My sample RPG test run

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Post » Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:18 am

[quote="TheJanMan":3ck8ga0n]Not really, the map is made up of small objects, well the "ground" part of the map was once actually one big image, but i split it into 29 small parts and just sticked them together in Construct.

Well heres my cap: http://www.mediafire.com/?hywqnuy2dli[/quote:3ck8ga0n]

[quote="TheJanMan":3ck8ga0n]Yeah probably, but I need the layout to be big since I need NPCs to travel between maps. Anyway, is there a way for it to lag less?[/quote:3ck8ga0n]

:shock: WHOA :shock:

What are you doing? You're going about this the entirely wrong way. You need some Game Design 101 help here.

Look at this:

http://i45.tinypic.com/25psieh.png

That thing is ONE SPRITE. Jesus, man! You just can't do that. NO GAME on the planet does that. And that's just one part of your map... there's stuff like that all over the place.

You need a tile set. Games are made up of small, individual tiles. Each of those trees in that one sprite should be separate instances of one tree. (In fact, the top of the tree should probably be separate from the bottom so you can walk underneath the leaves.) Anyway, if you need trees, you copy and paste your tree sprite where you need it... you don't make one huge image with fifteen trees in it. It's going to suck up VRAM like crazy if you do.

You want rocks and bushes and grass and dirt and all that? You have a single rock sprite, a single bush sprite, a single dirt tile, and you copy/paste as necessary. For large areas of dirt, you can make a small, repeating texture out of a Tiled Background object and stretch it to the size you need.

Even your houses are pretty much wrong. Yes, even the houses in games are made up of pieces... you put them together like a puzzle when you make your map. Lots of small pieces. Believe it or not, it's WAY more efficient than having a few huge pieces.

What you need is something like this:

http://i48.tinypic.com/156ab77.jpg

Those tiles are each no bigger than 32x32 pixels. You cut them out and make Tiled Background or Sprite images with them. And with that, you can put the pieces together and create large, complex images like this in your layout by copy/pasting the pieces:

http://i49.tinypic.com/fdd4e8.jpg

As for having your NPCs go from map to map... go ahead! Have them walk from map to map! You can do it, it's entirely possible for you to have a sprite character "leave" the map. It would be complex, but you could set up each character's location information in a global Hash Table object. When a character "enters" another map, destroy the sprite. If the player then "enters" that map, then when you start the layout you check the hash table, and any NPCs that have that map listed as their location get created.

You could even have them "walk into" the current map by giving them each a timer trigger in their hash table entry... when the timer triggers, spawn the NPC on the map at the door where they should be appearing. Then update their timer and give them a new location to which map they should be on when the timer runs out.

It sounds complicated, I know... but it could be done if you're willing to put in the work. And if you're going to make an RPG with such advanced features as having NPCs walk from map to map then you SHOULD be willing to put in that work. Otherwise, it will never get done.

But my advice would be to try tackling a smaller project with goals that aren't set quite so high first... it seems to me that you need to get some practice at making games before you can go after something huge like an RPG.
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Post » Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:54 am

Agreed with the others, you don't need huge tiles. Take a leaf out of 3D Engine books if it helps (because I get the impression when tiles are mentioned, a lot of people automatically think "eiw square looking maps!"), anyway a lot of those are made up from small parts, and other small parts to make them unique. So for example you could have a tile representing a piece of road. Then a bunch of artwork representing details you might have on that road, puddles, rocks, grates, etc. and so on. So using just those you can repeat the same piece of road, but when it's done it wont be obviously repeated, and reuse the details (or decals if you want to call them that) elsewhere too. I dunno, but surely that would cut down a lot of resources and allow them to be used in more situations than straight tile setup would.

Along with deadeyes suggestion for the tree tops. You could also use that sprite frame trick I think I found on youtube. Setting the animation speed to zero and then just changing the start frame to various frames. In the trees case, each frame could be a different tree top. You could change each tree manually, or I suppose it's possible to do it randomly, so all you'd do is place your tree's and each time it runs it might change which uses which frames, giving some randomness to the look of things. I dunno if doing it that way would make any difference speed/size wise, but it's another option at least.

Also bear in mind Construct creates DX games, which means it will have to follow the rules of the video cards, which means huge tiles such as the ones you've been using are possibly being rounded up into even higher tile sizes internally, and only the very recent video cards can happily cope with those. It's possible that's why many are crashing trying to use it, because their cards can't handle those sizes. If you want more people to be able to play your game, I'd not go over 256x256 max for your tiles, sprites etc. to be really safe.
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Post » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:26 am

Yeah, I'm pretty familiar with how RMXP works. I should use tilesets, but my team has err chosen to have Breath of Fire 4 as our tilesets, which we only get by print screening game plays :P. It will be a bother to redo everything in that map though, So i guess I'll just remove the large objects of the towns and replace it with a new one which will be smaller objects.

