Gw Temp

Menu

Tutorial - '11 Less Than Obvious Functions of RM2k' by Ragnar

An item about RPGMaker 2000 posted on

Blurb

A function looking at the functions in RPGmaker 2000 that may not be so simple to understand at first glance.

Body

This is a compliment to Mr. Y's tutorial. That tutorial inspired me because I thought there was a lot more that needed to be covered. Many of these functions aren't very obvious, and may not be very useful either, but they may fit the needs of someone's niche game, and really add something to it if utilized correctly. I also put the category the function goes under in parentheses after the name, just for convenience.







1. CHANGE CHIP (Event Command)

This is not exchange chipset, although that can be useful too, this is used for a different purpose. Are you tired of only being able to have 3 and 4 - frame animated tiles? Well, if you use a parallel process that changes chips, you can have as intricate an animation as you want ( Well, there is the lofty realm of a 144-frame animated tile, but I doubt that will happen:/ ), and you can have as many of the tile as you want, unlike when using events for animated tiles. In addition, you can animate upper and lower chips, even have both on top of each other, and even layer an animated event on top of those. :D Another plus is that you can specify the wait time, instead of having to wait for the time RM2k designates. You can even hold on certain frames for more time, or vary how long that time is, or what frame is shown next ( Good for caves and other creepy places with bugs, bats, and mysterious eyes showing up at random.) Now then, how would you do this? Make a parallel process event like this.

(Psuedo-code, do not directly copy, it's not like you can anyway)

<>Change 1Chip 001 N 002 Substitu

<>Wait 0.2s.

<>Change 1Chip 002 N 003 Substitu

<>Wait 0.2s.

<>



And so on, with the given changes if your frames are in different spots on the chipset, and there are more frames. You can also exchange different chips at one time as long as they don't use common chips, like a water and a lava chip.(obviously unrelated) To do this, simply do 2 Chip Change comands within before the next wait command. Or, even shorten the wait and make two waits, placing one Change Chip before each wait if you want the animations to be irregular (Water would not change at the same exact time as the lava, although with coastlines this would obviously cause graphical seams, so use your best judgment as to which tiles would been seen next to each other)



Possible Problems:



If you use the parallel process as a common event, you'll have to be careful because even though the condition of the tiles reset themselves when going to a new map, the event itself will not start, and either the wrong tiles will be exchanged or nothing will move at all.





2.SET EVENT ID (Event Command)

This is a very enigmatic command. First of all, the name is kind of misleading. If you didn't know what it was, you would probably think the function is similar to "Swap 2 Events...", and would in fact change which event you would normally call to another one. (Or you're just completely lost.) Well, it sort of does that, in fact, but there are differences. What it does is figure out the Event Number of whatever event is at a certain position at the time the command is excuted. So, if Event No.0005 happened to be at (1,4), that ID would be stored in a variable. You can also designate the position by a variable, so the position could be relative to yourself or another event (i.e. directly in front of you.) What good is this for though?

Well, just about the only use is to call an event based on that ID. This way, you can replace the talk command, or even make a search command in addition. But since most people won't even try to do this, here are some different uses.



I. If making a shooter-type game, have an event get called when the target is hit instead of having a whole bunch of different cases and results for coordinates.



II. Make a point-and-click type game that is pixel-accurate, instead of the easily recognizable RM2k movement with a cursor replacing the hero. you could even have the hero wandering around and have a cursor pop up to check the surroundings.



( For both examples, you may want to divide by 16 to get the map coordinates instead of the screen coordinates. Since point-and-clickers usually only have graphics that cover one screen, there shouldn't be a problem, but if the map is any bigger than 20X15, you may have to figure out how to find the map offset.)



III. Instead of having just one person talk to someone, give the option of which member will talk to someone by going through a menu first. Some characters may be more diplomatic than others, or have a sense of humor, so conversations would vary according to who happened to talk to someone.



Problems:

1. Don't call the event so soon! First check if the Event ID variable is zero (No event or the hero's position), and don't call the event if it is zero, because there is no such event and your game will bug out!

2. The Call Event command requires you to designate a variable for the page number, so you'll have to make a variable equal 1 or 2, and just keep it that way for the entire game, since there is no page 0.





3.PANORAMA SIZES (Import)

The maximum size for a panorama is 640X480, BUT the minimum is 160X120. Oftentimes, ripped panoramas repeat well before the 320X240 mark, given the tiled repetition of older games, so if you can, reduce the size. It will definitely reduce the file size and maybe even make the game faster, although I really wouldn't be able to tell.



4.THE 200% SPEED INCREASE WAVE FILE TECHNIQUE! (Import)

If you plan to use Wave files for music or even sounds, and don't plan to use them at a lower pitch in the game, then increase the speed of the Wave in sound recorder. the Wave file is now half as big, but when you import it into RM2k, you can just play it at 50% speed, without any change in the quality as far as I can tell. Now game size is that much less of a concern! ( This may be fairly common knowledge, but everyone should know this anyway, so I included it)





5. BATTLE ANIMATIONS OUTSIDE OF BATTLE!? (Event Command)

Most everybody knows of the Show Battle Animation command, but few realize it's full potential. Most use it for making the characters appear to get hit like in a battle, but there are other uses.

