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Article - 'Maximizing Your RPGs Monsters' by Fighter

An item about Plots/Characters posted on Jan 14, 2004

Blurb

Fighter delves into monster creation in RM2K/3, but this may also be used for other gamemakers, too.

Body

Well, if you have ever taken the factor into consideration that when you are making a rpg, monsters are playing an integral role in your game regardless? Well, most people don't take the baddies of a game too seriously, .i.e. they just slap a bunch of stats together and go on with further character developement. Assuming that you know the basics of making monsters in rm2k, I bring to you the article

MONSTERS MAXIMIZED

Well, in my first article, I am going to explain what monsters really are in your game how you can maximize the experience of monsters in your rpg, hence the title of the article.

What do monsters do in a standard Rpg?

Have you ever played huge blockbuster games such as the Final Fantasy Series? Well, after playing through them, you get to know everything that exists in the over populated world. Monsters are like a main character in essence you get to know them and their tatics, they are hero, at least for gameplay.
After playing a professional rpg, if you moseye down the hallway and plunk your butt onto your computer chair and play a standard rm2k game, it feels like the game is devoid of feeling. It seems as though you are a victim of what I like to call a "Keyboard Masher". You just close your eyes, press enter, and magically beat the game. That isn't fun, you need to input tatics. If you take those factors into mind, you would truly realize just what monsters are. They aren't just monsters, they are a string of the story, a fragment of the game. Monsters are your game in essence.

Tatics? How? In rm2k? Monster Tatics

By now, you might think I am a little off the wall for that description of a monster in a game. Well, it turns out, that is the honest truth of what role a standard monster plays in your game.
It's easy thing to breathe life into your little critter, but it's another thing to add depth to the dull monster.
A prime example of monster depth is Final Fantasy 1, each monster has their own special attack and even side effect.
Here is a set of stats in rm2k for a boring lifeless monster:

Hp:20
Mp:90
Attack:12
Defense:5
Speed:6
Mind:6
Experience:5
Gold:4
Attack(s):Normal Hit

Basically, that is a beggining monster that only attacks, it needs to have more depth into. Say, maybe when its hp is low, it will cast a last resort death spell, that would be titled "Doom" or something of the sort. So, you would want to set it so when it is down to 20% hp, it would cast the death spell. Maybe even whenever that monster is left by itself in battle(i.e. you killed all the other monsters). It uses a skill that raises its stats drastically and triggers it to use harder moves, in my opinion, that is a lot more exciting than a plain attacker throughout the entire battle. That is one way to eliminate the keyboard mashing. but there is much more to discuss.

Monster Party Events? How could that help?(tutorial part)

Have you ever played a game like Final Fantasy Endless Nova, and happen to stumble upon the database? If so, you would overlook pages of monster events in the monster party section, they show depth, intrigue to the story, and more ways to interact with the monster. First, I will show the stats of the monster above and how it changed:

Hp:20
Mp:90
Attack:12
Defense:5
Speed:6
Mind:6
Experience:5
Gold:4
Attack(s):Normal Hit 50, Doom(Oneself Hp[0? 20]% 50,Strength Monsters Group Quantity[1?10] 50

Now, we will add more spice to the already peppered monster. First, make a skill called talk that triggers a switch(call it what you want as long as you remember it). Now go to the monster party and make a party with that monster(two of them). After testing it, you will notice the different behavior. But, that is nothing compaired to what you can do with switches and variables. Anyway, go under the monster events part and create an event with the switch that would be turned on from the skill. After that, just make a message, you can change it later. After that, turn off the switch that would trigger it, you have just created a switch event. Use that in reference later. Also, you can use variables to raise the health of a monster past 10,000 in rm2k(tutorial coming soon).

Art, Graphics, and all that other fancy stuff

A monster devoid of nice graphics, is like a forest without trees. Graphics are a main part of a monster representation. Games like Dragon Warrior have a unique style of monster graphics, a style that overall symbolizes the game. Don't take monster graphics too lightly, they can tell more just words, they can tell just how good your game is. If you aren't an aspiring pixel artist, just go to resource sites such as this site, and download some monster graphics, but remember these three factors:

1.Keep the monster graphics similar, it is very important that you do that.

2.Give credit where credit is due, don't lie and say you made graphics from actual games.

3.Choose your style, you don't just use what's avalible, if you can't find the graphics you need, contact an artist that could possibly help you.

Most of all have fun making monsters.

How do they tie the story together?

Have you ever gone through, for example, the scene in Final Fantasy 4 where you must fight Edges parents? If you haven't it's an emotionally driven battle, you can't win, you might have to remember that too. Basically, monsters should be able to interact and give as much feeling as the heroes do, and remember the heroes don't always win, it is an all out fight for story not for winning. Music also influences battles, you wouldn't use an inn theme for a monster battle, you would use a melodic fast themed action song. Battles can very much be like story tying events in your game, and that isn't something to take lightly, of course nor is your game.

~And through the course of this article, you have become a whole new user, a user who avoids keyboard mashing.~

Thanks to:

Erave and Real(For inspiration in continuing rm2k), Faust, Bart, MrY, or whoever is reading and putting this up on the site. I would like to thank all my friends in life and gamingw, and you for the reading this.

Thank you, Fighter.