RPG Maker MZ, Preview #3: Character Generator, Plugin Manager, Event: Plugin Command!

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Wavelength

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Event Plugin Command
Urgh. Just...
I don't know.
Why?

On paper, it looks good. Wow, I can click on a plugin list, scroll through the plugins, select the plugin, then scroll through the plugin commands, select the command, then select the parameters and voila!

For beginners this is probably very useful.
But at the same time, the lack of a command line is a severe downgrade for experienced users!
If you have 200+ plugins, it's one hell of a hassle to just keep scrolling, clicking, selecting a hundred times if in the past, you could just write: "FadeIn 180 NoWait" and bam. It works.
The work of one second now turns into a searching, scrolling and selecting tedium that's bound to infuriate anyone who worked with MV and uses a lot of plugin commands.

For the love of god, please add the old command line back in as option. It's powerful, it's fast, and it's less likely to make me go insane.
This right here is actually a massive reason NOT to use MZ for advanced users.

IT's slow, clunky and will ironically get in the way of people who use plugin commands frequently.
I would certainly consider myself an expert user of RPG Maker (having worked with it for over a decade, spent over 5,000 hours on making games, and been paid to help other people construct advanced stuff in their games), and I am not going to miss the free text input on Plugin Command one bit.

If I have 200 different plugins in my game, there is no way in heck that I'm going to remember the exact syntax for the commands in each one of them!

In the rather specific case where there are a few plugins that you use every several minutes, and the plugin writer has added some very easy way to call them, I can see why you would prefer a free text entry.
  • However, if a plugin writer expects this to be the case, wouldn't it only take them about five minutes to write an "Advanced" plugin command for their plugin (or even for their Core plugin, which could then be used on any other plugin they wrote) which would accept a free text entry similar to the MV style of input, and run that command in the plugin itself?
It honestly looks like it's going to be a giant ease-of-use upgrade to me, even for advanced/expert users, with very little downside.
 
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Touchfuzzy

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I'll have to pass the more detailed info about Plugins/Coding to @Archeia , because I'm a big dumb dumb and will probably not be able to give you very accurate info there :B :B.
You know, out of all the posts I make on this forum, my coworker @Enbara only comes in to like the one where I call myself a big dumb dumb. I see how it is.

:rtear:
 

MushroomCake28

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Is the gorilla angry yet? xD
 

Touchfuzzy

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Ok, let's not derail too much guys. (though I'll admit all the MZ threads have had their weird tangents.)
 

Vanilla Cheesecake

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I'm essentially rocking in my seat waiting for the release date of this engine now!

I love the generator offset settings, really great for exploring with more versatile faces. Working with rigid piece-de-piece images in VXA/MV's character generator was a nightmare for me.

Ever since the plugin command I saw quite prematurely *cough* I've been really excited to see if it was real, and if it meant the exact thing I was hoping it meant, and it did! This is massive! As a something of a middleground coder, this is a lot more beginner friendly toward the more advanced stuff, and I imagine a thousand times less headaches for plugin devs with the creator-defined plugin commands. Seriously, that's probably one of the biggest updates in this engine yet to me. Also I save about 5000 clicks because my goldfish memory forgets how to type a plugin command for the 60th time.

I... Is this real life? The plugin editor will now tell you if you have a bad loadout? I can... click checkboxes?! Someone pinch me with a pan upside the head, this must be a dream~

ALSO! ES6 and Pixi updates, much easier update methods? My wow has turned up from smooth to groove.
 

ImaginaryVillain

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I'm just here for the weird tangents. :popcorn:
 

DoubleX

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Just noticed that the MZ plugin command seems to group plugin commands by plugins, does it mean that there will be no more plugin command name collisions unlike what might happen in MV(like plugin command with name "summon" means something for plugin A but totally something else for plugin B, which can be an issue when an user wants to call that command for plugin A but not plugin B )?
While it's already rare in MV if the plugin commands are well-named, I'm still just curious on this aspect in MZ :)
 

Galenmereth

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Event Plugin Command
Urgh. Just...
I don't know.
Why?

On paper, it looks good. Wow, I can click on a plugin list, scroll through the plugins, select the plugin, then scroll through the plugin commands, select the command, then select the parameters and voila!

For beginners this is probably very useful.
But at the same time, the lack of a command line is a severe downgrade for experienced users!
If you have 200+ plugins, it's one hell of a hassle to just keep scrolling, clicking, selecting a hundred times if in the past, you could just write: "FadeIn 180 NoWait" and bam. It works.
The work of one second now turns into a searching, scrolling and selecting tedium that's bound to infuriate anyone who worked with MV and uses a lot of plugin commands.

For the love of god, please add the old command line back in as option. It's powerful, it's fast, and it's less likely to make me go insane.
This right here is actually a massive reason NOT to use MZ for advanced users.

IT's slow, clunky and will ironically get in the way of people who use plugin commands frequently.
First of all, we don't know if the old Plugin Command input field is gone entirely, but for the sake of this argument, we'll assume it is.

I consider myself an experienced user, and I've written a lot of plugins myself for MV. Many I never shared because they were very specific in their use cases. But let's take a public one as an example, and one I use in almost all my games for its convenience:

1594283590006.png

This allows you to play a given sound file at a given volume, pitch and panning, but supports the ability to give a range of values for randomized values, to create SFX variation. For example:

1594283649740.png

This would play "baaah" at a fixed volume of 80, a pitch somewhere randomly between 50 and 100, and at 0 panning.

