Goblinstomper! Developer Diary (II): At the Castle

Okay, real quick, I’ve discovered view Google search that there’s a blog out there called Goblin Stomper.  It apparently covers table top Role Playing Games (RPG).  It has no association with me or I it.  A little frustrated that my title matches someone else’s, but I don’t think sharing titles is a biggie.  Just remember than mine is one word, complete with exclamation mark.

And now for something completely different: the subject of this post.  The last post can be found here.

Level Four of the RPGMaker VX Tutorial covers talking with the king (step eight, if you’re following at home.  My game doesn’t go that route–we change that to talking to the chancellor–but the basic format is the same.  We set up an event and tell the event what to do.  Easy as that.

gs-development-004The complicated part is keeping track of all the events that appear on a given map.  This particular map, pictured left, isn’t that complex, but later maps will have more going on in them.

I have come up with my own little system for this: Standardized Event Labels  (SEL).  Basically I made a chart categorizing whatever events might be used on any given map and giving it a name.  Simple enough, up to the point I lose the chart.  Then its all me searching my Devil Box screaming, “NOW I KNOW I PUT THAT FILE SOMEWHERE!”

Frightening how often that happens.

If only I had some place else I could put it.  Perhaps online.  In a blog some place.

Or maybe right here:

gs-development-005-2-0

Following what I’ve set up with SEL, the first event I set up is always a SHEMP.  It might not be used, that doesn’t matter.  SHEMP comes first.

That out of the way, I set up the other events.  One King, a Chancellor, and four guards.  Each gets a name and an image.

The whole Event Editor window looks like this:

gs-development-006

We have the character’s SEL name in the name box (shocking, I know) with a note beside telling me who this cat is.  I’m probably going to go back there and place a full name in the note box, but it’s not needed.

Cast your gaze over to the Contents box.  Here’s where all the specific commands for this Event goes.  To briefly explain what goes on in this particular case, after a second’s wait, a balloon full of Zzzs will appear over the King’s head.  Once the balloon stops, it’ll wait another second before restarting.

(At the bottom of the screen we have a Trigger Box, which tells the Event when to act.  Parallel means it’s going on in the background no matter what.)

A quick word about the king image.  That’s not a standard, comes with the software image.  I built the character using RPGMaker’s Character Creator, then further modified it by drawing closed eyes and cut-and-pasting a crown from another character on to this one’s head.  I also arraigned it so that, in-game, the king’s head bobs up and down as he sleeps.

A lot of work for just basically following the tutorial.

Which is a part of my problem: I can’t just follow the tutorial.  Neat ideas pop up and I have to follow them through right now.  Which is what keeps things from getting done.

This applies to the novel writing, too, incidentally.

Anyway, with all the work done the scene looks like this:

gs-development-007

 Deeply exciting, I know.

From here, the level moves on to creating the actual conversation.  Which goes something like this:

gs-development-008

Damn near unreadable gibberish, innit?

The window on the right, the Event Commands window, is how I program the game.  At a click of the button, I can create dialogue, set up choices for the player, move things around, the works.  It looks overwhelming at first blush, but once you get the hang of it, you get the woefully mistaken feeling that you know what an actual computer programmer feels like at work.

To translate the gibberish, I usually start an Event with a Comment describing what I want from the Event.  This helps out on the all too frequent occasions when I screw up in programming.  This particular Event is rather simple, so I don’t make a big deal of it.  Just what’s going on.  No more, no less.

Below that we have a Movement Route plotted out for the Player, taking his character from the bottom of the screen to the stairs.  Next comes our Chancellor giving out the quest, followed by a meaningless choice for the player.  Choices give the illusion of power to the Player, but too many pointless choices breaks that illusion.  All of this is just for now work; later I’ll put something better in its place.

At least that’s the hope.

At the end of the Comment section, you’ll notice that we have another Movement route started.  This takes the Player back down to the bottom of the screen.  Unseen but present is a command that takes the player from the Throne Room outside the castle.  Which looks like this:

gs-development-009

Like I said in the last post, I’ve got a lot of the work I need to do for this project already done.  In this screen shot, for instance, we have two guards in motion:  One walking around up top (partially obscured) and a second one marching in the grass in the lower right corner.  There’s a third that pops up over at the lower left.  seeing all of this at work gives a certain sense of satisfaction, that I’m getting somewhere.  Which, in theory, I am.

Speaking of which: Level Four Complete!  More importantly, though:

gs-development-010

I just noticed that I have the task “find boat” listed twice on this list.  Sigh.  At least it’s worded differently.

Oh well.  A quarter done.  Tomorrow, we move on to the next part.

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5 Replies to “Goblinstomper! Developer Diary (II): At the Castle”

    1. Right now everything is really, really simple. Hero receives quest, Hero make journey, Hero returns successful. As I’m just trying to finish something, the more I have to do, the harder it will be.

      That said, I do have a few thoughts on expanding beyond the basic plot line before me into a fuller, more satisfying story. A lot depends on the characters and other notions I’ve had. For instance, just because the Hero succeeds, doesn’t mean he’s done good.

      Ultimately what I’d like is a full length game that’s a wee bit funny and rather fun to play. Whether I can pull that off or not is another matter.

      1. There is also something to be said for the inclusion of an anti-hero in just about any story (see Deadpool). So the notion of the Hero not necessarily doing “good” would fit right in with that premise. However, the Wizard would be the obvious anti-hero. So making the Wizard the “actual” hero (while the Hero rakes in all the credit), would be a decent turnaround “surprise”. Just a suggestion. I’m sure you’ll come up with something amusing. If you need any “snarky” comments for your dialog, just let me know. as you may know, I write for a living. goo.gl/QcEwr5

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