You’ve Bought MZ… Now What?

in Tutorials

by hiddenone

Congratulations, you’ve gotten your hands on the newest RPG Maker, MZ! With all its new features it’s tempting to just dive right in and start working on your dream game, but do your best to hold off on that right now. Whether you’re brand new to RPG Maker or a user who’s been around since the old days of 2k3 and XP, taking some time to explore MZ will improve your time playing with it. Here are a few things to do before starting your first big project.

1. Do the in-engine tutorial

Before you start on your first MZ project, open up the built-in tutorial. Not everyone realizes a tutorial exists since there are so many other more attention-grabbing options to look at, like the Layer section in the menu bar, but if you look under Help you’ll find a wealth of info.

It even has a link to the official forum right in the engine, how cool is that?

If you’re new to RPG Maker, this tutorial will give you an engine overview and walk you through making a simple game. From creating your first map to ending the game after defeating the big, bad boss, the tutorial will help you jump into game making. Even if you’ve used previous makers, checking out the tutorial can give you an easy refresher on certain parts of the engine. Have you forgotten how to make a pushable boulder or an on-screen enemy? There are tutorial sections for that. Spending some time going through the tutorials can really help get you ready to make your own game.

2. Check out all the default resources

After you finish up the built-in tutorial, you’ve probably already gotten a look at some of MZ’s resources. MZ has a mix of fantasy and modern (with a sci-fi twist, because we all need more neon in our games!) tiles, sprites, and enemies that can inspire you. So take some time to look through the image folder and see just what you can use in your game. If you prefer to see images during cutscenes instead of using facesets, the pictures folder has you covered with a number of default busts.  And with a variety of battlers, from wolves to mecha robots to an evil demon pot, there are so many enemies that can inspire unique attacks and moves in your game’s battles.

The cigar-smoking gorilla is the best enemy, hands down

Don’t let the folders dictate what you use the resources for though! An enemy graphic can find a home in the pictures folder if you want an NPC to show off what your heroes are meant to be hunting for a bounty, or a title screen could be used to show off a town before entering. If you’ve looked through all the resources, then even if you don’t use parallaxes in your maps you can still find new and interesting ways to use them to improve your game.

3. Hunt for some of the new features

MZ has some great additions to take your game to the next level, so make sure you check them out before planning your game. If you’ve ever wanted certain actors to have their own normal attacks, now you can thanks to an addition to the Traits list. When the player uses Attack, let your wolf companion take a bite out of enemies or give a mage a magic missile instead of having them whack an enemy with their wooden staff. The Attack Skill trait also works with weapons so start thinking about all the different ways you could create unique equipment, from giving an electric sword a shocking slash to creating a heavy club that strikes a random enemy.  

If I was treating Reid as a normal Isekai-hero, I’d give him ‘Panic at Everything’ for his default attack

The database isn’t the only place with new features though. You’ve already seen some of those features in the MZ previews, but have you thought about how you can use them in your games? Additions like Last Used in Control Variables means that it’s never been easier to check what item was used last or which enemy was targeted. Storing that info into a variable makes creating some item-related events or attacks simpler, so get ready to make that evented system you’ve been imagining into a real thing!

Seriously, this is going to make some evented systems so much either, stay tuned!

4. Download Effekseer and try your hand at making animations

How animations are handled has been changed in MZ (if you missed that announcement, you can read more about that in MZ’s first preview), and with Effekseer it’s possible to make almost any animation you can imagine. So now is the perfect time to try to make your own. Effekseer does take some getting used to but it’s worth it to learn how to make custom animations to fit your game. It takes less than two weeks to learn how to make amazing attacks with it, and how do we know that? Because Driftwood Gaming hosted a contest a few weeks back that challenged brand-new users to make their own animations with Effekseer in two weeks. 

A rabbit stampede, because why not?

If an animation like this can be made in a weekend, nothing can stop you from creating the perfect animations for your game!

