Guardinthena

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So I have a difficult decision to decide upon for my game in representing an immersive flow of villager life, and that mechanic comes down to whether or not I should get involved in pathfinding or link villager events to a common event 'cutscene cycle,' where when a certain time rolls around, a picture displays that it is Morning or Night, and when the screen returns to the map villagers have disappeared or moved.

There is pros and cons to each approach and I am struggling with deciding.

First, my maps are large. Over 100x100 on average. I have heard that creating pathfinding events can become difficult. And, for example, in my starting village there are 30+ villagers. I fear that having all those events move simultaneously come time to 'close shop' will severely lag MV's engine.

On the other hand, linking these events to a 'Cutscene Cycle' screams a clean solution to me, but I will lose out on that visual quality of watching these npcs live and move about their business.

What are the communities experiences with these approaches? What worked best in your experiences? Thoughts? Suggestions for what I should implement? I find myself leaning towards a 'cutscene cycle' approach because I've heard pathfinding plugins are limited and laggy on large maps. Is this true?
 

Frostorm

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What would you be using for pathfinding? Standard MV custom move routes or are you using a plugin of some kind? Also, are u using Irina's performance plugin (since lag was mentioned)?
 

Guardinthena

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I am not using any pathfinding plugin yet. I have both of Yanfly's Move Route Core and Extra Move Routes, but never implemented them. I've also heard that Shaz has one, but I do not know if it performs well on large maps.

I also do not have any plugins to deal with performance lag (and these is noticeably some and Ive barely done anything yet!) I will have to look into Irina's. Have you used Irina's performance pluvin yourself, @Frostorm?
 

Frostorm

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I also do not have any plugins to deal with performance lag (and these is noticeably some and Ive barely done anything yet!) I will have to look into Irina's. Have you used Irina's performance pluvin yourself, @Frostorm?
I have only recently actually, and it has made my game run noticeably smoother. I never thought the plugin to be necessary until I tried it lol. I should run an FPS meter on it but haven't done so yet. Oh, I did notice 1 compatibility issue w/ it though, and that is w/ the STV_BeastBook plugin. That's actually not bad at all considering that I'm using ~150 plugins lol.
 

Zerothedarklord

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Of course, having them actually move would look better, but as mentioned, that risks performance drops and whatnot. having npcs just disappear and reappear is much simpler to work with, but it obviously will not look nearly as good. Ultimately, it just comes down to what you want to do. You already seem to know, but making every single one move simultaneously is going to take a tremendous amount of work and planning, ensuring no paths cross at the same time (causing npcs to crash into eachother), they must all reach their intended destination, and you WILL need to have a plugin to allow move routes to continue for events while off screen.

If your maps are extra girthy, as you said, I would opt for just having them disappear and reappear. If this is the only village you intend to have in your game (Majora's Mask style), then it might be worth it to route out every NPC, otherwise I just couldn't justify it myself.
 

Sheklon

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I'm facing the same issue, so I just wanna add a third option to consider:

When "time to go home/close shop" comes, turn on a switch that activates a special page in each event, a page that has nothing in it, it's just them standing still. Now, using the same switch, program an Parallel Process event to make a smooth "fading out" animation to every NPC in the scene. After the fade, make sure to turn their collision off or move to another page with no collision.

Edit: you actually have to use another page without collison and graphics, because if you just "turn them off" via Move Route, when the player leaves the map and comes back, it will refresh to the original state.

This way, NPCs will not simply disappear abruptly, but they will also not take complex routes costing precious FPS.
 

Guardinthena

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@Zerothedarklord - I will definitely still need a move route plugin for all those city/village patrols! Also, as you said, if this was the only village (enjoyed Majora's Mask btw!) Then absolutely it would be worth it, but unfortunately it is not. There is an even larger city the players can travel to in game (spread out across multiple maps) and other smaller villages too.

@Sheklon - I love that idea! Adds a little extra thought into the process! Thank you for the third option! I take it you implemented this in your own game? Very creative!
 

Sheklon

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@Guardinthena I haven't yet, but I probably will. However, I plan on using a hybrid of this for "non-essential" towns and actual visible movement routes for "essential towns".

First ones will be more generic and have varied sizes, but they are not necessarily part of the main storyline, so they won't have that much detail.

The essential towns are generally smaller and they're the ones that have characters with backstory, personality or quests and they will have some kind of routine (generally just a small set of places that they move around to, though).

This, of course, might change. I'm still thinking. But anyone can feel free to use any of these ideas.
 

Finnuval

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The best solution (and prolly the most complex and timeconsuming) would be a balancedd mix of all three methods mentioned.

Have 'nighttime' cutscene were all non esential NPC's disappear, leaving esential NPC's only on the map. Have some of them (shop owners etc) go away by @Sheklon 's method and have a handful of esential NPC's walk by more complex route before leaving the map.

But yeah, more complex and timeconsuming so... XD
 

Guardinthena

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@Finnuval - Hmm...I like the idea of trying to combine them all into a sweet combo mix. I'm using the FSM tilesets by REFMAP, and they come with a day/night set. I've been wondering for awhile if I should even use the night tilesets or just use a day/night cycle plugin. Interestingly, if I use a day/night common event transition, then I could fade the screen out to black, announce what time of day it is, and then when the screen fades back in I could switch the tiles to either the day or night, depending. (I already have some lanterns set up to produce light but the color is washed out using a day/night plugin).

So, if I choose to use those night tiles, and use a transition common event between day and night, I eliminate the need for a lighting plugin and a day/night plugin, but could still have major npcs move around, as suggested, while others fade, or go full one way or another.
 

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