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14 No. 14 Stickied hide watch expand quickreply [Reply]

All righty, I marshalled my thoughts and composed a formal set of advice for making OFF fangames (and, often, RPG Maker games in general). In the form of a more formal post since it's long and so I can sticky it; this'un will be the general help thread. I tried to generalize the advice to any passersby, and cover lots of ground, so I apologize if it's disorganized. Please let me know if any wording is unclear. I'll add more things as I think of them, and additions from others are welcome.

First, things I learned while coding A Very OFF Xmas. When editing the Japhet fight, the HP range in the 4th tab's condition must have a minimum of one. I know that zero feels more natural, but then the condition would always be fulfilled and the event would play every turn, which would, naturally, be bad.

You can trim out excess code in events to cut down on the clutter. Sometimes, it even helps the speed of the game, although that matters less with modern machines. Even if you don't plan to make your game with OFF as a base, trying to smooth out the code and test your changes is excellent practice. Here's some safe things to try that will also give you experience with editing event code:

  • Go through and find conditional branches using the !!Choix - femme switch*, even if you don't otherwise plan to edit that feature. Because fewer words in English than in France are gendered, in some of them the translation ends up being the same. When that's the case, you can replace the whole branch with just one of the duplicate messages. (If you do plan to change the feature, say to include a third gender option, I recommend the more advanced step of replacing this switch with a variable. You can see examples in A Very OFF Xmas 0.5 or higher.)
  • Make sure to name and rename important things clearly, even the stuff only people working on the game will see**. (Event calls don't depend on the name, but the event number, so it's safe to change them.) This will help you remember what they do and what they're for.
  • If the Else section of a conditional branch is completely blank (just the word "Else", a diamond, and the word "End"), you can change the
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>> No. 37
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In the last lesson, you might have noticed we have a code duplication problem with the password door. It's especially irritating here since the difference is only in one command - the Teleport event - but Teleport events can't make use of things like variables to put the player somewhere dynamically. Since where the code puts you if you get the password right depends on which side of the door you're on, is it even possible to avoid this particular duplication?

Actually, yes. It involves the super-advanced wizardry I mentioned in the first post, which we should be well-equipped by now to wield fearlessly.

In theory there are a few different ways to accomplish this feat, but here I'll use what seems to be the easiest to drop in without adding too much clutter. I'll use a couple corner-cutting tricks that, while unrelated to the basic concept of this post, are only applicable to this situation; as we come across them, I'll explain the logic behind them so you can apply them to other things.

Once the Switch [zone 3 code] is on, the password doors become ordinary doors; that's something we can take advantage of. The second page of each door event already has the Teleport command we need for that side. Knowing that, we also know if we could just Call that page for the side we're on, we can keep the password code all in a single event page.

Your first instinct, if you're familiar with Call Event, may be to set it to call This Event's Page 2. But that won't work. This Event refers to the Event that's running now, not the Event that Called it. Instead, we have to call an Event Referenced from Variables.

Of course, you'll notice another issue here: there's no way to just specify that we always want page 2 of an event. Both the event ID and the page number have to be specified using variables.

But that's not a big problem. At most we would have to use two new variables, but I the crafty one found a way to reuse existing ones. And it only requires intimate knowledge of OFF's game code.

TempVar1, used for the Event number, was used back in Zone
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22 No. 22 hide watch quickreply [Reply]
To show that you may start a discussion about a game that isn't yours, I figure I will do just that. You can find HOME here: http://rpgmaker.net/games/6361/

Felix once asked me to write a review for him, so I'll finally follow through on that.

HOME would be the first OFF fangame I ever played, and it set a pretty high bar that, so far, only Continue/Stop/Rise, START, and the disturbing, fascinating However have managed to meet. (Of course, I've only played a handful of fangames, but still.) What started as OFF from the Judge's point of view developed into an extensive overhaul and a new, distinct game with its own surprises and challenges.

Visuals: One of the most distinctive things about HOME, and one of my favorite things, is the new decorations littered about the zones. These distinguish HOME from other fan games using the preexisting zones and add a layer of visual richness and life to the world.

Felix (and whoever has contributed these) is amazing at making battle animations. The key to good animations is to make an abstract representation of the action the Competence represents, or, failing that, at least an interesting visual. He's good at both, and also uses sound to good effect. I especially like the Ravage and Tango animations. (Not so much do I like Mezzo-Soprano, which goes on a little long, but it's all right.)

The enemies, contributed by various people, are mostly pretty good. The Mundane Ghoul is not a good representation of enemy quality - though its boringness *does* suit its name. Changes to enemies like the hated Skkorish make them even more fearsome and terrifying, or awesome in the case of the Pathogen, and the overall look of the enemies is not too incohesive, especially if you think of them in terms of having a particular sort of flook for a particular zone.

Music: ACC is a tough act to follow, so I say it's good to not even try and instead create your own musical style for a fan game. While HOME uses pieces from various artists, it never seems to sound incohesive.

Felix's pieces (most of those on the g
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41 No. 41 hide watch quickreply [Reply]
So I am finally learning the system of VX Ace and thus will work on a practice game before I finally work on the first demo for my OFF game.
>> No. 44
I'm sorry for the late response/board fixing!

