25 December 2011

Happy Christmas 2011

However you celebrate Christmas, or even if you don't celebrate it at all, may the coming year bring health, wealth and prosperity.

Winter Fantasy by Ironshod (Deviant Art)

Click on the image to go to the artist's page.
24 December 2011

RPG Maker VX Ace Master Script List

Now that RMVXA has been out for a while (in Japan), with an English version tentatively hinted at for Spring 2012, there are inevitably scripts available.

I've already mentioned the Yanfly Engine Ace, but there is another one, where all of the scripts (current and future) will probably be placed.

There is a Wiki set up - RPG Maker VX Ace Master Script List.
23 December 2011

Advanced Time Scripts/Day and Night Systems

A common question I'm asked is about Time/Date System Scripts. Here's a list of some of better ones:

These include the ability to store time as variables and time-based events triggers.
20 December 2011

Guestblogging For 2012

Some time in the New Year, 2012, I'm looking into the possibility of "guestblogging" as part of an expansion program into other RPG Makers and/or game creators. If you are interested, I'm looking for particular areas:
  • Graphics: Resources, especially sprites, tilesets, facesets and windowskins.
  • Other Engines: Including RPG Maker VX Ace, Engine 001 (especially) and Dungeon Craft (FRUA), with the possibility also of OHRRPGCE, RPG Toolkit, Verge, and others.
  • Tutorials: Long or short tutorials and other how-to's (including scripting and eventing) on these makers, including any of the RPG Makers.

The major reasons I'm interested in guestblogging is to:
  • Include other RPG Makers on the site as part of the expansion process because I simply don't have the time to exclusively experiment with them all. Not even with proper time management!
  • Provide a small slice of the web for tutorials and how-to's on RPG Makers and/or areas I'm not familiar with so that others can benefit too.
  • Expose other game makers' sites, including those starting out.

To apply, submit applications to the RPG Maker Times Facebook page. Please include the following details:
  • ID Name - The ID/User Name you'd like to use.
  • Website/Blog Address - This is the name of your website or blog, if you have one, which will appear linked to your chosen name.
  • Maker/Engine - The names of the makers or engines you'd like to guestblog on.
  • Specialties - This could be eventing, scripting or graphics.
  • Regularity - How often you're able and willing to post.

Do NOT post personal details, such as email or contact addresses, as those should remain private to prevent unsolicited spam (something I'm strongly against). Instead, I'll send an IM through Facebook if/when the applicants have been accepted. Note that only then will I ask for an email address, since it's a prerequisite of being able to guestblog, and I will NOT use it for any purpose other than adding you as a guestblogger.

If, for whatever reason, you don't feel comfortable with IMs, you can use the email address on the RPG Maker Times Facebook Information page. You can submit unsolicited materials there and I will implement them upon approval. Do NOT send any spam to that email address. I will check the veracity of each link and if they don't apply to the RPG Maker Times Terms & Conditions they'll be blocked.

Entries submitted through guestblogging will be implemented proper some time in the first quarter of 2012, so if you're interested why not apply now!
18 December 2011

CW's Scriptlets Compendium v1.2 (RMVX)

Here's a scriptlet for anyone who can benefit from it. It's a compilation of some of my scriptlets, this time replete with editable options and optional icons. The Compendium comprises:

I'll be updating this scriptlet when I have time with the following changes:
  • Add Extra Stats Window - With optional access either through a keypress or the main Status menu.
  • Replace Play Time Window with System Time/Date Window
  • Transfer Steps Window exclusively to the Extra Stats Window
13 December 2011

RPG Maker Times Anniversary

I just realised today that last month was RPG Maker Times's third anniversary. The very first entry I posted was What Is RPG Maker? on 20 November, 2008. And not a single anniversary celebration. Time certainly flies! Originally, the post was placed on the now closed RPG Maker 2K3 Master blogsite.

Although I'd been using RM2K for awhile before that, I only "upgraded" to RM2K3 a long time after its "release". The original RPG Maker 2K3 Master blog was hosted somewhere else (I can't remember where) as a comprehensive guide for RM2K3. It included a complete breakdown on the Database and Events Commands, including examples. Sadly, though, the blog host went belly-up and all of the content was lost, barely up long enough to become something. I had the backup for a long time, with plans to re-release it somewhere else, but several hard drives and computers later it never saw the light again. And I no longer have the original files.

