THE RMVX DATABASE: PART III "THE SKILL OF MAKING A SKILL"

An explanation of skills in the RMVX database; the third part in "The RMVX Database" tutorial series.

Welcome to Part III
Last time, I covered the creation of classes in RMVX. One of the key things about classes, is that they determine what skills an actor will learn. In this tutorial, I will show you how to create those skills. Earlier in the series, I went into a brief explanation of what a skill is. In this tutorial, I will elaborate on those explanations. For now, you need to know that a skill is a form of attack that can be cast by members of the "party", depending on their class. Know that a "party" is the group of actors that the player will have the ability to control.
To start off, open the database and click the tab labeled "Skills".




Basic Functions

Similar to the "Actors" and "Classes" tabs, there is a list to the left of the window. This time, it is labeled "Skills".


This sort of list will appear repeatedly throughout the database, and it looks primarily the same in every tab, so I won't be putting a screenshot of it over and over again.

This list consists of several different "skills". As before, when one skill on the list is selected, the entire right of the window will be devoted to that skill. I would like to draw your attention to the consecutive 3-digit numbers that appear on the list. Each skill on the list has one number associated with it. These numbers are what the program remembers for the name of your skill. For example, with the skill "Darkness Attack", the computer will think of it as "005". Knowing these numbers becomes useful when scripting, and with some event commands. These numbers also appear on the actors and classes tabs, and they work in the same way. They will also appear on all similar lists in the database. If all this is racking your brain, then just ignore it. Unless you're really working in-depth in this program, then these numbers are useless to you.

As you can see, we still have that "Change Maximum" button at the bottom of the list. This, and the delete button on your keyboard, will have the same functions as they did back in Parts I and II. For now, select the first skill, "Dual Attack".

Name, Icon, and Description

In the top-center of the window, you should see three boxes that are labeled "Name", "Icon", and "Description". Here is a screenie for all you visual people out there.



In the box labeled name, type your the "action" name for your skill. If you're stumped on what to call your skill, here are some swank ideas for you:

-BenRandomIsAwesome Punch

-BenRandomIsAwesome Kick

-BenRandomIsAwesome Fangs


Below the "Name" box, we come to the "Description" box. In here, type a description of what this skill will do. The description of a skill will appear in the menu, and other places in the game.

Lastly, we get to the blue-checkered box labeled "Icon". This is the icon that will appear in the menu for your skill. Right now, it should have a fist in it (See above screenshot). To change what is in the box, double click the box, and a window will appear. This window works the same way as the one in the Actors tab (remember when we changed the actors face graphic?). In fact, this window works the same as every other blue-checked box in RMVX. I will refer to these boxes as "Image Input Boxes" throughout the tutorial series.

Change Some Battle Factors... and the Occasion!
The next few boxes we will be dealing with can be found in the middle of the window.



Let's start with the drop-down box labeled "Scope:". The "Scope" of a skill predicts who that skill will effect when used. Below are the following options and their descriptions:

None- This skill won't effect anyone in the game. (Not very useful)

One Enemy- This skill will effect one enemy in battle.

All Enemies- If a battle has more than one enemy, all of them will be affected.

One Enemy Dual
- This skill will effect one enemy in battle two times.

One Random Enemy- Rather than letting the player select which enemy to effect in battle, the computer will randomly select one.

2 Random Enemies- The computer will randomly select two enemies to effect in battle.

3 Random Enemies- The computer will randomly select three enemies to effect in battle.

One Ally- This skill will effect one member of your party.

All Allies- This skill will effect all party members.

One Ally (Dead)- This skill will effect one member of your party that has been "killed" in battle.

All Allies (Dead)- This skill will effect all party members that have been been "killed" in battle.

The User- This skill will effect the party member that uses the skill.

If we move to the right, we find a drop-down box labeled "Occasion". There are only four of these. Two them are "Only in Battle" and "Only in the Menu". If the former is selected, the skill will only be able to be used in battle. If the latter is chosen, the skill only be able to be used in the games menu. The next choice is "Always", meaning the skill can be used in the battle and in the games menu. The last option is "Never", not very useful.

