RED_NOVA'S PROFILE

Red_Nova
The all around prick
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Prayer of the Faithless
On the brink of the apocalypse, two friends struggle to find what is worth saving

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Can we mark certain PMs as important?



Does the above inbox look familiar to you? If it does, then stop hacking my account. Is the above inbox reminiscent of your own: multiple PMs with the same title? Then perhaps the following situation might seem familiar to you:

I was reading through some old conversations because I was trying to remember what unity said at one point when I realized I was doing something hilariously stupid: I was clicking a message, seeing that it didn't contain the comment I was looking for, backing out, and then clicking the same message again. And again. And again. I thought to myself, "Sheesh, this would be so much simpler if I could mark that one message as important for later referencing."

I suppose I could make it easier by deleting all the other PMs around it, but I really don't want to do that for reasons similar to why RMN doesn't delete threads, accounts, etc.

Is this a thing that's even possible? It would be awesome if it was.

EDIT to clarify what I had in mind: Perhaps add an !Important button next to the delete button. PMs that are marked as important could just have a bold title, just like if it were an unread message. Or perhaps change the font color to something to differentiate between unread and important? Or perhaps have an flag icon next to the PM title? I don't know.


Somewhat related question:

What's the difference between making a new topic here and posting it on the Feature Idea List thread?

I lost my face- er, avatar!

I spent some down time today drawing up a crappy new avatar. However, when I uploaded it to my locker and put the file path into the avatar image box, the url vanished after I clicked update. I tried a few more times with no success. I thought something was wrong with the new avatar, so I tried to put the old image back up. But with no success. I tried doing a hard refresh, but still no success.

Here's where it gets weird: I can edit everything else in my profile just fine, but it's the avatar image that's being stubborn.

I remember someone (I think it was Nivlacart) that had a similar issue, but I can't find where he solved it.

Anyways, help on this would be appreciated. Thanks!

Trying too hard?

Gam Mak is fun, yes? It's fun making the maps, writing the stories, designing the battle system, etc. As time goes on and the game gets closer to completion, you realize just how much you believe in your game, and you want it to be great. So you put more thought, effort, and focus into fine-tuning the different parts. Maybe this forest map could use some more flowers? Maybe there can be a hidden item in one of these barrels over here? Maybe this cutscene should be rewritten so that it better conveys the tone it was trying to present?

And then you realize that, earlier in development, you made a lot of mistakes. Whether the mistake was from inexperience with the engine, a simple oversight, or discovered through player feedback, and you go back and fix those mistakes.

Oh wait! But the rest of the game hasn't been made yet! You need to make these last few cutscenes! But you need to keep in mind the overall themes of the game, and the last cutscene is where it all comes together! If you want your game to remain in the player's mind after they are finished with it, it can't just be a half-assed scene. You REALLY need to put some thought and effort into it! So it's back to the grindstone.

You plan out the next few cutscenes. But a certain character's dialogue just doesn't quite convey the tone you want. Sure, it's acceptable, but you don't want acceptable. You want awesome! So you go back and rewrite this character's words. But wait, that rewrite causes some problems with ANOTHER character's dialog! So you go and rework THEIRs.

You look over at the clock and gasp. It's 2:30 in the morning. You were so busy trying to make sure every part of your game is great that you spent two and a half hours just staring at your screen, getting no actual work done.

Oh well, you tell yourself. There's always tomorrow...

24 hours later, this exact same process repeats itself. Then the next day, then the next day, etc. Pretty soon a week goes by and you have nothing to show for it except a pair of sore eyeballs and a crappy mood. Neither of which help your situation.


I have basically just described the past week for me. It's so frustrating when I could have been done with my game about two days ago, but I want to make this game GREAT, so I keep tweaking, reworking, and polishing. I've spent over a year on this, and I don't want it to look like some hastily scrapped together mess. On the other hand, I want to release the game within this lifetime, and obsessing over every little detail is NOT the way to go about it. But the workload isn't getting lighter by just staring at the screen. As time goes on, making games becomes less of a fun activity and more of a chore.

Have you ever had this problem? What do you do when you realize that you're trying too hard?

The first level

Shigeru Miyamoto has gone on record saying that, when he designed the original Mario Bros. game, he designed level 1-2 FIRST, then all the way to the end. Afterwards, and ONLY afterwards, he designed level 1-1. That's a really interesting philosophy. And that statement alone made me realize all the things I did wrong with my game's first dungeon.

