About me:

Pun loving Canadian, friendly neighbourhood "Ace", and Narrative Designer at Nine Dots Studios.

I've been a huge fan of RPGs (especially turn based ones) since I was young, and it warms my hearts to be able to make RPGs that other people can enjoy.

I thrive on crafting stories that others enjoy, as well as finely tuning combat to be challenging, but fair.
Heresies of Discord
Explore a Forbidden Shrine, Uncover clues, Stay alive.


What do you guys use to convert MIDI files to OGG?

I used to use Cowon JetAudio years ago, but due to reformats and computer changes I no longer have it.

So...What do you guys use?

I'm mostly asking because I picked up the old RPgmakers on steam recently and was thinking that if I make another retro RPG I'd use the monsters, faces and music from them to make the game in a newer engine. The graphics can be resized, but the music, not so much. :P

So apparently a 3DS RPGmaker is coming.

This video just popped up on my facebook feed today and...huh.

I am not sure how to feel about this.

I mean, on one hand, being able to make RPGs on the long daily commute I have would be neat, as well as playing portable RPGmaker games...

But I really really worry about how much power we'll have over them. We're certainly not going to be able to get scripts or plugins or import our own graphics, and I wonder just how many maps we can hold, how much we can influence the damage formulas, and how powerful the eventing system and battle encounters can be.


[RMMV] Making actions play out immediately despite multiple actions.

Ok, so I have an issue.

My combat system in an experiment I'm working on involves using multiple actions on a single character.

He has two skill types, each one governed by different cooldowns (Using Yanfly's Cooldown script for MV)

Gambits have an individual cooldown on each skill of 2 turns.

Aces have a global cooldown on that skill type for one turn, effectively meaning you can only cast one per turn.

Now, because multiple actions can be taken, and the cooldown only triggers and shows up after the skill is used, not after the skill is selected, this makes the system messy.

If I select more than one Ace per turn, or the same Gambit multiple times per turn, the game will let me enter the commands, but then go "oops, you used that skill already and triggered the cooldown, I'm going to skip that action, then!"

While this technically is workable, it lacks all-important clarity for the end user.

I'm not quite sure how to fix this in a way that works, and is also clear and as non-confusing as possible for the end user.

Anyone have any suggestions?

How do you make solo combat interesting?

Now that the semester is over, I'm looking over my game projects again, and while I do plan to get back to my big project, I'm also considering getting back to a smaller one I've had prototyped for a while.

After much thought, I've that since it's basically a stealth/thief kind of game, it works better with a single main character instead of a party.

Now, the problem is that I'm not sure how to make turn based combat interesting when there's a single character on the field, as they can't synergize with any other characters to provide compelling gameplay.

The last two times I did a single party member game, I was able to sidestep the problem, but not here.

First time, the entire game was a single prolonged boss fight, based around countering and outsmarting an enemy with your exact skill setup. This can't work for a short and snappy combat system used for many many encounters.

The second time, I compensated for the simplified combat by using a no-wait ATB system and made the game all about making snap decisions with limited resources, and manipulating timing to get an edge.

Sadly, I'm using MV for this project (a requirement, actually, as the lockpicking minigame uses the mouse controls), and the way the engine is structured, it's apparently not possible to make a no-wait ATB system.

So now I'm back to square one, with a major game design question.

How DO you guys make single character turn-based combat interesting?


I HAVE considered axing all combat, but I don't think I could do that in a way that would feel satisfying. At worst case, I could do it Radical Dreamers style and make it about getting a response from the enemy and using that to decide how to counter them, but...Again somehow it doesn't feel satisfying as once you've "solved" the enemy encounter, it becomes rote memorization.

[RMMV] How to determine who is in the "Active" party? (4+ heroes)

So I'm making a goofy little side-project for some friends (likely to never see the light of day here), and I've hit a problem.

The idea is that it's got between 3 to 7 rounds of combat (player's choice), and you can swap characters out between battles, with the guys sitting the round out healing up their HP and MP while the active party fights.

I'm not sure how to tell who is in the active party and who isn't. >_>

Using conditional branch "is X in party" wouldn't make sense as they're in the party, just not the active one.

I COULD just make it an old-school "talk to characters to recruit them and the battle starts when you have chosen 4" system and then use the conditional branch to see who isn't in the party and heal them, but that makes it hard for the player to look at everyone's character abilities. >_>

[RMMV] Resetting the contents of the Generator?

Ok, so I made a LOT of additions to the Character Generator, like making all the male and female eyes appear in both folders, making the headphones appear on males, adding helmets and stuff, etc.

Then the update rolled around and now my generator folder is completely broken, with all sorts of images and parts all scrambled up. Some have the wrong icon, some have parts that no longer should be there, etc.

I have all my new parts saved in a another folder so I can always re-customize again later, but for now even when I use steam to re-verify the game cache, my generator files are all mishmashed and I can't really do anything with them.

How can I reset it to whatever the new, updated default is?

[RMVX ACE] What exactly is IN the RTP?

Is it just the tilesets, images, music, etc that are in the RTP?

If so, couldn't I theoretically manually ONLY import the graphics and music I need, not include the RTP when compressing the game, and thus have a much smaller size game, easing on the upload/download time for people?

[RMVX ACE] How to call a script's function manually?

EDIT: Wrong person named in scripts

So I'm making the terminal mistake of trying to use Yami's ATB script and Yanfly's Skill Restricitons (ie, cooldown) script at the same time.

