I make and play games - playing games I use as a reward for reaching specific milestones within my various development projects. I've played a wide variety of games, having started at the tender age of three and worked my way up over the years so that, at one point, I was actually going out of my way to find the original games (cartridges, CDs, whatever) to play.

All games I elect to review must be 'Complete' status (though games still in the process of clearing out bugs are fine and will be noted in the review itself). These games must have a download on RMN (as I pass them to my Dropbox queue) and need to be self contained - everything I need to play should be in the download, without needing to install anything (including RTPs; we aren't living in the days of slow connections anymore, people). You should also have any fixes in the download, not something I have to look through the comments for - I'm going to be avoiding them like the plague until I've finished the review.

When I review a game, I try to play as much of it as I can possibly stand before posting the review - I make notes/write part of the review as I'm playing, so a lot of what goes into the review is first impressions of sections. I'm also not a stickler - things don't have to be perfect - but I've seen many examples of things not done perfectly but, at the same time, not done horribly. I rate five categories on a scale from 1 to 10: Story, Graphics, Sound, Gameplay & Pacing, and Mapping & Design. 5 is average to me, so it's not necessarily saying that category is bad - it's saying it's middle of the road. Games within the same editor are compared to one another, not games across editors (I'm not going to hold an RM2k game to the same standards as a VX Ace game due to system limitations, but I won't let it hold back the RM2k game's rating) - unless the game is part of a series across multiple editors.
Legion Saga X - Episode ...
A fan updated version of the RPG Maker 2000 classic



How to get the value of an actor's TP and store it in a variable?

Curse you inconsistent zero-based indexing!

(thanks for the backup)
Yeah, this stuff really ought to be consistent.

It's not hard to make it consistent within RPG Maker! You just need to rewrite all the code and oh god...

Magic the Whaaa...? My friends at school keep talking about magic the gathering. Even tried giving me some cards. My question is; What?

Greatest physical card game I've ever played, and I've played a lot.
But it will suck your money away if you're not careful. ;_;

I've realized my characters are starting to become more complex.

Will your next game be about the epic quest to get the Deep Dish of Cheekago? Like Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, but with more RTP!

Dynamic Difficulty in RPGs

Actually, XIII (and XIII-2, which kind of improves on it) is what I'm basing a lot of the reasoning on. You don't just fight the same group over and over unless you're stopping to grind - as you move forward, the game presents you with different groups of enemies and you rarely have to fight the same pack of enemy more than 1 or 2 times (and even then, those 1 or 2 times are generally enemies that do push you for the area).

Yes, XIII in particular is a game I complain about having a lot of battles that drag out unnecessarily - there's a number of fights where, with no effort at all, I can sit in Diversity and tap the X button while talking to my friend and paying no attention to the screen. It's particularly bad on Pulse where the game expects you to stop and grind (and complete about 1/4 to 1/2 the area's content before you finish fighting Orphan) because otherwise you're gonna have a bad time finishing the rest of the game. But it also has a number of cases where the normal enemies push you right to the edge and RNG having the AI do an attack that effects the entire group instead of hitting a single target can make a huge difference in how the fight goes. Indeed, an enemy attacking at an inopportune time can throw off your sequence; FFXIII tends to address this by eventually giving you the ability to ignore these interrupts, which... is weird, since those interrupts are actually what make the fights less predictable.

I call it a failure in design and failing to live up to the possibility of the system if players at the intended power level are able to repeatedly clearing an enemy in the exact same health position. Yes, doing the fight enough times (without actually increasing in power level) could eventually average out to 80%, but that's pretty much how RNG works - it eventually averages out over a large enough range to an expected set of values (ie. generating a number between 1 and 10000 will, with enough iterations, prove every number has the same chance of being generated). You balance around the expected set but understand that there's going to be swings either way.

Dynamic Difficulty in RPGs

I'm generally not a fan of "healing after every fight" implementations unless the game has *very* diverse battles, or some other setup to ensure that you never really fight the same battle twice. Otherwise, the challenges end up being redundant. A battle which uses up 80% of your characters' resources is just as mindless as one which you can finish just by mashing the "attack" button if you can apply the same sequence over and over again, and not worry about what you're using up for successive battles.

