RPG Programming:
by SeiferTim : 24 November 2004

Welcome to my Third Tutorial! Anyone who had frequented the Game / AI Programming Forum in the Kirupaforum might have seen a very popular topic: The basics of an RPG, started by denacioust, where he did a decent job of creating a basic, and preliminary Tutorial for an RPG. However, the thread soon began to fill up with posts from n00bs, who kept asking the same questions repeatedly, without reading any other posts... and some seemed to be asking for someone to do a lot of the work for them - one of my biggest Pet Peeves. So, in response to the overwhelming number of repeated posts in the thread, I decided to take upon the task of writing a comprehensive Tutorial to get everyone started in creating one of the more involved types of games: The Role Playing Game, or RPG.

As I said before, denacioust started this whole thing with his own tutorial, which - to my knowledge - he never finished. I do not intend to use any of his examples, since I have no right to. In fact, I'm going to start all the way from the beginning, using my own examples, and such to walk through the process. I also want to make clarify that the end result from this tutorial will not necessarily be the best or most well-written sample of code - in fact, by most standards it will probably look pretty shoddy, but it should give you the benefit of a starting point, to get you going in the right direction - and should put an end to those repeated "How-can-I-get-my-guy-to-not-walk-through-walls" Questions.

What will be Covered:

  1. First, I'll cover what an RPG is, and the different types there are. This will ensure that we're all on the same page.

  2. Next, I want to cover planning, and coming up with the ideas behind your game. I want to stress that this is a crucial step, so you probably won't want to skip it.

  3. Next, we'll worry about making some of the first graphics: Your Guy, and getting him to move around in empty space.
  4. Next, we'll give him the ability to do stuff, like pick stuff up - this will help us get used to the HitTest, one of the most important tools in game programming.
  5. We will constrain Guy's Actions to a small room - giving him walls that he can't walk through. This will be the beginning of our Tiles.
  6. Here we'll make a simple map editor to help us give our Guy places to go.
  7. And then we'll begin connecting maps, so that he can move from one place to another, we'll also worry about doors here.
  8. Next up on the agenda will be the Game Mechanics - how you want to deal with Player and Enemy Stats, and Leveling Up, etc. You'll need a good deal of skill with Algebra here.
  9. Then, we'll move on to Battles. Our example will be of a Classic / Random Battle RPG, for reasons I'll talk about in section I.
  10. Then, we'll go to the Forge, and create new weapons for our Characters...
  11. ...and then we'll play with genetics to make lots of different monsters for them to fight.
  12. And then we'll make a few more screens, like a Status Screen, Equipment Screen, and so on...
  13. Finally, we'll wrap everything up, and see how it works!

If this looks daunting, don't worry - it is - but, we'll work through this the best we can.

Onwards to the next page!


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