Muhathan

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Hello guys, let's put it bluntly:

I'm new here, thus new to the RPG Maker engines. I am a really big fan of the RPG genre, or everything that is story-heavy (RPGs, Adventures, or Visual Novels) and atmospherically overwhelming.

But the current problem is, I want to have my own story, my own world, yet I'm still in the dark until now.

I'm currently making manga, so the plot wouldn't be much problem for me, and I've invested myself in visual art, specially digital art. That would make artworks, sprites, and specific scenes not bringing much trouble for me.

Now the thing is, I DON'T KNOW where to START.

I'm always bad at organizing stuffs, and being a little bit 'right from the textbook' guy, developing a game would be a pain.

What I want to ask is: What should I develop first? Assuming the story have been completed, then what? The Maps? Items? Weapons? Skills? Enemies? or Events?

I thought the Maps is pretty obvious there, so I think it should be the first one to be developed?

But what about the Second? The Third? Please don't say it is up to me, if it really is, just tell me how do you guys develop your game.

Also, I find it confusing when calculating the damage output (skills, items, attacks, etc.), the healing input (potions, healing skills, etc.), and the defense/attack from weapon/armor. I think I know the basic, just how to make it balanced? Or is it better to leave the battles behind and make a game with genre such as Corpse Party? (not necessarily horror though)

Another bad thing is, I never feel familiar with programming. My current subject in college is pretty far from computer. Where do I start if I want to learn the scripts?

And my last question is, if I ever finished my own game, what should I do of it?

I really appreciate anyone who's willing to spend their time answering my questions, sorry if I sounded like barging in with a machine gun.

Note: If there is any thread similar as this one (actively discussed, optionally) would someone direct me to it? Thanks!
 

Dragnfly

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Start by asking yourself these questions. "What am I making? Do I want to charge money for it? What do I need to make it?"

-Decide if you're going to sell the game or leave it free right from the getgo. That's an extremely important decision and changes how your game is made. I suggest not charging for your first game because it will no doubt be average at best.
-Decide what type of game you want to make. If it's a straight up basic RPG then you're pretty set.

-List the number of locations you'll have and what sorts of things you'll need to make them. Learn the graphical requirements and get to work on tilesets, since art is your forte. You can use the default ones but if your skill is visual art you might want to flex and show off a bit.
-Don't make your main project first. Make dinky little games to learn how to use the system. 1-3 screens just learning the kinks of mapping and eventing.

-Balance is likely last, since it requires extensive testing. And extensive testing requires an actual game to test. Of course if you're not going to have battles at all then your raw math turns into making puzzles or whatever it is you'll challenge the player with.

-You need pretty much 0 programming to make an RPG Maker game. I have a 2-day crash course in quick basic from 1995 or so and I'm doing fine. Luckily, most people leave comments in their scrips saying what does what. The best way to learn for me is to mess with stuff and see what happens.

There's likely loads of threads like this one. But there's also a 1-month necroposting rule. Still, there's likely some from less than a month ago.
 

galacticpink

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I've never released a project (one small one completed but it was just a tutorial and not worth releasing) but I've pretty much figured out my workflow and I've written in the past. I tend to work on several things at once, but I suppose in concrete terms the first things I do are:

1. Work on the plot. I like to break down the plot of games I've really liked (Tales Of games, Final Fantasy VI & VII, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, etc) and figure out their structure and pacing and try to emulate them. I also try to figure out things I didn't like in them plotwise so I can both see if I can figure out why they were done and avoid them if I still dislike them. For example, in Final Fantasy VI, I loved the way the characters were individually developed but really disliked how hidden characters were just 'there' being nothing but giant gimmicks (Gogo, I'm looking at you.)

2. Character design. I tend to develop a sense of my characters ahead of any work and/or while I'm figuring out my plot structure. Design often follows plot role/personality. I find this isn't something that needs to be nailed down until you work on the art. A lot of people do concept art for this phase, but (for better or worse) I tend to have a solid enough idea going in that I just edit my work until I have something I like. Playing with the character maker in RPG VX Ace can be really fun and if you're using the included art it's generally just a matter of picking the ones you like the most/fit your characters best.

3. Maps - While it's fun to faff around in the program it's generally best to have your plot at least roughed out before you start on these. I like to have all my maps done before I start working on the programming if for no other reason I like to have all my basic transfer events done early on.