If it's only pushing 80%, you're missing the advantage to healing to full after every battle. Sure, it might hit 80% sometimes, but if it's that close, it should be possible for the battle to push it closer - and possibly finish you off (if you're doing battles like this, you need to either a) have save spots very frequently; b) have a restart option that starts them not too far back; or c) have avoidable combat. With the ability to push the player's resources, current content (that which you don't outlevel/outgear, not in the current area) should run the risk of defeating you - especially bosses - if you're just mashing through or it should have enough variance to actually be interesting and not a mindless drone.

I dunno, maybe I just like the difficulty a little higher after playing a number of games recently where the difficulty on "normal mode" wasn't up to snuff.

How to get the value of an actor's TP and store it in a variable?

I can confirm that $game_actors is where the information is stored.

The key difference between the variable ID number and the actor ID number is that, where the variable ID will be the exact number you see in game, the actor ID will be one less than the number you see in the database.

RPGMVX - Attack Button

This is why I don't like working with unformatted code - it makes it hard to read and find things. In the future, just to make it easier for everyone, use the code tag and not the quote tag - it'll preserve formatting like in my snippets.

Yes, editing the scripts can fix it - I've done some pretty heavy battle edits before, so I know what scripting can do for the battle menus. =P

Did you save before running the test? Any time you alter scripts, you need to save before running a battle test so that it compiles the scripts. If you don't, the battle test runs using the last compiled set of scripts you have.

Basically, what the last snippet I posted does is account for what you just described by changing the index values to match - Skills becomes Index 0, Guard Index 1, and Items Index 2.

If after saving so it compiles my fix didn't work, then either a) you have another script that's overwriting the default battle scene, or b) there's another place aside from Scene_Battle that also somehow deals with this particular function.

Dynamic Difficulty in RPGs

I've played a lot with dynamic difficulties. You can either make common battles take 1 minute on easy or 5 minutes on hard. I'd much much rather have 2 minute battles than 5. When the battle takes so long that I forget what I was doing in the map, that's not a good thing.

I think, in general, a battle should never take very long at all for a regular, run of the mill battle, no matter the difficulty. Thirty seconds on normal and a minute on hard would really be about the max for a normal fight if I'm encountering more than a handful in any given area - don't make a fight just drag on because you can; if it's clear I'm going to finish a fight with no trouble, I want it done as soon as possible, not drag out to three minutes of no-strategy-mash-the-attack-button slogging.

Hell, difficulty increase shouldn't just make the battle longer - it should make it harder. Enemy just uses an attack and a fire spell that hits one guy on normal? Well, now on hard it uses an attack and the fire spell, but it also now inflicts "burn" status with the fire spell and hits all your characters when it uses it. This works best in games that let you push the limits of individual battles (you're healed to full after each fight and statuses are cleared, so every fight can drain a lot more resources) than games with persistent states where the difficulty is in taxing your resources between refills.

RPGMVX - Attack Button

Well, this looks nice and easy; can't test to see if it works but...

Find this section in Scene_Battle and replace what's there with what's here and it should take care of it. Indentation doesn't matter; it's just my personal preference for how to format code.

# * Update Actor Command Selection
def update_actor_command_selection
if Input.trigger?(Input::B)
elsif Input.trigger?(Input::C)
case @actor_command_window.index
when 0 # Skill
when 1 # Guard
when 2 # Item

If you're looking to get any sort of start on scripting, just compare the originals of both sections to the altered versions I posted; they're pretty simple changes, so it's not hard to understand what I did.

There's probably some other sections of Scene_Battle that can be removed since you're no longer calling them (basically the ones that just handle regular attacks), but it doesn't hurt to leave them in - the size they add to the file is negligible (a couple kilobytes, max, if they're not well written).

Keep in mind - this just keeps the player from use the attack command. You need to make sure when making enemies that they, too, don't use the regular attack command if you want to keep the verisimilitude of the setting - but because the basic attack code was left in place, it's still possible for enemies to use the "Attack" command should you wish.

The Screenshot Topic Returns

When all else fails, look at Suikoden and figure out how it fills in the oh-so-many-rooms in all its castles.