x10 look like this:
(changed trees, added player’s sprite, tweaked some colors)

This may just get me to switch to SDL, looks amazing. And this works with the latest experimental?

Just read the owners forum post you linked there, and he seems very reasonable and, I hope, would love to see his work splashed with zombie guts :smiley: Glad to finally see an official post for this sweet action, as well! I downloaded your older version and did some changing to it, but before I was even 20% through I saw the newer version and was blown smooth away :expressionless: Congrats and awesomeness to you and Trihook also :slight_smile: Maybe he’d like to come here and massacre some zombs with us :smiley:

Looks awesome! We should ask the owner for permission and incorporate this into CDDA right away.

Maybe this is not the right place to ask, but does the game support changing the monster character (Zs,) in the right panel into the relevant title? It’ll look more consistent IMO.

Brightened everything a bit. It’s a fiddly process. I’m not sure this one is better since I guess it depends a lot on how a monitor is set. This seems a good compromise to me.

It’s still far from done. Plenty of the objects aren’t there, or only there in a broken rescaled way. I usually just update what comes us on screen as I go around and covered most of the common stuff. But far from done.

Locally I have a bunch of versions. 8x8, 10x10, 15x15, 16x16, 18x18, 20x20. But some of these are only rescaled and don’t look as nice (I’ll eventually try a 9x9 rescaled to 15x15 since it could be better than this one). See for example this 15x15:

If you compare this with the native 16x16 above the difference is evident. If for some reason you like this 15x15 here, though, then it’s extremely easy since it’s just an automatic rescale of my 10x10. So it can always be done on the fly without any tweak (but things are blurrier).

and redone some of the objects in start area (redone doors in general too). Btw, it’s a girl sprite there :slight_smile: (as opposed to the guy sprite above)

Scaled (this is 20x20, not the 16x16 above):

This tileset makes me horny!
Well done man!

Looks like utter crap on my monitor now. The “black” now is a bright shade of gray. Considering you’re aiming for ASCII compatability, stick with the original - that one had actual black, same as a terminal window. Brightening the foreground colors is a different matter.

Try adjusting your gamma so that the squares are distinguishable at least counting from the 3rd one, then check your tileset again.

I both brightened tiles and background color. It softens the image and puts less strain on the eyes. Even in Vim I use a slightly brighter black than full black, but as I said it depends a lot on the monitor.

In any case it takes 2 seconds to revert this, so I’m keeping this and can do an optional version as it was before.

Would an 8 be a decent compromise? It’s a matter of preference, I actually like lighter blacks as backgrounds.

This is beautiful and reminds me of old ZX Spectrum graphics.

How do you install the Title-set correctly? I think i’ve done it right, but certian things do not look correct… Cars for instance are not the right symbols and are infact Hash-tags all the way through.

I placed everything in the DeonTitles folder an in what though were the correct places.

Little help? xD;

This only works with latest experimental SDL. If you’re using the last experimental SDL then you probably didn’t copy over the tile_config.json contained in the tileset .zip

Can we have a version with monsters as letters?