Category Archives: RPG Maker

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Devember 22nd: Playing with Parallax images in RPG Maker MV


In reality, I should have just set the parallax image in the first place and then defined the player regions in the first step. That would have made it much, much easier. Live and learn.

I also added the download.

So, today I took the concept art by Kusanagi Studio for Cloud's house in Final Fantasy VII, sized it so that it fit within the 48x48 default tile size for RPG Maker MV and created a rough map of the main collision areas.

ff-desktop workflow

Yes, I know that the map doesn't really look that great yet.

So, using the tutorials by Fallen Lorelei and the TDDP_BindPicturesToMap and YEP_RegionRestrictions plugins with a little Photoshop "magic," I could have a much more interesting area than the usual RPG Maker game worlds.

So, first I loaded the image into Photoshop and set my grid size to 48x48 pixels by going to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grids and Slices.Settings Menu under Edit

Then I set the gridline every 48 pixels with 1 subdivision.

grid settings

Then I created a rough map in the editor and began to fill in the collision areas.

rough map for collision in editor

I then took a shot of that map and loaded it into Photoshop as a layer to see if I had missed anything. I also loaded the Actor 1 sprite sheet and used the first frame as a size reference for the player.


That way I could see the different collision areas and where the character would be able to walk. So far so good.

Next, I needed to find the places that the character would be able to walk behind. The globe, for example.


I copied the background image (the full concept piece) and pasted it into a new layer. Then I used the polygon tool to slice out everything around the globe. Then I placed the character layer below the overlay to may sure I could see the player as needed. The vast majority of the tiles will be cut out. You can start taking out large swaths of them as long as the player will not be going behind anything in the scene.

Here's the final image that I had. Note that there is very little still in it because there is not a lot of places that the character can go behind things.

cloud's overlay

I saved in the project directory under img/pictures as CloudsHouse-overlay.png. Then I hid this layer and just had the background visible and saved it as CloudsHouse-bottom.png. I also saved a copy of the bottom under parallaxes as !CloudsHouse-bottom.png. In the map settings, I set the parallax image to !CloudsHouse-bottom.

map properties

I added the event in a corner where the player cannot touch it and added the following to the event contents:

  • Show picture CloudsHouse-bottom.png and set it to 1 (should be this by default).
  • Show picture CloudsHouse-overlay.png and set it to 2.
  • Then add the following plugin commands (page 3):
    • BindPictureToMap 1 below_characters
    • BindPictureToMap 2 above_characters
  • Erase Event at the end.

Switch the trigger to Parallel so that it runs when the map is loaded. It should look similar to this:

event settings

Then I set the collision in the YEP_RegionRestrictions plugin so that 1 was allow all movement (in case there are NPC's wandering around in here).


Then I painted 1's on the map where the player could move using the R tab.

painting regions

And then, when I played it, I could walk all over the house!


Sure, it may not be the best use of RPG Maker MV, but it gives teams that have strong artists a new way to work and create assets for their games to give a strong look and feel. One thing to note is that there can be a visual pop from the map level to the parallax images. To avoid that, have the level fade in.

You can download the ZIP for Windows here.

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Devember 19-21st: A lot of nothing and then a little Unreal and RPG Maker MV asset editing.

So, if you haven't checked it out yet, RPG Maker's official site is having an 85% off sale on most of their assets. So if you like the engine, grab a bunch now. You can use the code "santashelper" for the assets and "hohoho" for the software (MV not included). You will need to do two shopping trips since it will only apply one code. You should also head over to Packt Publishing for their $5 e-book sale. Much like last year, I picked up a number of titles. Some of them will be released throughout 2016, so I'll have more than enough reading material for the future! Currently, I'm working through Blueprints Visual Scripting for Unreal Engine. As always, they also have their free book of the day so you can hone your skills daily. I also picked up the Platforming Kit on the Unreal Marketplace to learn from.

But aside from the stuff that I picked up, I have not done much this weekend. In fact, I did nothing development-related. I did, however, start working through the Blueprints book and have been experimenting with parallax maps in RPG Maker MV. I've been using Fallen Lorelei's tutorials on YouTube. She's pretty awesome and her videos have some fun and simple Photoshop tricks as well.

Item Shop tutorial

Parallax Mapping for Beginners Playlist

My final piece was not nearly as artistic or interesting as hers, but I wanted to get the core workflow down.

Here's my screen as I started this process. On the far left, I have Lorelei's video running so I can scrub/pause as needed. Then I have the Rural Farm tile pack docs open and a calculator. Then, RPG Maker MV and Photoshop. Once I have the workflow down better, I'll just have Photoshop and RPG Maker with the calc at ready on my phone. For now, these little half-windows seem like the best way to learn the process.

Desktop screenshot at the beginning of Parallax mapping

So the first thing that I needed to do in the new project was make sure I had the right plugins installed. The three that are needed are:




You will need to download and copy them into the <projectName>\js\plugins folder and then activate them in the plugin manager. It is under Game > Plugin Manager on the menu in RPG Maker MV.1 - plugin manager

2 - plugin manager dialog 3 - plugin manager selection

4 - plugin manager with selected

Now you should have the three main plugins needed to follow her tutorials.


I'm well over my hour of dev time with just this write-up and clipping screenshots. But this will get you started with MV and her tutorials. Until next time!

