RPG Maker VX Ace Map Tutorial
Familiarizing Yourself With The Toolbar:
So we just launched RPG Maker and have no idea where to start, that’s fine, that’s what I’m here for. The very first thing you should do is look at the toolbar. This will be used quite a bit throughout your time using RPG Maker so it will be easier to look and understand it now.
As you can see it is very similar to other toolbars, new project, open project, save, and so forth. However, further down we see some tools we may not have seen before.
Map (F5), Event (F6), and Region (F7)
Don’t worry about Region at this time, I will explain it in a later tutorial, for now it is not needed. Map (F5) is the map tool, it allows us to draw onto the landscape, create terrain, place items, and so forth. Basically it’s just what you want highlighted for designing your map. Event (F6) will be how you create events, I won’t go too far into detail about this, but it basically allows you to do some of the programming in RPG Maker.
Further down the toolbar is drawing utensils a lot like Paint’s, you see a pencil, rectangle, circle, and paint bucket. Those all do the exact same thing that can be done in paint – draw, or fill in the map.
Now that we have done a brief overview of the toolbar let’s move onto the map.
Creating A Basic Map:
So if you just opened RPG Maker then you will immediately notice three things, 1.) a character standing in what looks like a water background 2.) a variety of tiny icons 3.) the name of your project with “Map 001” labelled directly beneath it.
Go ahead and take the time to rename the map whatever you want, to do this follow these steps:
- Right Click on ‘Map001’
- Choose ‘Map Properties’
- Fill in the Name with your new name – I’m going to leave mine as ‘Map001’ for easy reference.
Now that we have the name let’s get to work! First, make sure the ‘Map’ selection is chosen, if not click on it or press F5.
Look at section 2 that I pointed out in the picture. This area contains two tabs “A” and “B” make sure to have A selected for now.
In tab A it allows the choice of any type of terrain, grass, desert, ice, and so forth. I’m going to create a simple grass area for our hero, but feel free to choose whatever terrain you like best. Highlight the terrain of your choice and follow these steps:
- Hover over the map laid out for us
- Choose the Rectangle to cover the map with your terrain
- Click and drag to fill out the size of the land you want your hero start with – I did an 11 x 7 square, any size is fine though.
Now that we have a nice field setup let’s see what we want to add. Go back to the tabs section on the left hand side and click tab B this time. You should see a variety of small houses, rocks, caves, and so forth. We are going to make a basic town for this map so follow these steps:
- Grab any of the house icons and place it on the field.
- If you chose a double house only one half went with, either go back and click on the remaining side, or click and hold to highlight more than one square.
- I chose the house on the second row, first house – choose whatever you want.
Alright now that we have some houses/town setup let’s add a little scenery.
- I’m going to click on the small mountains and spread it across the top left corner of the map.
- I’m going to then click on a dark cave entrance and place it on the mountains.
This will be used later as a dungeon, but for now we are going to look back at our town.
So we have some houses on the map, but right now they don’t do anything for us. If you tried test playing yet you will notice we just walk all over it, we don’t want this. To fix this we will have to create the actual town our hero enters. Follow these steps:
- Rick click on the name of your map, ‘MAP001’ for me.
- It will list some options, choose new map.
- A new window will appear, go to the top where it says ‘Name.’ Fill in the name however you wish – I went with ‘Town’ and added ‘Town’ to my display name as well. The display name will show up when you enter the new area, if you don’t want the name to appear leave it blank.
- Go to Tileset, click the drop down menu, and choose ‘exterior.’ If it is already highlighted than just press ok.
Once again we are left with a relatively blank map, that’s fine because we are going to fill it in ourselves. To do this follow these steps:
- Click tab A and fill out the terrain however you want. I went with a grass terrain again.
- Click on the bricks now – they are located directly under what looks like roof covers.
- Place the bricks on the map however you want. This will be our house, so I’d advice making a square or rectangle with it.
- Add a roof, click on the roof cover of your choice and drag it across your bricks. It should make a roof like design.
So we have a house, now what? Well let’s add a little décor first. Check out the other tabs, and then choose tab B. This tab has a lot of fantastic outside items to use, I’m going to make a small tree next to my house, then sprinkle some taller grass around it.
For this example I copied the steps to make our first house and made two more, you can just leave it at the one house for now, or do the same.
Now, follow these next steps to create an event that allows us to enter and exit our town:
- Go to the toolbar and choose Event (F6.)
- Once Event is pressed you should notice small boxes everywhere – that’s what we want.
- Right click on a small box of your choice, make sure it is at the end of your map because this will be where your hero leaves from, after right clicking choose ‘Quick Event Creation’ than choose ‘Transfer’
- Choosing transfer will pop up a new window, make sure the new destination is your first map, ‘MAP001’ for me.
- Another new window pops up, make sure it still says your map name, and then click on the area you want to exit to. This should be near or on your town.
- Hit ok.
Now click on your map name on the left hand side and do the same thing.
- Right click on a box on your town
- Quick Event Creation
- Choose ‘Town’ or whatever name you chose for your town.
- New Box pops up, click on the area of the map your hero will enter the town at.
Alright! We are almost done, let’s just add some finishing touches. We have a house in our town, but no way to enter it, this needs to be fixed!
- Right Click on the name of your town that’s located on the left hand side.
- Choose New Map.
- Name the new map however you want, I went with ‘House’ and left display name blank.
- Change Tileset to interior.
- Hit ok.
Once again we are left with a blank map, but we have new Tilesets to choose from. Tab A will have the walls, B has mostly furniture, and C has various items you may find inside a house. Go back to tab:
- On tab A choose a type of floor, I went with a wooden floor.
- Click and drag out a small box, or fill up the entire map. I just made a box.
- Choose a wall and outline your room with it.
- To add depth just add another wall that works well with the first one (see above picture for more info.)
- Now choose Event (F6)
- Right Click where the hero will enter and exit from.
- Choose Quick Event Creation
- Pick Transfer
- Now choose the Town as your new destination
- Click the point nearby your house for your hero to show up at when exiting.
Once you have that down go back to your town. Your house needs a doorway and somewhere for the hero to enter. The best way to do this is to pick a black entrance because the door will appear on top of it.
Than repeat the process we have used before:
- Quick Event Creation
- Choose door instead of transfer
- Pick ‘House’ or whatever you had named it as the new destination.
- Pick the spot on the map you want the hero to emerge from.
That’s it! Now you should be able to explore the field, your town, and the house. If you want to add some décor to your house just explore the other two tabs and place them in there. Next tutorial will go more in depth about event creation, shops, and add onto our dungeon out in that field.