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Inventory Nightmare

  • NicoB
  • 09/24/2011 04:55 AM
Hey guys,

So as I've been working away on this game, there's one thing that's been constantly hanging over my shoulder: the inventory. Anyone who's played Episode One will know what I mean; it's an absolutely horrible mess to navigate through. For example, these were pictures Dec posted in his review:

Pretty disgusting, right? This is something I want to see fixed, but at the same time, I genuinely fear attempting. This isn't something that can be easily tidied up in just a few short days. It will likely take me months to do. I've already envisioned exactly what I would have to do to make this work.

Step 1: Type up the entire (cluttered) list of items in a text file.
Step 2: Type up what the new list would look like.
Step 3: Go through the database and change the old list of items to the new one.

This wouldn't be so bad. The next step is where it starts getting nasty.

Step 4: Go through every single event where the old version of an item was used and change it to its new location in the database.

2k3 isn't that smart. It isn't going to automatically change every event based on my new arrangement. So let's say a chest had an Extract in it, and the new layout changed it to something else. I would have to go in and manually change every instance to the new Extract inventory location. And this wouldn't be just for treasure chests. There's also the system database, monster drops, the million common events I have, every conditional event involving items, not to mention the countless random instances where I added/removed items to fulfill certain plot/gameplay requirements. This would easily take me months to sort through.

Step 5: Test to make sure every item works correctly.

Holy shit, this would be a nightmare. I would essentially have to keep a constant list of what my current items are at all times and note any and all changes made during my playthrough (and this isn't a short game, people). I wish I could believe that I'd get everything completely straight without testing, but with something this cluttered, it's way too easy to make a mistake.

Even after all of this is done, there's one last thing I'd have to do.

Step 6: Create a common event that manually changes every item to the new setup.

People with old save files will still have items based on the old arrangement of items, meaning their inventory will be completely screwed up upon loading. I would have to make an event that would automatically remove every item that doesn't belong with the original quantity of the new item. This means a whole lot of conditional events and just as many headaches. This isn't something I would skip either; I've promised myself that all save files from Episode One will work with later releases. I'm not having people replay the game anymore.

The really bad thing is that I can't really work on this in conjunction with other things (such as progressing forward in the game). If I get started, there's pretty much no turning back, and will take all of my focus. This will set game progress back for quite awhile.

I suppose this is one of the biggest problems with having a long production time for your first game. Once you begin to understand how certain mechanics work, it may already be too late. I didn't know that arranging the items in the database would affect it's arrangement in-game. Now I'm stuck with this clutterfuck of an inventory.

So I wanted to ask you all, how important is this to you? Can you live with a cluttered inventory or will it ultimately ruin the experience? What would you do in this situation? Do you have any recommendations?

God, I wish Cherry has a patch for this sort of thing.


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I'm a dog pirate
To put it in perspective, you lost 1/5th of a star because of the cluttered inventory.

In other words, it's not a big deal to me. Hero's Realm was almost as bad, though he sorted it a bit.
Step 4: Go through every single event where the old version of an item was used and change it to its new location in the database.

That's why when I start a project I have a common event for this sort of thing (not trying to sound condescending!). Pick a variable, set that variable to the id of the item you want to use and call the common event which would be filled with fork conditions and different item receiving events, each fork will give the item based on an item you select (don't use the variable to pick the item)-- do it manually so you can change it later if necessary. The only downside is that you can only have one item at a time, because I'm assuming you'll want a message to display the name of the item.

Unless of course you get fancy and use the variable to represent "treasure ids" where you pick a group of items to be given, but then you would have to repeat yourself many times.

Either way they would, at the very least, all be centralized! Besides you never know when you might have to change it all again. Good luck!
That has always been the problem with the inventory of the default RPG Maker menu system, especially when your game has loads of items. It has annoyed me because scrolling to the item I wanna use takes like ages.

