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It’s time to breathe some life into our world!
In RPG Maker, you add interactivity through Events. These are lists of commands that are attached to an object on a map, coupled with a trigger of some sort, be it the player walking up to an NPC and pressing the action button, or the number of flatulent wombles the player is carrying in their bag being greater than 13.
Events are essentially a simple form of programming, but don’t run away screaming — you don’t have to memorise lots of different commands, define functions or anything complicated like that. All you need is an ability to think things through in a logical manner and an awareness of the options you have available to you.
Let’s make a game!
Well, part of one anyway. Over the course of the next three articles, I’ll introduce you to how RPG Maker MV does business: how you create maps, fill them with things to do and, in the final part, how to go beyond the constraints of the basic engine.
Today we’re going to take a look at the most basic skill you will need to get an RPG Maker MV game up and running: mapping. Like any creative tool, if you don’t master this essential first, there’s little point in going further. Learn to walk before you run before you fly, and all that.
The aim for today is to make a small town and the beginning of a dungeon beneath it. Not the most ambitious or sprawling game, sure, but more than enough to give you a look at how to create both maps. In the next article, we’ll add some life to these locations with Events.
If you’re ready, then, let’s get going! If you want to follow along but don’t have a copy of MV, you can download a trial version from the official website.
Have you ever thought about making your own games? I bet you have, even if it was only briefly when you were twelve years old and didn’t know any better about how much work was involved in producing them.
Over the years, there have been a number of solutions for aspiring game designers to put together at the very least convincing prototypes of the things they want to share with the world, and in many cases fully-realised projects, assembled without any need to delve into the complexities of programming a computer from the ground up.
One such solution that has remained enduringly popular over the years is the RPG Maker series, initially developed by ASCII and subsequently handed over to Enterbrain, a subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, for the more recent installments.
So what, exactly, has made this series such a firm fixture in the amateur development landscape for so many years now? Arm your chipsets, ready your battlers and cue up your BGM; we’re going in.
Much like its gameplay, the overall aesthetic of the Ys series has evolved considerably over time.
As technology has improved with each new generation of games consoles and computer hardware, the Ys series has adapted and changed. And with its longstanding nature — not to mention its numerous remakes over the years — it’s fascinating not only from the perspective of examining how Falcom has improved the series over time, but as a means of showing how games in general have grown and changed.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the sights and sounds of the series have changed over time, and their relevance to gaming’s evolution as a whole.
One of the things Ys developer Falcom is most consistently praised for is its ability to craft convincing, well-realised game worlds.
It’s not just the Ys series where Falcom demonstrates this; its The Legend of Heroes series is also acclaimed for that, particularly in the more recent Trails subseries, each component of which deals with one part of a coherent whole.
It’s perhaps Ys that provides the most interesting example of Falcom’s approach to worldbuilding, though, because it’s an ongoing process — the complete work that is Ys is continually growing, evolving and changing, and there’s no end in sight just yet.
Alongside Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series, Falcom’s Ys was instrumental in helping to establish and refine the Japanese take on the action RPG genre.
Both were designed with accessibility and ease of understanding in mind — Zelda through stripping out complicated RPG mechanics like statistics, experience levels and dice-based mechanics, and Ys through simple, straightforward implementation of these mechanics — but both very quickly diverged in their own distinctive directions.
Let’s take a closer look at how the mechanics of the Ys series have evolved and changed over the years.