It’s time to release the beast!

Man Generator that is.

We’ve released Generator parts before, but it was always about just more stuff, this time, its about doing something different. With new body types and face pieces, you can now not just make humans with different accessories, now, you can make Beast Men!

With options for catlike beastmen…

…Canine beastmen…

…and Lizard beastmen!

This new pack will give you a whole new world of potential NPCs!

Read more on the RPG Maker Web Store and on Steam.

Also be sure to read the tutorial on how to use the body templates from the blog!

And with all those new beastmen,  it’s a good time to get some cool sfx to go with them, so why not pick up the Creature Feature SFX pack, our Deal of the Week, for 50% off!

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Who doesn’t love a beast man? Who wasn’t a fan of Slade from Shining Force II, or Rico from Xenogears.

Well good news, soon (or now if you are reading this next week) you’ll be able to make your own beast men in the Character Generator with the Beast Man Generator Pack!

This pack takes a little more effort to use though, as unlike adding  pieces, the RPG Maker MV character Generator only supports one body type at a time.

To get you started, let’s take a look at how to switch these out, so you can get going making your own beast man in no time!

First, you’re going to want to go to your RPG Maker MV program directory. This will be in different places depending on how you installed. On the Steam version, you can always right click on RPG Maker MV in your program list, hit Properties, go to the Local Files tab and then select “Browse Local Files” to find the folder. If you installed it from the standalone files, it should be wherever you told the computer to install it.

From there, open up the Generator folder.

See that bottom row of files? Basically everything but the gradient that isn’t a folder up there? We need to backup all of them, because that is what we are going to be replacing.

So make a Body Backup folder in there, and move all 6 of those files into it. Whenever you want to go back to using a regular body, you’ll just recopy those back into place.

Now that we have a backup, let’s open up the DLC. We’re going to grab those six files for the body type we want (choosing from Leo, Lizardman, and Werewolf), and replace them in the Generator folder.

First open up the Body folder, then the body type you want to use (in this example, Lizardman)

Copy these six files and overwrite the ones in the Generator folder. Once again, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BACKED UP YOUR HUMAN BODY TEMPLATES BEFORE YOU DO THIS!

And boom, you’re done. You can now make the Beast man of your choice!

Just remember where you backed up your non-beast man files for when you want to go back!

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Release day has come again, and we’re ready for an adventure!

Spreading the full emotions of Adventure, love, tension, melancholy, excitement, Alec Shea’s Adventure Music Vol. 1 features 20 new tracks to score your game. These tracks feature many extended and longer themes to give your background music more variety with an average track length of nearly 5 minutes!

Learn more in the RPG Maker Web Store, or on Steam!

And for our deal of the day, pick up a fan favorite with Medieval: Dungeons for 50% off!

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So with the newly released Tyler Warren RPG Battlers Boss Fight pack, it got me thinking a lot about boss design.

Why yes, this topic was chosen to shill this product. Still a good topic though 😀

Boss design is tricky business. First, you have to think of the difficulty. Its really easy to make it too hard or too easy. But that isn’t the only thing you have to think about. There is another axis of boss design that I think is just as,  if not more important than just the difficulty itself: the predictability of the boss.

Almost all non-Action RPGs have randomness of some sort, and for that matter, so do most Action RPGs. Chance to hit, variation in damage, who the enemy targets, what abilities the enemy uses, all kinds of things like that.

But too much randomness takes the difficulty out of the hands of the player, and puts it into the Random Number Generator (RNG). And when you are looking at a boss fight, where usually your difficulty should have its spikes, this problem can be amplified dramatically.

So how do we fight this? By adding in predictability.

I mean, look at this dude. He looks like the kind of guy who would have thought through all his plans and have a pattern.

Predictability is what gives advanced players an advantage over newbies. What gives good players advantages over bad ones. Pure RNG is hard to fight, but when you can learn things and then put that knowledge into use, you can DO things.

