Waiting for RPG Maker MZ

Well, here’s another post that’ll be gibberish to most (non RPG Maker) people:

I started making my customize-as-much-as-possible project a while ago intending to use RPG Maker MV as the engine. I learned beginner JavaScript, created custom art assets, and began experimenting with JS to make custom plugins for MV. After months of this, however, I learned about the impending release of RPG Maker MZ: the next iteration in the RPG Maker series.

MZ will presumably have features that make it superior to MV. Though people are understandably skeptical of early release bugs, I’m going to jump right into it. Some features they’ve announced seem worthwhile (e.g., manual map layering, event lists), but the most appealing features are the built-in auto-save function and supposedly improved mouse and touchscreen UI (features more for the end-user of the games we produce). I probably could have created a plugin to jury rig my own auto-save system in MV, but if they’re going to include it in MZ along with their other new features, I’ll take it.

So while I’m waiting for MZ’s release on 8/20/2020, I’ll be setting my “fully” customized game aside and, instead, working on a game utilizing almost entirely RTP on RPG Maker MV (RTP = the default assets provided by RPG Maker). I’ll try to create a “complete” game using RTP before MZ comes out.

The point of this RTP project is to get used to certain tools in RPG Maker MV which will likely be similar to the tools available in MZ; to get some experience in level design and utilizing “complex” events. Hopefully, it’ll also result in an entertaining little game.

A little screenshot from the RTP work-in-progress.

Thankfully, RPG Maker MZ’s art asset dimensions seem like they will be unchanged from MV’s, so all of the art assets I’ve created for my MV project can easily be repurposed for use in MZ.

Now the biggest question is if I can actually complete my RTP project before the 20th. I intended it to be a short and simple game, but I might have gotten over ambitious with allowing player choices (played a lot of Witcher 3 during the start of quarantine).

Game Dev Update #4

So on my tangential mission to learn enough JavaScript to make custom menus in RPG Maker MV, I finished the free JS materials on Codecademy and all the free prep material on Galvanize/Hack Reactor.

Now it’s time for tutorials and attempts at simple projects from scratch (or making that RPG Maker plugin, which was the whole point in learning any JS to begin with).

Yesterday, I used the tutorials on w3schools.com to make a simple game where you fly around as Supergirl while avoiding fireballs which chase you around. I used the script they provided as a base and tweaked it to figure how things work a little more.

Instead of making a side-scrolling game with obstacles constantly coming from the right per the tutorial’s instructions, I used a random number generator to make fireballs show up from random sides of the screen (and, if you survive long enough, bigger fireballs start showing up from the corners).

Since this was just a learning experiment, I didn’t bother making my own art assets. I took three images found via Google searches: (1) Melissa Benoist as Supergirl (I shrunk the image substantially and made the background transparent) to fly around as the player character; (2) a fireball from pngitem.com by a person called Angry Frog; and (3) a cropped image of Metropolis (by Kerem Gogus).

Also didn’t bother changing the Score mechanics provided by w3schools (it basically gives you points for surviving), but I moved the display to the top left.

Not going to bother making this game available to play since it’s not very good. It’s really not “finished,” either. I didn’t get through all of w3school’s tutorial material yesterday. I’ll probably finish that up soon, adding features to this so-called game. Then I’ll move onto the next project.

Take it easy, folks.


Game Dev Update #2

All right, I finished Module 1 of Galvanize’s free prep materials. Module 0 taught fundamental building blocks, and Module 1 was the practice of those fudnamentals.

The next step (Module 2, obviously) is supposed to teach “software engineering principles, pair programming, [and] readability of code,” according to the introduction. The lessons from this module is intended to be applicable to coding in any language, not only JavaScript. Kind of a best practices sort of deal, I suppose.

Finishing the exercises in Modules 0 and 1 have been somewhat satisfying. Kind of like figuring out math problems back in grade school (assuming you’re the type of person to find that satisfying).

So far, the exercises have been mildly challenging. A handful were more than mild (although one was made superficially challenging due to a technical issue with my browser/interface more so than the coding exercise itself).

I may or may not take a break from the Galvanize modules to try to create a simple plugin or two on RPG Maker MV. Otherwise, I may finish Module 2 and 3 completely before I give that a go.

Will have to see.

If anyone actually happens to be reading this, I hope you have a nice day.

Game Dev Update #1

Still binge-learning JavaScript.

After rushing through most of Module 0 on Galvanize, I slowed down on the optional exercises towards the end. Most of my free time was (and still is) diverted to playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

After kicking myself in the butt, however, I finished the optional parts on Module 0 and am now about a third of the way through Module 1.

For folks trying to figure out where to start learning JavaScript: I would recommend Galvanize. Module 0 of Galvanize teaches the fundamentals of JavaScript and does it pretty well. To compare, I think Galvanize’s Module 0 covers all of the free stuff you can learn from Cocecademy (which I finished before I started with Galvanize), and the subsequent Modules on Galvanize (1, 2, and 3) provide increasingly complex exercises which, I believe, you could only get on Codecademy if you forked over some cash (of course, after the free Prep stuff on Galvanize they offer a paid programming bootcamp that extends beyond JavaScript).

And although I know I don’t have any regular readers, my content has primarily been about writing in the past so–I should probably do some writing on the side while I’m focusing on learning to code. Need to hit up my writing buddies/acquaintances.

Animal Crossing: a worthy distraction. This is the flag of the proud island of Sandwich (not to be confused with the real Sandwich Islands). I was too lazy to take a proper screenshot, so I took a photo of my Switch using my phone.