5. Try making a short game and have fun!

It’s a common piece of advice over on the RPG Maker forums but a reminder never hurts: try to make a short game before working on your dream game! Learning how to finish a game is just as hard as learning how to balance battles, and sometimes it’s difficult to know when to call it done. With a new engine there are always new things to learn and if you jump right into making your dream game you may end up having to go back and remake everything as you find better ways to accomplish what you want. Before making a game where your heroes save the world, why not make a smaller one where they just have to save a prince/princess/royal puppy trapped in a tower? 

And don’t forget the most important rule: have fun! Game making can be stressful, but make sure that you’re enjoying your time with MZ. Take breaks, reward yourself with your favorite tasks after finishing something challenging, and ask for help when you need it.

RPG Maker MZ is a new engine, and even if it shares some similarities with previous makers it’s important to know just what has changed. Taking some time to explore and learn about MZ’s features now will save you time later on. Future-you will thank you. Once you’ve introduced yourself to MZ, what do you plan to do with it first?

About the Author: hiddenone enjoys creating sprites, making games with an unhealthy number of puns, and hitting her head against the keyboard until RM events behave.

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Resource Spotlight: Haydeos

in Community, Resources

Hightlight brought to you by: hiddenone

For this week’s Resource Highlight, we’ll be looking at someone who’s done a little bit of everything. Materials by Haydeos! is a great thread to explore if you’re looking for a little inspiration for battles and maps! If you own MV then you can use his great edits to take your game to the next level.

For those of us who love having interesting buildings filling up your village maps but suffer from boxy-boring-building-itis, Haydeos has us covered! He has made multiple pre-built buildings, from small homes perfect for your hero’s farmer parents to a grand building that could serve as an inn, a village leader’s house, or even a guild hall. Any game could use these houses as inspiration to make the town buildings into homes that tell a story about the people who live there.

Of course, pre-built houses aren’t the only tile edits he’s made. Haydeos has made plenty of recolors and edits to floor and wall autotiles to help you build the perfect interior, as well as clumped plants to make your wilder areas look even more overgrown. A selection of beds gives you the opportunity to choose one that will fit your NPCs. Give your young NPC a bed with a teddy bear already sitting on it, or a hard-working farmer a well-deserved breakfast in bed. If caverns are more your speed, Haydeos has you covered with curved cave walls and submerged stones and bones to really improve the damp cave’s atmosphere.

Tiles aren’t the only thing you’ll find in his thread though! For those who want to include more non-human SV battlers into your party, Haydeos has made some incredible beasts. A huge Dire Wolf would be an excellent addition to any party, ready to leap and take a bite out of any enemy! And who hasn’t wanted to let a party member transform into an enormous Wererat? Those aren’t the only full SV battlers to be found though, Haydeos has some more silly options as well. If you want to make an unusual game, why not have it star Fritz, Henry, and Clara, three unique rats who could bring some comedy to your battle? Each battler has a few recolors, so you can choose the perfect one to fit into your game’s world!

If you’re looking for something a bit different for resources, check out Haydeos’ trading card assets. He’s set up backgrounds, frames, and some of MV’s images to let you create your own card deck for whatever you need them for. Want to have some simple card games in your game, but don’t want to use normal-looking cards? Make your own with these assets! You could even use some of MZ’s bust art or enemies to make summoning cards to use in your game’s battles, the only limit is your own imagination!

This highlight only scratches the surface of what Haydeos’ thread contains! If you’re looking for new icons or a saber to use in battle, he has some options too. MV sprites and a few useful behaviors such as a maid sweeping can also be found under his ‘Characters’ section.

So what are you waiting for? Go check out Materials by Haydeos! and find that addition that will make your game even better!

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Release day is here, and it is time for more UI goodies and futuristic music!

Do you want to add that extra bit of style to your game, that additional polish of an overall clean and matching look to your interface? To connect all your textboxes, cutscene overlays, windows and titlescreen with a consistent layout and style?

Say no more, we got you covered!

