7l0mIW

We’ve taken a year off, but the Indie Game Making Contest is BACK!

This year, we are going to focus things down to just the RPG Maker series. So any legal version of RPG Maker can be used, MV, VX, 2k3, your choice!

You’ll have one month to make the best 1 hour game you can make, starting now, ending Midnight PST, November 5th, 2017.

You can check the full rules here.

But I’m sure you are really asking yourself is: What can I win?

The answer is cash. Loads. And loads. Of cold hard cash.

First place starts at $5,000 and it only goes up from there!

How does it go up? If you’ve played this game before you know the answer: An RPG Maker Humble Bundle!

Humble

The higher the bundle goes, the bigger the prizes go. So tell your friends, tell your family, tell random strangers on the street! Every time they buy the bundle, more money goes to charity and more money goes to lining the pocket of the IGMC 2017 winners!

So what is in the bundle? About everything RPG Maker you can imagine: Every RPG Maker, tons of DLC, an exclusive Bundle DLC, award-winning games. This is more materials than you’ll know what to do with!

Or maybe you know exactly what to do with it: Join the IGMC! And remember, every person who completes a game is a true winner!

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Countdown

in Announcements

It Has Returned

7l0mIW

17 comments

So your game allows the player to name their characters. But there’s a catch, you don’t want the player to name their main character with the same name as another character. Or worse, something unsavory. This tutorial is for cases like that.

  1. Create a text file of all the strings or phrases you want to ban from your game. For now I will go with “Ralph” and “Alex”
  2. Create a Common Event called “Name Input Processing”
  3. Create 2 Labels, One called START and One called VALID.

Now under the label START, and assuming you can only name one character and we’re going with Actor#1, put the Name Input Processing Command. Although this is optional and more about personal preference, I would put a Change Name command to set the name to blank. It should look something like this:

Code:
◆Label:START
◆Change Name:PLAYER1,
◆Name Input Processing:PLAYER1, 7 characters
◆Label:VALID

Insert a Conditional Branch with an else branch. Go to Page 4 and select Script. This is where we will insert the following code:

Code:
/BANNEDSTRING/i.exec($gameActors.actor(ID).name())

So, since one of our banned strings is “Ralph”, it should look like this:

Code:
/ralph/i.exec($gameActors.actor(1).name())

And under the else command, just copy and paste this conditional branch and change “Ralph” to “Alex”. You will end up something like this:

Code:
◆Label:START
◆Change Name:PLAYER1,
◆Name Input Processing:PLAYER1, 7 characters
◆If:Script:/ralph/i.exec($gameActors.actor(1).name())
  ◆
:Else
  ◆If:Script:/alex/i.exec($gameActors.actor(1).name())
    ◆
  :Else
    ◆
  :End
  ◆
:End
◆Label:VALID

As long as the strings “ralph” and “alex” are present, it doesn’t matter what the case (upper or lower) of the name is, the system won’t accept it.

Now just above the Label: VALID, add a Show Message command that says something along the lines of “That name is already taken.” and add a Jump to Label START. Then on the very last “else” of your conditional branch, add a Jump to Label VALID. By the end, your event command should look like this:

Code:
◆Label:START
◆Change Name:PLAYER1,
◆Name Input Processing:PLAYER1, 7 characters
◆If:Script:/ralph/i.exec($gameActors.actor(1).name())
  ◆
:Else
  ◆If:Script:/alex/i.exec($gameActors.actor(1).name())
    ◆
  :Else
    ◆Jump to Label:VALID
    ◆
  :End
  ◆
:End
◆Text:None, Window, Bottom
:    :That name is already taken.
◆Jump to Label:START
◆Label:VALID

And that’s about it! Now you just need to put it inside an event like this:

Code:
◆Text:None, Window, Bottom
:    :You want to name your character?
◆Common Event:Name Input Processing
◆Text:None, Window, Bottom
:    :That's a really nice name \n[1]!

Thank you @Shaz for helping me figure this out.

Find the original tutorial, and discussion, on the forums here!

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Back-to-school-email

The RPG Maker MV School Project is live!

The RPG Maker MV School is set to be a perpetually growing community project, an RPG Maker game that teaches you how to use RPG Maker. With lessons created by our community manager Touchfuzzy and from many many around the community! The school will also be teaming with students and faculty that represent you the users!

You want to be involved? There is plenty you can do to help out, from art (we need a title screen!) to music (who doesn’t think this project deserves its own theme music), to lessons, to just being a part of the school as a community character!

There will be prizes (to be announced!) and you can learn all about how to join in on the fun, and download the base project here!

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Back-to-school-email

It’s that time of year again, where all the students file their way despondently back into the classroom to listen to more boring lectures! And all the parents get to be happy that their kids are out of their hair!

And here at RPG Maker Web, we are huge fans of education, and using RPG Maker to learn! That is why we’ve decided that this is the perfect time to hold an RPG Maker Back to School sale! Most back to school sales will net you a few notebooks and a whole lot of college ruled paper, but this one will land you something much better:

Nearly everything RPG Maker is 30-50% off right now on the RPG Maker Web Store!

