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Starting a project any advice appreciated!

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Hi there, Im going to be starting a RPG game using RMVX Ace fairly soon for a college project. I do have some general planning already done such the plot for the game and the character background, I've also starting looking at ruby but coding really isnt my strongest area.


Im going to have roughly about 5 months to complete this game and its my first time using RMVX Ace or any software like it so I have been looking at tutorials and such to get to grips with it, Im not expecting the game to be anything amazing when its finished but good enough to get a respectable grade in so I hope I havent bitten off more than I can chew in choosing to make a game for my project.


I suppose my reason for making this thread is can anybody give me some pointers about how I should go about development, like what aspect of the game should I start creating first? perhaps creating maps first then moving onto something else or doing it all iteratively building it up into a larger game with each iteration.


Perhaps theres some kind of roadmap for making a RPG that I could refer too?


Anyway any advice would be appreciated thanks!



Also apologies if I've posted this in the wrong place.

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It really depends on your style (which will emerge as you get used to this). For example, I start with a loose plot, then start databasing, then start mapping, and if my plot goes on a tangent during this time I'm fine with it too. ^-^ But I know everyone has different methods, so don't feel restricted in how you have to flesh your game out.

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Just an addendum (does this word exist?), since it's your first experience, you can start implementing the plot and maps using all the default mechanics and database, and customize things after you're more at home. This method has several drawbacks, but as a first experience is the easiest and most didatic I can think of.

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Since it's for school and you have a limited time, I suggest you start by determining the lenght of the game.
For a 5 months works and a first project... I suggest you go for a 1 hours Game with some extra explorations maps.
To begin, maybe you should write a story... if you don't want to go on complicate, just create a town, a village or a place where action is taking place. You don't really need a ''plot'' to make a game. Think of Tetris... :P
Once you know where the game takes place, you can start writing down who's gonna be the character, try using realy life people, it's funnier and you may even put your teacher in the game.
Go simple with 4 or 5 Main Character... so it doesn't get too complex with Dialog, characters movement and Interaction.
I strongly suggest you buy yourself a physical NoteBook with paper... it works really well.

Once the characters are done, let the action begin : Dialog, fighting, puzzle, teleportation, exploration, buying stuff, trading stuff... feel free to make anything happens, since it's your first game, let it be as original as it can be.

Idea you can use :

Story takes place in your own bedroom. You're sitting in front of paper, computer.. and you're explaining with message box that you need to write and create your own game for school....  Alright, you need a paper, so get out of the house and make the player buy a paper... and a pencil...
Go back to home... problem, no more light! Make the heroe goes in the basement of your house to get some oil for the lamp... or just some fire...
In the basement you meet an old fantome... or a zombie... or just a talking rat...
You talk, you talk, blablablaaa...
He tell you that he'll give you what you're looking for but he's hungry....
Now you must get some food for that ''guy'' downstairs...
and on and on,

if you need more inspiration, just ask, maybe I can help you too with the events. I know there's tons of tutorials out there but sometime you don't want to read THE WHOLE book just to realise that the little girl had brown hair... :P

As you saw it, the exemple I just threw was really Linear like. And my advice is that you keep it the most linear possible so you don't get lost in event, fork condition and stuffs that would ruin your first RPG maker experience.

If you success at ending your first RPG project, than I garantee you that all your future project will have better chance to see the light.

So in big :

-Short story
-Linear process
-Simple Quest or Action
-Limited characters and few NPC
-Take lots of note on the sheet
-DoN't over Brainstorm or it'll end in a storm.

And last advice, if you need help, Direct PM to Philoup!
Good luck!