As for learning the program: http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?showtopic=14727 < Andar created an amazing thread for this. I really recommend it. Dreadshadow also created an amusing tutorial game that you may want to look into -  http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?/topic/29370-free-tutorial-game-for-vx-ace-events/

Dragnfly mentioned this already, but scripts/coding are SUPER light for most users and you don't really need to know anything to use the program. I'm learning some myself because I want to be Super Ultra Mega Master but don't let their existence discourage you. 

In regards to what to do when you finish the game, you can release it here! People will give you feedback and in my experience this forum is really nice and understanding, wanting nothing more than to help you. Never be afraid to ask a 'stupid' or 'noob' question either, they're really understanding/nice here I've found. It's a little more complex if you plan to sell it for money, but they're helpful with that too (this forum is good for that if it's an interest of yours: http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?/forum/64-commercial-rpg-maker-discussion/ )
 
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Kes

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First thing might be to spend a few hours going through the official tutorials (drop down menu from 'support' at the top of this page) and actually make the game that the tutorial is showing you.  There really is nothing as effective as putting knowledge into practice in a reasonably structured way for getting the fundamentals learned.  From this experience you will be able to see a little more clearly in practice, as opposed to theory, how things hang together.  You will have seen how some of the basics are done, and had good pointers about why things are done the way they are.  I know a lot of people just plunge straight in without bothering to do this, but the time spent doing it now will actually save you a lot of time further down the road.

Once you've made that tutorial game, then you can think about making your own.  Certainly use ideas such as those suggested by Dragonfly, but you should play to your strengths in terms of style of work process.  If you are someone who is comfortable with using spreadsheets and being logical, there is one which can help you a lot in terms of working out your stats and damage etc.  I'll look for the link after posting this and if I find it, I'll add it in as an edit.  However, some people would hate to work with something like that.

Your experience with the tutorial game will help you identify some of the strategies which work for you.

EDIT

Here is the link http://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?/topic/24429-damage-calculator-spreadsheet/?hl=spreadsheet
 
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bgillisp

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A technique that worked for me was to just make a project with a throwaway name (I called mine, appropriately enough, Junk), and just learn where everything is with it. I used this to figure out how to program in battles, events, treasure chests, map transitions, etc. Whatever I didn't get to work right, I looked it up (the tutorials are good for that).

Then again, I'm the type of person that learns how a computer works by just taking it apart and seeing what happens. So my approach may not work well for some. I'd also make a bad doctor for that reason. I wonder what this nerve does? Oops, you didn't need your lungs did you?

I'd also second Dragnfly. Make something tiny, and expect that you will scrap it at some point. My first project lasted 4 days (and most of those were days I worked on it the entire day) before I scrapped it and started over.
 

Muhathan

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Thanks guys, If I ever feel the need of help anymore, I'll make sure to ask people on this forum
 

Muhathan

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Ah, yes. I forgot to ask this: If I ever finished my project, and willing to sell it, while I'm using the default resources from RPG Maker, will it be okay if I just credited RPG Maker in credits?

Copyright is a bit sensitive topic I presume?
 

Foron

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Hello guys, let's put it bluntly:

I'm new here, thus new to the RPG Maker engines. I am a really big fan of the RPG genre, or everything that is story-heavy (RPGs, Adventures, or Visual Novels) and atmospherically overwhelming.

But the current problem is, I want to have my own story, my own world, yet I'm still in the dark until now.

I'm currently making manga, so the plot wouldn't be much problem for me, and I've invested myself in visual art, specially digital art. That would make artworks, sprites, and specific scenes not bringing much trouble for me.

Now the thing is, I DON'T KNOW where to START.

I'm always bad at organizing stuffs, and being a little bit 'right from the textbook' guy, developing a game would be a pain.

What I want to ask is: What should I develop first? Assuming the story have been completed, then what? The Maps? Items? Weapons? Skills? Enemies? or Events?

I thought the Maps is pretty obvious there, so I think it should be the first one to be developed? I say do the little things, like events, items, skills, armor, etc. Best to work that out early.

But what about the Second? The Third? Please don't say it is up to me, if it really is, just tell me how do you guys develop your game. I'm doing items, weapons, armor, classes, then to mapping (although I tend to switch)

Also, I find it confusing when calculating the damage output (skills, items, attacks, etc.), the healing input (potions, healing skills, etc.), and the defense/attack from weapon/armor. I think I know the basic, just how to make it balanced? Or is it better to leave the battles behind and make a game with genre such as Corpse Party? (not necessarily horror though)

I'm not to sure. Extensive testing is the best way, IMHO.

