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Article - 'Custom Stuff Embracement' by dragonheartman

An item about Game Design posted on Apr 1, 2004

Blurb

An article that explains improving the odds of actually finishing a CBS or CMS in RM2k(3).

Body

I see a lot of people making all of these fabulous CMS's or CBS's. Their screens are great, but what usually ends up happening is that it gets ditched later on down the road because it gets too hard or something.

Some of the greatest demos have custom stuff, but it's just that, a demo. A good full game is better than an excellent demo. What I'm getting to is that not all battle systems have to be ditched. In fact, this article is how to prevent doing so in four easy steps!

1. Know what you are doing.
Too many newer people think making a custom battle system is some magical experience. The fact is, it's not. You will be pummeled by a lot of errors. A lot of them will make you want to pull your hair out. You have to know how to handle such occurances.

2. Know how you are going to do it.
If you code as you go along, things get messy. You'd be better off mapping it out or drawing a picture of how your menu/battle system will look beforehand. That way, you know what and how you are going to accomplish the system. Another thing you should know how to do is how to implement individual features. For example, say you want a health display in numerals with a max HP value of 9999. Now you don't want to make a premature mistake and have a conditional branch for every HP value. That's more work than needed. Instead, you can learn how to split the variable so you only need ten forks for each digit.

3. Try the "All at once" approach.
What I would highly recommend is coding your CMS completely so you can get it over with. You can slightly ammend it later, but for the most part, try to code it all at once. It'll boost your motivation like no other when you finish, and you also will never have to go back to the code later.

4. Keep it clean
If everything gets too messy, chances are, you don't know what's going on. To avoid this, name your events, use the "comment" command, and organize your variables/switches. It's that easy.

Good luck. I hope this article helps you.

-dragonheartman