Welcome! My name is **ArtisanX. **I’ve been here in the Eclipse community for quite a while now. Back in 2009, I began to interest myself in the world of game development. Seeing that a basic 2D ORPG would be the easiest path for a young wanna-be developer in his early teens, I first visited Eclipse back when Evolution and Stable were still famous, and I thought I would share the knowledge that I have gained by lurking and contributing to the community.
I’ll admit it, and most will too: Being a game developer is not as easy as it seems. You will encounter mighty compilation errors, crooked artworks because you moved your mouse a bit to the side, a missed note when composing your beautiful 8-bit masterpiece- Okay, I’ll give it to you straight. You’re going to have problems, so listen very carefully or the mighty RTE 53 will fall on your future players (slaves).
Chapter One: Requirements - Getting Started
Before downloading Eclipse Origins, I highly encourage you to obtain these programs first:
1. Eclipse Origins Run-Time Installer (Search around the forums)
2. Visual Basic 6.0 (Not the Portable Version)
3. WinRAR (or any archive extractor)
Install all of these first, or you may not be able to follow. Most people have a problem with finding a copy of Visual Basic 6.0. You can go around your local computer store and ask for one, or go banging down Microsoft’s doors. I installed mine with an old copy that came with my father’s VB6 guide.
Chapter Two: The Right Engine - Getting it to Start
If you wish to use an open-sourced version of Eclipse Origins, I highly encourage you to use the official base engines here. These will have all the basic systems you need. If you need a certain feature implemented though, you may take one from the Custom Versions board here, or you could look for the source code of the feature you wish and implemented it to your base here.
Once you have the engine you want, extract it to your desired location and boot the client up. If you get an error saying Run-time Error 53, then you did not install the Eclipse Origins run-times as said in the first chapter. Also, attempt to open client.vbp. If it refuses to open or if Windows is asking you to give the right software, then you did not install Visual Basic 6.0 right. Install these, or you may be unable to proceed to the following chapters, but the run-times are essential no matter what.
Chapter Three: Admin Panel - Becoming the Master of Your World
If you got the client to work right, boot up the server and select the **Register **tab. If you are unable to register your character, you did not run the server application. Type in your desired credentials and you will proceed to the Character Creation screen automatically. Give your character a name, class and sprite, and you will automatically log-in the game upon selecting Accept. As a normal player, you can move, attack monsters, interact with NPCs and chat with other players. You are, however, unable to edit the game to your will. To do this, go to your server application and select the Players tab. **Right-click **on your name and select Make Admin. You will become an administrator and your name will turn yellow if you did this process right.
Now how do you edit your game? Press the Insert key and the Admin Panel will open. The Admin Panel can be used for various god-like functions. You can moderate players by using the Kick, Ban, Warp2Me and WarpMe2 commands. These commands can be used to monitor the game (and your supposed slaves). The Kick function is used to automatically return a player to the main menu, but this means the player can return upon re-logging. The **Ban **function is like the the previously mentioned, but this will not allow the player to re-log. **Warp2Me and WarpMe2 are teleportation commands. The former is used to warp a player to you, while the latter is used to teleport to the player. Below these four commands is the Set Access button, used to set a player as an administrator or to a certain rank, so be careful with this one. WarpTo **will teleport a player to a desired map number, while **Set Sprite **will change the player’s look to the desired sprite.
Now we come to the seven editors. These are** Map**, Item, Resource, NPC, Spell, Shop and Animation. These will be explained in the following chapters. But first, let us finish off the remaining functions of the Admin Panel. **Loc **will show your coordinates, **Map Report will show the number of empty maps, Del Bans will unban all banned players while Respawn will make the map reset, allowing NPCs that are waiting for their respawn time to finish to automatically spawn. **You can spawn items on the ground using the Spawn Item command, while Level Up will bring you to the next level. Finally, you can take an image of your map by selecting Screenshot Map.
Chapter Four: The Map Editor - Creating your Visual Paradise
Upon selecting the **Map **button on the **Admin Panel, **the **Map Editor **will open. With this interface, you can design and build your own maps. The big scrollable box on the upper-left corner of the editor is where the selected **tileset **is. A **tileset **is a set of 32x32 pictures compiled to a single picture. It is usually used to segregate tiles and organize them based on what area the tileset is supposed to be used in. To change the map, click on a tile on the scrollable box that you want to use and go back to your main game interface. Now **click **on the desired tile you wish to change. The scroll bar below the box is where you select the tileset you want to use. Now, on the right-hand part of the editor, you’ll find a set of circular buttons. These are where you select the **Layers **you wish to use. These are Ground, Mask, Mask2, **Fringe **and Fringe2. The **Ground **layer is used for tiles you want the player to step on, namely grass tiles or road tiles. The Mask and **Mask2 **layers are used for tiles that you want the player to step on, but this layer is **above **the ground tiles, so if you want to put anything above the ground tile that the player steps on like a flower or a manhole, use this layer. **Fringe **and Fringe2 are above the ground, mask and player layers, used to cover the player. Use this if you want to cover your player behind the roof of a house or when the player is behind a tree.
There is another bar below the layers, and these are what I’d like to call Mapping Styles. These are ways of selecting a set of tiles grouped together to easily show an animation or tile quickly. Now we come to the Mapping Type. These show the currently selected Layers, the Attributes, **Directional Block **and Events. Selecting **Attributes **will allow you to change the **tile type **of something on the map. **Blocked **is used to prevent the player from going to a tile you don’t want him to step on. **Warp **is used to teleport the player to a certain player upon stepping on the tile. Item will spawn a desired item on the tile, while **NPC Avoid **is used to block passage to non-playable characters. **Key **and **Key Open **is used for locked areas, if you want the player to enter an area only with a required item. **Resource **is used to spawn something you created from the Resource Editor. NPC Spawn is to spawn an NPC on a tile. This will only show NPCs you have listed on the Map Properties. Shop and **Bank **open their respective interfaces upon stepping on the tile, while **Heal **and **Trap **are used to add or subtract health from a player. **Slide **is used to make the player slide to an area upon stepping on a tile, while **Sound **plays a sound upon stepping on it. To make these attributes set to a tile, select an attribute and click on the tile you wish to change. If you wish to remove an attribute, right-click a tile.
