RPG Maker VX ACE Comprehensive Eventing Tutorial

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Modern Algebra had the idea to do this. He expressed the belief that RPG Maker users nowadays rely very heavily on scripts. While scripts are nice, a little eventing knowledge can go a long way. This tutorial will aim to teach the newcomers to VX ACE how to use the event commands to their full potential. It's written for the ease of absolute beginners, so I apologize if it comes off as a bit condescending.

Here's a list of the Event Commands that are in VX ACE, along with what they do:

Page 1
MESSAGE


Spoiler for:
SHOW TEXT:
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This will allow you to type text that will display on the screen. You can set a face graphic, change the background from the normal window to a faded window, or to no window at all, and you can change the position of the window from the bottom of the screen to the top or middle. Typing "/" will display a list of built in commands that you can use in your messages.

SHOW CHOICES:
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This allows you to give the player selectable options on screen. Once chosen, your options will act as conditional branches that you can put other event commands in.

INPUT NUMBER:
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This allows the player to input a number which will be stored in a variable of your choosing.

SELECT KEY ITEM:
Spoiler for:
I'll be honest and say I've never used this command yet. Supposedly it sets the ID of a Key Item to a variable of your choosing. The application of this is not readily apparent to me.

SHOW SCROLLING TEXT:
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This is probably what you would call a basic credits set up, but you could also use it for an opening text crawl, or any place you want a lot of narrative text. Basically, you can write a lot of text, and it will scroll on the screen at the speed you set it to.

GAME PROGRESSION

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CONTROL SWITCHES
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This will allow you to turn a switch on or off. You can also turn a batch of switches between two chosen numbers on or off.

CONTROL VARIABLES
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This is where you control the numbers that go into variables. Variables will be talked about more in-depth later.

CONTROL SELF SWITCH:
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Self-switches are like regular switches, but they only affect the event they are activated on. There are four of them: A, B, C, and D.

CONTROL TIMER:
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You have the option to start or stop a timer at a specified time.

Page 2
MOVEMENT

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TRANSFER PLAYER:
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This is pretty self-explanatory. It basically allows you to teleport the player character to another area, either on the same map, or on a different map.
     -Direct Designation: This allows you to choose the exact spot you want the player to be.
     -Designation with Variables: This is a more advanced option. It lets you teleport the player based on a set of variables. This is useful if you want to teleport your player to a location you saved in a variable earlier. For example, I evented an ability grid that the player teleports to from the menu. In order to send the player back to the position they were at on the map when they entered the grid, I saved their X and Y coordinates in a variable and used Designation with Variables to utilize it. Don't worry if this sounds complicated right now. Variables and all that will be explained later.

      -Direction: The direction you want the player to face once they are teleported. You can set it to up, down, left, right, or you can set it to retain the player's direction
      -Fade: Choose whether or not you want the screen to fade to black when you teleport. You can also set it to fade to white.

SET VEHICLE LOCATION:
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You can choose a vehicle to appear at a location of your choosing. This is similar to the teleport command, as you'll notice the Direct Designation and Designation with Variables options.

SET EVENT LOCATION:
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This is similar to the Set Vehicle Location command, but it works with events instead.

SCROLL MAP:
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Exactly what it says on the tin. Choose the Direction, Speed, and Distance you'd like to scroll the map to.

SET MOVE ROUTE:
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This is where you can control player and event movement. There are a lot of options here, including moving and turning the character in all directions, as well as options to turn switches on and off, change the event graphic, changing the speed and frequency of movement, and changing the animation settings for the event.

SET EVENT LOCATION:
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This is similar to the Set Vehicle Location command, but it works with events instead.

Will be added to when I have the time.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 03:30:46 AM by Acolyte »

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Switches and Variables

SWITCHES:

Spoiler for:
The best way to think about switches is to think of a light switch. Unless you have one of those fancy dimming lights, there are only two options; It's either on or off. It can't be anything else. Game switches are the same way, but instead of turning on a light, it makes stuff happen. What kind of stuff? Well, let's have an example, shall we?