In the middle of 2008 (I think, or at least around that time), I discovered Blogger and started producing something for RM2K/3 a few months later. The rest, as they say, is history!

RPG Maker Times is still going strong and probably will continue into the future, especially since it's gradually expanding into other areas as well.
12 December 2011

RMVXA Scripts - Yanfly Engine Ace

The legendary Yanfly (responsible for the equally legendary Yanfly Engine scripts) has released several scripts for RMVXA. As far as I know these are the first complete scripts for the new RPG Maker. The complete collection of Yanfly Engine Ace (YEA) is quite comprehensive. Below is the list of scripts available (no direct links) at the time of writing this entry.
  • Enemy HP Bars - Add-On to Ace Battle Engine
  • Ace Battle Engine - Basic battle engine core for VX Ace
  • Force Move Tiles - Tiles that force you to move in a designated direction
  • TP Manager - Manage your TP system with FFX style overdrive modes
  • Ace Menu Engine - Add, remove, and reorganize commands to your main menu in Ace
  • Call Random Battle - Call random battles rather than set battles for events
  • Base Troop Events - Every battle now draws event data from one troop group
  • Party System - Enables for larger than 4 party sizes (or less than!) and a menu to go with it
  • Common Event Tiles - Bind common events to trigger upon stepping on certain tiles
  • Flip Pictures - VXAce still lacks the ability to flip pictures. Not anymore!
  • Slippery Tiles - Step on ice. You slip.
  • Adjust Limits - No longer be confined by 9999 MaxHP, 9999 MaxMP, etc.
  • Ace Core Engine - Bugfixes and small mods
11 December 2011

Sound Effects For RPG Maker

Sound effects are an integral part of a game, but finding the right one for a particular event can be tricky. Here are two of the best ones I know of and which I use frequently (not just for RPG Maker, but other projects as well). Best of all they're free! (Click on the title to open the corresponding website. They open in new tabs/windows.)
  • Find Sounds - This is the definitive site for sounds in my opinion. As its name suggests you can find all kinds of sounds there. If there's a particular sound you're looking for, you can almost certainly find it here. Formats are mostly in MP3 and WAV.
  • Free Sound - This is another definitive site, with a plethora of user-uploaded sounds. You need to create an account to download anything, and specific sounds are rather more difficult to find, but it's a worthwhile site nevertheless. Formats vary, including FLAC and AIF, but most are WAV.
10 December 2011

Zelda Forest Maze Demo RMXP

Zelda Maze Demo RMXPA day earlier than "scheduled", this is the downloadable demo for the Zelda Forest Maze Tutorial. Incidentally, the demo itself was uploaded to File Factory on Thursday. It's been checked for viruses using Comodo Antivirus and is clean.

Once the file has downloaded, double-click on it to open it and choose the folder name to extract to. The reason it's a self-extract file is because the file size is greatly reduced (for archiving I use 7-Zip as the compression rate is much greater, thereby reducing file size).

Thanks to Decanos for kicking me in the butt with this.
09 December 2011

Profile/Character Makers (Online)

Profile characters for the Status screen gives it a more aesthetic feeling, rather than sticking with the defaults, which tend to be too commonplace. Below are a few websites that will help create alternative for the Status screen. (Click on the titles to go to the corresponding websites.)

Anime Character Maker 2.2
Anime Character Maker 2.2This is a reincarnation (more like a reinvention almost) of one of the most well-known character makers online. This is one that I'm sure most RPG Maker fans will recognise. The original version had fewer options to choose from, but it looks like much more have been added already. One of the things that annoys me most is the garish colours, but it still works out. Unfortunately, as of yet, there's still no option to save, but that can be overcome by doing a Print Screen shot, although version 3 may well have the option to save. Look forward to that.