With a total of ten different styles and four beautiful color variations for each style, User Interface Material 6 provides 40 windowskins, plus frames that can be used for title screens or as overlays for cutscenes and additional UI graphics for you to incorporate into your own custom systems.

The set also comes with 8 chibi mascots that can be used for a lot of different purposes. Perhaps as guides for your tutorials?

There is a blue-haired little nurse that we can totally see a player guide through a tutorial about healing, or a cookie girl that could accompany a baking mini game.

And don’t limit yourself! No one said that you can only use the title frames for titles! They could be used to indicate cutscenes (as long as there is this overlay, it’s a cutscene), be the base for a more stylized menu system, and more.

Read more on the RPG Maker Web Store or on Steam!

If you want to set your game in a modern or post-apocalyptic setting, FATIMA 2 music pack by Ayato Sound Create might be exactly what you want. Coming with 20 tracks with from calm to action packed it covers a broad range of scenarios that can benefit from it.

No matter whether your heroes are walking through a destroyed futuristic world to meet their opponent or they are facing that opponent in an emotional battle, Fatima 2 has the fitting tune. If your game includes flashbacks, time travel, or your party entering strange dimensions, you’ll find the music to set the. You can have your party wander on the strange ground of an alien planet with a deadly atmosphere or through the ruins of modern civilization, this pack covers it all with electric tunes and vocal cues weaving into each other to create a tense atmosphere.

So board your spaceship and explore the unknown with FATIMA 2!

Read more on the RPG Maker Web Store or on Steam!

And for our Deal of the Week, the Degica Dream Pack MV Modern is 20% off until next Thursday!

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As many of you discovered last week, the Japanese MZ Sample games are out in the wild! And while many of you have downloaded them to take a look, we’ve been asked repeatedly if there are any English Sample games coming. And the answer is: Yes!

There will be multiple English Sample games, and today we are going to preview the first one that will be released: Wolf’s Gang by long time RPG Maker community member Caz!

Your name is Wolfgang. You are a wolfman. You live in the tower of the Dark Lord with all your friends. It’s your birthday! Your friends all throw you a party… but it isn’t all fun and games.

The heroes attack! The Dark Lord is killed. The tower is in ruins. Your friends are no more. What do you do?

What else is there to do? Rebuild!

Travel to many memorable locations…

…locate monsters to recruit to your party and army…

…and finally, take the fight to the heroes themselves!

Wolf’s Gang will be available close to the MZ release, with more English MZ sample games from some familiar names on the way!

RPG Maker MZ First Look Livestream!

Looking for a better look at RPG Maker MZ itself! Don’t worry, we have you covered. Join us this Friday, 4-7pm Pacific time on Youtube for our RPG Maker MZ First Look LIvestream.

Nick (hey that’s me!) will be exploring the engine, looking at new features, asking questions, and making some maps. Drop in to ask your questions, or just to chat with the community.

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Tutorial – Mapping: Interior

in Tutorials

by Avery

Lately, there was a status post on our forums about how difficult it can be to find a good mapper for your project. That is interesting, as good mapping is the most essential graphic skill needed for using RPG Maker, as you can go far with just the default graphics.

So, why don’t we make sure your maps are the best you can make?

To make sure we all have the same base and cover the essential things, today we’ll only use the default tilesets that come with RPG Maker MZ. Of course, you can improve your screen by adjusting how the furniture is placed on the sheets or with edits and new tiles, but no matter how good your set is, if the mapping itself is bad, people will notice it.

To start, we’ll have a look at this map, where I made as many mapping errors as possible. Don’t feel bad if you did them yourself though, no one starts off as a mapping genius!

https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/739567242970267790/739583330982428712/unknown.png?width=923&height=706

1. The odd shape

A lot of people try to make some additional corners to have their interior less square-y and more interesting, but you should still try to stick to what you’d actually see in real life.

And while inside and outside of an RPG Maker home are usually not the same size, your interior should at least roughly resemble your exterior for consistency.

Don’t get me wrong, oriels and niches are a thing, just try to keep a shape that a builder would actually choose.

