Tips/Stuff newbies NEED to know before you make a game in RPG makers (mostly MV)

tae_ka_pre

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Stuff I didn't know and took me like 3 whole months before realizing they were a thing because I was too stuck thinking people are just making it complicated.

Note that these tips kinda require you have a basic knowledge of events and the basic stuff about game making.

I'm a newbie as well but this is mostly some good stuff I realize being a newbie for so long

People gave beginners mostly the simplest tips, design a map, use switches, make events, use the correct bgm, make enemies, party members, treasure chests etc etc.

The tutorials I saw spoke about only the basic stuff as well and never shared enough info to make a better than just a simple game. They also started talking about how you should make this and that event first before telling you, you also could just not remake the same events over and over.

Don't get me wrong, I love people who try to teach us stuff, but maybe the ones I saw just kinda didn't focus on the most important stuff.

Before we start, if you're reading this and you don't have an account here, MAKE ONE. Most resources you'll use would require an account here.

To start it off, if you want to make a unique and colorful game, download an picture editing software. I prefer gimp over photoshop since it's free, but if you have photoshop, then use it.

Second, if you want to make better, varying characters for rpg maker mv, download the extended rpg maker mv generator from schlangan.
Here: https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/inde...0-07a-update-on-the-28th-december-2016.56569/

The normal rpg maker mv generator is lacking in some places. I had a character in this game, where she had long bangs but I made her with glasses so the glasses went in front of her bangs. If you mess around with this generator, you would find that not only can you so easily could add more resources for character making, you could also put more than 1 facial marks at once and stuff.

Now that that's done, now you should open your rpg maker.
This is the thing though, before doing anything like making maps and characters and stuff...

make common events. This is the thing I underestimated and never gave much importance into. I never realized it would be a big deal.

I implemented a jump system in my game and I had to copy and paste it over and over to make those events, and after a while, had I just realized I wanted to add a sound effect to the jump so I had to go through every single jump spots on my game and delete them, then paste the fixed one.

Common events are gold. They are one of the most important stuff in the game. If you still don't get what a common event is, it's an event that happens not once but lots of times in your game.

For example, opening treasure chests would be a common event since you'd probably make the character open a hundred treasure chests in your game.

Making a common event would make every chest in the game open easily by just using the common event you made. That way, if you suddenly decided to, for example, change the sound effect of the player opening the treasure chest, you won't have to delete and paste every single other treasure chest event in the game.

Another tip, this isn't really that important and it's kinda like more of my opinion, but...
Use as low number of switches possible and name them with the map ID you used them on and it's specific effect. Also try to turn on the switches that you would need to start cinematic events early.
Switches get very confusing if they're too many. I made these events one time that prevented the player from going this one way, and I used a different switch in a different map when they should just disappear and take effect at the same time. I also made a switch so these two characters should appear in this event. I had to turn them all off at the same time but I forgot which switches I had to turn off so it took me some time.

You don't necessarily have to make as low number of switches possible, you just have to think whether the switch should have the same effect on another place and should be turned off the same time.

Also when battling, troops of monsters and you make like two of them walking around so if you hit one of them, you'll fight both of them and after the battle you decided that they should both disappear at once, use a common event and make that common event the turning on of a switch that would make both of those monsters disappear, make them turn it off when they leave and reuse that switch on other monsters in the next map.

If possible, use self-switches rather than switches.

This next part wouldn't make much sense if you haven' tried stuff like making your character jump yet.
The coordinates of rpg maker are inverted when it comes to the y axis. All of us have been taught in our schools that the upper right part of the quadrants are the positives, If you want to make your character jump upward one tile, you need to make him jump -1 on the y axis.

Maps start with 0 so a map with a width of 30 starts with 0 and ends with 29.

Try to make your map's width on an odd number always.

Name your events, not necessarily every event just those ones that matter so you can easily control scenes and stuff.

You can delete who the initial characters are and add them later if you want to make like a cinematic scene on the intro without your character in it. Click on the database and on the system then delete the initial character.

Remember when I asked you to download the photo editing software? That's when parallax mapping goes.

