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RPG Maker MV: Mists of Tongass VI

In Part V of our exploration of RPG Maker MV, we created a few enemies and enemy troops for our hero, Lucius York, to fight in his quest to raise 1,000 gold pieces to spring his grandpa from debtor’s prison. Today we’ll be building our first task, using the enemies and enemy troops we previously created.

First, we’ll need to make a small change to an event we built in Part IV. Remember Lucius was instructed to visit the jail where his grandpa is kept in order to find out how to release him. After speaking with the Constable, Lucius learned he needs to pay his grandpa’s debt of 1,000 gold pieces. But where to find that much gold? When Lucius exits the jail after speaking with the Constable, I want a new villager to appear to propose a quest.

This requires setting up a switch. Remember, a switch is like a trigger that activates when certain conditions have been met, in this case, speaking with the Constable. In event editing mode, return to the jail map and double click on the Constable. In the last line of the Contents window, beneath “: End”, double click on the empty line and select “Control Switches” from the Game Progression subheading. Add a new switch in line 0002 called “Rats!”, then click OK. Make sure the switch is set to ON, then click OK again. Click OK a third time to close out of the Constable.

Now, return to the Forest Town map. Somewhere on the road outside the jail, create a new event and choose an image of a random villager–maybe the guy with the mushroom hat in People4. Under Conditions, check the box next to Switch and then select “0002 Rats!” from the dropdown. Under Autonomous Movement – Type, select “Approach” from the dropdown. You want to make this guy hard to avoid.

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RPG Maker MV: Mists of Tongass V

In Part IV of our exploration of RPG Maker MV, we created a jail interior for our game Mists of Tongass and set up the main quest and its resolution condition. Our hero, Lucius York, must somehow raise 1,000 gold pieces to spring his grandpa from debtor’s prison. To do this, we’ll eventually create another quest. Before then, however, we have to create some low-level enemies for Lucius to fight.

Previous versions of RPG Maker came with several dozen premade enemies, but there are only four in the latest version: Bat, Slime, Orc, and Minotaur. These don’t fit the quest I had in mind. So, to start, load the Database Editor (gears icon), and click on the Enemies tab. This displays all possible enemies in your game. Click “Change Maximum” and increase the number to, say, 10. Select 0005, which displays a blank enemy with default stats.

Call this enemy “Giant Rat” and select the Rat picture from the default list of images. You can change the image hue, in case you want a red rat, for example, but we’ll leave that alone for right now. Increase Attack and Defense to 20, and Agility and Luck to 30. M. Attack and M. Defense refer to the creature’s ability to attack with and defend against magic, but these rats have no magical abilities. Finally, under Rewards, change the EXP and Gold to 10. EXP is the amount of experience your hero gains from defeating an enemy.

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RPG Maker MV: Mists of Tongass IV

In Part III of our exploration of RPG Maker MV, we created a town for our game Mists of Tongass, added a few interactive townspeople, and learned how to enter and exit building interiors. Just to recap the game’s plot, our hero, Lucius York, discovered a letter from his grandpa explaining that he had been arrested for owing rent and sent to debtor’s prison. Today we will be designing the interior of that prison and setting up the main quest.

RPG Maker MV comes with several dozen premade locations, but a jail is not one of them. We’ll have to design our own. The weapons shop interior provides an adequate template. Right-click on Forest Town in the map list, then “Load…”, and then select “Weapon Shop.” You’ll notice a new map pops up at the bottom of the list, identical to the Weapon Shop interior you already have. Select it and press the space bar to edit its general settings. Just change the name to “Jail” for now.

In map editing mode, right-clicking on a tile clones whatever is in that tile–convenient for painting over scenery. Click on an empty floor tile and simply paint over everything in the room except for the walls. Now, because a jail usually has sturdy walls, pick the gray stone wall from tileset layer “A”. Every wall has a top view and a side view. The lighter shade is usually the top view. Now we have a plain, depressing-looking jail.

