RMXP Help Topic V. 2

#1m_artist200Posted 1/11/2009 2:47:57 PMmessage detail
The other help topic is getting outdated, so I revised and updated a lot of the old content, as well as add some of the more frequently used tutorials. Enjoy!

===Table of Contents===

1.0) Getting Started
-----1.1) Where to download
-----1.2) Installation Troubleshooting
-----------Installing on Windows Vista
-----------RGSS.dll error
-----------Can't connect to server
-----------Japanese text
-----------Actors panel cutoff
-----------Pirated Version
-----1.3) Board Etiquette (new posters, please read!)
------2.0) Events
-----------2.1) Action Events
-----------2.2) Player Touch Events
-----------2.3) Event Touch events
-----------2.4) Autorun Events
-----------2.5) Parallel Process Events
-----------2.6) Switches
-----------2.7) Variables
-----------2.8) Branching Events
-----3.0) Custom Content
-----------3.1) Custom Sprites/Music
-----------3.2) Graphic Formats
-----------3.3) Custom content/distribution limitations
-----------3.4) My imported Graphics have a background
-----------3.5) Importing Tilesets
-----4.0) Essential Techniques
-----------4.1) Opening Cutscenes
-----------4.2) Cutscenes
-----------4.3) Linking Maps
-----------4.4) Common Events
-----5.0) In-Depth Tutorials and Guides
-----------5.1) RGSS Tutorials
-----------5.2) Switch Tutorial-By Paradisegamer
-----------5.3) How to Write a Decent Story- By Kailat777
-----------5.4) Stat and Damage calculations by DarthMarth
-----6.0) General Questions
-----------6.1) Sample Games
------------6.2) Moving over impassable squares
------------6.3) Changing graphics/stats/classes/etc
------------6.4) Finding Resources
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Slow down, buddy! Just because people can read it doesnt mean it isnt crap! - Kailat777
#2m_artist200(Topic Creator)Posted 1/11/2009 2:48:22 PMmessage detail
===1.1) Where can I download RMXP?====

www.download.com
http://www.download.com/RPG-Maker-XP/3000-7537_4-10437118.html?tag=lst-0-1

www.enterbrain.jp
http://tkool.jp/products/rpgxp/eng/download.html

Or just run a search for RPG Maker in the download.com home page.


===1.2) Installation troubleshooting===

-Installing on Windows Vista
Rpg maker XP was originally made for windows XP. To install/run it in vista, you need to do a bit more work. The below is courtesty of rpgmakerwhat from rmxp.org. I know it's a grammar freaks worst nightmare, but I'm afraid of editing it, as I have no idea what to and not to change without making it sound completely wrong.
Go to C:/ProgramFiles/Enterbrain/RPGXP
Right click on the RPGXP.exe file and choose properties> then compatibility tab
The first thing that says Compatibility Mode CHECK were it says.."Run this program in Compatibility Mode For:" WINDOWS XP (SERVICE PACK2)..Vista will ask you for your approval so say yes...Just in case that doesn't work then don't close that window and also check at the bottom were it says "Run this program as administrator


-I can't run rmxp for some reason! It says something about not having an rgss.dll?
When you open the rmxp folder after downloading it, there should be two folders within the downloaded folder; setup1 and setup2 respectively. Install the .exe in setup1 first, as it contains the necessary rgss.dlls needed to run rmxp. THEN install rmxp from setup2. If that doesn't work, find the game.txt (the notepad with the gear in your game folder), double click it, and check to see where its trying to read the rgss.dlls from.

-I got an error message when I paid for the trial! It says something about not being able to connect to the server?
You need to be online when you pay/register your copy of rmxp. Otherwise, you can't really expect to buy something over the internet, can you? If you are online and still getting this message, make sure your firewall isn't blocking rmxp.

-Help! There's too many things written in Japanese! How can I fix this?!
Congratulations, you've got an illegal pirated version of the game. The only way to fix this is uninstalling rmxp and downloading the legal version from the links I mentioned earlier.

