[RM2K3] CBS - IS IT WORTH IT?

Posts

Pages: first 12 next last
Not sure if this goes here or in "Help Me" but...yeah. Is a custom battle system in RM2k/RM2k3 actually worth doing?

Before you answer, let me clarify a couple things: First, I am not talking about an action battle system.
Second, I am under no circumstances switching to one of the newer makers. RM2k3 has this peculiar charm to it that I enjoy, and if it completely craps out at some point I'm switching to Construct or something.

What I've been thinking about is a CBS that would allow me to use more Western RPG arithmetic. Like, the hero makes an attack, a random number is generated, added to his weapon stats and attack stat or whatever and if >= Monster's Defense it's a hit, and then damage is determined etc etc.

I don't hate the Default battle system - except for the inability to remove the "Row" command without Maniacs but I digress - I've just been debating whether I should use it or create my own. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read my rambling nonsense and giving your opinion.
A good chunk of your time isn't going to be making the CBS, it's fighting with a tool that isn't really designed to make CBSes. Honestly if you have the capability of making a CBS then you can also code something just as fast (and easier) in the other engines. Sure learning to code in Gamemaker/Unity/Whatever is a bit of a hill to climb but think of the hill you have to climb making a CBS, then the endless bumpy road afterwards with no way to un-bump it. There's a reason why very few RM games come out complete with a CBS. It's not even the CBS, but the amount of time spent that saps your ability to make the rest of the game and add on to something that's annoying to edit.

You save time by sticking with RM2K3's DBS because the game is practically already made for you, it's up to you to fill in the actual content and database and not worry about the core gameplay. Not using the DBS completely contradicts that because you're stamping more development time building a little micro-engine in an engine. Unless I guess your game just doesn't have battles in it or has some basic rock paper scissors mini game to resolve most conflicts. But if you do care about the fundamental gameplay aspects I'd recommend looking elsewhere.

rm2k3's aesthetic isn't that hard to recreate in other engines either. I mean Starless Umbra is being rebooted in GameMaker and it looks like any rm2k3 game aside from the wide resolution. You can do whatever you want in it, DHM made a real-time Xenoblade-like battle system which I think would be almost impossible to maintain in rm2k3.

The only reason to make a CBS is if you just really like the software and pushing it to the limit the same reason someone would make a gameboy homebrew game for the fun of it. Otherwise it just doesn't make sense to me.
@Bluefeathr42:
I'm one of the few odd Rm2k3 users who only makes and enjoys CBSs in my own projects.

To implement a CBS is similar to using parallax mapping or to make a custom skill learning and upgrading menu for instance: It's harder and more time-consuming to make, but is usually more attractive to players than using the engine's default features.

The kind of battle operations that you want to create can easily be done using Variables, Conditions and a bunch of other event commands. You should probably look into tutorials about those, if you haven't already.

Is it worth doing? I guess that depends on the reason why you want to make a game.
I would imagine that if you have commercial ambitions or want no limits in the kind of gameplay that you can create, then you should use a more suitable engine.
But if you want to make a CBS for your own enjoyment, as a challenge or to level up your general game design skills, well, that was worth it to me, so maybe it will be worth it to you.
author=Darken
The only reason to make a CBS is if you just really like the software and pushing it to the limit the same reason someone would make a gameboy homebrew game for the fun of it. Otherwise it just doesn't make sense to me.


This sounds so familiar-!

It's definitely about making a statement. Someone who has the commitment to design a CBS in something like 2k or 2k3 does attract a particular audience that mostly are 'wow, how did they do that in 2k/2k3?'

Another thing people sometimes overlook is the sprite sizes for 2k and 2k3 games - it's a lot easier for fledgling sprite artists to create good looking smaller sprites for these older engines, as sprite sizes have only gone up with newer engines.
I think it would be important to clarify the circumstances here, because it makes a big difference in how easy or hard it would be and therefore how much it would be worth it at the end:

Are you talking about official version or inofficial version? Official: Are Maniacs patch or other (possibly custom) patches an option? If inofficial: Is DynRPG on the table, and would you have dev skills to create your own plugins or would it be more about using existing plugins?

