So, now I want to make an Effect, but oh my god RPG Maker 2003′s Event Systems are so intimidating, how do I start? A Yume Nikki fangame reference
WELL, you’ve come to the wrongrightA place.
Now this tutorial’s gonna require a liiittle bit of familiarity with RPG Maker’s mechanics, but you can brute force your way through it and learn along the way (that’s what I did~) I’m going to be using the Not-Steam version of RPG Maker, because it’s a lot more condensed (and because I don’t want to port Yume Nikki to the Steam version)
Now, of course, the best way to learn how to make a fangame in general, is to see how Yume Nikki itself works. Feel free to explore the game, both inside AND… deeper… inside. Yeah. Go through the maps, see how things are made, and ohhh man if only they weren’t all Japanese-oh wait, that’s what I’m for.
(I’ll also be releasing an English version of Yume Nikki’s coding eventually, I was going to release it with this but decided to wait and see how much I can clean it up)
Sorry to be a bother, but is there anything about RPG maker that talks about making a good map? Thank you!
I can do a quick little advice post for you, no problem! A “good map” is subjective, but there are a couple guidelines people are often recommended to follow:
Depending on what’s in your map, you don’t want your map to be too big! I actually prefer smaller maps, and as my more recent games Fleshchild and Jasei no In have shown, my games have maps that are usually no bigger than the default 2k3 size.
In The Looking Glass, like many ynfgs, I made the main worlds massive and looping. The idea was to make it easy to get lost in the game like people in yume nikki often do, but actually, unless it’s for a specific reason, I really don’t recommend making giant maps that are hard to navigate! It can be really disorienting for people who don’t have good exploration strategies or don’t want to use them (like walking 5 steps to the left, then walking down until you come back to the same spot, and repeat), it can cause people to lose interest when they get lost too many times, and overall it’s not something you want to do often, if at all. You’ll lose interested players that way!
The map below is too large, and the player can walk on almost every tile of it. It loops, which makes it feel 2x bigger in game:
But for the map below, while its actual size is still kind of large, the space the player explores is less than half the size of the entire map. Players don’t get lost as easily, and the main exits are pretty easy to locate:
2. Landmarking Overworlds
In maps that are supposed to be free-roam like in Yume Nikki, you want to provide proper landmarks so exploring players will be able to find their way easily. Too many landmarks makes it feel cluttered and hard to navigate (a common issue in forest worlds in ynfgs), and too little landmarks makes it feel like you’re walking in an endless void, which is not fun at all if every world is like that and has no real reason for being that way. You also want landmarks marking new areas/links/items to be distinct, so players can tell if they’ve stumbled across something new!
The snow world screenshot from earlier is also a good example of too little landmarks.
The map below is an example of a huge map choked with landmarks; players got lost in this map all the time and never noticed the connecting areas:
The map below is a good example of providing a good number of landmarks which help keep the world interesting, while also providing clues for people on where to go next:
3. Realistic Proportions
One of my biggest pet peeves about a lot of rpg maker games is that people are constantly making huge rooms with objects that don’t match, so everything feels boxy, weirdly proportioned, and comically large. Your room maps will look much more polished if you make sure you don’t just make a large box and throw a bed sprite in the corner.
The map below is Irene’s old room. Even though I loved her room design, it still was way too big to make sense:
The map below is an apartment bedroom from Fleshchild. The room is still rather big, but the way the shape of the room and and objects are used makes it feel small and more realistic:
The map below is the smallest bedroom I’ve made in my games, and the only reason it isn’t smaller is because this game needs floor space so the caterpillar-style follower can move and won’t overlap objects:
4. Using Default Size Maps
So I wasn’t going to write any more, but I decided to cover one last topic, which is making realistically sized buildings and cityscapes without making massize maps that include the whole city. Of course this thing is up to personal preference, but I’ve grown to really like small maps of cities over giant ones. You can give each map a lot more detail while retaining the size of the city.
The map below is an entire city all on one map. Everything feels massive and endless, and there’s not much room for detail because the map favors size over unique buildings. It feels huge, repetitive, and unimpressive:
The map below is just the default rpg maker map size. Because of this, I can make a map with less buildings but more environmental detail, though this is a WIP:
The map below is just a little bit bigger than the default map size. Instead of throwing this map in one giant citywide map, I could make Irene’s schoolgrounds look much more detailed while keeping realistic proportions:
I hope this post helped! I’m going to bed lol it’s 2:34am
What are some of the best parts of yume nikki fangames to you? What separates the good from the not-as-good? Feel free to give short or long answers, I’m preparing some stuff for the Jam so long is a-ok.
Some early concepts really likely to change about the abandoned fangame I ocasionally talk about.
The main character’s name is Erika, as you might notice by looking at the faces I made for her.
In the real world everything (Erika included) looks quite detailed and colorful pretty much like all my pixelart does (except because instead of using the big tall sprites for Glem here I’ll use Madotsuki-styled sprites because those are easier to do, so everything will be with a 2x zoom in game). But in the dream world everything will have a more minimalistic style and will be on a limited color palette (well, many limited color palettes, since that’s part of the point of the game). Most dream areas will be either purple, blue, cyan, green, yellow, orange or red, and each one of those colored areas will have a determined theme/aesthetic to them according to it’s color. Some minor areas like Erika’s dream house and some deep dream locations will be grey (fun fact: Originally my ideas was to make each area themed after the literature of some of my favorite authors, but… I don’t have so many authors I like to fill the 8 colors so I’ll just use random aesthetics for each color, still I’ll try to make books and literature a part of this game but I can’t promise anything).
The objective of the game won’t be collecting effects but instead something random with no function other than unlock the ending(s), and of course, finding events I’ll scatter around Erika’s dream world. As you might notice, this game is supposed to be WAY less ambitious than Glem and since it’s really far to be my main priority don’t expect me posting about this too frequently.