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A recopilation of Pixel's tutorials. Visit his blog at http://finalbossblues.com
TUTORIALES LEGACY Posted 28 December 2011 - 02:55 PM
RPG Maker VX & XP (Soon to be Ace) Game Design
Starting Your Project [ X01 ]
I'm sure all of you in the past have made project, thought it was good, but then gave up on it a week later? Or have you got a project up, and no one liked it? Perhaps you're just starting out, and you want to have some good tips on trying to make the project itself. Well. Here, I can show you how to begin you project on full force. Consider that you're a normal person. If not, that I don't know what I can do for you. Now, for most parts sake, I am just going to say that you feel like making a game, but you have no idea if you can finish front to end. Well, here are some tips to get you motivated to finish that game.
• When you are making the game, find some motivation! Post a beta on a largely populated forum to get feedback. When ever a person tells you are doing a great job, I'm sure that'll drive you to do more with the game.
• Ensure that you work in steps, don't throw yourself blind into a project without considering it first hand.
• Your work environment must be a secure one. In order to prevent yourself from losing lack of interest, make sure to manage your time wisely. Dedicated 1 hour or so.
With that sad, a person can then start looking into the actual design of the game.
Starting The Game [ X02 ]
There isn't much to say when you're going to start your game. However, there are some dos and don'ts when you sit down and begin the game itself.
1. Never start the project without a solid story ready. 2. Do not begin the project with no materials ready at hand. 3. Maker sure to focus on an original story line. 4. Base off a main idea, and work from there. 5. Start from a base of the game, battle system and all. 6. Do not use the standard character presets in RPG Maker VX or XP. Or at least mix them up and
give original names It is under much original concept that when you start the game, that your story must be under a preset of "times of the old age". Your story can be literally anything. From a futuristic world, to a desolate landscape on another world. It does not have to stick to laws of the original world. Just something to think about.
First Phase: Project Materials [ X03 ]
All materials in a project should be fresh and exciting. Try not to stick with the original presets in XP or VX, and use resources either created by yourself or someone else. It keeps it fresh for the community playing your game. As well as that, a soundtrack along the lines of fitting the style of your game makes 30% of it. If you use a crappy soundtrack, people will not be motivated towards the actual game's story. If you use a soundtrack moving towards the story, more than likely, even the more unoriginal plot ideas will seem good. Unique battle systems always change the way people see your game. It is rare to find a project totally customized with a new battle system and all, but when you do it, you'll never realize that it's actually an RPG Maker game.
The first impression is always a good thing, so imagery for the title screen, or scripts to enhance it is always a plus. As well as some aesthetically changes to the game, for example, Thomas Edison VX script changes the lighting of the game.
Second Phase: Testing Scripts [ X04 ]
Often overlooked as something that is unneeded, I'm sure, but think about it. Does your game lack fluidity? Does it have hanging errors to create bugs? Is your game to script orientated to make the game enjoyable? Or is the system so complex that the player would get bored with it?
The best way to understand is to test your scripts. Go ahead, test them by making a cutscene, or a scripted boss battle or a puzzle orientated dungeon? Is it easy for both the player, and the programmer? Well, if it is, then you're doing it right. Some games are too script orientated and must be heavily detailed for a person to actually want to play it. However, for the common person, it is not the case. So overscripting is a bad idea.
Third Phase: Design [ X05 ]
When designing a game, it's best to start from a script. Write down the plot, and write down how the game starts, and ends. Put it into action by starting it with the cutscene. Start with a strong run, and then work your way into large amounts of game play. The game should average 8 scenarios (8 boss fights, or 8 major events), a final scenario (final boss) and optional quests during all these scenarios. (That is if you're making an average length game fitting standards of commercial games on market now. You don't need to follow this format. See post #7 on how I explain this.)
For example: Scenario 1 involves a fight with a rep villain (An enemy commonly fought as a sub-boss multiple times through the game), and through out the time, you go out searching for that villain because they did what ever. In order to keep the plot moving, Scenario 2 will need to be lead into by an event in Scenario 1, so for that to happen, let's just say that very villain stole the main character's girlfriend, so the main character goes searching for in Scenario 2. Blablabla, events. Well, to be honest, at this point, you've got all the tips to finish a game, however, a lengthy game to an good extent is better than a short 40 minute game. Every scenario must be exciting, and if you can keep that going for an length of scenarios, then you're doing alright! However... There is a limit to how long each scenario should last. Every scenario should be averaged (Except the introduction and ending) around 30-60 minutes per scenario. You don't need to time yourself. You'll know when the scenario is good and ready to wrap up.
