Event Stuck on Another Event!

I was working on another cut scene and I had the weirdest thing happen: one of my events got stuck trying to move through a second event. I ended up making a video explaining the whole thing:

If you don’t feel like watching the video and would rather read about what was happening, basically the guy on the left was getting stuck on the guy on the right.

map with events, butler event circled

The event/guy on the right happens first and then is over.  That event becomes invisible, and I made sure it’s marked as being under the player.  I assumed that a second event would be able to walk over it, too.  But that’s not the case.  Luckily it’s super easy to fix this problem.  When I made the event/guy on the left’s move route, I had to make sure “through” was turned to “on.”

Event editing with move route open - through on is circled

Make sure you turn “through” on and not “transparent” on.  I made that mistake once while messing with the settings to make the video and he (obviously) disappeared!

Like I said, it’s super easy.  Kind of like getting the screen to go back to normal after a tint…(hint – use tint screen, not tint picture!)

Oh, one important note: you have to turn “through” on for every move route on a different page of an event.  I turned it on for this guy when he walks from the left to the right, but didn’t turn it on for when he walks right to left; the first time worked fine, but then he got stuck on the event the second time! Also, make sure you turn through on at the beginning of the move route; it won’t really help you if it’s at the end of the list of commands.

You probably noticed that this video is a lot more involved than the previous ones I’ve made regarding RPG Maker VX Ace (it has voice over, multiple video clips, and some pictures!) Because I knew I wanted to show several videos together (specifically the guy getting stuck on the event, and then the guy being able to walk through it), I ended up buying myself Movavi Video Editor.  I was playing around with the trial version, and decided that it was well worth buying, especially since I keep making blog posts with videos about RPG Maker VX Ace tips.  I also just turned my last post where I talked about screen tinting into a video because I wanted to play with Movavi’s highlighting effects.  You can check it out here:

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Filed under Game Development, Memories, RPG, Tools

How One Shot Helped Me with the Design of Memories

I’ve been struggling with some of the design elements of how this game should work.  I knew that I wanted the main character to be able to interact with the environment and somehow regain her memories.  But how was that going to work?  Was it going to be through some sort of battle?  I mean, I am building this game with RPG Maker, and battles tend to be part of RPGs, right?

Then last weekend I played through One Shot. (If you haven’t heard of One Shot, don’t look anything up about it, just go and play it! It’s super good!) At a very basic level, One Shot is a puzzle/adventure game made with RPG Maker.  You get to wander around, finding and using items, in a very non-violent way. Which was exactly the sort of thing I was wanting with my game, but didn’t know if I could pull it off.  But after playing through One Shot, I knew that I could. And more importantly, that I should because Memories is not supposed to be a violent game at all.

So here’s what I ended up coming up with: interacting with certain things will trigger a memory.  The memory will take you back to your house, and the screen will tint a colour as the memory unfolds.  I made a quick video so you can check it out in action:

I’ll admit, I had a heck of a time getting the screen to go back to normal.  The problem was a really stupid one: you have the option to tint the screen OR to tint a picture.

RPG Maker VX Ace event tint options

I didn’t notice this, so I kept trying to untint a picture, not the screen.  Once I realized what was happening, it was a super easy fix.

In case you’re wondering, here’s the two parts to the tint event:

red tint event

They’re running as a parallel process to other events.  The first part gets triggered as the player is transported to the house.  The second part (which restores the screen to normal) is triggered at the end of the event that has all of the dialogue between the girls.

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First Characters for Memories

When I last posted, I talked about how I have only a rough idea of the plot and characters for Memories.  Over the last week and a half, I have done a bit of work on some of the main characters, who I had determined were a set of twins.  At that time I didn’t have a clue what they even looked like. But I played around with the Character Generator in RPG Maker VX Ace, and came up with some designs I was happy with.