What is parallax mapping? This is the question not many seem to answer. If you search for 'what is parallax mapping'. You'll just get stuff like Parallax mapping tutorial part 1. And stuff, the tutorial and the forum I saw never answered what parallax mapping is and until you watch the tutorial to the end, you would never get what it is. Parallax mapping is basically editing a map, but not with the map editor the pg maker has. The rpg maker's map editor is extremely limited, and as much as I think it's a useful system, variety and color is hard to achieve with just the normal editor.

You make a terrain and base on the editor, printscreen it, edit it on the pic editing software, export it as a png file in the pictures and parallax folder, use a plugin to restrict movement and show the picture whilst binding it to map.

Why is it better than the map editor? Well with this editor, you can basically cut a part of a doodad (random stuff like flowers, pots you put on the ground to make it look more atmospheric"
) and place it on any part of the map, make a layer so you can place anything above another, move an object on a more varying place, put in stuff from a another tileset and make the shadows and lighting, ground and buildings just more colorful and rpg-like. You should watch some tutorials on youtube.

There are lots more I want to say, but I forgot some of the others. I'm sorry if I came off kinda egoistic but I just hate myself for spending too much time making a bad looking map that looks nothing like what other people make, I also hated how I needed to go back to many events just to fix my mistakes and how I have to look at what the event ids are to make scenes. Anyways thanks for reading and happy game making, people!
 

mlogan

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I know you stated in the second sentence that these tips require a basic knowledge of events and such, but the rest of your post doesn't read that way. For example, one reason tutorials and such don't teach common events, is because the function mostly like basic events which need to be learned first, so that is what the tutorials teach. Yes, common are incredibly useful for many of the reasons you stated, but that's why tutorials don't teach to those specifically.

As far as switches go, low numbers may be helpful, but I have found that organization of them is more helpful. They come in "blocks" of 20 so to speak, so I will use different blocks for different purposes. And name each one very specifically. The naming goes for events as well - technically they are all named by default - so, very specific names is most helpful so that you know exactly what is going on where.

I'm not certain about the tip of making the maps an odd numbered width - is there a particular reason why? Some maps I like to because I like to have a clear middle, but that's my own silly preference so I'd not necessarily say it needs to be a hard and fast rule.

You can delete who the initial characters are and add them later if you want to make like a cinematic scene on the intro without your character in it. Click on the database and on the system then delete the initial character.

You can also turn on transparent in the beginning (in the systems tab), run your cutscene with the other characters as events, and then at the end turn transparent off. No need to add/delete playable characters. I will also add one of the best pieces of advice I learned - use ONE event to control an entire cutscene. That event can move other events to make the characters move around and such, but keep all control of the scene in one event. Makes life SOOO much easier.

Parallax mapping - this is a big debate and there are a ton of topics on it already, if you search for them. Yes parallax mapping can create some amazing maps. But, importing the images of them can create a big increase in the file size of your game as well. My preference is to learn to create really great and specific tilesets using Gimp and map in the editor. With MV's return to some layer functionality in the mapping editor, it's even easier than it was in Ace.

I'm not trying to bash your tips - there are some great bits in here that do come with time and experience. I just wanted to add my thoughts to them based on my own experience with the engines.
 

Andar

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And if it is about tips for beginners, I think that I should post here just so that my signature is available - the "starting point" tutorial linked in my signature is a tutorial I wrote for exactly the same purpose.
 

tae_ka_pre

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The thing is tutorials do mention common events, but they usually just give it a few seconds and move on immediately. They should tell the beginner that HE DEFINITELY has to make common events. It made me waste so much time. Transparency is fine but you have to do it immediately at the start and some plauers would immediately see their player before it disappears. That one event thing, I thought it was common sense. I think people don't have to be taught this in the first place since it's pretty obvious. You can't move different events one after another easily. The thing with parallax mapping, is that they make better shadows. Every single tileset usually prefers the shadow to the right, when you make houses inside, the light should be coming from the window and the shadows are boxes so it makes it really stupid looking.