Thanks for reading, and remember to support RPG Maker VX Ace! Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:43 AM
!Format Designing! Getting down to business:
Disclaimer: You do not need to follow this guide by any means. If you don't like the tips, or formatting that I do, then please disregard it, and do not comment that you dislike one detail
about it, unless that detail sounds like I "set that in stone and everyone should follow it." Because everything I say is not set it stone, so be as flexible as you want! Linear: Linear type games follow a single plot line, usually a one-ending games you'd find in most Nintendo games like Super Mario, Zelda, or the Megaman series. (Not Battle Network for an exception.) Bi-Linear: Just like linear, you follow a single plot line, however the plot can branch off into probably a different ending, or a change of direction from the story. You'd find these in games with two or more endings. Open World: These games often find themselves on the market such as Grand Theft Auto or Fall Out 3/New Vegas. World Map: Usually found in RPG games like Final Fantasy. These are quite common, and are used to represent areas of the map where the character(s) can explore. [left]What does this mean to you, then? Just a bunch of terms that you probably won't ever use in your normal vocab unless you're reviewing a videogame. Well! When plotting a game, you never want to open up with just a linear format, then 3/4 through, you get a world map. However, I never said you couldn't, because Final Fantasy X did it, so what the hey, right? Before starting, considering that this guide is written for RPG Maker XP/VX/Ace so, the basic formula is RPG genre. RPG games can be mounted in several ways. A linear open-world? A bi-linear open-world? A bi-linear world map open-world? (You can't have linear and bi-linear. That doesn't make sense.) You are not limited to those types. I only covered the major kinds that are used in current games today. Scenario: A game play type following a single, linear format where a character experiences events through a one line of events Chapter : A bi-linear type of game where a character can experience two or more sides of the same ending leading to another chapter. Sequence: A game play type with no set ending leading to the next sequence. Often used in open world games. (Still not limited to those types.) So. How do we format these kind of games? Depends on how you want the story layed out before the character! Openworld fits best a sequence design! If your game is an open world, you can probably fit a crap ton of different kinds of storylines. Not just one, or two. Not a set ending, etc. Fall Out 3 did that well. Linear goes good with sequence, because of course, it's a one line format made specifically to organize the game. You would not find a world map on these kind of games, with some exceptions of course. Bi-Linear is good with chapter because you can experience more than one side of a story,
rather than a linear, static story. In expression to what I mean by creating a story. Let me break it down for you. A scenario is basically a section of the game that is based on an event that player needs to solve! I've explained this before, but allow me to elaborate. Villain steals protagonist's girlfriend, and the protagonist wants her back, so he does just that for scenario 1. Scenario 2 plays out on however the events lead to depending on the ending of Scenario 1. So, to keep the game going, you need a bigger conflict to strive the player to keep going. A chapter is not like a book. However, in comparison to a book, a chapter can be inferred to a part, not a section of the book. In simple terms, when plot designing for a game with more than one story going on, you'd most commonly find chapters instead of scenarios. A central conflict was created to make a character try and beat the game. However, not for the case of the actual game story, because you can make multiple endings, stories, areas, stuff that can be done to alter the game's play through. You'd find this in games with features such as "New Game+" or games that give you the choice to play it again for an entirely new story like Fable 1, 2, or 3! Interesting, isn't it? Sequence is a game that is completely open world. There is no set ending. You'll never find the ending until you actually do a chain of things to lead to the credits. This isn't very easy to explain, just imagine the game Grand Theft Auto? Played any of them? No ending? Yeah, it's JUST like that. You are not limited to these, but these are mainstream types. Oh? You want my opinion? Okay, well, I personally like Chapters instead of scenarios, it gives a more dynamic approach to the game. It gets the player into. TUTORIALES VELVELA JADE Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:19 PM All too often, a newbie game maker thinks they can make the ultimate RPG game right at the start. Then, the experienced game makers think that the newbie game maker should just start with something small - a sample game - just to get their feet wet. Well, why not make your dream game in tiny stages that will work on its own, in each stage? What do I mean? Aren't we supposed to "Keep It Simple Stupid", as that saying goes? We will keep it simple and program it in small steps that slowly, over time, make the game more complex and interesting. 1) Plan out the basic story. Many games has as their focus: Be the best Warrior you can be and bring peace to the Land by killing the enemy. We can add the details to this story later... when we feel like it. 2) Decide what the player needs to do to accomplish that end. This usually means collecting something so you can buy weapons. Then, you have to do quests in order to upgrade those weapons skills. 3) Yes, that was very basic. But now the details. Often times, the game maker wants to add many weapons, many generals, many army units and even more enemies. Add to that, gamers wanting the ultimate game, often wants mega lands that take up more space then 10 planet Jupiters. 4) So how do we get a game with 100 weapons, with 200 Generals, 2000 Army Units and 5000 Enemies spread over 20 planets each with 100 countries per planet on 10 continents
per planet to be a real hard hitting gamers game? And how do we do this with out pulling our hairs out? The How To Part: Break everything down into micro-steps. This means that with every added step, you could end the game programming right there, and have the player accomplish something. This also means that you can repeat any step as many times as you want. 1) Here, the first step is movement. Write your first script to just get player from Point A to Point B. That is it. I recommend having as graphics a basic building and another starting point. That starting point can be a tree, the beginning of a path, or whatever. You could, if you wanted to, repeat this so that the player will be able to move to Point A, B, C, D, and so on until all the Points in the game are accounted for. 2) We got the player to the building, but the player needs to pick up objects. So we have player move from object on the ground to another object on the ground, picking up what they see and having that object go immediately into inventory. These objects can be some form of money. Now, if all you can program is moving the player from one point to another point, and picking up things they see, you will have an excellent Exploration game that some of us adore. However, most gamers want to battle so we move on to the 3rd step. If you made many points, then all you really have to do is add to the graphics some object to pick up that represents money. 3) Add to the game a counter so that with every object picked up, the money is added up. 4) Use VX Ace's Forms to move player from where they are and bring them into the building. This building we will now call the store. Allow player to pick up objects but have these object go into a holding place, we'll call the trolley or shopping cart. Have each object that is added to the trolley or shopping cart cause a subtotal to show on the screen somewheres so the player knows how much cost they will have when they go to the Assistant or Cashier. Use a counter script or Vx Ace's own forms to create this. Take player to assistant or cashier. Now the hard part. Use form to have player give money for the total price in their trolley or shopping cart. And, once that money has transfered over, have all objects in trolley go to inventory. 5) Now the real programming begins. Use form to allow player to choose 1 inventory item and equip their player with that item. Let them change their minds as many times as they want to. 6) Have player use that item. Maybe graphics where the player fights into the air. You can have player earn 1 experience point here. Next is collision programming. We have the player use item to touch a stationary object - giant Weed. Why a Weed? We'll use the object in hand to cut that weed down. Have player earn more experience points in order to level up their weapon. 7) Next is to make your first enemy. Give your weeds legs and let them run around. Have the player try to kill the weeds. Here is where the experience points earned should be a lot higher so that their weapon really does become stronger. The next thing I would add is when weed dies, player gets skill points. These skill points can either raise Attack, Defense or Health levels.