I'm assuming official version but I wanted to make sure, also it's not clear whether you'd consider Maniacs patch or not.

By the way, you wrote "except for the inability to remove the "Row" command without Maniacs" - you don't need Maniacs for that, I released a port of the NoRow patch for the official version here.
At the price of tooting my own horn, I'd like to mention that if you are going the fan-ported RM2K3 with DynRPG route, DynParams is probably the most insanely useful plugin there is for making a CBS. You know that the Show Battle Animation command doesn't allow you to use variable values to determine which battle animation you're showing or what the target is? That means you'd very likely end up making huge conditional branch structures to cover every combination of animation and target you need. DynParams changes all that, allowing you to use variable values for every parameter of every command.
Hello!

I use RPG maker since 2000, with RPG maker 2000.

is it worth to do a CBS in RPG maker 2003?

Hell... YES!!!

why?

If you are good ad coding comands and events, it will be easy for you to make a CBS or a CMS in RPG maker 2003, and the best comand for doing that is ... the comand "Show picture"

Hell yes, back in 2000 and 2003, it was a pain making a CBS and CMS in RPG maker, 'cause u where limited with almost to 20-100 pictures...

But now, with 2k3, u can have 1000 pictures, u can summon pictures with variables in their names, u can have spritesheets and animate them, so with all of this, you save a LOT of coding and a LOT of parallel process.

In my own Game, "Legend of Heroen" its made in RPG maker 2000, and only has some few CBS, and they are not a full engine, juts in some part of the game, but, in the new version, its in RPGmaker 2003, and it has a CBS and a CMS 100% working with 9 characters, you cna download it from this page and chek it if u want.

How much it took me?
Well, im good at coding with comands and events, but, it only took me less than 2 months to make a full CBS and CMS, and other engines to make them work with 9 playable characters.

And, the most important thing, im doing videotutorials on hwo to make engines in 2k3, and the latest iones, are for CMS, you can chek them, and sure u will learn a lot in RPGmaker2003 coding

And there are more...

My new version its made in RPGmaker2003 1.12a (original) and the player is EasyRPG, so i can use the advantages of EasyRPG just like True color isntead of only 256 colors

And you can use Maniacs patch, that have some good new comands and options for coding, Maniacs is more powerful than EasyRPG at coding, but its "stuck" only for RPGmaker2003 and i prefer the advantages of EasyRPG

If u want to learn more about RPgmaker2003 coding, u can contact me or follow me to learn more about this engine.


author=Darken
The only reason to make a CBS is if you just really like the software and pushing it to the limit the same reason someone would make a gameboy homebrew game for the fun of it. Otherwise it just doesn't make sense to me.


nope!! pushing 2k3 limits its not only doing a CBS, check my vids on youtube, and ull see my engines, like a 3D dungeon a like first person, with FULL 100% customiced, even the MAPS are custom (NOT PARALLAX MAPPING) :)

How to push 2k3 to the limits?
Here are the engines i'f done:

Custom Battle System
Custom Action Battle system
Custom Menu System
Custom TEXT engine (YES a TEXT, not the window text message!)
Custom Parralax maping with more than 3 layers
Custom 3D first person maps
Custom Action engines (like in Ocarina of time, jump, talk, view, etc...)
Custom Transitions normal and especial
Custom SriteSheet animations for charasets
And lot of minor engines...
author=Soeufans
nope!! pushing 2k3 limits its not only doing a CBS, check my vids on youtube, and ull see my engines, like a 3D dungeon a like first person, with FULL 100% customiced, even the MAPS are custom (NOT PARALLAX MAPPING) :)

I think you misread, the only motivation behind making a CBS would be for the fun of it. Not that it can only do CBS. But half the things you are going to list are just gonna suck due to the limited tile based nature of the engine. Even if you make a turn based CBS I always find wonky control issues or delay problems with them. It takes a lot of work to get them to feel smooth and not feel like it was duct taped together.

author=Soeufans
How much it took me?
Well, im good at coding with comands and events, but, it only took me less than 2 months to make a full CBS and CMS, and other engines to make them work with 9 playable characters.

2 months? That sounds pretty bad actually. I've seen game jam games with RPG battle systems made in 48 hours. I'm not seeing the argument for why it's actually worth it here.

