grid walk

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when did we drift so far apart? (insp)

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BTS #16 Wallpapers

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Son of Haggar part 6

Lotor looked at the unconscious altean in his arms and smirked. He has bet seen Lavi in years, and he still looked the same. Even when he first saw him, without the altean features, Lotor knew it was his Lavi.

Lavi almost looked the same, Lotor wondered if he remember their promise they made for each other.

Lotor smiled softly as he laid the unconscious Lavi on the soft bed.

Though he glared and shook his head, Lavi barely even remembered who he was. It was as if he’ll remember their promise.

The little altean galra half breed looked at smaller altean as he played with his blue soft lion. Lotor look down and bit his lip awkwardly.

“Lavi?” Lotor whispered looking at Lavi, both only had the altean ears. Neither had the markings, Lavi’s markings touched his eyes to his chin. Lotor had none. “Yea Lotor?” Smiled the younger altean.

“You stay with me right? When I become king?” He whispered as if it was a secret. Lavi smiled brightly at Lotor. “Of course! We’re best friends and we’ll even get married.” Giggled the altean.

Lotor smiled fondly and held out his pinkie finger. “Promise?” Lavi pulled out his pinkie. Both fingers hugged eachother, and their promise was made.

Though Lotor glared at the sleeping Lavi, he hated Haggar for taking him away. Making him break their promise, making Lavi forget him. Making Lavi hate himself for being what he is.

Lavi breathe softly and gave a slight whimpered, Lotor glared as he heard the name ‘Shiro’ come out of Lavi’s mouth.

Lotor gridded his teeth and walked out of the room.

He will making Lavi remember him, if it was the last thing he’ll do.

RPGM VXAce Basics Part I: Events and Switches

I was looking at the few tutorials I made before and I noticed that they all assumed people would already know the basics of RPGM. So I thought of doing a series of tutorials to cover the basic stuff you need to start making a game in RPGM. This will use VXAce, since it’s what I think is the most used, but looking at MV, the interface is pretty much the same so 95% of what I say here will also apply to MV.
In this first part I’m gonna talk about what are Events and Switches, aka the things that make the game happen. It’s going to be long, so go get a beverage or snack. I’ll wait for you. 


Ok, nice. Before we start, let’s take a look at the RPGM interface.

Once you click New Project and name your game, you will find yourself looking at this:

This is the RPGM interface, full of weird buttons like a cockpit. Here is what everything means:

  1. New Project, Open Project and Save Project, respectively.
  2. Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete and Undo, respectively. (I never used these in my life, I just use the Ctrl+X/C/V/Z Delete keys in the keyboard)
  3. These buttons are used to select what you want to edit in the map! First button is the Tiles/Map mode, where you can place and edit the tiles that are on the left (12) and build your game world. Second button is the Event mode, where you can see, create and edit Events (we will talk about these bad boys in a moment). Third button is the Region mode, where you can place invisible tags in the map, for various reasons that I’ll cover in a future tutorial)
  4. This buttons are the Pencil, Square, Circle, Bucket and Shadow tools for when you are in Map mode. Like MS Paint, the various tools help you place the tiles individualy, as shapes or as a fill, and the Shadow button lets you shade the tiles!
  5. These buttons are the Zoom control. Not much to say about them, except that they remind me of that Mazda Zoom Zoom commercial and I don’t like that.
  6. Database Button. This opens the Database, which I’ll talk about in Part II
  7. Resource Manager Button. This opens the Resource manager, where you can view, preview, import and export resources like Music, Images, Tilesets, Characters, Sounds, etc to your project. This may help you if you are not computer savvy, but I find it easier to just drag the stuff in and out of the project folders. Have it your way. I’m lovin’ it.
  8. Script Editor Button. This opens the Script Editor where you can place custom Scripts. What are scripts? A godsend. I’ll talk about them sometime.
  9. Sound Test. Opens a sound test window, where you can preview the tracks and sounds you have in your game. Which is redundant because when you are placing a sound, a similar window opens. I literally opened this for the first time in my life right now.
  10. Character Creator. In here you can create character sprites and portraits using the in-engine generator, and automatically import them to your project. It’s fairly easy to use and you can get some funny random faces. I laugh at them for being so bad then I cry because they are still better than anything I will ever draw.
  11. These are the Manage Project and Playtest Buttons, respectively. The Manage Project mode let’s you change your project name, path, thumbnail and permissions, and the Playtest button let’s you, uh, play your game!
  12. This is the Tileset window, where you can select the tiles you want to place in your game when you are in Map mode.
  13. This is the Map List. All of your game’s maps are here. It’s also here where you can create more maps, by right clicking this area and selecting new map. You can also edit existing maps’ properties.
  14. The Map View. The map you selected on the Map List will appear here, and you can edit the map with either new tiles, events or regions (See #3). Notice that the map is placed on a grid. Characters and events walk and move on this grid.
  15. Coordinates. This section here lets you know the coordinates of the grid cell/event you have selected on the Map View (#14)

“But Drax, the title said something about Events. Are you going to explain what they are, or are you too busy looking at your dashing good looks in the mirror?”

