Using the Elevator

Written by Tom Ragan

Players need to be able to easily traverse around your world. Introducing the elevator, the key to keeping specific areas closed-off until later in the game.

Phew, there’s plenty to talk about here, but I’ll keep it relatively short. First of all, you can see just below this paragraph I’ve managed to create a simple sprite of the games’ logo, this’ll be used in the game, plastered around the ship where necessary. Subject to change, but I’m pretty happy with it so far.

I created the blueprint of a ‘Crew Lounge’ - somewhere staff can relax when off-duty. Inside the Crew Lounge is a section for lockers and first aid. There’s also a bar in the top right of the map, and a bathroom opposite. The lounge is supposed to be easy-going and I feel like - for now - the beginning of the game is the best place for it. I want the player to feel safe and understand Lightway Lines must be an awesome airline to work for - one that looks after its employees.

But the bulk of my most recent work has been getting an elevator to behave nicely. This hasn’t been as easy as I thought, but that’s because I don’t just want it to work with the messiest code… I wanted it to be efficient and use the best practice possible to keep things clean. What made this a huge challenge to begin with, was that RPG Maker MV doesn’t allow multiple choice answers to ever be disabled. This wasn’t good news, as I wanted the player to see that 5 floors are available in the game, but see that 3 of them inaccessible. Now, I didn’t want to only show 2 options, otherwise the player might not go back to the elevator - understandably thinking that there are only 2 floors.

Well, thanks to the incredible RPG Maker community, it seems like there’s a great plugin by HIME called DisabledChoices. This fits really nicely with the choice-making function, and allowed me to run a check every time the player enters the elevator. When our hero walks in, we check to see what the player has done up until this point, and how many floors of the ship they are allowed to access. The elevator panel switches the floor variable when selected, plays a sound/animation, and then the door of the elevator transfers the player to where they need to be based on all of these parameters.

I’m really happy with the results! The buttons & messages in the below video are just to test that all variables are working properly.

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