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Tutorial - 'Changing Icons in Rm2k' by Rast

An item about RPGMaker 2000 posted on


A tutorial explaining how to change RM2Ks icon set


You may have noticed many of the more popular games use customized icon sets, especially the ones that use the DBS and/or DMS. Custom icons can go a long way toward making your game more interesting, and giving the default menus and battle systems a fresh look.

To create your own icons, youll a resource editor (I use Reshacker for this tutorial, available at for this tutorial), and a good graphics program. You can use Paint, but you really need something that can show a grid. Youll also need RM2Ks help file open to the page that shows the identifiers for all the icons (You can get to it quickly by creating a new "Show Message" event, and then in the box where you type your text, click "Help", and then click "Foreign Character List").

The first thing you need to do is extract the current icon set, so you can mess with it. You can do this in this manner:

Open your RPG_RT.exe file with Reshacker
Open the Bitmap folder, then the EXFONT folder, and click on the little 0. You should see a bunch of icons pop up in the right pane.
Right-click on the little 0, and choose Save [BITMAP : EXFONT]. Save the bitmap somewhere.
Now that you have the bitmap out of the EXE file you can work with it. Open it up in your favorite graphics program, zoom in until you can see what youre working with (those icons are very small), set your grid size to 12x12, and turn on your grid. You should see a bunch of boxes neatly outlining all the icons now.

At this point youre ready to edit your icons. Pop up RM2Ks help file to the icons page, and when you change an icon, make sure you make a note of which one you changed and what its code in RM2K is, that way you can use them later.

Be aware, the you MUST NOT change the icon sets size or bit depth. Yes, I know drawing in 1 bit color sucks, but, if you increase the bit depth it wont work and rm2k will crash.

When youre done editing and want to import your new icon set back into RM2K to see how it looks, save your new icon set. It MUST be saved as a 1-bit bitmap. You may see this as an option for a monochrome, black and white, or 2 color bitmap depending on the graphics program youre using. After you save it, open up Reshacker again, go back to the EXFONT like you did before, and this time, right click and choose "Replace Resource". Click the "Open File with new Bitmap" button, and browse to your edited bitmap. You should see it pop up in the bottom of the window. Click "Replace", and then, from the file menu, choose "Save", and youre ready to fire up RM2K. Note that saving it will automatically create a backup of the original file - you should delete it before sending your game out or it will increase your install program file size.

Now, in RM2K, you can use your new icons anyplace that will accept text. This includes, but is not limited to:

Message Boxes (duh)
DBS/DMS Menus (via the Vocabulary tab in RM2K)
Items (just prefix each item name with an icon code, and youll instantly have inventory icons)
All the RM2K standard abbreviations (HP, MP, L, GP, etc...) (again, via the Vocabulary tab)
Skills (in the same manner as items)
And anywhere else you can type text into RM2K