Funny you mention that, I was just about to get there. Events are everything you see and don’t see in your game, besides maps. I like to say there are 2 general types of events: The ones the player can interact with like Characters, Items, Doors, etc and the ones that run in the background, invisible, like the things that control weather, or that trigger cut scenes when you enter a room or step on a specific place. Let’s create an Event and take a look of what it does (spoiler alert: everything). Select the event mode (The second button on section #3 above, or press F6). You will see a grid pop up on the Map View. Double click any cell and it will create an event there and open the Event Window:

I’m going to jump around a bit instead of listing like I did earlier. #1 is the event name. You can type in anything, and I recommend you do, to keep track of things. If you are using MV, you have a search function and can find events by name easily. In previous version, no such luck. That little tab on #3 is the event page. Imagine event pages as layers of the event. When you create a new event, you only have one page. The section on #2 let’s you create, delete, copy and paste new page. Imagine this event will be a character: We can have them give you an item on page 1, and then page 2 will be them saying “I don’t have any more bananas to give you”. The item was a banana. You are playing monkey simulator.

But how does the engine know which Event Page to execute? That’s what section #4 is for, the Conditions. The game will always check the higher numbered page first, see if the conditions are met, and if they are, then that will be the page the event will execute. If they are not, the game checks the next page, and so on and so forth.  The conditions are as follows:
Switches: If the Switch box is ticked, you can select a switch (we will talk about those in a minute) and that page will only be read if said switch is ON. You can select 2 switches.

Variables: If you check the Variable box, you can select a variable and a number. The page will only be read if that variable is that number or above.

Self-Switch: The same as switches, the page will only be read if the self switch you select (from A to D) is ON.

Item: The page will only be read if you have the item you select.

Actor: The page will only be read if you have that character in your party.

Example time:

Above are 2 pages of the same event, which is a character. If I interact with this character, the game will start by going to page 2 and check if I have a Potion. If I do have it, it will run page 2, and I’ll get the text on the right. If i don’t have the potion (the conditions aren’t met) then it will go to page one, and I’ll get a different text. Remember, the event pages are always processed highest number to lowest!



This brings us to the Contents section, #10 in the guide image. I told you I’d be jumping around in numbers. Anyways, the Content section is where the magic happens. Its what that Event page will do. If you double click on the Contents space, it will bring up the Commands Menu:

All these options do different things. I will make a list explaining what each button does sometime, but the best way to find out is to mess around with it! Here, you can put in what the Event does when you activate it (aka, speak to it, step on it, or however the activation mode is set. We’ll get there.)  So, for example, if it’s a character that just talk to you, you click on “Show Text” and write the line. If they give you gold, you click on “Change gold”. Note how you can have the event Control a Switch. So, you can have a character say a line, then turn on a Switch that will enable the Second Event Page, that will have a different line. This is important when a character or chest gives you an item, because if you don’t enable a second event page, they will give you an item over and over. So, a proper way to build a character giving you something would be like so:

So page 2 would be the first to be processed, but since all switches are OFF by default, the condition “Self Switch A is ON” isn’t met, so page 1 will be the next in line to be processed. Since all the conditions in page 1 are blank (meaning, it doesn’t need any condition), then the Contents of page 1 will happen: A text saying “Here’s some money”, changing your gold +5, and turning the Self Switch A to ON. 
Now that the page 1 turned the self switch A to ON, the next time you talk to the character again, the conditions for page 2 are met, so those Contents are what will happen. This way, the character only gives you money once!


So we can begin to see what switches are for: They let you navigate between Event Pages by being turned on or off. Self switches are useful for the same event, like in the example above, while normal switches are good for changing things between events: An event that is a button on the wall can turn ON a switch, and a separate event that will be a door will only transport you to the next map if that same switch is ON, for example.
Variables are similar to Switches, but while a Switch only has 2 modes (On or Off) a Variable can have a wide range of numbers. Think of Switches as light switches and Variables as light dimmer dials.

Let’s go back to our Event Window

If you click on that blue square that says Graphic (#5), you can select how that event will look like in game. Events are by default invisible, but if you want to make a character or an item, you need to make it look like what it’s supposed to look. This is the place for it!


What are the advantages of having an invisible event? Lots! You can have an invisible event atop a tile on your map, just to add a description, or the event can be doing something like controlling the weather or a cut scene, so it doesn’t need a Graphic! 