A first level is supposed to be the level that hooks the player in. What makes it interesting to them. Starting the development of the first level when you don't have a clear design in mind for the entire game can certainly be disastrous for the entire project. It's supposed to give the player an idea of what the game is gonna be like.

So I ask you: What's your philosophy on the first level? Do you start developing at a demo stage? Or do you start from the beginning of the game and work your way forward? Is your first level there for story purposes and less about gameplay? Or vice versa? What are some examples of good first levels? Bad first levels? Do you like first levels that go right into the action, or do you like taking times to establish story and characters before the fighting heats up?

Games you love but everyone hates.

(There's that lovely topic creating bug at work again. You can get rid of this one, please.)

Games you love but everyone hates.

There are good games. There are bad games. There are games that had wonderful potential but squandered it. And there are games that you enjoy for some reason even though, by all rights, you should hate them because of how terrible they were developed. This is a topic about the latter.

For me, a game I strangely enjoy is Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Yes, the A.I is terrible. Yes, the story is stupid. Yes, the characters were all HUNK wannabees. Yes, the Spec Ops fights were garbage. Yes, the set pieces were terrible. By all rights, I should have played it for about ten minutes then traded it in.

But I noticed when I was fighting zombies that I was, I can't believe I'm saying this, actually having fun! With hundreds of zombies, limited ammo, and a risk of becoming a zombie yourself with every hit you take, I really felt like I was in a survival situation where I had to pick my shots and use all my abilities to the fullest to escape with my life. When I went online and played with a friend, he had the exact same response.

And then we played online multiplayer, and we were still having fun. I guess bad enemy A.I really bogged down the offline campaign, because when we were playing against actual humans, it was loads of fun!

Honestly, if Operation Raccoon City was JUST about shooting zombies, I would have given the game an 8/10, with the terrible A.I bogging it down two pegs. The Spec Ops fights, unfortunately, brought the game down to a 4/10 for me.

I see what Slant Six was TRYING to do. The concept was absolutely brilliant, and the mechanics were very well implemented, like shooting a soldier in the stomach to make him bleed so the hordes of zombies would go after the enemy and not you. But too many little details ruined the overall game for me. Yet, for some reason, I keep coming back for more. I keep playing the missions where you only fight zombies, and I'm still having fun, despite constant taunts from my other gamer friends.

So what about you? What's a game you enjoy even though you shouldn't?

Video Game Confessions

Ever had one of those moments in gaming where you thought, "I can't tell anyone about this..." Let's tell everyone about those right here.

I'm not talking about moments where a game makes you feel bad for something that supposed to happen. I'm talking about things that you've done in games where you feel like you shouldn't have passed natural selection because of how stupid it was.

I was playing Mario Kart 7 with a friend a few months ago. We were on Daisy Hills. I got a banana peel item on the first lap and tried to trip him up with it. I failed, but the peel remained on the track. Fast forward to the final lap. We were neck and neck. It looked like I was just about to get past him, when I saw that same banana peel. But I saw it too late. I slipped on the banana peel I had laid out for my friend... I lost the race because of my own banana peel.

I haven't touch Mario Kart since then.

Protecting your project from thieves.

How to Protect your game from Thieves

Hello, everyone. I have a question that has been bothering me ever since I started working on my game. I have my own solutions to the problem, but I wanted to check with you guys, who have may more experience with this sort of thing than I do, and see if my solutions would work or if you guys would have better ones. I don't know if this should be an article or whatever, but depending on the information gained here, I might just repost this as something more significant than a random forum thread. I'm posting this because I couldn't find this same topic after searching the forums, so I hope I'm contributing something worthwhile. Anyway, on to the topic:

You see, making a game is all well and good. Posting images of works in progress is all well and good. It's great to get some feedback on your work in progress. But there is a major problem with doing this: This is the internet. And there are assholes on the internet. Assholes that will, without a second thought, take a copy of your game and post it on some other website, claiming it as their own.

This is the biggest reason why I've never even MENTIONED my development to other people, let alone post information about it online. Because there's no official copyright on your game, what's to stop some random guy in the forums to pull a Bill Gates and take a copy of your game, complete it with some shoddy patchwork, and post it as their own? Then, all the hard work you've done will be someone else's success. And, to take it a step further, the thief would then try to push legal action against you and claim that your work was actually their own.

I do understand that there is nothing actually physically STOPPING someone from reposting your work. What I'm trying to do is figure out ways that you can PROVE that you are the original owner if an aforementioned asshole pulls this stunt.