2. The wall height

If you have a closer look, you see that the main room has a wall with 3 tiles height, the storage room has a wall height of 2 tiles, and the ceiling is the same level. That is something that happens a lot if you are not paying attention. If I look at my old maps, that’s probably the one I made myself the most often.

3. The stairs

The stairs seem to be glued onto the wall here, and either they go into the wall or they start a bit in front of it.

4. The window

The right window seems to look like it’s mapped right, but it is in the middle of the narrow part of the house, where the wall to the outside is several meters wide.

5. The furniture on the wall

The wardrobe stands on the wall instead of in front of it. Most default maker graphics are placed so they use most of the sheet which make some of them seem to stand quite a bit off the place where you might want to have it, but placing it on the wall is not a good solution.

6. The carpet

I used the carpet to show where the entrance is, and if it was just a carpet in the middle of the room. To map it to the actual wall though it needs to be covered partly by the ceiling.

7. The purpose of this house

This is always something to keep in mind. People don’t just randomly build houses and throw stuff in there, they try to make the best use out of the space they have. Here we seem to have a very boring shop, as the counter implies, but for a very weird reason the owners bed is right next to it even though he has an upstairs room as well where he could do his private stuff. A lot of the room goes unused, which is unlikely.

Tip: Make your map as big as you need it to be, but as small as you can so you can focus on good mapping and details!

Let’s try to make it better this time!

First, we are going to make the basic setup. We are still aiming for a small shop with some storage room, so we’ll give the owner a big selling room and a small space where he stores the goods he sells.

The wall height is a consistent height of 2 tiles all over.

You might also see that I chose a different style for the wall autotile, as I prefer this look.

Tip: There are many looks on how to map interior walls to choose from, just make sure that when you chose one, you keep it for all rooms in your game!

https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/739567242970267790/739584148867383506/unknown.png?width=830&height=706

Remember that some of these styles, mainly 4 with the “cut open” floor and 5 with the windows might require further edits depending on the tiles you use!

Second, we add a pedestal to our storage room. I imagine, there is a separate cellar in the back of the house or maybe that house was built into a hill and they adjusted the floor level here a bit.

Make sure that if you have something like this, the wall height still is correct. The one tile pedestal and the now one tile wall add up to our overall height of two.

Now, we are going to add the stairs. Since there is no other room behind our main room, I moved the stairs here even more into the room, so the person going up would not end up in a wall logically.

Also I added a smaller one to be able to get on top of the pedestal.

Tip: I’d remove two of the steps of the stairs for a perfect length, but since we are using unedited default graphics, this one is now just slightly less steep.

https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/739567242970267790/739584214282010706/unknown.png

The first one is plain wrong and should be avoided.

Number 2 Is technically right, but if the wall it leans to is an outer wall, the people would logically end up in a wall if they go up. In that case, just add another wall tile like in Number 3 and you are good.

Now it is time to fill up the room.

The storage room was filled up with boxes and bags, while the main room gets not only big storage containers, but also well-presented wares on the shelf.

The counter keeps the player from entering the private space or grabbing the goods out of the shelves. The owner’s place is upstairs and therefore there is no bed or kitchen element seen in the shop itself.

Now it’s time for some polishing. The storage room got an additional bag and a list on the wall, probably an inventory list of the owner. Also, there is a chest that could be plundered by sneaky players… maybe?

The main room got windows and therefore a shelf had to move. More wares were placed on the table, and also a box the owner uses to keep cash. A quill and feather to write down what was sold and the lamp can be used to light up the shop at night.

And voila, we are done!

About the Author: Avery started using the RPG Maker when she was around 14 and at some point found out that it is a lot of fun to make graphics to be used with it. Since then a lot of new makers appeared, but she is still still around making neat resources and helping others out.

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Today we’ve got resources that will satisfy those who like spooky and sweet alike! Get ready to create the perfect nightmare soundscape with Creepy Terrifying Horror Music and update your game’s message boxes with adorable additions thanks to the fifth User Interface Material pack.

