As many of you already know, I started live-streaming SMILE GAME BUILDER on YouTube, specifically for developing Tutoria, the lands in which the game takes place.
Tutoria is a vast land mass sitting in the centre of the Primeval Ocean (a bit like Pangea before it shifted into the continents we know today).
It’s divided into two supercontenents: Aetios, the frigid ice-bound tundra in the north, and Kryuth, comprising more temperate climates in the south and the sweltering desert regions farther south and east.
Connecting them is a man-made bridge in the east, referred to simply as the Crossing, and an isthmus in the west known as the Dragon’s Causeway. The capital of Kryuth is Ancieryth and Aetios’s capital city is Cloverleaf.
The above image provides a very basic layout of what Tutoria is meant to look like. Details will inevitably change as development continues throughout the live-streams and the map itself might change over time. (The map was created on Inkarnate, an online map creator. You do need an account to use it, but you can still make some useful maps even with the Free version; the Pro version isn’t that badly priced either.)
The Purpose of Tutoria
The basic idea behind Tutoria – and the purpose of the live-streams on YouTube – is to create a game from start to finish (however long it takes) and then to post-process it in Unity so that it can then be downloaded and played by all.
It isn’t a serious attempt at game making! It’s simply to create a game over the course of one- or two-hour streams for others to watch. And that’s it!
As I develop Tutoria during the live-streams, I’ll also revisit some of my older video tutorials and bring them more up-to-date. Plus I’ll demonstrate how to create some of the graphics for the game, including icons, effects, and so on. This essentially makes it a tutorial live-stream with the end-goal of a completed game.
Incidentally, Sana of SmileBoom suggested the name "Tutoria" some time ago because I initially wanted to create a series of videos dedicated to creating a short game in SMILE GAME BUILDER based on my tutorials. And it stuck! Hence why it’s so named now.
During live-streams I’ll be giving away free stuff! Everyone likes free stuff, right?
This could be anything from Title screens to Game Over screens to assets that I create. In last week’s stream, I gave away a Title screen of a nice fairy sitting on a toadstool in a fairy ring.
In the beginning, these giveaways will be sporadic, pretty much as and when I feel like it, but over time, they’ll become a regular feature for all the Tutoria streams. I’ll usually announce this on Twitter and Facebook.
The rules for receiving these freebies (as they become available) are:
You must say "Hi!" during the live-stream (even if you say nothing else).
After the live-stream, you must contact me on Twitter or Facebook, or in Discord, with the name you used during the stream.
You must NOT use them in anything but SMILE GAME BUILDER.
You must NOT share them with anyone else or on any other website. (Of course, you can still use them in your games if you want to.)
A final note about the giveaways: In time, these free assets will make their way in packs on the Gnome Treasure online store and Itch.io. So if you want free copies you can collect them in the live-streams only!
Tutoria Live-Streaming Schedule
Live-streams for Tutoria were initially scheduled for Fridays. I had to fit this into my shifts at work. Now that they’ve changed slightly to Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, however, it makes it easier to work with as far as game development as a whole is concerned.
Starting this weekend, I’m rescheduling these live-streams for Sundays because, being the weekend, and based on the feedback I’ve also received, this seems to be a more convenient slot for a people to attend.
From now on, I’m going to live-stream SMILE GAME BUILDER only to continue building Tutoria, a game created from scratch, start to finish during the streams.
I’ve wanted to do this for quite some time; I just wasn’t in a position to do so. Since upgrading my computer and Internet speeds, it’s now viable to live-stream at a decent speed and quality, usually at 1080p.
As many of you probably know by now, I already started live-streaming SMILE GAME BUILDER, intending on creating a game from scratch, start to finish, during the stream. So far its schedule has been every Saturday at 10pm GMT/2pm PST/5pm EST, but I’m now aiming for twice per week to continue its development.
Next week the stream is scheduled for Friday and Saturday. However, as of the week commencing 25 March 2019, my work hours change, so live-streaming will be rescheduled for Thursdays and Fridays Sundays.
The idea behind developing Tutoria is to creating a full game from start to finish, including any necessary graphics during the stream.
It also serves tutorials and additional techniques in SGB, some of which are based on many of my old tutorials (updated to the current version) and some are new ones.
During live sessions, viewers will be able to offer suggestions for shaping the way Tutoria evolves. Although I’ve written an outline for the underlying storyline, in the beginning I probably won’t worry too much about it. As the game develops, however, that plot will be adhered to more as it’s gradually fleshed out.
Viewers can also ask questions about SGB in general in chat (or talk amongst themselves) and I’ll answer as many of them as I can – if I can!.
The reason for this is simple: I don’t care for Twitch. Sorry!
I’ve tried to stream on Twitch – and, indeed, tried to like the platform – but I simply can’t do it. Until now, I’ve multi-streamed on both platforms, sometimes smoothly, sometimes with a few hiccups. Many people like Twitch; I don’t.
Twitch tends to "expire" videos after a set amount of time. One way to bypass this is to "highlight" videos, which is somewhat of an inconvenience. YouTube does no such thing. Besides, I’m more established on YouTube and, rather than having too many fingers in too many pies, as a sequitur being able to eat one pie is better and easier.
