So with the Wind Dragon we took a slightly different tact, getting descriptions from the community on what to do.  Here is what I ended up reading several times before sketching things out:

A dragon, turquoise in color, is hovering in the air on its massive, outstretched wings. The dragon’s scales are not jagged but instead smooth, giving it a bit of a sheen. Its body is muscular but lean; the dragon appears to be exceptionally aerodynamic. Its arms are slender and end in wicked claws suited for grabbing and slicing prey alike. Its head is small but proportional, and instead of a muzzle the dragon is sporting a beak-like mouth. Its eyes glow with a subtle white light. It has two horns that jut out the back of its head, and point directly behind the head to reinforce the aerodynamic feel of the dragon. Its underbelly is lightly armored with thicker, slightly discolored scales, as if to protect itself during its (very frequent) fly-by attacks. The dragon looks like it is ready to attack its potential prey, claws and beak at the ready.

So from this I had a color scheme and a good idea of what I wanted it to look like, and a good pose to shoot for.

winddragon-conceptsketches

I figured out a rough pose pretty quick, then I did a quick profile to figure out the main shape.  Then I pulled out some canvas and started drawing.

winddragon-tonal-raw

So I mixed together some raw umber, olive green, and black and thinned it down quite a bit with mineral spirits to make the wash you can see in the background.  After I had laid that in, I just started to build up the shapes more opaquely with paint and linseed oil.  After I had that mostly accomplished I started putting paint directly on the canvas opaquely to get the darkest spots.  I then went back in with some titanium white to do a few highlights.

winddragon-tonal2

Here it is after I got it into the computer and cleaned it up a bit.  I also dodged my highlights a bit in photoshop because I didn’t really have time to let them dry for another application of titanium white.

winddragon-glazes

At this stage I started to add color using overlay and hard light layers, my intent was not to obscure any of the underpainting but give it some rough color.  After I was pretty happy with my color choices I moved onto the final overpaint.

winddragon-f1

For the final paint I got a pretty textured brush and just started opaquely going over my previous layers, on a new top-most layer.  I will capture this process on the next character, but I didn’t this time since I was trying something new.  After I painted over most of everything I added some fiery effects as well.  And that’s it!

winddragon-f1_dark

And here was a quick color variation I did, mostly just using hue-saturation and then some additional glowy bits.

Download the files and vote in the poll here: http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?/topic/37002-bi-weekly-battler-wind-dragon/

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Common Pitfalls in RPG Maker

A pitfall is a danger or problem that is hidden or not obvious at first. RPG Maker is fraught with pitfalls that many developers fall into (like our poor heroes pictured above).

How does one avoid many of these common pitfalls? Below I’ve listed out some that I’ve observed over the years. I’ve also linked resources to help navigate through some of these traps.

A) Lack of Customization

This section was becoming so huge that it spawned it’s own article. You can read it here: 5 Things People Don’t Customize In RPG Maker

B) Clashing aesthetics

Back in the 2k/2k3 days there wasn’t a lot of options in terms of resources. Developers had to rely on rips from other sources (often SNES era RPGs) to customize their tilesets. This led to a lot of clashing aesthetics that often made for visually dissonant games.

Nowadays, RPG Maker users have tons of resource packs to choose from. Many of them are designed with the RTP in mind like the Modern Day and Futuristic tile packs. You can easily plug them into your project with little to no editing required.

If you are going to use custom graphics for your game then you run the risk of having clashing graphics. I’ve seen many projects that have a few custom portraits for the main characters and then Character Generator faces for the supporting cast. This can ruin otherwise appealing art.

When selecting assets for your game consider how well they fit the artistic style. I’d rather have a game that mostly relies on RTP than a mishmash of  art styles.

