ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Technology»
  • Computers & Software

How to Make Characters Transform in RPG Maker VX Ace

Updated on October 23, 2016
From Light to Dark, from Man to Monster, there's no stronger expression of emotion than releasing the beast inside.
From Light to Dark, from Man to Monster, there's no stronger expression of emotion than releasing the beast inside.

Greeting Ladies and Germs! After a long Hubpages hiatus, which included a novel and video game demo crafted by yours truly, I’m back, and couldn’t be happier. The topic of today concerns my adventures using RPG Maker VX Ace. A program enabling any game design novice or pro to create one’s own interactive project, RPG Maker VX Ace, known as MVX Ace for short, uses eventing and even manipulations of its own script to provide a flexible interface for one’s game creation needs. However, having an original or cool idea for one’s game design can be roadblocked if one lacks experience using eventing or Ruby, Ace’s programming language, and this may make a project daunting, or seem impossible. The writer experienced such a roadblock while mastering Transformations, the process of upgrading an actor or enemy to a stronger form. Some users recommend changing the actor’s class, but forget, without using a custom script, classes don’t share experience, and will not allow you to change your physical appearance if using a side-view battle system. State changes, on the other hand, enable Transformation without Class switching, and, with a little scripting assistance, reduce complications when Transforming.

Important Note: This tutorial assumes you're using Yanfly's Core Engine and Battle Engine for your game, because it provides a visual representation of your character (a la Face Graphic) to symbolize your transformation. Before using Yanfly's Scripts for this tutorial, please review his terms of use. Here's a link to the man himself: http://yanfly.moe/yep/.

Ingredients For Change

Just like baking a cake, we’ll need the proper ingredients to get our Transformation State Change cooked to perfection without deflating in on itself. You will first need Resources to show how your character will physically change, Events to make the transformation and reversion occur, the State so the character’s status will improve upon changing, and the Skill that will allow the player to use the said change as freely as the creator wishes.

Blah!  Blah!  I want to suck yo blood!  Dracula's long lost cousin, here to represent.
Blah! Blah! I want to suck yo blood! Dracula's long lost cousin, here to represent.

The Resources

What would an awesome transformation be without the blond hair/golden glow/dry scales/mass of smelly fur/sudden puberty spurt to go with it? Whatever tickles your fancy, you’ll need a face image to represent your change in battle and a sprite sheet to represent your change outside of battle. Also, make sure the images you get are either png or can be converted to png, for this is the only image format MVX Ace recognizes. Once you find the face image and sprite sheet you need, import the Face Image by going to Tools/Resource Manager/Faces/Import, then find the image’s location on your computer and… Import. Do the same for your new sprite sheet via Tools/Resource Manager/Characters/Import.

For the sprite sheet, the writing was going for a creepy, floating-like effect.  I promise you'll find it scary.  On second thought, just suspend your disbelief.  I mean REALLY suspend it, in an airplane... over the mesosphere.
For the sprite sheet, the writing was going for a creepy, floating-like effect. I promise you'll find it scary. On second thought, just suspend your disbelief. I mean REALLY suspend it, in an airplane... over the mesosphere.

The Events

Consider this the commander for your resources. As you should already be aware of, Eventing is that omnipotent aspect, or near enough anyway, enabling you to tell your Actors, NPCs, and foes what to do and when to do it. For the next step, you’ll create two Events to visually display your Actor’s Transformation and your Actor’s Reversion back to his or her regular self.

  • For the Transformation Event, go to Database/Common Event.
  • On the right under General Settings and Name: give the Event a distinguishable name. Since the writer’s guy is transforming into a vampire and his name is Eric, the writer went with EVampireTransform.
  • Under the Contents, double-click the white space next to the weird internet ‘a’ and the greater than sign (@ >). From here, the Event Command Window, go to tab 3/Change Actor Graphic. Make sure the Actor name corresponds to the Actor you want to Transform, then double-click your character sprite to change it to your Transformation Sprite Sheet, then do the same for your Character Face Image.
  • For the Revert Event, while still under the Database/Common Event tab, click the space beneath your EVampireTransform Event to name it. Again, correspond the name to what the event does, so the writer's going with EVampireRevert.
  • Go to tab 3/Change Actor Graphic like you did before, but keep the original Sprite Sheet and Face Graphic (Don't change it).