When the game is finished (however long it takes), it’ll be fine-tuned – including post-production through Unity – and released for all SGB users to play.
The link will then be available on my Itch.io account and it’ll be freely available for download.
This week’s SMILE GAME BUILDER tutorial is up, the first one in a two-parter. And it’s all about campsites!
I recently bought and started playing Final Fantasy XV so, inspired by the game’s "havens" (campsites), where you can rest, save and talk to other party members, this tutorial is the result.
Campsites (Part 2)
Part 2 will expand on this idea by adding random battles or encounters, and more, which will be in a few weeks. In fact, I’ve received so many suggestions from visitors and followers that there may be room for a Part 3 as well!
This week’s Smile Game Builder tutorial, Let’s Party!, is all about party and party members. Thanks, notably to the Version 1.11 update, you can do much more with your party members, including the caterpillar effect we no doubt know so well from RPG Maker.
Names in Message Windows of Added/Removed Party Members (Extended Version)
Random Guardians (Two Ways)
Random Guardians (One Way)
Reasons for Two Versions
This will become the norm from now on: A "smaller" version for YouTube and an "extended" version elsewhere. (I’ll write an article on the reasons for short and extended tutorial versions to explain the logic behind this a bit later.)
A Switch is a function that allows you to trigger certain events when the switch is activated. Those familiar with RPG Maker in particular will already know about switches and the same applies in Smile Game Builder.
In Smile Game Builder, there are five types of switches:
In this article, I’ll go through each one in turn, with examples as necessary. This is a basic outline of each type’s function within SGB, but in future parts I’ll expand them with more details.
A Local Switch is unique to each event. That means that they can only be used in that event and values can’t be transferred to other events.
Some of the more common uses of local switches are for chests and other searchables. They’re also used in certain “stationary” events, such as moving NPCs left or right if you give them specified items.
You’d use local switches when you know you’re only going to use them in single events and nowhere else.
There’s only one Local Switch and, honestly, that’s all you need.
Whenever you want to use switches across events, you’d use a Global Switch.
One example might be if you wanted to trigger something from one map and activate it on another map. A global switch is particularly useful for this, since it can be used anywhere in your game and, therefore, can be turned ON or OFF at any time as well.
SGB has a total of 999 switches, which may seem a lot, but it still mounts up if you use them excessively. It’s better to use a combination of the switches in this list, depending on what you intend to do.
A Variable Switch is for using variables to trigger other events based on their values.
I’ve used variable switches for sequencing event triggers in intros or cut scenes, notably in Tutorial #21.
Another example is for checking Player Direction or Camera Mode. Their values are stored in a variable, which can then act as a switch depending on the direction the player is facing or whether the camera is in normal view or first-person view.
Things like Held Money or Inventory (in the Event Sheet Conditions) can also be classed as variable switches, since their values are stored.
Conditional Switches are specifically for when you use conditions in Event Sheet Conditions, such as toggling switches (Event Switch/Switch) or checking if an ally is in the party (Ally/Party).
If any of the specific conditions are true, then the event triggers as a switch so that the events in the Event Details will activate.
Conditional switches can also be used in Event Panels. In Event Switches/Condition Checks, Check Variable Box and Check Switch Box are conditional switches because they do something based on certain conditions. (A lot more will be added in the future.)
With Conditional Switches, if you have more than one in the Event Sheet Conditions, then all of them need to be met in order to run the event.
The final type of switch is the Trigger Switch. This is set in the Event Details and activates depending on which one you use.
The most common is When Main Hero Talks, where if the action key is pressed, then whatever you put in the Event Details will run to execute the event. It’s usually used for opening doors and chests, or talking with people – interacting with other events requiring some kind of action.
The two other Trigger Switches of note are Triggered Automatically (1 Time Only) and Automatically Start (Synchronize and Run Repeatedly), which work in similar ways, but with some major differences.
The former activates once when conditions to trigger the event are met and the latter runs repeatedly in the background when the conditions are met and will continue until those conditions become false.
In Tutorial #15, there’s a more detailed explanation of event triggers as a whole, which you can watch to see how each one works.
Notes About Switches
Switches can be used in the same way in Common Events as events placed on maps.
Event triggers (in Event Details) affect how events are run. With the exception of Triggered Automatically (Repeated) and Automatically Start (Synchronize and Run Repeatedly), the events will run through once until the end is reached or their conditions change.
Switches in general can be used in one of two ways:
Placed as Event Sheet Conditions, where the events will run depending on the trigger and the condition(s) being met, or
If used in the Event Details, conditions on other sheets (up to a maximum of 20 per event) will run. This will continue until all conditions are met or there are no other conditions.
Automatically Start (Synchronize and Run Repeatedly) takes priority over all of the other triggers, which also affects when and how switches are activated.
This concludes the first part of the multi-part series An Anatomy of Switches. In the next parts, I’ll go through each one in more detail and how they can be used effectively for all kinds of things. I’ll also reference their use in my tutorials as that arises.
Note that these are not the “official” categorization of switches. They’re my own, which I’ve deemed easier to reference and which I’ll be using in future parts.