Of course, almost no fight is pure RNG. Of course all enemies have a set of moves that they can use, and learning that set of moves helps, but still if the enemy can do its super damage hit all attack 10% of every round, there will still be those 1/100 chances that it goes off two times in a row and your player just gets destroyed by the RNG.

RNG makes difficulty vary wildly.

So how can we create some predictability? The first thing we can do is something like a pattern. Have a boss do a specific set of moves in a certain order. This is a good choice. If it always goes, “Pump up damage, attack, pump up defense, heal, repeat”, then the player can learn and deal with that, and always know the right move to make.

First I grump. Then I sigh, Then I hit you with rock.

But sometimes that can be too predictable. It starts to become like a math puzzle, and it never feels like there is any danger because you always know. So how about some other ways to do it. Here are a few other ideas.

  • Having some of his skills on cooldown. If he uses super damage attack, you know he won’t be doing it again for at least 3 more rounds (Bonus Tip: If you do this, try to include some kind of indication that the attack is on cooldown, so that the player can learn it quickly)
  • Having one skill always used right before another one. If an enemy always guards the turn before it unleashes a huge rage attack, the player can learn, they see the guard, the next turn they need to guard.
  • Have partial patterns. Have a skill that is used every x turns,  but have the time between be a bit more random. This let’s the player perfectly predict some rounds, but not others.
  • Have the enemy do something when a certain state is reached. If the enemy tries to buff its defense after it has lost x amount of health, you can know when that is about to happen. Also, in the other direction, it gives a player an indicator of when they’ve done that amount of damage.

And there are plenty more ways!

Mixing predictability and unpredictability is a skill that I think every RPG Desginer needs to learn, too much RNG and it becomes a luckfest, too little and it becomes a math problem. How do you balance it in your games? What methods do you use to create patterns/predictability in your boss fights? Tell us in the comments below!

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It’s Valentine’s Day, and love is in the air! And do you know what we love: Boss Fights. So let’s show off our release for the day:

Gathering together all the big baddies from Tyler Warren’s other packs, plus one new Super Boss, the Boss Fight pack is excellent for those without his other packs who just want to pick up the big bosses. The 50+ bosses each include a range of sizes, plus a 7 color pixel version.

Learn more in the RPG Maker Web Store, or on Steam!

And then, of course, our deal of the day, the Valentine Tile Pack for MV for 15% off!

 

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Its a wonderful Thursday, and we have a wonderful set of releases in store for you!

Inspired by the older Winter Wonderland Tile Pack for VX Ace, the Winter Tiles pack is perfect for making your snowy outdoors and toasty indoor maps of the cold season. The characters in your game can celebrate Christmas in style, so Let it Go!

Learn more in the RPG Maker Web Store, or on Steam!

Ready to journey to exotic lands, dangerous jungles, lonely deserts, haunted forests and more. From Ayato Sound Create, Fantastic Journey will take you around the world and further with 22 new tracks to bring atmosphere to your world.

Learn more in the RPG Maker Web Store, or on Steam!

And let’s round this post out with our new Deal of the Week! The Skyforge Battlepack for 50% off!

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With the release of the Resident Evil 2 Remake by Capcom (a wonderful game, many, many kudos to the Resident Evil team in recreating one of my favorite games from my childhood), I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about Survival Horror games.

Specifically about the style of survival horror games created by the old style Resident Evil games. Which focus on two things: Resource Management and Puzzles. Today let’s look at the puzzles in Resident Evil 2 Remake (there may be some light spoilers involved in showing puzzles or that puzzles exist. I’ll do my best not to show solutions though!).

I think that one of the keys to making the puzzles in your game memorable is to make them just hard enough that they provide a bit of challenge, and then providing a variety of different styles of puzzles.

The simplest kinds of puzzles, that barely count as puzzles in my opinion, is the “find this object to put into this lock”. They are good for pacing and maintaining pathing through your game, but they don’t really engage the brain. It’s just “oh, I remember where I can use that.” Of course, these aren’t always locks, but it is the same idea, find object to solve problem to open new area. It could be bolt cutters, or a crowbar, or even finding a roll of film that shows a combination for a combination lock when developed. There is no actual thought to these, it is just a linear progression to reward the player for being observant.

