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Luna Engine - Basics Tutorial

LTNGames

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When I first set out with RM VX Ace, I was going to create a game with all the basics, but as my idea progressed and the basic RTP just was not enough for me. I started implementing scripts and learning how to edit them to make my game more unique and to match my story better.

Then I started playing more games of other RM enthusiasts, and realized that the menus they had were unique and really added a big difference to the overall game look & feel, so I found Luna Engine, which is basically a series of scripts and configuration files that you edit and add images to, too make your menu really stand out from the rest of them. I picked up Luna engine right away and started learning it, and with the lack of tutorials out there it was a lot of time and dedication to learn it as quick as I did, so while I was learning I came up with the idea to release my own tutorial for those who feel intimidated by a rather simple engine, and I did my best to write a tutorial that was fun and shows the simplicity of using it and to help get your creativity pumping. Although its unfinished at the moment, expect a better update with even more fun and more screenshots.

 

For A PDF version follow the spoiler

 

 

 

Luna Engine Basics

Getting Ready

Setting up the Luna Engine.

In this part of our tutorial, I will explain to you the best and most efficient way to Add luna engine to your current game, or how to start off with a fresh project to get using Luna Engine straight away. I also recommend reading the Luna Engine Manual before you attempt using it.

 

The easiest method known to man*Recommended

This will be easy and most efficient way, recommended for all.

  1. Go to the Luna Engine Base project folder that came with your purchase of Luna Engine
  2. Copy this folder to your usual Game Projects directory.
  3. Open up your newly copied Luna Engine Base project in Rpg Maker VX Ace

** I recommend not using the complete scripts list project until you are familiar with Luna Engine Base. Once you build up your menu using the base etc you can then copy scripts from the complete scripts list into the Base.

 

Merging Previous Game Project With Luna Engine Base

(Always make backups of your game before doing anything like this.)

 

So you started a project and then decided to get Luna Engine and now you want to be able to use them both together. So here are the simplest steps and is what I did with my project.

  1. Go to the Luna Engine Base project folder that came with your purchase of Luna Engine
  2. Copy this folder to your usual Game Projects directory.
  3. Go to you Game Projects Folder that you have been working so hard on, and open up the Data folder.
  4. Now copy all files, ***IMPORTANT DO NOT COPY THE SCRIPTS FILE **
  5. Next copy all of the other folders, except for the system folder ( although this should not hurt anyways, just unnecessary)
    ** Following steps are not recommended until you learn more about script compatibility and position Copying scripts one by one without knowing compatibility or the arrangement can cause errors, this will be discussed in a later chapter or at the Luna Engine Forums at Rpg Maker Web.
  6. Open up the Luna Engine Base game project that you just copied all your previous game folders to.
  7. Open up the scripts editor
  8. Go to the folder where the game you want to merge is located, and double click your game project file( This ensures you have two Rpg maker programs open at the same time) and open up the script editor.
  9. Copy all your scripts you want to have alongside Luna Engine and paste them below all other scripts one by one.

Part I:Introduction

XYZ/Width/Height/Offset//Pixels

First things first is to know your coordinate, X, Y, and Z, as well as width, height and pixels. If you don't have an understanding of this, it most likely means your not a computer graphics artist or game programmer, and a complete newbie with math. So I'm going to assume your a child embarking on a new adventure into the Rpg Maker world :) .

1zouvpg.jpg

 

X, Y & Z

Lets start with the coordinates X. The coordinate X is your left and right axis, just imagine a linear line on your computer screen going horizontally, from the left of your screen, to the right of the screen. Next is the Y Axis, which is up and down on the computer screen. No worries about imagining this, there is a screen-shot below of what you should be visualizing.

 

Width & Height

Now that you have a simple idea of the X and Y, the next you need to know is Z, this coordinate is important and simple to understand, just like X and Y :D this coordinate is for where you want the window to be, in front or in back, behind other windows or in front of other windows. Pretty simple eh.

The next learning curve in this quick and short introduction is Height and Width, this creates the sizes of the windows you want, an example of this is in Rpg Maker, all games created by default are are 544x416 , 544 = Width and 416 = height. Here is another screen-shot for some visual help. The status window to the right of the screen is 380 Width and 420 Height.

 

wrb7g9.jpg

 

Reading The Coordinates

This is fairly easy stuff ,I know what your thinking when do we get to the fun stuff ?. Well there is just one last thing for coordinates section, and that would be how to read, and determine where your X, Y and Z positions are so you can read them right down to the pixel.

 

Lets take the status window for another example, we want to determine where this windows X location is at, and the Y location. Well first we must understand that the entire screen has its own X & Y, but so does your status window.( Just so you know the Status Window is the window containing the heroes in your party and their HP,MP bars etc.) I am going to show you yet another screen-shot with some informative information hehehe.

 

2ef11yv.jpg

 

this makes it easy to make sure the contents within this window stay within this window and move along with it, so if we change the X and Y positions on the status window we will have successfully moved the window and all its contents(Actors,Hp/Mp Bars and numbers). We wont go into too much detail right now, we will save it for the examples and hands on work in the following chapters.

Offset

 

Now for the offset, this is just another way to fine tune your menu, This was explained very well in Ralph's tutorial by Archeia on the Rpg Maker Web Forums here . I will go over one more time and try to clear things up a bit. I am going to set a background picture behind my battle status window via the Status window code inside Configuration Main Menu, I wont go into too much detail right now, that's for another tutorial. I changed the setting in my config file now lets see what happens.

332vzu0.jpg

 

So here you see my image is now covering the entire status window, but for this example I want it to cover the entire background. My image and my game resolution is 640 x 416, currently, only 480 width is being shown and there is still 160 width missing from my image. So I go back to the luna Main menu configuration and find the line for my background settings, I go to the offset_x piece of code and change it to -160. Do you know why its negative 160 ? . If you remember what I said above about the status window having its own axis, so because we set the background image for the Status window only the image stays within those boundaries of the status window,. So the zero point on the x axis of the status window is at the 160 mark on the x axis of the main screen, so we must set it to -160 so that it goes beyond the zero point, and towards the zero point on the main screen x axis. See Illustration 3 for a better visual.. Now that I changed the setting here is what we will have.

2iaq61g.jpg

 

Now what would happen if we were to change the status window from the right of the screen to the left of the screen. Well our image would be missing 160width from the left side, we would then have to offset the status window background to 160 on its x axis and not negative 160..

 

That's it for this part of the lesson, I will upload the the rest to this blog tomorrow or later today, I hope this helps a little bit for those unknown to Luna Engine.

 

Also if you dont want to wait for me to post the next entry you can download the pdf at the top of this blog entryto read the rest of it.

Tut_Pic_XY_Axis.png

Tut_Pic_Height_Width.png

Tut_Pic_Status_X.png

Tut_Pic_Offset_Example.png

Tut_Pic_Full_Background_Example.png


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