C) Maps that make no sense

One of the major differences between a Good Map and a Bad Map is not just the mapper’s artistic ability. It’s whether the map actually makes sense! Many maps often have strange layouts that would be impractical for NPCs to move around in. They can be too large, too small. Objects can be located in weird locations like having a clock behind a wardrobe. When designing your maps, take the time to consider the layout.

erroneous-mapping

Poor use of depth can ruin a map

Another pitfall I often see is poor use of depth in mapping. This can most often be seen in Mountain locations. Because RPG Maker has a 3/4 top-down perspective it can often be difficult to design locations where the depth changes. Be conscious of the depth of your map when working on uneven terrain or you’ll end up with maps like the one pictured above.

D) Bad tutorial or NO tutorial

Often RPG Maker developers design their game with the assumption that the player is familiar with RPG Maker games. This is a pretty dangerous assumption to make. When designing the introductory section of your game, you should assume the player has never played a RPG Maker game before. You want to point out the basics like Controls (“Press X to access the Menu”) or how to navigate the menus. You should also give the option to skip these tutorials for seasoned players.

A common pitfall with tutorials is front-loading too much information. If your game relies on unconventional mechanics or terms, then you want to slowly roll them out so that the player can comprehend and retain them. If it’s a huge info dump all at once then the player will have difficulty remembering important details.

Adding a Game Manual to the project folder or putting one in-game as a key item is also a good idea and a useful resource for players. Just assume most players won’t read them.

E) Poor pacing or lack of engagement

One of the biggest pitfalls is poor early pacing in RPG Maker games. Many RPG Maker developers create introductory sections that offer no challenge or interesting mechanics. You don’t want to overload the player at first but you don’t want to bore them either.

When talking about RPGs, particularly commercial ones, you might hear someone say “The real game starts 10 hours in!” There are tons of other RPGs that are engaging early on. Just look at classics like Chrono Trigger or Earthbound for example.

Nick has written an excellent article on Pacing: How Is It So Good: Chrono Trigger. Consider reading it for tips on how to properly pace your RPG and keep your player engaged.

F) Frequent missing in combat

You know what’s not fun in RPGs? Losing a turn because you missed your opponent.

The high risk, high reward character or skill is fairly common in RPGs. You either have a chance to do high damage or no damage. Even if you crunched the numbers and the results are favorable, it still can give the player a bad impression of an character or skill if it misses often. If you’re going to have missing in your game make sure it doesn’t happen too often.

hitrate

The default HIT is set to 95%

By default, the HIT % of any class is 95%. Consider bumping this up to 100% and changing it for weapons/skills or have it affected by states instead. Otherwise, it will apply to all actions that can miss.

G) Too much RNG or “false difficulty”

RNG has become a fairly common term when griping about game balance. “Screwed by the RNG”. When players say something like that they’re referring to the “random number generator” that is present in many games. The root of RNG in RPGs can be traced back to dice rolling in D&D. RNG can make a game more interesting by creating unpredictable elements. It can also make games feel unfair when done poorly.

Many novice RPG designers fall into the pitfall of relying too much on RNG to make their game difficult. When designing the AI for your enemies, you should weigh the chance they will select certain actions over others and what results that can lead to. At some point it becomes almost impossible to predict every variation but even a cursory review can reveal potential balance issues.

dice

Does RNG improve your game experience or detract from it?

If your RNG is too wide in range it can lead to vastly different player experiences. In one of my friend’s early games, he had a final boss who had the chance to use a buff that would increase all his stats making him much more difficult.What made it worse was the buff could stack. If he didn’t cast the buff then the fight was fairly trivial. If he cast it more than once then it became almost impossible. It was completely random whether or not he would use the buff. It would have been better to have had him cast the buff at certain intervals in the battle (every X turns, HP < X%).

When designing encounters you want controlled randomness. The random factor should improve the overall encounter; not take away from it.

H) Too much exposition

Exposition is a tough balance in RPGs. You need to share important plot details with the player to give context to the game but you also don’t want to bore the player with walls of text.

Volrath has written an excellent article on this subject: Exposition: A Tough Balance. Make sure to read it for tips on how to balance exposition in your RPG.

