RPG Maker: Nefol Dev Blog –Emotional Facesets and Side Character Sprites

In RPG Maker, the picture file used as a portrait, often displayed when that character is talking, is called a faceset. Facesets are made up of several images in a 2×4 grid. Each portrait image must be placed within the grid in precise squares, or you will see graphical overlapping and weirdness when using the file in game.

Here’s an example of a faceset from RPG Maker VX.

One way to make your game more interactive is to create a faceset for single character’s various expressions. This allows you to display different emotions to fit the character’s dialogue. It is, after all, kinda odd for the character portrait to be smiling when they’re angry or sad!

The RPG Maker MV character generator makes it easy to take a base portrait and change features such as the eyes, mouth and eyebrows to create expressions. Long, long ago, in an RPG Maker of old, I had to hand-paint the sprite emotions, which took forever! So this is wonderful!

The only limitation is that each time you export a new face, it places that face in its own file. So instead of having a 2×4 grid with 8 faces on it, you have 8 different files with one face each.

Now, this works just fine. It doesn’t break anything. But when you have several characters with 20+ facial expressions like Nefol does, that’s a lot of excess files that could be more compact. So, I set out to do something about this.

Thankfully, the files export from MV in PNG format. This made it a snap to import them to Photoshop and start cobbling the images together into one grid.

When all is said and done, you end up with a file that looks like this Zento set below:

Kid Sprite Kerfuffle

Syn and I also set out to create some sprites for NPCs and side characters this weekend. This included a number of kid sprites who had very specific characteristics.

Now, I’d noted that RPG Maker MV had a kid section of the generator, but I’d not yet looked into it. When we did, I was shocked to find it completely bare bones. There was only something like one hairstyle, one clothing style, a few eyes, and that sort of thing. This was not at all going to work with what we needed.

Come to find out, the kid part of the generator was only added to MV late last year. Also, the parts that should be in the generator came out as the fourth part of the $30 season pass.

Now, I’m a fan of all the great features that MV has provided so far. I think the base game is pricey, though, and that something as standard as kid parts for the generator should not cost an additional $30 as DLC. This should be part of the base package. I’m not the only one that feels that way… but it’s a debate for another time.

Needless to say, we dealt with the kid sprite issue, and carried on.

Syn’s Sprites

We also needed sprites for Jin’s two hunting companions, Yuu and Zhi. So, I requested Syn make those for me, and this is what she sent for Zhi. Isn’t he adorable??

Yuu came out very good, too, but Zhi makes me smile. Those Rai clan folks can be pretty crazy sometimes, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

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