Tag Archives: RPG Maker VX Ace

A New Name for Edric

Edric/Godric sprite and face graphic

Edric/Godric

About a month ago, I noticed that my wizard character, Edric, had a name that started with an “e” like two of my other characters (Eireen and Ena).  When I originally came up with the names for everyone, I tried to have all the people who were related to each other share a first letter (so, as mentioned, Eireen and Ena are related, while Alea, Adalyn, and Albert, etc).  So I’m not quite sure how I messed this up originally and made Edric’s name start with an “e” too.  When I discovered this back in April, I spent some time trying to come up with new names, either for Eireen and Ena, or for Edric.  Unfortunately nothing seemed to fit (and all of their names have been set in my head for so long) so I resigned myself to that mix-up.

And then I discovered that I HAD renamed Edric some time ago.  I still have the map I’ve called “test room” with all the characters standing around in it (it’s the map I used to take the picture of all the Memories characters). And if you talk to Edric, his dialogue said “I was Edric but now my name is Godric.”

😲

I checked out the meanings of both “Edric” and “Godric” on Behind the Name (I love that site for helping me find names for characters).  “Edric” means “wealth, fortune” and “ruler” while “Godric” means “God’s ruler” (the “ric” in both names means “ruler”).  From that alone, “Godric” seemed like the better name for the character, since he is a wizard who has power over the fortunes of humans, while also an admired or influential person (two of the definitions provided by Oxford).  So I went into Memories and officially changed his name within the game to Godric.  Thinking of him as Godric does feel weird though since he’s been Edric for so long, but I know I’ll get used to it.

(While looking back through this blog’s archives for the game, I actually found when I renamed him.  But I guess that information never made it into my paper notes, and I didn’t correct the picture with all the characters’ names, so when I started working on the game again, he just became Edric).

Other than the name difficulties, EdricGodric has been one of the easiest characters out of the whole game to find a voice for.  Like Alexis, Alea, Albert, and Wulfric, Godric is one of the pre-made RPG Maker VX Ace characters.  And from the moment I looked at his portrait, I just knew what he would sound like.  Yes, I have made some changes to his dialogue here and there (especially when certain words and phrases end up claimed by other characters), but I’ve always been able to find a way for him to say things that sounds authentically “him” (lol, at least I hope I have!)  Which is a really good thing, since he’s the antagonist, and his voice really matters! 🙂

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Finding a Voice for Wulfric

Wulfric sprite and face graphics

Wulfric

Meet Wulfric, the huntsman from Memories.  Wulfric was unique out of the whole cast of Memories characters because I just couldn’t get a feel for his character.  Like Alexis, Alea, and Albert, Wulfric was one of the pre-made RPG Maker VX Ace characters (he’s the one I always seem to use for huntsmen-type characters).

When I was originally choosing the characters for Memories, I decided that there should be a huntsman character of some sort.  My reasoning was that Memories is fairy-tale like in many ways, and fairy tales often have a huntsman in them.  And that was it; like so much of Memories, I really didn’t have much of a plan and just kind of went with everything that came to mind.

Wulfric was always one of the first characters that the player got to see, but that was pretty much the extent of his role in the game.  He’s the one who found the avatar (player character) wandering around and brought her to the house where everything takes place.  Once he did that, he disappeared from the game entirely.  When I figured out an ending for Memories, I added him into it, just to make him more present in the game (plus it seemed fitting that he was at both the beginning and the end of the game).  But I was never sure if it was fitting that he was there, rather than someone else.  But it did put him into the game more, so I figured I might as well leave it as him for now.

Once I started working on the characters’ voices though, I knew I had a big problem with Wulfric.  I couldn’t get a feel for him.  His role was more important than Alexis, so I didn’t think I should cut him from the game (and if I did, I don’t know who could have replaced him.  So I needed to figure out what his character was like, including why he is here (and why Edric would have hired him since he has no family connections to any of the other characters).  I found this article on A Writer’s Perspective that talked about the importance of medieval huntsmen; while I admit that this was the extent of my research, it sounded good enough for my purposes, and underscored how Wulfric would have been an important part of the household.

But it still didn’t help me with his voice.  I started thinking more about what his character might be like.  I came up with some ideas, like how he’s a loner, and how he butts heads with Albert, the butler (Albert doesn’t like that Wulfric is able to do whatever he wants outside of the house; Albert likes to think of himself as in charge of everyone).  But that didn’t really help me in terms of how he sounded.

And then I stumbled on this graphic thanks to Pinterest, which talks about minor character development.  In the point about character voice, it mentioned that some characters talk in short sentences; that ended up being the key to finding Wulfric’s voice!