And, in the back to school spirit, it is time to announce our new community project: The RPG Maker MV School!

This will be a community built game, led by the RPG Maker Community Manager… Me! It will be about a brand new student “The Student” who comes to the RPG Maker MV School, which is right what it says on the tin: A school for learning RPG Maker MV. But there is more to the school than that! It is built on a nexus of time, space, and even dimension, and it itself grows and contracts to meet the needs of its students and faculty. One floor might look like your standard old school:

Front Lobby

While the next might be a cave, a starship, or even a… whale? Our imagination is the limits.

And you can help make this project all it can be in one of two ways, or do both!

You can make lessons for it, or you can just submit yourself to be an NPC! If you make a lesson, you get to put yourself in as the teacher, all other NPC submissions will be either students or non-teaching faculty. To learn more, head to our forums here!

So hit the store, grab those packs we know you’ve been eyeing, then head to the forums to immortalize yourself in our Ongoing MV School project, either as a student or really step it up in order to be a teacher!

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Realism vs Fun

in Design

One thing I’ve noticed in video games, as the systems they are on have become more and more powerful, there has been an urge to create more and more realistic games.

And realism can be good! In the right places, at the right doses, in the right game.

But, sometimes, it feels like games insert “realism” into games where it doesn’t fit.

Not the world of gritty realism (RPG Maker DS Resource Pack! On Sale until 9/6/2017!)

Not the world of gritty realism (RPG Maker DS Resource Pack! On Sale until 9/6/2017!)

Are you making a gritty simulationist game where getting from town to town alive is supposed to be a challenge? Then maybe all those hunger/cold/weather/camping mechanics are a good fit. They create the main challenge of the game.

Are you making a high adventure game with world-altering magic, dragons, etc. Maybe it isn’t the best fit. (I mean seriously we have spells that can nuke enemies the size of a skyscraper but no one found out how to cast a spell that can keep us warm?).

Realism shouldn’t be included in a game for realism, realism should be included in the game because it makes the mechanics of the game better, or adds to the feel of the game. Are your characters supposed to feel like they are scraping together whatever they can? Then a system of equipment degradation adds to that sense of improvised gear. But adding equipment degradation to a game where you are wielding legendary weapons… it feels very off. It just adds a nuisance layer to the mechanics that doesn’t need to be there.

This is much more where I would expect to run into simulationist mechanics. (Medieval: Diseased Town Resource Pack)

This is much more where I would expect to run into simulationist mechanics. (Medieval: Diseased Town Resource Pack)

What do you feel about realism in games? What is a situation where you could see implementing a simulationist mechanic? What is a situation where a simulationist mechanic felt out of place? Tell us in the comments below!

2 comments

So, this week’s sale in the RPG Maker Web store is on the wonderful Twilight Shrine: Japanese Resource Pack.

twilight-shrine-jrp-banner

This pack includes a lot of cool stuff music, sound effects, graphics, for a Japanese themed or inspired setting.

Which got me thinking about how we create fictional cultures in our games. Outside of those set in the real world, our games include tons of fictional nations, cultures, and people. So how do we write them?

In general, when people create cultures for their games, they use an existing culture as a template. For instance, we could use Japanese culture for the template, which helps because, well we have these wonderful packs to use for it!

And on sale too! Hint Hint.

And on sale too! Hint Hint.

This is always a good start, but you really should come at it from the right direction. Are you just stealing the culture or are you respecting the culture?

I’m not going to delve too much into this, but just in general, make sure that you are being respectful, if you take a culture, put it in your game, and then portray their culture as corrupt and nasty (based on their cultural beliefs), then you are probably going in the wrong direction. Better to use a generic standin culture for that, rather than basing it on a real life one.

But being respectful doesn’t mean that you have to make the culture identical. You can change details, this is a fictional culture!

Your pseudo-Japan doesn't have to look just like this.

Your pseudo-Japan doesn’t have to look just like this.

The best way to do this is to understand the culture you are borrowing. Why did they become the way they did? Take the Japanese obsession with fish dishes. Of course, they are obsessed with fish dishes, they are an island nation! A culture that grew somewhere away from the coast, with similar beliefs, would develop different food.

Or take the creation of the folded steel of the Japanese Katana. The reason for this is the quality of iron found in Japan was not as good as the ore found in Europe. Because of this, they had to develop a method that would turn that iron into a higher quality steel blade. A culture that has rich iron mines would probably never develop such a technique.

The key to adapting a culture to your game is to A. Understand and Respect the culture, and B. Make adjustments based on differences in how they developed.

How would these kinds of shrines be different if the forces they represent had real measurable effects on the world?

How would these kinds of shrines be different if the forces they represent had real measurable effects on the world?

Think about how real magic, or an invasion by another culture, or literal gods walking the planet, or even just a different topography of the land they live in, would change the culture as it grew.

That is the key to making powerful, evocative cultures in your games. Do you have any tips for creating cultures?

