If you want to get the most out of RPG Maker, learn Ruby. In the meantime, lots of talented scripters have done the work for you. Every Friday, The Iron Shoe features a fun script and goes into detail about how to use it. It also covers a little bit of Ruby each time so you can make even more out of the script.
Yanfly is one of the Great Scripters for RPG Maker VX Ace, from overhauling combat, to customizeable skill sets. Truly using Yanfly’s scripts one could finally implement their dream jobs/abilities/materia?/weapon/talent tree system. But today I want to talk about something far more frivolous, and yet just as important. Yanfly’s Gab Bar!
The Gab Bar allows you to post ambient dialogue that’s not important enough to warrant a full box, or any response from the player. It helps you set the scene and convey story in an easily digestible way. Got a wall of text that the player needs to understand your game? Consider instead the Gab Bar, in your tutorial or intro level; have some soldiers give some background, and your player will thank you.
Download the script from Yanfly’s blog – and while you’re there, browse his other scripts! They’re all quite useful! Add it to your game, and away we go!
Calling the gab window requires a script call. It’s pretty easy:
Where you replace string with what you’d like to say. A very straight forward example is:
When we talk to our soldier, rather than opening a dialogue box, our soldier’s text will show up on the top of our screen, in a little gab window. The window won’t impede our player’s progress; she can walk around and play the game without having to “respond” to the dialogue. This can often prevent players from just rapid-fire clicking through conversation. It also separates “chatter” from important dialogue, encouraging players to pay attention when there *is* a dialogue box.
We can go one step further with a slightly different script call:
gab(string, spritesheet, index)
Here, in addition to the gab, you’ll get a little actor sprite indicating who actually said it. For example,
Spritesheet refers to the file name with the character’s graphic – here, “People4”. Index tells you which character on the sheet he is.
As you might imagine, the gab bar is hardly limited to talking to an NPC. You can use this script call in a parallel process in, say, a crowded bar. Every so often, a patron might pipe up with a comment about recent political events, a cave north of here with legendary treasure, or a rumor about a monster’s weakness. This doesn’t even require the player to interact with something or someone, instead just adding chatter to give the player guidance and create a more lively world.
It can also be used to build inter-party dynamics, and that’s what our challenges are based on:
Set up a common event parallel process that, every five minutes, chooses a random party member and has them say a catch phrase unique to that party member.
As above, but add a variety of catch phrases for each member, and have one chosen at random.
As above, but instead of a catch phrase, create a dialogue between two present party members.
We’ll go over the answers in a few weeks! And you can grab Liberty’s ghost edits – along with a good deal more gorgeous artwork – over on the RPG Maker forums.