The actor's panel is cut off!
This is an error that was present in the initial 1.0 release of rmxp. Go to http://tkool.jp/products/rpgxp/eng/download.html and see if you can find the 1.02 patch.

Pirated Version
Oh, so you thought I was going to tell you where to download the pirated version? Sorry, that's not happening. DO NOT ASK FOR PIRATED VERSION. It's a violation of the Gamefaqs TOS, and we're not giving it to you anyway. Keep in mind, if you ARE using the pirated version, theres a lot of bugs and translation errors in the pirated version....odds are if your experiencing a weird, unexplainable bug when using the pirated version, theres not a whole lot anyone can do to fix it for you.

1.3) Board Etiquette
Normally, most of the regulars and vets here are pretty laid back and willing to help (when we get around to posting...) but theres a few things that we'd prefer you did when asking for help.

-Proper english. Asking "I'm having a bit of trouble with this, can you please help me with it?" is far more likely to get answered than "OMG! HOW I USZ MAKER HLP PLZ?!".

-Be specific. Or as specific as possible, anyhow. Asking "MY MAP IS BROKEN! PLZ FIX" Isnt helpful. Saying "My map is broken because i can walk over all the walls, even though the passability is set correctly" is.

-Take things in stride: not everyone might like your idea, but at least listen to their suggestions.
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Slow down, buddy! Just because people can read it doesnt mean it isnt crap! - Kailat777
#3m_artist200(Topic Creator)Posted 1/11/2009 2:49:36 PMmessage detail
===2.0) Events===

What is an event?

This isn't a commonly asked question, but it relates to others, so it goes here. Events can be just about anything. They can be used as area transitions (using player touch event start type and transfer player event commands), NPCs (action button event start type and show text event commands), cutscenes, enemies (in custom battle systems, or occasionally in a default battle system), labeled areas (as shown in paradisegamer's game trailer tutorial, mentioned later), weather effects, intermittent sounds, etc.

a crude list of uses:
Action Button: NPCs, Doors, Switches, Moveable Objects.
Player Touch: Transitions (possibly doors as well), step-switches, potentially moveable objects as well.
Event Touch: Enemies, and that's about it.
Autorun: Cutscenes, and uhh.. Cutscenes?
parallel process: recurring effects.

Of course, this is a very simple list. There is much, much more you can do with them.

Keep in mind, the last usable page of an event is the one used. For example, if you have a switch that turns on and flips the event page to page two, page two will act, while events scripted on page one will not.

2.1) Action Events
Action events are events that require direct interaction from the player in order to run. An example of this would be an npc that the player must walk up to and talk to before their text.

2.2) Player touch events
Player touch events are events that fire up as soon as a player either touches them or walks over them. Often times, these are best used at the edge of a map in order to make use of the area transition command.

2.3) Event Touch
Similar to player touch events, these events fire up when they make contact with the player. An example of how to use these would be if you made an event, and had an "arrow animation'' as the character graphic. As the arrow is "fired", if it hits the player, it deals the scripted damage to the player.

2.4) Autorun events
-General description
Autorun events are events that automatically run as soon as the player appears on the map. While an autorun event is running, player interactions and controls are disabled.
Text, event move routes, sound effects, and animations, etc can all be done via autorun events. However, since players have no direct control of anything that happens in an autorun event, autorun events are best used for cutscenes, intros, credits screens, etc.

-My Autostart events keep looping! How do I stop this?

At the end of your event command list, add a new command to turn on a switch. It can either be a hard-coded switch, or a selfswitch; either works. Make a second page to the event, and set it to require that switch to be in effect (via the top-left corner of the event screen). Make sure the second page is blank, and be sure the trigger is set to anything but autorun (preferably not parallel process either) because autorun triggers tend to screw up other event processing.