I) Poor spelling/grammar

One of Nick’s 4 Ways to Turn Me Off Your Game Immediately. It’s worth taking the extra time to review your writing for spelling and grammatical errors. One here or there is forgivable but if it keeps coming up it’s going to start making your game look lazy.

poor-english

Engrish can ruin an otherwise good game

Hopefully this article revealed some pitfalls you might have missed in the past.

What are some pitfalls you’ve noticed on the path of RPG creation? Let us know in the comments!

4 comments

So, being the RPG fans you are, I’m going to assume you all caught the Persona 5 Trailer that hit recently. If not, just strap in and watch it below. (Or just watch it again anyway, it is fantastic).

Okay, you back? It was ridiculous right? You are now hyped? Well, let’s look at it all from a different perspective. Let’s look at it from a design perspective. We’re going to include Persona 3 and 4 into the mix as well, since we know so much more about those two games, and they have a lot of the same qualities.

Now originally, this article was much broader. I talked about the setting, the background of the characters, the music choices… but then I hit one subject, and it ballooned so much that I had to start all over and make the whole article about that one thing. And that one thing is Color.

Now, I’m not an artist. You won’t see me going into color theory and composition and all that. I just don’t know enough about it (I mean, I can make a go, but it’s not my strength). But what I am though, is a marketer. Luckily, I get to market things I actually like. I’m not sure I could stand myself if I had to go all Mad Men. But anyway, one thing as a marketer I do understand is the PSYCHOLOGY of colors.

Of course, colors are also influenced by our personal experiences, so nothing is 100%, but color psychology is accurate enough to be used heavily in many different disciplines; marketing and interior design being the two most common.

Different colors communicate different things, and the later Persona games seem to get this, either subconsciously, or as I suspect, deliberately, to compliment the themes of the games.

Persona 3

Shin_Megami_Tensei_Persona_3_Game_Cover

Persona 3, as you can see, is a predominantly BLUE game, and specifically, it tends to use a very soft, somber blue.

Now, no color is universally negative. Blue represents intelligence, competence, and calmness. While those meanings aren’t completely lost on the game, which does have an intelligence to it, the challenges you face are almost all related to the negative connotations of blue.

Sadness. Aloofness. Coldness.

Persona 3 is mostly themed around the idea of accepting loss and death. The calming blue just kind of works you in that direction, while also giving you that feeling of melancholy that goes with it.

And look at the world you travel around during the game. All the grey concrete of the big city. Just GREY. Grey just has the tone of lack of meaning. A color suppressing emotions. A dull, depressing shade that compliments the blue very well in communicating the theme of the game.

Persona 4

Persona-4-PS2-Cover

Persona 4 on the other hand, seems to go entirely the other direction on color.

The main color of the game is a bright, eye searing yellow. Nothing calming about this one. It communicates emotional strength and friendliness. Its a very inviting color.

On the flip side though, it also represents fear and anxiety. Persona 4 is a game very much about coming to terms with who you are, bad parts and all. This theme, is much more hopeful. But it is also filled with anxiety. From Yukiko’s desire to be saved from having her life chosen for her, to Naoto’s struggling to be an adult while still feeling like a kid, there is a LOT of anxiety and fear involved in those kinds of conflicts.

But it also ties into the positive emotions of the color. Overcoming those conflicts requires that emotional strength. Supporting your friends through them requires that friendliness.

And look to the way Inaba is designed in comparison to the setting of Persona 3. It is filled with greens and browns. A very earthy, warm feeling compared to Persona 3’s very inhospital greys.

Persona 5

Persona-5-logo

Which leads us finally, to Persona 5.

Now, we don’t have much info yet on what the theme of the game is, but we do have this quote from director Katsura Hashino:

This time, it’s about a group of high school students that are being “chased” by unexpected occurrences due to the justice they believe in.

Its primary colors, if you couldn’t tell already, seem to be reds and blacks. Reds represent excitement, danger, aggression. Its a perfect color for the theme of being chased by something or someone. It also fits in with the heist style action we see in the trailer.

Blacks also represent sophistication and glamour. Just look at the ballroom like areas that the characters seem to be infiltrating, the black is also perfect.

