Tells how to make a game using panoramas.

With more and more games that use panoramas for their maps being released, a trend that started sometime ago- games like Sunset over Imdahl, Wilfred the Hero, and Rainbow Nightmare, among others- it's time for you to get into the action, as well.

For best results, RPG Maker XP is recommended, though not mandatory. If you do use RPG Maker 2000/2003, keep the following in mind:

-You will be limited to 640x480 panorama size.
-Panoramas will be limited to 256 unique colors.
Other than that, not too many differences. Yes, it will be annoying to split panoramas you draw to fit. That's why I recommend RPG Maker XP.

Either way, the process to make a panoramic game is as follows:
1) Draw your panoramas (whether by computer graphics, tablet, or pen and paper). Make sure we'll be able to see them, so make it dark.
2) If by paper, scan the paper (or you can use a digital camera, it will be hard to get a good image, though!). Otherwise, skip to step 3.
3) If using RPG Maker 2000/2003, you may have to adjust to fit. Do this BEFORE coloring, as the size change may distort any coloring you've done! Otherwise, skip to step 4.
4) Add color to the panorama. It can be any color, even grayscale.
5) Import into the RPG Maker of your choice.
6) Make a new map in your project, set your panorama as the map's background.

Now comes the tricky part. If the panorama isn't the same size as the map, it may become pink or gray on the map screen. This is normal. Your panorama should appear in-game. If it repeats, the map is too wide and/or tall. Shorten it as needed. If the panorama doesn't show completely, the map is too narrow and/or short. Being consistent (using the same size panorama for every map or most maps) will make this easier.

Checking X-Y coordinates with an event will make it easier to set up a walk map as well as events. This can be done Parallel Process or by pressing a key (an event that checks for a key to be pressed).

This works for all three makers.
If is ON (can make the switch turn on/off by pressing F9 in-game and selecting it)
Var 001: X Coord = Hero's X position (example, 35)
Var 002: Y Coord = Hero's Y position (example, 41)
Message: You are at \VX, \VY.

Displays: You are at 35X, 41Y.

Parts of the panorama you want to appear over the character will have to be made either by character set (can be demanding on the system if there's a lot), pictures (even worse), or, better yet, a custom map set.

If you want two layers with the map set, put what you want to appear at the lowest level on the first half of the map set (after the first 18 tiles), and the rest on the second half. Be sure to leave a blank space for the panorama to show. That will give you 317 (149 on lower level, 168 on upper level) tiles to work with in RPG Maker 2000/2003. For RPG Maker XP, the amount of tiles you'll be able to use will vary based on length of the set (it's custom).

You can also make certain tiles block or allow movement, or allow access only from certain directions (you don't want a character to walk from the ground to a cliff 50 feet in the air, yet you may allow him to walk off the cliff to the ground. (OUCH!)

There's not much else to it. From here, it's a lot like making any other RPG Maker game. Just repeat the processes above for each map you make!


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A quick thing I would change. If you want part of the map to appear above the player, take an image editing program of choice, select all the areas you want to appear above the player, copy them, and paste into a new picture (same size as panorama). Now you can just have 1 picture overlaying the map!
By "You will be limited to 640x480 panorama size" do you mean that the RM2k3 only supports a MAP the size of 640x480 or the image size of 640x480? Because one of my maps is 3200x2160 px.
Sorry to bump but I had problems with the scrolling of my panorama Backgrounds and I think I should mention here the fix that I found.

The Problem: Collision tiles in the editor lined up fine with panorama tilemap at first however the moment the map scrolls they become misaligned. This causes problems when you are trying to use transparent tiles for collision.

The Fix: I looked through the game scripts and found the problem. Basically the misalignment is caused by the panorama being scrolled at a different rate than the normal tilemap that you make in the editor. This gives a nice effect for normal panoramas and gives the illusion of depth but when you want to use panoramas as your background. Thankfully this is easy to fix. In the Spriteset_Map script you will find the following lines:

# Update tilemap
@tilemap.ox = $game_map.display_x / 4
@tilemap.oy = $game_map.display_y / 4
# Update panorama plane
@panorama.ox = $game_map.display_x / 8
@panorama.oy = $game_map.display_y / 8

As you can see the panorama is scrolling at a different rate to the main tileset. In order to fix this we would simply change the eights to fours as so:

# Update tilemap
@tilemap.ox = $game_map.display_x / 4
@tilemap.oy = $game_map.display_y / 4
# Update panorama plane
@panorama.ox = $game_map.display_x / 4
@panorama.oy = $game_map.display_y / 4

And this fixes the problem. This is just a quick fix but it should work fine for most people. I'll probably post a more sophisticated method at some point in the future.
Wow, it was that simple. Useful for those that are using RMXP and RMVX, the latter of which came out after I had written this article.
Yeah I just thought I'd post it here as i couldn't find any solutions through google (it's actually how I found this article) and so I figured this might help some people. I didnt actually realise that rm2k3 used a different script method for this, but I suppose I've never really used it much :S
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