I'm making a top down rpg game and was wondering if it was possible to show hills on a map instead of having everything completely flat. I've thought about changing to an isometric view, but if it can be avoided, I would rather do top down. How would I do this? Would I draw the tiles on an angle or something? Or is not possible without switching levels like in dwarf fortress?
Since you're not looking to create layers, or do Isometric, my best idea would to create something similar to a topographic map. The higher the mountain, the darker it gets, and possibly adds distinct features based on your environment (Eg: Add snow the closer to the top).
Look at one of the classic-style Zelda games. You can create the illusion of hills by using cliff faces.