Independent Developer
Apr 8, 2017
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Hi there!

I'm CleanWater, an experienced indie developer and veteran user of RPG Maker 2003.

This tutorial is aimed to beginners that just started messing with RPG Maker 2003 (aka RM2k3) and have no clue of what to do next.
Here you will learn the basics of this classic and wonderful game engine and the basic gameplay aspects of classic retro RPGs.

  1. First Steps and Traditional RPGs Core Concepts
  2. Creating our First Map
  3. Our First Village (Fully Evented)
More About Maps

Now that you have some experience at mapping, let's take a further look on more advanced topics regarding the creation of maps. You still remember how to create new maps? (Right click in the...)

Okay, let's create now a lot of maps. One bigger map (40x40 will be enough) that will represent the outside of your village, and nested in this bigger village map, many maps you want (if you too are lazy like me, 3 maps with 20x15 will be enough) to represent the inner houses of this village.

Let's take a look at this screenshot below...

Ignore all the other fields for now and focus only in the Name, Tileset and Map Size fields in the upper left and the BGM field below in the center.

We will give a name to your maps to make it easier to find them later when your project grows bigger with a lot of maps. Let's name the bigger map Village and for the houses' inner maps: House 1, House 2, House 3 and so on.

RPG Maker also comes with pre-made tilesets to create each kind of map. For your village, in the Tileset field select Exterior for the Village map, and Interior for the Houses' inner maps.

In the Map Size field you have two options to set the size of your maps. These numbers below represents how many tiles we will have for the map. 20x15 means 20 tiles for horizontal and 15 for vertical. It's the minimum value you can set and this total sum of tiles (16x16) are exactly equal to 320x240 (the resolution of RM2k3 made games).

In the BGM field. Let's specify a BGM to play during gameplay in your Village map (I suggest selecting Village 1 from RTP :wink:). If you want to have this same BGM from the Village map on your Houses maps, you can select Same as Parent (in each House map settings) to spare you the trouble of looking for the same file again.

Moving Between Maps

Now that you have everything created and the maps properly draw with tiles, we need to move between each of them in-game no?

RPG Maker 2003 comes with a very easy solution for this. You can automatically create Transfer Events easily by right clicking in the spot you want to create that event and selecting Create Transfer Event.

After clicking on this option you will be presented with a screen to select the map and the place you want to transfer the player. When the player "walks" on these events, they will get transferred to the map you selected in the location you set for each Transfer Event. Remember to do this for each door in both Village and Houses' inner maps, otherwise, your player will enter the houses but won't be able to exit.

The Villagers

Your village is not a ghost village, it's inhabited by... Guess what? Villagers of course!

Right click in the desired spot in any map you wish, then select Create Event. We are going to create your first NPC.

This is the Event Editor page. Forget all the details here and let's focus only in some specific parts again.

In Graphic we are going to click on Set, to select the image of your villager. Movement Type allows your events to move in the map. For this one, the movement was set to Stationary (stay still in the map), but you will select different movement patterns for the other villagers you are going to create after this example.

Now double-click in the blank area we have on the right, then select the very first option of the new menu that appeared. Your villagers need to say something to the players, no?

After you typed the message of your choice, click Ok and then Ok in the Event Editor page to finish the creation of your first event!

Repeat the process and fill your first village with many villagers you want. Create men, women, kids, animals, everything you want and let they say something to the players of your game.

In the next tutorial, it's time to polish your first village a bit more. We are going to create shops, inns, and who knows... Your first quest!

See you next time! :wink:
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