I've been playing with RM2K since 2000. Been working on my current project since 2006. My approach to game-making involves attempting to do things that I've never seen in other games, and incorporating all of the elements of film making (lighting, music, symbolism, deep structure, plot twists, panning, zooming, cuts, etc.) into game making. The RPG's I've spent the most time playing are FF1 and FF6, followed by Super Mario RPG, FF4, and FF5.
The Sun Is A Star
Fantasy RPG with 6-character party size and mild humor


Monster Design - Mirror Maniac

In the Power Rangers Movie game for SNES, there's an enemy called Mirror Maniac who will appear as double, but one of them will have a mirror on their chest, and the other will have a plain chest. Only the one with the mirror on the chest is the real one and vulnerable to being hit.

So, the idea I'm suggesting to you all, is a monster who appears as double, but only one of them is the 'real' one / vulnerable to death. Either the real one has a visually distinguishing trait, or is distinguishable through their behavior patterns. But the main flaw in this idea is: if it were visually distinguishable, it would not take much ongoing skill after the first time that you figure out the secret. But it would, somewhat, if it were identifiable by the behavior patterns.

Tip - Map of available charsets

This is a tip for RPG development. Assuming that you have a certain array of charset resources, and you want each charset to represent a different NPC (i.e. you aren't generically reusing the same charset to depict 100 different characters)...

Create a map and fill it with each charset at your disposal. Then, whenever you use one of them in your game, remove them from this availability map. To navigate the map easier, you can organize the NPC's based on whether they appear to be good warriors, evil warriors, royalty, regular civilians, major NPC's, etc. Charsets that have extra frames for expressions like laughing and fainting should be prioritized for use as main characters or as major NPC's that have bigger roles.

Personally, I've found this practice to be helpful. But I know not everyone approaches game design the same way.

Ability idea - Speak with the Dead

Some of y'all might remember that, in Final Fantasy 5, there was an ability to avoid traps and detect secrets. So if you had these abilities active, you could see hidden treasure chests or be immune to trap damage.

What I'm proposing is a Speak With The Dead / Commune With The Dead spell. Whenever you cast it, or when active (your choice how you want to implement it), you will be able to see transparent ghosts on certain screens, and you will be able to speak to them. They might say things that give you extra hints, add extra flavor to the game, they might say who killed them, etc.

Story writing tips (from me. But I mean, add yours or whatever)

Some of my tips for writing stories / RPG writing.

Raise the Stakes:
Raising the stakes has the effect heightening the drama of the story after the player has already assigned an emotional value to the current goal. An example of raising the stakes would be if you were trying to win prize money to pay for a new tv, but then your kid gets sick and you need the money to pay for their operation.

Change the Immediate Goal:
Establish a goal / mission for the party, and just before they embark on it, someone barges-in to hand them a newly emergent mission with higher priority. This can be a variation of raising the stakes, since the new mission is more important than the previous one. This also has the effect of keeping the player guessing.

Characters Motivated by Seeds of Their Own Destruction:
This is just authentic writing. Characters who are motivated by their own mistakes that created their own suffering. This might manifest as being responsible for your child being kidnapped, because you took them to a big city and showed-off your child's talent, and now the character is extra motivated to get their kid back. Or it could be that a character is seeking revenge for their dead friend, but this character also gave their friend the push they needed that set into motion the events that would get them killed (e.g. encouraged them to be a racecar driver, and then they died in a car race).

Underscore the Importance:
You see this a lot in Naruto, where you get to a fight scene, and the story cuts away from the fight to either remind you or show you why this fight is so dramatic. That might take the form of a flashback to the happy moments in a character's life before they die in the fight. Or, it might show some flashback of the lives of the villains, to some time back when they were children and they first became friends when one of them protected the other from bullies.

The Hook:
A hook in storytelling is an event that is so juicy, dramatic, or mysterious that the viewer is then hooked and needs to see more. The X-Files had great hooks. Back before I was a regular X-Files viewer, the show would come on after NBA basketball, and before I was able to grab the remote to change the channel, I would see some wild hook, like the appearance of some actual real life gargoyle doing something in darkness, and I just had to finish the episode to see if gargoyles were real within the show's universe. Our community doesn't always stick to an amateur RPG and finish it like we do with commercial games, because they're playing the game on blind faith that it might be good, and the game could prove to be a low-quality waste of time; which is why the game has to prove its merits within the first hour of gameplay. For this reason, it's important that your game have a hook that keeps the player invested and frantically curious in the early going.

Illogical Mysteries that are Logical:
I noticed this a lot in the show Lost. A character will do something so completely illogical that it would seem like they were possessed or mind controlled or something. Why the hell are they doing that thing that makes no sense? It's so mysterious and intriguing, but you're gonna quit watching the show if they don't give you a damned good explanation for this. Later in the show, they do a flashback to like 7 hours earlier and tell the story of what that character was doing up until that mysterious point, and by the time it catches-up to the mysterious behavior, their motivation for why they were behaving that way makes perfect sense. So then you don't completely lose faith that most or all of the mysteries will eventually be explained.