Battle Factors

Under those drop-down boxes, there are three number-input boxes. Look at the first one, "MP Cost". The number in this box determines how many MP points are spent on this skill. Just like most RPG's, MP (Magic Points/Mana Points) are points that can be spent to cast skills. Recall that in Part I, we discussed changing a characters stats, including one called "Max MP".

The next box is labeled "Hit Ratio". The number in this box determines the "success rate" of the skill. Meaning, if you were to ignore all of the stats and skills that an enemy (or other target) would have (yes, enemy's can have skills, I'll get to it later in the series) to avoid an attack, the number in the box will determine weather or not the skill will have a good chance of hitting the target. If the number is 100, the skill will have a 100% chance of effectiveness, if it is 20, it will have a 20% chance of effectiveness, etc.

The third and final box is labeled "speed", and I hate to do this, but since I have grown a reputation to be bad at wording things, I am going to give you the RMVX Help File definition:

The RMVX Help File
The value that is added to the character's initiative when determining attack order. This allows you to create skills that are powerful but take a long time to preform.
I know that this wording is a little cryptic. That's why I'm making these tutorials. I find that help files can be confusing and unclear, but I can assure you that in this case, the help files definition is going to better than mine. If you are reading this, and have a better way to word it, be my guest to give me suggestions, and by all means, I will credit you.

Making Your Skill Look Pretty
If you move down the window, you should find two drop-down boxes. The first is labeled "Animation", and the second, "Common Event". Below that, there should be a large blue box labeled "User Message".



For now, look at the box labeled "Animation". The item in this box determines what animation will appear when this skill is cast (if the animation is set to none, the only indication that the skill has been cast will be text). If you open the drop-down list, you will see lots of options. If you select the first item on the list, "Same as Normal Atk", the default animation will play when this skill is cast. If you go back to that RPGMaker VX game you really should've played by now, you will know that in battle, the player has the choice of just "attacking", and not using a skill. The "Same as Normal Atk" animation is the animation that plays when the player selects "attack" in battle.

All of the other options on the list are animations that you can create or change. And guess where you get to make animations... THE DATABASE!(Isn't this thing awesome!)

Before we move to the "Common Event" drop-down box, I will need to explain what an event is: An event in RMVX, like all other RM programs, is a series of simple commands that, to put it plainly, make things happen in your game. To get a better understanding of events, read this tutorial. A common event is an event that can be activated at any time, or at any place in the game. Common events can be made in the database, so if you don't really understand them now, just wait until later in the series. For now, just understand that a common event can be linked to the activation of a skill in this drop-down box.

User Message
In the window, you should see decently sized blue box labeled "User Message". The user message box determines what text appears in the game when the skill is used. For example, if you left the box as it is, the following message would appear when the skill is used: "(Insert name of actor that is using the skill) attacks!". To change the message, simply type the desired message in the text box, or use the handy quick-message buttons at the bottom of the blue box. Not much to it!

Making Your Skill do Something!

Move to the bottom center of the window, and focus your eyes on this area:



The two boxes here control what damage your skill will actually do to an enemy in battle, or how it will aid your ally! In the box labeled "Damage Effect", you, obviously, edit the effect of the damage done to the skills target. In the box, there are four number-input boxes, let's run through them:

Base Dmg:
When calculating the damage a skill will do to its target, it uses the number in this box as a base number. If the number is positive, the skill will do a positive amount of damage to the target. If the number is negative, the skill will do a negative amount of damage to the target, thus making it a skill that recovers damage from its target.

Variance:
The number in variance box adds an element of pure chance to a battle. Once RMVX does its thing and calculates out a set amount of damage that the skill will do to its target, the number in the variance box is added to the equation; the number in the variance box is the percentage by which the final damage effect of the skill will change, or vary, after the final calculations. If it is set to "20", the variance will be the same as a regular attack.

