26 January 2011

RMXP/VX Windowskins #1

After having discovered the peerless Hiper WindowSkin Maker, windowskins for both RMXP and RMVX will now be placed in a single entry. There's no need for separate entries, but as usual all new windowskins will be easily accessible either from the RMXP Windowskins or RMVX Windowskins index pages.

Let's get the ball rolling and deliver some more windowskins.


Dragonis Gothic Horror
Dragonis - RMXP Windowskin Gothic Horror - RMXP Windowskin
Futuristic #1 Futuristic #2
Futuristic 1 - RMXP Windowskin Futuristic 2 - RMXP Windowskin


Dragonis Gothic Horror
Dragonis - RMVX Windowskin Gothic Horror - RMVX Windowskin
Futuristic #1 Futuristic #2
Futuristic 1 - RMVX Windowskin Futuristic 2 - RMVX Windowskin
25 January 2011

Hiper RMXP/RMVX Windowskin Maker

DownloadI'm sure that RPG Maker enthusiasts and visitors to RPG Maker Times alike are aware of the Windowskin Generator VX and the Windowskin Maker XP by now. These are two separate programs: the VX one loads via RMVX or separately and the XP one is a standalone program.

Wouldn't it be cool if both windowskin creators were combined, where instead of having to create RMXP and RMVX windowskins separately, you could use a single program to create both simultaneously? If such a program existed, it would certainly make life much easier!

Well, such a program DOES exist, thanks to the superlative talents of one Narvelan, a nonpareil Brazilian programmer, who has created the peerless Hiper WindowSkin Maker (version 1.0 BETA). I tell you, this utility is THE DEFINITIVE windowskin creator! I can't laud this program enough, so I'll outline its rich features instead.

It is in Portugese, but is fairly straightforward and easy to use, although here's a quick rundown nevertheless.

Create the windowskins

When first opening the program, the first place to go is Estilo (Styles). This is where the different graphics parts are stored, with seven style categories to choose from - including my favorite, Medieval - but you can create your own. From there, you can choose the different components from the tabs to create the windowskins. As you add the components, they will be added realtime to both RPG Maker templates.

All graphics are dependant on the styles. The Background (Fundo) is the message window background. The Layouts (1, 2 and 3) insert the message window frame, directional arrows and flashing cursor respectively. Sets (Seta) 1 and 2 are RMXP only for the battle cursors. Set 3 is the animated arrows to forward messages. And the Extra tab I have no idea what that's for.

You also have the options to choose a colour (Escholer Cor) for the background transparency or revert to normal transparency (Transparente). You can even overlay templates or create blank templates from the Show Template (Monstrar Template) options.

Once you've created your masterpiece, you can save (salvar) each windowskin in either format, or both. They can then be imported and used in games.

Importing windowskins

The final very useful feature this utility has is the ability to import RMXP windowskins and split them up so you can use them in RMVX windowskins!

It's under Arquivo (File) then Importar (Import). There you will see one option: Windowskin XP (.png), which you can use to import RMXP only windowskins.

Caveat: Do NOT attempt to import RMVX windowskins (either by accident or by design). It will not work and the program will invariably crash.


Now there's absolutely NO excuse not to create more RMXP windowskins. In fact, I will be creating the same versions of both, since the commonest search term is windowskins.

Narvelan, Tiramos o chapéu para você, mano! (Uh...Google-translated since I'm not bi-lingual.)
16 January 2011

Ars Magia Novella (Draft)

The first draft of the Ars Magia novella is complete. I'll be working on proofreading and editing it in preparation for the final draft. Publication (through self-publication) is on schedule - I was aiming for March 2011 initially - although I'm still hoping for mainstream publication.

If I do opt for self-publication, most likely the novella will be in a downloadable PDF format. The original price I quoted was $9.99, but this will be reduced to either $3.99 or $5.99, depending on the completed novella's length. This will be available for purchase directly from the RPG Maker Times blog or from the Ars Magia blog (most likely both of them).

There will eventually be four novellas in total, which will tie all of the RMVX games together. The first, Genesis, is the prequel to the eponymous RMVX game, detailing events immediately before where the game starts. The second novella will be the interim between the first and second games, with another novella set between the second and third games. And the epilogic novella will be set immediately after the third game in the series, tying up any loose ends and concluding the Ars Magia story.