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Mini-Tutorial: Creating Doors in RPG Maker XP

RPG Maker XP has some interesting caveats, and one of the first things that I wanted to do and had difficulty finding any information on was creating a door that would open. Now, this may seem very logical to many, but I was not an avid user of RPG Maker 95 or 2000, so it seemed a bit confusing to me at first.This is a simple mini-tutorial for creating doors that open in RPG Maker XP.

Tutorial Time: 2 minutes.

Experience Level: Beginner

Scripting Experience: Not applicable

Software Requirements: RPG Maker XP

Creating doors that open is a very simple process, but for some reason there was a dearth of examples on actually doing it. So I decided to write up a simple tutorial on creating doors that open in RPG Maker XP. In this mini-tutorial, we will create a simple map with a house and door. That is it. Nothing fancy, nothing special. Just a simple door.

STEP 1: Creating the Map

Start a new project (or load an existing one if you desire). Double-click on the default map that is created with your new project and change the Tileset to “09: Castle Town”. Select layer 2 and scroll down the tiles to find the house wall. Select it and draw a house on the map. Next, select the roof right above the wall and place it on the map so that it creates a house. Now we are ready to make our door.

STEP 2: Creating the Door Event

Click on the event layer and double-click on the map where the bottom of the door should be (at the base of the house on the middle tile). The door graphic is two tiles large, so it will cover more than just this tile. It will only show up when testing, however. Name the event “Door” for this tutorial. Now double-click on the Graphic box.

Scroll down the list to “170: Door01?. Accept the default of the first closed door and click OK. Double-click in the event area and switch to tab 2. Click the “Set Move Route…” button. Select “This Event” from the drop-down to make sure that it affects this event and not the player. Now comes the repetative part.

Click the “Change Graphic…” button. Scroll down the list to “170: Door01? and select the image just below the default (1/4 open door). Click Ok. Click the “Wait…” button and accept the default of 4 frames. This will allow the door to open gradually (animated) rather than instantaneously (seemingly not animated). Repeat this step with the next two frames of the door, adding a wait to each one. When you have finished the last frame and have an open door, click Ok. Exit the event screen.

STEP 3: Testing the Door Event

Click the run button and save the project. Start a new game and walk up to the door. Press the space bar to trigger the event and open the door. Viola! You have a door that opens.


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Tutorial 5: Combat

In this tutorial, we look at the default RPG Maker XP combat system and how to work with it and tailor it to our game and character’s levels. We will fight the Wharf Rats from the previous tutorial and set up exactly how they should be treated (badly!). At the end of the combat, we will determine any treasure that is dropped and give the player a new skill. This should give you a good idea of how to perform a number of common battle-related actions all in one simple tutorial. Now let’s get started!

Tutorial Time: 10 minutes.

Experience Level: Beginner

Scripting Experience: Not applicable

Source files: Included with RPG Maker XP


The first thing that we must do is edit our player’s stats in the database a little bit. At the onset, the massive amounts of hit points might seem nice, but it will make leveling more difficult and rather annoying in the future. So, go up to the menu and select Tools and Database. Click on the Actors tab and double-click the MaxHP graph. We are going to reset all of the starting values for the main character. Set the values for level 1 as follows:

MaxHP: 20
MaxSP: 20
STR: 18
DEX: 18
AGI: 18
INT: 18

Click on the “Generate Curve” button and set the slider all the way to the left for faster progression. As you test the game, you will want to adjust the curve, but for our purposes, let’s keep it easy.

The next thing that we have to do is create an enemy type for our two hapless Wharf Rats. In the Database, select the Enemies tab. Change the maximum to 34.

Now, double-click on 33. Change the name to Roger. Double-click the Battler graphic box and select “044: Trader01?. Change his stats to represent the following image (don’t want him to start out too hard!). Also change his experience to 5 and gold to 8 (he’s holding out on his buddy).

We an keep the rest of the settings the same. These guys are not magic users. They are idiots on the wharf.

Now double-click 34. Set the name to Steve. Double-click the Battler graphic box and select “025: Cleric01?. Change his stats to represent the following image. Change the experience to 5 and the gold to 2.

Click Apply and OK.

The third step is to create a troop of these Wharf Rats. Troops are basically the way that enemies appear in combat. You can have single enemies or multiple enemies and using troops, you can tailor your game to specific types of battles (read: boss battles) or allow them to occur randomly. Click the Troops tab and change the maximum to 33. Double-click 33.

Set the Name to “Roger and Steve”. In the right-hand list, scroll down to Roger and double-click his name. He will appear in the center of the window. Move him to the left. Now double-click Steve and move him to the right. Now click the “[ED] Battleback…” button. Select “011-PortTown01? as the background.

Click “Battle Test” button. Click on the 2 tab and select the drop-down. Select “(None)”. Do the same for 3 and 4 since the main character does not have anyone with them yet. Click OK.

After a couple of rounds, you will win. This is what we want. You will also notice that you do not get any gold or experience yet. We will now include the loot that the player gets for winning the battle. We will take care of that once we take care of scripting this simple battle sequence.