8) Remember all those Generals, Army Units, Weapons and Enemies? Well, here is where we can start adding those in. Using just a basic map where we still have Point A going to Point B, the store. You can add in as many enemies as you want here. You can even go back to that store, and have them buy a General there, and have this go into another inventory. You can add Army Units to buy and put those Army units in yet another inventory. Okay, fine, but what about all those continents? 9) Once you have the basic map layer done, you can always expand your world and add 1 more continent, or 1 more planet and so on. The trick is to plan out your ultimate goal, but then break those goals down into tiny steps that can be accomplished. Repeating these steps as many times as you want will help you add more layers to your game, and make it more complicated. You start with a basic plot of land, and slowly add more buildings, more roads, more cities, more continents, more lakes or other bodies of water. Slowly you add more battles, more enemies, more stuff to buy. Slowly, over time. And, if you focus on 1 step at a time, the task is much easier. My next post will discuss adding layers that go beyond battling, using my own game as an example. It will also help illustrate the principles I have outlined above. What about my own game? Ultimately, 20 levels spanning 20 games, with at least: 3 planets to explore, 10 stores per planet, 3 libraries, 2 schools, at least 10 classes per level, and at least 10 mini-games per level. Add to this, many trading card sets to collect, and dorm rooms to rearrange and sneaking buying books that are beyond the level the player's character is at and you have a very complicated game indeed. However, to break down my game into its basic steps, I'll have: 1) 1 level and thus 1 game. 1 book that player can buy, open and close 1 city with 1 store and at least 1 other item player can buy. 1 school with at least 1 hallway, 1 dorm room and 1 classroom. 1 inventory that player can rearrange. 2) I get this done, then I can add the next layer: More stores and more items to buy. I can add another classroom or other room for player to explore. 3) I can add experience points for each book they open, read and close. I can add experience points for each room that they walk too. Remember, we are keeping this very basic yet. 4) Now, I can add a Mini-game and make it more complicated. The easiest mini-game would be a Multiple choice where the player chooses which button has the correct answer. This may be boring, but it is basic. I can make this more complicated by creating a crossword graphic and having player choose words to complete the puzzle. They choose word 1 and move it to slot 1. 5) What about learning how to use that item we bought? Here, the mini-game might take the form of a battle with an imaginary enemy - perhaps that weed that sprouted legs? You can even have that opening of a book, start the battle. Or, you can have them use that item to lift up an object, say Sprouting Beans, and add it to a cauldron. Accomplish this task, and you can add another layer: Lifting bottle and pouring contents into that cauldron. 6) I can add another planet where they can buy books or items. I can have these books found in a library. The basic level is at least 1 of whatever that the player can interact with. Once this works, you can add a more objects, more cities, more planets or whatever you want to add.
Advanced Micro-steps: Useful for Alchemy RPG type games. Lab or Alchemy: 1) Write script or use Ace's forms to allow choosing of object. 2) Write script or use Ace's forms to allow dropping object into Cauldron. 3) Write script or use Ace's forms to allow stirring. 4) Write script or use Ace's forms to allow pouring of object. 5) Write script or use Ace's forms to allow cutting of object. Personally, I think it would be easier to just have object precut. 6) Write script or use Ace's forms to have player pick up spoon and taste concoction. Or, have him feed it to the plant. Sokoban Puzzles as a stepping stone for complicated puzzles: EDIT: Player moving an object around the board requires a Script to be added to the Database. 1) At its basic level, a player can only push object to move it to the desired location. 2) Make those objects take on weird or outrageous shapes and sizes, and it becomes much more interesting. 3) Add Walls, Waterfountains and other immoveable objects and the task becomes even more complicated. 4) Add the ability to stack objects, and then you can have player climb in order to reach needed object or button that will then make something else happen. Maybe a door opens, or the object is a key that unlocks the door. Physical Movement: Think about all the ways your player should be able to move in order to accomplish what you want the player to do within your game. Then, create each movement in its own step. A character can Walk or Run. This can be a simple adjustment of speed player moves. Crawl, Skip, Hop, Jump or Climb are other possibilities. Have the player Stir, Pour and Shake and you have created the ability to mimic creating a real alchemy potion. I hope these two tutorials you may find useful. Sorry I can not add actual scripts, but there are plenty of scripts for the finding online, created by people who are really good programmers. I am better at designing games and breaking them down to their most basic level so that they can be slowly built in stages - one step at a time. Going beyond the Basic: Spoilers? Kept to a bare minimum. And, I'm losely basing it on my game, to avoid more spoilers. You got your feet wet, now what? I use Freeplane to plan out my game and all its details. Freeplane allows tabs that can all stay up, even after you closed the game (provided you have it set up that way).
Story: Most gamers want some sort of plot. Is there some evil force to conquer? That evil weed on legs comes to mind. Or, is this supposed to be a Simulation or reality type game? My own game will start out as a simulation game. You play a student going to Jade University where you learn to use skills that fall into both Fantasy and Sci-Fi categories. However, you will have battling if you want. Let's add the details. We'll use my game because it is easier for me. The 1st Bubble/Leg: The World - Jade Uni: (Or whatever your game is called) The 2nd Legs (Right side of 1st leg): Name the basic destination categories.
1. Starting base, in my case Home.
2. Destination One: Find City of Xavex
3. Destination Two: City of Xavex and its Stores (to buy stuff for school)
4. Destination Three: School - Jade University The 3rd Legs: Add what is found under each destination 1. Home:
1. Living Room
4. Frontyard with Mailbox 2. Xavex - contains the stores, but because I'm doing a maze puzzle to find Xavex...
1. Normal City for people without special powers
2. Clues to where player should go.
3. Clues are puzzles to solve that tell player which directions to go.
4. Clues also give hints as to what school is all about.
5. Direct entrance into Xavex
6. Secret shortcut into Xavex 3. City of Xavex: I only list the basic stores here. I actually have several stores under each category.
1. Clothing Store - 4th leg: Name the various stores you have.
2. Weaponry Store
3. Book Store
4. Food Store
5. Trolley and Baggages Store (Trolley has a special feature in my game).
6. Chemist 4. Jade University
2. Herbs and Plants
7. You name your classes.
Now, make a New 2nd Leg on the LEFT side of "The World - Jade Uni". This is where we are going to plan out the movement that the player makes. This is also the most difficult part of the planning stage when you are making a game like mine. 1. Movement - Home
1. Player walks from room to room tryng to find clues as to what they should be doing.
(Ultimate puzzle game, not recommended if you want to sell your game for real
2. Player is led outside, and finds Mailbox.
3. Player opens mailbox.
4. Player gets letter and reads it.
5. Player leaves house and enters road. 2. Find City of Xavex
1. Road leads player to city.
2. Player clicks on clues found on road.
3. Clues - and what they say (with extended legs here)
4. Entrance to Xavex - Secret: clue that tells how to open door.
5. Entrance to Xavex - Main: clue on how to open door. 3. City of Xavex
1. Go around Xavex collecting coins
2. Trolley store - buy trolley
3. Book store - either search for every book on list (more points) or go to assistant and
get all the books at once (less points).