**Directional ****Block **is used to prevent a player from going to an area from a certain direction, while the **Events **are used by the Event Editor. Now we go to Map Properties, selected by clicking on the button that says **Properties **in the bottom-left corner of the editor. Here, you can change the map, map size, warp upon going to a corner, the NPCs that spawn there, the music that plays in the map , the map overlay and the weather and fog effects the map uses.
Chapter Five: The Item Editor - Emphasis on Possession
The **Item Editor **is another essential part of your Admin Panel, and allows you to create various objects that your players may find, drop, create and use as they traverse through your game. The first thing you should notice upon opening your editor is that big white box that occupies most of the space in the left part of the editor. This is the Item List, where you select a slot to modify, create or delete the virtual possessions.
The three buttons at the lower-right corner of the editor labelled Save, **Delete **and Cancel are the ones you should click should you make your final changes to something or make a horrible mistake. **Save **will close the editor, applying any changes to the game as soon as the new data is sent to the server. **Delete **will remove an item slot, emptying it and allowing you to have a new, neat slot for a new inventory item, but note that deleting or modifying an item from a data slot will also change your players items. For example, if you change your **Basic Sword **to a Mighty Generic Sword Name That Kills All, everyone with a Basic Sword will have the new item assigned to that certain slot, so keep that in mind. **Cancel **will close the editor, reverting any embarrassing mistakes you made to the slots.
Anyway, let’s get started on creating your precious items. The first thing you should notice in the Info part of the editor is the name. This will be the name of the item you wish to make/change. The next part is the picture and the item type. The Description will show the text that will appear in the description box when you hover over an item. **Pic **or Picture will show the image you wish to use for the certain item you want to create, while the **Type **should depend on what item you want to make. Let’s save that for later. The **price **on the right side of the editor will be the item’s default item worth, and will change what its buy or sell price will be in a store. **Bind Type **will change if a player can remove an item upon equipping or obtaining it. **Rarity **will change the item color of the item in its item description box, depending on what rarity you set it to. **Anim **or **Animation **will tell what animation it will play upon using the item, while **Sound **will tell what sound will play when you equip/use the item. Class Req, **Access Req **and **Level Req **are requirements that you must meet to be able to use the item. For example, if you use **Class Req **and assign it to Cleric, only Clerics can use that item, while **Access Req **will require a certain admin rank for usage, and **Level Req **will require you to have the level you set it to or higher.
The box at the bottom saying Requirements are the stat requirements you must meet to be able to use that item. If it is set to STR 10, then you must have at least 10 points allocated to Strength to allow usage. Now let’s go back to the Item Types, selected by editing the Combo Box that shows up below the **Pic **part of the screen. **Each item type is unique in its own way. **These are: Weapon, Armor, Helmet, Shield, Consume, **Key, ****Currency **and Spell.
Each of the item types have its own box that shows up when you select them, since they have their own custom aspects depending on what you want to make, except for Weapon, Armor, **Helmet **and **Shield, **which share their own box and Key and Currency, which does not have a box. **Equipment Data **opens when you select one of these four. In the **Equipment Data **box are options that only the first four item types can possess. **Object Tool **and **Speed **are for weapons only. Object Tool, which can either be set to None, Rod, Pickaxe or Hatchet, are tool types you can set a weapon to have so you can use it on a resource. **Speed **is how long it takes for you to attack again with that weapon after using it. **Damage **is a number you set to an item so that your base attack increases upon equipping the item. The five stats with a plus before them are the stats that will be added to you upon equipping that item. The last part of this box is the Paperdoll, an image that layers on your character so it looks like you are wearing/holding it.
Selecting **Consume **will show you Add HP, **Add MP **and Add EXP. These should be self-explanatory, but I’ll tell what they do anyway. Upon usage, the player will regain HP/MP/EXP by the number you set them to. **Key **is used for items you will require the player to have to open a door or gate. **Currency **is a stacked item-type which allows you to have multiple amounts of that item in a single inventory slot. Currency is used for trades and shops. Finally, **Spell **will give the player knowledge to the assigned spell and allow him/her to use the spell upon usage of that item.
Now that you know how to create your own item, why not do so and try it out? Open your **Admin ****Panel **and use the command **Spawn Item **to spawn the item you just created on your ground. You can use **SPACE **to pick up dropped items by the way! **Items you have **will show up in the Inv or Inventory. You can use items in the **Inventory **by double-clicking them, and you can drop them by right-clicking on them. That concludes the fifth chapter of this tutorial.
Chapter Six: The Resource Editor - Gathering All Day
Chapter Seven: The NPC Editor - Your Monsters, Bosses and Annoying Townsmen
Chapter Eight: The Spell Editor - What’s an RPG without Magic?
Chapter Nine: The Shop Editor - Ripping Off People in the General Store
Chapter Ten: The Animation Editor: The Fire that Supposedly Burns You
Chapter Eleven: The Event Editor - Talking Has Never Been Easier
Chapter Twelve: Visual Basic 6.0 - The Source Code
Chapter Thirteen: The Client Folder - Managing your Graphics
Chapter Fourteen: The Server Folder - Managing your Database
Chapter Fifteen: The People’s Reception - Public Release
I’ll continue to update this. Just a little contribution compared to the things you guys have done for me.