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Tutorial - 'Getting Started - A Guide For Newbies' by Guest

An item about RPGMaker 2000 posted on

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The ultimate newbies tutorial that covers a few basic RM2K commands. Intended for first-timers in the RM2K world.

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Getting Started - A Guide For Newbies
By GazzaUnreal
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Hey everyone, this is a basic tutorial with a few things that you newbies need to get yourselves started in the world of RM2K!! At the end of this...ahem...rather lengthy tutorial, you'll have (hopefully) created a small game to play around with. Dont worry, ive put it in steps so you wont get confused, if you ever miss something just go back to it later. Okay! Lets get started!

NOTE:Im not going into great detail about most things, im just giving an overview of some of the different features in RM2K. Its really just the bare bones of what can be accomplished, i just want to give you a leg up so you can experiment and figure stuff out for yourselves.

Contents
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1.Decisions, Decisions! - Who when where what and why?
2.The Database - Setting up your world!
3.Maps - The setting!
4.Party Start Position - The adventure begins!
5."Linking" Maps - The plot thickens!
6.Party Changes - 2's company!
7.Treasure Chests - Oooh loooky!!!
8.Boss Monster - Be afraid!!

Section 1 Decisions, Decisions!
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Firstly you need to decide a few things about your RPG, in this tutorial i wont actually tell you which chipsets, graphics or sounds you should use, or how to set up your maps. The only thing i will tell you is the event commands. So...this RPG will need a few things:

Characters - Probably the most important thing in an RPG, after all, its nothing without actuall characters to control! We'll be using 3 of them in this tutorial. Make them varied, in stats, abilitys and personality. 3 irritable mages that learn near enuff the same spells at the same time is just pointles...

Time - When is this set? A barbaric war stricken land in the past? Or perhaps a technological paridise in the far future? The time will greatly effect the kinds of monsters you will fight, and also the plot points in the RPG. Useually the future is filled with technology rather than magic, and vise versa. Its up to you, this is linked with the next point!

Setting - This is the actuall world your game will take place in, it can look and behave any way you like. The towns, weapons, culture, government/monarchy is all up to you. Just make it original! There are far too many RPG's set in Medievil times with castles and things. Im not saying its bad, just a little predictable.

Story - The story is a very touchy subject. Unless you have a brain the size of a planet, i suggest you get the major plot points down on paper before you even open RM2K up. Ive noticed that most RPG's start with something that seems innocent, but grows into a crisis near the end. FF7 for example starts off with the characters doing a small mercenary job, but at the end they are fighting a mutated freak (ah, we love Sephy really!) while a gigantic asteroid flys towards the planet!

Reasoning - Things MUST have a reason for happening, even if it isnt obvious at the start of the game. It really annoys me when people just put random events in their RPG's for no reason. A few scheduled battles now and again are okay, but the mayor of Auron city spontaneously combusting in the middle of a public meeting certainly isnt. Also i have a thing with kidnappings...they just seem incredibly obvious to me (not bashing FF9 of course ^_~).

Section 2 - The Database
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The first stop is the User Database. Press F8 to get into it, and take a minute to browse through all the tabs at the top. There is a ton of information and settings to play with here, but a lot of it is already defined for you. I useually leave all the items as they are, and just add new weapons/armour. The first tab is Characters, this is where the walking and face graphics for your heroes are stored. Near the bottom of the screen is a button labelled "Max Field Number" and reduce it to 3. These will be the characters for this test RPG. Change the graphics and names to whatever you want, and you can also change some spells that they learn too. The spells go in order, Fire is weaker than Flame, and Flame is weaker than Flame Ball etc. When its a new element (ice, wind etc) it starts again. The same goes for the weapons and armour.

The next tab along the top is Skills. You dont need to change this at all if you dont want to, most of the spells there are all you'd need. You can change the names, and add a few more to fit your RPG but thats all you need.