Double-click the long cinematic event we created in the last tutorial and go down to the end. Double-click the “@>” after “Show Animation: Player, Venom”. On Page 3 of the events, click the “Battle Processing…” button. In the drop-down, select “033: Roger and Steve” and click “Continue even when loser”. Under the “If win…” section, double-click the “@>”. We are going to change their graphic to a “downed” graphic to show that they have lost the battle. Go to the second page of events and click “Set Move Route…” and select “Change graphic…” Select “189-Down01? from the list. Select the third image on the bottom row.

Now do the same thing with the second Wharf Rat, but choose “192-Down04? and the first graphic in the second row.

Now let’s give the player a shield, a sword, and 10 gold (one of them was holding out on the other!). Double-click the “@>” below what you just changed and click the “Change Gold…” event and change the constant value to 10. Click OK.

Now we need to do something if the player fails to win the fight. Luckily, we want to go easy on them (we don’t want them to stop playing the game because they died in the first battle). We’re just going to have Roger say:

Roger: Gaaar! You don’t have any money!

Then we will have them move off to the left of the docks. Double-click the “@>” below the “If lose” condition and create a Show Text event. Add in the text above and click OK. Now add a “Set Move Route” event for each of the Wharf Rats and move them. Turn Wharf Rat 1 to the left, Move left, Move Left, Move up three times and turn him to face left. Now, move Wharf Rat 2 to the left and then have him face right. This will put them up against the net and have them facing each other. Now let’s have them tell the player to bug off if they try to talk to them. Double-click Wharf Rat 1 and add a Show Text event.

Roger: Leave me alone!

Do the same for Wharf Rat 2.

Steve: Get out of here!

Unfortunately, after all this work, I see a problem. Run the game, beat the thugs, and then go and step on the place where the event triggers. Boom. If we step in the event space, it will trigger the event again. This is the kind of debugging that you will have to do constantly as you develop…only it will probably be a lot hairier! Let’s add a conditional statement to the event so that once we beat the Wharf Rats, it will not trigger again.

Double-click the cinematic event and click in the event command list pane. Press Control-A to select the entire script. Right-click and select Cut (Control-X). Double-click on the remaining “@>” and add a conditional Branch event. Select “Self Switch” and leave it on A. Set the next drop-down to “OFF”. All switches start in an OFF state. Once you trigger them, you can set them to an ON state and they will not happen a second time. This is what we need to do in this case (no need to have the Wharf Rats continuously fighting the main character).

Next, right-click on the “@>” just under the start of the branch and select Paste. This will paste the entire script into the branch. Now, go down to the bottom just past the color-coded combat event. Add a “Control Self Switch” event from Page 1. Set “A” to “ON”. This will make sure that we do not trigger the script a second time.

Run the game and test the combat. Right now, the weapon is doing some massive damage and they cannot hit you (your weapon and armor are extremely powerful). You can change the stats in the Database and even things out a bit. Playtest again and again until you get a feel for combat. Give the player a chance to lose, perhaps by upping their attack power to test the “If Lose” event.

This concludes this tutorial and provides a simple taste of the options available for simple combat. The documentation included with RPG Maker XP should be sufficient to explain the particulars of each option in the combat interface. Remember to use F1 for help.


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Tutorial 4: Old-School Cinematics

In this tutorial, I will present how to create a simple, old-school cinematic setup like in classic Final Fantasy games. This will lead into the next tutorial on combat.

Tutorial Time: 20 minutes.

Experience Level: Beginner

Scripting Experience: Not applicable

Source files: Included with RPG Maker XP

Now that we have our player on an empty map, we can fill it in and give them a locale to start their adventure! First of all, we will create the docks area. Then we will create a couple of thugs and provide simple old-school cinematics to give the beginning of our adventure a bit of flavor. This flavor, of course, will end in a brawl on the docks. Wharf rats are hostile, you know.

Let’s begin by setting up the map. Like before, I will show you the entire map in its three layers. This time, however, I will not walk you through the creation of it. Below are the three layers. Try to recreate the map. I have also included the map file in case you really need it, but you should be familiar enough with the tools to create a map from the reference pictures.


Layer 1

Layer 2

Layer 3

Completed Map

Now that we have a map, let’s change where the player is transported to (otherwise they will be in the water!). Click on the Oracle map and double-click the Oracle event. At the bottom where we transported the player, right-click the Transfer Player event and select edit. Click on the drop-down box and click on the left-hand dock by the pier tie-down.

Go back to the Docks map. Now we are going to create two wharf-rat pirate characters who are going to taunt the player and (in the next tutorial) attack. Go to the Events layer. Double-click on the left-most square below the steps at the top of the map. Change the Event Name to “Wharf Rat 1?. Change the graphic to “145-Prisoner01?. Now create another event just below him and name it “Wharf Rat 2?. Change the graphic to 103-Civilian03. Select the picture that has it facing up.

Now that we have our two non-player characters talking to each other, let’s make them do something when the player gets near them. Create an Event at 017, 005 and call it “Cinema Trigger”. The basic flow of this event will go as follows:

The player will move up and trigger the event. Then the Wharf Rats will call the player over to them. Then they will circle the player, berating them before attacking. The different arrows show the basic movements of the player and the Wharf Rats.

First, we will create three text events to show off their dialogue skills.

Roger: I’m so hungry, I could eat a horse!

Steve: I’m so hungry I could eat a rat!

