VX Ace: Make Your Own Game Tutorial IV: Equipment, Items, and Features

in Tutorials

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.

Tutorial Preview:

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:

Stat Growth

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.

Character Customization

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.

Equipment Screen Ingame

 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.

—PREVIEW END—

To read the full version of this and several other beginner tutorials head over to the our RPG Maker VX Ace Tutorial!

Have any questions or suggestions? Just post them below in the comments section.

7 comments… add one

  • Cyarm April 23, 2012, 12:59 am

    Awesome! Keep it up, I’m learning a lot! I’d really love to see a tutorial that deals with cutscenes, specifically how to start a game with a cutscene and how to transition to different areas with different people that aren’t necessarily in the party during them.

    • Nick Palmer April 23, 2012, 10:34 am

      Its going to be in there, I already have the opening cutscene written out for the example game, but its going to be probably the week after next before I get to that. These things take me most of a week to write.

      • Cyarm April 23, 2012, 9:26 pm

        Great! Looking forward to it. :)

  • Jay April 23, 2012, 6:25 pm

    These are very good.
    This is the first tutorial that just used all user inputted weapons, armor, etc. data.

    Did notice a few things in the tutorial that I’ve listed that may need some further comment..

    1.) No costs are given for the various Armors on page 4. The Cloth Shirt’s price though can be found page 9.

    2.) No costs are given for any of the weapons found on the spread sheets in the previous tutorial.

    3.) No spread sheet or details for other items in the sample game are given, except from the price and names of those shown on page 13 in the Shop Processing screenshot. It looks like that those items are re-named and re-numbered items from the default database.

    4.) Is the costs of the various items mentioned above in the game going to get covered in a future tutorial? Item costs like drop frequency is important in making a balanced game, so I can see several reasons why this may get covered in detail latter.

    5.) The tutorial uses the term “Accuracy” instead of “Hit Rate”. One of my friends who is a complete beginner to RPG Maker called me up last night while reading the tutorial and was asking me how to increase “Accuracy” as he couldn’t find it.

    Same friend also pointed out some minor errors in the older 2nd Tutorial that are very easy to spot. I can post those if you like.

    6.) It isn’t clear if Winter starts with one dagger or two. I think it is two.

    Keep up the great work. I hope when you have all the tutorials finished the sample game in it can be downloaded.

    • Nick Palmer April 24, 2012, 1:50 pm

      On costs: Yes, I plan to cover it in a later tutorial. There is a lot of fiddly tweaking stuff to do at the end, which is when I intended to do that kind of stuff.

      On Items: The list of items and affects will be listed and gone over in more detail when we do monsters, where I’ll also go over drop rates and stuff like that.

      On Accuracy: Well crap. Yeah, my bad. I always think of it as accuracy in my head, I’ll go through and change it all to Hit Rate.

      On Tutorial 2: Any comments are appreciated, even times I goof up, which I do occasionally do. These tutorials have a very short development time so I’m sure some things I don’t like are slipping through.

      • Jay April 25, 2012, 2:59 pm

        These were the 2 things my friend pointed out to me on Tutorial 2.

        1.) The sample image showing shadows added doesn’t have any shadow added to right of the 1 vertical climb on the lower right incline next to the steps near the top left. (That is the area squares down and 9 across, with darker grass added to it, if you were looking at it Event Editing Mode.)

        2.) This may be worth mentioning to a total beginner. Depending on if you are map editing mode, event editing mode, or region editing mode the areas that have event layers to add graphics tiles will look different. So make sure you are in the same mode as the screenshot to see that your map matches the one you are copying and you don’t use the wrong image(s) if you are adding graphic tile(s) to a map.

        I had to fix his map and explain that one to him today. He was looking at the images on pages on both 15 & 16 when he made a copy of the tutorial map and didn’t realize that they looked different, except for the shadows added to the one on 16.

        For Tutorial 3 these other ones were spotted.

        1.) “Accuracy” instead of “To Hit Rate” is used in a few spots, just like in Tutorial 4.

        2.) When making the other various skills for the characters the spreadsheets don’t contain enough info on them.

        Example: Madilyn’s Lunge skill is described as High Damage and Lower Defense, bur the numerical value, formula, or amount to modify damage by isn’t given along with the amount Defense is lowered.

        I can see why the skill info might get covered latter because of balancing issues.

        3.) The spreadsheet for Winter on page 8 says the Vanish skill gives a Lower Aggro Rate for 3 turns, but what an “Aggro Rate” is isn’t described.

        Keep up the great work.

        I’m still trying to finish up a series of tutorials on using 3D models to make character portraits, map symbols, and counters, for paper and pencil RPGs and I understand fully about things slipping through.

        • Nick Palmer April 25, 2012, 3:20 pm

          Tut 2.
          1. Nice catch on that.

          2. Good point.

          Tut 3.
          1. … Man I wish it was just named Accuracy in the editor :P.

          2. Its going to be covered a bit later. Actually for her two skills that do damage plus change her defense, there is going to be a minitutorial companion for Tutorial 3. Since it was planning stage, I usually leave skills fairly vague.

          3. That just needs to be changed to Target Rate/TGR which I did cover back on page 3.

          Thanks for all the help.

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