First up is a pack meant to send shivers up and down your player’s spine.  Creepy Terrifying Horror Music contains 15 heart-pounding songs that can find a home in any dark corner of your game. Bring the fear of being chased to life with pulsing songs, or instill wariness into your player while they explore any abandoned buildings that they definitely shouldn’t be in.

Want to make that old mansion the player has to explore a bit more spooky while still feeling fancy? There’s a song for that. Bring a sense of loneliness to your game while your player wanders dark graveyards or catacombs, and leave them unsettled when the music shifts to a steady thrum telling them to run! Piano music has never sounded so sinister, and orchestral themes ooze with malicious intent in this pack.

Read more on the RPG Maker Web Store or on Steam!

For those of you looking for the perfect window to match your cute game, look no further! This pack includes 40 new windowskins and 40 titles screen frames that would make a food-themed game look even sweeter with a chocolate theme or a western feel wilder with a poster or gunslinger windowskin. If you’re looking for something a little more modern, biohazard frames exist to warn all players of potential dangers they’ll be facing and if you just want a simpler windowskin you still have plenty of options in this pack from polka dots to Chinese-inspired filigree.

This pack also includes 120 new icons inspired by the windowskins to update your game’s UI and 8 new SD character images and faces. Get ready to add an adorable witch, a coffee-loving cowgirl, or even a bunny girl into your game, because once you see them you won’t want to leave them out!

Read more on the RPG Maker Web Store or on Steam!

And for our Deal of the Week, get 10% off Visustella School Horror Vol 1!

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RPG Maker MZ is only two weeks away! And with it, two bundles that include a ton of new packs. Today, let’s focus on one in specific: The MV Trinity Resource Pack!

MV Trinity is coming to consoles in English soon, and with it, a ton of new resources! New characters, new enemies, new tiles, and new music… But what about for PC? Don’t worry, this pack will give you all the new resources the console version has, all at your fingertips and with the power of MZ.

First up in our Preview, let’s look at 4 of the cover characters for Trinity!

Carol the Hero, Sakura the Ninja, Avend the Armored Knight, and Shun the Martial artist are just 4 of the new heroes the Trinity Pack will unleash into your projects!

But what will they fight? Trinity also adds a plethora of new enemies and new battlebacks to fight them on, all with new themes like Ancient Egypt…

… and Historical Japan! (and more)

To explore those new themes, you will of course need a whole lot of new tiles, and MV Trinity has that in spades! The MV Trinity Resource Pack has 133 pages of tiles! While some ground and wall tiles are from MV, new tiles abound, and will give you everything you need to fill out maps in those new themes, and more!

This is only a small selection of the many many tiles that are coming your way with the MV Trinity Resource Pack!

The MV Trinity Resource Pack includes all this and so much more. Parallaxes, Title Screens, Music, Sound Effects…

Be sure to pick up Bundle or Bundle S to get all the MV Trinity goodies, or purchase the pack as a standalone DLC on August 20th.

Database ConVerter MV compatible with MZ!

Looking for even more RPG Maker MZ news? Look no further.

The Database ConVerter MV, used to convert your database into a spreadsheet, incredibly useful for batch editing, will be compatible with MZ!

You can learn more about the Database ConVerter here!

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The last Release day of July! And the Curse continues… The Cursed Kingdoms series that is. Two more packs in the Cursed Kingdoms line, and then another User Interface Set comes your way!

Your Cursed Kingdoms need equally Cursed Monsters, and that is what the Cursed Kingdoms Monster Pack brings! 17 new hellish and abyssal new monsters from Michael Galefire, perfect for inhabiting the dungeons made with the Cursed Kingdoms Dungeon Tiles.

Read more on the RPG Maker Web Store or on Steam!

And to further enhance the Cursed Kingdoms series, it’s time to bring a Dark Fantasy atmosphere with the Cursed Kingdoms Music Pack. Joel Steudler combines ancient folk with metal guitar to create a unique dark medieval sound. Includes 20 tracks, and 13 Music Effects.