Wrong Man Theory:
Alfred Hitchcock believed that there was something very dreadful about being accused of a crime that you didn't commit (especially murder). In Hitchcock movies like North By Northwest, once a character is accused of one crime, they don't turn themselves in to the police and try to resolve the confusion. Instead, they go on the run and attempt to prove their innocence, often committing more crimes in the process, or casting greater suspicion on themselves in the process, which digs the hole deeper. While all this is happening, the main character might be running from the real criminals at the same time that they are running from the cops. This phenomenon of digging the hole deeper happens again and again, amounting to a calamitous chain of unfortunate events.

Sustained Tension:
One thing that makes a show really bingeable is when a character is in a sustained state of trouble and never has a chance to come up for air. As soon as they deal with the problem in front of them, a new one immediately emerges like the next domino falling. If the main character ever gets too much security for too long, the story can become uninteresting. They should always be on the run from the villain, on the run from the police, trying to protect endangered villagers before the trouble arrives, attempting to pay a ransom, trying to cover-up a lie or a crime, racing against a clock, or some other kind of pressure.

Irrational Characters:
In reality, a lot of people have irrational motives or make irrational decisions. Not to mention, a lot of people make pleasure-seeking decisions or give to inaction out of laziness. A lot of novice writers make the mistake of writing each character to be dispassionate, rational robots that single-mindedly pursue their one goal. Characters making irrational decisions can potentially help you make leaps in advancing the plot in ways that, if your characters were totally rational, you would tie yourself in knots trying to think of how to connect A to B *logically*.

RPG-specific tips:

Artificial Urgency:
Create scenarios that have frantic music and countdown timers. This can make the player feel heightened urgency. If you don't complete the scenario by the time the countdown timer runs out, you don't necessarily need to force a game over (for example, even in the fail case, the characters could come-up with some last second workaround to survive the explosion). But making the player panic and play with urgency can increase the drama, the emotional engagement, and the fun.

Character Development vs Mobility:
If your RPG story spans cities across the whole world, then most likely each NPC in the towns is not getting a lot of spotlight or character development. If your RPG spans less area, and your party is revisiting the same towns many times, then each of your NPC's speak some dozens of pages of dialogue. This means that the player will begin to learn the NPCs' names, personalities, backstories, and they will be more humanized. And that also means more dramatic effect when you kill off an NPC. So, if you want NPC's that the player cares about, you need to restrict your RPG's world to hanging around a specific area. Another thing you could do is have NPC's who follow you from one town to another; which could be because they're stalking you, or they're coincidentally visiting the same cities, or they are a rival who's after the same goal, or they're an escort character who doesn't belong to your fighting party, or they were sent to deliver a message to you, or the villain kidnapped them and brought them to you as a hostage.

Exceeding Game Engine limitations -- Sega Genesis Batman edition

Hey. I hope that this post isn't taken to be commercial spam / promotion. But I saw a youtube video about how the Sega Genesis game The Adventures Of Batman & Robin appeared to exceed the technical limitations of the Sega Genesis. They created an effect that appeared to render 3-D polygons using a much more basic and available technique, which was the skewing of images. I just thought that this was a good lesson for how to resourcefully apply the tools available to you to create the illusion of capabilities that are not available to you. Newer RPG developers must learn that, although an RPG Maker's event commands have one obvious purpose, that you need to learn to figure out ways to apply these commands in non-linear ways to achieve novel effects. So, I just thought that this 8-minute video might open up some of the creative windows in your brain. (Note: I'm not affiliated with this youtube channel in any way.)

(Solved) My Avatar Gone

For the past 10 years or so, I've had a picture of "The Most Interesting Man In The World" as my forum avatar. It was probably more relevant and resonant back then than it would be now. Either way, to the extent that I have any sort of recognition or brand on this site (I mostly don't), that avatar may be associated with it.

Well anyways, my avatar is now blank. Did some moderator delete it due to some reason? I could reupload it if it just got lost for no reason. If it got deleted with reasons, then no one sent me a message of their reasoning; so I mean... lesson not learned and I'll just do it again.

Post Download of Incomplete Game?

I'm pretty sure I included a game installer with my game upload. My game has been approved, but the installer is not included. My game is currently incomplete, but about 85% done. At first, I thought "it's okay that the download is missing, this gives me time to enhance the game before anyone starts playing it. I can add the installer later." At any rate, as time goes by, my game will shift further down the list of "New Games," and lose visibility before anyone plays it.

I'd like feedback of whether it's preferred to post a game download while the game is in progress so people can try out the incomplete version, or if I should wait until it's complete. Do people mind playing incomplete games?

The current amount of quality gameplay is probably 12-20 hours before the towns and dungeons start getting janky / incomplete in what would be the final 2-5 hours of gameplay.

RM2K(3) charsets that match monstersets

Hello, my game has touch encounters, therefore I've decided that for every enemy type in my game, I'm going to need matching charsets and monstersets. They don't have to be so very identical, but for example, if I have an ogre monsterset, I can't use it unless I find a corresponding ogre charset. I'm not looking for ogres in particular, in fact, I have a match for that, but my question is...

I have hundreds, maybe thousands of monstersets on my hard drive, but very few charsets of said monsters. I have looked through the resources of many websites, but the monster charset selection seems pretty poor. Do you have any suggestions? Maybe you know of a website that has a good selection of RM2K(3) charsets that look good and are of monsters.
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