Are there any actual pros to it? Sure it CAN do some stuff, but is it actually enjoyable to spacebar spam through create variable windows just to get a really basic UI function to work? Like it's not 2010 anymore, a lot of engines aren't just more powerful, they're smoother and easier use. Maniacs at least adds some more event commands that act as functions but it can't really get rid of the sloppy interface. Having to select event commands, selecting drop downs, getting confused about which variable is which because it's tied to an number etc. Meanwhile in gamemaker you just type a few letters and it autocompletes the rest of the command for you, there's even hotkey for basic things like if statements or for loops. Copy pasting and editing text is far easier than pasting event commands and space bar editing each one of them to even edit.

I'll even prove it:

GameMaker for loop
rm2k3 with Maniacs for loop (ignore the < 1 error assume I typed 10)

The seconds you save add up within the hundreds of hours making this stuff just stomps all over the extra time spent with event commands. It's just a bad interface. Maybe if there was some kind of upgrade like Scratch bolted onto it, things would improve but you know, it's really ancient software with no access to the source code, it likely won't grant that luxury.

Event commands are great for making cutscenes, doing really basic database stuff, making mini-games even, especially if you have no coding knowledge and just want things to happen in a set order. Great, cool. But as far as speed and expediency? It's just slow man. I respect the work that gets put into it but it's the same way I respect an etsy business doing handcraft stuff instead of factory made things but that's just it, it's just for respect points.
Gretgor
Having gotten my first 4/5, I must now work hard to obtain... my second 4/5.
3300
In my opinion, it depends on what exactly you want to do with your battle system. If you really want to do something that is not possible to do with the DBS, then yes, go for it. Making your own custom battle system will provide you with a level of creative freedom you wouldn't have using the DBS, even if you went through the trouble of learning to use that annoying eventing system the DBS offers.

Also, I, for one, believe it makes sense to make a CBS in an RPG Maker game for more than just the mere challenge of it. I can kind of understand the point brought up by other people here, that if you're willing to go this far to have more freedom in your design, then you should just learn another engine, but I believe there are still plenty of reasons to use RPG Maker even if you do want to break free from the constraints of its battle system.

You may want to make use of the other time saving facilities the engine has to offer that other, more flexible engines don't, like the simple sprite sheets so you don't have to keep calculating the sizes of stuff yourself, the easy to use auto-tiling mapping system, the simple eventing system for NPCs, message boxes that don't require you to implement (or copy) and *debug* an entire separate routine for them, the built-in tile based movement that doesn't require you to implement movement yourself, et cetera. I'd say if your game idea works well with tile-based movement and doesn't require too much fast-paced real time interaction, RPG Maker is still easier to use, even if you do make your own CBS. I didn't even mention how much easier it is to make cutscenes with RPG Maker's eventing system.

Not to mention Game Maker Studio 2 is expensive AF and the cheaper Steam version seems to be riddled with bugs. Unless you want to go professional and make commercial games, I find it hard to justify buying it. Well, I guess you could also learn Godot, but it seems to be significantly harder to use than Game Maker.

That said, if your project doesn't work well with tile-based movement or requires more precise real-time interactions, then you're better off investing your time learning another tool. I'd recommend Godot, but to be honest, I tried using it and it made me angry. Also, I enjoyed GMS2's demo, but the price of the engine itself scared me off of it.
author=Gretgor
simple sprite sheets so you don't have to keep calculating the sizes of stuff yourself

rm2k3's charset sheets aren't simple, they have this weird 24x32 size and not just 16x32, you have to memorize/template the exact facings of the sprites, if you want to animate them you can only really use the standing frames. you have to convert to index colors from RGB every time you save. This is all opposed to an arbitrary 32x32 grid that can be as long or as tall as I want. You still have to organize stuff in the image program you prefer either way.

in gamemaker you don't even have to import sprite sheets you can just import a bunch of images and it picks the largest canvas size and makes it into a sheet for you. I can rearrange frames by dragging stuff around, delete frames if needed. I haven't even gone into the built in sprite editor, because really I rarely import stuff in gamemaker anymore... i just draw it and it's already in the game. This aspect doesn't get talked about much and it's the most underrated aspect of GM imo. Like, I draw something, and it affects this tileset. No opening up asesprite, then saving it into the folder, then checking to see if it looks good ingame. I think most engines should have this already because it's so damn fast at least for pixel art games. It's severely underlooked.

rm2k3 is just really nitpicky about the limits, and even if you can patch them out you're still constrained to what it wants. like the rm2k3 tilesets having certain parts of it being used in certain ways.