Another bad thing is, I never feel familiar with programming. My current subject in college is pretty far from computer. Where do I start if I want to learn the scripts? Try some tutorials, and the Scripting School somehere here.

And my last question is, if I ever finished my own game, what should I do of it?

I say put it on GameJolt when it's near completion, and maybe put it here when the main game is finished.

I really appreciate anyone who's willing to spend their time answering my questions, sorry if I sounded like barging in with a machine gun.

Note: If there is any thread similar as this one (actively discussed, optionally) would someone direct me to it? Thanks!
Also, if you need any kind of resources, check GrandmaDeb's signature.
 

Foron

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Ah, yes. I forgot to ask this: If I ever finished my project, and willing to sell it, while I'm using the default resources from RPG Maker, will it be okay if I just credited RPG Maker in credits?

Copyright is a bit sensitive topic I presume?
I don't think so.

And since an RPG Maker game brings up Enterbrain's logo before the game, I think no external credit is needed.
 

Kes

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Wrong in two ways.

RPGMaker games do not bring up Enterbrain's logo before the game unless you put it in.  Which is why most games (especially commercial ones) do not have it.

You should have a Credits section somewhere - scrolling text at the end of the game, readme file in the game folder etc. etc., several possibilities.  In there you put Enterbrain. 
 

Foron

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Wrong in two ways.

RPGMaker games do not bring up Enterbrain's logo before the game unless you put it in.  Which is why most games (especially commercial ones) do not have it. Oh, really? I thought for sure it did.

You should have a Credits section somewhere - scrolling text at the end of the game, readme file in the game folder etc. etc., several possibilities.  In there you put Enterbrain. I knew that, I just thought you didn't need a credit for Enterbrain.
 

Muhathan

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Thanks, but after I have seen RPG Maker discussions on Steam I think I'll use my own graphic (many people disagree if you sold a game just using RTP resources).

That's why guys I want to ask you people:

I am aware that the sprites' size is 32x32 pixel. Yet I've seen several games that have different sized sprites, how to make that possible?

Also, do you started by drawing in a bigger size then resize it, or just simply started with 32x32 canvas?

Do you use different canvas for different part of the body?

Thanks again guys, I have never really done any pixel art before.
 

Foron

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Thanks, but after I have seen RPG Maker discussions on Steam I think I'll use my own graphic (many people disagree if you sold a game just using RTP resources).

That's why guys I want to ask you people:

I am aware that the sprites' size is 32x32 pixel. Yet I've seen several games that have different sized sprites, how to make that possible?

Also, do you started by drawing in a bigger size then resize it, or just simply started with 32x32 canvas?

Do you use different canvas for different part of the body?

Thanks again guys, I have never really done any pixel art before.
Actually, most of them are custom, and some are edits.

And I'm not sure. I'll try to look it up.
 

Muhathan

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I ended up using Mack's style as a template. I really unfamiliar with this pixel art thing-_-

Atleast I'll try not to use any pre-made graphic for the hair and clothes then.
 

Muhathan

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GOD, I just realized something. The sprites that are meant to be used in VX Ace are different from XP, and Mack's sprites are more similar to XP than to VX Ace.

I've tried and generated a test map, the result was awful.

The tiles just didn't match, the trees and buildings looked like dwarfed down since the character is twice as tall now.

Should I customize all the tiles? I think that would be counterproductive. I don't want to cut edges but is there any other way, beside using the chibi ones (the original VX Ace sprites)? Any tips?

I want to use Mack's style sprites as they make the game looked more mature... it isn't a must though, but I encouraged myself to do so.
 

Dragnfly

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You need to decide on a balance between how much work you need to do, want to do and can do. Of course customizing your sprites and tiles (hopefully) looks good but it's a load of work and might be outside your skill level.

You can use sprites of any size (well, there's rarely a point in going bigger than the 640x480 max resolution) but note that if you make them bigger you'll need to make or resize doors and stuff to accommodate bigger people. My tallest playable character is 32x64, making him just over 2 tiles tall with the offset RM puts on it's sprites.There's many tutorials on how to do this. Just search bigger sprites, bigger actors, bigger characters, etc. Or if you're the analyzing-type of learner you can look in the folders for sprite sheets with a $ at the start of their name.
 

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