The next are what I call physical manipulation puzzles. This is where you are given physical objects, and you have to interact with them in some limited way so that the pieces create a specific state. And this first real type of puzzle will start a theme for good survival horror game puzzles: You don’t need any outside knowledge to solve them. All information to solve them is provided by the game themselves.

An example of of a physical manipulation puzzle from the new remake of Resident Evil 2 would be the block puzzle from Sherry’s segment.

With this puzzle, you take the blocks, and you have to reconfigure them so that all of the half-symbols match up. It’s a classic puzzle of this style. It doesn’t take a lot of mental gymnastics, but it does take a little bit of time and can be sped up with a bit of logical thinking. (first find a circle square combo to go in the left most section, etc.)

These kind of puzzles tend to not be that hard though unless they involve tons of pieces. They are best used for pacing of the puzzles in your game. If your game is 10 hours long and it turns out that it only has 2 giant puzzles, then people will stop thinking of puzzles as a major part of your game. Putting in a lot of smaller puzzles like these can really keep the puzzle feel going all game.

The next type of puzzle that I find is pretty common are Math Puzzles. Now, when I say math puzzles, everyone is thinking about getting out a pencil and paper and doing equations, but that isn’t really the case all the time. Basically, most types of puzzles that involve amounts of things are really math puzzles at heart. Take for example the breaker box puzzles used to turn on the power in several sections of the Resident Evil 2 Remake.

Each switch when turned to the on position moves the needle on the left and right display a set amount based on that switch. You just have to find which combination of switches will move both of the needles exactly into the red zones. It’s all simple edition, all you need to do is assign a variable a and b to each switch, and then find the combination of variables that makes a and b add up to the right amount.

Math puzzles, again follow the same pattern of not requiring outside knowledge to complete. and as far as difficulty, range from very simple (like the breaker box puzzles), to incredibly complex depending on the number of variables involved, or by combining in elements of manipulation puzzles into them. I find math puzzles can easily be large, central puzzles in a game, though the Resident Evil 2 remake didn’t use them much.

Another type of puzzle is the logic puzzle. I’m sure you remember them from back in elementary school, and every brain teaser book that is out there. “If Billy is taller than Sam, and Sam is the same height as Jill, and etc.etc.etc.” These just give you a bunch of true statements, and you have to combine them unto a solution that makes sure that all of those statements are true.

An example of this from Resident Evil 2 Remake? The Chess Plug Puzzle.

These can be as easy or hard as you want them to be, and are good for fillers or for huge setpiece puzzles depending on how you want to use them. In fact, the above puzzle, according to their online stats, is the puzzle that most people spend the longest on in the game. (This may be because they are also counting finding all the pieces though, I can’t tell for sure).

Again, this type of puzzle does a thing I think its very important: No reliance on outside knowledge. You just have to know the information the game gives you. Analyze the statements, make them all true. That is it.

The last type of puzzle that I remember being used in the remake was hunting puzzles. This is where you are told you need a specific piece of information, and you are then told to go hunt for it with some clues about where they will find them. These are good for getting people to explore the environment of your game and put them in dangerous situations. They are very similar to the key puzzles that I barely consider a puzzle, but here, the clues elevate them to a puzzle.

In the Resident Evil 2 Remake, a good example of this is Leon’s desk, which was locked as a sort of party game for his first day on the force by his squadmates.

This one is fairly simple, and only requires you to look around in the room it happens in (you need to find all their nameplates to get their names), but these kind of puzzles can give you clues that send you all across the game to solve. Or even require you to run solve other puzzle types to get the information.

These types of puzzles I find are good for combining the results of a lot of other events in your game into one big set piece to solve. In fact, the Medallion hunt throughout the first section of Resident Evil 2 is a big set piece that is also based on this type of puzzle. You get a notebook at the beginning telling you that they are all in statues, and you are sent to find the statues.