Once I had a tentative feel for what his dialogue would be like, I started implementing it, playing around with it until it sounded right to me.  I also added him to the game a bit more; in one of the rooms there were wood piles that were supposed to increase as time went on, implying his presence.  Instead I explicitly put him either in the entrance way or around the wood piles in the house to show that he’s actually bringing stacks of wood in.  This also helped with another problem: I realized that there was nothing happening at the front door when you went  there (originally there was supposed to be a small scene with the wizard, but it wasn’t triggering). Now Wulfric and his piles of wood block the way so you can’t get to the doors to leave.

With that done, I then had to decide if he was the one who should show up at the end or not.  I ultimately decided that job should fall to someone else, and so Adalyn (Lyn, the housekeeper) took over from him.  I’m happy with this change; it seems like a much more fitting role for Lyn. 🙂

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Goodbye Alexis :(

Last night, while I was working on Memories, I came to the realization that the character Alexis wasn’t needed.

Alexis sprite and face graphic

Alexis

Alexis was the daughter of Albert (the butler), and Adalyn (or Lyn, the housekeeper), as well as the sister of Alea (the cook).  I used one of the pre-made characters within RPG Maker for her (as well as Albert and Alea; Lyn was made using RPG Maker VX Ace’s character generator).  Her character was created when I was trying to round out the number of servants within the house, and at the time it made sense for her to be related to the servant family.

But when I was really thinking about Memories yesterday (and specifically what character from the servants should be in the final cutscene), I realized that there’s no real reason for Alexis to be in the game at all.  She served as someone that you brought an item to partway through the game, but that was all she actually did; that function could very easily go to someone else, and probably should, as the other characters do far more for the story.  I was sad about this; I had just figured out her character and how she would speak over the last few days (and I liked her – she  was upbeat and friendly).  But she had to go in service to the overall story and game.

Removing her actually helped me with another character too (her mother, Lyn), who just disappears through most the game. I always assumed Lyn was offscreen in one of the areas you unlock later, which works but seems kind of weak.  Having Lyn take over for Alexis makes her far more present within the game.

Thankfully removing Alexis from Memories was relatively easy.  All I had to do was change up a few bits of dialogue, and a spot where Lyn appeared in the kitchen, which ended up easier than I expected (I just used Alea for that part instead, which also strengthens the cook’s role within the game). And done!  That further cemented that removing Alexis from the game was the right thing to do; the other characters (and the game itself) are now stronger as a result.

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#WriteTuesday – Memories Has an Ending!!!!

Hey everyone, how are you holding up amidst this pandemic?  I haven’t been feeling well over the week and so have been staying home.  I started reading through some old magazines I’ve had sitting around for awhile (more about that on Thursday!) And then I started thinking a little more about Memories.

I started with a bit of brainstorming for the ending on Wednesday.  The ending has always been the #1 problem for Memorieshow should the game end???  At one point I actually had the avatar character and antagonist saying “What now?”  “I don’t know.”  Lol, not exactly a good place to end up.  Plus the final memory was just kind of there and didn’t really add anything to the story.

My first order of business was to tackle that last memory.  I figured if I could make it a little more meaningful, that would help with the ending.  So I started working on the game on Saturday afternoon.  By the early evening, the final memory was cleaned up and functioning.

So that left the ending.  I kept working with the dialogue a bit (I also had to laugh – some of the stuff I brainstormed earlier in the week were already implemented into the game when I last worked on it – I guess they were really good ideas!).  For a lot of this I had kind of a vague idea of where to take things.  Then by about 10pm I had it: an actual workable idea for an ending implemented into the game! 🙂

From there it took me about two hours to get everything working.  I thought everything was okay until I ran through the game and the ending seemed to just freeze with nothing happening.  I tried everything to get the new end stuff to trigger.  Just when I was about to give up for the night, I realized what was wrong: I had the new events set to “Action Button” (meaning the player had to walk up to them and click on them to activate them) instead of them playing automatically with “Autorun.” Once I switched them to autorun, everything started working properly (which let me run through it a few times to make sure everything actually was running as I intended).  From there, I built a short movie for the end credits, and Memories was ready for playtesting!

A friend of mine (who also likes to make games with RPG Maker) agreed to test it on Sunday.  So now I’m waiting on his feedback before doing anything more (…although in the meantime I may go back over the dialogue to make sure all the characters sound right…)

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#WriteTuesday

Just a really quick update today.  First, for the exciting stuff: one of the author interviews I did for TBPL Off the Shelf was published in a book!  It was the Interview with Amor Towles – it was published in Contemporary American Fiction, Volume 3, which was edited by Harold Bloom.  Contemporary American Fiction, Volume 3 is published by Bloom’s Literary Criticism, which is an imprint of Chelsea House Publishers and Infobase Learning.