4. Weapon Store - buy whatever. (no spoilers here)
5. and so on until every store is covered
6. Head to train station or take other transport to school 4. Jade University - Nut of the Game
1. Player directed to Great Hall or Auditorium for Class Schedule and
2. Tell player to explore school and pick out a spot for their trolley
3. Have player rearrange trolley (and inventory) to better find things.
4. Player goes to first class.
5. Player opens textbook to read first assignment. (+5 xp)
6. Player opens workbook to do first assignment. (+5 xp)
7. Player goes to library to research in books. (+1 xp per book read?)
8. Player goes around school collecting things to up his stats (variety of xp and skill
9. Player practices skills (whatever these skills are...Jaunting, Telekinesis, and so on.)
10. Player performs Alchemy or Chemistry.
11. Player gardens.
12. ? What ever player can do. (no spoilers, so not mentioning the half of it) Skill Points:
1. Health: Survive longer Battles = +1
2. Energy: ? Get more done before earning less skill points? +1
3. Control of Item: More dmg or better control when using item. +5
4. Control of Mind: Better control, more distance, and so on when using mind for
Telekinesis, Jaunting, or Telepathy
5. Stamina: ? Battle more ?
6. ? If needed Collecting: Here is where you can go to town, or skip it all together. You could have it where if player collects a full set of something, they earn so many skill points. The (+1 xp) is the amount of experience points player might get if they do the task. +1 or +5 is how much 1 skill point can raise the stat. My next tutorial will be after I get so far done in my game, in a few weeks. I'm still making tile sets which take forever. TUTORIALES SANDERF90 Probably the first question you are going to ask yourself when starting an rpg is what kind of storyline you'll follow. And while I cannot tell you what to do (that's a decision you make for yourself) I can perhaps inform you what not to do: 1: Bigger is not Better. When it comes to playing everyone loves to play a long good game. So it is natural to do the same as a maker. But here's the thing, you'll probably be alone or with a team that has lifes outside of RPGMaker. Demotivation is a common thing among many gamemakers because of the unreachable finish. A smaller game, while not that impressive, has more chances of finishing. Better to spend a year making 3 small games than a year getting halfway to a big one. 2. Don't make up as you go along. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Honestly, there are some things you can do as you go along. Dialogue and cutscenes. But please prepare before you lay the first tile. Nothing more infuriating than going back to a map and realize you don't need it. Save yourselves a bit of hard work and just lay down the foundation before opening your project. 3. You aren't Shakespeare. Humility is important. What are you writing will probably not be perfect. And if it is, I commend you. Don't get angry if someone tells you that your story isn't intruiging. They are probably telling you for a good reason. Just take a step back, put on your objective glasses and see what you can improve. Or ask a friend to give an opinion. 4. It's just a game. Don't forget that it is a game. You aren't writing a book. Cut stuff, you don't need big expositions if they don't add anything to the game. You don't need hourlong cutscenes. Focus on it being a game. 5. People want to play. A cutscene is fun to look at. But if you can replace it by gameplay, I think you should. Keep cutscenes to a limit and find creative ways to do the same thing in gameplay.
7. Keep important elements in cutscenes. Here's why you should have cutscenes. Important plotelements can't be thrown in during gameplay. A player is gaming not concentrated; A cutscene urges the game to sit still and pay attention. So that is when you should put the things you want them to remember. 8. Try to be creative (but not weird). There are thousands of games out there, you need to be original or your game will drown in a sea of projects. So do things differently, try to be different. But don't take it too far. You need to create some familiarity. 9. NPC's are not robots. NPC's stand around all day waiting for you to talk to them then repeat the same line over and over. Try to do it differently. Add random lines. Make them move, make them interact. A world feels only alive when there is life. Add birds and cats and other animals. And add a good variation of NPC's. Give your player a reason to go up to them. 10. Rules are meant to be broken. The previous 9 things are guidelines. Go ahead, proof me wrong.. Be ambitious, have long cutscenes. By all means do and try it. It's what makes this program so fun. You don't have to feel limited by me or by anyone. A lot is possible, and without crazy ideas we wouldn't have amazing scripts and projects. Go ahead and try to break some rules. (Though not the forumrules, >.>) Cutscenes are the heart of any game. They are ideal to help you establish information or they are just fun to make. However it is also not easy to make a cutscene. I tend to find it pretty hard and I emply a specific system to make it easier. A few steps to improve a cutsene. I want to share these; 1. Outline. For every cutscene I prepare an outline. I discovered this helped me trim unimportant scenes and really get to the point. Goal of the cutscene. Generally scenes have 2 big goals: either to increase tension or to provide information. Your cutscenes should strive to do both, you can always increase tension without a cutscene and giving information without tension is boring. Make sure the information is relevant to the game. A cutscene to provide the information that your main character is 20 years old is not relevant. Sure it is interesting, but it adds very little. If you cannot establish a proper goal for your cutscene, it’s better not to have the scene at all.
-Establish Bob is a king and Jack is his servant. Characters & Motivation. Here I just put a list of characters and their motivation in the scene. I try to really make clear what their goal is. Every character has a goal in the story; a character without a goal is boring. A goal could be to get dinner before noon or to free the kingdom from a corrupt regime. When a goal is thwarted by an obstacle we call that conflict. A good storyline has conflict. Conflict does not mean all-out war, it can be as little as someone having to stand in line for a meal while being hungry. It’s not that interesting, but it is conflict.
Jack, servant of the King. Goal: He wants to be free of the King. Conflict: The King
doesn’t want him to.
Bob, King. Goal: He wants to rule his land properly. Conflict: His servant distracts hm
by demanding freedom. Setting This is just to keep track of where the story takes place in the world of the game. As well as planning ahead what map you are going to make, use. It also helps establishing where the characters will be on the map.
