How to add dating sim elements in RPG Maker Fes
RPG Maker Fes is a versatile piece of software. While there are some limitations, such as an inability to create custom sprites for use in your games, there are other ways in which the game completely opens itself up so you can play around. While we covered some of the basics in our video series, today we’ll be going a bit more in-depth with RPG Maker Fes possibilities. For example, it is incredibly easy to build relationships into the game. Whether you want to make an RPG with dating sim elements or put together a visual novel, it is absolutely possible.
It is all about making good use of the branching conversation and variable system. The first thing you will want to do is set variables. This can be done automatically, when you are setting variables for page conditions, or you can specifically name and set variables when putting together an event. I prefer going with the latter, since you can go ahead and assign a name to a variable and tie it to a character, but it is fine to go ahead and arrange them as you need them.
What you will want to do from the very start when preparing an RPG Maker Fes relationship system is determine variable increases. This is because the page condition variable section automatically sets variable greater than as ≥, which means equal to or greater than, while ones for lower then are set as a simple <, which means less than. Character relationships and variables will always start as 0, unless you set them otherwise, so keep that in mind when making your starting relationship event condition. It will need to be at less than one to trigger. For subsequent events, you will need to make sure the variable is within a certain range to ensure they trigger.
Now, because the variable system for RPG Maker Fes’ page conditions sets greater than as automatically greater than or equal to, you could have the variable for a particular character’s relationship increase by one for each positive response. So, say I had a character named Cuinn. (And I do! In Michibiku.com’s Academonic otome-RPG, the first fourth of which is now available on the RPG Maker Fes servers!) I took variable 301 and named it Cuinn Luv. I then always knew this was tied to him.
In Academonic, my RPG Maker Fes game, variables can get a little more complicated due to additional events. We’ll simplify here to make the system easier to understand. When you first add Cuinn to Michibiko’s party, you can visit his dorm room for a relationship event. It is here that the event multiple response system comes into play. There are multiple options for creating a branching conversation in this game. We’ll be going over Yes/No and three option branches. With yes/no, two branches are added to the conversation. You can change the “Yes” and “No” dialogue, or leave it as it is and add additional dialogue boxes underneath it. With three options, the options are initially 1, 2 and 3, and you will need to fill in the tags for each one.
The important thing is to also add the increase/decrease variable directive under each choice. For a positive event, you want to increase the value by one. That way, for all subsequent events, you know you need a one point increase to make things happen. So the first event would require a page condition of greater than or equal to one, the second would be greater than or equal to two and so on.
But how do you handle a “bad” answer that would “end” a relationship? In Michibiku’s Academonic, I have it set up where a bad answer even in the first relationship event can completely end any chance of a relationship. How does this happen? Well, there is an easy way to make this work. You are allowed two conditions per page. For each event, you want to have a greater than or equal to value that is dependant on positive responses. But for negative responses, you want to jack up the values higher.
Whenever someone says the wrong thing to Aiden, Braiten, Cuinn or the secret bachelor in Academonic, their variable value shoots up 1,000 points. I then give each standard event a “less than 900” page condition. That means people giving positive responses can still continue, but people who made a bad choice are locked out of all future events. You need to determine what your “negative” value will be, I recommend something ridiculous like 1,000, and then make sure every relationship event has the “less than 900” condition applied.
From there, all you need to do is create as many relationship events as you’d like to have exist in your RPG Maker Fes game. Once you’ve had enough and come to a point where you feel you have an ending, you can “write” an ending with events, add the option that causes the game to end following the final dialogue in events and call it a game. Should you want to see an example of an in-progress system in action, our Academonic is immediately available in an in-progress version.
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