The Common Events tab is very nifty for making your characters do things they couldn't normally do inside battles.  Something to remember before grabbing a script that could crash your program.
The Common Events tab is very nifty for making your characters do things they couldn't normally do inside battles. Something to remember before grabbing a script that could crash your program.
This is how your Event to change your Actor Graphic should relatively look.  Notice how the information proceeding Actor Graphic [Eric] has the same name as the Face Graphic and Spritesheet we imported earlier.
This is how your Event to change your Actor Graphic should relatively look. Notice how the information proceeding Actor Graphic [Eric] has the same name as the Face Graphic and Spritesheet we imported earlier.
...And here, for the Reversion back to a human, we change the Face Graphic and Spritesheet back to normal.  Easy as 3.14 something...something...something...
...And here, for the Reversion back to a human, we change the Face Graphic and Spritesheet back to normal. Easy as 3.14 something...something...something...

The State

Your transformed character can look like a fusion of SS4 Goku, Godzilla, and One Punch Man with the hair of Sephiroth and the sword of Nightmare, but it won't make a difference if he or she lacks the bite to back-up the looks. You'll need a State that gives your character that bite in your desired transformation.

  • To view your current States, naturally go to Database/States
  • Under States, there is a column with a list of all the States currently in your game. Click the “Change Maximum...” button, and increase the maximum States by 1
  • Click at the list's bottom on the new number without a name, and give it one under General Settings. The State I'm using will not be specific to Eric, but will contain Status buffs and abilities I want all my vampire characters to possess, so I called mine Vampire.
  • Set the Priority of your State to 100% (You don't want some other State eliminating your transformation, do you?), but do not change anything other than General Settings, unless you want to have Battle Log information display at the top (You know... “Eric is now a Vampire!” or “Eric has lost his bloodlust!” Stuff like that.)
  • Under Features, add any Buffs you desire to make your Transformation as OP or as balanced as possible. You can even make your character learn new skills only when he or she is in that State!

Nothing up the writer's sleeve here.  Just State what that state will do, then you're set.
Nothing up the writer's sleeve here. Just State what that state will do, then you're set.

What Fuels Your Love For Role-Playing Games?

See results

The Skill

As you already know, Skills are those abilities you use in battle to either blast your enemies to oblivion or to turtle yourself from their onslaughts. In this case, you'll be creating a skill to transform and one to revert from your transformation.

  • To make things easier on your players' (and your) eyes, we'll first create a Skill Type to hold your Transform and Revert Skill. To do this, go to Database/Terms, which is right-most tab under the Database window. Under Skill Types (the lower-left hand corner), change the maximum by 1, then name the new Skill Type Transformations. It's that simple.
  • Under Database/Skills are the... (you guessed it) Skills
  • Similar to what you did for the States tab, scroll to the bottom of the skill list, then use “Change Maximum...” to increase your skills by 2.
  • The Transformation skill should be named something character specific, for you'll be calling his or her specific Common Events for it (I went with Vampire, but placed Eric in parenthesis to show it's HIS vampire transformation.) The Skill Type is Transformations, the Scope is The User, and the Occasion is Only in Battle. The writer suggests using an Animation for your skill to add flair to the transformation. The MP or TP Cost should be... anything you want. You can make it a Limit Break, like with the Final Fantasy series (100 TP), or be more liberal and use less TP or make it Magic based. Go wild. But for the sake of testing, you should set it to 1 MP for now.
  • The remaining Skill will conduct your Reversion back to human form. Give it an appropriate name, then make the Skill Type: Transformations; the Scope: The User; the Occasion: Always; and the Animation: anything you deem appropriate, but Powerdown 1 (#45) gets the point across well. The writer recommends giving the player the option to Revert back free-of-charge, but you can give it a MP or TP cost if you want.