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Read this if you want to live

You def need:


  1. A note pad / or notepad app
  2. Develop your style in story telling
  3. Make a 5 minute test rpg and post it to the forums for suggestions/workshoppin
  4. No offense to the poster above but dont make your game an hour long. In todays world you need to attention grab the player every 5 minutes (doesnt mean explosion grab but just something unique) id say. Any rpg that doesnt need that sort of strategy already has a following and reputation. ++PLUS++ Will your teacher sit there for an hour? Give it at least 20-30 minutes.
  5. CONCEPT!!!!!! Your RPG needs a unique concept, lets look at a game app for example. Escape the Room, your rpg could be an adventure rpg where you work with events to help the hero escape certain areas. If you ever played Half-Life 1 (not 2) then thats pretty much the same game in FPS. Its riddled with puzzles to progress and topped with some fun FPS shooting with a thriller/escape/grungy type feeling.
  6. Self Limitations/Perspective Plan your initial game on paper trust me. Parallel this with "LEARNING" RMVX ACE on the side. This way you start to see what you can do yourself with RMVX ACE or what you learn on the forums and adjust your game the way it sees fit. Why make a game with 800 items? Limit yourself to maybe 40. Does your game need 151 monsters? Super Mario Bros has roughly 12 enemies!
  7. PLAN AN EASIER GAME TO MAKE I went to film school and in writing class I had it so easy, Every script workshop day i had the class and teacher on their toes listening to the story. What did I do? I wrote an easy to tell "Digestible" story that had unique qualities to it and remixed ideas. Remixing isnt bad! Everything is made already you just need to find the right ingredients to put together. Anyways you can make the best RPG the simplest way. If its too complicated would it be worth the extra hard work if it translates horribly in the game?
  8. My personal rmvxace advice. Almost every game I made and threw away (all of them) I did because of the battle system! I tried almost all the custom scripts and you know what? it personally wasnt for me. Just didnt work out. Now I have a good game im working on using eventing and variables and some scripts that modify the choice menu to make it seem like a battle system. All this using pictures in game to make it look authentic. So decide now what battle system is worth you slaving over the next 5 months.
  9. Choose your Time Period now!!!! This is the biggest thing in film when writing your story because depending on how epic or authentic you make the story is how harder the production [making the game] will be. You need to choose the style of 8bit/16bit/Modern/PS1/Indie/Experimental/minimal graphics/mechanics. Right now your best bet is using the default graphics for rpg maker. and for the mechanics you either develop them yourself or emulate/imitate another games mechanics.


A random Idea, (this is how film school makes you think) Think Small space and big story. An RPG within 1 room that all the events change the next morning when you go to the bed to sleep. Clock each day at 1 minute to do everything you have to do before you go to bed or you auto fall asleep. Make the game have 20 Days and you just made yourself a 20 minute rpg!


This gives you Concept/20 min/Digestible Game/Space for story telling/Easy to make. Literally this idea can be turned into being a horror(trapped in a cell/cave), a comedy(living life in your room never coming out), a drama love story(every day you meet the girl on the train), Simulation (CLASSROOM bonus points since this is a school project) or even a brain teaser where you must complete the quests to go down to the next floor before the days over.



Edited by marillmau5

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I will tell you what will consume most of your time:

- Searching graphics

- Searching scripts

- databasing


First, you should choose what system you want to do and what you're allowed to do for your school project.

Maybe your school will allow only self made stuff?


Second, you should decide what features you want in your game.

Systems can take time to make so people usually do them first.


Third, map and event these will take you the rest of your time.

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Yeah, because of your limited timing - you're better off using the RTP and other available free-to-use resources provided by content creators on the internet. Creating your own graphics is honestly arduous work, and only accumulates more stress when you're forced a deadline - since you need some time for conception, creation, testing and retouching (actually, you need a lot of time).


For database sake, write everything down beforehand in Notepad, you will not regret. You can post stuff like Actor's Level 1 and Level 99 Stats and Item Parameters (Items, Weapons, Armors). Use a Calculator! Make sure stuff is balanced, for example: Ratios between Stats, such as Health:Main_Param Ratio could be 4:1 and Mana:Main_Param Ratio could be 0.5:1. Also, keep a space at the very top of your Notepad File for updates to your database, such as doubling all stats in the middle of development (but keep the original stats just in case you might revert this change!).


You can also sort out a brief summary of the plot in a separate Notepad file using the Plot's Sequence of Events or Locations (Locations is recommended if you're doing a "MacGuffin" Game, e.g. Demon Souls, where you need to collect things from several other places in order to reach the final area). Also, create a section for characters that effect the Storyline, it doesn't (and really shouldn't) be a large amount of characters. I'd say 2-4 characters (Playable Characters or Non-Playable) is recommended, for example look at Chrono Cross: Chrono, Lavos and Schala can be seen as Main Characters that effect the Storyline (Schala is debatable).