Roger & Steve: Too bad we don’t have any money!

Now that we have the basis of conversation, let’s make them notice the player. It took some time to get the timing to where I wanted it. Once you have finished the tutorial, play with the various values (especially the waits). When doing it yourself, you will need to sit down and run through the event several times just to make sure that it flows the way you want it to.

1. Noticing the Player
During this step, the wharf-rats will turn to the player, get excited, and jump up and down in excitement. They will then call out to the player, telling them to come over to them.

On Page 2 of the event list, select “Show Animation…” Change the Character drop-down to “Wharf-Rat 1?. Now select “098: EX Exclamation”.

This will cause an exclamation point to pop up above his head.

Next, we will have the Wharf Rat turn to the player and jump in place. On Page 2, select “Set Move Route…” A screen with a large number of options will come up. We will use this to set the Wharf Rat’s actions in this section.

Click the “Turn Right” button, then click the “Wait…” button. Change the wait time to 4 frames. Next, click the “Jump” button. Keep the values for X and Y at 0 (other wise the character will jump around the map the number of spaces along the X and Y axis). Click OK. Now, if you’ve noticed, a lot of old-school RPG’s will repeat an action to make it seem more exciting. We are going to do the same thing here. Right-click the “Show Animation: [Wharf Rat 1], [EM Exclamation]” and copy it. Paste it below the Set Move Route event you just created. Now, right-click the Set Move Route event and copy it. Paste it below the last exclamation event. Right-click the event we just pasted and select edit.

We are going to change the event a bit so that it does not seem to be the exact same as it was previously. Click on the Turn Right event and click the Jump button. Keep the values at 0 again. Now, delete the Turn Right event (they are already facing right!). Right-click the Wait event and change it to 2 frames. Click OK.

Now it is time to work on Wharf Rat 2. Luckily, most of our work is done for us. Right-click Wharf Rat 1’s first “Set Move Route…” event and copy it. Paste it at the end of the list. Right-click on it and select edit. Under the drop-down with Wharf Rat 1’s name, select Wharf Rat 2. Change the “Wait…” event from 4 frames to 2 and delete the “Jump” event. Click OK. Right-click and copy Wharf Rat 1’s Exclamation animation and copy it at the end. Edit it and change the Character drop-down to Wharf Rat 2. Copy Wharf Rat 1’s second “Set Move Route…” event and paste it at the end. Edit it and change it from Wharf Rat 1 to Wharf Rat 2. Next, change the “Wait” time to 4 frames. Click OK. Add a text event which reads:

Roger: HEY YOU!

The full script for this step:

2. Moving the Player
During this step, we will move the confused player over to the wharf-rats. Now that you are familiar with the interface, it should be a lot simpler to get around. First, we will have the player notice the Wharf Rats yelling at them. Then, we will have the player automatically move towards them, but be puzzled.

First, copy the Wharf Rat exclamation animation and change it to the Player by editing it. Next, click “Set Move Route…” and have the player wait 4 frames, then move up and turn left. Click OK. Add two text elements so that the Wharf Rats can tell the player to come on over!

Steve: What are you doin’ on our docks?

Roger: Yeah! Come here!

Create a “Show Animation…” event and change it to “097: EM Question” to display a question mark above the player’s head. Next, “Wait…” the default 20 frames and create a new “Set Move Route…” event. Move left 8 times (this should put you right next to the Wharf Rats).

3. Berating the Player
During this step, we will have the wharf-rats revolve around the player, berating their character. I will break it down into simple steps to show what I am accomplishing with each piece of this event script since it is longer than the others ones we have worked with previously.

First of all, we will have to wait a couple of frames for the player to get into position (otherwise the Wharf Rat will be there before the player, which just looks odd). Add a “Set Move Route…” event for Wharf Rat 1 and have him wait 32 frames. Next, have him Move Right, Wait 4 frames, and then Turn Down. Click OK. Add a Text event.

Roger: You’ve gotta lotta nerve, coming here without being asked!

Create a “Set Move Route…” event for Wharf Rat 2. Have him Turn Down, Move Down, Turn Right, Move Right, Wait 4 frames, and then Turn Up. Click OK and add a new text event.

Steve: Yeah! What do you think we should do with him, Roger?

Now, we will have the player realize that they are in a hostile situation. We will have the player look back and forth between the thugs. Start a new “Set Move Route…” event for the Player. Have them Turn Up, Wait 8 frames, Turn 180, Wait 8 frames, then Turn 180. This will get them turning back and forth between the Wharf Rats.

Now we are going to have the Wharf Rats move counter-clockwise around the player to size them up. Create a new “Set Move Route…” for Wharf Rat 1. Have him Turn Left, Move Left, Turn Down, Move Down, Move Down, Turn Right, Move Right, and Turn Up. Click OK. Create a new “Set Move Route…” for Wharf Rat 2 and have him Turn Right, Move Right, Turn Up, Move Up, Move Up, Turn Left, Move Left, and Turn Down. Basically, they will be circling the main character. Click OK.
The complete script for this step is listed below.

4. Attacking the Player
We will use an animation to signal their attack during this step. It is a short and simple step since we will be creating the battle sequence in the next tutorial. First, let’s wait a couple of frames. Select Wait from the main event list on page 1 and accept the default of 20 frames. Next add some text from the Oracle.

