RPG Maker MZ, Preview #5: TPBS, A Closer Look

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RPGMakerWeb

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We’ve talked a little bit about RPG Maker MZ's Time Progress Battle System, which has some similarities to the popular ATB system that was used in a certain, very popular game series, but today, let’s take a closer look at it.


Specifically, we’re gonna ask the burning question: What is a Turn in the TPBS?

First, let’s look at what the game looks at to determine how fast the bars should fill. Every Character (Actor and Enemy) has a TPB Speed. The TPB Speed of a character is based on the square root of the character’s Agility.

The character in a fight that has the highest TPB Speed, is given a Charge Time of 4 seconds. This will be the fastest any character will charge in the fight. Every other character in the fight has their bar fill at a rate that is relative to the highest TPB Speed based on their own TPB Speed.

So, how does the game determine turns? The answer is: It depends. There are two types of turn counts, and they are used in different cases:

Individual Turn Count

This is a turn count that is individual to each character in the battle. It is pretty straightforward: How many turns has this character taken.

If you have taken 3 turns and you are just starting a new one, it is your 4th turn.

This turn count is used for most processes, such as status effect durations and enemy action patterns.


Battle Turn Count

This is the turn count for the battle itself. It is handled a little differently.

The Battle Turn count is equal to the Individual Turn Count of the enemy who has taken the most turns.

This turn count is used for Battle Events.


So that answers the most common question, but let’s look at a few more commonly asked questions!

TPBS FAQ

How is the amount of charge in the bar at the beginning of battle determined?
During a normal battle start, each character is given a random amount of their bar between 0 and 50%. In the case of surprise and ambush, the side with advantage starts with 100% in their bars.

Can you switch characters if multiple characters’ turns are up?
Yes, you can switch actors using the cancel button.

Can you set a “Casting Time” for skills?
Yes, skills can be set to have a delay between being selected and going off. The Casting Time you put in for the skill or item is used in combination with the character’s TPB Speed to determine how long the delay is.

Extra: API is Live

We’ve gone ahead and set the API documentation live on the RPGMakerWeb site. You can find it here!

Preorder today!

Does the TPBS have you excited! Then be sure to preorder today, through the RPG Maker Web Store or on Steam, 10% off, plus an extra 10% if you own MV, two free resource packs, and a free copy of MV, and you can get started on your own game using the TPBS from day 1!
 

SJWebster

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This is the battle system my games will most likely use. In the past, it's sometimes felt like the speed / agility stat hasn't actually meant anything meaningful and I'm happy to see this gives the stat a more immediately obvious impact on battles. We'll be able to provide greater differentiation and gameplay feel to our quick thieves versus our slower tanks.
 

MZFan

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That is quite a bummer, we wanted to know more about the engine!
 

mrzo

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Built in quest journal?
 

Aerosys

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@RpgmakerMZ - the entire API was released. To someone who understands what's written in there (admittedly not me), that's huge!
First I thought it was the entire Source Code. That would be too nice, I could have started on porting my Plugin then. But it's really just an API.
 

Poryg

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The documentation, that is not the final version of it, is it? It's worse than that of MV.
 

Wavelength

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You guys said #4 was going to be the last Preview!! Well, I'm not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth. :D Thrilled to see another - time to read this and see what kind of awesome stuff the ATB "Time Progress" system can offer us designers!
 

Shaz

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We’ve gone ahead and set the API documentation live on the RPGMakerWeb site. You can find it here!
lol - I'm sorry, but this is the only part of that post that I understand (or care about) :D


The documentation, that is not the final version of it, is it? It's worse than that of MV.
I actually don't mind that. Nice to have a quick lookup of properties & functions without having to scroll for miles or search. But I hope the core scripts (managers, objects, windows, etc) get added.

You guys said #4 was going to be the last Preview!!
Touch said on Monday last week, when the preorders went live, that there would be more, but it'd be more around gameplay (I think) rather than introducing new features. I think there are still more to come?
 

ImaginaryVillain

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I must admit, the API documentation's at least exciting... Much better than the complete lack of documentation MV had. My eyes glazed over at the other stuff, so I actually missed the API stuff on the first pass. :kaoswt:
 

Prescott

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Let us also not forget that the TPBS can either have the bars charging in real time, or the bars can stop when it is someone's turn. Hopefully there is an option to change that with an event command as well!
 

ImaginaryVillain

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@Poryg Ah, well then I guess we can at least be thankful they put it on the website this time. Listen... I'm trying to find something exciting about this update. Humor me. :LZSwink:
 

Wavelength

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Alright, nice stuff!! I think the TPS system (this is going to take some getting-used-to-saying) will make for much more exciting battles in even the simplest of RPG Maker games. I love the extra bit of frenetic action and need for improvising in a pinch that systems like this bring.

Probably a good move going with "Square Root" of each battler's Agility rather than a linear scaling; that's going to prevent a lot of new designers from accidentally making battles into complete stomps one way or the other. I know what I'm doing design-wise, so I'm probably going to break that safety glass and code in something much closer to linear scaling, with just a bit of rubberbanding based on combatants' average stats to make sure that it never gets utterly ridiculous.

Archeia's follow-up video that was part of Preview #2 hinted to observant viewers (my friend had to point it out to me, lol) that Charge Times (for spells) will probably be a feature, and I was so thrilled to see that back then. Great to have confirmation of this!

QUESTION: Both the Individual Turn Count and the Battle Turn Count are shown in the screenshots as simply "Turn X (+ Y)". How will designers know whether a Condition is referring to Individual Turn Count or Battle Turn Count?

QUESTION: What happens if a battler is KO'ed while in the middle of their attack/skill animation (perhaps before the actual damage number comes out)?
 

Kes

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Maybe pin this topic like the other previews?
 
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