I. Lighting Effects!

Most people use pictures if they use any kind of lighting effects, but battle animations might be better because pictures are usually aligned to the screen, but battle animations follow whatever event it's "target" is. So, the lights wil appear to stay in place, or follow the event if you want to make someone holding a lantern, candle, or flashlight. You can even use "Apply to full screen to tile the effect, so you could even do clouds or fog this way, and have them move independently of the hero! Just make sure you don't set the battle animation to "Wait Until Done" if you want to be able to move during these effects. You also may have to go through some trial and error to make sure the animations loop correctly.

II. GIGANTIC SPRITES!

This is simple. Run a battle animation that completely covers the hero or NPC, and make that battle animation one of a dragon or vehicle. You can appear to be riding a much larger vehicle or creature this way, but it will move just like a normal sized sprite. (hopefully) The only thing is, you'll have to check the direction and make graphics for each way the thing faces. But that shouldn't be too hard. Now, go out and make a mecha game!



Note: You may want to know that battle animations have a lower priority than pictures in RM2k, which means that pictures will always be in front of battle animations. There is no way to change it, as far as I know, so you'll have to work around it if it turns out to be a problem. Usually battle animations are used in a way so this setup is better, anyway.





6. VOLUME FADES (Event Command)

First of all, people should just plain use the fade in/out option more. There is no excuse not to as long it isn't abused. Some great ways to use it are:

I. Fade out as you leave a map, but only important maps. Obviously, fading to the same music piece makes no sense. the transition to the world map is one of the best spots to fade because the "scope" of the world is changing. Fades are also good for many scenes. Even if you're going to switch to another tune, allow some fading time beforehand.

II. Fade in at times like waking up, or when a scene ends and action is slowly restored to the character.



Also, though it's not really a fade, varying the volume at which a song is played can sound good, esp. in areas like caves where sound would decrease or increase because it is more difficult for sound to travel. Also, the entrance to an area might sound better if the music is softer or less intense than when you are inside.





7.TELEPORT/ ESCAPE (Event Command)

These are two actual spell types, just like Restore/Damage and Switch. All you have to do for these is give a character a teleport or escape spell, set a teleport point or escape point (They're basically the same, except that while teleports are contained in a long list that can be added to a deleted from, the escape point is like one teleport that is changed each time you set a new point. You can also set a switch on, I guess this is to let the game know you've escaped so that you can then reset puzzles that you otherwise couldn't get past since you just escaped.) Teleport and Escape can be disabled temporarily by using the corresponding command, right next to Set Teleport/Escape. Obviously this is handy, since there is no reason to escape a town, and being able to teleport straight to a safe place from a dungeon is too easy.



The Teleport point will be named after the map it goes to, so make sure to name it something, even if you want to call your teleport point by the incantation required to go there, name it that. It won't look good if your teleport point is called MAP0001, right there in the game.



You can also have the same spell several times, under a different name, description, MP cost, and using a different sound effect, just in case you want the same essential skill to be done a different way, or come more easily to a certain character. You can also set an item's type as unique and make it invoke that skill, in case you want the effect to be done by a disposable item, therefore making players more wary of what they bring with them.



In addition, there are some less obvious benefits to having a teleport or escape spell. For one thing, it decreases the linearity of your game, since there is an easy method to go to previously visited places. That means that the game can be designed so that events still occur in previously visited locations, and the incidents in the game seem less isolated. Also, points of interest like casinos can become less of a hassle to go to, and therefore could be introduced at any point in time. The teleport spell can even add places you haven't been to, so it could be a way to gain access to an otherwise inaccessible area.





8. VARIABLE BASED VARIABLE NUMBERS!? (Event Command)

When changing a variable, ever notice how you one of the choices is [Variable] Variable Number? This is a very useful thing, so use it! Want to know why? If you're making a CBS or CMS, you'll probably want to keep track of a lot of characters, etc. So what do you do? Well, simply set a spot for where the variable corresponds to the first character, then leave enough space for everyone else, and then when you have a menu that selects the characters, make Selction 1= Hero 1, Selection 2=Hero 2, etc. Then when modifying these numbers, you don't need a thousand different cases, you simply add to that number so it lines up ( If the variables start at 101, add 100 so Selection 1=101) Then add, subtract, or whatever, to the number designated by that number. That's it! This way, you don't have to name every single variable you use, since the game will know which one to pick! However, you may want to indicate the "ending point".

There are a myriad of other uses for this feature, but most have to do with the complex workings of CBSs and CMSs, so you'll know what to do when you come to them.



Note that this works for switches as well. I forgot to mention that earlier.