Now for the less exciting stuff: I heard back from Mythic about “A Friend from the Deep” and they rejected it, too. 😦  Now that it’s been rejected again, I’m going to have to sit down with it and look it over.  I suspect I need to give it a good edit before sending it out once again.

So now that that’s out of the way, I also spent some time over the weekend play testing a friend’s game.  He made it with RPG Maker (and has been working on it a lot over the last while).  The game was super fun, and I got quite into it (and then it ended because it’s only a demo!) 😦  I’m quite excited to see how it develops. 🙂

After playing it though, I wanted to get back into working on some of my RPGs.  So I’m going to try to power through both my Sustainably North planning and the Make Your Way story so I can get back to one of my RPGs soon. 🙂

How’s your week been?  Anything new and exciting? 🙂

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#WriteTuesday – Pinterest and Editing

So yesterday afternoon, I decided I was going to make it through all of my other blog’s Pinterest emails .  Pinterest sends so many emails that I have a hard time keeping up with them sometimes, and I’d managed to accumulate a whole bunch.  When I was down to about 15 (less than half left!) I decided to start reorganizing my boards.  I’ve reorganized them once before, but I still thought they were far too vague.  Over the course of the afternoon, I split a few and reorganized them into sections. I really liked how everything was shaping up and was almost done when my browser really started to lag.  Suddenly I was logged out of Pinterest, and when I tried to log back in, I was told my account was suspended!

I’m not entirely sure what happened.  I’ve contacted Pinterest’s help centre and hope to have it resolved soon (maybe the Pinterest bots thought my reorganizing was spammy?  I didn’t think it was because pretty much everything I was working with at the time was already pinned).

After that happened I was pretty bummed out and didn’t work on anything else.  But earlier in the day I started coming up with a vague plan for that blog moving forward.  I’ll give a better update on that once I have a more solid plan in place. 🙂

Oh, I’ve also done some editing for a few friends over the weekend.  The first bit of editing was at work last Thursday and Friday; I’m working with a radio-style script for a big project (sorry, I’m keeping details rather vague on that, but it’s a project I’m quite excited for!)  I’ve helped come up with the story, but my coworker did the actual writing of the script.  I did a read-through of it with another coworker (which was super fun) and we determined that the script was too long (it was interesting, at 18 pages it took us 27 minutes to read, plus we were told we were reading it too fast).  So I’ve been trying to shorten it.  So far I’ve brought it down to 15.5 pages (I was hoping to take it down to about 14, so there’s still a bit to go).  But I’ve taken a lot of the repetition out of the script and just tightened up the dialogue.  At this point I’d kind of like to do another read-through before attempting to shorten it any more (because maybe shortening the dialogue was good enough?)  We’ll see.

Then on Saturday I edited another friend’s story.  He’s been working on it for awhile and has asked me for editing suggestions. Finally, on Sunday, I started playtesting yet another friend’s game that they made with RPG Maker VX Ace; I need to finish playing through that still to let him know what I think (so far it’s been great!)

Wow, I didn’t think I had done much, but this last week was actually really busy!  I’m hoping that this week I’ll be able to turn a bit more attention back to my own writing though. 🙂

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Soccrpg

As promised yesterday, here’s some info on my third RPG Maker game I’m working on: Soccrpg! Soccrpg started when I went for lunch with a couple of friends.  One of them complained that there was no soccer game made like an old-school RPG.  I have no idea what is out there (the other friend started listing games that combine RPGs with sports), but I started thinking to myself that I could make one.  And so Soccrpg was born.

This is literally what I have made so far:

soccrpg game field

It’s a soccer field with the positions in place.  The opposing team chases you when you have the ball and you’re in their zones on the field; your team just stands around and will talk to you if you interact with them.

In some ways, this was a stupid project to start.  I don’t really know much about soccer, so I’ve had to research like everything.  So bear that in mind when I eventually finish it (my friend really wants me to make it playable for others) – I will probably get things wrong!

So with that caveat, Soccrpg has also been a great learning experience because this is my first time heavily changing things in the database.  Because this isn’t remotely a traditional fantasy RPG, I’ve had to redefine terms and rename things.  For example, I decided that the only weapon will be “cleats;” currently the database lists all the default weaponry as a type of cleat.

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Hello 2018!

Happy New Year everyone!  It’s that time of year again – time to look at the goals I set for myself last year and set new goals for this year.  Last year, my goals were:

  1. Read 40 novels.  Success!  I read forty novels, a bunch of graphic novels, and a bunch of comics!  2017 was a great year for reading!
  2. Write four polished short stories.  Yeeeah….partial success I guess?  I did write one.  But that was it.  I did start on a second one, but I discovered that Imezza isn’t in as good shape as I thought; I got a bit bogged down in worldbuilding, and the story ended up really blah as a result.
  3. Work on Tears of the King. This was nice and vague.  I worked on it a bit this year (it’s no where near being finished).  So partial success?  I don’t know if I built another third, but I did make some progress.