Oracle: Uh-Oh! I was hoping that nothing like this
would happen so soon! Get ready! I think they’re
going to jump you!

Finally, on Page 2 of the event list, select “Show Animation…” and make sure that Player is selected under Character. Select “053: Venom” from the drop-down box of animations.

The complete script for this step is listed below.

That’s nearly the end of this tutorial, though we are going to assume that the player wins this simple battle. So we’ll add a way for them to leave the area. But first, here’s the finished event list.
5. Complete Event Command List

This is the complete Event Command list for all of the steps above.

Planning for “After the Battle”
Now we will create a new transport event to take the player to the next map. Create a new map called “Port Town” with the Port Town tileset. Double-click one of the squares on the stairs at the top of the map and create a new event. Call this event “to Port from Docks”. Transfer the player somewhere on the new, blank, map. It doesn’t matter where for now. You can flesh that out when you make a new map. Right-click the event and select Copy. Now click the stairs next to it and right-click to paste the event. Do the same until all three of the top-stairs have this event.

This concludes the cinematic tutorial and has set up the necessary elements for the next tutorial: Combat!


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Tutorial 3: Getting Started with Events

In this tutorial, we will use a basic “event” (or in the case of the previous tutorial, Non-Player Character) to create a somewhat complex dialogue and decision tree not unlike the beginning of a number of role-playing games. By the end of this tutorial, you will be able to select character graphics, change characters, make branching decisions in dialogue, and teleport our character to a new map.

Tutorial Time: 15 minutes.

Experience Level: Beginner

Scripting Experience: Not applicable

Source files: Included with RPG Maker XP

Unlike the last tutorials, this one will be less graphically intensive since it mainly concerns using the event scripting engine (without touching Ruby). I will, however, make a point to show the exact things that we are trying to accomplish graphically. This is also one of the areas where playing the “game” to debug the conversation and choices will be necessary. You should get into the habit of doing this as you progress along your development path. It will become necessary as your adventure gets longer and the complexity of your game gets higher.

First, let’s look at the event screen again. Make sure that you are on the event layer (the box) and right-click on the Oracle that we added in the previous tutorial and click Edit Event… (or double-click it). You should see the familiar event screen where we changed the graphic and name of the Oracle.

Let’s get to work!


The first thing that I will do is go through an explain the different aspects of what we will be doing so that you can get a clear idea of how RPG Maker XP events work. Then we will put them all together and create a “starting point” for a traditional role-playing adventure. Double-click in the large text box on the right (List of Event Commands). This will bring up the event selection screen. There are three tabs on this screen. I will go through the options that we will be using in this tutorial.

Page 1 is where we will be spending the majority of our time. The important buttons to note for this tutorial are the Show Text…Show Choices…Control Variables…, and Conditional Branch… Page 2 has a number of other useful options.

Of these, Transfer Player… is the only one we will be using in this tutorial. Page 3 has a two more options that we will be using.

We will be using Name Input Processing…, Change Actor Class…, and Change Actor Graphic… from this screen. Note that there are several battle options available on the pages. We will be using those in a later tutorial on combat.

Let’s get started with a little dialogue design. The point of this bit of dialogue is to allow the player to determine the type of character that they want to be. The selection will be extremely simple but will give you a good idea of how to manipulate events and player characters–or actors as they are called in RPG Maker XP.

First, we will provide a bit of introductory dialogue. I will place this in boxes so that you can easily copy-and-paste it (though typing it in is the preferred method with any tutorial because it forces you to do something rather than simply reading and clicking). Next, we will provide a simple decision tree to allow the player to select the type of character they want to play. Next, we will allow them to type in their name and start the game. This will teleport them to a new map with the character that they selected. It is a simple process that can be a bit daunting to a new user–which is why I created this tutorial series.

Click on the Show Text… button on Page 1. A small box will open up. Type in the following:

Welcome to On High, the place where lost souls find adventure!

Press F2 to see how it looks inside the game.

Run the game, start it like normal. Face the Oracle and press the space bar.

It will show this piece of dialogue. That’s pretty much all that you need to do to show a piece of dialogue, an item description (”You search the chest…”), etc.

Create a new dialog box the same way as before and put in the information below.

First of all, I would like to know a little about you. Which would you say best fits the type of person you aspire to be?

Next, we will create a branching system to flesh these questions out a bit. Double-click the event window and click on the Show Choices… button. Choice 1 should be Fighter, 2 should be Thief, 3 should be Cleric, and 4 should be Mage. Make sure to disallow canceling the decision since you want the player to choose a character class.

Double-Click the “@>” space just below the “: When [Fighter]” segment (highlighted in the above image). Go to Page 3 and select “Change Actor Class” (yes, I know we are not actually changing it since the first one is a “fighter” already, but it will help should you make a large-scale change to the characters in the database and still want the player to select their starting character type. Click OK and you will notice that it added a line in script which ensures the class that the player has chosen.

Now, double-click the next “@>” and select “Change Actor Graphic”. We are going to do this so that the player feels that they are actually sculpting this character. The first option is correct since we are changing the first character type. Click the Character Graphic drop-down and select “001-Fighter01? (should be selected already). Click the Battler Graphic drop-down and select “001-Fighter01? (should be selected already). Again, this is to ensure that the player’s selection is used even if changes are made to the character database in the future.

