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

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dyoghenes

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For me, the powered up plugin commands are the doorway to 2 possibilities, both mentioned by others in this thread: complex and powerful third party systems, and basically editable editor (even if its only the event command list).
For these 2 possibilities I gladly browse through 200 plugin commands just to see what our talented coders come up with.
 

meowengine

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Wow, I'm so happy that the base classes have been rewritten in ES6. It'll make navigating and reading them so much easier for someone with a poopbrain like me.
How might someone alias a method now? It's pretty much the same syntax I imagine?
 

Poryg

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Ngl...
This update does contain some amazing features...
But at the same time leaves me feeling gutted.
So many of those features could've been brought to MV. Perhaps not all of them, I would understand why MV sticks to PIXIv4 instead of PIXIv5. But ES6 was a necessity. If not ES6, then at least preloading instead of on demand load.
These quality of life plugin menu features you're exposing don't look too difficult to implement either.
Are we ever going to see them in MV, or are they going to be MZ only?
Are we really going to buy MZ only for elfkisser, additional map layer and native ATB?
 

Plueschkatze

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I love it!
I don't get why people complain it's not for them, because it's an update for the coders. Probably all people I know use at least a couple of plugins in their projects and coders are the ones who create those after all. More QoL for both them and us non-coders, and especially a more powerful engine overall for the coders to play with, means we can both be very happy and excited for what's to come! ;3

I think a lot of non-coders just don't get what updated pixi and such mean. That there are now new possibilities for even more awesome plugins, and some are probably just a bit salty that the one feature they wanted, like an in-engine ABS or so, isn't included in MZ. Let's be honest, even if MZ had an ABS (or some other feature) it might still not have been like people wanted it to be and would have gotten plugins anyway which people would have used, soooo~ here's were making your coders happy, and implementing easier for us, makes sense again! At least that's my point of view.
 

TWings

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Are we ever going to see them in MV, or are they going to be MZ only?
Are we really going to buy MZ only for elfkisser, additional map layer and native ATB?
I'm pretty sure MV won't get any more update. That's one of the reasons why MZ is here.
If you don't want MZ, you really don't have to buy it.
 

Chaos17

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@Touchfuzzy
Does Rpg Maker MZ keep the option to easily search for a plugin with CTRL+F as in Rpg Maker MV?

 

KittHaven

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I'm excited for the new engine! I've been around since a few years after MV came out (not on this forum though) so I'm actually looking forward to being a part of the community from the beginning of an RPG Maker. Though we'll have to see whether I can afford it when it first comes out lol. If not I'll definitely get it in a few months, funds permitting. :kaojoy:
 

Anyone

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1. I guess that the oldschool script call option would be still there, and I think most advanced users will be okay for that.
2. I wonder if later on the MZ plugin command will be further upgraded to let users search/type a plugin/plugin command name in the list as well :D
1. Script calls work differently. They're direct javascript.
And that creates constraints on what you can do as "command" since the command is the function name.
Having stuff like fadein() as a general function flying around in the code is a nightmare from a coding perspective, given the incompatibilities it can cause.
You want those functions to be linked to your plugin, e.g. ANY.fadeIn(), but now you've made the command less intuitive and more difficult to call.

2. Unlikely, given the many, many other areas that could benefit from filters and aren't getting them. (Character sprites, faces, etc.)

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.
I didn't say the new way isn't useful. But I cannot comprehend why someone would replace the command line entirely, rather than just adding the new one?

And you don't have to recall most of the 200 different plugin commands, that's a strawman argument. But they are going to pop up in the list, forcing you to search through the entire arsenal.

The point at which you can add a custom command line via the parameters is the point where you've already browsed through the plugins and done the whole scrolling and clicking.

Ideally, in any interface design, you want to have the least amount of actions between decision and outcome. Giving plugins the ability to add event command itself on a seperate event page would have been a much faster and more streamlined way, but unfortunately they skip any and all plugins directly affecting the editor.

I work a lot with plugin commands to custom tailor cut-scenes and not having fast command lines is going to pull me out of the workflow every single time, getting me bogged down in scrolling and clicking rather than the 1 second it takes me to input a plugin command that I've designed to be easy to use and easy to memorize.

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 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.
I'm not claiming the new plugin command isn't useful, but you end up doing in one place what you would've done previously anyway. Reading up on what does what and how to use it.

Now you can read & check what parameters the plugin needs and select them in the plugin command. Previously you had to read (for complex plugins) the notation. You still do it now, but just in the same place.
No one argues that isn't useful.

But I cannot understand why you'd remove the normal command entirely, instead of leaving it as a powerful backdoor option.
It's faster, smoother and much more efficient in the workflow to use a command line. There's no reason the new advantages for beginners have to come as a drawback for people who prefer, for most plugin commands, to use a simple command line.