So first, here is Briana:

Briana portrait

Briana is the real main character twin; she’s the one that the player will get to control.  As a character she is very hard working and focussed.  Briana’s name means “strong” in Irish.  She’s in many ways the opposite of her twin sister, Bella:

Bella portrait

Bella is going to be a very important NPC character for the game.  At this point I don’t think she’ll be player controlled at all, but that may change as I build the game more.  Bella is much more vain and more of a dreamer than Briana.  Bella is often associated with the French word bell, which means beautiful (think Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast).  According to sheknows.com, in other languages, it has other meanings, but often has “beautiful” as part of the meaning (ie Spanish “beautiful; devoted to God;” Latin “beautiful, loving, lovable, graceful;”).  As an American name it means “intelligent,” and the Hebrew name means “devoted to god.”

As twins, it was important to me that they look very similar, but they had to be a bit different as well.  An easy way to differentiate them is with their hair – they both have different hair styles.  Their mouths have the same shape, but Bella has a small beauty mark on her chin that Briana is missing.  Bella also has thinner eyebrows than Briana.

These are the only two characters I’ve made so far.  But they’ve been a great start because I’ve already been able to start putting together some events for the game!

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Filed under Characters, Game Development, Memories, RPG, Writing

#WriteSunday – April 9th

I spent a bit more time working on Memories tonight.  As I said in my last post, I need to work on the characters and plot and pretty much everything else in the game other than the maps.  I have a very rough idea of a plot for this game already, but it needs to be fleshed out.  And for that I need a better idea of the characters.

I don’t have names or even more than a rough idea of what the characters might look like.  What I do have right now is the fact that the main (or at least most important) characters right now are a set of twin sisters and a wizard.  One of the sisters is the protagonist/player character. She/you will be saving the other sister from the wizard. Oh I also know that I want to give this game a sort of fairy tale feel.  I’m not sure how exactly I’ll be pulling that off yet, but I’m pretty sure the game is going to involve heart magic. Think Once Upon a Time, like this scene from the first season:

Tonight didn’t involve a whole lot of writing (and neither did last night, when I discovered that heart story I linked to in my last post).  But there was a fair bit of brainstorming and researching random things online, like heart symbolism, fairy tale witches, and the like.  In the middle of all of this, I managed to come up with a bit of the backstory that leads to the beginning of the game, so that’s good.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get more fleshed out soon!

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Filed under #WriteFriday, Game Development, Memories, RPG, Writing

Taking Hearts

I had a bit of trouble sleeping last night, so I decided to do a bit of work on Memories. With the maps mostly built, I really need to work on everything else in the game (characters, plot, etc). I want the game to have a sort of fairy tale feel, because I think it is literally going to involve people losing their hearts (what I’ve been calling “heart magic”). So I went researching fairy tales a bit on my tablet and came across this story:

I’m sure this must be a fairy tale but I haven’t been able to find it – saw it as a puppet show, complete with a beating flying heart, when I was a child and still remember it quite well to this day. It was called The Heartless Princess and I’m recounting it to the best of my four-years-old-little-girl-memory:

There once was a princess who, when she was born, was gifted with beauty and many other desirable attributes. In exchange for these gifts her parents were only asked to give the witch one thing: the princess’ heart “for safe keeping”. The princess’ parents, just delighted to at last have a daughter, foolishly acepted the terms and the witch quickly departed with the baby’s beating heart locked securely in a magic box.

The princess grew to be just as promised but was a cold and cruel girl. Her parents could not find any prince or nobleman she would accept as a suitor so desperately issued a challenge that whoever was accepted by her, whether low born or high, would have her hand in marriage. A young man (I think it was actually a prince from a far away land, in the show I saw) discovered the secret that where her heart should be beating was instead silence. He knew then that she could never be won until her heart was returned to her.

