I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
The Unofficial Squaresoft MUD is a free online game based on the worlds and combat systems of your favorite Squaresoft games. UOSSMUD includes job trees from FFT and FF5, advanced classes from multiple other Square games, and worlds based extremely accurately upon Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, and Final Fantasies 5, 6, and 7. Travel through the original worlds and experience events that mirror those of the original games in an online, multiplayer format.

If a large, highly customized MUD, now over 10 years old and still being expanded, with a job system and worlds based on some of the most popular console RPGs seems interesting to you, feel free to log on and check it out. Visit uossmud.sandwich.net for information about logging on.
Born Under the Rain
Why does the jackal run from the rain?


Blue Magic (and other "missable" skills)

So, let's quote two of my friends from the Unofficial Squaresoft MUD.

Dana: Blue mages are, hands down, my favorite type of character in any game.
Omicron: Blue magic is an awful outdated system and I can't think of any justification for using it.

Not exact quotes, but pretty close.

Neither of these guys has terribly unusual taste in games, so it seems like this is a real issue. I'll try to run down some of the pros and cons.

- People like collecting things. Jesus, do they ever.
- People who collect things like them to be useful, not just give 10 achievement points.
- As skill-learning methods go, this is one of the more unique.
- Because using better tactics in battle makes it less likely the enemies will have a chance to cast learnable spells, the difficulty curve evens out, giving easier challenges to players that are not as good.

- People don't like to miss things. They especially don't like to miss things that are impossible or extremely difficult to go back to.
- People who miss things really hate it when they are penalized for missing those things.
- It's often pretty hard to tell when you've missed a spell, and finding the spells is almost pure chance.
- Because using better tactics in battle makes it less likely the enemies will have a chance to cast learnable spells, you feel like you are being punished for doing better, which is the opposite of how RPGs are supposed to work.

I'm sure I'm missing some points, but that's what I was able to come up with off the top of my head. I was planning on including at least two different types of blue mages in my game (one traditional blue mage, and one thief who has to steal his skills from enemies) so I'm very interested to hear how strong the love and the hate are for our blue-cloaked friends.

Atoa battlers

So I'm having trouble finding any animated battlers for Atoa's battle system. Cool battle system, basically like Melody only better and for RMXP. But there are not nearly enough battlers for it.

Anyone know where I can find some? The system comes with some but not nearly enough to make a game. Google searches for atoa battlers yields only one result, which has about a dozen humans and no monsters.

I painstakingly assembled one Suikoden 2 enemy into the right format after ripping it manually via an emulator and the Print Scrn key and manual pixel deletion in MS Paint. But I don't have enough patience to do that another hundred times, since it took me almost two hours.

Good-looking areas vs. good-playing puzzles

We all like our areas to look interesting, to feel real, to be at least recognizably semi-realistic. Right? That's our natural inclination as RPG world designers - appearance takes top priority.

Except what about when it doesn't?

Platformer and adventure games have had to deal with this conundrum since the dawn of time. Almost universally they build their areas in favor of gameplay at the expense of aesthetics and believability. While some designers manage to pull off both, it's extremely rare to find a successful adventure game in which the developer sacrificed ease of gameplay in favor of ease on the eyes. Platformer games are full of inexplicable spikes, levers, weirdly-placed walls, random barriers, inexplicably long and windy corridors with no side rooms, objects that serve no purpose but to get in your way, and - of course - the feature the whole genre is named after, mid-air platforms.

Yet in RPGs, these types of map features are all frowned upon as gross-looking. They detract from the game. People playing RPGs have a different expectation of their environments.

I can't really blame them, especially if the game uses random battles and lacks puzzles. The environment isn't really part of the gameplay at all in that case. And if the game has some areas with puzzles but others without puzzles, the difference between the two can be especially offputting. But trying to make puzzles without abandoning all sense of realism is a daunting task. Complex puzzles don't often occur naturally in the real world. And if you try to make a puzzle fit in perfectly with an area's normal realistic graphics, it often becomes very unclear what's a puzzle and what's just scenery, which leaves the game feeling unintuitive.

How do you guys prefer designers to handle this in RPGs that have a handful areas with puzzles, like the Suikoden or Final Fantasy games? What about in RPGs that are centered around having tons of puzzles in every dungeon, like the Wild ARMs series or Lufia 2? Do you have less tolerance for bad graphics on account of puzzles in RPGs than you do in adventure games?

The dumbest idea you ever tried to make

I have idiotic ideas for games all the time. Every day, flowing constantly through my head, are brainstorms of horrible potential plans, which occasionally culminate in sudden urges to do something really awful. Usually these pass before long, but sometimes I end up spending a fair amount of time on them before giving up - like when I tried to hack Final Fantasy Tactics to replace the entire game's story with that of Final Fantasy 6.

So what's the worst idea you've ever actually spent any time on? If you just thought about it for a while, maybe looked up some info, and then gave up, it doesn't count. It has to be something you were actually dumb enough to seriously pursue for at least a little while.