What to do about it:

I have come up with the following solutions to this problem. I ask that you read over these carefully, and critique these solutions, elaborate on them some, and/or even come up with your own original solutions. I'll edit this post with information as I see it coming.

1: Post encrypted files

Pro: As this is a no-brainer, I put this one first. With encrypted files, a potential thief would not have access to the assets, and therefore would not be able to edit the project itself.

Con: Honestly, I can't think of a con for this one. I think I just answered my own question, but let's keep going. Maybe one of you can think of a con for this method.

EDIT: I've gotten a couple of different suggestions for a con. Here's a quote that summarizes it the quickest:

author=eplipswich
Oh, there certainly is a con. Ever heard of decrypting? There are definitely people who are capable of decrypting files encrypted by different people.



2: Keep a repository of your game and assets in progress

Pro: A thief would not be able to have copies of the works in progress, so that alone could prove that you are the original owner. All the thief would have access to would be the completed project(Or completed work in progress), not have access to early stages of assets. For example, in the game I'm making, I have drawn all the character faces myself. But the last step I take before importing it to RPG Maker is applying an Anti-Alias filter. So I have two copies of each faceset. One with the filter, and one without. These copies would prove that I was the one who developed everything.

Con: A thief could claim that he/she doesn't have copies, and that I would put some sort of filter on the images to remove the Anit-Alias. The thief would then go on to claim that I'm just trying to make myself look like the victim.

3: Use the post date of the first time you put your project out there

Pro: No matter how soon the thief steals your project and posts it up on their own website, it will always be at a later date than when you did. So all you would have to do is take a screenshot of the first post you made or even provide a link to the first post, and then that could prove you were the original uploader.

Con: Remember when I made the Bill Gates analogy earlier? Well, going by that logic, a thief could make the claim that I completed it first, but that I stole from the thief.

4: Get a copyright protection

Pro: This is perhaps the most surefire way to protect your game. If you do this, you probably don't even need the above methods.

Con: It's costly(Hey! $35 is a lot for a guy on a budget!), plus it feels a bit... excessive. Especially if you're making a free game. Plus, the rules would get quite complicated if you're using other people's works in your own, like other people's facesets, scripts, or music. Using this method would surely degrade the quality of your game if you aren't good at drawing or scripting.


EDIT: And here are some methods provided by Archeia_Nessiah:

author=Archeia_Nessiah
1.) Self Dissolving Scripts. Basically make all your script files dissolve or check an important thing and then if it can't find that, it will corrupt data files. So if people tried to use it in their own games, yeah. It's not 100% fool proof, but for someone who knows very little RGSS and tries to steal your stuff, this would work.

2.) Clear all Switches and Variables Names. Basically Change the max to 1, then change it back to 500 for quick clear. At least it'd make things harder to find.

3.) Remember XYZ in rm2k3? If you can somehow do the same thing with RMXP-RMVXAce to read a specialized image format, that will already help you a lot.

4.) Clear all comments and make sure all the aliases in your script are made with your username or some such.

Audio Encryption is still impossible, unfortunately. :(


Well, those are my solutions. If you have any more, or want to discuss one of my own methods, please reply. Thanks!

Taking a deep breath and jumping into the forums!

Hey, RMN. This is Red_Nova, some random guy who's making his grand debut on the forums! Sound the trumpets!

No? Okay then...

In all seriousness, I've been a slave to RPGs since I was a kid, and now that I'm older, I've decided to take it to the next level. Here, I'm hoping to get my name out there so I can use sites like this as a reference for when I apply for a job. I've been working on all sorts of games from all sorts of mediums, trying to find something that works for me. Settling on RPG Maker VX Ace, I've begun work on a game that I've really wanted to do for a long time. Production is about 4 months in the making, but it's not at a phase where I'm ready to share online. It's getting there, though.

I consider myself a writer. I've been writing all sorts of stories, from short stories to even a full length, 400 page freakin NOVEL (Which will remain unpublished since it's absolutely terrible). But I never could find the right medium for storytelling, hence I've never been satisfied with what I've done. This is why I've never scored very well in creative writing classes. But when I discovered RPG Maker about 4 years ago, I knew I finally found my outlet. Not strictly RPGs, per se, but games in general.

The biggest reason I created this account was because I had lots of questions concerning development protection. The primary being asset security and financial risk vs. reward. So I'm hoping that I can get my questions answered, and share what I've been working on once I have something presentable. If anyone could direct me to the best forum to ask said questions, I'd be very appreciative.

Looking forward to talking with you all.
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