Goblinstomper! and the Curse of Knowing Better

Don’t let the radio silence fool you.  I’m still plugging away at Goblinstomper!, working towards that silly goal of having Act One, Phase One done sometime in July.  Today I put the finishing touches on the cut scene that replaces the Deleted Scene.  It’s got everything, from more characterization than before to giving (mild) control to the Player over our Heroes’s fates.  Really pleased with it, and more than ready to move on to the next task.

There is, though, a small story connected to this.  One that I’ll relate to you now.

With everything in this game, I’m the chief Playtester.  I need to know what works and what doesn’t so that I can fix it, or, failing that, replace it with something less broken.  This is crucial with the cut scenes, as there are so many moving parts.  It’s easy to mess up.

gs-event-editor-000

In addition to this, everything is in flux in a way that will be impossible on other acts.  Sometimes certain ideas or ways of doing things change and I have to go back through the Events and change things.  For instance, the Variable mentioned in the image above, SHEMP’s Y, now is used for a different process.  While it’s not vital for me to change it quite yet (it’ll probably be among the last things I fiddle with before ending Act One Phase One) it does need changed in order to keep mistakes from happening.

That’s what I was doing with the cut scene today.  I had made an alteration on one of the Switches and had to make sure they all jibed when the cut scene played without causing problems within the scene.

Which meant watching the cut scene over and over again.

So maybe I was bored, doing this.  Or maybe I was goofing off.  Doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I jiggled my controller while the cut scene was playing.

And the Player Controlled Character (PCC) moved out of position.

He shouldn’t have done that.

In fact, an out of position PCC could kill the cut scene.  Maybe even freeze up the game.

Eep.

Never happened before with any of the cut scene I’d worked on.  Ever.

I spent a long, long time looking through RPG Maker itself for a solution.  Some way of freezing the PCC so that the cut scene could run automatically without worry of some little shift ruining things.

Nothing in the engine seemed to help.

Ultimately I came up with a fix.  Surround the PCC with Events without images.  What amounted to invisible walls.  Call it the Mime Solution.

Now due to the nature of the cut scene, there’s a break where the PCC can interact with things.  So the “walls” had to be removed.  Also, one of the moving parts of the cut scene was stopped by said “walls”, so that had to be dealt with.  Then after the moving section was done, the Mime Solution had to be put back into place in a new, more complicated configuration.  Still, after a play test things seemed to be working fine.  I was feeling rather brilliant, actually.

Then, with the last slog before me, I did a Google search on the problem.  Something I should have done in the first place, but Ha ha, I’m clever, why do I need to do that?

Only to keep from wasting a hell of a lot of time.  That’s all.gs-event-editor-001

Let’s go back to our example image.  There is a very important section right at the bottom of the page called Trigger.  An example is all set up before you on the right.   You can also go here and see what each one of those terms mean, but that will spoil the ending of this tale.

I draw your attention to the highlighted section.  Autorun.  When an Event is in Autorun, nothing can stop it.  It does everything the Event has been told to do nonstop, with nothing, and I mean nothing, interfering.

I didn’t have the cut scene in Autorun.  I had it in Parallel, which is sort of Autorun’s laid back little brother.  Parallel isn’t as strict.  You can do things while it runs.

Such as move the PCC.

So nopers!  Mr. Waters wasn’t being brilliant today.  In fact, you could say he was being the exact opposite of brilliant.

I don’t feel too bad about it, though.  Two days ago I wasted an evening programming a solution to a problem I’d already solved in a much, much more simple manner.

Just.  So.  Stupid.

Anyways, it all worked out.  I move on to the next part, which is sadly working on a map I’d thought I was almost finished with.  As every step has been an improvement on the last, it’s not that much of a much.

Until I make a simple situation much more difficult.

Again.

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