Okay. I have begun work on the opening half of The Green Elf (I), our introduction to the wondrous Nilbog. I have the Positive Route finished, and the Negative Route finished up to the Big Fight (for the record, Wizard has another Chicken Attack at the border of the forest and Hero extracts him from the situation.) With this particular cut scene the two routes join into a more or less straight line (though I’m mentally leaving the option open for more routes at later places).
That was the easy part. The hard part was (and still is) the second part.
I’ve dreaded doing this second part for two reasons. The first of which being the big guy below.
At the start, he was just a Boss. A character that the Player fights and forgets. Only I made a mistake.
I gave him a name.
It was a jokey one–I mean, Wilbur? For the Pig looking guy?–but that was enough. Soon enough, he started becoming a part of the plot. A character in his own right, participating with Nilbog.
Which was fine.
Right up until I committed to have my characters have expressions to emphasis certain moments in the course of the game.
If they have a face, they should have at the very least two expressions. Probably more.
The problem? Wilbur’s portrait isn’t that of a player character. He’s a monster. As such he only had the one expression which came with RPG Maker MV:
Small digression to vent: Look at that skeleton character. Like the rest on this list, it comes with its own set of walking sprites which copies the look.
Which is fine, if you like this look. Me, it seems more than a little bit… limited. Which means if I want to have skeletons in this game, I’m going to have to do more mod work. Which is fine, except it’s more work. If you can dig it.
(Another digression, if I can be excused: I’ve already done a fair sized chunk of the work modding out a “proper” Skeleton character. That doesn’t mean I’m any less bitter about having to do it in the first place.)
Anyways, Wilbur needed some expressions made for him. Thus I spent most of this week working on expressions for Wilbur. Below are the results (last one on the list is a duplicate; i may change it to something more interesting in future.)
So for the most part Wilbur is in the bag. He’s ready for his first big moment, which is speaking to his troops (well, Nilbog’s troops, but you know what I mean.) About six or seven Goblins.
Trouble was, there’s only one set of walking sprites for the Goblins. That would be the sprite for Wilbur.
Fortunately, I’ve already bought a program for modding out (and creating) sprite figures. So I worked my little magic and came up with this set of sprites:
Not too shabby, eh? And I’m going to use them in one fashion or another in the game.
Just not in the cut scene in question.
See, All I did to make all the colorful Goblins was change the hue. Call it a palette swap, which it kind of is.
This palette swap change not only the Goblins’ skin tones, but that of their clothes as well. As I wanted them to have a sort of unified look, this meant either a.) coloring over the “wrong” colors with the “right” ones or b.) cut-and-paste the “right” costume via copying the original sprite and erasing everything except the clothes.
As this struck me as a lot of work, I chose option c.) Meaning I made a whole new set of characters.
Which might have been even more work than what I was trying to avoid.
And now that I think of it, all I had to do was recolor one clothing layer, make duplicates of that layer instead of working on each individual frame for each sprite.
Ah, whatever. It’s done now. And, frankly, I think it’s an improvement over the first attempt:
You might notice a couple of full sprite hue changes/pallet swaps here too. I feel this is more in the acceptable difference range than the earlier attempt. In any case, if I change my mind, it’ll be easier to do three sprites than eight.
Anyway, all that needs doing is getting all these sprites as Events in the game, get them into position, and write up the cut scene. Shouldn’t take too long to do that and get the bugs out.
We advance! Slowly. But forward.