Say we want to have a quest. Some town person wants you to go kill a monster or something. First off, we'd need the townsperson to say something different after you accept the quest. You wouldn't want him to keep asking you to do the same quest over and over again, unless he was written to be incredibly amnesiac, but for the sake of this tutorial, he isn't.

In this specific case, a self switch would be the best thing to use. A self switch is like a normal switch, only it affects the event it's applied to and nothing else. A normal switch can affect all events, which would be a bit overkill since we're only dealing with one guy. So after the quest dialogue, you'd use the Control Self-Switch Event Command and turn Self-Switch A ON.

Next, you'd make another event page, but this time check the box in the upper left that says Self Switch ____ is on. It should be set to A automatically. This is where you would write the dialogue he would say after you've already accepted the quest.

What about after you defeat the monster for him? This time you'd use a regular switch. Remember how I said Self-switches only work on the event they're on? In order for the monster's death to affect the townsperson, you need to pick a switch using the Control Switch Event Command. When you click the single dialogue box (as only a single switch is needed. I've personally never used batch. I'm sure it has its uses though.) a numbered list appears. You can name your switches in the box at the bottom. It isn't required, but it helps alleviate confusion later. After you choose a switch, set it to ON.

You'll then need another event page for the townsperson. This time, instead of checking the self-switch box, you'd check one of the normal switches at the top. On this page, you would put the dialogue for  completing the quest, as well as any rewards to give to the player. After that, you'll probably want to make another self-switch so he doesn't keep giving you the items. This time, set self-switch B to on, make another event page, and check the self-switch box, making sure B is selected this time.

PICTURES TO BE ADDED LATER

Hopefully you got the gist of it. Switches are one of the fundamental aspects of rpg maker, and you can do a lot more than just a simple quest with them. There are some things that you can't do, though, which brings us to.....

VARIABLES
Spoiler for:
Variables are a bit like switches, but instead of being "on" or "off", they are set to a number. They can be used to keep track of pretty much any numerical data you could think of, which makes them invaluable in eventing complex systems.

The simplest example of variable usage would be a fetch quest.
Imagine there is an NPC who wants you to gather 3 mushrooms. For every mushroom you pick up, it increases a variable by one. Once that variable reaches three, the NPC would give you an award.

It's a pretty simple concept to understand, but it can be difficult to learn how to use variables to their full potential. Let's look at a more complex use of variables: a bank system.


This would require three variables: A variable for depositing and withdrawing money, a variable to hold the party's current gold amount, and a variable with the total amount of currency currently in the bank.



The first thing you would do is set the party gold variable to the party's current gold.





There are a lot of other options under game data that are useful to event systems, such as the X and Y coordinates that I mentioned in the list of event commands. For the sake of simplicity, we'll stick with the gold amount.

The deposit and withdrawal variable would be used in a number input command.



Using a conditional branch, you would check that the party's current gold variable is higher than the current deposit/withdrawal variable. In the case of a withdrawal, you would check that the current bank currency variable is greater than the current deposit/withdrawal variable.



If the conditions are met, you then have to give or take gold from the party if they withdrew or deposited respectively.



There's still one last thing to take care of, and that's making sure the bank currency is at the correct amount. In the case of a deposit, we'll be adding the deposited amount to the bank variable:



In the case of withdrawal, we would subtract from the variable.


And that's pretty much all you need for a working bank system. I hope this helps demonstrate some of the basic uses of variables. As you might be able to tell already, variable usage mostly boils down to basic math and knowing how to utilize it. If you need more examples to help you with variables, take a look around at some pre-made event systems and look how they did things. It's one of the best ways to learn.


« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 09:45:26 PM by Acolyte »

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Belated appreciation post even though it does not apply to me.
Seriously, well done, helpful tutorial :)