Can you imagine using Discard Item when you meant to Transform, while you only have 10% health left?  Separating certain abilities into Skill Types prevents this, and the consequent controller/keyboard deaths as a result.
Can you imagine using Discard Item when you meant to Transform, while you only have 10% health left? Separating certain abilities into Skill Types prevents this, and the consequent controller/keyboard deaths as a result.
The writer still believes the skills are the most fun part of making your game.  Also, for this tutorial, the writer recommends making your Occasion available Only in Battle. You can change this later if you desire.
The writer still believes the skills are the most fun part of making your game. Also, for this tutorial, the writer recommends making your Occasion available Only in Battle. You can change this later if you desire.
Having your Vampire stuck as a heliophobic  undead wouldn't be fun, would it? Can you imagine the pain of sunlight-dodging reaction commands at every turn?  *Shivers*
Having your Vampire stuck as a heliophobic undead wouldn't be fun, would it? Can you imagine the pain of sunlight-dodging reaction commands at every turn? *Shivers*

Mixing it All Together

To bring the Resources, Events, States, and Skills all together, do the following:
1. Go to the Actors tab under the Database window. For the Actor you wish to transform (In the writer's case: Eric) and under Features (far right), add the Skill Types: Transformations and Special. This will allow the Actor to Transform and use his or her special attacks gained by transforming.
2. Under the Skills tab, scroll to your transforming skill [Vampire(Eric)] and double-click the space under Effects. Go to State/Add State, and choose the state created earlier (Vampire), keeping it at 100%. Double-click the space again, but this time go to Other/Common Event and select the transforming event we created earlier (EvampireTransform).
3. Repeat up to step two with the Revert skill, only this time choose Remove State to eliminate the Vampire state from the Actor and add the Reverting Common Event (EVampireRevert)
4. Go back to the States tab. Under the Vampire state Features, go to Seal Skill and select the Transforming skill [Vampire (Eric)]. This ensures your players can't infinitely buff themselves while already in the Vampire state. Next, double-click the space under Features again and add the Revert skill [Revert(VE)]. Now you can turn-back to a Human after the battle's over.
5. Apply the changes, and your character's ready to go Suuuupa!

Unless your Actor knows the skill, he can't use it.  Try giving a friend who knows nothing about home improvements a pressure washer, then ask him or her to clean the mold from the side of your house.  Watch what insanity ensues.
Unless your Actor knows the skill, he can't use it. Try giving a friend who knows nothing about home improvements a pressure washer, then ask him or her to clean the mold from the side of your house. Watch what insanity ensues.
Before Erin is a vampiric slim-stomping bad a**...
Before Erin is a vampiric slim-stomping bad a**...
And after Erin is a vampiric slime-stomping bad a**.
And after Erin is a vampiric slime-stomping bad a**.

In Summary:

Using Transformations in your RPG Maker VX Ace game adds a timeless gameplay mechanic to your game as well as establishes more thrilling battles. Before you can complete a transformation, you must gather the Resources physically representing the transformation to the Player, the Event to link the Resource change to the Skill, create the State creating the status change, and the Skills to change to and from the change. Finally, you must connect these four aspects together so your Actor can thrash the enemy with heightened abilities. If you experience trouble with the steps above (Because of sweaty palms that constantly slip from the mouse, or, heaven forbid, the writer didn't describe the details well enough), you can go to http://www.rpgmakervxace.net/, become a member, and browse the forums for your answer or ask it for yourself. RPG Maker VX Ace may be a tool capable of greatly facilitating achieving one's dream of making a video game, but don't enter the endeavor light-heartedly. Programming knowledge isn't necessary to begin or even finish your project, but you'll still find yourself fighting through lines of Logic statements in your Eventing (If... then statements, Switches, Returning Values to do stuff, and stuff like that). Even if you find yourself more stuck than an elephant in a tar pit with a ton of bricks on its back, don't give up! There's a community of game designers/artists/programmers who've experienced similar troubles to your own, and some of them have actually swam through the same deep, dark waters of issues. Ask for help, don't let your dream die, and one day you may create the next Final Fantasy, Fire Emblem, Chrono Trigger, or Xenoblade Chronicles. You won't know until you give it your all, right?

Want to make your own game? Why wait:

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.