Here's my post about shadows:
https://forums.rpgmakerweb.com/index.php?threads/game-map-screenshots-9.74415/page-31#post-736937

Parallax mapping fixed the problem so, so much, and made the map so much better than before

The switch thing, well.. sometimes some events do the same thing. For example,you have guards blocking the way on this side and guards on another map, they have to show up and disappear at the same time. I usually made 2 switches for that, not knowing I could just use 1 so it won't get too confusing, and sometimes too many switches makes it too hard to find that one switch you just have to turn off

The odd number map is supposed to be for inside maps, since you usually make the entrance just one tile, making it an odd number will center the tile if you prefer putting it on the center. Odd numbered maps is really easier to make though than even numbered maps, in my opinion. Sorry if I didn't specify it.
I know you stated in the second sentence that these tips require a basic knowledge of events and such, but the rest of your post doesn't read that way. For example, one reason tutorials and such don't teach common events, is because the function mostly like basic events which need to be learned first, so that is what the tutorials teach. Yes, common are incredibly useful for many of the reasons you stated, but that's why tutorials don't teach to those specifically.

As far as switches go, low numbers may be helpful, but I have found that organization of them is more helpful. They come in "blocks" of 20 so to speak, so I will use different blocks for different purposes. And name each one very specifically. The naming goes for events as well - technically they are all named by default - so, very specific names is most helpful so that you know exactly what is going on where.

I'm not certain about the tip of making the maps an odd numbered width - is there a particular reason why? Some maps I like to because I like to have a clear middle, but that's my own silly preference so I'd not necessarily say it needs to be a hard and fast rule.



You can also turn on transparent in the beginning (in the systems tab), run your cutscene with the other characters as events, and then at the end turn transparent off. No need to add/delete playable characters. I will also add one of the best pieces of advice I learned - use ONE event to control an entire cutscene. That event can move other events to make the characters move around and such, but keep all control of the scene in one event. Makes life SOOO much easier.

Parallax mapping - this is a big debate and there are a ton of topics on it already, if you search for them. Yes parallax mapping can create some amazing maps. But, importing the images of them can create a big increase in the file size of your game as well. My preference is to learn to create really great and specific tilesets using Gimp and map in the editor. With MV's return to some layer functionality in the mapping editor, it's even easier than it was in Ace.

I'm not trying to bash your tips - there are some great bits in here that do come with time and experience. I just wanted to add my thoughts to them based on my own experience with the engines.
 
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Frogboy

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I will add this tip for those that don't want to spend lots of time paralaxing. With you favorite image editing software, open up a tileset, select all (usually ctrl+a), press delete and the Save As... some other file name. Go into your RPG Maker database and add this tileset to whatever map type you're working on. Whenever you run into a situation where you don't have the right tile because it's in a different tileset or maybe it's the wrong color or it doesn't even exist at all, now you have a file that you can copy/paste in tiles from other sets, change colors or hues, resize other tiles or even draw your own custom tiles.

Useful beginner tip.
 

mlogan

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I understand about parallax mapping and shadows. I just wanted to point out that there are negatives to parallax mapping as well, and ways to get around it in the editor (even shadows), so that users new to the software don't think after reading this that they HAVE to go with parallax mapping. I'm not saying don't do it, I'm just saying there are alternatives.

As for the switches, I misunderstood what you were saying a bit. Yes, using as few switches as possible is a good idea.

And to an extent, I do agree about the odd number tiles for indoor maps. I do the same for the same reason, but it's personal preference. And really, I try to challenge myself by creating an interior without a centered door, because then your buildings all start to look predictable and the same.

Again, I'm not trying to bash your advice. Just trying to offer up some tips from someone who's been working with the software a bit longer than a few months. ;)
 

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I would go a bit further than mlogan on the aspect of parallax mapping. I have seen so many parallax maps which could easily have been done in the editor in 20% of the time. I have also seen parallax maps which are, to be blunt about it, dreadful because all the time and effort went into the appearance, and not enough into the fact that they are not pictures but maps. My personal opinion is that someone who is relatively new would be better off thinking about and practicing map design using the editor, than jumping straight into parallaxing.
 

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