The third tab is Items, as i said earlier, you dont need to change anything in here, as with spells, i doesnt hurt to change the names/descriptions and add new ones.

The next section is Monsters, dont get this confused with Monster Party, which we'll cover soon! There are plenty of monsters made for you already, of course you can change their pictures and stuff, but thats all you really need. The box in the middle is where some events can be placed for the monster to perform, it limits what attacks and spells they can use, and when. Have a play around with some new monsters if you like. In this RPG we will be having a boss monster at the end. Create one now! I suggest you name it something that would fit your setting/time. (A robot in a western time is a bit...well...crap!). Give the monster the following stats (if you find its too easy or too hard later on, just change it!)

Max HP:300
Max MP:20
Attack:35
Defense:30
Mind:25
Agility:10

Set the EXP + money to what you think is fair for a challenge like this, and if your monster is an airborne creature like a bird, tick the "Air" box. Play around with its attacks, taking into account that your characters will be pretty weak when they fight this thing!

Now that you've made your boss, its time to make a Monster Party for it. Switch to the next tab, and scroll down untill you find an empty place. Then in the top right hand corner you'll see a list of all the available monsters, scroll down untill you find the one you just created. Click add, and position it where ever you want on the screen, then click the "Auto Name Group" button. There we are! A monster party to use! You may notice an events box at the bottom, this is really just something to add a little variety to battles, you can set the "Trigger" for each page, which tells it when to execute the event commands for speech, screen flashes, monster changes and other things like that.

Skip along the tabs untill you come to the "Terrain" page, this is where the battle backrounds for all the different enviroments in your world are stored. You can change the backrounds to whatever you like, and add more if you need to.

The next tab along is quite important if you want a varied RPG. This is the Chipset editing section of the database, here you can add new chipsets to build your maps with. Within this section you'll notice there are 2 "Sub-Tabs" : Lower + Upper Chips. The lower is the chips used in Lower Editing mode, and Upper (un-surprisingly) for the Upper editing mode. The lower is for the basic terrain (grass, water etc.) and the upper is for the extra objects (trees, rocks, houses etc). There are also a number of buttons next to the tabs, Terrain Type specifys which battle backround (from the previous tab!) is used on each chip, and the button below it is the Passing Block button, which lets RM2K know which chips the player can walk over, and which they cant. (the O for yes, the X for no ^_~). The Name and Chipset Graphic boxes are self-explanitory :-D.

The next section is simple to understand, this is where you put all the automated dialogue for use in your game, change it all to whatever you like! Just be careful where you put spaces at the start + the end, sometimes it will make the message too spaced out!

The last tab we'll use here is the System Tab, this is very important. Here you can select many different options and settings your RPG will use. The system (menu) graphic, battle sounds, start-up + game over screens can all be set up here. Its all very easy to understand, so play around untill you get something that you like :-).

Wow...youve probably been making your RPG for about an hour now, and you have nothing to show for it!! Dont worry, its something we all have to do! But if you dont get it all out of the way, it'll be a lot more complicated later on!

Section 3 - Maps
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What is a map i here you cry! Well, maps are the physical world your characters live and interact in. The biggest part of the RPG making process is done on the maps. There are 3 editing modes to use here. The first 2 (lower + upper) we have already covered, but the third is where the real meat and potatoes of the RPG lies! We'll look at it a bit later...but first I think its time we actually got something done dont you? Well okay then! Exit the database and look at the screen...yes...its full of water...

On the side of the screen you have 2 windows, 1 of them is the chipset selection box, the other is your Map Tree. The default map is a bit too big, so right click it in the map tree and go to "Map Properties" this window lets you edit the basic settings for your map. Name, size, the monsters you will find in your random encounters, the music that is played, and other stuff is defined here. Remember always to set Music appropriate to the setting, or it'll ruin the mood ^_^.

Set the Teleport and Escape to enable, the saving option is up to you, most ppl dont like having it anywhere else but on the world map. But untill you learn how to make a save point (check out my save point tutorial to find out how!) its probably best to leave Saving enabled too.