Is there any progress to report?

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40 No. 40 hide watch quickreply [Reply]
A moment of silence for Felix, aka thejudge, aka Aaron Mullins. A good friend, a wonderful person. I should have talked to him more, and more frequently.

What a waste.

Well wishes for Ashley, his partner, for their expedient healing, for a better life from now on *please*. Difficult as it may be.

I'm sorry.

May he rest in peace, our good friend. We miss you.

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20 No. 20 hide watch expand quickreply [Reply]
Is it okay if I post a test demo of my battle system here?
I would like some feedback and advice before I apply it to the main game.
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>> No. 35
Heya. I really like the system you made and the ideas and concepts you made involving your game. They're really inventive and unique! I enjoyed what little you've offered us with posting it here, and I look forward to seeing more! :D
>> No. 38
Just posting a quick update. I've moved the project to VX Ace. I won't be using the battle system that I posted because I feel that it no longer fits in with the game, however I might use it for a different project. I might post a demo here soon.
>> No. 39
Thanks for the update. We'll be looking forward to that.

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1 No. 1 hide watch quickreply [Reply]
Well, I was hoping not to have the first thread be about my game (didn't want to come off as egotistical), but I guess I ought to start the ball rolling.

A Very OFF Xmas: Because everything needs its own Christmas episode. But rather than throwing Santa hats on everyone and calling it a day, I'm putting winter solstice holidays in a blender and trying to be more creative with the theme.

This project isn't dead, or even dormant in the strictest sense. I'm just......... just....... *life*, y'know? I seem to be swinging around to draw mode again, so maybe the next update will be sometime this year. Hey, I refrained from promising regular updates for a reason: I know what I'm like. (In my defense trying to force myself paralyzes me, so the quickest way to get back on that track *is* to give myself space until it doesn't feel like a big thing I'm going to royally screw up and thus want to avoid.)

The current version has some balancing problems, especially with Dedan. These will be alleviated in the next version, but balancing advice is very crucial if you happen to have any. (All critique and comments are of course welcomed and encouraged.)

You can always get the latest download from here: https://thornbush.monarch-pass.net/off.html#xmasoff (0.3, at the time of this writing)
Track this tag on tumblr for updates: #a very off xmas

Original English translation by Reconstructed Dragon and Isaiahdjkim. Some elements to be seen in the next version are courtesy of my buddy Felix (@thejudge).
>> No. 3
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Sorry, I'm new to boards and things of that nature so I didn't realize that I could reply to you directly. Then again, I suppose my first comment thing would've been rather off topic.

Either way, thank you again for making this page on your site! If the others start to use this as well then it'd be helpful for at least myself thanks to my lack of Skype.

Also, how is the game going? I found the amount that I had seen before to be pretty awesome and funny. Oh, and it was cool that I got to talk with you on the subject directly the last time as well. Heehee, I'd love to see more whenever you have the time to post a continuation of version.

>> No. 5
Neat, you're the anon (?) who spoke to me, then? I'm still pleased as punch you enjoyed it. Zone 2 probably will live up to your expectations, as I've felt so guilty about not finishing those enemies in a timely fashion that I just kept adding more stuff to justify it.

I actually do have a question, which I'll ask tumblr: Should I just give in, leave both Dim Zones closed off for the time being, and release Zone 2? Aside from these new enemies, not a whole lot changes in the Dim Zones; what does is more like a collection of easter egg-ish extras in tone, which, while I've tried to make it fun, isn't really worth holding off a release for who knows how much longer.

And you're quite welcome. I'm hoping this'll become a worthy congregation area. We have plenty of active fangame makers, we should be able to build a solid community around it. Since I've built it, I hope they come.

By the by, you don't *have* to include an image to do a reply post; it's totally optional if you're not creating a new thread. (Is that an origami pedalo?)
>> No. 6
Yes! I am indeed that anon. When I first replied to you on that wiki discussion page I didn't yet have an account on there, but well, I do now. Took me some time to get one set up then I just sat on it (though not literally).

That is so cool that you would add in even more stuff on top of the stuff you already added! Oh all the awesome sauce! Although, you don't need to feel guilt over it. I and I'm sure the others understand that the creative process takes time to fully get cracking and stuff like that. I took near months (understatement) to even start trying to solve the issue with the gaming software I had. Aaaand might still have some things to troubleshoot before I go in and start doing anything.

Oh! I have a tumblr now as well! The day I saw and answered your most recent post, I also built myself a tumblr account along with a deviant art one all sorts of stuff I had been meaning to do a long time ago. So, in a way you helped inspire my lazy rear end to finally get up and do the things I wanted to get done. X-)

Oh boy, oh boy! That would be so awesome. And quite helpful, too. I must say. (For reasons soon to be in my other post.)

Really? Thank you for letting me know, I was actually somewhat worried that I HAD to post one so I tried to hunt down something that wouldn't be too big of a spoiler to any people's day (I don't have much of my own work on this computer and any pics I download are for pack-rat purposes or desktop images) and something relevant to the overarching topic.
(Heehee! Yes, it is. It's my interpretation of that scene in START where Danny makes a pedalo of paper for Elne. It's from two pictures I made on the subject.)

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