Read more on the RPG Maker Web Store or on Steam!

And to finish out our releases for the day, something a… bit different. User Interface Material 4 is here! 40 more windowskins, 40 more title screen frames, 120 new bonus icons, 8 new character faces/full body arts. Enhance the UI of your game today!

Read more on the RPG Maker Web Store or on Steam!

And for our Deal of the Week, pick up the Dragons Den Resource Pack for 10% off until August 6th!

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We’ve talked a little bit about RPG Maker MZ‘s Time Progress Battle System, which has some similarities to the popular ATB system that was used in a certain, very popular game series, but today, let’s take a closer look at it.

Specifically, we’re gonna ask the burning question: What is a Turn in the TPBS?

First, let’s look at what the game looks at to determine how fast the bars should fill. Every Character (Actor and Enemy) has a TPB Speed. The TPB Speed of a character is based on the square root of the character’s Agility.

The character in a fight that has the highest TPB Speed, is given a Charge Time of 4 seconds. This will be the fastest any character will charge in the fight. Every other character in the fight has their bar fill at a rate that is relative to the highest TPB Speed based on their own TPB Speed.

So, how does the game determine turns? The answer is: It depends. There are two types of turn counts, and they are used in different cases:

Individual Turn Count

This is a turn count that is individual to each character in the battle. It is pretty straightforward: How many turns has this character taken.

If you have taken 3 turns and you are just starting a new one, it is your 4th turn.

This turn count is used for most processes, such as status effect durations and enemy action patterns.

Battle Turn Count

This is the turn count for the battle itself. It is handled a little differently.

The Battle Turn count is equal to the Individual Turn Count of the enemy who has taken the most turns.

This turn count is used for Battle Events.

So that answers the most common question, but let’s look at a few more commonly asked questions!

TPBS FAQ

How is the amount of charge in the bar at the beginning of battle determined?
During a normal battle start, each character is given a random amount of their bar between 0 and 50%. In the case of surprise and ambush, the side with advantage starts with 100% in their bars.

Can you switch characters if multiple characters’ turns are up?
Yes, you can switch actors using the cancel button.

Can you set a “Casting Time” for skills?
Yes, skills can be set to have a delay between being selected and going off. The Casting Time you put in for the skill or item is used in combination with the character’s TPB Speed to determine how long the delay is.

Extra: API is Live

We’ve gone ahead and set the API documentation live on the RPGMakerWeb site. You can find it here!

Preorder today!

Does the TPBS have you excited! Then be sure to preorder today, through the RPG Maker Web Store or on Steam, 10% off, plus an extra 10% if you own MV, two free resource packs, and a free copy of MV, and you can get started on your own game using the TPBS from day 1!

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The Preorders for RPG Maker MZ started this week, and we announced a whole lot of new resource packs in bundles along with it, and that is the opposite of cursed. But let’s fix that, enter the Cursed Kingdoms artist collab series! A whole series of packs made to work together.

The first part of the Cursed Kingdoms release is the Cursed Kingdoms Dungeon Tiles! This pack includes the tiles and other resources you need to make a dark and twisted dungeon. Plus a new windowskin, 3 NPC walking sprites, and a variety of monster sprites!

Read more on the RPG Maker Web Store or on Steam!

The second part of the Cursed Kingdoms Collab, Animations Collection: Cursed Kingdoms is here to spice up your battles with dark and sinister attacks. 32 different Animations, 10 physical, 18 skill, and 4 full screen will make your heroes and villain attacks drip with menace.

Read more on the RPG Maker Web Store or on Steam!

And for the final part of the Cursed Kingdoms series this week, Cursed Kingdoms Battlebacks enter the scene! A collection of 11 upper backgrounds, and 9 lower backgrounds, your eerie dungeon you made with the Cursed Kingdoms Dungeon Tiles will also have the eerie battle scenery to match!

Read more on the RPG Maker Web Store or on Steam!

And for our Deal of the Week, the Medieval Fantasy Weapons Pack is 10% off!

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