This article will tell you what you need to know and do if you want to create your own RPG (Role-playing Game) in RPG Maker XP (aka RMXP) by Enterbrain, a Japanese company.
You can download this program here:
The thirty-day trial version is free, while the full version costs $ 29.99 (about a thousand rubles). In this case, you will download not one, but two files: in fact, the RPG maker program itself, and along with it also the RTP file (Run-time package, a set of files used). RTP is, in general, all those materials that you will need in the process of working on the game.
Let's make a reservation right away - this article will not make you an ace in game design and will not tell you about all aspects of creating games. For example, this article does not cover creating an NPC. Strictly speaking, this article simply explains to beginners what to press and where to make a game. However, not everything is so scary - there are many training materials that are available both on the official website and on thematic forums, on the basis of which it is, by and large, worth learning. You will find links to these resources at the end of the article.
In addition, we would like to remind you that the learning process largely depends on whether you independently understand how things are. Creating a game in this program is a much more subtle and complex topic, too big for this article, which will tell you everything in general terms in a relatively understandable language so that your head does not go round.
Last but not least, the screenshots in this article are from RPG Maker VX Ace, not RPG Maker XP. However, the interfaces of these versions are similar enough to make it almost impossible to get confused. …
Step 1. You need an idea, which you will then implement
The idea will be the first step, because you cannot get started without an idea or something like a general idea. And at this stage, we can say that most of the fun is concentrated, since you most likely already have several ideas for the future game - even if it's just all sorts of nice little things that would be cool to implement in the game. Think about them carefully. Think also of all characters, locations, enemies, items, weapons, abilities, and so on. So it will be much easier for you to work on the direct implementation of the game, because working according to a clear technical assignment is much easier than working by making adjustments in the process, without any system.
Step 2. Write a script
How detailed the script will be is up to you, but the very fact that there is a script that will contain both dialogues and descriptions of the events taking place in the game is vital for a good game. As with ideas, the script should be written down on paper. This will not only help you see the overall plot of the game more clearly, but will also significantly simplify the work on the text part of the game - it can be trivial to copy and paste. The script and terms of reference created before will be your most basic working tools.
Draw a map. Why is it necessary to draw a map now? This will help you visualize the world of the game, and this, in turn, will allow you, if necessary, to make the appropriate adjustments to the game. To start creating a map, right-click on the default map created in the appropriate Tilesets window, but more on that later.
If you create maps of sub-levels that exist within the boundaries of other maps (for example, a small cave in the forest), then the map of the sub-level should be created from the map of the "parent" level by clicking on the last right mouse button and creating a sub-level from it, not from the world map. This will make it much easier for you to figure out which card is associated with which
Step 2. Create your game objects
We will have to work on this for a long time. Everything you do here will be created through the database - the Database window. The tabs you see at the top are essentially a to-do list - your to-do list. You will have to work out everything in order to fill the game with exactly what you want to fill it, both in terms of the main characters and in terms of weapons, abilities of heroes, items, statuses and effects, monsters, experience for defeating monsters, awards for defeating monsters. In addition, you will have to work on tilesets as well. In general, here you will create a game, even if in a somewhat static form. Interactivity will begin later when you move on to creating events. Of course, you will return to this step more than once or twice, making certain changes to game objects, but for now your task is this: make a “preliminary sketch”.
Step 3. Now it's time to start creating events
Very, by the way, an important point. To create an event, select the “Events” layer. Double click on a tile on the map. There will be many options, but here's what you can do in general terms: put an NPC (a non-playable character, like an ordinary resident of a city or village) with whom you can talk, start a dialogue between the heroes or start a battle. The activation of events can be configured in any convenient way - both by touching something, and by clicking on the space bar (the default selection key), being next to the tile, and automatically upon entering the level … There are many options, so we suggest you try them all - believe me, it will be fun!
Step 4. Place the monsters on the map
You have already created groups of monsters, now you just need to arrange them in the right places. This can be done through the map menu - right-clicking on the menu bar and selecting “Map Properties”. There you can choose which group of monsters will inhabit a particular map, how often it will attack heroes, and so on.
Step 5. Choose a soundtrack for the game
What's an RPG without music ?! Music has an important role to play - it creates an atmosphere. Believe me, players who have completed your game will also remember music. You can select for the game, in essence, any records (both obtained from the file with materials, and others). In this case, you can choose music for levels, battles, boss battles, cutscenes, and more. Music creates a mood, keep this in mind and choose the music that suits each specific situation. The music for the level is selected in the menu where you set the groups of monsters, the music for the battles is selected through the database, as well as the music for simple events, and the main screen with the menu, and the “Game over” screen, and everything else. You can even set up an event so that when it is activated, this or that music starts playing.
Step 6. Add side quests to the game
Technically speaking, this step is optional. However, it's rare for an RPG to be complete without side and side quests. Yes, no argue, the main story is the most important thing, but in all honesty, we all love good side quests. They are the ones who make the game less “linear”. What quests to add? Say, "Mighty hero, destroy the monsters in that cave and get the Sword of a Thousand Truths for it!" or something like that. Stretch your imagination!
Step 7. Start testing
Are you finished? Test it again. And then another, and another, and another. You need to test not just one thing, but all at once, completely and completely the whole game. Keep in mind that the game should get harder with each new level, but you need to maintain a balance of difficulty and fun of the gameplay. It will not be superfluous to make a save file, which you will use later to make changes. And you will have to make changes, because errors (bugs) will be everywhere! Believe me, bugs can wipe out all the fun of the game - especially, say, if you miss a door that does not open, which will keep the heroes out of, say, a critical character for the plot. Play your game over and over, testing it in every aspect until you get the game decent and bug-free. Have you brought? Test it again, then congratulations - you're done making the game! However, you want other people to enjoy the fruits of your creativity, right? Then read on.
Step 8. Distribution and distribution of the game
So the game is ready, you want others to play it too. What to do? There are several options here. The first and simplest of all is to give the game to your friends - even on the computer where you made it. However, if you burn the game to disc, then it will be even better.
- You will need to compress the game data: go to the “File” menu, then “Compress game data”. The program will ask in which folder or on which disk to place the compressed files. The resulting compressed data will contain everything that is needed to run the game, except for sound and graphics. That is why, by the way, at the beginning of this article was mentioned the RTP file, the file of additional materials. If the person who will play your game installs this file on his computer, he will be able to run the game from a compressed file without any problems, he does not even need to install RMXP for this.
- You can download the RTP file separately here:
- If the players persist in not installing this file, then you need to add audio and graphics to the compressed files. This, of course, will significantly increase the size of the files, but in this case the player will need to make only two clicks to start the game.
- Have fun! If you're not interested in working on a game, what's the point?
- If you're wondering if the program offers more advanced potential, then a full-featured Ruby script editor is at your service. Remember, if you know how (or be able to search for this “how” in Google), then you can change any aspect of the game - absolutely any, from the type of battle to special weather in certain situations.
- Learn and try. This article is just the tip of the iceberg, your possibilities when working with RPGMXP are almost endless!