MAKING CUTSCENES

This will go over some of the options you have for making cutscenes with auto-movement.

This is a great engine but it doesn't have many options in terms of conditions for making a certain action happen. Let's take a look at what we do have.



The first event in this list is always there. It will automatically run when you start the level. If your whole level is a cutscene this is where you will put your first action. You can either put the action in this event or have it call on the first event that is seperate.

Highlighted in BLUE is the section for triggering an event. This is how you will be chaining everything together. Every different action needs it's own event so at the end of one event you will be having it trigger the next. Most times you will want to leave the delay on instant. You can add in a sound effect but keep in mind that if you are adding a sound effect to a message, the message will come up first followed by the sound effect only after you press a button to close the message box. You may need to put the sound effect on the previous event to have it play with the message.

The PURPLE section is the message box, not really much to explain here.

Player movement in RED is a big part of making great cutscenes. It can be very tricky to have a character do what you want. If you want the character to walk to the right and jump at the right moment it will require 2 actions and some testing to find out how much of a delay is needed. When you start an event that makes use of one these commands there are 2 ways to break out of it.

1) Start another event: The event can either make use of another move command or just have no movement commands checked off, which in effect turns off the movement commands.

2) End the level: Walking offscreen is usually the best way to end the cutscene. SMB3/SMW exit works, also a key/keyhole will do it as long as the RUN command is active. Usually you want a simple one that won't give anything(like a star).

If you do not put in one of these options then the command will not terminate and will force the player to quit the game because they can no longer move the character.

In GREEN there is the "layers" section. This is where you show off your creativity. The use of layers is the most important part of making great looking levels and can add flare to your cutscenes. Don't forget there is a "no smoke" option as sometimes it looks better to not see that puff of smoke when layers appear.

A few things about layers:

If you want to put 2 pieces in the same location you can do this by hiding the first layer and placing the object in a second layer in that space. Unhide the first layer and both objects will be in the same space, however this can sometimes cause both objects to attach to the same layer. If you are using the "no more objects in layer" trigger event, obviously this will cause a problem.

Tiles have different priorities for deciding which object shows on top of the other. Sometimes you just cannot put 2 pieces in the same place and actually see both. One solution might be to swap the tile with another that might have a different priority so that it can show on top.

Showing in YELLOW is the layer movement options. You cannot move NPC's with this command, however you can have the NPC standing on a platform and move the platform layer. You can also push the NPC with a moving layer.



Now lets look at the options we have outside of the event box. First the NPC window.




Death


If it's an enemy, this will trigger the moment it's HP is zero. So the event triggers before the NPC leaves the screen.
If it's a power-up, this will trigger the moment it touches the character. So you still see the power-up and have not yet changed. With a power-up, if you use the Lakitu option, the event triggers when you kill Lakitu.
When a bomb explodes it triggers the event. If you use the generator option, each bomb(for example) will trigger the event.
This option will not work with projectiles, platforms, and other non-destructables.

Generally you will use this option for monsters, but using it on power ups has an advantage. The other option is 'no more in layer' which requires you to make another layer. This option can be used to achieve the same effect without an extra layer.


Talk


When you press up to talk to an NPC, this triggers. If the NPC has it's own message you will see that first followed by whatever action is in the event. If the NPC has no message then you cannot talk to it and therefore cannot use this trigger condition.

Power-ups, projectiles, and just about everything can be turned into NPC's. Give them a message and you can use this trigger condition just the same as with an NPC. They won't kill you but they still do any specific action. For example, if you make the little bomb guy an NPC he will blow up after a few seconds.


Activate


This triggers when the selected NPC is "activated". This has limited use as not many objects can actually be activated. I have trouble using this command and actually don't usually need it because the others will do the job. If anybody has further info on this, please contribute.

author=halibabica
Okay! This command works, as you said, when the NPC is 'activated.' This means that the event won't happen until the NPC appears on-screen (though they actually activate a short distance off-screen). It's useful for boss fights with locked screen settings, as you can set the screen lock event as the boss' activate condition, so the screen becomes locked when the boss is approached.

There are some important things to remember about it, though. If an NPC with an Activate condition is scrolled off-screen and re-approached, it will trigger its Activate event again. This is bad for any event you don't want to run more than once.

Also, if the NPC is present on-screen the moment the level starts, it will not trigger its Activate event. They must always be scrolled on-screen for the event to trigger.

Hope that helps.



No More Objects In Layer


This is the one I use the most. I use it as a switch and for making cutscenes it's the best way to have an action happen at a certain point. You could have the next action activate after a certain amount of seconds OR you could just use this command to make that happen when the character hits a certain spot.

Create a new layer and label it. Create the event that will happen when the character hits this object. Pick an object and use the trigger. Place the object on the map where the action needs to take place.

For example, the player is auto walking to the right and I want him to jump up in the pipe. I would place an object below the pipe and have it trigger an event to make the character jump. So as he's walking along whenever he hits the object, he jumps. It beats trying to time it just right with the auto walking timed trigger. This means you have to put an random item on the screen, its not a bad thing, but if you want to have a "clean" map then just use the timed trigger in the event box.