Now, we need to do this with the rest of the classes in the appropriate sections, but before we do that, we need to set a variable so that we know what the player has chosen. Double-click the next “@>” and on Page 1, select Control Variables. The default variable (single “0001:”) is fine. Under the Operand section, keep the Constant selected but change the value to “1? (the default is “0?). This tells us that the first choice has been set to the value of “1?. We can reference this later.

For the next steps, we will set the value to 2, 3, and 4 for the different class types. Go ahead and finish out the selections like you did previously, changing the class and graphics accordingly to the first option (Thief01, Cleric01, Mage01) and adding the new value.
The finished selection should look like the following image.

Now that we have the class set up, we can set up the gender. For the most part, this will be the same as before, but with different character graphics. We will also set a new value for the variable in case we need to reference their gender and class later (say a NPC saying something like “I like me dem wimin fightars!” before the player beats them senseless).

Double-click the “@>” after the “: Branch End” statement and add some more text.

Now, do you feel more like a man or a woman?

Now, Add Choices and change the first two values to Man and Woman. Make sure to select “Disallow” on the cancel option. Now there should be a branching section for Man and Woman. Again, to be pedantic and to make sure that things are set up the way we want them, we are going to replicate some of the work we have done previously. Luckily, it will be much easier this time (copy and paste!).

Double-click the “@>” under Man. Click the Conditional Branch option and make sure that the variable is “0001:” and the value is “1?.
Now, right-click the “Change Actor Graphic” line under Fighter and paste it in the branch. Under the Else, create a new conditional branch and set the value to 2. Copy and paste the Thief “Change Actor Graphic” line there. Do the same with Cleric and Mage until it looks like the picture below.

Now, scroll down to the “: When [Woman]” section. We are going to do the same, but we are going to set a variable and change the graphics to represent female characters rather than male ones. Copy the first Conditional Branch under Man (notice that it selects all of them because they are all contained within that main one). Paste it under Woman. Right-click “Change Actor Graphic” and leave the first drop-down alone (we want to change the first character). In the Character Graphic and Battler Graphic drop-downs, select “006-Fighter06? for both. Now, change the Control variable 0001:’s value to 5 (for female fighter). Do the same with the Thief, Cleric, and Mage, using the following character and battler graphics:

  • 019-Thief04, 0001: = 6
  • 030-Cleric06, 0001:= 7
  • 038-Mage06 , 0001: = 8

It should look like the following image:

Now, before we finish up, let’s let the player change their name. Then, we’ll teleport them to a new map. Add some text at the very bottom after the last “: Branch End”.

Finally, I need to ask you what name you wish to go by.

Now click on the Name Input button on Page 3 of the events. Make sure that 001: Aluxes is the default and that 6 characters is as well. It can be more, but it is a good, round number that we can depend on down the road as we create dialogue events that use the character’s names. Now create a new text event below that.

Thank you \N[1]! Enjoy your adventure!

The \N[1] will display the name of the actor in slot 1 (previously Aluxes and now whatever they have changed the name to). You can use a number of these escapes to change features of the text such as color and the like. Pushing F1 (Help) in the text box will show you the following list:

Enter the characters to be displayed in the window. The following control characters are available within the text.

\V[n]: Replaces the value with the variable #n.
\N[n]: Replaces the value with the actor’s name #n.
\C[n]: Displays the following characters in font color #n.
\G: Opens the money window.
\\: Displays the character “\”.

Finally, let’s create a new map to transfer the player to. Right-click on the godsend_tutorial project in the lower-left project pane and select New Map. Name it “Docks”. Select “011: Port Town” as the tileset. Double-click the Oracle event and scroll to the very bottom. Double-click the “@>” at the bottom and add a “Transfer Player…” event. Under “Direct Appointment”, select the drop-down box and click on the blank map at 009, 014.

Below is a complete script for the Oracle event.

Run it and test it. Each option that the player selects (except for the male fighter since that is the default graphic) should change how they appear. Now, that default graphic annoys me since the player won’t see any change when selecting a fighter. It also seems a bit strange to have a male fighter graphic and be asking questions about how they want to be represented. So let’s change the default party and character in the main game database.

From the menu, select tools and then Database. Make sure you are on the Actor tab. Double-click the character graphic and select “051: Undead01? for a ghost. Select the same thing for the Battler graphic. Click on the System tab and right-click “002: Basil” and select Delete (this will only delete him from the starting party, not as an actor in the game). Do the same for “007: Gloria” and “008: Hilda”. We want to start the game with only one character. Click Apply and Ok.

Finally, there is no reason to let the player wander around the little room, so let’s automatically start the event. Double-click the Oracle event and in the lower left-hand pane titled Trigger, select Autorun. This will automatically start the process when a new game begins.

Run the game to see the changes.


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Tutorial 2: Creating Your First Map

This tutorial will show you how to create your first map. This map will be small and extremely simple, but will show off the basics of using the RPG Maker XP map editor. Some of the features will be familiar from your last tutorial, but we will also be adding to the knowledge gained there.

Tutorial Time: 20 minutes.

