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Miscellaneous

Highscores!

This is a scoring game, there's no ending. Your goal is to make the highest score possible, and there is no actual score or time limit... you can go on and on, though the game gets progressively harder.

Thus, a highscore system was a very welcome addition!

Originally I didn't even think it would be possible. But then I remembered RMVX scripts are very flexible... I looked for one, found it, added it, modified it (I'm getting the hang of scripting), and it works fine. My original intention was to add a Highscore item on the title screen to display the top 10 scores. But that's too much for me now. I just added a top 3 scores message at the end of each play.

Yeah, maybe I don't hate VX that much. :D

To be fair to the contest, I added the old download to my locker.

Miscellaneous

I Hate RMVX

I've always made games in RM2k3. My next big game will be on RMVX. For my Shinan's weird contest entry, I was divided between both.

RMVX Pros:
Better graphics;
Larger charsets;
Warming up for my next project;

RM2k3 Pros:
I'm familiar with it. Actually, I'm the wizard of rm2k3. I can do anything I want with events.

But I decided to go with VX because of the larger characters. The dancers wouldn't have looked good in 24x32. Probably not a good idea planning on making a game with an original system, custom graphics WHILE learning a new engine.

But hey, everyone always says that:

RMVX can do everything RM2k3 does + scripts.

LIES

Here's my first experience with VX.

First thing I did was the sprites. Dancers were 60x80, the little devil is 85x85. Nice being able to sprite freely.

Then I made the Satan part. I wanted an overlay. I used the show picture command, but the picture followed my character. I looked for a "picture scrolls with map" option, but there was none. Then I found out I needed a SCRIPT for it, because I guess keeping that checkbox would be too much to ask. Nessiah gave me the script.

For the same Satan scene, I wanted to make him open his eyes. Satan is a panorama. So I looked for a "change panorama" thing somewhere. I actually didn't look, cause I learned earlier VX doesn't do that either. But I solved this easier with pictures.

On a brigther note, I liked not losing colors on my backgrounds. Something like this on 2k3 would have looked much uglier:



Next step was the title screen. I knew how to modify the title image. Changing scripts. But what I wanted to do was remove the "Continue" option from the title screen. I messed up with the Scene_Title script a lot, but always getting buggy results. I finally did that but the Shutdown option is gray. I wasn't able to fix that. I also wasn't able to change the words "New Game" and "Shutdown". I know it's possible, I just didn't find out how.

One thing I learned about VX is self-switches. They're good for not stacking your switch list with stuff you'll only use once.

I had another problem with showing overlays. In rm2k3, I usually show overlays making a parallel event and using the commands:

Show picture;
Erase event;

With this, you don't see the picture being shown... when you get to the map, the picture is already there, cause the event acts immediately. In VX, there was a tiny yet horrendous lag that made me teleport to the map with no overlay, and after a few seconds the overlay appeared. But I was able to fix that with fade-ins and fade-outs.

People complain about the mapping in VX being complicated... but since I only use panoramas, I didn't have problems with that. The good thing about VX is that you can have panoramas of any size.

Another thing I missed was the option "wait until key is pressed". It would be good to show the introductory screens. I had to replace that with invisible events surrounding the hero char. A bit annoying.

Now comes the gruesome part. This is a scored game, your goal is to make a high score. Marvel Brothel was like that, the score is visible at the top of the screen at all times:



It's money, actually.
Making something like that in 2k3 is hell. You need one picture for each digit (0-9), a code to separate a big number into digits, and a lot of trial-and-error to correctly place the numbers on the screen. Something like that:



It goes way down...

But hey, this is VX, right? I could do this a lot easier with scripts.

Well, yes I could. But finding a script to show a g**d*** number of the screen wasn't that easy. Liberty found me one similar and edited it to suit my needs. But I needed extra help from the Help Forum to change the font. And the final result doesn't look that awesome.

Finally a big surprise: VX can't do math! There was a place in the code that basically had something like:

30 * 1 = 1

I checked the code many many times, but nothing seemed to be wrong. Only the math was wrong. People on irc told me it's an actual bug in RMVX. Really... math? Well, I fixed it changing 30 * 1 to 1 * 30. It worked. No idea why.

Finally, an issue with VX that had an actual impact on the game. There's no "wait until key is pressed" for the key input thing. If you press A, it's like pressing AAAAAAAAA. It completely messed the mechanics of my game (if you played it, you know what I mean). My solution was to add a wait command before the key input. The downside is that the player has to hold a key instead of just pressing it. Makes the whole thing a lot less smooth. There's probably a script for it too, but... 3 days.

I thought making VX games run without the RTP was easier because of the game compress thing. I added all RTP files I used to my folders, and then I compressed the game. If I checked "add RTP files" it added ALL files, including the ones I wasn't using. Changed my game size from 27MB to 69MB. No thanks. If I didn't check this option, the game would ask for the RTP to run. My solution was... to delete all useless RTP files from the RTP folders, and check the "add RTP" option. It probably adds some system files too. Well, at least it worked.

Bottom line... yeah, VX is much better than 2k3, but the transition is not as smooth as it should be. You people who tell 2k3 users to switch to VX... don't. RM2k3 is way easier to use, period.

PS: Thanks to the people on #rpgmaker.net for helping me all the way and putting up with my drama. :D
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