RMMZ [Concept of new plugin for MZ/MV] Make your test more proficient with Reload++ & Save/Load States.

Mar 9, 2013
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Okay guys, I was thinking about this concept days ago and how could it be achieved by someone with scripting knowledge.

Reload++, controlling your game reloads.
Say bye to standard F5 Reload, welcome selective autosave&reload!

By default, when you press F5, all switches, variables, player position, etc are reverted to their default parameters, making you need a plugin which by default enables the switches and variables you want, but still load the default hero position, and makes you still have to manipulate that plugin if you want to load by default another switch/variable, or have to go through the Debug manager...

But instead of decide externally which switches, variables and player position having to go outside the project, change player position, make an event that automatically enables the switches and variables you want to load in that moment, go back to playtest, press F5, or close and open the game in the case that a plugin has been changed/enabled/disabled, let's think about another more proficient way to test our changes.

Why we lack of Real-Time testings

As many of you know, the main reason why we don't have a Real-Time Playtest feature, is because it can cause glitches which are then unnoticed by the developer(s), and in the case of projects that lacks of update feature and are sold for a single price, this is dangerous, since certain bugs which wasn't reproduced by the testers are then found by their players, and maybe one of them locks-out the progression in the history due a bug that wasn't catched due developing in real-time test.

Here's the reason why pressing F5 or open the Playtest again is more safer for us, specially being beginners, but due that discontrol of which is reload and the multiple steps we have to reproduce something that requires several tests, our tests are greatly delayed, and thus, we also miss something due burning-up or energy by doing everytime extra moves.

But there are not only ONE but TWO solutions I thought about:

1# [Reload++] Bring more reload keys for each situation:

Reload++ changes how F5 behaves by opening a menu asking what do you want to reload, and also bring four extra hotkeys to your keyboard to directly reload these choices.

  1. Reload game and keep switches, variables and inventory (events included).
    This is useful if you're testing an active quest or changing the map, but you found that a way has been blocked by an event or map obstacle, this function saves all the variables, switches (including event ones), player position in a temporal save and then reloads the game, thus spawning any new event added on the map, and any map change. Also reloads window resolution and the rest of things that a normal F5 would do, including plugin changes.
  2. Reload game and keep switches, variables and inventory (events excluded).
    Same as Point 1, but excludes events local switches and vars, useful for puzzle games .

  3. Reload game and keep switches, variables (events and inventory excluded).
    Same as Point 2, but also excludes items (useful for quests which player must get and use temporal items like keys, bombs, stones, etc).

  4. Reload game fully.
    Just an standard reload of all the life :) .
2# [Save States] Save the current state of the game anywhere, anytime, and load it by a single tapping JUST LIKE ANY CONSOLE EMULATOR.

Save states is different from Reload++ due a main reason, it can't be used to spawn events, map size, plugin changes has more chances to bug the test, but can reload a couple of another things, mostly notetags (them are excluded from the saves, of if them are also saved by default, a new rule is added to make the engine don't remember them) and certain Plugins defined by the developer on the Plugins Parameters.

Save states are meant for emulate a Real Playthrough of the game while still being in Test Mode, nothing except notetags are reload, but you can save even the play time and last cursor position with the main menu opened, just like console emulators does, that's why its called Save State rather than Save Game, because keeps everything when it's loaded again.

You can save up to 12 states, to load them you must press Control+(Fkey), and to save them you must press Shift+(Fkey) for example.

You can also have a key which, rather than replace an state by another (call it Save Slot), saves a completely separated state with _YYYY_MM_DD_HH_MM_SS added on it's namefile, so, with another separate Load key, you can select any saved state to load it again. If you press the separate save state hotkey with N for example, a window will pop up to let you name that state as you want (but stills adds the date format inside the name for better control to the developer).

Also, as an extra, the plugin generates a log with the system hour of the developer of what has been saved

Why save states should remember everything except notetags and certain Plugins?
Do you want do magic? Then that's the reason why these two are excluded.

One example:
You're are programming action sequences but you don't want to reload a battle everytime because F5 also moves the PlayTest window to the other monitor and loses all things that happened on the battle.

With Save States you can now save the current state of the battle keeping everything, and once you changed any skill notetag to fix a sequence, you load that state by Ctrl+F1 at the point before you was going to execute that move. That the move required a certain HP/MP/TP/Monster condition? No worry, save the state in that precise moment and then execute the skill to test your animation sequences.

Another example:
You're using a Lightning system which uses event notetags, and you don't want to do a slow-selective reload++ to test them, thanks by Save State not remembering the notetags you can test more quickly colors combination or any lightning change you did.

Just keep in mind that you can load any change made in the editor, but you can't load any change made in the Playthrough to the editor, at least in its early stages. Why early stages? Do you remember for example that if the project is changed by your Cloud Storage the engine asks to reload it? Then, I bid that in the future, the Load States function can be potentially be used as a way to reload notetags, plugins parameters, even restore events right on the editor and take advantage of it as a Backup system (note: can't save files like tilesets or mapfiles! Only store variables that determines the game's state).


This idea is to improve the testings of the whole community, for both MV and mostly MZ.
Since MZ has now the automatic Save, I bid that some plugin developer(s) may achieve such features to optimize our playtests without the need of a real-time edition that may mess up our work.

Personally, I don't care if even the RPGM Staff itself wants to develope all this and then sell it as a DLC, only condition of this is, please, don't charge more than 29.99$ for it in the store! Since it's meant to complete the holes that MZ has behind playtestings, not as a super-mega gamechanger feature. But I bid that everyone will be really glad if you make it free! However, I do understand that big things requires a lot of time and testings, so I find normal if the developer(s) decide to monetize it.
Also, if you sell it and you're a good soul, please, at least give me a free copy of the plugin with all its future updates, as the person that gave you the ideas of the product that you start monetizing :) (or at least a discount T_T ).

And of course, feedback is welcome!
Remember that I'm not a programmer, but thanks by your tips and feedbacks, I'm sure that together can think about the possible limitations of doing this, and find other ways to do it real for everyone!!
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