I wrote this plugin, but when I look at my code in older projects, I'd have to reference my readme. Is it volume, pitch and then pan? Can I write "[50, 100]" or will a space after "," break it? In this case it will because I notice I didn't use a regular expression. It's easy to remember all these details then and there as you use it actively and for a while, but even I forget over time. And this is a really simple example, and I'm a programmer.

While the new solution is a bit more work up front, it saves on a ton of cognitive load over time. You can read descriptors for each value. You know which plugin this command actually comes from by looking at the window. I forget where some of my commands come from eventually myself, especially in older projects. Sure I can just search my entire JS folder via my code editor (and I do), but is that really a great experience? And what about the people I write these plugins for who aren't me, and who are the vast majority of RM users?

Even being completely selfish about it, as a senior programmer who's been doing this for 15 years professionally, and have learned and moved on from more libraries and languages and programming patterns than I can count on ten pairs of hands, I honestly think cognitive load and remembering dumb data structures is a complete and utter waste of the human brain. Delegate that to the inner workings of a computer, and show me a summary. Like this new Plugin Command Window feature.
 

TWings

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I would certainly consider myself an expert user of RPG Maker (having worked with it for over a decade, spent over 5,000 hours on making games, and been paid to help other people construct advanced stuff in their games), and I am not going to miss the free text input on Plugin Command one bit.

If I have 200 different plugins in my game, there is no way in heck that I'm going to remember the exact syntax for the commands in each one of them!

In the rather specific case where there are a few plugins that you use every several minutes, and the plugin writer has added some very easy way to call them, I can see why you would prefer a free text entry.
  • However, if a plugin writer expects this to be the case, wouldn't it only take them about five minutes to write an "Advanced" plugin command for their plugin (or even for their Core plugin, which could then be used on any other plugin they wrote) which would accept a free text entry similar to the MV style of input, and run that command in the plugin itself?
It honestly feels like a giant ease-of-use upgrade to me, even for advanced/expert users, with very little downside.
As mluch as I think it's a nice QoL,
he does make a valid point (although you really shouldn't need 200 plugins in one project in the first place, but considering RM users, it wouldn't be that surprising).
The hassle to have to go through multiple windows is one argument I've heard quite a few times from people prefering notetags to plugin commands.
 

xDRAGOONx

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First of all, we don't know if the old Plugin Command input field is gone entirely, but for the sake of this argument, we'll assume it is.

I consider myself an experienced user, and I've written a lot of plugins myself for MV. Many I never shared because they were very specific in their use cases. But let's take a public one as an example, and one I use in almost all my games for its convenience:

View attachment 150657

This allows you to play a given sound file at a given volume, pitch and panning, but supports the ability to give a range of values for randomized values, to create SFX variation. For example:

View attachment 150658

This would play "baaah" at a fixed volume of 80, a pitch somewhere randomly between 50 and 100, and at 0 panning.

I wrote this plugin, but when I look at my code in older projects, I'd have to reference my readme. Is it volume, pitch and then pan? Can I write "[50, 100]" or will a space after "," break it? In this case it will because I notice I didn't use a regular expression. It's easy to remember all these details then and there as you use it actively and for a while, but even I forget over time. And this is a really simple example, and I'm a programmer.

While the new solution is a bit more work up front, it saves on a ton of cognitive load over time. You can read descriptors for each value. You know which plugin this command actually comes from by looking at the window. I forget where some of my commands come from eventually myself, especially in older projects. Sure I can just search my entire JS folder via my code editor (and I do), but is that really a great experience? And what about the people I write these plugins for who aren't me, and who are the vast majority of RM users?

Even being completely selfish about it, as a senior programmer who's been doing this for 15 years professionally, and have learned and moved on from more libraries and languages and programming patterns than I can count on ten pairs of hands, I honestly thing cognitive load and remembering dumb data structures is a complete and utter waste of the human brain. Delegate that to the inner workings of a computer, and show me a summary. Like this new Plugin Command Window feature.
Preach
 

Winshifter

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Well, as a programmer...javascript has been one of my least favorite programming lenguages ever since I had to use it in a class in college almost 15 years ago and basically had to ask a friend to make a homework for me, and thank god I didn't have to use it in the finals. I now it's kind of popular right now, but well, whatever, I like more Java or C++


Regarding this week's reveals, I would agree that they add a lot of quality of life. Though, until I get my eyes on the actual code, I can't say that things will be easier or not. I'm not really into pixijs or anything related to Javascript, for me I only use Javascript professionaly for web pages and validating stuff in input fields or ajax.

Fun fact, where I work, no one likes Javascript or even understands it, they still believe is used only for validating web pages and only a few people use it but because they like "obscure things".
 

Tsukimi-neko

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If you have 200+ plugins, it's one hell of a hassle to just keep scrolling, clicking, selecting a hundred times if in the past, you could just write: "FadeIn 180 NoWait" and bam. It works.
If the back system of editor is not changed,
There is a small hack that you can type the first character of your plugin name to jump near to your target plugin.
This also applies to other lists like BGM/SE.
 
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And then I figured out a way to doing a "regular animation" that's affected by PIXI particles. So now each frame of the animation gets particle effects. Soon my dreams of a world without QSprite will be realized. :kaopride:
Currently every NPC in my RPG gets a name, its kinda useless to name all, but Its also cool, somehow.
Biggest prob is to come up with different names. xD
I'm back from my visit to my family. Was really great to see them again after a year even if I had to get tested for covid for the visit.
Procrastination at it's finest.
annnnd after 2 days lol... and I still feel I need to work out a few kinks

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