But there are also other scenes we see in the trailer. Oppressive grey subways for instance. But the main character is also in his civilian personality there. Who seems to be a bit more timid and put upon, being bumped on the train, being hit in the head with chalk. It almost seems to represent a dull representation of his life outside the danger and excitement of infiltrating high society functions and fighting shadows.

Conclusion

All three games seem to strongly draw from color psychology to support the themes of their game. From the menus, to the environments, to the packaging, it’s all there to reinforce something.

Do you think about color in your games? The tiles used in different areas, screen tints, the colors of your menus?

Do you plan to in the future?

What do you think? Join us in the comments section below.

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emotion

Time for another contest! This time we are doing a cutscene contest. But not just any cutscene, we have to FEEL your cutscene. My favorite part in all of fictional media is when it makes me feel some type of emotion.

What this means, is that for our cutscene, you have to pick an emotion. Any emotion you can think of, but it has to be one word. You can pick dread or happy or anxious or fear or anger or you know, whatever emotion you want to pick. Then make your cutscene around that emotion.

Here are the rules!

  1. Your cutscene must be centered around an emotion that can be summed up in one word. That word needs to be included either at the beginning or end of the cutscene in some prominent way (just a black screen that says the word is fine, but if you want to get clever with it, go for it).
  2. Your cutscene can be no longer than 5 minutes.
  3. Your cutscene should remain PG-13.

Your submission needs to be in the form of a video, NOT an RPG Maker project. You will need some form of video capture program like Open Broadcast Software(this is a free program) to record your entry. Submit your entries to community@rpgmakerweb.com using the topic “Emotion in Motion Entry”. Your submission can be sent in one of two ways.

  1. You can upload your video to Youtube.
  2. You can upload your video as a file on a file sharing site. If you use this option, make sure that the video file will play in VLC Media Player.

Either way, link the file/video to us in your submission email. The deadline for your submission is February 25th at 12:01am UTC.

Prizes to be announced!

3 comments

Goats on a Bridge

Goats are having a moment. Whether it’s the runaway success of the novelty game Goat Simulator or the rapid proliferation of YouTube videos showcasing the hilarious noises they make, it’s clear the demand for goat-related entertainment is high. Now the developers at Cabygon Games are bringing Goats on a Bridge into the mix, a combination of cuddly visuals and rigorous platforming loosely adapted from the classic fairy tale “Three Billy Goats Gruff” that has just been released!

“It’s been an amazing experience,” said co-creator Cheryl Lim about the process of bringing the game to a commercial level. “Frustrating at times, tiring at times, exhilarating at times and I wouldn’t trade a moment of it.”

The player controls two goats (and a corgi, to up the cute factor even more) who are navigating a series of bridges while trying to rescue their brother from a villainous troll. The mechanics are simple enough at first – run, jump and roll past objects to reach the other side of the bridge – but it’s not long until the game throws you a curveball and challenges you to control both goats at once. The careful control needed for these segments has given the game a reputation for formidable difficulty but at no cost to the overall fun factor.

“We actually decided on what kind of mechanic we wanted in the game first, which was the one hand, one character thing,” Lim said. “The story wove its way in rather seamlessly after that.”

goats on a bridge

Goats on a Bridge was first introduced to the public as an entry in the 2014 Indie Game Maker Contest. According to Lim, the 30 day time frame was nowhere near enough for the developers to finish everything they wanted to do, but the result still impressed both players and the judges.

“The biggest strength of Goats on a Bridge is that it uses a combination of short levels and adorable presentation to remain thoroughly fun and accessible despite a frustratingly high difficulty,” said IGMC judge Nick Palmer. “You will never have this much fun dying.”

The game fell just short of landing in the top 3 for its non-RPG category when the results came out, but the judges spoke highly of it and it was given a special mention by Kimberly “Sabre” Weigend, a member of the “Frag Dolls” group who served as one of the celebrity judges for the event.

“I really enjoyed my time with Goats on a Bridge,” Weigend said. “The characters are great and super super cute. I liked how the menu system was implemented and the game was fully explained.”