Attack F:
Skills are often categorized into "physical", or "magical". If a skill is "physical", the damage is calculated by the strength of the attackers "attack" stat, and the targets "defense" stat. The number in this box determines the level of importance the attackers "attack" stat and the targets "defense" has in the calculation of the skills total damage. To put it simply, if you want your skill to primarily "physical", keep the number in this box large. "100" is the number that a regular attack uses.

Spirit F:
As said before, skills are often categorized into "physical", or "magical". If a skill is magical, then its damage is calculated by the attacker and targets "spirit" stat. The number in this box determines the level of importance the "spirit" stat is when calculating the total damage. Unlike "physical" skills, if the number in this box is 1 or greater, than the skill is automatically considered "magical". This becomes important when "states" (not to be confused with stats), are put into play. I will not go into to much detail about states in this tutorial, since there will be a tutorial about states later in the series, and I will discuss them briefly later in this tutorial, but for now, know that a state is an ailment (or aid) inflicted on a target via skill, and that there is a possibility of a state that will disable a player from using skills that are "magical" (by default, RMVX calls it "silence").

I know this math stuff may be a little complicated for some, so I tried to simplify the above as much as possible. Just know that with game-making, there will be calculations involved.

Options

To left of the "Damage Effect" box, there is a box, full of check-boxes, labeled options. Let's take a look at them:

Physical Attack- Checking this box is sort of a shortcut to automatically making your skill considered "physical".

Damage to MP-
If you've been paying any attention to the above paragraphs, you should know that skills do damage. Normally, the calculated damage is done to the targets "HP". If all of a targets HP goes away, it becomes incapacitated. If this box is checked, the targets MP will be damaged instead.

Absorb Damage- If this box is checked, not only does the skill do damage to the target, it also does negative damage to the user, therefore healing him.

Ignore Defense- When this is checked, the skill will automatically take the targets mental and/or defense stats out of the equation for calculating damage.

That just about wraps up all the ways a skill can do damage. Let's move on to the final leg of this tutorial.

Elements, Notes, and More About States
Hold onto your hats guys, we've only got a little more of this "skills" stuff to do. Just look at the top-right section of your window:



The list labeled "elements" should look a little familiar. If you remember in Part II, we said different skills that were associated with elements could be more or less effective on any given class. This list is where you choose to associate skills with different elements. To associate a skill with an elements, simply check the box next to a given element on the list.

Now, move to the right and look at the list labeled "State Changes". Since there will be a tutorial about states later in the series, I'm not going to go into to much detail about them now. Just know that a skill can either remove a state from its target, or give its target that state. To make your skill give a state to its target, click that states check-box until a plus (+) sign appear. To make it do the opposite, click the check-box until a minus (-) sign appears.

Notes

In RMVX, you can edit the script of the engine, using the RGSS2 language. Since I am no scripter, I'm not going to go into much detail about scripts. All I know, is that if you enter text in this box, in a certain format, the selected skill can be associated with a line of RGSS2 script. Otherwise, just use this area to write down simple notes about what you may need to do about the selected skill.

This "notes" box appears in many other tabs of the database, and provides the same function every time, so I'm not going to talk about them in later tutorials.

Conclusion
So guys, this is the end of what has been Part III of "The RMVX Database". Sorry for the wait on this one. I ended up losing the .txt file in my computer, so I had to search for it for a while. Anyway, it's here now, in all of its screen-shot glory! Part IV will be "All About Items", and Part V will be about the creation of armor and weaponry. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and if you have any suggestions, please post below!

Posts

Pages: 1
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
20053
I'd write the "Scope" part in a different frame of reference (the user of the skill rather than from the perspective of the player), but I think you wrote this better!
As far as screen-shots go for parts I and II, I'm going to wait to add those in once I'm done with the series.

As for the series as a whole, we are looking at 11 to 13 parts. This depends on if I combine tabs like "armor" and "weapons", which are essentially the same thing.
So sorry for the wait on Part IV. I've been taking an RMN "break" for a while, but I should get to writing soon!
Pages: 1