You can also set a number, definite or variable-determined, as a variable determined variable's value. A quick example of a use for this would be shifting the attributes of one menu-chosen character to that of another menu-chosen character. Pretty bad example, I know, but more will arise, trust me.





9. THE RANGE SWITCH/VARIABLE OPTION! (Event Command)

Whenever you set a switch or variable, note the "Range" choice next to "One". If you know the number the variables, you can simply set the first and last of the switches or variables yo want to change, and whammo, you can set a whole bunch of them at once, whether it's just 2 or as many as several hundred! And not only will you save the work of setting everything individually, there'll simply be less clutter on the screen as well! Definitely a useful tool for resetting minigames and stuff like that. Just remember to keep all of the switches and variables in good order, so you can do it this simply!



Since a switch can be set to ON, OFF, or the opposite of what it currently is (ON to OFF and OFF to ON), puzzles can be made a lot easier, esp. in the case of the third choice, if you happen to make a puzzle that involves setting all of the objects to the same color, etc., since the action will invert everything it affects, rather than simply triggering it on or off.



A range of variables does not have to be set as the same either, it can be just set to different numbers with similar math, like adding everything by 3. So keep that in mind if you've got a whole bunch of numbers to be changed.





10. COLOR PROPERTIES ( Pictures, Battle Animations, Screen Tone)

Note that there are four settings for the color of a picture,battle animation cel, or the entire screen. Obviously, Red, Green and Blue, are present, but there is also Chroma. Chroma is like saturation on a TV screen or computer monitior. Setting it to 0% will make everything black and white,obviously good for flashbacks, and setting it to 200% will ake the colors seem really washed out and over-colorful, which is good if you want to make a light seem REALLY bright. Lowering red, green, or blue will make the other colors show more, but things might look too dark. Setting things closer to 200% will make the color eventually cover the entire screen or cell, so if you want a cel to appear as only one color, like a shadow, simply do that. If you want to have the same pictures for a menu, but in a different color style, you may be able to do this if you set the default color to black, white, or shades of gray (Black= no colors, White=all colors combined, Gray= some equal intensity of all the colors.) This way, you can change the font color or window color without having to make a whole new picture file. This would be good for denoting damage with red numbers and recovery with green numbers. But, just make sure you know the difference between all other colors at 0% and one color at 200%, or it might look ugly.



You might want to take note that although the sliders and arrows only allow you to adjust the color by units of 10%, you can type in whatever you want, in case you need a subtler change for some reason.



Here are some other quick suggestions.

I. Reduce the chroma a little during bleaker scenes. A devastated village shouldn't be viewed in the same way as an average one.

II. If someone is hurt, or under a spell of sorts, it would be a good idea to set the screen a certain color. For example, somebody's just been killed, so mute green and blue completely or partially. Since it is a dark scene in all likelihood, it wouldn't be a good idea to intensify only red instead. It might just look like the sun is exploding in a supernova, but if that happens later in your game, use it if you like. :/

III. Black-and-white cutscenes are easy, but seen so much as well. A better idea would be to make it yellowish and less colorful, like an old-timey photograph, or to color it in a way that captures the mood of the memory.

IV. The main screen (the map), battle animations, and pictures do NOT share the same color properties, so this can equal some cool effects, such as fading the screen to a more subtle color while keeping a picture based title or menu the same color, which now stands out more, and looks less "placed" on top of the map. You can even shift the map colors slowly for an extra cool effect. If you can make those colors appear at random, that would be extra cool!

V. Obviously, setting all colors to 0% is black, and all colors to 200% is white. Why not control the way flashes and fades happen? Obviously, for certain scenes, a bright light or slow fade would be good. Flash Screen might be good some of the time, but other times, you don't want that flash to fade out, or for some reason, the flash doesn't look right. So, use screen tone instead!

VI. If there is no parallax background, but at times background-exposing tiles are used, the background will appear black. If the screen tone is changed, the characters and chips will change, but not the background. It might look cool if everything changes in color except for the background, so that the scenery is outlined.





11. "COMPLETE" OPTION (Battle Animations)

you may have seen this before and wondered what the heck it does. Well, if you are making a lot of battle animations, this could be your best friend! What it does is figure out the frames inbetween two frames, if there are frames between them. It also does it much more exactly and smoothly than a human being could, in much less time. Note the "complement item" option next to the frames and cells you want to choose. You can account for differences in transparency, magnification, and pattern number. (that means it will cycle through the frames of the animation FOR you.) Not listed but also affected are the color properties (You can set one frame as all red and the last as all blue, it will fade and look purple inbetween.) and XY position.(You can move in a straight line! Hoorays!:/)

This is extremely useful for smooth fades, making cels shrink and grow, and other things. And not only will your spell effects look more professional, hopefully, but also, you will save a lot of time and be able to move on to other things, for crying out loud!







I think that's all I wanted to mention. If not, I will write another tutorial soon.

This is Ragnar, signing off. (Not really, it just sounded cool. :/ )