However, while I believe changing the item list to a more organized one is good, I feel you should put this as your last priority, ie. only when your game is done. You should focus on the main game/story itself first rather than dwell on a minor aspect of the game. Put this as your last priority. I've also already gotten used to the default RPG Maker inventory list anyway, so not too big of a biggie.

Priority is moving forward ;)
I went through the same thing with Beyond Eden, so I feel your pain.

You might be able to temporarily change or remove the glyph file until you are sure the problem is done. Using goofy or absent glyphs to track unfixed items.
Or you might get a second instance of the game running in a Cherry engine to test play while you edit the real deal.

It seems like you have less than 200 items. You might want to consider starting your new database wherever you left off. Replace all instances in chests and events as normal and change the names of the original items to something you will recognize as error and during testplay periodically check inventory for missed instances. Yes, it will be tedious. But it's a necessary evil.

Step 6 seems like a huge hassle. If I were you, I'd say "sorry, old saves will no longer work, but it's for the greater good. Rest assured, no more demos, this is the final release, there is enough here to warrant replaying."

I haven't played Forever's End in ages and have been periodically thinking about trying it again. I have no doubt the game has improved since I last played it several years ago though I enjoyed it even then. If you like, I would commit to a thorough bug testing and broken item hunt using whatever method you decide on.

Good luck, Nico!
Arguably, equipment doesn't need to be sorted. I think the important part would be to have usables sorted, along with key items, "skill scrolls" and all that other sort of stuff that you need to get to. Equipment can be seen in a decently sorted way in the equip menu anyway. Obviously all stuff being sorted is nice, but it's really less critical than having the stuff you NEED in the item menu not require tons of scrolling. You could probably get away with only sorting the first 50 items or so, putting the usables in their slots, fit what is currently items 1-50 in open slots further down, and move on with your day.
Equipment can be seen in a decently sorted way in the equip menu anyway.

This is a very good point. In this case, might make more sense to just do potions, scrolls, and seeds which are generally just used in chests and shops, and will be easier to track down.
I never really thought the inventory in this was bad, honestly I've seen worse before lol, so yeah this didn't bother me in the slightest. :)
I find the easiest way to mitigate this problem is to leave large gaps between item types in your database. Of course, this is something you have to do from the start.
Like Jude said. You'll never forget to do that again, though!

Still, I'm not too fussed with where items are in a menu as long as they're near grouped. And equipment is fine at the bottom of the list.
If I were you I wouldn't put myself through the torture of fixing this.

Iirc some of the classic rpgs of yore also had huge cluttered inventories, maybe you can get by on the nostalgia factor?

Like Liberty said, so long as stuff is somewhat grouped then it's not such a huge deal.
Once a member of RMN, always a member of RMN!
I do agree to some extent that it is a mess, it's not unbearable. If it wasn't such a pain in the dick to fix, I'd say go for it. But, considering it'll delay the release of the next episode, don't bother. As mentioned above, make it your last priority if anything.
I actually didn't have that much trouble navigating through the item menu! xD I only ever dipped in there to use my extracts and what not, so I wasn't really scrolling through it that much. Yeah, it's kind of cluttered and huge, but the items you use the most ARE located at the top, so it's not a big deal.

I say worry about making progress. If people wanna get all bent outta shape about a cluttered inventory, it's their problem; just remember not to have one next time you make a game. xD
I assure you I'm no where NEAR as STUPID as one might think.
I don't mind it, either. Maybe once the game is done, starting on a revamped version, fixing up all messes and such would be good. But right now, it isn't bad.
Me either! Just really hoping to see epi 2! Game really is good man hats off to u.
I don't think it's worth doing a lot of work for the item list but it's your choice. The game is still great regardless
Use DynRpg, and use this patch. You can store numbers externally, allowing you to just copy a bunch of data. It should let you transpose this stuff.


Honestly though, you'd be better off flushing usable items, and just retaining equips.
Way to bump a 6-year-old article, not to mention NicoB has already moved on to being a YouTuber.

Dude, seriously? That sucks. We need to finish this game. Along with Love and War Part II.
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