Game Character Hub (Powerful chara maker for RPG Maker XP / VX (Ace))

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QuackNeptune

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I bought this last night and I've been working through the tutorial. Is step 2 on tutorial 4 the end? I can't get any further than that.
 

riarawinter

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As much as I love this software, it doesn't work with my graphics tablet and I have a touch-sensitive laptop pad mouse. If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear them :(

EDIT: Tried it after the patch today (02/06) and it works perfectly, so disregard that! :D
 
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ziffy88

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is there a way to copy over frames for custom art layers. For example I don't want to redraw my characters hair shape the same time for 3 different frames
 

Sharm

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Okay, I've been fooling around with this since it came out on Steam, I think it's time for a review.


Pros:


Converting characters between maker specs is great.


Support for your own character types is awesome, it's the entire reason I'm interested in this.


Previewing the animation is simple and intuitive.


I can drag and drop files into the program. It doesn't sound like much but this is actually a big deal to me.


Cons:


Still feels like a beta release, still rough around the edges and a feeling that not everything has been implemented yet.


It crashes a lot. The cause is inconsistent so I'd guess that it's either lots of little bugs or a memory leak.


Opening a file doesn't recognize multiple file types, you have to pick the file type you want.


I have no idea where the "open item" files are stored and you can't navigate anywhere but the item folder. I thought I found it but the folder I added doesn't show up so apparently not.


Anything that has to do with editing the artwork is unintuitive and doesn't work as well as I'd like. Sadly the best fix for this is to get a programmer who is at least equally skilled as an artist. I know that it isn't always possible.


Deselecting is glitchy, it doesn't always work and may have been the cause of the last crash.


There's apparently some sort of choice on how to handle importing items with a different frame layout but for some reason none of the choices actually do anything.


Things I want to see:


A preview window for adding items that shows how it would look on the character before you actually import it.


Some way of tagging the layers so that I don't have to do things like move things behind the body when I import new hair.


A way to manipulate the actual pallet, I'd like to see the colors that are currently being used and change them individually.


A more straightforward way of deleting layers.


Zoom in and out tied to the scroll wheel.


A way of working with character sheets so I can define different sections as a different character but work on the whole sheet at once. Also would like a way to save each character in the sheet separately.


Things I noticed but don't understand:


There seems to be multiple file types but no indication of what those file types do or how to save in them. What's the difference between a character, an element and an item? Why can I only save a PNG or the whole character and not in those types?


Is creating a character type only for setting up the animation? It seems like it should do more than that. Right now it's usually easier just to open a PNG and define things from there. Maybe attach templates to it or something so that when you tell it to make a new character it asks which of the templates you want to start with if any.


That's all for now. I'd like to give more thorough feedback but since it crashes so often I don't dare working in it seriously yet for fear of loosing my work.
 

Kes

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@Sharm

I have no idea where the "open item" files are stored and you can't navigate anywhere but the item folder. I thought I found it but the folder I added doesn't show up so apparently not.
I may have got hold of the wrong end of the stick, but I am deducing from the phrase "the folder I added" that you want to put new items in, but have been unsuccessful.  Is that correct?

I have put things in by going to

C:\Documents\GameCharacterHub\items\VX (not using XP)

I, however, have only put in individual sheets of items, not folders.  Perhaps the program will only recognise the named folders it started out with?

If, however, the quote meant something quite different, then ignore what will be a totally irrelevant post.
 

Sharm

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Okay, let's see if I can explain what's happening better.


I've done a thorough search of my computer and I've only found one place that has the files for GCH. It's in Documents>GameCharacterHub>Items. I've put a new folder there, saved a .gch document in one of the existing subfolders and dragged in a png file from another location. None of these things show up when I click the "add item" button. If I use the open file button I can find it just fine and I can navigate elsewhere on the computer but it doesn't add it to the currently open character. Dragging and dropping the .png into the character works perfectly. Dragging and dropping the .gch file opens a new character.


This is the steam version 2.1.1 and I am running Windows 7.
 

Kes

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Now on my phone not pc but on the drop down menu (I think under New but it might be Edit, can't check) there is something called Refresh Library. Try that. When I put new items in they didn't show up until I used that.
 

Sharm

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Well, I can see the png now but I still can't see my folder or the .gch file.


I found the "fast preview" button, that's one of the things I wanted to see added but didn't think was there. I would prefer it to show up in the preview window though instead of on the actual sprite.
 

Laugilus

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Hello Sharm,

Thank you for your feedback. I'm very sorry to hear that "it crashes a lot". Could you detail a little bit more? I really can't reproduce any crash on my version. I tried selecting multiple different areas and deselecting, but still no crashes. If you could report some issues, I could then fix them :)

I have no idea where the "open item" files are stored and you can't navigate anywhere but the item folder.
Simply click on "File > Open item library folder" :( . A window will then warn you that any changes you do to the library outside GCH needs to be updated by doing File > Refresh item library.

The item library won't fetch .gch files, only png, gchi, and gche. Folders that are empty, or that contain no png, gchi, gche files won't appear as well.

There's apparently some sort of choice on how to handle importing items with a different frame layout but for some reason none of the choices actually do anything.
You must have misunderstood the options then :s. Maybe the window should come with a more detailed explanation.

A preview window for adding items that shows how it would look on the character before you actually import it.
This is done by the Fast preview option. Displaying the item on the current character instead of the actually allows you to see how many layers the item is made of, and more importantly, the animation of the character with the item.