Degica’s staff kept the game in mind when surveying the IGMC entries for potential further development. Goats on a Bridge is the first of the entries to reemerge as a commercial game.

“We were thrilled that people were enjoying the game,” Lim said. “Some of the comments were hilarious. It’s the little things that keep us going. It was awesome when Sabre picked our game as her ‘Judge’s Choice’ and even more surprising when Degica came knocking to talk about publishing.”

goats on a bridge

In addition to preparing the game for a full PC version, Cabygon also had to create a version that could be played on mobile devices. The team recoded the game from scratch for the mobile version, a decision that Lim now regrets and believes added unnecessary difficulty to the process. Since games are played very differently on a tablet than on a keyboard or controller, converting the unique control scheme for the double-goat levels was a major challenge. However, the team persevered and are happy with both versions of the game.

The Cabygon team has more elements they would like to introduce into Goats on a Bridge over time, but there is still plenty of fun waiting for goat fans who decide to give the game a shot. The journey of the game from contest entry to commercial game is nearly complete and Lim said the experience is an example of why it pays off to pursue your interests and put your work out for the world to see.

“If you really want something, and you find the right people to work with, just go for it,” she said. “There’s no point in sitting around waiting for someone to do something tomorrow when you can do it today.”

Goats on a Bridge can be purchased on Steam, the App Store and Google Play. For more details, visit the official website.

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melody-mapping-contest_zpsd0d91b1c

Our Melody Mapping Contest had a TON of entries. And you guys did a great job. Almost everyone showed a pretty good knowledge of combining audio with visual art to really flesh out a scene. Thank you to everyone who participated!

And now, after a bit of time to deliberate, our judges have managed to pick out their top entries.

1st Place: Chaos17

Chaos

Chaos17 really showcased his strong mapping skills while also tying it into the thematic setting created by his musical choice. The floating balls of light and lighting of the map really enhanced the feel of the entry. There was a minor issue with a display on one of the NPCs, but it did not detract from the experience as a whole.

2nd Place: Goldstorm & Ms Littlefish

goldlittle

This pair of gamedevs showed clever mapping and some great lighting effects. The quirky and unique music and sound really layered on to the maps to create something greater than either would be in isolation. As a bonus, even though we did not take story into account, the story in this entry was adorable and left an impression.

Third Place: TIE

Matseb

matseb

Matseb’s entry was very interesting technically. With a great use of sound effects and music, especially on the part with the falling rocks, it felt like a map that’s a genuine part of a game.

Grimmjow

grimmjow

Grimmjow also showed some great mapping combined with an excellent music choice, but the real star here was the use of animal sounds that really brought the map to life.

If you are one of our winners, please contact Lunarea on the forums via PM to receive your prize!

Did anyone try out the other entries? What did you think of them? Did you check out our winners? Did you like what they did? Join us in the comments section below.

 

1 comment

So this one was pretty fun, I thought my description coming off of the Dark Magic Guardian was solid.

Corrupted Knight – Once a noble adventurer, he delved too deeply into the catacombs of Mt. Zurat, fighting his way past Dark Magic Guardians, only to be corrupted by the very treasure he sought!  Now he serves those same dark masters he once fought against, using his unholy might to crush any adventurers to cross his path!

So I’ve got this awesome place called Mt. Zurat, maybe I should dive into that more at some point?  We’ll see.

So for this guy I knew I wanted some cool skulls, and more skulls.

corruptedknight_draw2

I had an alternate sword at first, but I toned it back into this one to be a bit more “knightly.”  I think it definitely looks better.

corruptedknight_tone1

Got into figuring out some materials and lighting here.  Working in just tones for this step is really, really helpful.

corruptedknight_col1

I began to lay in some color on a multiply layer, pretty sparingly as I didn’t want it to be overpowering; not at this stage at least.

corruptedknight_p1

Did a bit more blending with a blender brush here.

corruptedknight_f1

Added the final paint pass and effects!

I’ve uploaded a time-lapse below, check it out!

Also, go throw your hat in the ring for a custom battler here!