2.5) Parallel Process Events
Similar to autorun events in the fact that they run automatically. The difference between autorun events and Parallel processes is that parallel processes allow the player to move and interact with the game as they normally would. An example of how to use an autorun event would be to change the weather immediately as the player enters the area.
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Slow down, buddy! Just because people can read it doesnt mean it isnt crap! - Kailat777
#4m_artist200(Topic Creator)Posted 1/11/2009 2:50:18 PMmessage detail
2.6) Switches
A Switch? What's that?

A switch is a simple on/off toggle. If you have programming experience, think of it as a boolean variable. If you don' have any programming experience, think of it as a light switch; by using events, you can turn the switch either "on" or "off" In a nutshell, you can use a switch to change things by requiring the switch to be on in a second page of events, and turning that page on after whatever you choose sets the second page in motion. Killed the Demon King and now the sun shines brightly again? turn on a switch and increase the intensity of colors through events on an autostart trigger. Need that dude who joined your party to disappear on the map? Turn on a switch after he joins, and make a blank-graphic second page that requires the event. The possibilities are limitless (not really, but give me space here)

If you still don't understand, check the tutorial section for Paradisegamers Switch Tutorial.

2.7Variables
Q: I keep hearing about a variable. What's a variable?

A variable is essentially a switch with more than two (on/off) states. You can set a variable to any integer (to a point) that you like. So, if you want that sky to darken again from the demon king's resurrection, you could make another switch, or you could do it all in one variable. Events can be set to require the variable to be equal to whatever variable value you specify. Variables are, in all ways, superior to switches because their accessibility allows for more actions to be done to them. However, do not neglect switches entirely. You only get 5000 of each, and while that may seem like a lot, you can easily find yourself running out in a full-length game.

2.8) How do I make branching events?

This is better known as a conditional (referred to in RM2k as a "fork option"). You can set it to require certain things to be true, and if so, the event commands in that section will be processed, followed by the normal event processes after the conditional. You may also choose to include an optional "else" case, that allows for special event processing to be done if you do not meet the conditional requirements.
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Slow down, buddy! Just because people can read it doesnt mean it isnt crap! - Kailat777
#5m_artist200(Topic Creator)Posted 1/11/2009 2:51:49 PMmessage detail
3.0)===Custom Content===
One of the most useful aspects of RMXP is that it allows you to import as much custom content as you want. All custom content must be imported via the import/export materialbase function in the editor. It's the icon that looks like a folder with three sheets of paper that's to the right of the database icon.

3.1) How do I make my own character sprites/music?

There are two commonly used programs:

Gimp - http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/faq.html (link provided by paradisegamer)
Adobe Photoshop-You&'ll need to pay for this though

Also, other utilities for those wanting to make music:
Powertab - Free. (Location Unknown.) (information provided by ikoa)
Guitar Pro - Commercial. (information provided by ikoa)
noteworthy - midi development (information provided by Tr5978)
FL Studio - High learning curve. MP3 development as well (information provided by Tr5978)
Audacity- A basic sound editing program. Download for free at www.download.com

3.2) Graphic format

Be warned, the game allows only 3 file types: .png, .bmp, .jpg
There are a few nifty commands you can only use with pictures though, like additive and subtractive blending. Most of their advantages have gone by the wayside with the inclusion of scripting, however.

3.3) Custom content/distribution
You can freely distribute rmxp games that you've made for profit if you wish, provided your game meets certain circumstances. Don't include ripped (taken from other games) resources, as they essentially copyrighted material, and that includes music made in tandem with the actual piece. The RTP is fine, as is original material. Don't expect to sell it for much, though, unless you've done a stellar job.

3.4) My imported Graphics have a background

When you import a graphic, you can change its transparent color (background) with the left-click. The transparent color will not show when the character is placed. This applies to single-toned background colors only. Anything else has to be photoshopped out.

3.5) Importing Tilesets
Unlike with most custom content, there's two steps you need to take in order to use tilesets. So, they get their own special little section.
1. Import the tileset as you would any other custom content through the import/export manager
2. After importing the tileset, open up the database (F9) and click on the database tab.
3. Increase the number of tilesets (the "Change Maximum" button)
4. With a blank tileset, click the "tileset graphic" box and select the newly imported tileset.
5. Manually set the passage/priority of all the tiles. Sorry, theres no way around this.

