Archive for April 2012

A guide to Note-tagging

So you’re getting into scripting, maybe you just released a script and naturally you’re a bit peeved because the first person to reply did nothing but complain about the lack of note tagging, maybe the second reply agreed with him… Right so now you’re a double murderer but want to learn how to incorporate note tagging in your future scripts. Then this tutorial is for you.

First let me begin by saying note tagging is NOT REQUIRED NOR EVER WILL BE for a script. It does not improve a script, it does not in any way make a script better. It only makes a script easier to use for people of no scripting ability or those with a weak disposition about editing a script. In some ways it’s a bad thing because it encourages a plug and play attitude and keeps people from doing minor amounts of scripting (which can lead to a better understanding of scripts). But clearly if you’re reading this then you want to make your scripts more “user friendly.” So let’s have a look at the potential classes you can use note tagging in:


C
lick to see full size.

Hopefully you will be able to find in the database and editor where you put the notetags. Notetags usually look like:

<notetag x>

I don’t know who came up with the format but it effectively mimics html tags, notetags don’t have to look like that but it’s what people are used to. If you do something different then any “user friendliness” you add to your script will be quickly be diluted with queries and uncertainty about the notetagging.

Right let’s now get into the code, hypothetical scenario you have a script where by one of your characters has a chance to not consume an item when using it and you want each item to have a different chance to avoid been consumed. You’ve decided your notetag will be:

<con x>

A quick look at the diagram I’ve provided you should lead you to: RPG::Item. Different people implement notetags in slightly different ways, for example Yanfly built an entire architecture around pre-loading notetags but I’ll just show you the way I do notetags and if you’re interested in other ways of notetagging you can also go look at how other scripters implement it.

So we’ve got our class, RPG::Item let’s go into them the script then:

class RPG::Item

end

We now need to add the new method you’ll call from somewhere in your script.

class RPG::Item
  def conserve_chance
  end

end

In all the classes with notes the note is stored in a variable called @note. Anyway this is what our final code looks like:

class RPG::Item
  def conserve_chance
    if @note =~ /<con (.*)>/i
      return $1.to_i
    else
      return 0 # the default if no notetag is present
    end
  end

end

Let’s just examine it a bit closer. =~ basically is checking for a match with the notetag. The two / are to do with regex which unless you want to look into more closely then what I go through here should see you through setting up any note tag. As for .* the . accepts any character except line breaks and the * means you can enter as many as you like. Finally the i after the second / just tells it to ignore case meaning <con x>, <CON x>, <Con x>, <CoN x> would all be accepted as a match.

$1 effectively holds whatever was placed in the notetag, by default it will be a string, if you need it to be an integer then add .to_i onto it like in the example.

I think that concludes the main chunk of the tutorial but there are two more things I want to go through getting an array from notetagging and inheritence with notetagging.

Lets jump into getting an array from notetagging, $1 contains the string from the notetag so we could have people enter the array like: <array 1,2,3,9,4> for example. There is a highly useful function in ruby called split and what it does it break up a string and return an array, best part of all if we can tell it how to break the string up. Right below are two examples one for an array of string and one for an array of integers.

class RPG::Item
  def conserve_chance
    if @note =~ /<con (.*)>/i
      return $1.split(",")
    else
      return []
    end
  end

end

 

class RPG::Item
  def conserve_chance
    if @note =~ /<con (.*)>/i
      ints = []
      for x in $1.split(",")
        ints.push(x.to_i)
      end
      return ints
    else
      return []
    end
  end

end

 

Right then that just leaves me to go through inheritance and notetags. If I may draw your attention to subset of the diagram above:

What the arrows represent is inheritance (I know that in UML they should be clear arrowheads but I don’t care). Inheritance is where the classes inherit all the variables and methods from the other class. The variable note exists in the RPG::BaseItem class and them all the other classes in the diagram inherit it. What this means is that if you need the same method in more than one of these classes you can put it in a class which the classes you need the method in inherit. So for example if I want to add something to both Weapons and Armours then I can put the method in EquipItem.

So hopefully this has helped you understand how to incorporate note tagging in your scripts, if you’re desperate to use notetagging when there are no notes you could always consider name tagging! But in all seriousness if you need any further help or clarification please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Jet has scolded me for performing the check every time the method is called so here’s an example of how to cache the notetag so that it only calculates it once per session.

class RPG::Item
  def conserve_chance
    if @conserve_chance.nil?
      if @note =~ /<con (.*)>/i
        @conserve_chance = $1.to_i
      else
        @conserve_chance = 0
      end
    end
    @conserve_chance
  end

end
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Just a quick update on what I’m doing.

Very busy, not least because I’m playing Star Wars the Old Republic (Flames of the Crucible if anyone wants to join me). I’m currently programming a new version of some software that is used at work and unfortunately for you this means that I don’t generally feel like programming after spending several hours working on this application. The good news is that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and normal scripting may resume soon (a couple of weeks?).

When I do the two scripts that are most in need of an update are my animated battlers and my stamina/atb scripts. Anyway until then, have fun!

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How to make the most of custom formulae.

