Thinking Outside the Box: Challenge 1

in Tips and Tricks

So what do you think the most important skill is to making a game with RPG Maker?

If you read the title of the blog post (how did you get here if you didn’t) you can guess what I think it is: The ability to think outside the box. There are lots of ways to think outside the box: You can think of a way to tell a story that isn’t the norm or a gameplay mechanic in a way that it wasn’t originally intended, but in these challenges, what I want you to focus on is accomplishing things in the maker by using the structure of the program in unconventional ways.

Every so often, I’m going to put up a Challenge. The challenge will be issued in the form of a series of screenshots or a video with a description plus a list of restrictions to keep you from taking the easy way.

You can play by leaving a comment on the blog post with an explanation of how to theoretically accomplish the exact same  After a week is up, I’ll make another blog post, congratulating anyone who figured out a way to copy the screenshot, while doing a detailed explanation of how I accomplished the task. There really isn’t a prize for accomplishing it, other than stretching your brain and learning more about the program. And you know, the ability to rub it in other people’s face, which is always fun.

So, now that I’ve explained the game, let’s begin:

Challenge 1: FIGHT

Description: Look at the wall heights and thickness. Tile and a half high walls! half tile thickness! What sorcery is this?!

Restrictions: No parallax mapping. Everything is done with tiles alone.

Good luck!

24 comments… add one

  • Amy Zee January 14, 2013, 4:06 pm

    I’d say shadows: adding shadows on the lighter walls to let it look like a darker wall. Normal walls are 2 bricks tall, while this wall is 3 bricks tall (and 1 brick ceiling), so it actually is 2 bricks normal wall (1 tile) and above that 2 bricks lighter wall/ceiling-type tile (1 tile together), and placing shadows on the lower half of that tile.
    A few seconds ago · Like

    • marshzd January 14, 2013, 4:25 pm

      I tried this, and it looks a little off from what’s above. I could be wrong, maybe my eyes are bad. :)

  • Mako January 14, 2013, 4:17 pm

    By combining tiles (Pretty sure)

    First: Create a tilemap in your image editor.
    Second: ‘Splice’ that image up into tiles. Offsetting as desired.

    Enhancing: Add a per pixel movement script, as well as a per pixel collision event square to achieve ‘realistic’ collision with the wall.

    • Nick Palmer January 14, 2013, 4:22 pm

      Your method works! Which is the point of the whole exercise, so good job. The only problem is it ends up taking up a lot of TileA, or it ends up blocking your TileB layer for placing things on top of it. Its still useable, but as with all workarounds, you have to be aware of the new limitations you create with it.

      Anyway, while it is a good idea and works, that isn’t the method I used. Just as a hint: I actually am using the autotiles in mine.

  • jon January 14, 2013, 4:30 pm

    ahahahaha, driving me insane tell me now!!!!tell me now!!!!tell me now!!!!tell me now!!!!

  • Ravenith January 14, 2013, 4:30 pm

    The two bottom tiles in the mid-right part of the image seem somewhat off. I suspect some shift-clicking has taken place here…?

    • Nick Palmer January 14, 2013, 4:37 pm

      Aha, you spotted an error in my mapping. I think that was a shift click error, but shift clicking wasn’t involved in the way I set it up. Nice eyes though.

  • Mako January 14, 2013, 4:55 pm

    Hmmm methinks you used the autotile system but a bit differently. Just by making two wall auto tile textures. and cutting one of the blocks in half.

    • Nick Palmer January 14, 2013, 5:10 pm

      This would work too. It uses slightly more of the wall autotiles than what I actually did, but it works. You would still need to edit the original wall and roof autotiles though to keep the wall to roof edge from showing twice.

  • chalee January 14, 2013, 4:55 pm

    it would be good if the participants posted links to the screens showing the results. to see if their result is the same or different

  • silversatyr January 14, 2013, 4:55 pm

    Did you perhaps edit the original Auto-tile? The bottom half of the roof tile, adding the top of the wall to the bottom of the roof tiles.