3.6 Battle Systems/Menus
How do I change the battle system/menu system?

You need some RGSS experience. From there, you'll need to create a script/modify the current ones/both. Its technical work you need to read up on before you try, and requires heavy programming know-how. Your best bet is going over to rmxp.org and looking for a pre-existing script. Ask for either:
-CMS=Custom menu script. This should be self explainatory.
-CBS=Custom battle script. Side view battles, RTAB (real-time-action battle), etc.

You can make battle systems via events/common events, but I can't recommend doing that unless you really know what your doing and can't find a pre-existing rgss script.
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Slow down, buddy! Just because people can read it doesnt mean it isnt crap! - Kailat777
#6m_artist200(Topic Creator)Posted 1/11/2009 2:52:48 PMmessage detail
===4.0) Essential Techniques===
This section will cover essential techniques that are vital to any good rmxp game. I'd highly suggest looking over this area if you are unfamiliar with using events.

4.1) How do I run an event before the game starts?

You need to start on a blank map with a blank hero graphic (you can change that whenever you want with the set move route-->change graphic event command) to make the screen completely black. This fools the player into thinking the game hasn't started yet, when it actually has. From there you can change whatever you like with an autorun event. There is also another way to change things, but it requires scripting, which is beyond the scope of this tutorial.

4.2) Cutscenes
Generally, it's best to use autorun events to create and animate cutscenes. See the autorun events section as to why. In order to run the cutscene, you’ll need to do several things.

1. Make an event. Make two pages for the event. The "New Page" button is at the top of the events menu screen.
2. Add the text, move routes, animates, etc that you want included in your cutscene in the event command list (the big, now-blank box on the right half of the event menu).
3. Once you've gotten all of the event coding done, turn on a switch, self switch, or variable.
4. Set the switch/variable condition to the corresponding switch/variable from step 3 (the box in the upper-left hand corner titled "Conditions"). This will turn off the event once it's done running.
If you still don't understand this, check out Paradisegamers switch tutorial in the tutorial section.

4.3) Linking Maps
How do you link my maps? Use the "Transfer Player" option in the second page of the event command list. For the target destination, point to a location within the map you want to link to. These are best used with either autorun events during a cutscene, with Action Events with events such as doors, or with player touch events at the edge of a map.

4.4 Common events
Common events are event codes that are saved in the database. Often times, you'll want to use common events for events that will become, well....common! For example, lets say you want to run a move-route code that makes it look like chests are opening up each time a player opens one. Instead of copy+pasting the code 99999 times in each chest you make, simply write the code in the common event tab, then add the "common event [xxx]" in the respective events. The Add common event command is on the first page of the event menu.
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Slow down, buddy! Just because people can read it doesnt mean it isnt crap! - Kailat777
#7m_artist200(Topic Creator)Posted 1/11/2009 2:53:49 PMmessage detail
===5.0) In Depth Tutorials===
This section covers the nitty-gritty details of their respective areas.

5.1) RGSS
No, sorry, I didn';t write up a giant &"how to script" tutorial. If you DO want something like that, these sites are your best bet.
www.rmxp.org
http://www.creationasylum.net/
http://poignantguide.net/ruby/ <--- Ruby Tutorial

5.2) Paradisegamers Switch Tutorial
If your new to the program and want to learn how to use switches (perhaps one of the most important things to learn), then this is the tutorial for you! Made by paradisegamer, its an easy way to learn how to work switches. If the link below dies, lemme know and I'll post an updated link.

http://www.freewebs.com/joseph_lavode/Switch_Tutorial.zip

5.3) How to Write a Decent Story
A vast majority of the following was written by Kailit777. I've added and edited some parts to it.

So, you have a wonderful idea for an RPG and you can't wait to make the game, right?