The battle animation editor just kind of sucks to use, most of the time it's better to animate charsets using move events if you want cool cutscenes, but that feels like way too much work around for what it needs to be.

author=Gretgor
the easy to use auto-tiling mapping system

still better than VX's shitty excuse for auto tiling at least.

author=gretgor
the simple eventing system for NPCs,
message boxes that don't require you to implement (or copy) and *debug* an entire separate routine for them,
the built-in tile based movement that doesn't require you to implement movement yourself

these I'll actually grant, making a text box system with letter by letter text is no joke and I see a lot of people making their own in Unity get it wrong (weird quirks like words popping to the next line). Lot of ways to mess up these core features and rm2k3 doesn't do that. However the dilemma being if that's enough to justify losing an entire premade battle system.

what gets complicated about this discussion is that, well once you make a movement/message system, you have it for life, you can just copy paste it to your next project, and you can improve them, you're building a continuous mini-game engine of your own, stored in your brain. Applying that stuff to CBSes it's like well, you can continuously improve the battle system, but you can't really improve the base features. This is like long term things to consider, but then again gamedev is a very long term process. These points are more in RM's favor the more inexperienced the user is and is the context I'm assuming.

author=Gretgor
I didn't even mention how much easier it is to make cutscenes with RPG Maker's eventing system.

I also mentioned cutscenes, but there is one big caveat to this... the move event command absolutely sucks. Having to remember how many tiles away a character is, and keeping that in mind as you make more and more adjustments. The fact that you can make a cutscene at all without as much effort is great, but it's still a drag.

author=Gretgor
Not to mention Game Maker Studio 2 is expensive AF and the cheaper Steam version seems to be riddled with bugs.

On a decent sale you can get GMS2 for only 40 dollars more than rm2k3's price, idk I never get the complaints about software under $100 being a pay wall. The prospect of game development far exceeds the 20 hours you get out of a new priced video game. But eh I'll grant this if you're a kid without an allowance or something and don't know how torrents work.

Anyway this is starting to sound like an ad for GM, point is I don't think there is a best game engine for every case scenario. But in the specific case of making an RPG battle system, if it turns out that saving time with RM's core features like movement and dialogue is worth the drawback with making a CBS then I want to see that shit. I'd like to see more CBS games in events and game jams to prove me wrong.
iddalai
RPG Maker 2k/2k3 for life, baby!!
2160
A CBS in RM2k/RM2k3 is not worth it.

Don't get me wrong, it CAN be done but it's too much work to achieve something that can be easily achieved in any of the other Makers starting with XP.

There's all sorts of things that can and will go wrong with a CBS in RM2k/RM2k3, if you need to make a single change to the system you are looking at re-writing the whole thing. Making a simple process will take ages, specially if you have several characters, items and magic/skills.

I would not recommend it.

Alternatively, either spice up the DBS with some event commands or wrestle with the numbers to make it interesting.

But hey, I'm not saying NOT to do it! If that's what you feel you should do then go for it, just be warned that it will take a lot of effort and thankless work.
Was reading the comments to the point of where I want to chime in lol. Honestly the question of if it's worth it or not is ultimately up to the user/developer. YOu know your strengths and limitations, sure you can use other engines, nothing wrong with that, or you can stay with rpg maker, once again nothing wrong with that!

I feel like what makes a CBS worth is the context and style of game, you can make almost everything work so long as you envision it and how it fits the game. :D Make no mistake, using rpg maker for action battle systems, is extremely tedious and I know other programs can do it a bit more efficiently as well. But, I love the rewarding feeling of being able to be as detailed as I can or want to be with my own game!
Gretgor
Having gotten my first 4/5, I must now work hard to obtain... my second 4/5.
3300
@Darken: Other than the price thing (more on that later), I think you're right. Once you have all the engines you need already coded into Game Maker/Godot/whatever, you don't need to make them again, and they're a lot easier to maintain than a pile of event commands or, even worse, a system someone else made that you can't change at all.

