Goblinstomper! Development Diary (XVI): The Powers That Rule the Events

Not a lot to talk about today.  More me getting my act together in terms of notes and that sort of thing.  Repetitious, I know.

So instead, let’s talk mechanics a second.

I’ve mentioned Events a time or three in this series.  In very basic terms, they are areas drawn on the map that do the heavy lifting of an RPG Maker game.  They are the characters the Player meets, the things the Player interacts with, and, sometimes, a virtual Game Master that makes sure things run smoothly.

The Event Editor, where the magic happens, looks like this:


For the most part, we’ve brushed about the Contents section.  This is the major part of an Event.  This is where the game gets its instructions from the Event.

We also mentioned, in passing if in no other fashion, that Events start through a Trigger:  There are five of these:


In the order that they’re listed, the Triggers are:

  • Action Button: With this picked, the Event will only trigger if the Player has the Player Character (PC) touch it while the Player clicks the Action Button.  It’s the default Trigger.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to run a Cut Scene only to find the Event I want is out of reach and on default.
  • Player Touch:  This ditches the Action Button entirely.  The PC touches the Event, the Event starts.
  • Event Touch:  Events don’t have to be static things.  Sometime they run around the map.  Sometimes they come in contact with the PC.  This Trigger will set the Event in motion if that happens.
  • Autorun:  This?  This is King Trigger, to everything in the game bows down to.  It starts at once, and when it reached the end of the Content Page, it heads back to the top and starts all over again.  You don’t have a means to stop Autorun, then Autorun won’t ever stop.
  • Parallel:  Like Autorun, Parallel can start at once, and will keep right on doing its thing forever.  Unlike Autorun, it won’t hog the spot light.  It’ll run, why, parallel to whatever else is going on in the game.

As powerful as the Triggers are, there’s another, even more powerful group that controls them.  That would be the Conditions:


Look at the red box above.  No Conditions exist for this Event.  Thus as this Event has the Autorun Trigger set, it will start running the moment the Player enters the map (currently in this case at the very start of the game.)

Just to keep everyone on the same page (as it were), here are the Conditions, in order:

  • Switch:  This is a basic Yes/No statement.  Has a certain something happened?  If it has, the Event proceeds.  We’ll come back to this one, later.
  • Switch:  No, I’m not going to repeat myself.  I just thought it be funny if it looked like I was about to.  My amusement is all.
  • Variable: Sort of like Switch, but instead of a simple Yes/No, the Event waits until a named number is reached or surpassed.  An example of the Variable in action is located in the Contents to the right, where, when running, the Event continues to act a specified way until the Variable named reaches a certain number.  There’s a bit of leeway in the Contents section, but that’s for another day, if at all.
  • Self Switch: This is the Event’s Personal Switch.  Or, rather, one of four personal Switches.  If you’re not going to use a Switch for multiple Events, this one is probably the Condition you’ll be using.
  • Item: Say you have Event acting as a locked door.  The door won’t “open” until the PC has acquired the key and has it in the PC’s inventory.
  • Actor:  Same door, different circumstances.  There’s a guard on the other side who won’t allow the PC’s party through without the right person in their ranks.  That person would be a PC and his (or her) name would be right there next to Actor.

The game won’t do anything with the Event until the Condition is met.  Doesn’t matter how many Conditions there are, if they aren’t all met, nothing will happen.  In fact, if there is only one Content Page, as in the example above, the Event wouldn’t even appear if a Condition was set.

I was going to elaborate a bit further on Switches (it was the initial point of all of this), but we’re nearing the thousand word mark.  Not that near, but close enough.  If nothing super interesting happens game wise, we’ll continue with the mechanics of RPG Maker.


3 Replies to “Goblinstomper! Development Diary (XVI): The Powers That Rule the Events”

  1. Cool. It appears that you are picking up quite a bit of knowledge from doing this project, At least from the point of view of this software package. But still, I’m sure that you’re picking up some “standard” skills associated with game-writing, in general.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if you’re actually picking up a marketable skill? I know what’s already out there – so no need to remind me. However, some of the simplest games have done remarkably well (Angry Birds, anyone?).

    This was why I asked you what were your intentions when it came to the point when the game was completed (other than letting me play a copy – I hope). Who knows – life is funny…


    1. In terms of marketable skills, I think I got more out of designing the webpage for my late, lamented web comic. Most of this is just “push the right button in the right widow” type of work.

      In fairness to RPG Maker, though, I can do literal script writing of the programming. And some of the habits I’m trying to build (the leaving of notes to myself on what does what) might well help in that regard, should I do that.

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