Hold on a second! No matter how good you think it is there are a few easy ways to make it better (or make it GOOD if "you thought wrong"). By writing this I hope I can contribute to a new generation of games I want to play. By reading this I hope you can find your mistakes in your game and fix them before you embarrass yourself and us by association.

Chapter 1: The basics! Grammar and spelling! Grade school English is your friend!

Before you even consider making your RPG make sure you write it in such a way that people can actually READ it! Role Playing Games are generally filled with dialogue (if yours isn't you probably have a bigger problem with your game than I expected). This is the MOST IMPORTANT part of making your game. Remember, a game with a boring story that you can read is a boring game, but a game with a wonderful story that people can't figure out because of your horrible grammar is unplayable!

Now, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you can handle "Chapter 1" with ease:
1. LEARN ENGLISH (if you can read this, congratulations on completing step 1!)
2. Invest in a dictionary
3. Before you begin putting anything into RMXP, type it in Microsoft Word.
4. Do you see any red lines under anything besides proper nouns? If yes, fix those.
5. Do you see any green lines under anything at all? If yes, figure out why and fix those too.
6. Copy your repaired dialogue into RMXP.
7. Repeat steps 3-6 for everything you want to type into RMXP

With enough practice you won't even need to follow these steps, you'll already know if it's right or wrong.

Even some grammar masters (or so they like to call themselves) have problems with some words, such as:
They're, there, their
Your, you're
Its, it's
If you followed step 2, now's a good time to use that new dictionary!
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Slow down, buddy! Just because people can read it doesnt mean it isnt crap! - Kailat777
#8m_artist200(Topic Creator)Posted 1/11/2009 2:54:24 PMmessage detail
Chapter 2: Writing a compelling storyline!

So now your game's legible, right?

Slow down, buddy! Just because people can read it doesn't mean it isn't crap! Let's just take a look at your game now, ok?

There are a few massive pitfalls that should be avoided if at all possible in your game. From experience I'l tell you that it's always possible to avoid them so make sure you do so! These are:

1. Relying on coincidence or having things happen for no reason
2. Using too many Clichéd ideas
3. "Borrowing" from other games

Now you know what to avoid (or so I hope). For the people who are confused about all this (the ones I'm writing this for) I'll go into more depth now.

1. Relying on coincidence: so little Timmy's walking down the street with his family when a wizard pops out and tries to kill him. The wizard misses Timmy but kills his parents before running away. 5 years later little Timmy's become big Timmy and he's out for revenge.

Yes, this story sounds stupid (I meant for it to). Seriously, I've read worse on these forums. MUCH worse. Let's look at the main problems with this story.

A) Why are Timmy and his family walking down the street to begin with? If they're taking a walk just say so, don't give an action without the motive behind the action (remember that sentence, I'm going to type it several more times!)

B) Where was the wizard before he popped out? Did he just materialize out of thin air? Yeah, he IS a wizard so he could have done that, but the story didn't say he did. For all the reader knows he could have just jumped out from behind the bushes! For the record, people usually don't have wizards pop out of nowhere. Instead they have armies or dragons pop out of nowhere, and I don't think armies or dragons have that ability like wizards do.

C) Why did the wizard decide pop out to off Timmy and Mr. and Mrs. Timmy? Is there some sort of prophesy (always convenient, and clichéd, but I'm not at the part yet)? Did Mr. Timmy's grandfather disgrace the wizard 50 years ago? Did Timmy have some delicious candy the wizard wanted in on? DON'T GIVE AN ACTION WITHOUT THE MOTIVE BEHIND THE ACTION!

D) Why didn't the wizard stay and finish off Timmy after he took out his parents? Was Timmy just not a threat to him? Anyway, who knows, maybe the wizards just sadistic and gets a kick out of finishing off kid's parents and letting the kid watch. Wizards do stuff like that sometimes.