About the travelling thing, my rpg will most likely be like Harvest Moon where the whole game only focuses on 1 town. So probably 3 to 4 maps in 1 layout shouldnt be bad, but if it would, then we'll do what you said.

BTW, how do I do the shading part in our map? The one at every side, where it would fade to black. Can construct do that?
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Post » Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:22 pm

[quote:3tfzs5oq]It will be a bother to redo everything in that map though[/quote:3tfzs5oq]

:x

Seriously? If you can't be "bothered" to do it right, then you probably shouldn't. I really don't mean to sound harsh here, so please forgive me if I sound like an asshole. The very easiest thing to do when making an RPG is to make the map and have the character walk around in it. Once that's done, it's all uphill from there. If you can't bother to do the easy part correctly, then what will you do when you get to the hard part?

And how do you expect to use BoF4 graphics, anyway? BoF4 is in 3D... it doesn't use tiles. It's rather ridiculous to expect that you can just screenshot a 3D game and cut out the pieces you need. You're not saving yourself any time by doing that, because it won't work and you'll eventually have to start over from scratch and do it the proper way.

Anyway, if your team has this idea that BoF4 screencaps are a great solution to your graphics needs then my advice is to ditch your team because they don't know what the hell they're doing and you're in a dead end project. Or at least try to convince them that their idea is ridiculous. Also, if you have a team then at least one of your team members should be an artist who can make proper tiles for you, so you should probably seek out an artist.

Another piece of advice: Don't even worry about putting graphics in the game right now. No... seriously. Use plain colored boxes. Make the game itself work first, and then worry about graphics. You're concerned with how to make NPCs walk from map to map? Well, work on that. You don't need graphics to do that, you just need to put events together and move little colored boxes around the screen. Who knows... by the time you're done with the basic mechanics of the gameplay your team may have found a proper artist.

As for the shading at the edge, why not make a Tiled Background that is a gradient from black to clear and then just stretch it?
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Post » Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:25 pm

[quote="TheJanMan":3fz3d4r2]Yeah, I'm pretty familiar with how RMXP works. I should use tilesets, but my team has err chosen to have Breath of Fire 4 as our tilesets, which we only get by print screening game plays :P. It will be a bother to redo everything in that map though, So i guess I'll just remove the large objects of the towns and replace it with a new one which will be smaller objects.

About the travelling thing, my rpg will most likely be like Harvest Moon where the whole game only focuses on 1 town. So probably 3 to 4 maps in 1 layout shouldnt be bad, but if it would, then we'll do what you said.

BTW, how do I do the shading part in our map? The one at every side, where it would fade to black. Can construct do that?[/quote:3fz3d4r2]

A very quick and simple example
*

and that's not even done properly using proper tiles or anything, but it works, it's a big map (big enough for most things I would imagine), and it's only 1.6mb. The shadows are all on another layer, above where the players would be, so it creates a believable shadow over them. While the tree tops are on the highest layer, so you can walk under them. There are also invisible collision boxes at the center of each tree, so you can't walk where the trunks are... Ok those aren't everywhere, I forgot to copy/paste them onto other tree's when I increased the map size even greater, my bad. But yeah, you should get the general idea. I should also point out that I'm not even remotely near constructs max layout size limit with this map either. Just think, if you did as others suggest, and use tiles. You could theoretically make a game world many times bigger than you're making right now, and it probably still wouldn't hit 27mb in file size. :D

Now, if I wanted to. I could make that map feel four or five times larger using various tricks, without increasing the layout size.

1) Large maps don't mean you should be able to go from point A to point B directly, make them travel certain routes. Morrowind was a good example, that game is surprisingly small, yet when playing it without flying cheats or spells, it feels large because you have to follow certain directions to get to places, pass around mountains and so on. Yet one town is just a few minutes from another if you went to it directly. Just about every game ever made has used this trick, made the most of every inch. So include obstacles, some impassable hills between one area and another, forcing the player to go around, which might lead them into new adventures at the same time.

2) Slow down the movement of the characters, that will instantly make a map feel larger. Start adding vehicles, mounts, ships, and the world gets smaller.

3) Make all characters smaller. Imagine instead of that red X, it was an 8x8px Lemming and everything was done to it's scale. The map would be on a par with the size of London :P Imagine an Ant. To the Ant, your house is the size of your town, your town is the size of a small continent to the Ant. Scale makes a big difference.