So, yeah, I guess CBSes in RPG Maker are becoming more and more of a novelty the more new tools become available. That said, I still love that kind of stuff, for nostalgia and for the challenge. Like building a functioning church organ out of bamboo, you're probably not gonna play it in a church, but it's still a really cool creation. I love seeing what people do with this stuff, and how far they can take such a limited engine. Besides, some of them are also pretty good games in their own merit, even ignoring the fact that their custom systems were made in RPG Maker 2003.

I was originally going to disagree with the points you brought up, but the more I tried to think of a well argued response, the more I realized I'm being moved primarily by nostalgia and my own insecurity. It's just that, unlike the games I mentioned before, that manage to be good games even ignoring the fact that they stretch the limits of RM2K3, I fear that I'd be unable to make my own games stand out for anything other than me showing off how good I am at the RM2K3 eventing system. I need to start learning game design, animation, all that stuff, and it all feels so daunting.

As for the money thing:

Darken
On a decent sale you can get GMS2 for only 40 dollars more than
rm2k3's price, idk I never get the complaints about software under $100 being a pay wall.

Yeah, thing is, as an unemployed guy in Brazil living off a rather anemic doctoral scholarship, I technically could buy myself an expensive engine like that, but it'd set me back on other things, from groceries to bills. There are several people out there who are not as wealthy as the average American but still want to make games and, for them, 100 bucks is definitely a setback. I guess there's still Godot, but again, it is not nearly as easy to use as GMS 2. Maybe I should just git gud and start actually learning Godot, but I digress.
I'd say it comes down to how complicated you want it to be.


Making stuff like this is easy, only one enemy at a time, only a handful of actions the players can take and almost no submenus.

But, if you want to recreate something like Chrono Trigger, or Baldur's Gate, then I'd say no. It's not really worth doing.
Wow, lots of responses! Thanks guys! I meant to reply on my lunch break but my office seems to be in some sort of temporal anomaly, So now to answer some questions and explain myself further.

I'm using the official version, so DynRPG is right out. If I'm going to script, I'm going to use another engine entirely.
I'm also leery of Maniacs. I looked into it last summer and I couldn't really find anything that explains it adequately.
On that note, Cherry, thank you for telling me about the NoRow patch. I'll have to give it a download.

The thing about switching engines is, if I have functionally limitless options, I'm going to be paralyzed. I'll sit there and come up with a bajillion things and then never actually do anything. There's also the fact that whatever I make will have to be built from the ground up while with RM2k3 I have a framework already made that I can do something with. As someone who's working alone, in my spare time, and making the art, the music, writing the dialog, etc. on my own, that's a big plus and not something I want to give up lightly. On the other hand, if EasyRPG fails, I'm definitely jumping ship. To what, I have no idea. I didn't like GMS too much, I'm not sure about Godot...Construct is the front-runner right now. But hopefully it'll be a non-issue.

My other issue, really the cause of my dilemma is that I love both jRPGs (at least early ones) and cRPGs (at least the open world ones) and I've spent a lot of time designing homebrew tabletop stuff, and I have a hard time choosing between them. I'm like Angry-Cliff the Man-Sheep (https://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2006/10/14). I guess I could try something like Kentona did with Hellion and add non-combat skills somehow. I dunno. I think it's going to come down to the fact that, like I said before, I'm one guy working in his spare time and doing all the assets myself. I've also seen some really cool stuff done with the DBS, like in ranmaster27's videos. So at least I know the DBS is workable. I'd just need to come up with a spreadsheet to help me calculate stuff.

author=Sidewinder
Making stuff like this is easy, only one enemy at a time, only a handful of actions the players can take and almost no submenus.

But, if you want to recreate something like Chrono Trigger, or Baldur's Gate, then I'd say no. It's not really worth doing.

Dude, that's awesome. Something like that is indeed what I'd be going for.

