19 October 2017

SMILE GAME BUILDER Live Streaming Event Announcement

I will be attempting a live stream Smile Game Builder on Friday October 20 2017.

The live streaming event will take place on Friday at 8 pm PST/11 pm EST.

I don't know how it'll turn out, as I'm still fine-tuning the settings and trying it out, but I'm hoping this'll be a regular weekly feature!
24 April 2017

Smile Game Builder Tutorial #26: Battle System

This is an overview tutorial on Smile Game Builder's Battle System and my own thoughts on it.
The topics covered are:

● Battle (Game Data)
● Character Stats
● Character Battle Commands
● Monsters
● Monsters - Basic Settings
● Monsters - Resistances
● Monsters - Action in Battle
● Spawning Monsters on Maps
● Battle Backgrounds
● Monster Position

For more information on this and other tutorials, as well as Smile Game Builder news and projects, you can visit its official subsite.

Back to The Original Template!

Just a brief update.

I reverted to the old template because the previous ones were crap and every time I visited, I just wanted to claw my eyes out! So I returned to this one. It's always been aesthetically appealing and is more appropriate. I guess the expression It it ain't broken, don't fix it! really does apply.

Much of the sidebar content is now out-of-date, so some time next week I'll bring it up-to-date and change the layout slightly. Plus, I'm re-downloading the original, unmodified template and uploading it again so that I have a fresh template to work on.

I'll then update old code, such as for JQuery, and try to cleanse it of its impurities to conform to XHTML/CSS3 standards. This may take awhile because the template is old and I don't think it's been updated on its originating site.

The main areas, however, that need the most attention are the sidebar and footer. So those will be the target areas first.
19 April 2017

The Gladiator Project – An Old Game Revisited

Six years ago today, The Gladiator Project was actively in development for RPG Maker. It was an ambitious project, based on my personal interest in and fascination with the Roman Empire.

Sadly, for various reasons, I abandoned the project. And there it remains, gathering dust.

So What Happened?

The Gladiator Project was first developed for RMXP, based on its original hack-and-slash concept for RM2K3, but highly expanded. It then migrated to RMVX, where further expansion took place (including customized graphics). To begin with, I wasn't very competent at RGSS and frequently lurked in forums to try and learn from others' scripts.

I eventually emerged from the shadows to ask how to create a basic lexicon. Nothing special or spectacular, just a template from which to work with and learn from.

One coder arrogantly claimed that the script was boring and he could add bells and whistles to it for a complete script. This deviated from my original request and, despite re-quoting my desire for a basic template, still felt mortified and belittled.

So I continued on my own, refusing to revisit that particular forum. However, interest in the project began waning, along with the enthusiasm and drive to continue its development.

Eventually, I decided to cease development altogether.

Is The Project Scheduled for Redevelopment?

I've been thinking about redeveloping this for RPG Maker MV, perhaps as my next project after Otherworld SGB: Through the Veil. However, this may not happen anytime soon, tentatively this year, more likely next year.

08 April 2017

Last Official Layout Update

This is the new layout for Ye Olde RPG Maker Times Blog. Frankly, I hate it! I may end up going back to the original and KEEPING it. I remember now why I didn't change the original blog template for years!

Once upon a time Blogger used to be da bomb, but nowadays not so much. Their new dynamic layouts are fine as eye candy, but sadly they're not too widget-friendly in favor of Google's monsters.

And since it's been quite some time since I even poked around in the guts of Blogger's code, primarily in favor of WordPress, it took me HOURS to figure one simple thing out. If I'd have done the same thing in WordPress it would have taken a quarter that time. I guess I've just been out of touch with Blogger's code for too long!

As I've mentioned previously, this is no longer the official RPG Maker Times blog. It's new and official site is now here. And that's where it'll stay.

I'll mirror any updates on this blog, including for plugins, projects and anything else I'm working on, with any relevant links reciprocating to the official blog. And that way those who are already familiar with this blog will get the updates as well.
21 March 2017

Spring Cleaning and Renovation

After my previous post, Neglected But Not Forgotten, I started thinking. Since yesterday was officially the First Day of Spring, I figured it was time to spring-clean the site.

Careful Consideration

After carefully considering on the best course of action for this, I decided to drop support for 2K3 and XP. These two RPG Makers seem less predominant nowadays, and besides I no longer actively use them. While some game developers may still use them, according to general statistics, their usage is less frequent in favor of VX, VX Ace and MV. Hence, the decision.

Most of the current posts containing references to 2K3 and XP will remain intact. However, I am removing the XP plugins and archiving many of the 2K3 materials (such as resources and utilities).

Spring Cleaning

As part of the spring cleaning, a necessary evil is to go through each and every post (from the very first) and remove redundant links, images, etc.

This is a hideous process, a road I've traveled many times before. But it is necessary and will, of course, take some time.

Afterwards, the main focus of the site will be VX, VX Ace, MV and Smile Game Builder, especially the latter two, as these are the ones I use most frequently.

Original Blog

This is the original RPG Maker Times blog and it's in desperate need of updating.