Experience Level: Beginner

Scripting Experience: Not applicable

Source files: Included with RPG Maker XP

Alright, since this is a more in-depth tutorial, I will supply a “finished product” to the tutorial. This is the basic map that we will be creating (including the “event” of “the Oracle”).

Okay, now that we know the goal…let’s get to work!


The first thing that you need to do for this tutorial is select the ground tile. Select the darker stone floor just for a darker, moody atmosphere.

Next, find the relative middle of your screen–somewhere around 10×6. If you look at the status bar under the map, you will notice the map coordinates.

The darkened square shows what map you are working on (001: Oracle) and the size of it (20×15). The circle shows the current position of the cursor. In this case, it is at 010, 006.

This is where our map will go. Remember how in the previous tutorial, the hero was in blackness because we had cleared the floor. We are going to use that blackness to provide a sense of isolation. Select the Rectangle icon.

Now, create a square that covers the upper-middle of the map area. It should start at 005, 003 and end at 013, 008.

Now that you have the floor painted, let’s look a bit closer at the map. You may have noticed (before you cleared the floor in the last tutorial) that there is a light S on the floor at 009, 007. This is the start event, or the place where your character begins the game on the first map. For the purpose of this tutorial, this is a fine starting place.

And now the complicated part…

This part is one of the most complicated parts of the tutorial. In each segment, I will tell you which tile to paint with and which Layer (1, 2, 3) to paint on. First of all, let’s look at each layer in the screenshot individually to see how we need to lay it out.

Layer 1

Layer 2

Layer 3

Notice that I have not put in the event layer since we will be adding her at the end of the tutorial. She is the second most difficult part of the tutorial. Next will will begin by creating this, layer by layer.

Using the Tile Area to Select Larger Portions

If you click and drag in the tile selection window, you can select tiles that are larger than the default cursor. This allows you to select very large tiles.

Click and drag to select the larger segment of wall in the tile box.

Notice that your “paint-square” on the map is as large as the selection? This is important to remember when calculating how much space your map will take up. In this map, it won’t be as critical, but on more complex maps, you will have to make sure that the graphics line up correctly. Make sure that you are on Layer 1 and that you have the Pencil tool selected. Paint the tiles at the top of your “floor” tiles.

You now have the top boundary of the room. Next we are going to paint the bottom of the room. This will be a bit more complicated since it is not as easy to quare up the bottom (we will see why when we add the ceiling). Before we start, I will show you the tiles that we will be using.

Now that we know what we will use, we need to get started. First of all, we need to select the left-hand side of the wall tiles.

Now we’re going to start painting the bottom area. Paint the tiles at 004, 008.

Next, we will paint the opposite side’s wall with the tile that has the wall decoration on the right.

Now paint the map at 014, 008.

Next, select the tile with a central pillar of decoration.

Now, paint the map at 009, 008.

Finally, we can fill in the bottom gaps with the blank wall piece.

Paint the rest of the bottom of the wall on the map.

Now it is time to add the decorations to the map. Click on Layer 2. Notice that it will dim the lower layer so that you can still have a reference for your tile placement. Let’s start by placing the counter-top. It is often best to plan out the major portions of your level and then decorate it accordingly. Scroll down the tile list and select top two tiles of the counter.

Now, draw on the wall tiles at 007, 002 and 011, 002.

The counter is a little short, so let’s add another piece to it. Select the middle part of the counter (the lower half of what is currently selected).

Now paint just below the ones you painted to lengthen them a bit. Just on tile should do it.

Now, we need to make use of the two upper-counter portions to paint the bend in the counter.

Use the one on the left to paint the left bend and the one on the right to paint the right bend so that it looks like the following image.

Now let’s fill in the middle. Select the counter tiles with a bottom. This is also the same section that we will use to paint on the bottoms to the corners.

Paint in the middle of the counter to connect the two sides.

Now, we need to use the two bottom corner tiles to paint the corners.

These are the two tiles that you will need to be able to paint these two corners.

Now let’s add the decorations. These are the tiles that we will need to use to decorate the map.

Start with the bookshelf and place them in either corner against the back wall.

Next, let’s place the small shelves on the upper section of the wall by the right side of the counter.

Now, we’re going to place a little desk under it on the left side. We are going to use the bottom and top of the desk that I noted in the picture above. This way we can have a small desk/table with stuff on top of it. The nice things about tiled graphics is that you can mix things up a bit like this!

Lookin’ good! Now we just have to finish off the top of the room and add the basic NPC event so that we can get started on the next tutorial! Select Layer 3. Now, click on the AutoTile just next to the first tile in the selection area (the one that we used to clear the map). AutoTiles will automatically shift and tile depending on how you use them. It is a pretty cool feature of RPG Maker XP.

Now, just ring the “top” of the room with the AutoTile to create the illusion of a “roof”. Start at the bottom left corner (004, 017) and draw all the way around the map.

Now, let’s create a simple event. Click on the event layer (the box). Let’s move the starting S to just in front of the counter. Right-click on it and select Cut. Click just in front of the counter at 009, 006 and right-click and Paste. Now the S is right there! This is the place that your character will start their adventure. Before we finish, we will add the angel from the picture above. This way we have a starting point for the next tutorial!