The two things I learned about puzzle design from the Resident Evil series is

1. Variety. Use a lot of puzzle types, those included here, or even others like cipher puzzles, and use both big and large puzzles throughout.

2. Limit Outside Knowledge Needed. You should include as much of the information possible to solve your puzzles IN THE GAMES. Requiring knowledge of things outside of the game turns it more into trivia or googling than a puzzle.

What did you learn about puzzle design from the Resident Evil 2 remake, or from the series as a whole? Join us in the comments below.

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Let’s finish off January with a stellar release week. Two new packs to enhance your projects have just hit the store!

First up, we have the Heroine Character Generator 3! Much like the first two packs, this is focused on giving you even more options when using the Generator. With 20 new clothing sets, 8 new accessories, 4 new front hairs, and 4 new rear hairs, you’ll have more options than ever before!

Learn more in the RPG Maker Web Store, or on Steam!

With Emotional 3: Tragic Love, Richard John S again brings us a soundtrack filled with feelings. 15 tracks feature expressive solo string passages and emotional vocal tracks, ready to enhance the emotional wait of the scenes in your game!

Learn more in the RPG Maker Web Store, or on Steam!

And to finish out our release week, enjoy the Rebel Rapture Music Pack for 50% off until February 7th in our Weekly Deal!

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The RPG Maker Web Winter Sale continues!

Continue to enjoy huge discounts store wide! Sale Ends at the close of the month, so don’t miss out!

But what new toys do we have for this release day?

26 tilesets, over 100 Character Sprites and Face Graphics, 16 fully animated sideview character battlers, 59 sideview enemy battlers, and much much more. Jason Perry brings us a huge collection of pixel style art for a modern game. Everything you need to make your game is here, all you have to do is follow the link!

Learn more in the RPG Maker Web Store, or on Steam!

If there is one thing we know is in vogue right now, its retro style games. And TKProjects has released the perfect soundtrack for the retro game currently rattling around in your head! 24 tracks of chiptune goodness for fields, dungeons, battles, and more!

Learn more in the RPG Maker Web Store, or on Steam!

These two packs and more await you on the RPG Maker Web Store, and don’t forget to pick up everything you want in the Winter Sale before the clock strikes midnight January 31st!

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It’s winter! It’s time to get out the snow shovels and scrape the ice off your windshield! Or instead, you could just stay inside in the warm warm central heating and make some games! (Personally, I’d rather do the latter)

And to help you along the way its time for the RPG Maker Web Winter Sale!

 

Huge discounts site wide on engines, tilesets, battlers, music, sound effects, and everything else you could possibly need to make your dream game a reality!

But that’s not all, cause it’s releeeease daaaaay~! Which means three new packs hitting the RPG Maker Web Store, and the Steam Store at the same time! Let’s take a look!

Something Ancient rises to take its place again among the top RPG Maker tilesets! Ancient Dungeons Base Pack is now available for RPG Maker MV! Resized and intensely edited to fit RPG Maker MV’s larger tile size, you can now enjoy the fan favorite Tileset in the latest version of RPG Maker!

Learn more in the RPG Maker Web Store, or on Steam!

Tyler Warren is back again, with a 3rd set of Pixel Style Battlers! 93 Monsters in 7 Palettes, in 4 different sizes! Together with the first two sets, you will have tons and tons of monsters to use for your retro game!

Learn more in the RPG Maker Web Store, or on Steam!

From Five Happiness, Eberouge Background Image Pack 1 comes with 33 Fantasy background: a valley, mountain, ruins, riverside and more. This pack is perfectly suited for your Fantasy and Adventure style games.

Learn more in the RPG Maker Web Store, or on Steam!

And that is it for this weeks releases! And don’t forget our Winter Sale! Head over to the store, and jump in on all those deals! Don’t delay, SALE ENDS FEBRUARY 1ST!

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