On that area marked as #6 we have the movement options.Your event can have 4 types of movement: 

  • Fixed: No movement (for descriptions, items, Characters standing still, etc).
  • Random: Event will move about randomly, making the movement unpredictable. (useful for stuff that’s running around and you have to catch, for example,  or just characters walking around).
  • Approach: Event will move towards player. (useful for events that are casing you)
  • Custom: This option will enable the “Move Route” button bellow it, and you can input the exact move route of the event. You can make it move in various directions, pause, jump, play sounds, change the graphic mid movement, change opacity, lots of stuff. (This is useful for characters that are walking around a fixed route, or to add flavor to a stationary event, like making it change opacity from time to time)

Still on the movement option area, you can select the Speed of the movement (self explanatory) and the Frequency. Frequency matters for the Random and Approach move types. It’s the frequency at which an event will move, meaning, a low frequency event will move, pause for some time, then move again, while a high frequency event will not pause between movements.


In the #7 area we have the Options, which do various things:

  • Walking animation determines if the event does a walking animation when moving. If it’s checked, it does, if its unchecked, it moves without animating, appearing to glide. (Useful for girls that show up behind and elevator to creep us out seriously fuck you Pokemon X/Y)
  • Stepping animation determines if the event does the walking animation while standing still. Checked, the event will appear to be running in place (or doing whatever it is animated as the walking animation), unchecked it will be standing still when not moving.
  • Direction Fix determines if the event will look at the player when activated. If it’s checked, it will not look or change directions.
  • Through determines if the event is passable/go-through. Events, when moving, usually don’t go over other events, and may get stuck. An event with Through checked can pass and be passed by other events or the player themselves. But be warned, a Through-checked event cannot be activated by the player, since it can’t be touched! 

#8 is the Priority, which determines where the event in relation to the player.

  • Below Characters is under the player, so the player can walk on top of it (imagine the event is an item on the ground, or an area on the ground that will activate a cut scene)
  • Same as Characters are on-level with the player. The player can’t walk over it, but can interact with it when facing it on an adjacent tile. (Like if the event was a character or switch or door).
  • Above Characters are above the player. These events can be walked under and generally can’t be interacted with, having similar properties to a Through-checked event.

And finally we have #9, that determines how the event is activated.

  • Action key makes it so that whatever is on the Contents (#10) only happens when the event is interacted with with the action key (aka “talked to). This is used for speaking to characters, picking up items, and interacting with stuff. Note that if the Priority is “below characters”, you will have to be standing on top of the event to press the action key!
  • Player touch makes it so that the event is activated when the player touches it without having to press the action key. This is useful to trigger a cut scene once the player steps on or walks into the event!
  • Event touch is the same as Player touch, but it will also activate if its the event that touches the player instead of the other way around. This is useful for moving events that make something happen if they touch the player, like enemies!
  • Autorun activates the event automatically once the Conditions are met. Once it activates, the player wont be able to move while the Contents play out, stopping the flow of the game. This is useful for cut scenes that happen once you enter a map, or if you want stuff to happen once all the conditions are met. But be careful! An autorun event will start over and over in a loop if at the end of the Contents you don’t put an Erase Event command or a switch that will make it change it’s Page! Also, if two autorun events activate at the same time, the game freezes!
  • Parallel Process is similar to Autorun, but it won’t stop your character or the flow of the game while it’s playing out it’s contents. A parallel process can run simultaneously with an Autorun or another Parallel Process without freezing the game. It’s useful for events that control environment stuff, like an event that plays a thunderstorm sound at different intervals while the player walks about!

These are the basics about events. Messing around with the program is the best way to learn, so I’d advise you to try to make your own events and learn from experience after reading this! Anyways, I’ll leave some basic examples bellow!

Treasure chest


The first page is the closed chest. Interacting with it by pressing the action button will give you a potion and turn the Self Switch A On, enabling page 2, which is the opened, empty chest. Note the different graphics for when it’s been opened.

Guard

A simple guard with just one page, that talks to you when you interact with him. Note that the Direction Fix in the Options is checked, meaning the guard won’t turn to face you when you talk to him.

Cut-scene start

The event Trigger is set to player touch, so it will activate when the player touches it. It also has no graphic, making it invisible. When touched by the player, the event will make the text appear and then toggles the Self Switch A to ON, activating page 2. Page 2 is a blank event with through ON, making it inactive. This makes the scene happen only once!

 Thunder Sound Control

This event is set to Parallel Process, meaning it will be running in the background. It plays the sound of thunder and then waits 300 frames. Since no steps were taken to deactivate the event, it will loop to the beginning, playing the sound again.



Switch and Door

  •    Switch
  • Door

These 2 separate events work together. If you interact with the door first, it will go to page 1 since the conditions for page 2 (Red Switch is ON) aren’t met. Page 1 tells you the door is locked. If you interact with the switch event, it goes to page 1 as well, where the Contents make it so that the Red Switch goes to the ON position. This activates both events’ page 2: The switch is now with a different graphic and description, and the door now transfers the player to another map!

This was it for the basics, and I think that messing around with Events is the best way to get started. Open up  project, create events and just go to town on them. Experiment with the commands and try to make basic elements like characters to talk to, chests, items and small cut scenes!

I’ll be explaining the Database in Part II. Until then, feel free to message me with any questions! Good gaem maek!