Part 01
Jul 02
Posted by Ben at 10:17

I originally had this post titles as RPG Maker FES 001, but saving enough space for 99 of these posts already seems like the ultimate in optimism. Anyway, here we are, after the stalled attempt with Tyrano Builder (maybe one day Iíll go back) Iím going again attempt to make a game.

I, like a fair few other people Iíd wager, own a copy of RPG Maker on the pc, I think I picked it up from a Humble Bundle. However, after not being immediately amazing at it when I took a 5 minute look at it I put it down, never to be picked up again. So hereís hoping that the more simplified RPG Maker FES on the Nintendo 3DS will be a more manageable tool.

Before I start though let me get a few touch points out of the way, both good and bad. First, you donít have to make anything to spend time with the game, so long as other people are doing the work you could keep downloading new, similar, rpgs for ages, easily getting your monies worth. Which brings us to money; RPG Maker FES isnít cheap, you can save some pennies by shopping around, but itís still the most Iíve spent on a 3DS cart in a fair old while, which makes the presence of DLC more than a little unsightly. Your initial tileset is fairly limited, fortunately there is some free dlc which will give you more to work with, but having to pay for extra upload slots, extra theme packs, some of which are approaching £5, Iím not keen on that. You can, however, download a free app that lets you, and more importantly your friends, play created games. Hopefully someone finds a way to export creations to other platforms somewhere down the line.

So, how is it going? How far have I got? Not very far.

I downloaded some other peopleís creations, played a bit of one to see what was possible. It all seemed simple enough. I then went in to the creation tools myself and made a map. The problem RPG Maker FES has, and itís a fairly major one, it doesnít have a tutorial. You can press the 3DSí Home button and pull up a manual, but thereís no ď... and next, select the tile you want to place and place it on the mapĒ. You can work out how to put down some trees easily enough, but how do you set up a battle? Well, weíll find out in episode 2 (002?) because Iíve still not got that far.

Iíve made a map, replaced what I thought were small trees that would block a route with other small trees that I think actually will block out a route, rather than not remotely hinder their progress. From there I set an event, the plan was that the event was the introduction to a battle. Thatís where a guide would have been handy, as it seems, from playing about with some things, I need to create some monsters, then I can set which monsters will appear in battle. I think anyway, I really need to read a guide. When I tested the map the text just streamed through on repeat, Iím not sure if itís because I didnít manage to lock down anything else, or if I need to Ďendí it in some way. Who knows, again, probably need a guide.

The text stuff is ok though. I suspect you wonít be seeing a lot of story heavy games, typing on a 3DS touchpad, particularly when Ď?í are hidden in a different keyboard on its 2nd page. Itís not impossible, but the dictionary option only works when youíve spelt something correctly, so isnít great as a speed tool. That said, I managed to add a character portrait, set up to 3 lines of text, then if that character needed more Iíd have to add them as another bit of dialogue, which would give me the chance to change the character portraitís expression. Itís fairly simple and useful. I found out I could change the music, this doesnít blend well so I removed it, it was a bit heavy handed for what I was going for.

I realised I needed an intro, so I added one. I placed it as close to the characterís starting point as I could, because I couldnít place it on the starting point. Hereís where I got very confused though. For some reason when I tested the level the character conversation I made first, which was supposed to be triggered a number of steps up the map, would trigger on repeat immediately, I couldnít move nor trigger the intro. In the end I had to delete the conversation, so now the intro plays, but Iíve no idea if I can move past it. So yeah, guide.

I have now started to build a monster. Thereís stock ones, but I donít want to start with a Slime, so Iíve picked a portrait I want, then I can alter the stats. Iím not sure what Iím supposed to be aiming for, but fortunately for what Iím trying I need them to be weak and the hero strong, so all I need to do is get it all running, at the very least so I can move and have a battle, that shouldnít be asking for too much...

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