Sometimes an object will leave the screen but not be "dead" so this doesn't activate. Things like bullet bills and moving platforms might have this problem.


Attach to layer


This is a new command that I don't have much experience with yet so let's try some things with it...

When you choose an NPC you can attach it to a layer so that when that layer moves, the NPC will move with it.

Attaching a layer to an enemy with a special movement pattern(ghost, thowmp..) will have the opposite effect, the layer follows the NPC even though an event is trying to move the layer. The NPC takes priority. Destroying that NPC then frees the layer to move on its own.

An object like a turtle shell will sit on the layer and follow the layer's movements. Then once you hit the turtle shell the layer will zoom off the screen at the speed of light. Might be a glitch :/

The same happens if you attach any NPC that moves to a layer, it accelerates the layer infinitely. So be careful with this command, it's new and apparently buggy but very cool and offers some interesting possibilities.



That's pretty much it for NPC commands. The other commands don't offer anything useful for cutscenes, like putting an item in a bubble, but could add a visual flare.






The Blocks and Tiles section offers some options for making our mario "movies" with the option to add events to blocks. This only works with hitable blocks and some have different properties so there are several options.


Death


This triggers when the block is destroyed. This only works on some blocks obviously, if you put this trigger on a music note block it won't activate. The frozen item blocks don't take this trigger either. The SMW yellow block with "eyes" can be hit from the bottom without triggering this event and will trigger if you spin jump on it.


Hit


This only triggers if the block is hit and NOT DESTROYED. Any brick blocks have to be hit by small mario to trigger this event.


No More Objects In Layer


Works the same way as NPC's.




I think that cover's the basics. I made a short demo covering some of the things I mentioned here. It's not really polished to perfection, it was mainly just a test and it does the job :) Some parts you do have to control the character.

http://rpgmaker.net/users/Link_2112/locker/Space_Quest.rar



There is no way to track things from one level to the next, so if you put a cutscene in a level the player would be able to replay it again by going to that map. One way to get around this is to put the cutscene on levels that, once completed, the player won't have access to anymore. The easiest place to do this is at the start of the game, after all the cutscenes are over the player is brought to the actual first level and starts the game. You could also put them at the end of a World. You beat the boss, show cutscenes, then get teleported to world 2. This only works if you don't allow backtracking, a la SMB3.

Here's another method of showing the player a level they won't "normally" see ever again. So you make a level, lets say its a town. Section 1 is the whole map, no houses just NPC's. Use the new feature to copy the section and have an identical town in Section 2. To get to this town on the world map you have to beat the level just before it, we'll call it "level 2". At the end of level 2 the exit is a pipe, this pipe takes you to Section 2 of your town. In section 2 are special events that will show the player a cutscene. Maybe have the exits blocked off until the player sees the cutscene. At the end of the cutscene either show the exits(using layers) or automatically have the player leave the map. Then they end up on the world map standing over the town. If they go into the town "normally" through the world map, it takes them to Section 1 of the town.

So basically your creating a copy of the map and having special actions on the copy so the player can visit it normally and not go through the cutscene. Of course, it might be possible to go back to level 2 and rerun the level to warp to section 2, but this method is probably the closest you'll come to making this all happen.



Hopefully in the future the developer will implement some new features to allow more freedom with events but what we have now is actually pretty decent and there are tons of possibilities.

Posts

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Well damn Link_2112 thanks for that great tutorial, seeing as how I started out using the RPGXP engine cut scenes is going to be a must for my Mario game.
It is impossible in SMBX to making cutscenes?
It is impossible in SMBX to making cutscenes?
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
11399
from the article
Activate

This triggers when the selected NPC is "activated". This has limited use as not many objects can actually be activated. I have trouble using this command and actually don't usually need it because the others will do the job. If anybody has further info on this, please contribute.
Okay! This command works, as you said, when the NPC is 'activated.' This means that the event won't happen until the NPC appears on-screen (though they actually activate a short distance off-screen). It's useful for boss fights with locked screen settings, as you can set the screen lock event as the boss' activate condition, so the screen becomes locked when the boss is approached.

There are some important things to remember about it, though. If an NPC with an Activate condition is scrolled off-screen and re-approached, it will trigger its Activate event again. This is bad for any event you don't want to run more than once.

Also, if the NPC is present on-screen the moment the level starts, it will not trigger its Activate event. They must always be scrolled on-screen for the event to trigger.

Hope that helps.
heh, I had figured out the trigger of the activate command some time after writing this and never got around to updating. but thanks, you saved me the trouble of figured everything else out about it.

that reminds me of other things I could add...I'll do that later
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
11399
I want Makerscore for this article now. Glad to help!
Yes, it is possible in SMBX to making cutscenes using Events and Layers!
It is impossible in SMBX to making cutscenes, because it would make SMBX crash having to restart the engine (SMBX Program).
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
11399
>:I

Kill it with fire!
Castle Cutscenes from SMW can be made in SMBX using Events and Layers, but no controls to make the player move.
Yes, it is possible in SMBX to making cutscenes!
Don't worry, ban evasion will be dealt with harshly when the Admins are on. In the meantime just bear it for now. I'll clean up the thread after he's dealt with.
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