The throne room. Jack is standing in front of the throne where Bob sits upon. 2. The Scene itself Once I’m done with the outline I try to write down the first lines of dialogue. Here are a few things I try to avoid: Narration It is tempting but it goes against the number one writing rule, show don’t tell. Try to avoid a narrator, especially if it does not make sense in the world of the game. Big words Chances are if you have to look up a word, so does the player. The second you open a dictionary try and find another word because nothing throws you out of the game as having to google something. Also, since most of it is dialogue, use words characters tend to use. In some rare cases you can get away with big words: for scientists an scholars. But again, if you can avoid them, please do. Small talk Hello. Hey. How are you? I’m well Yeah, so am I. So about that giant dragon… Up until the dragon nothing relevant or interesting is said. Just cut it. I know it is realistic but it is very dull. L33t, Internettalk, modern talk Most games have a fantasy sitting. Therefor you have to be quite aware about fitting the dialogue in said world. I would advise to avoid archaic words, even if they might fit in the world. But please no leet or internettalk unless you are doing a comedy. Modern talk is a bit less obvious. Try and consider if people in that timeframe would really say what you just typed. Knowing all these things you can start out writing your scene. I tend to start with only dialogue and add actions later. Again that is a personal preference. While writing keep the
goals of yourself and the characters in mind.
Quote King Bob: Jack, you wanted to talk me. Jack: Yes, sire… I’m sorry, forgive me… But I have a request. King Bob: My time is precious Jack, please don’t waste it. Jack: I was wondering if you could free me… I would love to start a shop somewhere. I’m rather done playing servant. King Bob: Hmm. I’m not sure this is a good idea Jack. I’m running a country and a need people to aid me. You are a good servant, I won’t let you go easily. Jack: But sire… King Bob: No buts! Go and make the bed in chamber now. Jack: O-okay sire. 3. Trimming. Look back at your scene and the dialogue and check what parts are pointless. A line you can cut is usually an improvement.
Quote Jack: Sire, I know your time is precious but I want to ask you something. King Bob: Please speak up Jack. Jack: I was wondering if you could free me… I would love to start a shop somewhere. I’m rather done playing servant. King Bob: Hmm. I’m not sure this is a good idea Jack. I’m running a country and a need people to aid me. You are a good servant, I won’t let you go easily. Jack: But sire… King Bob: No buts! Go and make the bed in chamber now. Jack: O-okay sire. 4. Action. Lastly I add action. From movement of the characters to animations, you can add a lot of action in your dialogue. So use it. Break up the dialogue by moving characters around
Quote King Bob is sitting in his throne, when suddenly the door opens and Jack stumbles in. He is surprised. (Balloon: !) Jack stops before the throne and waits. Jack: Sire I know your time is precious but I want to ask you something. King Bob: Please speak up Jack. Jack: I was wondering if you could free me… I would love to start a shop somewhere. I’m rather done playing servant.
Bob doesn’t know what to say. (Balloon icon: …) King Bob: Hmm. I’m not sure this is a good idea Jack. I’m running a country and a need people to aid me. You are a good servant; I won’t let you go easily. Jack: But sire… As Jack protests he moves towards the King. The King himself rushes forward to face Jack. King Bob: No buts! Go and make the bed in chamber now. Jack, obviously shocked by the King’s violent reaction, rushes quickly out of the room. Jack: O-okay sire. 5. Finishing it up. Based on the actions you can now start to even the cutscene. You can always add more to the scene through the use of Facesets with emotions or music. Note that the example used in this tutorial is not a really great scene. Try and be creative with the things you have. There are many, MANY more ways to improve a scene. The examples I gave you were just for clarity. TUTORIAL MONDEZ Posted 18 January 2012 - 03:56 PM
Introduction Welcome to the wonderful guide of bosses! You must be wondering what bosses are, right? Bosses are special types of enemies that spice up any types of games whether it's rpg, shooting, action, etc. What you want are bosses for an rpg, am I right? Let me give you a guide to better and badder bosses. I will update this guide when I find more stuff to add to this list. Section A: Types of Bosses There a many types of bosses in the story that act according to the situation. Take for example the "Final Fantasy" series repetitive and well known boss, Gilgamesh . Gilgamesh is a boss that appears as a goofy, stupid, prideful, but yet one of the most interesting bosses except for Kefka . AnywaysGilgamesh appears in Final Fantasy I, V, VI, and XII as bosses while in the other series as summonings. Gilgamesh always tries to make the scenes comical or serious and fighting him is very challenging except in FFV of course. Another repetitive boss would be the Omega Weapon , another type of boss in the FF series that appears as a secret boss. Secret bosses are bosses that are way beyond harder than the final bosses. They consist of powerful moves that can KO characters in a single hit or constantly hit them with status attacks. In the end when you defeat the secret boss, the rewards are little or always worth it. There are the normal bosses, who in-game are to challenge characters every time they near a part of the story or close to finishing a dungeon. These types of bosses are to halt the player from progressing any further into the story. These types of bosses act like a log in front of a gold flower that you manage to find in the woods and you have only a chisel to cut your way past it.
