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Reference

In this tutorial you will learn...

• How to start a new project in RMXP
• How to make new maps
• How to order maps
• How to change your starting position and playtest your game
• Some tricks for playtesting


Hi there, and welcome to my first reference tutorial! In this tutorial, I will be showing you how to do some simple, yet fundamental things in RPG Maker XP so that you can get to know the editor and learn some of its quirks.

So, the first thing that I am going to go through is how to set your starting position on a map and test your game. So, assuming that you have never used RMXP before, the first thing we need to do is to make a new project. You can do this by selecting the New Project button in the top left-hand corner of the screen, or you can use the File menu if you like. Once you've done that, you'll see a box that looks like the following:



This is where you can give your new project a name and choose where to save it. It doesn't matter what you call your project for now; you can always change it later (something I will show you in a moment!). I find it best to keep all my RMXP projects in one folder where I know where they are. You can change the destination folder by clicking on the ellipsis button next to the current file path.

When you've created a new project, you will get a screen looking like this:



Just a quick tip that I said I would share: if you would like to change the name of your game, you can do so in the following way - go to the Game menu, and click on Change Title… and you will see this:



You can now type in a new title for your game.

So, back to maps! (If you have read my Basic Map Building tutorial, you will have seen all this already, up until this point, and you will know how to do some basic map building.) Now, if you want to create a new map, just look down to the map list at the bottom of the tileset. You see where there is a little folder icon with your project's name? Right click on that, and you will see a menu. On the menu, click New Map like so…



Organising your maps is important. Conventionally in RPG Making, the main maps such as forests and towns etc., will be situated as a sub-map of the main game folder, like the map we have just created. However, maps such as the insides of houses in towns, different floors of castles and different levels to caves will be sub-maps of the main map, like so:



See what I mean? It's not compulsory, obviously, but it does help to keep your game organised! To create a sub-map of another map, simply right-click on the map that you want as the main map, and select New Map. This will make a new map as a sub-map of the one you clicked on. For example, if I wanted to create another House map for the town, I would right-click on the map Town that I have, and select New Map. You can collapse the main maps to hide its sub-maps by clicking on the little minus sign next to its name, and then you can expand it again by clicking on the plus sign.

So, now we know how to create and organise maps, but what if you want them in a different order? There is a way to order maps, and it is quite confusing - but I'll have a go at explaining it! So, here I have a list of maps that I am going to put in a different order.



Say, for example, that I wanted the Town map to be at the top, then the Forest, and then the Cave. First, I'll collapse the maps to make it easier to see. Then, I need to click the map that I want to be at the top of the list, and drag it into the main folder, like so:



When you drop it, you'll see that it goes to the bottom of the list. Now, that's no good, I hear you say; we wanted it at the top! However, if you do the same thing with the other maps, they too will go to the bottom and the bottom map will get pushed to the top. So, I wanted the Forest map next, so I'll drag that onto the main folder, and that will become at the bottom. Then, if I do the same thing with the Cave map, that will go to the bottom, and - hey presto - we have the maps in the right order! You can also do this with sub-maps - simply drag the map you want at the top of the sub-map list onto its main map, like so:



And do exactly the same as we did with the main maps, and you can order those too. Just a little tip before I move onto the next topic: you can also move sub-maps to the main folder and main maps to sub-maps by dragging them and dropping them onto the main folder or the map that you want them to be a sub-map of. For exaple, if I decided that I wanted the Town map and all its sub-maps to be a sub-map of the forest, I would just drag the Town map and drop it on the forest map. Easy!

Now I am going to show you how to playtest your game. You see the little on your first map? This is the starting position from where your character will begin when you start up a new game. If you want to change this, navigate to the map that you want to start from, and right-click on the square that you would like to start from, and you will see a menu. At the bottom of the menu, there is a command that says Player's Starting Position. Click on this, like so:



Now your player will begin from this square when you playtest your game. Make sure that it is a tile that you can walk on, otherwise you won't be able to move! But, how do we playtest a game? You see the little button at the top? Click on this, and you will be asked if you would like to save the changes to your game (if you've made any). Click Yes, and then you will be able to playtest your game. At the title screen, select New Game, and press Enter or Spacebar. You will see your character starting from the place that you specified. Move using the arrow keys. If you want to quit your game, press Esc to bring up the Menu, and then select End Game. At the next menu, select Shut Down. Your game will close. Cool huh?

Now, the controls are pretty self-explanitory for playtesting. You can also save your game from the menu, and then you can select Continue from the title screen menu and continue with the game that you saved, like a normally functioning RPG. However, there are a few things that you can do when you're playtesting that you wouldn't be able to do if you were playing your game for real.

When you playtest your game, you are in Debug mode, and there are few things that you can do to aid testing of your game. If you hold down the Ctrl button when walking around in playtest mode, you can walk through impassable tiles and it also prevents you from entering random encounters. Useful for testing out things! And just quickly, before I go, there's one more thing that you probably won't need at the moment, but may come in handy later: if you press F9 when playtesting, you will be brought to a Debug window containing all the switches and variables in your game so far, looking like this:



Now, this will look a lot different from how yours will - I have made many switches and so on to use (and I have also changed the font, but that's a tutorial for another day). Here you can turn switches on and off and set variables to different values. Very useful for cutscene testing!

And that is about it for my first using RMXP tutorial! The next tutorial will cover how to set different keys to different buttons, and what each are used for. See you there!

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