So earlier today in rpgmaker’s irc chat the conversation moved to the scripts someone desired for their game which included:

favorite foods – i can specify each actor’s favorite food and when the item is used on them, they heal extra hp or something

Anyhow I pretty quickly realised a script was not needed to implement this feature. RPG Maker Ace once again proves just how versatile it is because this feature can be implemented in a single input box. In particular this one:

That formula box alone has tremendous potential. I offered two solutions to the problem.

if b.id == 1; 500; else; 100; end;

b.id == 1 ? 500 : 100

Let us first look at exactly what they are doing. They both check a conditional statement, namely:

b.id == 1

For the formula box in general a refers to the attacker or user and b refers to the defender or recipient, who may or may not be the same.

Any way what we are checking is that the recipient’s id is equal to 1. Please note that this example is about an item which should be usable on party members only and therefore b is always going to be an actor (party member in English). So essentially we are checking that the person who the item is being used on is first in the database (Eric by default).

Now let’s look at the rest of those lines.

if b.id == 1; 500; else; 100; end;

If you’ve done any programming before you will recognise this as a standard if statement. If you’re confused about the presence of the semi-colons then let me quickly explain that they are like a way of inserting a new line. Were we not restricted to a single line then we could have written it like this:

if b.id == 1

500

else

100

end

So what this means is when the character id equals 1, heal 500HP otherwise heal 100HP. The other version achieves the same result but might be a little less clear if you are not overly familiar with ruby.

b.id == 1 ? 500 : 100

It still has the conditional, it is still checking if the item is being used on Eric but the rest of the code you could say has been condensed. This effectively boils down to:

condition ? true : false

The last thing two things I want to say before moving on are firstly that for more complicated situations you are probably better going the if statement route and the last thing is that while the formula box is pretty powerful you need to be aware that it is capped at a certain length (let’s be grateful that we use a & b and not attacker & defender) and if there is an error in your formula the skill will just miss repeatedly rather than crash the game.

Right so that concludes the explanation section of this tutorial. I personally find having a lot of examples to work from quite helpful so this next section is going to be a problem and solution section and hopefully one of them will be close enough to what you hope to achieve that you can adapt it.


Scenario: Half your party are demi-humans or robots and require different healing items than the rest of your party.

There are some quite creative solutions to this problem but for the sake of this tutorial I want to keep is simple. So the solution I offer just checks the ids again.

(b.id==1 or b.id==3 or b.id==4) ? 500 : 0

A couple of things I would like to draw your attention to. I have omitted the spaces on both sides of == because when we’re space conscious they are wasted characters. The other feature is the ors they act like you’d expect but be careful when using and because it has a bit more to it.


Scenario: One character’s favourite food is peanut butter sandwiches but another character is allergic to peanuts.

So the way I’m going to implement it is that Eric gets a bonus 100 health when he eat the sandwich but Natalie is afflicted by poison when she eats one.

if b.id==1;200;elsif b.id==2;b.add_state(2);0;else;100;end;

So it was a bit more complicated this time so I went the route of the if statement, elsif is a way of checking another condition if the first one wasn’t met. So let’s just talk it through, if Eric gain 200HP, if Natalie add status number 2 (poison) otherwise restore 100HP.


Scenario: You have a thunder skill which doors more damage when outside, which you control with a switch

This is just a switch example.

$game_switches[x] ? 500 + a.mat * 4 – b.mdf * 2 :  200 + a.mat * 4 – b.mdf * 2

I’ve also included in it an example of how to include the default formula so you can see how to incorporate it.


Scenario: I have a skill whose power I want to control through a variable

Easy enough. Here’s how to do 10 times the value of the variable.

$game_variables[x] * 10


Scenario: I have a gamber and I want him to use dice skills e.g. he rolls two six sided dice, the skill does 100 times the combined number of the faces. It does double if he rolls a double and 10000 if he rolls snake eyes.

This one has a lot in it so we’ll look at it closely. We’ll use the if method and then use the rand(x) method which returns a number from 0 to x-1 meaning we will add 1 to it to simulate dice. We will also need to create some local variables, I will use c & d (DO NOT USE a & b).

c=1+rand(6);d=1+rand(6);if c==1 and d==1;10000;elsif c==d;c*400;else;(c+d)*100;end;

It’s not perfect, I would quite like to know what he rolled rather than just seeing the damage. Don’t worry the solution to this new problem will be shown in the next tutorial.


Scenario: We want a skill like White Wind (a final fantasy move which restores someone’s current health).

An easier one for once, we want the target’s (b) hp

b.hp

Other parameters you can use:

hp,mp,tp,mhp (Maximum Hit Points), mmp *Maximum Magic Points), atk,def,mat (Magic ATtack power),mdf,agi,luk


Scenario: What about demi?

Demi was a move which took a quarter of your current health.

b.hp / 4


Scenario: I want a skill which uses someone else’s stat e.g. my princess is bossing her guard around.

This is easier than you think, as long as it’s a particular character.

$game_actors[1].atk * 4 – b.def * 2

Eric attack!


Scenario: I want a skill to add an effect on the user e.g. exhaustion.

Not too hard.

a.add_state(2); a.atk * 4 – b.def * 2

Could also have it damage the user etc


Scenario: I want a skill which does more damage with a certain weapon equipped.

Little bit more complicated.

a.weapons.include?($data_weapons[1]) ? 1000 : 200

Since when did Hand Axes become so strong?


Scenario: I want a skill to do x

Leave a comment and I will try my best to direct you.

It has been brought to my attention that v[x] achieves the same result as $game_variables[x]

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