VX Ace: Make Your Own Game Tutorial III: Creating Characters

in Tutorials

New week, new VX Ace Make Your Own Game Tutorial. This week we focus on creating characters. Once again, the tutorial is much too large to hold in a blog post, so we will be providing just a preview here. For the full version, right-click save as the full PDF tutorial HERE.

Tutorial Preview:

What Makes a Character?

A character is obviously any person who is represented in the story of your RPG.

There are two categories of characters in an RPG: Playable Characters (PCs) and Non-Playable Characters (NPCs). This tutorial is going to focus on Playable Characters.

A Playable Character shown in the game Menu

What is it that makes a Playable Character? Playable characters are not just a personality and force of the narrative in an RPG, they also have statistics to allow the player to overcome challenges in the gameplay.

In order to create a PC we are going to take our first foray into the Database. Quite a few parts of the database are dedicated to creating PCs, and throughout this tutorial we will be editing things in the following tabs:

  • Actors
  • Classes
  • Skills
  • Terms

As you can see, characters have a large number of components that make up what they are and what they can do. Weapons and Armors are also part of creating characters, but will be covered in the next tutorial.

Before we get to designing characters, lets go over the default stats and resources available to a character.

Character Stats and Resources

While more can be added through scripting, I will be going over the major Stats and Resources that each character possesses. Stats are static numbers used in equations to determine outcomes of actions, Resources are numbers that can be spent, lost, grow, and be regained over the course of a battle.

There are three major resources in RMVX Ace:

HP (Hit Points): HP is the amount of damage a character can take before dying. When you attack you attack or are attacked, damage is usually done to this resource. Maximum HP (MHP), is a stat that is specific to each specific character depending on how much damage he/she can take.

MP (Magic Points): MP is spent to use skills, usually magic, hence the name. Maximum MP (MMP), is also a stat.

TP (Tech Points): TP is spent to use skills. TP behaves differently than HP and MP in that the max TP of every character is 100. You gain TP over each turn based on what has occured that turn.

There are six major stats in RMVX Ace. Of these, 4 are only used in damage formulas (Attack, Defense, Magic Attack, and Magic Defense), and are therefore useable in any way you would like. I will cover their default use here.

Attack: Attack represents the amount of damage done by physical attacks, such as hitting people with a weapon. Weapons generally also boost this stat.

Defense: Defense is generally used to lower the amount of damage you take from physical attacks. Armor generally boosts this stat.

Magic Attack: This stat is used to determine the amount of damage done by magical attacks.

Magic Defense: This stat is used to lower the amount of damage you take from magical attacks.

Agility: This stat determines turn order during combat.

Luck: This stat is used in calculating chances of taking/giving a status effect or buff/debuff.
Remember that all of these resources and stats can be renamed.

Evasion at work.

There are also 4 more minor character stats that we will use in the next tutorial.

HIT (Hit Rate): Determines the chance of an attack hitting.

EVA (Evasion): Determines the chance of avoiding an attack.

TGR (Target Rate): Chance of being targetted by an attack.

CRI (Critical Rate): Chance of a critical hit being scored.

Stat/Resource Consistency

So what does this mean for your game? An important part of creating the game is creating consistent gameplay mechanics.

Without consistency, players can make mistakes in customizing characters. For instance if you had a weapon skill that did damage based on Magic Attack in a game where it is normally based on Attack, a player might be boosting his Attack to do damage with it and gaining nothing.

You also need to be consistent with resources, making similar types of skills always consume the same type of resource. This makes the game seem more cohesive as a whole.

For consistency, I’m going to lay out some ground rules for my example game.

1. Weapon Skills always consume TP and use Attack to do damage, and Defense to prevent damage.

2. Magic Skills always consume MP and use Magic Attack to do damage, and Magic Defense to prevent damage.

—PREVIEW END—

Intrigued? Head over to the our RPG Maker VX Ace Tutorial section to get the full version of this and other in depth beginner tutorials!

Questions? Suggestions? Don’t hesitate to leave us a word in the comments section below.

13 comments… add one

  • Jay April 15, 2012, 8:53 pm

    Another great tutorial.

    Is a blank version the games statistic planning spreadsheet available for download at any location?

    Also, on Ryan’s MHP the numbers on the spreadsheet give a different looking curve than what is shown on page 9 of the the tutorial.

    The MHP values are seem to be very low too for all the characters in the tutorial, if you use the values in the spreadsheets.

    • Nick Palmer April 16, 2012, 5:08 am

      ahaha, well, part of that is due to my mistake. I really need to go through and fix the spreadsheets a bit. I was working with a lot of different curves, but in the end decided to stick with the quick curves for now until I covered playtest tweaking later on. Unfortunately this wasn’t reflected in the spreadsheet images in the pdf. (In fact, looking at it now, I’m using different curves for Ryan than I did for Madilyn or Winter, oops). I’ll probably fix that and have it reuploaded some time this week.

      And actually, my spreadsheet is pretty barebones. Another person I know makes really amazing spreadsheets that would be really awesome to put up. I might see if I can get her to make up some blank ones to use.

      (On the low MHP numbers: I was also contemplating using custom attack damage formulas to show it off that would have produced lower damage numbers overall, but it seemed a bit more of an advanced tutorial. I might cover stuff like this after the full 10 beginner tutorials are done)

      • JiJi April 16, 2012, 5:29 am

        Wow 10 beginner tutorials? You guys are spoiling us! :o)

      • Jay April 16, 2012, 7:20 am

        Thanks for the quick reply back. I’m looking forward to the rest of the tutorials.

        Quick question on the Focus skill on page 13.

        Is the Base Value in the Quick Box supposed to 20 or 40? The damage formula image has it at 20, but the Quick Box image shows it at 40.

        • Nick Palmer April 16, 2012, 12:51 pm

          Those weren’t meant to be the same skill, ahaha, I probably should have either made it the same skill or made them different enough it was obvious.

  • ventus April 15, 2012, 9:52 pm

    finally :D

    • Nick Palmer April 16, 2012, 5:10 am

      Ha, sorry it took so long, I needed the weekend to finish it up. From now on, these should be going up every Monday.

  • JiJi April 16, 2012, 5:27 am

    This was a great tutorial, makes me want to develop a bunch of characters and their skills / growth patterns!

    Sorry if this isn’t the best place to ask but; is XVAce compatible with the Samurai add-on pack? I’d quite like to make a Sengoku-inspired RPG but am concerned about whether the pack would work with Ace…

    • Nick Palmer April 16, 2012, 6:12 am

      It is indeed compatible with the Samurai add-on.

      • JiJi April 16, 2012, 7:10 am

        :) Oh excellent! I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for a nifty little Ace-Samurai deal! Thanks for the quick reply!

  • Mitchell April 23, 2012, 9:25 pm

    Game Design Document/Spreadsheet is now in the tutorials section.
    Check it out!

    http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/support/tutorial/rpg-maker-vx-ace

  • Anonymous May 9, 2012, 2:39 pm

    need help.i made and saved some characters but how do add them to the game?

    Thanks! :)

    • Nick Palmer May 9, 2012, 5:59 pm

      If you want to have them in the party at the beginning of the game, look on the system tab in the upper left for the initial party list and add them in.

      If you want to add them later, there is an event command on Tab 1 in the Party subgroup named “Change Party Member” where you can add characters to the party.

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