Right, with those properties done, choose whether you'd like random battles and which monsters to have roaming around, and enter a name. Once your happy with it, push okay. Also, the size is a little too large, set it to about 25 X 25 chips. (a chip is 1 square btw!)

Now change to Lower editing mode (toolbar, green square with arrow) and set your map up however u'd like it. The same goes for the Upper editing mode (blue square to the right of green). Next, we get to the Event editing mode! :-D This is where the fun begins!!! All actions and reactions in your RPG are entered into the Event mode, you'll also find that most of the screaming fits you'll have with your monitor will be caused by Event mode too...;-). Switch to Event mode, and move on to the next section!

Section 4 - Party Start Position
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This is absolutly compulsary, without it your RPG wont even get past the title screen without spitting out a few error messages.

While in Event Mode, right click anywhere on the map and a drop-down menu will appear, the second option from the bottom with an lil guy with a sword and an S for an icon, labelled "Party Start Position" (betcha didnt see that coming), click that. This icon appears on the map, this is where your hero will start in the game. Place it in the correct place for your game to start, and save the changes youve made to the map! (Database changes are automatically saved when you click apply in the DB).

Section 5 - "Linking" Maps
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I had an email off someone called Shana (hey Shana! :-D) asking how you link maps together, so i thought i'd better put this in here, because if 1 person has had a problem with this, chances are that a few more will too!

Its very simple. Before we actually link 2 maps together, you have to have 2 maps to actually link, so right click on the map you just created, and choose the "Create New Map" option. Set the new map up like you did before, just with different terrain. But this time make an event with the graphic of one of your characters that you created in the DB earlier. Set it to "Push Key" and on "The Same Level As Hero". Push okay, we'll come back to this later on!

Now, go back to your first map, and on 1 of the map edges make an event with no graphic. Set it to "On Hero Touch" and also on the same level as the hero. In the event commands box, right click and choose "Insert", a window with 3 tabs (labeled 1, 2, and oh yes 3) will appear. These are your tools, they are all the actions and commands that you'll need in the creation process. Of course, we'll only be needing a few of them for this tutorial, you dont have to use all of them untill you start with more advanced features.

On the second page of events, in the first column, will be a command called "Teleport". Click it and a small menu will come up containing a picture of your maps. Choose the second map you made and click on a square 1 SQUARE AWAY from the edge of that map. This is where your character will teleport to when he touches the event. Click okay, then okay again when you get back to your main event window.

Back on the map, copy and past this event so it covers the whole edge of the map, or area which will lead into your next map. Save the changes youve made so far.

Switch the view to the second map (can you remember where you teleported to?) repeat the event creation process like you did on teh first map, but reverse it so your character will teleport back to the first map (1 sqaure from the edge again, otherwise they'd land on the previous event and get teleported back!). The procedure is basically the same as before. This is how you link maps together.

Section 6 - Party Changes
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Remember that event we created on the second map? Well its time to add some commands to it. Open the event (it should have the same graphics as one of the heroes u made in the DB) and check that its set to "Same Level As Hero" and "Push Key".

Right click, and choose insert, on the first page there is a command called "Message Style", choose that. There are a few boxes, make sure "Prevent Hero From Hiding" is checked, this stops the message box covering the hero. Choose where you'd like the message window to appear on the screen, and press okay.

Right click and insert again, on the first page there should be "Show Message" command, click that and a small text box will appear. Now...see those dotted lines? Those are the text cut-off points for each line. Any text over those lines will NOT be shown when you play it later.

On the first line of the box, type \N[HERONUMBER], the hero number is replaced by the four digit code next to the hero's name in the Database. Its a lot better than actually typing the name, and its also useful if you decide to change the name in the database, because it'll automatically be shown when that code is used! But if u want to type the full name, it'll still look the same.

Now underneath, put a little speech, something along the lines of "Cmon! let me join you!" or something, it doesnt really matter!

