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Tutorial - 'Editing splash screens' by GaZZwa

An item about RPGMaker 2000 posted on

Blurb

Editing those much-loved splash screens at the beginning of the game isn't so hard. GaZZwa takes you through the step-by-step guide.

Body

Once upon a time I believed those splash screens at the start of the game were there to stay, but after seeing Kindred Saga I sought after finding out how to make my own splash screens. Here is GaZZwa's definitive guide to editing splash screens. Please, hand out all awards at the end of the tutorial.

Well it can be done, but not without a bit of hacking, but it shouldn't be too hard, once
you know what your are doing, all you need is the following tools,

(1) An Image editor. (Workshop, IDraw4)
(2) RPG Maker 2000 (http://rpgmaker.chat.ru )
(3) Resource Maker (http://rpg2k.urpgrealm.com under Utilities)
(4) A newly complied RPG game made with RPG maker 2000.

Ok, after getting the tools needed, its time to get working

Chapter 1

As you may not know ASCII uses the image format file .XYZ, no image editor can read .XYZ
files, the XYZ files are used for the splash screen, now programs like Paintbrush or
Paintshop pro won't save to .XYZ but don't worry, that will come later, but first to
make our splash screen, we need to make some pictures, so lets fire up that image file editor,
shall we?
You can download a demo version of Paintshop Pro over at http://www.jasc.com or you can
use Microsoft's built in painting program Paintbrush, you can try Adobe's PhotoShop or
whatever its called but I prefer PaintShop, there are other Image editors available on the
web but there are to many to name on this file, anyway here we go.

Open the image editing program & create a new 320x240 256 color picture, now paint what you
want on it, like "your name here presents" or "in association with Bob" etc. or just draw yourself
a logo or something. (See Chapter 5 for more info on what you should know about drawing)
After drawing your image, save it as a .PNG file under LOGO1.PNG, this file will be the first
part of our splash screen, you can do parts 2 & 3 if you wish, just do the same as above &
when finishing, save the second part as LOGO2.PNG & the third part as LOGO3.PNG, MS Paintbrush
only saves in .BMP but don't worry, just go to Chapter 2.

Chapter 2

Now we have our LOGO1.PNG LOGO2.PNG & LOGO3.PNG files saved, now copy the files into any
directory (I use C:\temp), now startup RPG Maker 2000, go to "RAW Materials Settings", on
the left side of the screen highlights the "Picture" folder, in the bottom right, select
XYZ, now press the IMPORT button, find LOGO1.PNG, select it & press OPEN, then press OK,
do the same with LOGO2.PNG & LOGO3.PNG.
Now press the EXPORT button, pick XYZ on the "Save as type" slot, type LOGO1 in "File name"
& press SAVE, now LOGO1 will be saved as a .XYZ file, do the same with LOGO2 & LOGO3.

For you MS Paintbrush users, RAW Materials Settings also allows you to import .BMP images too.

Chapter 3

Now here's the moment that you should fear, we now have the .XYZ files, now we need to
import them into the main exe files (RPG_RT.EXE), just a word of warning, make sure you
backup the original unaltered exe file (I recommend you backup the entire game, just in case)
I can't be held responsible for what happens for doing the process wrong or losing your work,
follow the instructions at your own risk, So please, backup your RPG, please :-)

OK, lets do it, run Resource Workshop (Workshop.exe).
Go to file & click "open project",
Select "Exe Application" in the File Type bar, point the Directories box to the directory
where RPG_RT.EXE is & 2x click RPG_RT.EXE in the files box.
A little window should open containing the contents in the exe, look at the very top, you
should see something like,

XYZ
LOGO1
LOGO2
LOGO3


That's where the ASCII splash screen files are.
Now go to file & click on "Add to Project".
In the File name bar, type *.XYZ & press return (don't press the OK button)
Find the LOGO1.XYZ file we made & highlight it in the files box, press OK.
A "Custom Resource Type" window will popup, highlight XYZ in the "Resource Type" box &
press OK.
Now it will go back to the contents, a new XYZ will be added, it should look like so

XYZ
LOGO1
LOGO2
LOGO3
XYZ_1 <-The New file we just added

Now do the same with LOGO2.XYZ & then LOGO3.XYZ (make sure you do them in the correct order,
I don't know what will happen if you don't, now it should look like below

XYZ
LOGO1
LOGO2
LOGO3
XYZ_1
XYZ_2
XYZ_3

OK, Now delete the original LOGO files (Select LOGO1, press delete, press ok & do the same
with the rest)
Now we will rename the newly added files,
Select XYZ_1, right click on it & select "Rename",
in the new window type in LOGO1 in the "New Name" bar & press ok,
Select XYZ_2 & rename it LOGO2 & then XYZ_3 to LOGO3.
Now press "Save Project" in the file bar.
Exit the program. (it's over now, I know it was spooky, but we did it & did it good)

Chapter 4

OK, we did, now start up the newly modified RPG_RT.EXE, if you don't get an error massage
then that means it should be working, the screen will flash white (that normal) then the first
splash screen will appear, then the second, third & lastly the main menu.
You did it; you made your own splash screen.

Tips:

1. Make sure your work is 320x240 & 256 colors.

2. Try not to do any full color eye candy pictures, like a big color picture that takes up
the entire image, just do a small logo like you see in the original ASCII splash screens
, taking a snap shot from a Dragonball Z episode, resizing to 320x240, changing colors to
256 & using that may not work.

3. In Paintshop Pro, select New from the file bar, in the New Image window enter the
following settings:
Width = 320
Height = 240
Resolution = (leave it)
Background Color = Black
Image Type = 256 colors (8 Bit)

4. In Resource Maker, when you import your XYZ file & you get the massage "Resource is too large to view as text" in the right window, then that means that the file has to much
hex code in it & may not work, if that happens then you have to replace the modified
exe file with the original unaltered exe file.

5. Back up your work before you modify RPG_RT.EXE.

6. Be careful, Resource Maker is a nice tool for looking thought exe DLL, eg, but one
false move & you may destroy that file you opened.

7. only use the latest version of RPG Maker 2000 (v1.3 as of writing), you can easily get
it over at Don's site http://rpgmaker.chat.ru

8. You can't make extra splash pages to go after LOGO3, I tried making extra splash screen pages, but the game just ignored the 4th page went to the titles screen like normal.
Must be a .exe thing, all well.

9. ASCII uses black backgrounds for there splash screens, you better do the same thing, I
don't know what will happen if you use another color as a background, hence, I never tried it.

Chapter 5

So there we have my young game developers. Please field any questions to GaZZwa@aol.com, or if you're a GamingW regular, I'm here most of the time, writing reviews, submitting home-made avatars and what not. Kudos and adios amigos!

-- GaZZwa