1 comment

This month, we are starting a new feature: Around the Community. We’ll take a look at what is going on on our forums, and pick out the conversations, games, and resources that are getting the most buzz.

First of all, let’s not forget our Let’s Review Games! Event. Feedback is the best way to improve your game, and its important that we make sure everyone has that chance to improve. Get out there, find someone who could use a review, and play that game!

Need some new signs for your game? bgilllisp has done some edits to make some New Roof Signs, perfect for that obscure store in your game. He also includes a blank sign for you to add your own.

New_Signs_zps4964c11a

 

Tsukihime decided to step in to show us how to alter how Experience is displayed for characters in game, with the tutorial “How to Display Current Exp Relative to Current Level“.

expDisplay2

And philteredkhaos took the time to explain a simple Stealth Eventing! system. Both of these tutorials are useful for their intended purpose, but they are also just useful for new information to twist to other plans.

On the game side of things, two games got a lot of buzz this month.

First we have Daniel B’s Cardiophobia, a short horror game with multiple endings.

card

The second is a really nice looking story focused game made by Chester called Crescentia Harmony of the Moon.

Crescentia

Take some time to check both these out! Don’t forget to look around for other new games to play to get in on our game reviewing event!

We’ve also had a lot of good discussions on game design ideas. You can check out some conversations on Non-typical healing for a party of undead characters?How best to handle an episodic game with RM?Old woman as playable character: How to make gameplay interesting, and Permadeath.

Or if you just want to shoot the breeze, in our Non-RM subforums, you can take the time to talk about how lazy you really are.

Any other forum topics that caught your eye? What do you think are the best things on the forum in the last month?

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One of the things I’ve always complained about a bit, with the RTP, is that some of the tiles are misaligned to the walls. Its not a complex issue to fix, a few hours in the graphics editor of your choice, and you can do it yourself. Just count the depth of the item, and set the base of the item to match that depth from the wall.

I did a bunch of the shelves, the pianos, and kitchen interior items here:

Inside_DThis can be used as a TileD if you want, and it still has plenty of room to add some more realigned tiles. (No reason for credits, its just some copy pastes).

With the ones I’ve shown above you can turn this:

Before

into this:

AfterDoesn’t it look a lot better? These are the types of things that anyone can manage. I was able to make this TileD in around an hour, a pittance compared to how long you will spend on a full game.

Other things that are easy to accomplish even for a layman (trust me, if I can do these things, ANYONE can):

  • Recoloring
  • Frankenspriting
  • Frankentiling

You don’t have to be a master to do these things, just a basic understanding of the RTP. Knowing that when doing recolors, you can take the colors you change the piece to from another sprite in the RTP to match the the palette for instance. The possibilities for variation are huge with just a few small skills like this. Things anyone can learn in an afternoon.

What kind of graphical edits do YOU do that you think anyone can do with a little trial and error? Tell us in the comments below.

2 comments

LivingTownBannerSaw now I’m back with actually getting building on this. If you missed what I’m working on, take a look at the previous post here.

Familiarized yourself with the idea? Okay, good, let’s get started.

The first thing I want to do is build a small scale prototype. I’m working with a TON of different features, so I’m going to need to start with something very basic, and then add on pieces bit by bit. My first goal is to make a small farm, with a single inhabitant, and have him go about a routine based on time of day.

LivingTownGS1Meet Arglebar. He is a farmer. His main routine is tending his field. He eats in the morning, has a light snack at midday, and eats again at the end of his day, then enjoys sitting in front of his fireplace and going to sleep.

The first part of my plan is a little looney, and actually breaks one of my cardinal rules of RPG Maker, I’m going to treat Events like NPCs. Now, I’m not going to try to have each of them handle their own stuff internally, that would get a bit crammed and that many processes running would probably lag something awful. Instead, I’m going to run his routine all using a common event. But, this one single event will be Arglebar in the world, and there is no other Arglebar event.

