LOOKING FOR NEW RPGMAKER. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN RM2K3, XP, VX ACE?

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Hello, I have had plenty of experience using RM2k3 and am thinking about working on something in VX Ace. What are some of the differences between them that you might not notice at first? Obviously, the DBS is different from RM2k3's default side view. What are some of the things that VX Ace didn't bring back but were replaced with scripting? I've heard stuff about the mapping being different like the autotiles being weird. Could someone give more info on this? Thanks!

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I just recently generalized this topic to RPG Maker XP as well, since there might be some minute differences that make it easier to use, etc.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5478
The way you create tilesets in VX Ace is sort of an improvement over 2K3, in that each tileset in the database is made up of nine tileset graphic files, and you can mix and match those files to make different tilesets. So you might have a sub-tileset that's all chairs and benches - you could then add these chairs and benches to any tileset without having to merge them in a graphics editor.

Also, it automatically adds stupid-looking tiny rectangular shadows any time you have ground tiles to the right of impassable tiles. It almost never puts them in the correct places, but you can draw the shadows manually so it's not a huge deal. The mapping engine basically has a third layer solely for shadows.

There are a lot of random minor improvements. For example, you can make your game installer include fonts, you can use .ogg files, you can show multiple battle animations on screen at the same time, you can set different blending types for graphics in battle animations, the opacity of an event can be set to anything from 0 to 255 instead of just 0 to 4, you can run parallel processes during battles, you can run any command in battles that can be done outside of battles, input detection was made easier to manage, etc.

I can't think of any of the minor things that are worse, though I'm sure there are a few. The mapping and a couple other little things are worse than RMXP. I think there are slightly fewer things available in the Conditional Branch event command? But there's a "script" option in the Conditional Branch command, so you can make a conditional branch depending on the script $game_characters[2].skill_learned?(31) if you want an event to depend on whether character #2 has learned skill #31.
Would you say that anything able to be done with previous makers can be done in VX Ace one way or the other?

Also, would a script be needed to change the DBS into something that uses an ATB? Or is there something in the database I'm not finding?

Is there already a guide posted somewhere that compares each of the makers? (Not just tutorials for each one individually)
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5478
The only thing I've personally had problems doing in VX Ace is getting it to display a 16-bit font without anti-aliasing it. So if you're making a game with 16-bit graphics, your font might look a little off. That's still better than not even being able to choose the font in RM2K3, though, in my opinion.

With the Tankentai or Melody battle system scripts you can get a battle system like RM2K3's but with a lot more customizable options. So no, you can't do that without a script, but someone's made the scripts already and all you have to do is choose which settings you want.
Okay thanks! Do you know the differences between those scripts? If so, are they mainly aesthetic differences?
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5478
I do not, someone else would have to answer that. There may be other good similar ones also.
Omg, I should have tinkered with Ace a long time ago... There are some things that I've implemented in RM2k3 (simple things) that are made absurdly easy in Ace.

But despite this, I now have a clearer vision of my game with a plan and therefore, I can implement only what I want in Ace and not get distracted by the many bells and whistles that it offers.
I found one stupid thing about Ace so far though: the walking speed is significantly slowed down, and there are less possible speeds to give to actors (only 6 vs. RM2k3's 8). I don't suppose there is a work around for this?

This actually a big deal for the system I had in mind for engaging enemies on the field.
author=LockeZ
The way you create tilesets in VX Ace is sort of an improvement over 2K3, in that each tileset in the database is made up of nine tileset graphic files, and you can mix and match those files to make different tilesets. So you might have a sub-tileset that's all chairs and benches - you could then add these chairs and benches to any tileset without having to merge them in a graphics editor.

Also, it automatically adds stupid-looking tiny rectangular shadows any time you have ground tiles to the right of impassable tiles. It almost never puts them in the correct places, but you can draw the shadows manually so it's not a huge deal. The mapping engine basically has a third layer solely for shadows.

There are a lot of random minor improvements. For example, you can make your game installer include fonts, you can use .ogg files, you can show multiple battle animations on screen at the same time, you can set different blending types for graphics in battle animations, the opacity of an event can be set to anything from 0 to 255 instead of just 0 to 4, you can run parallel processes during battles, you can run any command in battles that can be done outside of battles, input detection was made easier to manage, etc.

I can't think of any of the minor things that are worse, though I'm sure there are a few. The mapping and a couple other little things are worse than RMXP. I think there are slightly fewer things available in the Conditional Branch event command? But there's a "script" option in the Conditional Branch command, so you can make a conditional branch depending on the script $game_characters[2].skill_learned?(31) if you want an event to depend on whether character #2 has learned skill #31.


About the shadows though, are those all added automatically by the maker when added to the map, or are they an actual part of the art asset itself?
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
5478
In Ace by default the player can hold shift to run, this is easy to disable via a script. A quick google search for vx ace move speed script gave me multiple scripts that let you change how movement speeds work, and also informed me that you can use a script call to manually set the move speed of an event or the hero to non-whole numbers, like a move speed of 3.4.

VX Ace shadows are automatically added to the map by the maker, on a third layer. They are not part of the art assets.
author=LockeZ
In Ace by default the player can hold shift to run, this is easy to disable via a script.
And that's where my missing link was. Thanks. I'm guessing you can make stuff move even faster or slower with scripts as well.

For anyone else reading this topic: http://www.rpgmakerweb.com/support/information/comparisons
Like, changing the default speeds? Reaching ludicrous speeds? I made a script that gives me a bit more control* over how fast everything moves that I can post but I'm not sure exactly what you want to change.

* mainly default fast walking and holding dash to slow down, holding a button down 99% of the time is a sign of a bad decision

e: too slow~
unity
You're magical to me.
12203
Yeah, I put fast on by default and they have to hold down the button to walk. And if they don't like it, they can change it via the menu, thanks to Yanfly's system menu.
If you want to get either XP or Ace, now's the time to do it, what with the Humble Bundle currently happening. I'd pick Ace - there's a lot of resources you can pick up right now for it at the same time as the program itself. Of course, Humble Bundle only allows for a Steam version of both programs, but hey, $6 for both and a bunch of resources ain't bad at all.
Thanks all. I did get the Humble Bundle deal already to possibly use in the future and to help Child's Play. However, I decided that I should just use RM2k3 to continue my current project. However, for any future RPG projects, I'll definitely convert to Ace.
Even the games that come with the $12 bundle make up for any resources you won't be using.
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