The new command makes difficult commands easier to use, and easy command more difficult to use. That's not a trade that was necessary.
 

Alexandre

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I would have two questions about this announcement:
-1: Is it easier to add new custom non-gradient parts to the generator with MZ
or will there be still all the renaming work?
-2: Is the new plugin command not a little cumbersome for veteran programmer who are used to write
a single line of characters like in MV?
 

Dalph

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Ngl...
This update does contain some amazing features...
But at the same time leaves me feeling gutted.
So many of those features could've been brought to MV. Perhaps not all of them, I would understand why MV sticks to PIXIv4 instead of PIXIv5. But ES6 was a necessity. If not ES6, then at least preloading instead of on demand load.
These quality of life plugin menu features you're exposing don't look too difficult to implement either.
Are we ever going to see them in MV, or are they going to be MZ only?
Are we really going to buy MZ only for elfkisser, additional map layer and native ATB?
Poryg you forgot so many things here.

1) Optimized filesize for projects
(from 400mb to 88mb).
2) Better performance and optimization.
3) Elfkisser completely changes how animations are made/handled/can look, and how much space they take in the projects.
4) Movement Route Preview in the Editor and more Event Options.
5) It's not just an additional map layer, it's manual layer mapping option which will greatly increase overall details in maps, parallax won't be absolutely necessary anymore to have some good detail.
6) I'm sure there will be more changes in the database and custom formulas and probably something new regarding how regions are handled, plus what's hidden in the System 2 tab.

Seriously, stop whining man.
MV is 5 years old and they updated it for over 3 years, also gave a huge amount of freebies too between graphics and plugins.
Not even Apple updates their stuff for 5 years, what do you expect here?
Lifelong support?
 

Anyone

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Poryg you forgot so many things here.

1) Optimized filesize for projects
(from 400mb to 88mb).
2) Better performance and optimization.
3) Elfkisser completely changes how animations are made/handled/can look, and how much space they take in the projects.
4) Movement Route Preview in the Editor and more Event Options.
5) It's not just an additional map layer, it's manual layer mapping option which will greatly increase overall details in maps, parallax won't be absolutely necessary anymore to have some good detail.
6) I'm sure there will be more changes in the database and custom formulas and probably something new regarding how regions are handled, plus what's hidden in the System 2 tab.

Seriously, stop whining man.
MV is 5 years old and they updated it for over 3 years, also gave a huge amount of freebies too between graphics and plugins.
Not even Apple updates their stuff for 5 years, what do you expect here?
Lifelong support?
I think criticism or disappointment is as valid in a preview threat as hype or enthusiasm.
I believe it's fundamentally wrong to deny either party their optimism or disappointment. Everything has its place in a discussion and whether Poryg's points are valid for you does not change the fact that they are valid to him.
Telling someone to "stop whining" because they don't share your enthusiasm is in no way beneficial to the discussion. It doesn't add anything to it.

(And Apple should never be used as bar for anything. :p)
 

Milennin

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Not that much exciting, but some nice additions, I guess. A bit sad MZ still features those bad default gradients on character generator. But at least adding some custom ones will be a bit easier? Not sure actually, I never tried it in MV...
 

Dalph

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@Anyone
That is not the point, the point is that he expects lifelong support here and conveniently forgets all the new features, just because he doesn't need them?

I also don't know what Poryg does with rm but I make games (basically what rm is supposed to be used for) and all these features are useful to me, so I just added them in my post because he didn't mention them at all making it look like the new engine is not worth it. Period.
 

Trihan

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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".
JavaScript as it exists today is a far, far cry from what it was when first created. It's closer to an object-oriented programming language in its own right than it's ever been. Of course it's still not as attractive a choice for development that isn't front-end web, but it's way more than just an input validation tool now.
 
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@Milennin In MV you have to replace the entire gradient.png file, even if you're just wanting to change one gradient. There's no ability for having more gradients than the file comes with, as far as I know. According to Touchfuzzy, in MZ there's four different gradient files and you just.. add a gradient in.
 

The Stranger

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@Milennin It was a bit of a hassle changing the generator gradients in MV because all of the colours were in a single image. You had to find out where each colour category (skin, hair, etc) began and ended. Once I discovered the extended generator, I dropped the editor generator like a hot potato; having all colours to choose from for all generator parts is just so much better.
 

cji3bp62000

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Since RPG Maker MZ is using ES6, I guess that the require/import/export feature will be used in loading plugins?

This may explain a lot how the new plugin command system works.
Plugins export command=function name, and the core script imports the plugin and execute.
No more Game_Interpreter.prototype.pluginCommand override and command parsing is needed.
Fast and Clean.
 
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