Back again with a new VX Ace Make Your Own Game Tutorial. This week we focus on Equipment and Items. This blog post is just a preview, as the actual tutorial is much to big for a post! For the full version, right-click save as the full PDF tutorial HERE.
Purpose of Equipment
To understand designing equipment, let’s first look at what Equipment is generally used for in RPGs.
Equipment has two major purposes in RPGs:
The first is just to help the character become more powerful in the game. This is usually very easy to accomplish, a Basic Sword may give you +20 Attack, while a Great Sword gives you +25 Attack.
This is the part of equipment that most players are most familiar with. You get to a new town and the first thing you do is check the Weapon and Armor shops for the newest biggest beat stick/armor you can buy.
The second use is to customize characters. This requires a bit more thought on the part of the game designer and on the player as well as it is not linear growth.
To explain this use of equipment, let’s look at two pieces of equipment from a similar tier of power.
Leather Armor: +12 Defense
Cloak: +8 Defense, +5 M. Attack, +5 M. Defense
If you had a character who could equip both of these, which would be better to choose? It would depend on the situation and what the player wanted the character could do. If you wanted a bit of extra oomph to your spells, or were going into an area where you knew a lot of magic attacks would come your way, the Cloak would be better, if you just needed Defense, the Leather Armor is better.
Player choice is almost always a good idea.
Who Can Use What Equipment?
Another thing that is a good to look at is different ways to distribute equipment among your characters. How do you determine who can use what?
There are multiple ways to handle this, from having each character have their own unique equipment, to having every character be capable of using any equipment.
You can also have categories of equipment, such as Character A and Character B can use Swords, while Character B and Character C can use Daggers. Mixing and matching is also possible, with different types of equipment being divided in different ways.
Putting it all Together
Now that we have looked at the possibilities of how to approach equipment, I’ll make some decisions in the how I want to use equipment in the Sample Game.
I decide that yes, linear growth is a good idea, so there will be tiers of equipment. Weapons will have 3 tiers, Torso Armor and Shields will have 2 tiers, and the other equipment options will have 1 tier.
The idea of Character Customization is good, so I decide to use armor as primarily for customization rather than pure stat growth.
As far as deciding who uses what, I decide I want to make weapons unique to each character. As a primarily stat growth piece of equipment, each character can have their own weapons to use.
With Armor, I am going with categories. Each character will have access to two different categories of armor, and there will be overlap between characters. Different categories excel at different things, so it lets you customize your characters a bit.
Shields are unique to Madilyn, because I decided Winter would dual wield, and Ryan is using two handed weapons.
The final equipment slot, Accessories I decide will be special, and not give stat bonuses at, instead giving other advantages. They will all be equipabble by anyone.
Back to Planning
And now we are back to the most important part of making an RPG: Planning.
Weapons are pretty straight forward, Ryan uses swords, Madilyn uses spears, Winter uses daggers. I like dual wielding daggers, so Winter will be use two weapons.
The main purpose of the weapons in this game are linear stat growth, so I start with a relatively small number of +Attack and add more as they go up tiers. Thinking about it, I also decide to make the top weapon in each group an elemental weapon, with different elements for each character.
Armor is a bit more complex. With it done in categories and focusing on choice, I need to decide what categories I want and what bonuses they will give.
In the end I decide on 4 types of armor plus shields, and what they affect.
Clothes: Equippable by Winter, clothes will provide low Defense, while giving a boost to Accuracy, Agility, and Evade rate.
Robes: Equippable by Winter and Madilyn, robes will provide low Defense, while boosting Magic Attack and Magic Defense.
Light Armor: Equippable by Madilyn and Ryan, light armor will provide only medium Defense.
Heavy Armor: Equippable by Ryan, Heavy Armor will provide high defense, but a penalty to Accuracy, Agility and Evade Rate.
Shields: Equippable by Madilyn, shields provide a bonus to Defense and Evade Rate, while lowering Accuracy.
To read the full version of this and several other beginner tutorials head over to the our RPG Maker VX Ace Tutorial!
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