Playing with RPG Maker

Wednesday’s chiptune experiment was fun, but it seemed a little lacking on its own—it had to be placed in the proper context. So, here’s a scene from the alternate universe Umineko: When They Cry adventure game, coming soon to your Sony PlayStation.

This was the result of four hours of experimentation and refinement with the demo of RPG Maker XP. (I deliberately picked an older version in case I wanted to later try a demo of a newer version.) The characters are all recolored versions of the default sprites that come with RPG Maker, except for Jessica’s sprite (a recolored version of Sithjester’s “xmas girl”). The dialogue portraits were actually extracted from Umineko itself using Uncle Mion’s ONScripter Tools, then fixed up, cropped, and resized using Acorn. (Any image editor would have worked.) Finally, RPG Maker XP can’t actually show dialogue portraits by default, so I went hunting around on the internet until I found ccoa’s Universal Message System script, which worked perfectly.

The scene shown is a real scene in the novel, but I rearranged and simplified the dialogue a little to fit in the time allotted (and the text box dimensions).

“But wait, don’t you have a Mac? How did you run something with ‘XP’ in the name?” Turns out people have been having this problem for years too; there’s a free program called Wine that lets you run Windows apps on Linux or OS X. It doesn’t work for everything, but it did work for RPG Maker XP. (This is another reason to pick an older version of the app; Wine’s had more of a chance to get things right for emulating older versions of Windows.) Wine’s actually how I’m reading/playing/watching Umineko itself; I couldn’t ever get the Mac version to work.

For a truly epic instance of someone making a chiptune cover and then “putting it in context”, check out Doctor Octoroc’s 8-bit Doctor Horrible.

Part of NaCreSoMo 2016.

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