As many of you who have tried this before has discovered, the cooldowns never go down when a turn passes.

I'm trying to implement a workaround where a common event is called every turn, and uses a script call to call the cooldown script's "update_cooldowns" function.

However, just putting "update_cooldowns" in the script call just gives me an "undefined local method" error.

How do I go about calling script methods from within common events?



If you want to use Yami's ATB script and Yanfly's Skill restrict system to have cooldowns in an ATB system, just do this:

In the Game_Battler class, search (CTRL-F) for "on_turn_end"

Add "update_cooldowns #changed" to the end.

# * Processing at End of Turn
def on_turn_end
update_cooldowns #changed


[RMVX ACE] Trouble with Luna Engine Sample / Custom Battle "faces"

Ok, so to get myself reinvigorated to work on my stuff again after a long break, I've been experimenting with a game I'd like to make sometime in the future, and I've hit a visual snag in battles.

See I really want to show a full "battler" graphic instead of a "face" for the main characters, and the Yanfly combat overhaul I use can't do that. Then I found out about the Luna engine and have been experimenting with the free sample a bit.

(I'm aware some things are not aligned right, I'm just trying to get it working before I do that kind of thing. And yes, I'm aware that the gradient menu clashes with the menu skin, that's part of the problem)

However, I've hit a few snags.

1) When I tell the engine to use the windowskin I selected, it only uses it for actor commands and party commands, and does not show for skills or as a background for my "battlers"

I think it MIGHT have something to do with the fact I didn't import the "KGC_BitmapExtension" script from the battle demo. But I can't import that script, because it causes the game to immediately shut down the second I test-run it.

2) When I open the skill menu in combat, it hovers over my battlers and clashes with them horribly, making reading and selecting them a pain.

So I tinkered with the code to move the skills up...And now it looks like this.

Which is weird...But looks fine enough, I guess, except that I can't see what the heck I'm selecting again, because the new cursor that the Luna Engine creates is too subtle and I can't see it well enough.

3) The battle engine no longer shows the name of the monster I'm targeting when I target it.

Really, all I want is just to have full battlers instead of just faces. I'm not interested in that much more advanced menu creation, although that might be neat. It's just not my priority.

Honestly, if I can just fix that hard-to-see displaced skill menu problem (say, by adding a background behind it when it pops up, or a more visible cursor JUST for the skill menu, or something), I'll probably just go ahead with it like this (with the actor command windowskin replaced with a gradient menu too)

Anyone have these problems before or know how to fix them, or if the full version of the Luna Engine on the store makes this all a lot easier to work with/fixes these kinds of problems? Or if you know of a way/script to do the whole "battlers instead of faces" thing, that'd be great too.

(Note: No, I have not forgotten about Mayhem Maiden. I'm still working it. I'm just having trouble planning out the next dungeon, and I needed something else RPGmaker related to help my gears start turning again)

Need feedback on what I have so far (Demo inside)

EDIT2: The "save only at save points" function now works properly.

After months of work, I have a playable early build/demo of my RPG that I feel is ready for some feedback. :D Here it is!

I'm going to be taking the link down in about 2-3 weeks, so get it while it's hot! I'll probably put it back up at a later date on a game page on this site after I get some more done, and implemented some of the feedback I get.

The demo covers the first two "dungeons", and should last about 2 hours tops, unless you're on one of the harder modes and decide to grind for more mods or levels.

Recommended difficulty: Journey.

Story Premise:
Mayhem Maiden is an RPG set in the shared Arum Universe created by Fomar0153 and Indrah (see Dead Moon Night, Grumpy Knight, Etc), that asks the question "What if the damsel in distress rescued THEMSELVES for once?". It's supposed to be mostly lighthearted with a handful of more serious moments in between.

While trying to unravel the mystery of the so-called "unreachable" Fiend's Tower, a young woman named May is taken prisoner by the Fiends within it. Teaming up with three other abducted girls, they decide to break out on their own and take on the Fiends on their own turf. In the meantime, a party led by May's Ex are trying to stage a rescue attempt on their own. Hijinx ensue on both ends.

Gameplay premise:
There are no towns or world map. You've got a series of dungeons, and a means of traveling between them. Like many other games in the Arum Universe, equipping "Mods" plays a huge role in gameplay.

Each character has 7 slots that can be used to equip Mods that upgrade stats, or that teach new skills or alter existing ones. Customize yourself how you see fit!


Giving me Feedback is important! I want to know what "works" and what needs more work. If there are things you want improved, let me know! Your feedback will allow me to make the final game better! :D

Stuff I really want feedback on:
- Do you find the plot, characters and dialogue interesting? Are the main characters' personalities different enough from one another? Are you interested at all in Cyrus' side of the story? Do I get you into the action quick enough? Are you curious to read more of the "history of the tower" items?

- Are there any skills/Mods that you feel are useless or too powerful? (Aside from Angel's Veil. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to replace that one)

- What do you think of Holly's Overload mechanic? Did it worry you enough to try to avoid it? Or did you deliberately try to Overload?

- What did you think of how Shara works? Did you find any ways to "break" her system? (I'm actually concerned about making sure you can't break it)

- Do you think the player should have access to more mods early on, or is the current distribution is fine? Do you feel the balance of Stat Mods is fine?

:) Your feedback is appreciated.
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