This won't be in the form of retroactively updating posts; that'd take way too much time, as its last update was in August 2016. I won't change anything either, except for tweaks to the sidebars.

Instead, the blog will become a repository for posts from this site and its subsites, with links to the posts instead of the full articles. This includes SGB news, scripts and plugins and news related to RPG Maker as they're posted.

The official RPG Maker Times site is now housed on its own domain, including its subsites.
17 August 2016

Otherworld Rename and Other Tie-Ins

Otherworld's official rename is Otherworld: Origins. (The logo isn't quite right, so will change later. This is temporary only.)

Reasons for the Change

The reasons behind the title change are simple.

During the writing (or rewriting) process, it became necessary to refer to the original materials. Primarily, this reflects on playing as one of the three main characters. Hence, essentially going back to its roots, its origins, and adapting the game flow to its new course and direction.

Because the course of each character eventually converges, many parts of their storylines backtrack to the original plot concepts for previous incarnations in the planned Paranormality series. Thus:

[su_list icon="icon: book" icon_color="#800"]
  • Jack Urban's quest for finding his missing sister (from Darkling).
  • Anna Carrera's journey through the Otherworld to revisit parts of her life and decide whether to change their course or not (from Nexus, the original idea for this game).
  • Swan's past in the form of flashbacks as she travelled between worlds. (This was originally conceived for Portals, the final game in the Paranormality trilogy, conceptualized but never realised).

(Although development on these titles ceased, I merged their plots and stories into Otherworld: Origins.

Smile Game Builder Tie-In

As many of you know already, I have the honour and privilege of beta-testing the Smile Game Builder. Because it's still beta until its release date on 8 September 2016, I'm unable to give too many details on its inner workings. That is, apart from what they've already shown publicly.

However, Otherworld SGB: Through the Veil (the working title for the Smile Game Builder game), is an indirect tie-in with Otherworld. It references many events occurring in Origins, as well as ideologies that won't make it into the game.

Otherworld SGB is a 3D first-person thriller. It's essentially a "dungeon romp", where the player must navigate the mazes of the Underworld. The goal is to find the portal to the Otherworld and, ultimately, freedom. Along the way, the player meets all manner of people and creatures. Some will hinder the player, some will help them.

That's the basic concept for the early beta/sample game.

Obviously, it needs a lot more work done to it, notably on fleshing out the plot more. But, in time, this will slowly take shape.

For a sample game, my aim is to create a simple version of the officially released game. And then, after beta-testing development, I'll create a new projects subdomain specifically for Otherworld SFB. Updates will primarily include progress on development. Some updates will include tutorials on how certain effects in Smile Game Builder are achieved.

These will then be placed on the main RPG Maker Times blog.
20 July 2016

Plugin Update: Social Media Buttons/In-Game Website Plugin (RMMV)

Version 1.6 of the Social Media Buttons/In-Game Website Plugin is available.

What's New?

The Twitter button has more options for when visitors click on it - Screen Name and User ID - which go to the corresponding Twitter account.

I also added a Follow option, enabling players to follow your Twitter account directly from within RMMV.

Other Tweaks

Instead of typing the full URL for Facebook, you now only need the page id/name.

Buttons are now defined in a single array setting, rather than as separate settings for each button.

Development Notes

Although the focus has mainly been on Twitter, I'm still conducting experiments with the APIs of other social media sites, notably Facebook, but also Google+ too.

These are ongoing because of the way their share settings work. They use integrated APIs rather than a few short lines of code. They seem targeted more for website integration.

In order for it to work, JavaScript implementation in RPG Maker MV would rely on their SDKs. While this is probably viable, it's not necessarily as easy as it sounds. Facebook in particular requires embedding their SDK to enable the various share options.

Development on this is on-going, but will continue on and off.
17 July 2016

Ready To Go Medieval? New RPG Maker Packs!

RPG Maker Web has released some new DLCs, this time with a medieval theme!

How about some medieval Knights Templar character sets? Pioneer Valley Games has released one, expanding their medieval theme, including interior tilesets.

Or how about some medieval music to match? Joel Steudler has done a very good job on composing 20 medieval pieces (5 Battle, 4 Dungeon, 3 Field, 3 Theme, and 5 Town) using period musical instruments, such as the lute, recorder, and harpsichord. And I do really like this collection.

The final DLC is Sherman3D's Town of Seasons pack, which contains tiles town tilesets for Winter, Summer, Spring or Fall.

They're available for purchase and download directly from RPG Maker Web's site.

Or, if you prefer to buy them on Steam, you'll have to wait. DLCs usually appear there about a month after their release on RPG Maker Web.
10 July 2016

How Much RPG Maker Trivia Can You Answer?

RPG Maker Web presented this question on Twitter. And, of course, I tried it, curious to see just how much I know about RPG Maker because I have been involved with it since RM95, after all! (That makes me feel so old now!)

My Result: 90%

I overlooked just one fine detail. Hint: Forget about transparency!

And, so, why not try it? If you want to, post your scores here or retweet them with the hashtag #RPGMakerTrivia or @CompanionWulf. Either way, this was a cool idea!
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