So, my quest to create this samurai game continues. I recently plunged in again, this time designing an inn in the first town players are likely to discover if they approach the game carefully.

And man, is it demanding. As I said, I’m designing the game around a strict Choose Your Own Adventure limitation. In practice, this presents some programming hurdles, most prominently that I am unaware of any way in which players will be able to save their progress if they aren’t 1.) on the world map, or 2.) specifically prompted to do so by the game.

RPG Maker VX Ace simply doesn’t have a built-in way to save mid-event. I tried a solution somebody posted online and it promptly fried my save files in what was among the most hilariously disastrous bugs I have ever uncovered while designing a game.

Fortunately, and I mean REALLY FORTUNATELY, I was nowhere in dev at this point, and the loss amounted to maybe two or three minutes of inconvenience. I’ll gladly accept that as a price of knowing for sure that a segment of code is shit.

I did manage to accomplish some other stuff. I rigged up the inn to allow you to rest, give you the option to save, or to buy a round of drinks for everybody and look for rumors. I will also add an option to ask for work so you can gain some meager amount of money without risking dismemberment.

What took me the longest, though, was designing two encounters. One was with a drunken lout who disses your dead lord, and the other was with a shadowy figure who leaves at the sight of your party and calls the cops on you.

Both encounters occur randomly if you hang around the bar long enough, and both seriously affect whether or not you can return. This required me to create a sort of gatekeeping conditional branch that checks whether you’re in the doghouse each time and denies you entry if you are.

The situation quickly spiraled out of control: If you pick a fight with the drunk, I needed to create results for winning, running away, or losing (which, to its glowing credit, RPGMVXA includes the options to do with simple checkboxes).

Each of these things required attendant swaths of code dedicated toward transferring the player hither and yon, or presenting followup choices, like whether you bribe the town guards who come running at your violent outburst or to bully the terrified innkeeper into keeping mum.

I briefly considered a morality or “honor” component to the game, but ultimately decided against it as feature creep.

I have also decided that my goal will be to create the first few villages in their entirety and release a compiled copy as my proof-of-concept, and I hope I can do a video series on it as well.

Stay tuned. More game creation and more novelization are on the way!