I apparently also set a fourth goal, which I managed to forget about (it was to spend an hour a week on writing).  😦

2017 saw me start two new RPG Maker Games (oops): Memories and a second one I haven’t actually talked about on here yet (oops, I’ll have to remedy that).  It also saw me working on a freelance project which I’m still unable to talk about, which was very exciting.  It also saw me slowly and unexpectedly move away from my second job.  So for 2018, I’m going to work on freelancing a little more than I have.

So with that in mind, here are the goals I’m going to set for 2018:

  1. Read 25 novels.  Well, novel-length books.  I know that the 40 novels from last year was my only really successful goal, but I need to back that off.  I found that 40 novels was a lot of pressure while I’m trying to accomplish other things.  I also found myself shying away from any books longer than around 300 pages, so making this goal less should help me tackle some of the longer books I’ve had for years and have ignored.
  2. Write two polished short stories.  I wrote one, so this year I will aim for two.
  3. Finish a bloody RPG! Like I said, I currently have THREE RPG Maker games on the go.  So this year, I want to get SOMETHING finished!  lol I also have to not start another RPG Maker game until I get something finished!

A couple of final notes for the upcoming year:

  • next weekend I’m going to be participating in my first ever game jam!  I’m really excited for it!  I’ll have to blog more about it. 🙂
  • I am not going to make a goal for “so much time writing” this year.  Instead, I’ve currently got one guaranteed afternoon off from work, so I’m going to try to use that time for working on things, be they writing or researching (although it’s also a time I use for other things like vet appointments, because I know it’s a time I don’t work).  Depending on how the year goes, this can change, so I’ll have to be flexible with it.

So that’s it.  Hopefully 2018 will be a good and creative year, giving me the flexibility to work on different things (and actually get some stuff finished!)

So what about you? Have you set any goals for the upcoming year? 🙂

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New Tears Maps!

Over the last week, I have created a few new maps for Tears of the King!  I’m pretty excited for them – I think they’re the first new maps in a year and a half.

First, here’s a brand new city (the Imperial City):

picture of imperial city

This map is loosely based off of the Kingdom of Pandora city in Secret of Mana in that it is built on a couple of islands.  Plus there will be a castle you can go into (you can see the base of the towers) in the top right of this map, again like the Kingdom of Pandora.  That similarity was due to the way I laid everything out (and because I didn’t want the castle to be physically in this map). The castle isn’t built yet, and neither are the insides of the houses.

The Imperial City should be the final city in the game.

Also here’s a dock, complete with a ship! (I had to buy extra tiles to make the ship happen).

picture of dock including giant ship

You reach the ship through either of the two paths in the right side of the Imperial City.

So what’s next?  I have some more maps to build (the castle, the insides of the city houses, and an island where the ship will eventually take you).  But I also need to go back over my notes and actually replay the game that I have made so far; it’s been so long that I only vaguely remember what still needs to happen.

There’s still a bunch of work that needs to be done, but I’m rather excited to see that the end (of map building anyway) is in sight! 🙂

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Memories Currently on the Backburner

I should have written this post a few weeks ago, but I had to put Memories aside for a bit.  I’ve thought about it long and hard, but I still don’t know how the game is supposed to end.  So on the advice of my brother, I’m putting it aside to work on some other things for a bit.  Hopefully with a bit of distance I’ll be able to figure out where the story is supposed to go.

I honestly feel a bit like a failure.  I was really hoping to have the game done by now.  But that’s not how it’s going, so time to focus on something else!

Life is pretty busy right now (when is it not?) but over the weekend I pulled out a short story I’ve been wanting to edit for quite awhile.  The story was written as part of my NaNoWriMo blob.  I originally wrote the story for a friend after his dog passed away, but I never felt right giving it to him (and let’s be honest: it was a super rough first draft that was crap – I wouldn’t want anyone to see it until it’s rewritten and edited).  I came up with some editing ideas for the story last March, but never got around to implementing them until today.  Even if the story doesn’t stay the way it currently is, I’ve added 300 words (it was originally about 600 words and is now over 900), and it is shaping up a bit (it’s definitely stronger than it was!)

I had a pretty fun couple of hours working on it.  First I brought a notebook outside with me (it was a beautiful day!) and started writing.  But after a page and a bit, I ended up grabbing my laptop and bringing that outside because I needed to be able to move some things around and expand on other things a bit.  I took a break to go for a walk, then worked on it a bit more.  I’m thinking tomorrow I’m going to print it out so I can do another editing pass on it (I prefer to edit on paper, at least for the first while – it’s satisfying to mark things I need to change up with pen!)

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