4) Lots of distractions. If there's plenty to do for a player as they travel along, they can become distracted doing something else, thus making their journey from one point to another, take longer. It also helps avoid the thing becoming boring (how often can you wander through World of Warcraft without becoming bored) and remember, your game will be single player, so nobody else to turn up out of the blue with things to do. But don't stick in enemies every few steps, cause fighting allll the time is boring as well.

[quote="deadeye":3fz3d4r2]And how do you expect to use BoF4 graphics, anyway? BoF4 is in 3D... it doesn't use tiles. It's rather ridiculous to expect that you can just screenshot a 3D game and cut out the pieces you need. You're not saving yourself any time by doing that, because it won't work and you'll eventually have to start over from scratch and do it the proper way.[/quote:3fz3d4r2]

Plus, it's stealing.
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Post » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:22 am

Well, even if we did steal those graphics, we wont be selling this game at any rate so I think it would be ok. Thanks for the harsh yet good comments and replies guys. I think this could pretty much improve me at some point.

Another question though, in using textboxes, is it possible to trigger an event with the use of a textbox? I mean a specific word, it doesnt need to be the only word typed in that textbox, as long as that word is found in that textbox.

Ex. An event needs the word "heart" in textbox A. The player types "asjdjheartjdjd" or "dajglj heart jdkasj" in that textbox and that event will still be triggered.
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Post » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:49 am

Good Advice:
Do not make an rpg. Not right now, It will only end in disappointment. I'm telling you, it's impossible at this level. I've been doing game development for years and I would still not dare tackle a big FF style rpg, even with a team. If you are making tiles like that, then please do yourself a favor and start with a small game idea to hone your skills. You will soon see that all the behind the scenes coding which goes into even a small game soon becomes a handful. An RPG is by far the most difficult game genre to develop, and even with a team it takes the utmost devotion and planning. I don't want to sound harsh, but I am 211% sure that this game will not get finished, or even to a point of near completion. Come up with a small original design with your team or on your own, and see how tough it is to finish just that.
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Post » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:44 am

[quote="TheJanMan":3qvzblu4]Another question though, in using textboxes, is it possible to trigger an event with the use of a textbox? I mean a specific word, it doesnt need to be the only word typed in that textbox, as long as that word is found in that textbox.

Ex. An event needs the word "heart" in textbox A. The player types "asjdjheartjdjd" or "dajglj heart jdkasj" in that textbox and that event will still be triggered.[/quote:3qvzblu4]

Yes, you can do that. Check out some of the text expressions available on the wiki:

http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/c ... sions#Text

You should be able to work something out from there. If you give it a try and still need help, please feel free to post a thread about it.
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Post » Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:10 pm

[quote="Davioware":6l3afxlv]Good Advice:
Do not make an rpg. Not right now, It will only end in disappointment. I'm telling you, it's impossible at this level. I've been doing game development for years and I would still not dare tackle a big FF style rpg, even with a team. If you are making tiles like that, then please do yourself a favor and start with a small game idea to hone your skills. You will soon see that all the behind the scenes coding which goes into even a small game soon becomes a handful. An RPG is by far the most difficult game genre to develop, and even with a team it takes the utmost devotion and planning. I don't want to sound harsh, but I am 211% sure that this game will not get finished, or even to a point of near completion. Come up with a small original design with your team or on your own, and see how tough it is to finish just that.[/quote:6l3afxlv]

There's some solid advice there, except that while it's not impossible, it is VERY VERY hard. My RPG is an 'RPG-lite' for the exact reason that I wanted to try something simple to actually complete a project. It's been 10 MONTHS and I'm barely past the first boss!!! There's the map, battles, saving, inventory, leveling up, equipment, cinemas, stats, menus, towns, npcs, shops, items, etc etc and that's for a 'simple' RPG!

I don't want to discourage you, but there's a reason most indie RPGs are made with RPG maker - all that stuff that comes built-in is a lot more complex than it seems!

Make something small, a one area/town/boss 'practice' RPG that has all the features of the other RPG you want to make (I'm using this technique even for a longer RPG - that's why I'm not much further than the first boss). Seriously, it will be way more work than you expect, not to mention that you'll probably have to rewrite portions of it repeatedly to get new features to work with the old ones. The benefits of doing it this way are by getting all the game's systems and features working one one area, it makes it much easier to test everything, and then if after completing it you feel like you'd like to continue, you have a whole engine ready for content, making the development of the next game/area much, much easier.

Also, development tip: when testing a concept (like your tile system), don't put a whole lot of work into something before making sure it'll work/be feasible. That way you won't have to redo a lot of work if the concept doesn't work.

And I have to also vote against using BOF screenrips. if you're going to put this much work into a project, I highly recommend making some actual tiles. It will be MUCH more rewarding to have (and easier to work with!) original graphics.
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