RPG Maker 2003/Map
Well, now that you know about the outline for the maps, let's introduce you to the maps themselves. They have a lot of features that may come in useful for any game-creators out there, and this book will try it's best to introduce you to them all.
Maps are the basis of a game; without them, your characters have nowhere to start, and nowhere to go. They have nothing to interact with, and, all in all, your game would be a very boring one.
Maps can be organized in the Map Folder area. This area is where you will select the maps you will work on in the Map Editor. Naming them is important, because you might be making a hundred or more maps, and you'll need to know which is which. organizing them is also important, as several maps can be grouped according to their placement in the game you are creating.
Creating a New Map
There is a window that opens when you create a new map (you can create a new one by right clicking the main folder or any existing map or folder and click "New Map"). This book will explain everything that can be found on that window. NOTE: You can also open this window by right clicking the map you want to edit, and clicking "Map Properties".
This box is where you name your map. Make sure it's something you can recognize, and serves to summarize what the map is about. It's crucial that you know what your own maps are for.
This box is where you select the tileset you want for your map. You can choose any of the ones that you have uploaded and coded (look at Tileset).
These boxes are for the dimensions of your map. They can enlarge or shrink your map to any size that you need, but they do have minimums and maximums of 20X15 and 500X500, respectively. The first number refers to the number of tiles across, and the second refers to the number of tiles going up and down.
This simply refers to whether you can walk across the edge of a map and appear on the other side. If you activate Vertical Wrapping, when you walk off the top of bottom of the map, you'll keep going down, but from the top of the screen. It's the same for Horizontal Wrapping. And the Both selection just applies both Vertical and Horizontal Wrapping to your map. This is useful for World Maps to make it seem as if your map is an actual globe.
This area is for any enemies you want your characters encountering on your map. Simply right click or double click on the first spot on the box, and insert whatever enemy you want on that map.
This box is to determine how often you want the monsters you inserted in the Enemy Encounters area to appear. The lower the number is, the less often they will appear. Conversedly, the higher the number is, the more often they will appear.
This contains several smaller areas. First is the "Use Parallax Background" option. This simply means that if there are blank areas on your map (this will be explained later), it will be replaced instead with a picture of your choice as a background. This is useful for areas like in an airship or in space. Your choice. If you activate this, the other options become available. You can choose your background in the box immediately below it. Simply click the "set" button, and pick which picture you want as your Parallax background. After you choose your background, then you can choose if you want it to scroll or not. Choosing a horizontal scroll means that you can have it scroll horizontally. If you don't choose auto-scroll, it means that as the character moves, the background will scroll. Choosing auto-scroll means that even if the character stays still, the background will move. As with the encounter rate, the lower the number for speed, the slower it is, and the higher it is, the faster it moves.
This stands for Background Music. It has three options: Same as Parent Map, Entrust to Event, and Specify. If you choose Same as Parent Map, then the map will have the same BGM as the map that it is beneath. For example, if you right click on an existing map and choose a new map, then the map you clicked on would be the parent map. Next is Entrust to Event. This simply means that if you have an event that activates BGM, then it will acknowledge that, and not mess with it. Events will be discussed in a later chapter. Last is the Specify setting. This means that you choose which BGM that this specific map will have.
This option is for the background that appears behind the monsters and characters when you enter a random encounter. It has three options you can choose: Same as Parent Map, Use Terrain Settings, and Specify. If you choose Same as Parent Map, then it will use the same Battle Background that is used in the parent map. If the parent map doesn't specify a particular battle background, then it will automatically use the second choice. Use Terrain Settings means that whatever terrains you chose for a specific tile (see Tileset), it will use the battle background that you chose for that specific terrain (this will be discussed in a later section below). Lastly is the Specify setting. It is exactly the same as the BGM setting. You have to tell it which battle background to use whenever the characters experience a random encounter.
This means you can allow or forbid the ability to teleport out of the map. You have three choices. Once again, you have the As in Parent option, you have the Allow option, and the Forbid option. Choosing the first one means that it will have the same setting as the parent map. Choosing the second means that you allow it, and the third means you forbid it, as in their names. The next three has the same options, so this book will forego the trouble of writing it out again.
This means you can allow or forbid the ability to escape. This is NOT the same as teleporting. This means that you can teleport out of it, but not to an entirely unrelated map. As with a dungeon, you escape out of the dungeon to the entrance, but no farther.
This means you can allow or forbid saving in that map. Allowing means that the save option in the main menu is available, and forbidding makes it unaccessible.
Random Dungeon Generator
This is a very special feature, allowing the program itself generate a dungeon for you. It has several options which will be explained to the best of this book's ability. To find it make a new map, the in the top right hand corner it says "Use random Dungeon Generator" tick the box if you'd like to use it.
The Dungeon Generator Guidelines
This area is a set of options that tell the program how to make the dungeon. You can choose whether or not you want your dungeon to have a Single Winding Passage, Rooms linked with Passages, a Maze-like Passage Structure, or an Open Room with Obstacles. Also, it has and option of whether or not to surround the map with wall tiles. This means if it should make the map look more realistic, and have the wall tiles shown from respective angles.
Single Winding Passage
This is an option that makes, as in its' name, a single winding passage. Sometimes, it could overlap itself, but it is usually very simple, and starts at one place and ends at another. You are also able to change the width of the passages using the Passage Granularity option. You can make a 1X1 tile width, or a 2X2 tile width. The only difference there is the width of the passage. Nothing else.
Open Room with Obstacles
This is an option that uses the obstacles you choose at the bottom and places them randomly throughout an open room. This is by far one of the least successful ways of making a map, unless the map is very small.
Tile Selection Area
This area allows you to choose tiles for the dungeon generator to use. Make sure to choose carefully, because it may not look as good otherwise!
- Ceiling - This is the tile it will use as the ceiling. In other words, it will be the tile that surrounds all of the passages and rooms.
- Lower Wall - This is the tile it will use as the lower wall, or if you don't want an upper wall, as the main wall.
- Upper Wall - If you choose to use it, this will couple the Lower Wall, and create a combination wall. It's good to use if you want to make a shadow effect.
- Floor A, B, and C - B and C are optional floors, but A is not. You can choose whichever tile to use as the floor. If you want more than one floor, then you can make B and C active, and create a multi-floor tiled dungeon.
- Obstacle A, B, and C - Once again, like the Floors, you have to have an Obstacle A, but B and C are up to you. These are the obstacles that will be used in the fourth option. It's not highly recommended to use the random dungeon generator for the placement of obstacles, because it repeats too much. It is much better to place obstacles by hand for that personalized touch.
Finally, we have the layers to talk about. The layers are the crux of the maps, as the maps are the crux for the game. The layers give the map it's flavor, so to speak. Without them, maps would seem too boring, and in fact, there would be only one.
First is the Lower Layer. This is the main layer that you use to make floors, walls, ceilings, and most other landscapes. You usually want to create the map using this first.
Second is the Upper Layer. This layer gives obstacles and objects for interaction. This gives the Lower Layer its detail, and allows the characters to have a real journey!
Last is the Event Layer, the most important layer of them all. This allows your characters to interact with NPCs, with chests, objects, doors, and other things. It allows music to play in the background, characters to speak, and the ability to teleport from map to map. Events do many things for the game, and without them, your game will just be a game where characters walk and do battle without a story line. Events will be explained more in the Tutorials chapter.
Well, that's all there is to talk about maps. This book has given all it could to make sure you have all the knowledge for maps. Onwards we go!