Then there are the Final Bosses which are the bosses at the end of the story when the main character is close to completing his/her objective in the story. Exdeath in FFV was the final boss when Bartz and the party enter the void and which their objective was to beat him to save the world as in almost every FF game. Final Bosses are to be tough end game bosses and not a boss that gets killed in one shot (Sega CD Zelda). Final Bosses are to be the cliche and tell the player that it is time to meet their match or be ffed in the balls for punishment. They give the player a sense of accomplishment when they face the tough boss as they complete the game. Finally, there are the joke bosses. Literally they are a joke to the game like Seigfried, in FFVI who you fight on the Phantom Train that only dealt one damage and had 100 HP. These types of bosses are for entertainment purposes only and are to be beaten into a pulp instantly. Section B: The Many Types of Bosses Every boss must be different or the game will be considerably meaningless in every way. How bosses should act to how they look like it would be boring to fight a boss named "Soldier" and have him look like a soldier who looks frail and thin like "Angelina Jolie" (lulz). Bosses have to have their own name like "Dawnshredder" or "Barnum's Ultimate Grill Cat Titan" something like that and actually make them look dangerous and awesome. Bosses also must have personalities and not act like a robot unless they are actually are a robot type boss which I will find acceptable. If bosses have no emotion then it is not unique, it's just another Sephiroth wanna be just waiting in the shadows to be trolling everyone in the game. Take for exampleKefka from FFVI and the Prinny Overlord from Disagaea, both are unique because one is barking mad and almost became a god while the other is a giant penguin with knives and bombs that is a walking bomb. These bosses have emotions that are unique from the stereotypical serious, momma-boy bosses and do actions that are not at all robotic. Religious Bosses or myth-type bosses are also great additions to any game. These bosses represent a religion or a story within the world that the characters fight in like "God". These bosses are to give reason to why something is in the game or a cause to a curse to a town. Section C: Boss Battles Boss battles as I explained are to be challenging and a stop gape for players when they go through the game. Bosses have high hp, mp, attack, defense, etc. Their stats are triple of the the players and his/her party also they are difficult to beat because of the array of attacks the bosses have. Bosses must BE difficult to be difficult to beat and not one hit death unless they are joke bosses. A good example of that is of course Sega CD's Zelda. Bosses must have special attacks that characters and other monsters don't have to make the battle hard, also they must be a constant nuisance to the parties stats as well like applying poison, blind, confusion, etc. Omega Weapon from the FF series had an attack that could kill, petrify, blind, etc. if it hit one of your characters. Also in a boss battle, bosses have minions that they have with them in battle that can prove an annoyance. When implementing a battle, try having the enemies come back from the dead some turns later or have the boss call reinforcements when he/she reaches a certain hp level. Final Boss battles are a big one because these battles are a test of one's meddle of what the player has gone through in the entire game. In the FF series V and VI, both final bosses had multiple bodies or battles within the final battle. Body parts that are connected to the boss that have it's own attacks and also high hp can be challenging to a player. Also add something to the boss when it dies like a suicide move or a move that can deal damage to the players party when it dies.
Also sometimes you want to add flair or difficulty to boss battles, for example the dragon Shinryuu in FFV in the rift can change elements in battle, but the downside was it's type was always dragon making it susceptible to the Jump attack. By giving bosses elements can asses what the player does to the boss in battle. Also have a time and point when the boss is invincible for a certain period of time and you must defeat his minions to make the boss vunerable again. Also add some dialog during the fight as well to make the battle more energetic or sad either way to change the flow of battle. Also I suggest for some bosses to use transformations to throw off the player completely. One more thing is to try to limit player moves and actions in battle like banning their magic or skills so the player would have a hard time dealing with the boss, don't make it permanent though or it would be just a chore to beat the boss with only attack. Buffing up the boss is a good idea too so the player can focus on healing and buffing up their characters as well. Section D: Lewt! Bosses all have loot and good loot as well. Play WoW and you'll see that bosses drop gear, weapons, or items unattainable anywhere else. Some bosses drop keys or an item that allows the player to go further into the story and allow them to see beyond the stuck point where the player is at. If you don't create loot for the player then the player will be disappointed that they got no lewt! (Not really lulz.) Section E: Example Here are some examples of some G-R-E-A-T Boss Battles from different RPG games: Seymour FFX (Badass music and boss fight :3: Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:18 PM
Making Memorable NPCs Yo. Today I feel like talking about NPCs. I've played a lot of amateur RPGs and nearly all of them feature the same copy-paste "welcome to this town" NPCs. Lazy game developers will treat NPCs like scenery—like they're just a part of the map and not living characters. The strange part is that people know that these kind of NPCs are boring and lame, but they rarely take the time to flesh them out. Hopefully this article can help you come up with some great NPC ideas. What is an NPC? The simplest definition is obvious: NPC stands for non-player character. However, that doesn't seem to cut it with modern games. When we strictly follow the "non-player character" definition, a lot of central characters—like major antagonists—should be labeled as NPCs. And while that might be true from a technical standpoint, the modern usage of the term is a bit more specific: typically NPCs are the commoners who inhabit the game world without being caught up in the major events of the story. Plenty of people would argue that major story characters are NPCs, too—and I can't disagree with that. For the sake of this article, we're not talking about those characters. I'm talking about the day-to-day people, the working class citizens who make your world come to life. Making NPCs Memorable
Why bother? The player just wants to skip ahead to the next dungeon, right? Well—if your NPCs suck, of course they will. Here's a problem: the player will only care about the NPCs if you give him a reason to. The obvious reason for a diverse cast of NPCs is that it gives the world depth. People have personalities, and the more personality you can cram into your game world the better it will be. People have lives—people have jobs. If your NPCs seem to exist only for the sake of the player, then your game's immersion factor is slaughtered. If the player can remember every person (or most people) that he comes across, the world feels so much more real. I would argue that every single NPC in your game needs something unique about him or her. Consider that most RPGs have a "save the world" plot: these are the people who you are saving. These people are the reason that we want to defeat the evil sorcerer and save the planet. If you have no connection to these people, if you have no reason to care about them, the magnitude of your quest will be significantly lessened. I love the sequence that plays during the end credits of Ocarina of Time: you've succeeded in saving the world and all of the people that you have encountered along the way are celebrating around a bonfire. You recognize them, you know them—you've interacted with all of them on some level or another—and you feel like they know you too. You feel like you've genuinely succeeded in helping them. It's a good feeling—it's a great feeling. It was all worth it for them. Ideas and Examples Let's look at some memorable NPCs from Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series and what we can learn from them.
This is Beedle , who first appeared in The Wind Waker and most recently in Skyward Sword. In both appearances, he runs a specialty shop that sells unique items. Also in both appearances, he has a very distinctive appearance and personality (and voice—anybody whose visited his shop in Wind Waker will remember Beedle's "thaankyouuu!"). In Skyward Sword, he's given even more depth. For example, if you go into his shop but leave without buying anything, he'll get mad and drop you out a trap door. On top of that, you can find him at home at night, where he seems to lose his distinctive accent and speaks completely differently when he's "off the clock". Beedle shows us that:
• Shopkeepers can have personalities. It isn't hard at all to give your shopkeepers unique dialogue—have them show interest in a particular hobby, or give them something else to do other than sell you items. Remember that running a shop is just their day job; behind that shop menu is a person with interests of
You'll recognize this fellow; it's Ingo from Ocarina of Time. He's the scabby dirtbag who took over Lon Lon Ranch and tried to lock you up—until you escaped and rescued your horse, Epona. What's cool about Ingo is that he has a full character arc: in the beginning of the game he is a lazy ranch hand, but after seven years pass he makes a deal with Ganondorf and takes control of the ranch (while Talon, the previous owner, is now found in a house in Kakariko). After the player puts Ingo in his place, he returns to being a ranch hand, humbled by the experience. It's a simple arc for a simple character, but it's enough to give him personality that makes him memorable and adds depth to the inhabitants of the world. Ingo is proof that:
• NPCs can change over time. An NPC is a character, and one thing that I always obsess about is character development. Over the course of your game's story, give your characters the opportunity to grow and change. If you can have them develop based on the actions of the player, even better! Take something as simple as a mopey kid wandering around town sulking because he lost an item: the player might bring it to him and then after that he will be happy and playful. Remember that NPCs have things going on in their lives; even if their stories aren't being told directly, they can be shown and hinted at.