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Side quests are an integral part of most RPGs nowadays. You don’t HAVE to have them, some games do not, especially older style RPGs, but if you are like me, you really want to add them in. So let’s look at a few ways to make sure that your side quests are the best they can be. I generally have a small checklist of questions for every side quest. I don’t have to answer yes to ALL of them, but I like to make sure at least most of them are covered. So let’s go through the checklist.

How does this enhance the story?

There are plenty of ways for side quests to enhance the story. I’ve given advice before on not overdoing your world lore too much in the main plot, you don’t want to overload a player who just wants enough to understand the plot! But side quests, this is where you can add a lot of background lore.

Another good way to enhance the story is to have side quests that focus on certain characters. Either more background or some character development for them. This is kind of the Bioware staple sidequests, if you ever want an idea of how to do it, look there.

Story

This feeds players who are interested in the story, character interaction, and lore. Which in RPGs can be quite a bit!

How does it challenge the player?

You, of course, want your main quest to be challenging, but side quests are a unique place where you can add some enhanced challenge factor. Players don’t HAVE to do them to enjoy the main game, so giving the players who want them some extra challenges are good.

But also, you want to make sure that side quests are challenging, and not just fetch or delivery quests. These kind of quests are just routine time wasters. Sometimes it might still work if the other parts of the checklist are all checked off, but in general, I suggest against this kind of stuff.

Give the characters new things to do, new dungeons to explore, new puzzles to figure out, or just a new enemy to take down.

What advantage does the player get from doing it?

If there is one thing that I hate, it is pushing through a challenging, long side quest, and the reward isn’t even worth it.

ah yes, exactly what I need, a generic sword. :|

ah yes, exactly what I need, a generic sword. 😐

For the love of all that is good in the world, GIVE YOUR PLAYER SOMETHING NICE! My suggestion is usually some kind of unique equipment or skill. Preferably slightly more powerful than other things you can get at a similar time, but even if it ISN’T, unique stuff appeals to players collecting obsessions (you guys have that too right? It isn’t just me, right?)

But really, just give your player something mechanical for their trouble!

What other things do you keep in mind when making side quests? Join us in the comments below!

2 comments

medieval-town-banner

Do you want more RPG Maker assets at better prices? Then we have the thing for you! We’ve just started our RPG Maker Web Store WEEKLY DEALS. Every week on Wednesday we will be announcing a new deal for you to jump in on! For our first week, the Medieval Town Bundle is now 50% OFF!

medieval-tc-left

The Medieval Town Bundle combines the Medieval: Town and Country and Medieval: Interiors packs, giving you everything you need to start making your game using PVGames distinctive style! 30 Tile Sheets! 120 premade Buildings! Animals, Character Templates and more!

http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/a/graphics/medieval-diseased-town

http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/a/graphics/medieval-diseased-town

Looking for the next step after picking up the Medieval Town Bundle? The black death, or some appropriate standin, is exactly what you need! Check out the brand new Medieval: Diseased Town, made to work with the Town bundle to show the desolation and death caused by disease!

From there you can expand to so many different Medieval Graphic Sets, pick the ones you need for your game, or just go ahead and buy them all! Every one is compatible with all the others. But remember, this sale won’t last much longer, you only have until Wednesday August 2nd to get the Medieval Town Bundle for 50% off!

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So perusing our forums, I ran across an interesting thread. The thread was titled “Why bother making a video game?“.

A pretty dismissive title, but the question itself is really an interesting one. Why DO we make video games? Obviously, we all have different answers to this, and I want to, of course, hear your answers as well, but in this article, I’m going to give you mine.

But first, a little about me. My name is Nick Palmer, the social media and community guy for the English RPG Maker Community. I’ve been known in the community as Touchfuzzy for years, long before I was ever hired on by Degica, I was making games with RPG Maker.

This was the first RPG Maker I ever used. Seriously/

This was the first RPG Maker I ever used. Seriously.

I write. A lot. I mean, obviously, most of my job is writing (and yes, I know, I’m prone to incredibly long sentences (and parenthetical asides!)). But I love telling stories. When I was a kid, and well, even now, I want to be a novelist. I’ve played tabletop roleplaying games for many, many years (something like 28 years now?). I want to tell stories and for people to enjoy them. It is one of the primary things I like in life.

But on the other side, I also like math. And puzzles. And just taking things apart and learning how they work and putting them all back together. It is why I have an unhealthy obsession with board games for instance. I love playing within a system and figuring out how to make it tick.

And making games with RPG Maker? That combines those two things like peanut butter and chocolate. I get to play with systems, I get to learn eventing and manipulate things to get the engine to do what I want, and all the while, I get to use that manipulation to tell stories. Then people get to play within the system I make and see the story I told.

title

I did actually finish one game, it was pretty fun, though horribly unbalanced and some of the puzzles were really, really unnecessarily hard.

To be fair, I also rarely finish anything. I have a secret project in the works now, but will it ever see the light of day? Who can say (well, it is work related, so probably my bosses would be unkind if it didn’t)? But even if I never do, it is fun to see the stories come to life, to manipulate the pieces and tools to get it to produce something that is uniquely mine. Unfinished or not.

So, why do you make games? Tell us in the comments below, or join the forums and ask in the original post!

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