Now, insert another command, its on the first page again, and its called "Show Choice", this will bring up a winow with a few different text slots and a tick box thing. Make sure the "Ignore" box is checked, and change the text in the boxes from "Yes" to "Okay...You can join..." and "No" to "Please go away". Or anything you like as long as they are kept positive first, and negative last.

Now, click okay, and you'll notice on you events command box there is a "Positive Statement" case, and a "Negative Statement" case. Underneath the Positive one, put another message from the hero your talking to saying something like "Great! Thanks man!". Below that message (still in the positive statement) put another command, once again on the first page of commands, called "Change Party", choose the hero your adding, choose add, and click okay.

Next, put a switch below the Change Party command, the "Change Switch" command is on page 1 again ^_^. Make the switch called " Joins", and turn it ON! Now make a new page in the event, this time with no graphic, and make it "Below Hero", oh, and make it a "Paralell Process"!

Copy the code for the positive statment into the negative statement, but change the speech to "Too bad! Im coming along anyway!!!" or something like that, just so you get the character no matter what!

Thats about it for the party change, now onto the treasure chest section! WOO!

Section 7 - Treasure Chests
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Treasure chests are found in all RPG's, no matter how old, or on platform, they always seem to pop up. They are incredibly easy to make, let me show you how!

On the secon map, make an event with a treasure chest graphic (theres some in there somewhere!) and make it "Same Level As Hero" and "Push Key". In the event commands, put a message saying "Gained 5 Potions!!!" or whatever items you want, then below that use the "Add Item" command (again on page 1) and choose the item, and how many you wish.

After that, make a Change Switch, to change the switch "Chest 1" ON! On page 2, make it the same graphic, "Same Level As Hero" and "Paralell Process", with the appearance condition switch "Chest 1" ON, and there you have it! When the player opens the chest, they gain the items, turn the switch on, which disables the first page of the event (it skips to the second page cos of the appearance condition switch) and thats it for treasure chests!!!

Section 8 - Boss Monster
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Ahh...the final section! This has been a lot of typing for a friday night...damn i need to get out more ;-).

So far we have a starting map, another map with a party change and a treasure chest. What we need now...is a boss monster to end it off nicely! BUT WAIT! We've already made one (remember!?). To include this beast in the game, make another map and link it to the second one (with the chest etc.) like u did earlier.

Make an event with a monster graphic, Same Level As Hero, and Push Key. In the events commands, put some dialogue, not forgetting to change the position for each person whos talking etc. And after the trash talk is sorted out, put the fighting in!!!

On the second page (yay!) right at the top, theres a "Start Combat" command, press it and a menu will come up. Choose the monster you made earlier in the "Fix" box, the battle backround "By Terrain Chip" (decided in the DB!) but leave it on "Free Escape" (for some reason they do the opposite to what they say :-S) and leave the defeat option on "Game Over".

When the battle ends, you dont want it to just end do you? no! so after the "Start Combat" command, insert a command from the second page called "Set Screen Tone" and move the sliders to the left. Leave the "Wait Untill Done" checked, and push okay. This command will make the screen fade to black.

After that command, show a message saying "The End" and to finish the game off, choose the command off the third page called "Go To Title Screen".

THERE!!! YOUR DONE!!!! The first RM2K game youve (probably) ever made! ^_^ arent you proud of urself! Good, u should be. Now start again, and add more to it, change everything around and add some story to it.

(Before anyone asks, i know i said leave 3 characters in the DB, but thats just so you can experiment with the \N[HERONUMBER] command to see it works. Thats all ;-).

The End
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Well...there we are. I hope that helps, and more importantly...i hope it makes sense ^_^, if you want, save the games u made and send them to me (please no RTP), id like to see what different stuff ppl get from the same tutorial! Anyway, peace...

-any bugs, or something ive missed out, e-mail me : "GazzaUnreal@Hotmail.com"

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