Tingle! Tingle! Kooloo-Limpah! A lot of people hate Tingle , and though I don't really understand the massive fanbase that he has acquired in Japan, I think he's a fantastic NPC because he's so recognizable. Lets ignore his gimmicky side games; Tingle was one of the most memorable NPCs fromMajora's Mask. He floated around on his bright balloon and when you popped it, he would be eager to sell you maps of overworld areas. He's instantly recognizable for his uncomfortably bright clothing, insane personality and obsession with fairies. But more importantly, he has a family: the man who runs the pictograph contest will grumble about he is disappointed because his son is too old to be obsessed with fairies. It isn't difficult for the player to know exactly who means, and when he is shown a picture of Tingle, the man will reward the player for making the connection. This is a perfect example that:
• NPCs can have relationships with each other. Take it further than the obvious trading sequence: the more the NPCs are familiar with each other, the more the world feels interconnected and realistic. Let the characters be aware of each other—let them have friends and enemies, family members, co-workers. If the player can talk to an NPC and then think "so this guy has a crush on the lady who runs the potion shop", then you've established a connection—not just between those two NPCs, but with the player as well. It opens up tremendous opportunities for minigames and side-quests, but even just including references in the NPC's dialogue is often enough to give them memorable depth.
Yeto and Yeta appeared as central figures in Twilight Princess's most unique dungeon, the Snowpeak Ruins. The inhabit the dungeon—it's their mansion, and Yeto is cooking soup and lets you replenish your life by drinking some (adding more complexity, there are no recovery hearts in the dungeon because the player is able to recover in this way). But in addition to that, his wife attempts to help the player by telling him the locations of different treasures in the dungeon. And at the end of the dungeon, she is revealed to be possessed and transforms into the boss. These characters show that:
• NPCs can exist within dungeons. And I would like to see a lot more of it! Dungeons are often dark and lonely, but adding some other characters can open up new design opportunities and make the entire dungeon experience a lot more interesting. Consider a dungeon where the player has to chase down an enemy, or has to work with a friend. The more interactivity in your game, the better. And giving life to NPCs is a great way to to that!
If you've played Majora's Mask, then you remember Kafei . He's the subject of the game's largest side-quest, and his storyline intertwines with multiple residents of Clock Town. The most memorable part of the entire game for me isn't the dungeons or the bosses, but the quest to reunite Kafei with his lover Anju. The final moments, where they clutch each other and proclaim their love against the backdrop of the apocalypse—is beautiful. Majora's Mask has a unique three-day cycle—and at different points within those three days, Kafei can be found in different areas. At one point, the player must meet Kafei at a thief's secret lair. The most memorable part of the Kafei sidequest is that he holds the unique position in the Zelda series of being a playable character. Kafei takes you all over the place:
• NPCs can move. And I'm not talking about walking in little random circles in a village. Let the NPCs be mobile. If your NPC is recognizeable in appearance and personality, then he doesn't need to be tied down to a single place. As his story progresses, let the hero encounter him in multiple areas. Remember that your world is populated, that these characters are not just scenery. They have motivations, they have ambitions, they have goals. They have lives. Posted 22 December 2011 - 05:27 PM
I WANT TO WRITE GOOD CHARACTERS by William "Bricks" Hofstadter-Despain
What is the most important part of a story? If you said “the characters” then congratulations—you’re right! At the heart of every story, in every medium (a book, movie, tv series, a game,
or anything else with a story), are the characters. The characters are how we identify the story, how we interact with it, and most importantly the characters
DRIVE the story. In fact, I am of the school of thought that the CHARACTERS ARE THE STORY. But writing GOOD characters can be a little tricky. It’s easy to fall into stereotypes or two-dimensional nobodies. Here’s a question to think about: what DEFINES your character? What makes
him/her who he/she is? If you said “he has a badass sword” or “she is the princess of a kingdom” or “he’s quirky and sooo random omg” then you’re
doing it wrong. The most important element of a character is what he or she WANTS.
Let me repeat that, because it’s going to the the central thesis for this
article: the defining element of a character is what he or she wants. In other words, a character’s motivation makes the character. Once you know what motivates your character, and incorporate it into his or her dialogue and action, it will not only create a more emphatic character—building a strong
bond with your audience—but it will pull your entire story into a tight and cohesive character-driven narrative. The “I Want Song” I’m a huge Broadway nerd—I loooove musicals. And within the world of musicals, there is a particular kind of song known as the “I Want Song”. In
nearly every (good) musical, the protagonist (and often the antagonist and other major characters) will have a song devoted to the expression of their desires. It usually comes in somewhat early—maybe even the character’s first
big number. Because this song will define the character for the audience—the audience will know immediately that this is what the characters WANTS, and how it will influence the character’s actions throughout the rest of the play.
