Saturday, August 3, 2013

RPG Maker Game Update

Actually playing and trying to break my own game in RPG Maker is really flexing problem solving skills I had long since let atrophy. It gives me a new sense of respect for the QA big games have to go through to get published. Think, in a fairly minimalistic sprite-based RPG, in the first two real rooms of the dungeon, I had nearly half-a-dozen game breaking bugs (using a certain skill causes a crash, saving/loading breaks event scripts, door won't reopen, etc., etc.) Imagine how much more complicated bug shooting, say, Eden Prime or the Human Noble's origin story must have been.

Earlier I had a post about creating a scan skill. Today, I'm going to show you some other problems I ran into. First, though, a bit of nomenclature: An event is what RPG Maker calls what you would call an object in ZZT. So, a sprite, is an event, even if it doesn't DO anything.

1. I had a problem: If you triggered certain events, I had programmed the game to turn off the transparency of events that were, essentially, set to be invisible. What this means is a square looked empty, but in reality, a sprite was there waiting to appear. What this does is make it look like your party appeared out of the leader's sprite on the map in time for some plot to happen. Then as I was playing, I had swapped my character order around for some reason, then I noticed something: "Hey! There are two of that guy. Woops!"

Problem solved: By booting the character and immediately readding them, it moves them to the bottom of the party queue, thereby preventing an issue of having two of the same person walking around talking to themselves while another character is MIA.

2. I had another problem, this one was fixed through adding a switch and flipping it when the proper checkpoint was reached. During a scene, a bunch of bad guys are on the map. After a fight, they disappear to clear the way forward. What happens though, if you go back and save, then load? They're BACK!  That's no good. I changed them from being set to transparent to the fight event triggering a switch that changed them from the first page of their event to the second. Problem solved.

3. An attack was doing too much damage because I accidentally said to multiply the enemy's defense by 0.0 instead of 2.0 (it is a status dealing attack that deals minor damage, designed as such to allow a weapon's on-hit effect to also trigger if you've been smart enough to strip the enemy of their defense first.)

4. Enemies do not have a level stat. Any attack that they use that they pick from a PC's skillset that uses a level modifier needs to be recreated with a binary bonus instead. Multiplying by level zeroes out the attack; likewise, the attack stat in damage formulas is ATK not ATT.



Speaking of ZZT, I wonder if any of the old games I made for ZZT are still buried in my old house on a floppy somewhere.

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