A way to manipulate the actual pallet, I'd like to see the colors that are currently being used and change them individually.
From the Colors dock widget, simply click on Palette > Generate palette from character. If you only want the colors of some layers, select the layers you want, and right click (on the items dock window) > Generate palette.

Note that you can modify the palette as well. Click on Add color (button displayed below the palette), then click on a tile in the palette. This will modify the palette with the current color.

A more straightforward way of deleting layers.
Select layers, and right click > Delete. Or select layers and click on the trash button underneath the Item dock window. Can't think of a more straightforward way :)

Zoom in and out tied to the scroll wheel.
Just hold Ctrl and roll the wheel :) . You can use + and - keyboard keys as well. You can actually edit any shortcut you want (? > Edit hotkeys)

A way of working with character sheets so I can define different sections as a different character but work on the whole sheet at once. Also would like a way to save each character in the sheet separately.
Have a look at saving processes. This is exactly what you are looking for and is implemented. (File > Manage saving processes)

Thanks again for the feedback. Hope it helps :)
 

Sharm

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Thank you for your feedback. I'm very sorry to hear that "it crashes a lot". Could you detail a little bit more?
I'd love to but because it's so inconsistent and because I'm not a programmer it's hard to be more specific than that. It does seem to crash more often the longer it's open which is part of the reason why I think there's a memory leak. I'll try to remember exactly what I was doing next time it crashes but so far it's been different every time.

Simply click on "File > Open item library folder" :( . A window will then warn you that any changes you do to the library outside GCH needs to be updated by doing File > Refresh item library.


The item library won't fetch .gch files, only png, gchi, and gche. Folders that are empty, or that contain no png, gchi, gche files won't appear as well.
Oh, if that's all that's keeping me from seeing my folder then it's not a big deal. I haven't been able to figure out how to save in gchi or gche though so I'm not sure how that's supposed to work. I don't mind working in purely png but it seems like if there's a completely separate file type there should be a good reason for it. I'm sure there is and I'm just not aware of it yet.

You must have misunderstood the options then :s. Maybe the window should come with a more detailed explanation.
Well, the explanation was a bit confusing, but when I'd try to push the buttons to turn things up and down they didn't actually change the number. I was playing with this one just before the last crash and never went back to see if I could figure it out. I just did and realized that since the importing graphic was only one tile width larger it would only let me change that specific number to either 0 or -1. I understand how it works now.

Displaying the item on the current character instead of the actually allows you to see how many layers the item is made of, and more importantly, the animation of the character with the item.
Ah, I see. Well I guess it works then.

From the Colors dock widget, simply click on Palette > Generate palette from character. If you only want the colors of some layers, select the layers you want, and right click (on the items dock window) > Generate palette.


Note that you can modify the palette as well. Click on Add color (button displayed below the palette), then click on a tile in the palette. This will modify the palette with the current color.
This isn't quite what I was talking about. There's no way (that I can see) to clear the unused colors from the pallet and changing the color in the pallet doesn't change the color on the sprite. Basically, I want to play with the actual pallet that the image is made up of, like you used to be able to do with art programs back when they were only pixel art and nothing else. Maybe I'm just too oldschool for wanting something like that.

Select layers, and right click > Delete. Or select layers and click on the trash button underneath the Item dock window. Can't think of a more straightforward way :)
Select the layer, hit the delete or backspace button. The trash button works, but I thought it was something completely different. That particular trash icon looses some readability at that size and is hard to see properly on a light background.

Just hold Ctrl and roll the wheel :) . You can use + and - keyboard keys as well. You can actually edit any shortcut you want (? > Edit hotkeys)
Ah thank you, that works.

Have a look at saving processes. This is exactly what you are looking for and is implemented. (File > Manage saving processes)
Huh, there it is. Okay, I was expecting it to be part of the save menu. There's no way to import characters that are already in a sheet and have it treated like multiple characters though, is there? If there is I can't figure out a way to make it work.


Edit: Oooh, it is part of the save menu, just doesn't pop up unless I'm saving as a PNG. Odd.
 
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Candacis

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This software seems very helpful and I'm on the fence buying it. But since I'm working mainly with Mack Characters, I was wondering, if there would be an option that I can upload my own mack sized characters and resources. It is important for me, if I can make my own template sizes, for instance for bigger monsters or characters, and that one is not stuck with a default size in which the sprites can fit.
 
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whitesphere

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@Candacis

I've never worked with Mack characters.  But, I have used XP-sized characters (height=48, width=32) and work with them just fine.  There's a translation function so you can take XP sprite pieces and make them compatible with Ace's animations.

Love the tool, BTW.    It's a great way to create custom sprites for those like me who aren't that artistically talented.
 

MektiKwiiger

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Custom templates with custom sizes are easily set up in GCH. But the random generator setup for custom templates has some issues and some incomplete translations.
 

VicWhite

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Thats awesome! Thanks for sharing and my humble gratitude for your hard work.
 

VicWhite

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I saw you went on Steam!

Comments are very positive, congratulations :)
 

Kes

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I think people will need a bit more detail than that; you need to tell us what the error is before anyone can suggest why it happened.
 

Lars Ulrika

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@Sharm : 
That's weird, I use this software since the "fusion maker" generation (and believe me it's looooooooooooooong way ago , basically when it was mostly known by french community only) and I never got any crash. 

Maybe I don't use the options you do though as I'm not a skilled pixel artist. 
 
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Sharm

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I stopped leaving it open and it stopped crashing.  Probably only happens if it's been open longer than 24 hours.
 

Matombo

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looks like memory leak ^^

i have another bug since the last patch: drag and drop opening of files doesn't work anymore

simply non of the buttons in the popup want to react
 
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