Often the song is reprised multiple times throughout the show, as the character’s “I Want Song” becomes the character’s leitmotif or theme song. When the melody of an “I Want Song” is juxtaposed over a scene where
something is happening that goes directly against the character getting what he wants, it can be genuinely heartbreaking. This is why the music in musicals can have tremendous emotional impact. The concept isn’t restricted to musicals—while your character might not be
literally singing about what he wants, the “I Want Song” needs to be present WITHIN the character at all times. This isn’t to say that the character’s motivation can’t change—in fact I would argue that the strongest character
development comes from development of the character’s motivation—but if your character’s actions aren’t defined by his motivations, then your character isn’t much of a character at all. I’m going to look at two examples of great memorable characters to show how
a character’s motivation becomes central to his or her identity and how the “I Want Song” should be used to build conflict and DRIVE the story. Ariel Wants to Be Human
The Little Mermaid is a classic Disney musical. I’m more familiar with the
Broadway version—which has a lot more depth than the animated movie (particularly it gives Ursula and Eric a lot more depth so they’re fleshed-out characters (with “I Want Songs” of their own) rather than vessels for moving
the story along). Whichever version you’re familiar with, though, you’ve probably heard Ariel’s “Part of Your World” (here’s a Youtube—go ahead, watch it). It’s clear that her strongest desire is to be a part of the human world (the most
repeated phrase in the song is “I want”). She’s absolutely fascinated by human culture, collecting discarded objects and paintings from shipwrecks and wondering what kind of civilization could create such magical artifacts. This
fascination drives the main conflict of the story—she makes a deal with the devil (in this case her aunt, the witch Ursula) where she gives up her voice in order to have human legs. Now what really gets me is how Ariel’s song is used as a metaphor for the
overall theme of the story—becoming human is a metaphor for growing up. Ariel is a girl who is on the verge of becoming a young woman, and that thematic element of her motivation creates a strong link to the audience. We
can totally empathize with her, and that creates an emotional core to the entire story. The next character isn’t from a musical, but his “I Want Song” rings loud and clear in everything that he does. Gollum Wantses his Preciousss
Everybody knows what Gollum wants. Even if you’ve never seen or read Lord of the Rings, you’re familiar with his catchphrase: “My precioussss.” Gollum wants
the One Ring, and it motivates everything that he does. Honestly I don’t even need to say much more than that—once I’ve brought it to your attention, it’s so obvious that he is the perfect example for the power of a character’s motivation driving a story. He’s undoubtedly an antagonistic force—
his desire for the One Ring is in direct conflict with the protagonist’s goal of
destroying it. But at the same time, his motivation is so REAL that he evokes
sympathy. The final shot of Gollum in The Return of the King is beautiful. As he falls into the volcano to his death, he has a look of pure joy on his face: even though he’s dying, he gets what he wanted all along. And in his very final
action as he is consumed by the lava, he reaches again for his ring. It’s worth noting that while Gollum is defined by his obsession with the ring, it doesn’t prevent him from being a fully fleshed-out character. His motivation is direct, even shallow. But over the course of the movies (books), he becomes an
incredibly deep character. In the time he spends with the hobbit protagonists, it’s clear that he develops some level of affection for Frodo. These feelings go directly against his defining motivation: it createsconflict. One of the most
iconic scenes from the trilogy occurs where Gollum attempts to work through this conflict. When Gollum argues with his own reflection in bizarre and unsettling internal/external monologue, his defining motivation is threatened but wins out in the end. Posted 18 February 2012 - 04:35 AM [Writing] Develop characters by using The Big Five What is The Big Five? The Big Five is a model used in psychology to describe human personality. If you apply this model to your game, it may give you a frame for your characters. Please note that this isn’t the only personality model, but I think it’s the most used one. The Big Five consists of five domains: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness (a handy acronym is OCEAN). Extraversion Introvert------------------------------------------ --Neutral------------------------------------------ ---Extravert The more extravert a person is, the more (s)he has the need to seek company of others, to be in the center of attention and are often enthusiastic. Introverts need more time alone and seem to be quiet and less involved in the social world. You shouldn’t confuse introversion with shyness, though. Shy people want to interact with others, but lack the ability / confidence, etc. to do so, while introverts do not have a strong need for social interactions. Extraverts would more likely agree with statements like these: I don’t mind being the center of attention, I feel comfortable around people, I like to talk to strangers, etc. Agreeableness Disagreeable--------------------------------------- -----Neutral--------------------------------------- ------Agreeable The more agreeable a person is, the more compassionate, considerate, generous and helpful (s)he is. Agreeable persons tend to have an optimistic view of human nature. Disagreeable persons are more individualistic, are unconcerned with others’ wellbeing and interests and are often skeptic about others’ motives. Agreeable persons would more likely agree with statements like these: I sympathize with others’ feelings, I make people feel at ease, I take time for others, etc. Conscientiousness Unconscientious------------------------------------ --------Neutral------------------------------------ ---------Conscientious The more conscientious a person is, the more (s)he has self-discipline, aims for achievement, plans activities and controls impulses. Unconscientious persons show more spontaneous behavior, don’t plan ahead and have a lower sense of responsibility.
Conscientious people would more likely agree with statements like: I pay attention to details, I follow a schedule, I get chores done immediately, etc. Neurotism Low in neurotism----------------------------------- ---------Neutral----------------------------------- ----------High in neurotism Persons who score high on neurotism experience more negative emotions and are emotional instable. They’re also more vulnerable to stress. People who score low on neurotism are calmer and more emotionally stable and do not have persistent negative feelings (this does not mean they have a lot of positive feelings, though). People who score high on neurotism are more likely to agree with statements like these: I have frequent mood swings, I get upset easily, I worry a lot, etc. Openness (to experience) Low openness--------------------------------------- -----Neutral--------------------------------------- ------High openness Persons who score high on openness to experience tend to be more artistic or value art more, have more imagination and have more curiosity. They also tend to have more unusual ideas and so they’re more likely to have unconventional beliefs. People who score low on openness have more conventional and traditional interests. They prefer the plain and straightforward over the complex and subtle. People who score high on openness are more likely to agree with statements like these: I have a vivid imagination, I use difficult words, I spend time reflecting on things, etc. Two sidenotes First of all, I’d like to point out that the way your characters score on these dimensions may differ per situation. For example, I am less introverted when I’m with friends than when I’m with strangers. What matters, though, is that generally speaking, I am introverted. It’s impossible for a person to be extremely extraverted when in situation A and extremely introverted when in situation B. And finally, I’d like to point out that none of these personality traits are better than others (for example it isn’t better to be an extravert than to be an introvert). Thank you for reading, I hope it was useful. Please excuse me for any grammatical and/or spelling errors, English isn’t my first language.