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In this tutorial you will learn...

• How to add weather to maps
• How to make thunder and lightning

So, adding weather. It's harder than it sounds - but when done well, can make some awesome effects. Here we go, then.

Get yourself a map that you want to add weather to, and create an effects event somewhere that you will remember (preferably next to the one that you created last tutorial, if you did). Now, in this event, add a new command, and when the command window appears, head over to the second page of event commands.

Select the Set Weather Effects command (it's on the second page of event commands, at the bottom of the first group in the right- hand column), and you'll get presented with a box like this...

This box is pretty simple to operate, but I'll go through it anyway. First of all, the weather type. None is - well, it cancels any other weather effects that you have going at that time. It's the default, no effect weather. Rain is rain streaking down from top-right corner of the screen. Storm is like rain, only with slightly thicker drops, and they fall at a slightly sharper angle. It doesn't have thunder and lightning built in, that's a do-it-yourself addition that I'll go through in a minute or two. And finally, Snow is white whirling flakes that fall in the same direction as rain.

The power can be set for Rain, Storm or Snow, from 1 to 9, five being average. When with rain, the strength makes more raindrops fall from the sky. It's difficult to show in images, so have a go and see what I mean. With Storm, the effect is much the same, and finally, with Snow, a higher power makes more flakes fall.

Lastly, the time value tells you how many frames the weather effect will take to appear. I usually go for something around 30, but it is completely up to you.

So, let's make it rain, shall we? First of all, set the weather effects to Rain, and choose a power of about 5. Then, set the time to about 30. Now, you need to remember this value, because if you want everything to start at the same time, you need to have the duration the same. All will be explained when we put in BGS and Screen Tints.

These are my weather effects settings. Now, if I set the evet trigger to parallel (and you should always set the trigger to parallel when using effects that are happening all the time - I have a whole section of tutorials on Parallel Event Systems; head over to the Sitemap to get to them). When I go in-game, this is what I will see...

It's slightly difficult to show the weather effects in a picture, but there we go. Now, although it rains, it doesn't make sounds like rain or actually look dark like it's raining, does it? Now, we can fix that if we go back into the event.

See what I've done? I've put in Play BGS (background sound: it's on the second page of event commands, near the bottom-right of the page), which makes it sound like it's raining. Also, I have tinted the screen slightly darker (a technique we learnt last tutorial) - but if you look closely, you should see that there is an @30 after the screen tint values. What does this mean? It's the number of frames that it takes to change to that tint, another thing that I taught you last tutorial. Now, this is important, because remember that I set the weather effects duration to 30? If I want everything to work in sync, I have to set the durations for everything to the same - in this case, 30 frames. Now, if we go back into the game, it looks like this...

The screen tint is pretty awful, I'll admit, but you get the idea. I can't really show sound in images, but I assure you, it is working! Now, add in some fog, and you have a really atmospheric map! Great, huh? But I want to go over a couple more things before I go onto the tutorial on pictures, so listen up!

As the Storm doesn't come with thunder and lightning, I'll teach you how to make your own. This is getting into intermediate event system making, so read carefully, and hopefully it should go well. On your weather event, set the effects to Storm, and then, at the bottom, add in a Control Switches command.

See? Now, add in another event page on that event, and set the condition to start when the switch is on, like so...

Get the idea? Now, set the trigger to parallel process, and now you're ready to add in the event commands. You'll need to put in a Screen Flash, which is located on the second page of event commands, near to the Set Screen Tint command that we've been using. Found it? Click on it, and you should get a box like this...

Now, as with the screen tint, the sliders are pretty self-explanitory. First of all, the colour, which you can play around with until you get one that you like. For lightning, I normally stick with plain white. The duration is the number of frames the flash lasts for. I normally set this to about 5 to 15, varying. Got that? Now, click OK, and you'll have that in your event command pane. Now you need to add in the SE. Find the Play SE command, on the second page of event commands, and you'll get this box...

Find the 061-Tunderclap01 SE, about half-way down, and select it. Having varying volumes and pitches works well, so don't just stick to the default. When you've set that - congratulations! You have a thunderclap. But don't try it out yet - you need to add the Wait. Head back to the first page of event commands, and find the Wait command. You'll get the Wait box...

It explains itself, really. I normally go for a wait of about 150 frames for thunder and lightning - bear in mind that 40 frames is one second (assuming you're using the default RMXP Game Propeties settings), so 150 frames would be just under 4 seconds. Put that in, and now you're ready to try out your system. Does it work? Make sure the event trigger is parallel, and that the condition is that the switch is on.

Now, it's all working very well, but it's a bit boring. No variety. Go back into the event editing pane, and go to your thunder page. Select all three commands with the Shift button on your keyboard, and copy them. Click on the blank space below, and paste them there a few times. Now, on each one, play around with the settings to get some variety. See how I did it...

See the different values? I've also added a wait of 30 frames (remember that value?) at the beginning, so that the first thunderclap starts in sync with the storm. Bear in mind, however, that the wait at the bottom of the list is added to the wait at the top, so between the last and first thunderclap will be a wait of 230 frames here.

Well, that has been one of my longest tutorials yet, I should think - and I still haven't covered all the potential of weather! I was going to go over houses and map-changes with weather, but that will have to wait for another tutorial, I think. Check out the Sitemap to find it. The next tutorial here is on using basic pictures.

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