2) Using too many clichéd ideas; You have your two male powerhouses that were best friends since childhood wielding swords. You have the older guy';s girlfriend casting white magic. You have some sissy casting black magic because he can't take a hit without dying. The four of them are on a quest to save the world because they're essentially the "chosen ones"right?

Wrong.
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Slow down, buddy! Just because people can read it doesnt mean it isnt crap! - Kailat777
#9m_artist200(Topic Creator)Posted 1/11/2009 2:55:35 PMmessage detail
I'm sorry, but everyone just stopped caring. Why? Nothing is new in this story! We';ve all played 5 hojillion games about this already, this horse's already been beaten to death AND made into dog food and glue, and we don't want to see what happens to it next!

Why can't the guy's girlfriend be some giant of a woman wielding a sword who happens to be his girlfriend because she TOLD him that she was his girlfriend (and we all know not to say no to a girl, let alone one with a sword)? Can't our black mage be a peace loving hippie? Make sure you explain WHY a hippie would be a black mage and then there's no problem with it! Can't some other ragtag team be the chosen ones? "Chosen ones"have been done to death, you don't have to say it for it to be assumed. If your team's instantly stronger than anything in the world and can never lose a battle, they're the chosen ones! Make your party actually have to work hard before you send them off to save the world!

3. Borrowing from other games; There's never a problem with a good sequel! If you're going to make a game about what happens to that irritating girl on that Final Fantasy game (right now everyone has SOME girl in their head fitting this description) then by all means, do it! If you're going to make your own game with its fresh ideas and then PUT that irritating girl in it, rethink your game (if it still sounds like a good idea, uninstall RMXP). By the same token, if you're going to make the FF sequel, don't put your own characters in it! Last time I checked, Cloud and company already saved the world once, why should little Jake who didn't do a damn thing be on par with 'em?

Just because your game is about cards doesn't mean Yugi has to swing by and show you how it's done. Just because your game has something to do with collecting monsters doesn' mean they have to be OR LOOK LIKE Pokemon! Try something new, bold, or original (or, if you're daring, all three at once!).
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Slow down, buddy! Just because people can read it doesnt mean it isnt crap! - Kailat777
#10m_artist200(Topic Creator)Posted 1/11/2009 2:56:03 PMmessage detail
Chapter 3. Writing a Believable World! Almost Done! This is the Short Chapter!

So now your story deserves an award! Don't get too cocky, kid! You just started writing your game, now you have to keep it up! Don't forget to check your spelling and grammar. Make sure you try to keep clichés, coincidences, and other games out of your game. There are only 2 more lessons for you before I set you free and let you figure the rest out on your own.

1. Don't make any contradictions! If your game started with a wizard, make sure he stays a wizard! Don't turn him into a dragon unless he happens to be a wizard with the ability to turn into a dragon. If he is make sure SOMEONE IMPORTANT knows he can turn into a dragon and tells the party!

2. Make your NPCs behave like real people. We don't expect NPCs to follow a fancy schedule. If nothing else, you have to make sure they follow a couple rules:

a) Farmer Bill over in Hicktown on the East side of Forgotten Continent shouldn't know that the wizard can turn into a dragon! If he does then apparently he needs to join your party because Bill has some damn good connections in high places. Your NPCs should know things that make sense for that NPC to know!

b) Chef Betty needs you to get some turnips for her world class stew. Farmer Bob will give you the turnips you need if you can get him a hoe to replace the one he just broke. Shopkeeper Willy can';t sell you a hoe because he hasn';t gotten in the shipment. Toolmaker Timmy will make a hoe if you can help him get the wood for it because the forest has just been overrun by monsters! The first thing any reasonable player will do is leave this godforsaken town and let natural selection run its course on these moronic villagers. Your Chef should have her own damn turnips if she's such a good chef and so on down the line. If you HAVE to send us on fetch quests make it something out of the ordinary for that type of character. If you can explain to us why Chef Betty needs a shovel it's understandable that a chef wouldn't have access to a shovel.
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Slow down, buddy! Just because people can read it doesnt mean it isnt crap! - Kailat777