The young man set out on a perilous jorney to hunt down the witch who had taken her heart. After a perilous journey and many trials the young man found the witch’s lair and the magic box. A fierce battle caused him to be severly wounded but not before he broke the lock on the magic box which held her heart. As he collapsed the last thing he saw was the beating heart, finally free and flying it’s way swiftly back to the princess where it belonged.

The princess was suddenly overcome with fear for the young man and sent out a party of soldiers to his aid to bring him safely back to the castle. He arrived deathly cold and with barely a heartbeat but she cried warm tears on him and his heart responded with a strong rhythm. He regained his health and the princess remained faithfully and lovingly at his side from that time on.

I want to say she was no longer as beautiful on the outside but that it didn’t matter but that may be my 4 year old self remembering it incorrectly. I’m also not sure about the absence of a heartbeat in the young man after his trial but I like to remember it that way.

If anyone knows this tale’s origin I’d love to find out.

From vague memory (I’m away from my resources at present) there are quite a few stories of a heart being kept safe and other variations. Kay’s heart in The Snow Queen also needed to be melted by the warmth of Gerda’s tears so he could be freed. Although it wasn’t taken from him, he was heartless for a while.

-InkGypsy from SurLaLuneFairyTales.com, specifically the Taking Hearts thread from August 2006

I have never heard of that story before, but it sounds phenomenal! Does anyone know where it originated from?  Is it a fairy tale?

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Interview #40

The fortieth interview on TBPL Off the Shelf went live today! This time I interviewed Paul Gooding about how he joined Writers’ Circle, why Victorian poetry inspires him, and how long it takes him to write his own poems. You can find the interview here!

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Memories

So, uh, I sort of started building a game over the weekend.

I’ve had the idea for what I’m currently calling Memories for awhile now.  I watched the new Total Recall a few nights ago (I put it on in the background while I was working on something else; because I’ve seen it I didn’t have to pay too much attention to it), which is sort of how I started working on this project.  I liked some ideas from the movie, and sort of played around with them in my head for a little bit, but honestly nothing really came from that line of thought.  But then I started thinking about Memories again.

The idea for Memories is that a witch or wizard has captured your sibling.  To get them back, you have to infiltrate the house.  But the catch is that you have to go in there as kind of a blank slate, without your memories; you have to regain your memories as you go along to save your sibling (and yourself) and confront the witch or wizard.

I really liked the concept, but it’s got tons of glaring problems.  Like how do you first lose your memories?  How do you get into the house?  How do you regain your memories again?  Did you have to plant them in there somehow?  Does someone help you?

So I started hashing out some of these details to some degree.  But then I started building the actual house.  Unlike Tears of the KingMemories is going to be a lot smaller (ideally everything happens within one great house).

So here’s what I’ve built so far:

This map is huge, so I had to screenshot it at the 1/4 scale.  It’s most of the main floor of the house.  The entrance is the room at the bottom (with the red carpet).  To the left of that is the drawing room (it’s got the light green floor).  Above that is the dining room (it’s got the yellowish floor.  Beside that is the ballroom (the large central room with the dark green floor).  Above that is a hallway where the servants can bring things, and the top right is a change room area for the baths.

The baths are a separate map.

They fit in below the change room, at 1/2 scale (it’s a bit too big for 1/1).

Right now I’m working on the basement.  It’s going to be about the same size as the main floor, but so far I just have the servants area and kitchen made.

This is also in 1/2 scale.  This fits directly below that servant corridor on the main floor.  There’s a doorway in this map in the bottom left corner – I haven’t made anything below there yet.

Other than the basement, I still need to build the upper floor (which is where the master of the house lives).  And that’s relatively it for the maps!  I may make a few other, little ones, depending on how the actual game works.  But none of those would be on the scale of these ones.

The actual design is a bit problematic though.  I haven’t quite decided if it’s all going to be dialogue, or if there’s going to be combat.  At this point it can kind of go either way. I guess we’ll see once the basic maps are built and I start working on other aspects of the game (like the characters…I have only a rough idea of some of them so far).

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