Its time now for the much delayed Tutorial 6 in our Make Your Own Game Tutorial Series. This week we are going to cover a lot of the basics for laying out encounter areas and how to balance the player’s experience gain. If you would like to read the full version, right click save as the pdf version HERE. But now, let’s get on to the preview!
Purpose of Encounters
Encounters in roleplaying games serve several purposes, and being aware of these purposes is important to designing your own games. There are two purposes that are more prominent than the others.
The first is challenge.
Without challenge, a video game would just be a slightly interactive movie. While there are some works in that direction, for the most part, games need challenge of some sort.
In RPGs the two major form of challenges are generally encounters and puzzles, and in most cases the majority fo challenges fit into the former.
The second purpose is progression.
There are two ways encounters promote progression. The first of which, and what we will focus on in this tutorial is character growth.
In a standard RPG, as the characters wins more and more encounters, they accrues more gold and experience points. The experience the characters receive allows them to go up in level, while the gold is used to buy better equipment.
The other way it promotes progression is that encounters can progress the story. Boss fights are one example of this. Another is encounters that drop items that you need to complete the current portion of your quest.
The first thing to do is look at all the maps you have created that are going to be “danger” maps where encounters can occur. I have made three of those maps for the sample game: The World Map, The Ruins, and The Fire Cave.
So now we need to decide what enemies should be encountered in each map. But wait, what if we want one map to have different encounters in different areas? That is where Region IDs come in, which will be explained after we determine the individual encounter areas (distinct areas with their own encounters) we will use.
I decide to divide my world map up by geographical area, and leave both the other maps as just one encounter area each.
So I have the following encounter areas: World Map: Grass, World Map: Hills, World Map: Forest, World Map: Snow, World Map: Volcanic Island, The Ruins, and The Fire Cave.
Using the Region ID Layer
With the encounter areas decided, we now need to divide up our World Map into areas.
We do that by using the Region ID layer. In the Map Editor switch to the World Map. Once there, switch to the Region ID layer. The button for this is between the Event Layer button and your pen tools.
Once there your tile palette will be replaced with incredibly gaudy colors with numbers on them from 1 to 63. Don’t worry, they don’t show up in game.
Select the number you will be using for grass (in my case 1, and paint across all your grass tiles. It operates identically to the pen tool.
To read the full version of this and the rest of our Make Your Own Game Tutorials click over to the our RPG Maker VX Ace Tutorial! We have also put up an Excel based game planner over there!
Want to know why I did what I did and didn’t do what I didn’t do? Don’t hesitate to comment in the section below.