    • Nick Palmer January 14, 2013, 5:07 pm

      … Crap someone caught me this early! Yes, this is how I did mine. Still, I’m hoping to see more attempts to explain other ways to do it! The whole idea is to show that there is more than one way to skin a cat, and the more ways you know, the easier it is to implement an idea that sounds impossible, but really just takes some lateral thinking.

      I’ll still do a full writeup of my method early next week!

      • Mako January 14, 2013, 7:40 pm

        Darn it that what I said only getting rid of the originals. Still I have a few other ways going about it.

        • Irili January 15, 2013, 7:36 am

          Haha! I was thinking along similar lines as well but only stuck with auto-wall tiles. What an interesting notion though. Very nice effect.

      • silversatyr January 14, 2013, 10:04 pm

        Another way to do it is make a copy of the top half of the wall tiles (3 tiles worth so that there is a left edge, right edge and middle) and add them to one of the B-E tilesets.
        I usually have more left-over part by moving all the world map tiles (villages and the like) to sprite sheets, since you usually use an event to create a teleport event on world maps anyway – so it makes sense that they’re sprites instead.
        I also tend to make up tile sheets for certain types of places – a crypt wouldn’t use the same sheets as an Inn, for example.
        Set it above or same as hero and overlap the wall with it.

        Or create a spritesheet with them. Same applies, except using events over the walls. The only issue with this is that sometimes events will ‘jump’ when you move which looks bad. (I wish there was a way to fix this orz)

    • jon January 14, 2013, 5:12 pm

      Good job, im still new to all of this have no idea on how to do that

  • Sharon January 14, 2013, 6:30 pm

    Wait a minute …you’re not allowed to parallax, but are you allowed to edit the tiles? Or is this ALL to be done using pure and unadulterated RTP?

    • Sharon January 14, 2013, 6:30 pm

      oh – I should have read all the comments first :)

    • Indinera January 15, 2013, 11:29 am

      Shaz, I too thought it was forbidden to edit the tiles lol I tried a bit under these conditions but couldn’t do it so gave up…

  • Mako January 14, 2013, 7:46 pm

    Another Method by Mako: #3 (Although not preferred)

    Displaying the edge of the wall though events. The ‘pros’ to doing it this way don’t use any map tiles. Saving space, you can also add sounds (per direction) to enhance the level of realism.

    Also with many per pixel scripts you can fine tune bumping the edge.

    This will make you map look a bit cluttered but as long as there not active events you should be fine. I’d imagine this method is preferred by VX users who aren’t skilled at paralaxing.

    • silversatyr January 14, 2013, 11:09 pm

      There are two major issues with this approach.
      The first is that too many events – even just cosmetic ones – causes lag. Not as badly as VX, but still…
      Also, sometimes events bounce by a pixel. It’s not noticeable in the map editor, but when playing the game you’ll see small lines between the event and the map part. For instance, a tree overlapping a window – the bottom of the tree is a tile, the top an event. In play the top of the tree will show a line between the bottom of the tree when moving. When not moving it’s fine, but if you move on the map it’ll ‘bounce’. Other makers (2k/3 for instance) didn’t have this issue.
      (2k/3 didn’t have the event lag issue either, unless you had a LOT of events – like 500+ – or a badly evented event.)

      Of course, if anyone knows how to get rid of the bounce issue, please let me know? I like to use my event layer to map – to me it’s preferred over picture mapping. :I )

      • Ramiro March 16, 2013, 11:16 am

        Hey did you added ! to the character name?
        That is probably why you see that lines…

  • jomarcenter January 15, 2013, 12:36 am

    Let’s me guess… You just edit the tile-set and put it into the program by combining the 2 object together. You cannot do this thing since it can only handle 1 tile and you cannot combine it inside the maker itself. you only need is to copy the other part of the wall just to make it.

  • Maindric January 15, 2013, 1:29 am

    This one is easy. relating the events and the tiles to the wall, you can see the bottom of the wall and the top of the ceiling are the locations of the grid. This means there is a tile that is half ceiling, half wall, and is in an “A/B/C/D/E” tile that was then drawn over a 1 tile high wall, creating illusions of 1.5 tile height.

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