Add jail cells by painting three vertical walls extending down from the back wall. While doing so, it’s important to keep in mind perspective. Walls are two tiles high, so you have to extend the jail cells to give the prisoners enough room to wander. Each cell should also be three tiles in width. Why? Because one tile will remain open for the entrance–that’s where the cell door will go.

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RPG Maker MV: Mists of Tongass III

In Part II of our exploration of RPG Maker MV, we set up a “plot instigator” for our game Mists of Tongass. Our hero, Lucius York, discovered a letter from his grandpa explaining that he had been arrested for owing rent and sent to debtor’s prison. Most importantly, we learned how to create and edit events. Today we will be creating and fleshing out our town.

I don’t have time to create an entire town from scratch, but thankfully RPG Maker MV comes with several dozen premade locations. I chose “Forest Town” for the town exterior. Every building our hero will walk into needs an interior. Thankfully, there are premade interiors as well. You will need a Weapon Shop, Armor Shop, Item Shop, Inn, Tavern, and Jail interior at minimum. Oddly, there is no premade Tavern or Jail interior, but we’ll get to that later. There is also a magic shop on this map, but we won’t need that right now, so I will erase the bridge leading to that side of town.

How does our hero get from inside a building to the town exterior and vice versa? RPG Maker MV has also made that simple for us. RPG Maker provides several common events used frequently in a game. In event editing mode, simply right click on the map and scroll down to “Quick Event Creation.” The two we are most concerned with here are “Transfer” and “Door.” While in the York House, right click on the center tile at the bottom of the map and insert a Transfer.

A dialogue will pop up asking you to chose a location on the map. This is where our hero will exit the building.

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RPG Maker MV: Mists of Tongass II

In Part I of our exploration of RPG Maker MV, we created a game called Mists of Tongass, designed its main character, Lucius York, and a starting location, his grandpa’s house. Today we’ll be building our “plot instigator,” an event designed to kick off the adventure. Our main character will set off on a quest to complete this event, which will touch off a chain of events and gradually more difficult quests, etc.

Events are required to do virtually anything in RPG Maker MV, even something as simple as open a door or chest. You can think of them as tiny programs inside a program. They range from something as simple as picking up an item, to a multi-page event having far reaching consequences in the game. Every event has a script that tells the program what to do.

We’ll start with something simple. First, switch to “event editing mode” by clicking on the button that looks like a little red chess piece. Then, double-clicking somewhere on the table, create a new event and chose an envelope as its image.

I want a dialogue box to appear with Lucius’ thoughts as he reads the letter, then another for the letter’s contents. You do this by double-clicking on the black diamond in the Contents window and select “show text.”

You don’t need to show a face with your dialogue, but it helps the player know who’s speaking. Now, I’ll type in “Hm, grandpa left a letter…” and click Ok. Try not to type past the thin vertical line on the right hand side.

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RPG Maker MV: Mists of Tongass I

Back in college, I became infatuated with a computer program called RPG Maker, which allows you to design and play your own desktop roll playing games. I used to create my own RPGs on paper as a kid, so the ability to do so on the computer, and at Super Nintendo-level graphics, was really cool. I recently purchased the latest version, RPG Maker MV, to see what it had to offer. All the basics were still there, but the graphics are better and it allows you to do so much more.

I decided to play around with it and come up with a simple RPG. Every game needs a name, so we’ll call it “Mists of Tongass,” after the ancient forest in Alaska. Right off the bat, you see the interface is deceptively simple and intuitive. Just wait.

Now we need a hero. RPG maker comes with lots of default settings, including an initial team of four “actors” of different classes. We’ll just start with one; a simple man living in a simple, forest town, with a mysterious destiny. We’ll call him Lucius York. That has a nice ring to it. His initial equipment is set to default, but later I’ll change that to remove any weapons and armor. The character will have to find those later.

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