Go ahead and look at the Completed Scripts section in this forum, they can be very inspiring and open you to new ideas! Yanfly and Tsukihime have a large, and great selection of Scripts. 

Edited by AJNR

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Oh yeah--KEEP TRACK OF YOUR RESOURCES. If you don't, you're going to end up like me (T_T) and have to spend hours and hours backtracking against the ruthlessly moving force of the Internet to find the original source of where you got every. Single. Piece. Of. Resource...and graphics are especially hard. So keep track, and keep organized! It'll pay off a lot in the long run! :)

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Oh yeah--KEEP TRACK OF YOUR RESOURCES. If you don't, you're going to end up like me (T_T) and have to spend hours and hours backtracking against the ruthlessly moving force of the Internet to find the original source of where you got every. Single. Piece. Of. Resource...and graphics are especially hard. So keep track, and keep organized! It'll pay off a lot in the long run! :)

This x infinity, I wish I did this.


I've been gathering resources for about 8 years now, planning on making a game for just me and some friends,

not realizing I might stumble upon this community with whom I can share my game, and the progress towards getting it finished.

Once I got here I started seeing how much time and effort people put into making these wonderful things for everyone to use, least we could do is give them credit.

But I never thought of that.. at all. 


So like Tsarmina, I spent days trying to find original sources, eventually I just deleted the ones I couldn't trace back,

and sought replacements, had to get rid of a lot of very cool sprites and battlers.

A big factor in making it difficult for me is that a lot of awesome artists are Japanese,

how the hell do you back track things you got off of some Japanese written blog 1/3 of your life ago?






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Start with a Small Project. Don't start making a Final Fantasy 7 where it consists of 2 CDs, Legend of Dragoon or Xenogears. Make a game where you can play it with friends at ease and easily reviewed. Make sure its something you conceptualized and make sure to record each progress.


Create your Game Document Design.


Design your maps uniquely. Since you're starting your first project, I recommend you using the default RTP graphics at the moment. However learn to design how your map looks uniquely. Make it something enjoyable to look at. Be creative.


Design your database well. Part of making a game in RPG Maker is that you need to plan how to make your database unique from other games out there. You can use the default, but players want to see a new touch in the database names. 


Bug Testing - Are there bugs in the game? Have you tried to fix it? You should record each of this progress.


Build a Prototype / Test. Play it with friends or receive reviews from critics. Take the positive and negative sides. Record them.

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Most of what I wanted to say has already been said. Only thing I can add to is that videogame stories mimic a screenplay than a novel, so software that helps you write screenplays should help.


My buddy and I use Trelby, which has proven useful so far.

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Havent actually read any of the replies, just took a quick look before going to bed and noticed I had 10 replies lol forgot I made the thread to be honest :lol:


Just skimmed through it though and it looks like theres some helpful posts there, I'll look at them more throughly tomorrow.


I just wanted to thank everybody for friendly advice!

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Apologies for the double post, after reading the comments above the general opinion of most of you is to start the game, initially make it a relatively small world and add to it from there.


Would a good idea be to create my gameworld map first, with maybe only town/dungeon on it and after that build on it a bit at a time?.


I do have a rather large games design document written already as it was due before christmas, truth be told alot of it is just waffle but I do have stuff like 4-5 character backgrounds and a basic plot outlined within it so I kinda have my setting already decided it'll have a kinda medieval theme too it. So Ive got a lot of analysing done in that regard, its just a matter of jumping into the creation aspect of it now.


In regards to ruby scripting how difficult would it be to alter the battle system in RMVX Ace to something similiar to the way classic final fantasy games look, a side view as opposed to RMVX Ace's default Dragon Quest style?


Is there perhaps a basic one already made that I could make my own customizations too?

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I feel that creating the worldmap first is a bad idea, rather a storyboard of the locations you want your player to visit would be better. The reason I say this is that by building a worldmap first, you start to constrain your story or locations, they take some time to construct and so if you wish to change anything part the way through the game, it is a lot harder to do. If you just have a storyboard, you can swap them out easily, then when it comes to the world you can ensure it's all where it needs to be.


As for the battle system Yanfly has produced something you'd probably like:


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