For me, it would probably be when I found the Phoenix Wright Case Maker, which lets you create Phoenix Wright style games, and attempted to create a Chrono Trigger spinoff with it - Chancellor Yakra: Ace Attorney. You played as Chancellor Yakra in the year 1000 AD, and the game's first case was to find Crono guilty of kidnapping the princess. After that there were going to be two more buildup cases in which the chancellor's Mystic ancestry was revealed and expanded on, and probably involving time travel, and then the final case would be that in which you had to find King Guardia guilty of treason. I spent about a week on this before deciding I hated creating all the graphics too much to continue. But it would have been pretty hilarious.

Making a custom font

Okay, so I found a font that is the one used in Chrono Trigger. I want to use it in my RMXP game. But the problem is, it's not a real font file. It's just a series of .bmp pictures designed for use in a program called Bitmap Font Writer.

I want to create a real font, one that can be used in RPG Maker. Can anyone recommend a program that would be good for creating a font that I already have bitmap images of? I downloaded High-Logic Font Creator, but it is indecipherable and doesn't seem to let me paste in bitmaps. I am okay with ending up with a crappy monospaced font.

Alternately, if anyone has a proper Chrono Trigger font lying around, that would save me a ton of work. But I couldn't find one on google.

Download link not working

There's some kind of weird site database error. You can go to http://rpgmaker.net/games/1642/downloads/1573/ and click the download button for yourself. It says "CSRF verification failed. Request aborted."

The main download for my game's .exe installer is also broken in the same way, however the .zip download is not.

This is what the download manager page looks like:

The file is hosted at my website, and works fine.

Curious, since the .zip and .exe downloads are almost identical. The only difference I can think of is that the two downloads experiencing problems used to be hosted on rpgmaker.net until a few months ago, when I changed them to link to my website instead. The fact that the .zip download is the only one that says "This download is hosted on another server other than rpgmaker.net" bothers me, since all three are hosted on my website.

I know people have downloaded both the font patch and the .exe version of the game since then, as recently as two days ago. It was working then, and I haven't touched the font patch download at all in weeks.

I tried to fix the game's main download by uploading it to rpgmaker.net again, instead of leaving it on my website. It took ten minutes to upload the file, and then still gave the same error. And in fact, after doing that, if I go to edit the download, it still shows the external URL.

Something really weird is going on.

Oh My Guitar Hero

I made this for something else, but I know you guys will appreciate it.

Best read while listening to the song.

Let's Try: A new type of feedback

A couple people started individual topics for their own videos, but since it's becoming a trend - and in an effort to make it become more of a trend - I'm starting a general topic for these videos. Full credit goes to YDS both for coming up with the original idea and for making the idea a reality.

Let's Try is a type of video production resembling the popular Let's Play videos of commercial games, but with much more of a focus on detailed feedback for the developer's sake. What this means is that the person recording the video is expected to nitpick about minor details, and to explain why they do or don't like what is happening in the game. While the videos can certainly still be entertaining for other players to watch, it's not the point - they're really meant to serve more as a more direct form of feedback or testing.

Making a Let's Try video is a happy medium between playing a game and discussing it, letting you just record yourself as you play it - generally for the first time - so that the developer can see exactly how you respond to the game's scenarios. Any developer who's ever had the chance to watch someone play their game knows how amazingly helpful it can be. And at the same time, it can be more enjoyable for the player, because instead of just playing an impersonal game, they are playing it with a direct line to the developer open the entire time, which can make frustrating parts of the game feel much less frustrating, and if you're like me, maybe even make the enjoyable parts of the game feel much more enjoyable.

Players and fellow developers alike are encouraged to record their own Let's Try videos. This thread can be used for requesting videos, offering to create videos, and posting videos, as well as any sort of questions or discussions related to the video-making process or to any of the videos themselves. (This thread may grow rather large. Feel free to start your own personal threads if you have lots of videos or expect lots of responses.)

Identify this bugged Zelda midi!

So, this midi doesn't loop properly in RM2K3, and causes bugs when it reaches its end. I could just pick a new song, but if possible I'd like to keep using the same one. It sounds fitting for a prison tower, to me.

Problem: in order to find another midi version of this song, I have to know what song it is. It sure does sound like it's from Zelda, but it's been way too long since I played most of the Zelda games. Anyone recognize it?


"Not enough memory" RM2K3 bug

A user who played my game recently reported that at a certain point in the game (right before the final boss, though that's probably not relevant), he stepped on a save point to save, and the game told him "Not enough memory" and crashed, which corrupted his most recent save file, turning it into a 0 byte file.

I looked around some on google but couldn't find any solutions to this problem - in fact, there's barely any record at all of it happening to anyone else. There's a vague reference to it being related to midi music, so I replaced the song that was playing in the room where the error occured, but that's just stabbing blindly in the dark. I haven't heard of anyone else having this problem with my game - it certainly never happened to me or any of my testers in our 20+ playthroughs.

Any advice on what sorts of things could cause this error, or ideas on what sorts of things might fix it?