Tag Archives: RPG Maker

More Memories!

I actually managed to get a lot done while working on Memories over the last few days.  And the title of this post is quite literal: I managed to get two new memories working within the game, bringing the total functioning ones up to 3 out of 4!  I had a bit of trouble figuring out what would trigger one of the memories, but after a few hours of thought (and playing with my cat), I came up with something that works (at least for now).  My next two priorities:

  1. Get the final memory functioning.
  2. Figure out how the game is going to end (I don’t want a big climactic battle because this game isn’t dealing with battles, so I have to find a satisfying other way to end it).

Once those two things are in place, I’ll need to fix up the dialogue and most likely clean up the game in general.  To that end, I’ll need to get a few friends to play test it once the basics of the game are all built and working.

I was also thinking about making it so you can choose how to respond to NPCs in different ways depending on what memories you have remembered, possibly using branching dialogue (similar to what I did in Tears of the King but without a loop), with different options triggered by different switches.  I’ve actually put the basic switches that would enable this in place within the game; I will just need to go back and have them trigger things. But that’s a problem for after I have the final memory and ending of the game in place.

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Working on Cut Scene Dialogue

So after my paper prototyping adventures last night, I felt like I was ready to actually work on a few of the important cut scenes in Memories.  The only one I have somewhat built is the one I showed you in my post about tinting the screen (and that literally has “blah blah blah” as most of the dialogue).  I didn’t feel like writing the cut scenes in RPG Maker right now because I wanted a bit more flexibility for editing.  So first I thought to try using Chat Mapper, but that wasn’t a great fit when I started (I was thinking about the mechanics of how the program worked more than actually writing).  I had the same problem with Twine.  And then I remembered: I have Final Draft!  Why not write the cut scenes with that?

Sure, it took a few minutes to remember how the program worked (it has literally been YEARS since I last used it), but that was no big deal; I was back up and writing in no time!

cut scene written with Final Draft

I forgot how easy it is to read a script for dialogue.  Final Draft has been the perfect tool for my current needs because I don’t have to think about formatting, I can just focus on writing the words right now (and I can very easily edit whatever I write).  I managed to get a couple of key scenes written before making dinner (and quickly edited one after dinner).  Once I am happy with the text, I’ll be able to copy and paste it into RPG Maker. 🙂

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Meet the Memories NPCs

I have created and named the NPCs you will encounter in Memories. Here they are:

Picture of Memories NPCs

 

I don’t know for sure at this time that these will be all of the characters in the game (plus Briana).  But these are the ones I think I’ll be needing. I decided on the design of most of them over the last week, but I didn’t name everyone until last night (with the exception of Bella and Briana); it was rapidly becoming very tough to write dialogue without names.

I always try to give my characters unique names so there’s no confusion as to who is who.  I tried to choose names with an Irish or English  origin, in the hopes that the names will sound similar (and tie the characters together geographically).  But in this case I also decided to give people from the same families names that start with the same letter.  I think the names are, for the most part, different enough; I just hope that this won’t confuse anyone who plays the game!

Ten of these characters were created with RPG Maker VX Ace’s built in Character Generator.  The other five were chosen from the characters that come with the software.  You may actually recognize Wulfric from Tears of the King; I chose the same model for the Tears woodcutter (seen in the video in my Jan 2 2016 post).

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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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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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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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RPG Maker VX Ace – Music Playing in a Specific Region

When I built Storm Point in Tears of the King, I built a magical grove attached to the city, rather like a park.   All of the groves in the game have the same music  except the one in Storm Point; since the Grove is part of Storm Point, it plays the town’s music.  So this week I wanted to see if it was possible to tie the music into a map’s region.  A bit of research revealed that yes, it’s totally possible!  Here’s how you do it.

First, you need to set up the region you want the music to play in, like this.

Storm Point Regions

As you can see, I’ve made the Storm Point grove into Region 1.

Next you need an event.  Here’s the one I have for this particular case:

Storm Point Music Change

You’ll notice that this is triggered only after the Lava Cavern Switch is turned on.  If it’s not on, this event does nothing.

Once the event is triggered, you’re going to use a conditional branch (that’s found under Flow Control, just like Loop from last time).  Go to the fourth page, where you’ll find Script.

Conditional Branch Script

Now you’re going to type in $game_player.region_id == 1 as your script.  The number will be whatever region you used (so in this case, since I used Region 1, I have to use a 1).  Click OK, then fill in what you want to happen when the Player is in that region.  I used Play BGM, which is under Picture and Sounds, and selected the music I wanted whenever the Player stepped into the Grove.  Under Else, I said to play the BGM that normally plays in Storm Point.  Make sure this event runs as either an Auto Run event or a Parallel Process if you have another event going on at the same time as this one (which I do).

