RPG Maker: Nefol Dev Blog – Digger Emerged!

Last weekend, I set about doing what I mentioned in the last post — struggling with how to introduce and script the Digger battle. I spent a lot of time chasing down rabbit trails, but I learned a lot about the different plug-ins and how to make them do what I want to do.

First thing’s first, I remade the Digger sprite.

It’s still not as big and intimidating as I’d hoped once on screen, but I did realize I needed something with a side view like this. So, in the end, it worked. Or… at least, the blue frog seems intimidated!

I also wanted to have a whirlpool type effect in the spot where the digger would first appear. Syn envisioned this creature to be somewhat like an underground antlion, which uses pits in the ground as a way to trap food.

Getting this effect wasn’t easy, but I did eventually rework a battle animation to do what I was basically hoping to do.

And, finally, was time to tackle the scripted battle. This took me hours… but I ended up with a lot of knowledge about how Yanfly’s battle systems work. There’s a scene where I wanted Jin to jump out in front of the party (to defend them), so I effectively needed something that would allow me to move Jin’s sprite position permanently on the battle screen. Finding something that would actually let me do that was a lot of time, failure and research.

I discovered that Yanfly’s Battle Engine Core has the beginnings of what’s called Action Sequences. This, along with the  Action Sequence Pack 1, Pack 2 and Pack 3, allows you to create all kinds of effects for attacks and other battle actions. Think of something like the animation tied to a Dragoon’s Jump attack — things like that.

However, as cool as it is, it could not permanently allow me to change Jin’s position on the battle field. After hours of working with it, I could get him to walk forward, but his position would only last the duration of the battle action before he’d return to his home position.

Setting the Row

I almost gave up on this several times, but in doing more research, I found someone on the forums asking the same question as I was. Interestingly enough, the answer ended up being in an unexpected place — Yanfly’s Row Formation plugin.

Like in old-skool JRPGs, you can set up rows —  like back row for casters and front row for melee. This plugin makes rows very dynamic, and would be an awesome bit of strategy to add to any RPG Maker game. But all I needed it for was to make one character stand out in front of the rest of the party.

This plugin did what I needed it to — it’s quite powerful in that you can even call to the plugin script while in the battle and change a character’s row dynamically. So basically, when I needed Jin to hop out in front of the party to intercept the monster’s attack, I put in a script call for him to change to the front row.

Like so:

And there you have it. Hours of trial and error just to get a simple change of placement for characters on the battle screen. Well, at least I got it working, which means I can probably finish up Chapter 2 this weekend! I’ve figured out the hardest part, I hope!

Oh, and see the nice new status bar with all the character faces on the battle screen? That’s a part of Yanfly’s Battle Status Window plugin. I swear, this guy knows how to do it all.

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