Tuesday, 16 January 2018


Remember how I said I was going to have a demo ready? Yeah? Well, I do ... I was just waiting on a couple of beta reports that never eventuated (I guess because holidays?), so I think I'll aim to have a release by the end of the week. Isn't that exciting? Kinda worried that I'll release it and then the beta reports will finally come in and they'll be like, "GAM BREAKING ERROR in this scene". But, hey, I guess that's part of the adventure.

My goal for 2018 was to finally learn Ruby, which is the coding language used for RPG Maker VX Ace. See, I've always been terrible at maths, and any time I see things that look vaguely 'maths'-like, my brain immediately switches off, and that has been a barrier for me with things like coding and scripting, because they reminded me so much of algebra (which I hated). I'd been reading through the base scripts for Ace for a while and trying to understand things, and I could do some simple stuff (for example, 'if' branches) and I kinda got the gist of how things should work, but couldn't really understand why they worked that way.
Look, wordy bits! And I understand them!

SO, I started watching a set of YouTube tutorials by a user called DiamondandPlatinum3 (https://www.youtube.com/user/diamondandplatinum3), and I found them super helpful. The way he explains everything is very clear and I love being able to see exactly what's going on (he types things in and then tests them and explains why they work they way they do). I'd recommend watching in full screen so you can see the details (otherwise parentheses look a lot like squiggly brackets and vice versa). They're also great because they're relevant to RPG Maker, unlike some of the other sources I found. I finished the last tutorial a couple of days ago and I'm feeling pretty confident in my abilities.

With my newfound knowledge, I managed to edit a few scripts that weren't working exactly how I wanted, and I also made two scripts of my own, which is super exciting! One of those scripts was basically me copying part of the evented encounter system I'd made and translating it into code. I'm feeling confident enough to try translating the whole thing into a script, so that might be my little project once the demo is out.

I even made a cute little sprite for Antheia pushing/pulling.
I had one beta tester that couldn't figure out the mechanics for pushing and pulling the boulder (not looking at anyone in particular, NICOLE), and it really bothered me. You see, the way I'd done it was pretty similar to how a lot of other RPG Maker games do it—if you press the action key, the boulder moves away from you, and if you hold another key and press the action key, you pull the boulder toward you—and my game is, let's be honest, probably just going to be played by RPG Maker users ... but I wanted the controls to be a bit more intuitive. So that got me thinking about how other commercial games do it, which is usually 'press the action key to grab onto the boulder, use directional keys to push or pull, then press the action key again to let go', and I decided to try replicate that.

An example of the event code.

You may not know this about me, but I'm pretty stubborn, and if I get a wacky idea in my head that I'm sure is achievable, I generally want to chip away at it until it's done. So, the first thing I did was Google search to see if someone had done something like this in RPG Maker before, but I couldn't find anything that was quite what I had in mind. So I chipped away at it and chipped away at it, and eventually I got it working exactly how I wanted, so then I decided that other people might want to do something like this in their games as well, and I made a tutorial. You would think that making a tutorial is pretty easy, but there were a lot of steps I had to explain and I wanted to find that balance between overexplaining and underexplaining. It's a delicate balancing act.

Anywho, that's just a wee update about the things I've been obsessing over instead of getting my demo out, haha.

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