And here’s what you end up with:

I’d like to give a big thank you to LoneWolfDon on the RPG Maker forums for his demo of region controlled events.  You can find his discussion and a link to the demo here.  That’s where I got the script I used from.

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More Tears Development

I didn’t post about it at the time, but I did a lot more development on Tears of the King last night.  I ended up building the caverns below the mine.  There are two caverns you walk through, which lead you to a much smaller lava cave.  There you find one of the ingredients you need, which causes a boss fight (still slimes!).  I stayed up way too late building all of this, but I’m super happy with how it all turned out, especially the lava cave:

Lava Cavern

Today I haven’t done as much, but I did manage to get some looped branching dialogue into the game, which was pretty exciting.  I added some really simple branching dialogue yesterday after my friend played through what I had at that point.  A priest in the starting village asks you if you want to know more; my friend did, but there was no option and no other dialogue.  So I put a little something in place for now.  So today I decided to put some NPCs in Storm Point (that’s one of the towns).  When I got to the church there, I put in a bit more extensive branching dialogue (there were three choices instead of just two).  But when I tested it I discovered the dialogue would end automatically after you read through one branch.  That really didn’t work in this case, so I had to play around with Loops.  Using a Loop means you can go back to the choices after you play through the dialogue options.  Here was what I ended up with (just playing through one branch):

Here’s how you make this happen:

  1. On your event page, first choose a Loop (it’s under Flow Control).
  2. Next, choose Show Choices (under Message).  You’ll get to make a few choices (the default ones are Yes and No).   Put your dialogue in place as you normally would  (under Message, Show Text, then choose a picture and write some dialogue).
  3. Finally, on the choice that will end the dialogue, put a Branch End into it (that’s also under Flow Control).

Here’s a simplified version of what your event page should look like:

How to make looped branching dialogue

When I was trying to make this work, I started with writing the choices, then tried to make a loop happen afterwards.  If that’s the case, you can just cut the whole choice and paste it into a loop.  Don’t forget to put the Branch End in or else the dialogue will never be able to end!

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Witch Glitch Fixed!

I think I managed to fix the Witch Glitch!

One Witch

A friend of mine came over for a bit this afternoon and I let him play through Tears of the King.  Among other bugs he found, the Witch Glitch happened when I wasn’t expecting it to.  So after he left, I set about trying to fix it and a few other things he found (like the fact that the woodcutter starts clearing the path to the Fairy Forest way before he’s supposed to).  I ended up removing the ability to grab the first ingredient before you’ve talked to the Witch.  As far as I could tell, having the ability to grab it either before or after talking to her was a big part of my problem because then I was trying to make things happen with two different switches.  So rather than dealing with the two switches, I’ve simplified things for myself and only have to deal with one.  As far as I can tell, this has solved a lot of the problems I’ve been having with my events.

I’m hoping that the way things are now isn’t too rail-roadey for players. But making the game more linear has helped to make things easier for me designing the game, and to get the player to the Witch’s house faster.  When my friend was play testing, he wandered through the mushroom cave (without finding the mushroom), up to the tower, and got confused about where he was supposed to go until I told him he couldn’t do anything there yet.  So realistically, allowing you access to the mushroom cave (or the tower’s base at the very least) early in the game wasn’t a good thing if it lets you get sidetracked and lost.  But I’ll have to see what other people say when they play it.

Oh, and I’d like to give a shout-out to GrandmaDeb for her switch tutorial game! I played through it before deciding to take out the mushroom functionality.

In addition to all of these bug fixes, I actually did build another map last night.  I’ve been needing to build a mine near Storm Point, which is where another of the ingredients is going to be.  I was planning on sketching out ideas for a mine, but I ended up just building, which resulted in this:

Eastern Mine Map

Sorry that this picture is so tiny. The original picture was in 1/2 scale, but it’s now a lot smaller because I had to stitch two screenshots together in paint.  Plus I had to shrink them so I could properly crop the map into one image.  From here, I need to keep building a few more maps that connect to this one (basically the player will be going deeper into the mountain until they find the next ingredient).  Oh, and I need to straighten up the path of that second big forest map I started (it’s still not finished, and probably won’t be for awhile yet).  Right now the paths are too windy, which is a pain to walk on.  After playing through parts of a different game made with RPG Maker, I’ve decided that I’m going to have as few diagonals in my maps as possible because they’re really annoying in a grid.

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