Although the series title is still exploratory, even at this stage, it may end up being that the individual novellas are self-published and the mainstream publication is a consolidation of all four novellas (including the games stories, which will be elaborated upon). This would ultimately depend on a number of factors, especially time constraints, as I'm not entirely sure how long this rather ambitious, multi-faceted project will take.

Another consideration is a name change, most likely reverting to Ars Mechanica, which was the original name of the series upon which the first short-short stories were based and around which the games have been loosely based. This applies to both games and novellas.
14 January 2011

List of Other RPG Makers

Almost everyone knows about Ascii/Enterbrain's RPG Maker by now - from RM95 to RMVX - but these are not the only programs capable of producing RPG games. RPG Maker Times has been going for quite some time now, including its predecessor blog RPG Maker 2K3 Master (now closed), and its primary focus has been on these three most well known RPG Makers.

As part of its growth, however, it's about time that RPG Maker Times expanded, encompassing some (or all) of the other RPG makers available today. Of course, this may take some time as I'll have to try them proper.

Below is a list of some noteworthy others (most I have tried at one point or another).

  • BYOND - BYOND stands for "Build Your Own Net Dream". With it you can not only create RPGs but other types of games too. This is a quote directly from the website.

    BYOND is the premier community for making and playing online multiplayer games. Enjoy hundreds of games created by our community, by people just like you. BYOND supports board and card games, role-playing, action, strategy, and more!

    Making your own multiplayer games with BYOND is free. As a game creation system, BYOND is powerful and flexible, with an easy-to-learn language that stands apart from any other game maker, tools for developers, plus articles and tutorials. Building multiplayer games is easy with built-in online support. Find out how easy it is to create the game of your dreams. Your game could be the next big indie games sensation!

    I'm very intrigued by this program, especially by one of its games, called Nestalgia, an interesting-looking "unique MORPG inspired by the gameplay of classic console RPGs".
13 January 2011

Fun With Events #1 - NPC Interaction

This was a question on Yahoo! Answers a while ago, which I answered and thought I'd share. Although initially tailored for RM2K3, it will also work the same way in RMXP and RMVX.

The basic idea is that while the Hero is walking around, someone shouts hello, the Hero turns and that person walks (or runs) up to him and they start conversing.

The simplest method (and easiest to adapt) is with an "autoevent". For this example, the NPC event is 5 squares to the right of the Hero position.

Create a blank event and set the "Trigger Condition" to "Auto-Start". In the "Event Commands", place the following:

<>Move Event: Hero, Move Left, Move Left
<>Wait: 0.8 Sec
<>Message: Hey!\|\^
<>Wait: 0.8 Sec
<>Move Event: Hero, Face Right
<>Move Event: NPC, Move Towards Hero
<>Wait: 1.8 Sec
<>Message: It's good to see you,\n[1]!

The Hero will move left two squares, the NPC will shout (and will automatically enter - no keypress), the Hero will turn around, the NPC will run up to the Hero, then will say "It's good to see you..." (with the \n[1] switch being the name of the Hero you set up in the Database).
10 January 2011

Scripts/Scriptlets Updates - Victory Count/Map Location

Several scripts have now been updated for both RMXP and RMVX, so in many cases there are two versions of each. ("Anonymous" pointed out I should alias, something I'm not in the habit of doing, so yeah, more aliased methods.)

As always, place them below Materials for them to work. They are mostly plug-and-play so should automatically function.
03 January 2011

What Happened To The Gladiator Project?

This is a question I'm asked frequently - especially lately - and it is one for which there are multiple answers. In order to respond then on why TGP was put on hold, I'd like first to delve somewhat into its history.

Origins and History

When TGP was first conceived, back when RM2K was all the rage, I started creating a simple game based around fighting in a gladiatorial arena. Back then it was simply called Arena. The project was quickly abandoned due to RM2K's limitations; there was just not enough scope - even with advanced eventing - to achieve precisely what I wanted to achieve.

With the advent, and subsequent (unendorsed) translation of RM2K3, my interest in TGP was rekindled. The project title was changed to Arena Gladiatorium, which was an expanded version of its original hack-and-slash concept. It had a sense of renewed purpose, fuelled primarily by RM2K3's rich features and versatility. I also had a clearer vision on its direction.

Arena Gladiatorium was halfway finished - replete with customised graphics, a unique Custom Menu System and a fertile storyline - when disaster struck. A virulent, insidious virus attacked my system that eventually destroyed my hard drive, and I lost it all! Or so I thought at the time. Suffice to say that the project died, along with my interest.
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