Hero Machine - Super Hero Generator
Randomised Character Using Hero Machine
This generator is designed (as the title says) to make super-hero type characters, although it has enough options to make appropriate characters in RPG Maker and it's certainly NOT lacking in options. You can choose two colours for your output, the first is the primary colour and the second is the highlighter. You can also add a companion, from a frog to a griffin and a background (you can't recolour the black-and-white backgrounds). There are also various themes to choose from. I absolutely love this and I'd recommend it to everyone, if not for RPG Maker then the sheer enjoyment. The one above was randomly generated and recoloured.

Portrait Illustration Maker
Portrait illustration created with Portrait Illustration MakerWhile this is specifically "a service which provides character icons completely free of charge...available for your blog site or SNS.", the graphics are cartoonish, but its online editor has a wealth of features. Output is 96x96 in PNG or JPG formats, so it might be a fun replacement for the facesets. (Caveat: I thought I saw somewhere on the website that images are not redistributable, although I'm not sure if it would be viable for RPG Maker. They require a "copyright link", which shouldn't be a problem for anyone. Just make sure you read through their terms before implementing them in RPG Maker.)

There are inevitably some I've overlooked. If you know of any decent ones, let me know in the comments and I'll check it out and update accordingly.
08 December 2011

Updates For The Weekend

RPG Maker Times Companion - Saturday

Sadly, the RPG Maker Times Companion has been neglected lately, but I'm aiming for some more content on Saturday. There are a plethora of utilities still out there for RPG Maker, so it's time to dig some of them out.

Zelda Maze Tutorial Demo - Sunday

There will be a downloadable demo for the Zelda Maze Tutorial, as requested by Decanos78 for both RMXP and RMVX. I'll have this uploaded by Sunday.

RPG Maker 2K3 Resurface

I've had a number of requests for RM2K3 tutorials, even though it's unarguably the best RPG Maker of them all and even though I've retired it in favour of the next-gen RPG Makers. I'm not sure I'll be doing anything with it, except for the Complete Chest Tutorial. Talking of which also for the weekend (and well into next week) I'm aiming to have a demo for the RMXP version.
06 December 2011

Map Location/Game Progress Script (RMXP)

This is a combination update of my Basic Map Location (this doesn't actually work properly in RMXP) and Game Progress scriptlets.

Map Location/Game Progress RMXP ScriptletIt's nothing fancy, just a simple, basic script because I'm not a scripter. I like to dabble and experiment, and often improve upon existing knowledge to slowly learn. If someone can find a use for it then they can use it or share it as they deem fit (observing copyrights) and feel free to drop a comment as to where and how it's used/shared.
05 December 2011

Experimenting With RPG Maker VX Ace Trial

My confession for the day is that I've been playing around with RPG Maker VX Ace (RMVXA from now on) ever since its official Japanese release. Curiosity just about killed me, so I couldn't resist downloading the demo. Of course, it was all in Japanese and I was totally lost for a while, but I had some fun guessing and experimenting.

However...the wonderful folks at RMVX Ace Games Net have provided an English translation patch for the trial version specifically for the short RMVXA game provided there too (the first one for RMVXA!). That means that I'm able to delve into it a bit more. Just for the experience.

Now the ONLY reason I did it this way, rather than wait (aside from "grasshopper syndrome"), is for review purposes and to deliver what we can expect from RMVXA IF Enterbrain deigns to bring out an English version. And they would be idiotic not to (but of course they are! *Wink*).

So what's it like? (By the way, no screenies here at the moment; they're on the RMVX Ace Games Net website.)

