nightsoils

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hello!!!!! i've been planning out a game and i think rpgmaker 2k might be the right program for me. however, there's certain things i want to do, and i need to make sure they are even possible before i buy it.

first, i really really want to go for a retro style, like below, with pixel sprites for the characters and the environment.

testing_3_by_nightsoils_dcvc841-pre.jpg


but i also really really want to incorporate sketchy hand-drawn gifs into the dialogue box/cutscenes/battle sprites, like below:

testing_by_nightsoils-dcvc83r.gif


i'd also like to use a front-facing battle system (with gifs as the battle sprites, i was too lazy to actually animate this one), and maybe be able to have dialogue pop up in battle

testing_2_by_nightsoils_dcvc847-pre.png


would this be possible to do in rpgmaker 2k? i really want the retro pixel sprites for the overworld, but i also want to mix in hand-drawn sketchy stuff in other parts. should i choose a different program to buy? if so, which?

thank you!!!!
 

Archeia

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You can technically do them but you have to be aware of some major limitations in Rm2k/3:
  • Colors must be in 256 Color Mode
  • You can't play GIFs on any rpg maker. Just wanted to mention this in case that's how you want to incorporate it on the engine side.
  • There is no scripting for RM2k/3. You have to manually create things by events and do a lot of work arounds.
Therefore:
  • Retro pixels are OK until VXA. Then it gets really iffy with MV because you need to use scripts that would remove the smoothing. But it's not impossible.
  • Pixel Fonts are possible until VXA where you don't have to resort to using bitmap fonts.
For your animated sequences, there are ways to do it.
For general cutscenes:
> You animate them by hand. Let's say you have 3 frames:
Show Picture 1 (255 Opacity)
Show Picture 2 (0 Opacity)
Show Picture 3 (0 Opacity)
Move Picture 1 (0 Opacity)
Move Picture 2 (255 Opacity)
Move Picture 3 (0 Opacity)
Move Picture 1 (0 Opacity)
Move Picture 2 (0 Opacity)
Move Picture 3 (255 Opacity)

Alternatively, use Animated Pictures by modern algebra for VXA and for MV you have a lot of choices.

Animated images in dialogue box will require a TON of effort on your side for 2k/3. There are two ways you can go about this:
  • You change the layout a lot since you can't manipulate message box as freely as the newer RMs.
  • Event your own message system. Good luck on that one.
As for dialogue pop up in battle, there's only one way you can do it like that in rm2k3, event it. Even then, I think RM2k3 is the only one that allows you to use pictures in battle unless our update already did it. It's been a while.

If you use an RPGMaker like VXA/MV, there are pop up / balloon scripts for moments like that.

Your only issue with the newer RMs are the Grid Size (32x32). MV has scripts that lets you use any tile size for your final product. But I don't know if VXA had some. If your assets are 16x16, you'll probably have to upscale them in VXA.

I hope this answer is comprehensive enough.
 

shadefoundry

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Short answer: all of that is perfectly doable in RM2k.

Long answer: while all of that is entirely doable in 2k, some portions might be easier than others. The front view battles themselves are easy enough but animating them will take some clever eventing tricks. Actually just any kind of animated images like you're describing is going to require some clever eventing if you're working with RM2k. The pixel style can be done in any version of RPG Maker.

If you want to jump in quicker and have a much easier time of things I'd recommend VXAce or MV over 2k, as 2k is more of a tool for tinkering with events these days since it's pretty outdated. VXAce is cheaper than MV and has very good functionality, but MV can deploy for mobile devices and is built on JavaScript if that means anything to you.

TL;DR - 2k can do what you want but it's easier to do it with VXAce or MV. I'd recommend VXAce.

Hope this was of some help :)

Edit: @Archeia got there before me. This is what happens when I have to leave my computer halfway through a reply. :p Everything she says is 100% correct and probably more useful than my comment.
 

nightsoils

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You can technically do them but you have to be aware of some major limitations in Rm2k/3:
  • Colors must be in 256 Color Mode
  • You can't play GIFs on any rpg maker. Just wanted to mention this in case that's how you want to incorporate it on the engine side.
  • There is no scripting for RM2k/3. You have to manually create things by events and do a lot of work arounds.
Therefore:
  • Retro pixels are OK until VXA. Then it gets really iffy with MV because you need to use scripts that would remove the smoothing. But it's not impossible.
  • Pixel Fonts are possible until VXA where you don't have to resort to using bitmap fonts.
For your animated sequences, there are ways to do it.
For general cutscenes:
> You animate them by hand. Let's say you have 3 frames:
Show Picture 1 (255 Opacity)
Show Picture 2 (0 Opacity)
Show Picture 3 (0 Opacity)
Move Picture 1 (0 Opacity)
Move Picture 2 (255 Opacity)
Move Picture 3 (0 Opacity)
Move Picture 1 (0 Opacity)
Move Picture 2 (0 Opacity)
Move Picture 3 (255 Opacity)

Alternatively, use Animated Pictures by modern algebra for VXA and for MV you have a lot of choices.

Animated images in dialogue box will require a TON of effort on your side for 2k/3. There are two ways you can go about this:
  • You change the layout a lot since you can't manipulate message box as freely as the newer RMs.
  • Event your own message system. Good luck on that one.
As for dialogue pop up in battle, there's only one way you can do it like that in rm2k3, event it. Even then, I think RM2k3 is the only one that allows you to use pictures in battle unless our update already did it. It's been a while.

If you use an RPGMaker like VXA/MV, there are pop up / balloon scripts for moments like that.

Your only issue with the newer RMs are the Grid Size (32x32). MV has scripts that lets you use any tile size for your final product. But I don't know if VXA had some. If your assets are 16x16, you'll probably have to upscale them in VXA.

I hope this answer is comprehensive enough.

Thank you, this is all very very helpful!!!
 

Kamillo

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One thing - RM2k has 320x240 pixels resolution. Take your picture from second screen, resize to 320x240 and show like will be look.

If you want pseudo retro style (like for example Undertale) take even MV - in battle you will be have high resolution hand-draw graphics, and in map you always draw 16x16 pixels tiles and upscale this 3x (with nearest neighbor) to 48x48 tiles.

But if you can have 320x240 - you take 2k3 - this has animated pictures (for example: https://rpgmaker.net/games/10281/) - so you can doing always what write.
 

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