Thank you guys again for your input. I've enjoyed reading the discussion, and I have a lot to think about.
I couldn't really find anything that explains it adequately

It's mostly self-explanatory, you get a metrick f***ton of new options in the editor, like almost every event command is supercharged in some way.
@¶darken i never participated in a JAM event, and these 2 months are for a Custom Menu System, Custum Battle System, and a Action Base System, it took me 2 months to complete it, but not coding it all days :)

@iddalai the problem you mention, is the bad organization of the system itself, another thing is that you want to make a big change from another engine to a new one, thats the use of the comonnt events, a big mistake making a CBS, its doing it in separate maps, my whole CBS in my game, its only via Comont events, and can be used in any map whitouth any problems, the same for the CMS, other thing its doing a ABS, like in zelda fan games, thats the big one problem, to remade and reedit lots of maps for events and coordinates for an ABS, o but well a good work never is a easy one

Doing a CBS, its the more difficult engines to do in 2k3, it is worth? for me, it is,

Took so much time:
Yes, and that depends on how much time u want to invest

U must change the whole engine if something goes bad:
Dependes on the organization and what u want to do, u must be clear from the beggining on what you want to code

Simple VS complicated CBS and CMS:
For one single character VS 1 single Enemy, its the easy way to make a CBS and CMS
For 1-4 unique player VS 1-4 enemies, its gets more complicated, but still, u now how many characters and enemies will be on the engines
for 1-100 characters VS 1-100 enemies, obviously, gets even more complicated.
And now, add more extras, like combos, strategy, fusions, real time, etc... the more complicated, the more time to code, and do it smothly

Its worth it? for me, it is, why? i don't know any language programing like RGSS and JS, thats why i dont use XP, VX, VX ACE, MV and MZ, so doing it in 2k3, its already fine for me, to make all my custom system with comands and events witohut any script or pluguin involved, coding like this, has his "own art" but here, talks one, that have ben 21 years in 2k and 2k3, and dont talk about japanes games, they do it even more insane engines hahaha.
iddalai
RPG Maker 2k/2k3 for life, baby!!
2160
author=Soeufans
Its worth it? for me, it is, why? i don't know any language programing like RGSS and JS, thats why i dont use XP, VX, VX ACE, MV and MZ, so doing it in 2k3, its already fine for me, to make all my custom system with comands and events witohut any script or pluguin involved, coding like this, has his "own art" but here, talks one, that have ben 21 years in 2k and 2k3, and dont talk about japanes games, they do it even more insane engines hahaha.

I know ;)

I'm an old fan of yours Soeufans! I've played your tutorial games, such as Stratego back in 2002, an amazing strategy CBS! And the action CBS Soul Blazer! I am a big fan of the Spanish RPG Maker games and used to visit HellSoft frequently :D

I LOVE RPG Maker 2k/2k3, as I said before, a CBS can be made in these engines.
But I don't think it's worth it because it's an inefficient way to make it.

I can understand not wanting to change engines or learn how to use a new engine, I'm still using rm2k/2k3 to this day.

I can also appreciate that a rm2k/2k3 veteran will take less time and effort coding in rm2k/2k3.

My point is that, YES you can make an awesome CBS using rm2k/2k3, BUT it will take an unreasonable amount of work since the engine was not designed for that.

I've been into RPG Maker since 2002, my favorite RPG Maker versions are still rm2k/2k3!
Yet I wouldn't make a CBS in either since it's more reasonable to make it in a different engine.

I'm not criticizing people who make CBS in rm2k/2k3 either! It's cool.

I just think that if they want to create a CBS, then they could use their time better by using a different engine or learning how to code in XP or ACE VX (something I haven't done yet myself...).
@Cherry
Hmmm..I'll have to give it another look, then.

@Souefans
You make some good points. I'm checking out Legends of Heroen. I'd seen it before but didn't play it for some reason.

author=iddalai
I know ;)
I'm an old fan of yours Soeufans! I've played your tutorial games, such as Stratego back in 2002, an amazing strategy CBS! And the action CBS Soul Blazer! I am a big fan of the Spanish RPG Maker games and used to visit HellSoft frequently :D

Stratego and Soul Blazer in rm2k? I'd love to see those.
Pages: first 12 next last