Demo Version Limitations

Virtually everything is fully functional, but it does have some serious limitations, which are listed below. Some of the items are a result of my own delving and some are based on the Googleated Enterbrain/Famitsu website.
  • "Open Projects" is not available, although when you open a New Project, it'll preload the sample map already provided, which you can play and from within the editor.
  • You can edit the map, including events, which are essentially the same as with RMVX, although only 10 maps and 10 events per map are allowed in the demo version.
  • There is a limited number of materials and graphics in the demo version. You cannot export materials, although you can import them.
  • Compress Data (for making a standalone, executable game) is disabled in the trial version, which means that while the games can be saved and played from within RMVXA, saved data is erased after RMVXA is closed.
  • In the Database, Actors, Classes, Items, etc. have a predetermined Max. Amount. You can edit them, but you can't add any more if they go above the predetermined upper limit.
  • You can view (and edit) the scripts, but saved script edits are automatically purged and returned to default once RMVXA is closed, essentially disabling the Save function.
  • Tne built-in Character Generator is limited to a minimum amount of options to choose from, allowing you to create basic characters, which have the element of sameness to them after a while.
  • All of the events commands work in the demo version (as far as I can determine), except for the "Play Video" event command according to Enterbrain's website. I've not had a chance to actually try this because I'm not sure how to convert movies to the OGV format yet.
  • The updater feature is not functional or compatible with the demo version.
  • The RTP (Runtime Package) in the demo version is limited to a pre-bundled package is only for "data collection relevant to the current session". In other words, as I've mentioned before, saved data is not actually saved but is reset each time RMVXA closes. The actual [official] RTP is provided separately, available after purchasing.
Yet, despite such limitations, you can still see its complete range of capabilities and you can definitely have a "feel" what the full version will be like. (For the impatient ones, I wonder how viable - and legal - it would be to purchase the Japanese version and use an English translation patch. Enterbrain would certainly want to avoid the "Don Miguel-RM2K/3 love affair" again. This is especially in light of the fact that Enterbrain has not officially announced an English version yet.)

So here are my first impressions of RMVXA, focusing specifically on its features and functionality. It's rather long, but gives a rough, certainly not comprehensive, idea of what RMVXA is all about. The following part is a bit long, though I hope not long-winded.
04 December 2011

Random Name Generators

If you're sometimes plagued by "developer's block", running out of ideas or trying to think of an appropriate character name or game title, then I have the site for you. I've used it primarily for my writings, but lately more specifically for character names.

The site is called Seventh Sanctum and trust me when I say it's loaded with generators, from names (including weird names, pirate ship names, and elven names) to character classes to plot ideas. It's all there!

While browsing around, below are a few of the gems that were generated:

RPG Name Generator
  • Fantasy: Hell of the Ghostly World
  • World of Grandia
  • Zeus' Gear: Armored War

Pirate Ship Name Generator
  • Dragon's Dream
  • Hades' Black Jewel
  • The Horrible Plague of the Seven Seas

Story Generator
The story is about a poet who hates a manipulative archer. It starts in a keep in a sophisticated country. The story begins with a shopping trip and ends with a religious ceremony. An important bloodline plays a prime part.
(And already with that the ideas and possibilities for a game are starting to trickle in, not that I will but the inspiration is certainly there!)

Even if you don't need to be inspired by randomness, the site is still worth a visit for its entertainment value, as some of the randomized output is quite humorous. And there are a LOT of generators to go through to idle away a harmless half-hour, but the chances are you'll still revisit whether for entertainment or when you need inspiration.
03 December 2011

Getting Ready For What's Coming

Getting Ready

While I've been spending more time using Ubuntu than Windows, and only a little time with the RPG Makers, I've not been idle. I'm counting down the days now for when the parts I need for my laptop arrive, which will mean proper experimentation with other RPG Makers. The major problem with this computer is its lack of memory. It's one of those medium-range computers that's "getting on a bit"; it only has two SDRAM slots, so upgrading to at least 1Gb (its maximum) is comparatively costly. Rather than investing in more RAM, I acquired a laptop instead, which needs some attention but it's getting there.

Dungeon Craft

I've been playing around with Dungeon Craft, experimenting with it, and I think I'm getting the hang of it so I'm hoping to have some material and/or tutorials soon.

Engine 001

Another RPG Maker I've been drawn to for a while is Engine 001, but haven't been able to run it. Probably a graphics card incompatibility. I'm hoping that it should work on the laptop, so we'll have to wait and see.

The Gladiator Project/Ars Mechanicum Genesis

My main projects, The Gladiator Project and Ars Mechanicum Genesis, are being worked on intermittently and the scripts are being reconstructed.

CW's Script Compendium

I've been updating many of the scriptlets on this blog, in addition to others I've written which haven't yet seen the light of day. These are being compiled for both RMXP and RMVX, so I'm hoping to have something tangible soon.
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