Right-click on the map at 009, 005 and select “New Event…”. This will bring up the Event Screen. You will be seeing a lot of it as you use RPG Maker XP. For now, however, we will be only using the basics of it. First of all, change the Name: area to “Oracle”. Next, double-click on the box below Graphic: to select a graphic. Scroll down to 079-Angel01. The default graphic in the right-hand box is good for our purposes. Click Ok. Click Apply and then Ok.

Now run your game!

In the next tutorial, we will be working with the Oracle event that we created. We will be supplying dialogue, changing the graphic for the main character, answering questions, and teleporting to a new map!


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Tutorial 1: Getting Familiar with the RPG Maker XP Interface

In this simple tutorial, you will gain familiarity with the RPG Maker XP interface. I will cover all of the standard buttons and show you how to open, close, save, and load project files. I will also show you the basics of editing a map and how to navigate the character, item, magic, and monster screens. I will also point out a number of helpful areas in the RPG Maker XP help documentation.

Tutorial Time: 5 minutes.

Experience Level: Beginner

Scripting Experience: Not applicable

Source files: Included with RPG Maker XP


When you first load RPG Maker XP, you are given a blank slate to begin your grand design with. Initially it will seem exciting, then a bit scary, and finally exciting again as you begin drafting your dream.

Click on the New Project Icon.

New Project

The Project Dialog will appear. Type “godsend_tutorial” in the Folder Name box.

Now that you have the project created, let’s take a look at some of the features available to you.

From left to right on the toolbar, we have the New Project icon, the Open Project icon, and the Save Project icon. The Save icon should be one of your most-used features.

Next, we have the standard Cut, Copy, and Paste icons with a Delete icon (the X) as well. These will allow you to copy/paste map items and events much the same way that word processors allow you to copy and paste words and sentences.
Next there is an Undo icon to work backwards through any changes that you make. Undo, like in word processing is an extremely valuable feature to have.
Next we have the Layer icons for map building. They are Layer 1, Layer 2, and Layer 3. The Box icon next to them is the Event icon.

The next series of icons are what we use to paint tiles onto our maps. They are the Pencil (for drawing single tiles), the Rectangle (for filling a rectangular region), the Ellipse (for filling elliptical regions), and the Paint Bucket (for filling regions with the same tile as the one you “paint”). The icon next to it is the Select icon so that you can select various parts of the map to paint and constrain your wild tile painting frenzy.

In the next group of icons, we have the zoom ratio for the map. They are “1:1?, “1:2?, and “1:4? to gain perspective on different sized maps. It can also be helpful in taking screenshots and piecing them together to create overland maps of areas. Just a thought.

The next area of the toolbar contains the meat of your adventure in RPG Maker XP. The icons are: Database, Materials, Script Editor, and Sound Test. The database contains all of the elements of your RPG, including characters, stats, items, spells, etc. The Materials are the graphical assets for your game. These are the tiles and the sprites and sound effect/music files. The Script Editor will allow you to edit various game-related Ruby scripts. The Sound Test button will let you choose and listen to a number of different sounds loaded as Materials.

Finally, the last icon on the toolbar is the Playtest icon. it allows you to run the map and test it to figure out whether or not it is doing what you want it to, looking how you need it, and if you munged something up in script.

Now let’s take a look at the sidebar on the left-hand side of the screen. This contains your tiles and your project folders.

In the top part of the sidebar, you have the various tiles that you can paint your map with. These tiles are part of the map properties for the map indicated in the lower portion of the sidebar (MAP001). Let’s change the tiles to get a feel for how we can change the look and feel of our maps.

Notice that the map area on the right has changed as well. This is because you have changed the default tiles from the “001: Gralssland” (sic) to “010: Castle Town In”. Let’s delete all of that annoying repeating hardwood floor and replace it with a black area that we can work with. We do this by selecting the first “tile” in the upper-left hand corner of the tile area.

When you select the tile, a square will appear around it so that you know which tile you have selected. Next, select the Paint Bucket and then click on the map. This will paint everything with that tile, clearing the map.

Save your changes (save icon) and Run your game using the Playtest icon on the toolbar.

Select New Game and note that you are in a black background with nothing exciting going on. This is because you cleared the map.

In the next tutorial we will make a basic map for you to move around on. For the time being, press ESC and select END GAME.

Then select SHUTDOWN.

You’ve successfully tested RPG Maker XP for the first time!


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Interesting bit of RPG Makerish News I Seemed to Miss

Category : Development , RPG Maker

Thought I would link to it, the idea is so nummy. Generating C# assemblies for XNA on the 360 would be a fun trick to master. The RPG Kit for XNA is pretty nifty as a starting point. Perhaps in the same way that TorqueX 2D works on top of XNA, though with more built-in functionality and less coding, of course...but with C# rather than Ruby for the code junkies out there experienced with the RPG Maker realm.

RPG Maker for XNA?

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“RPG Maker is too limited for my vision”

Category : Development , RPG Maker

I do not know how many times I have heard the worlds "RPG Maker is too limited for my vision" or some semblance of that sentiment around game development communities. While it does indeed fuel spur-of-the-moment engine license purchases, it also houses a much larger problem: project ineptitude. I do not think that I have seen a finished (or even alpha) project from anyone who has made this claim in any engine. It could definitely be because RPG's are hard to make. Yes, this is true, but even if you have the right tools, could you make it?

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