There are many advantages of this. Because he is a single event that is always moving from place to place, I don’t have to worry about duplicate events. It also lets me store information about the character in self switches (and self-variables as well, which I will eventually add with scripts).

I know what you are asking “but how is Arglebar going to go inside his house”. And that is a good question! The answer is in thinking outside the box. The entire playable area of the town will be one map, things will just be spaced so you can’t see more than one “map” at a time. I can use other maps for places that the villagers will never go, but this keeps things much simpler for me to run routines.

But I know what you are thinking: Wait, won’t that mess up because they use different tilesets!?

That is an odd little house.

That is an odd little house.

I’m glad you asked that! There are two ways I can fix this.

  1. Cut together the two tilesets using only what I’m using on interior and exteriors. This wouldn’t be too hard, only the TileA stuff would have to be copied, since both the exterior and interior tilesets have only 2 B-E sets, so I could fit both of those.
  2. Just have the game change tilesets when you go through the transfer event.

I’m going to just go with #2 for now, though I may switch to doing #1 later. There are several advantages for doing #1 (passabilities won’t change, which may matter for events acting in their homes, but more on that later), but for a quick throwtogether prototype, I’m going to go with the faster solution, which is #2. The event should look like this:

LivingTownGS3

There is another great advantage of doing it all on one map. I can keep everyone’s routines constantly running, without worrying that it will mess up when the player is away. This is something you couldn’t do on a grand scale, but for a single village, I should be able to get it to work out.

For right now, I’m just using the Mountain Village House Exterior and Interior sample maps kludged together for my maps. Sample maps are GREAT for prototyping. They save a lot of time over making a custom map just to test something out.

With that out of the way. I’ll move over to some other planning steps. For this to work, I’m going to need some kind of timekeeping system. Its going to need to be extensible to further planning, as right now, I’m only working on something small, but I need to be able to add weeks/months/years etc.

After going through a lot of options, I finally settled on a script by Solistra called SES Dynamic Time. The reasons for this decision are pretty obvious when you read the description. It lets me create my own timeline, pace everything the way I want, and have many different combinations of time periods. Its also made by someone I know, and can therefore trust to not be an idiot who has slapped stuff together.

For moving around Arglebar, because this is a much simpler setup than my full implementation, I could probably just use normal move routes. But I know it won’t cut it once we get into more dynamic ideas. With that in mind, I’m going to go ahead and try to use a pathfinding script instead.

What is a pathfinding script? Basically, instead of telling the event every single move up, move left, move down, move right, you can tell it an end location, and it will find its way there on its own. This will be great for later on, when I’m having a person have a dynamic routine, where he could go to one location from many different locations. Implementing this script earlier will mean less fiddling with it on the grand scale.

The Pathfinding script I have chosen is one by Jet and edited by Venima. Once again chosen because I know the creator isn’t an idiot, and it does what I want.

Now to develop a routine. I’m going to use a time scale of about 60 to 1 for initial testing. This will mean that for each minute that passes in real time, one hour will pass in game time. 24 minutes will give us a full day.

Arglebar’s routine in the first prototype for each day will be this:

  • 6am: Wake up and fix and eat a breakfast
  • 7am: Go to the field and work
  • 12pm: Sit on his stool near his campfire and eat a light lunch
  • 12:30pm: Go to the field and work
  • 7pm: Come home, fix and eat a dinner
  • 8pm: Sit in front of fireplace and rest
  • 10pm: Go to bed

He will repeat this day infinitely. What a boring life! Fortunately, this is just the beginning, and he will have much more to look forward to in the future. Now that I have things planned out, next time, I’ll actually get into the guts of my prototyping. Any questions so far? Have any thoughts on how things are proceeding? Or want to tell me how I’m doing it all wrong? State your case in the comments section below, or you can also join in on the discussions on our forums here.

As for materials: I didn’t really add much this week, as I didn’t write down any notes that didn’t make it directly into the article, and I didn’t do enough work in the editor to really show anything. Not enough to upload. You can check out the scripts I’m using and try to familiarize yourself with them, though. Or maybe search and see what other options I had that I turned down.

 

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