See Character controls before this page. Playable characters, NPCs, enemies, bosses, and misc.
The Engine comes with a separated character maker. Once the character is done, it can be loaded in the engine for further customization. All characters are in 3D by default, but before completing the game's creation, if 2D was set, the program will ask if the maker wishes to convert the 3D model into a sprite sheet, making graphics similar to Donkey Kong Country. The 3D model is kept in the engine for reference or for making changes if something isn't well in the test version, while the sprites are only included in the finished game can be editted during test (uncompiled) versions.
- Humanoid - The character has a human or human-like appearance.
- Special - Examples: A box-shaped robot with threads, a tank, Kirby, R.O.B., Ultron Omega (MvCI), some of Sigma's 2nd forms in the Mega Man X series, ...
- Skeleton - The core of the character, which determines its animations.
- Pallette - The character's colors. Can be ignored, but it would be good to pay attention to this as status effects can change this.
- Equipment 1 - Determine in what part of the body it is set. Mainly armors and weapons, like Mega Man X and Monster Hunter series. May be set in more than one part depending of usage, like a sword being one hand(s) when used and on other part when not (sheath in waist, on the back of the body, a holder in the arms or legs, ...)
- Equipment 2
- Equipment 3
- Equipment 4
- Equipment ... (up to 50 by default for heavy ones like Link and Snake, although not always visible due to their hammerspace made with magic or nanomachines)
- Extra Limb 1 (specify) - Repeats specified limb by default, but it can be customized to be different, like a character with 6 wings with each pair having a different appearance.
- Extra Limb 2 - Also, decide in which part of the body the extra is connected. It would be strange for a two/three headed character to have one head in the hand or feet.
- Extra Limb ... (up to 20 by default) - Examples: Goro (Mortal Kombat), Druaga (Namco), ...
- Special 1 - Something else? (decide in which part of the body it is connected)
- Special 2 - Examples: Horns, beaks, fins, a halo, hunchback, ...
- Special 3 - Parts that aren't always visible, like Wolverine's retractable claws, are better set as equipments.
- Special ... (5 by default)
- See also: Modular Game Engine/Items
- Default (required) - The character's default appearance.
- Palette Swap(s) (optional) - Select an alternate color for the character. Has one by default for the default skin, but can be increased by the maker to have up to 50 per skin (but using it all may make the game heavy).
- Underwear ("required") - All humanoid characters have one by default, even if the maker or player doesn't select it or is even unaware of it, and the character always wears it. It can't be removed (and there are no details under it, only a shadow) nor customized (except its colors), but can be traded by other designs, a V-string thong and C-string thong being the smallest models available (and these two are never set as default, even if the underwear is set to be selected as random). Boxers are default for Arthur from Ghosts 'n Goblins. Must also be programmed to never have the same color as the character's skin, requiring at least a 5% difference between them, and default skin colors are locked. (Unfortunately, being a modular tool, anyone can change the default settings... But characters that don't use default designs, which can have their color and pattern changed, will not be allowed in the default game) It can't get in the way of different types of humanoid characters, so it must be "glued" to the skin or even be considered part of the skin. For example, if "hair/fur" is set high enough to make a "Chewbacca", it will completely cover the underwear, even though it is supposed to be in front of the fur.
- Swimwear (optional) - Make the swimwear different from the underwear. Its size is not allowed to be smaller than the underwears available (because it would be strange to see a character wearing both), but they can be done bigger for scuba divers and other characters.
- Formal wear (optional) - Clothing for formal events, like a tuxedo and gown.
- Uniform (optional) - If the character works or is a student, why not give him one uniform?
- Nightwear (optional) - The pajamas when sleeping in the inn.
- Extra Costume 1 (optional) - For additional designs. Halloween costume? Santa Claus? It's up to the designer.
- Extra Costume # (optional) - Has 5 slots by default, but amount can be increased by the maker.
- Status - Not selected by the maker, but this allows the maker to see how each skin will look when a character has a status effect, like poisoned and petrified, to check if there aren't issues with them. (most default ones only change the palette, so this is mainly for custom effects)
While MGE gives preference to 3D models instead of 2D sprites for making it easier to do animations (even if they are of PS1/N64 quality), MGE is able to handle 2D too. To explain the details, I'll take this sprite sheet from Sprites Inc. to use as a template:
If the maker imports and uses a finished sprite sheet this won't be a issue (except that it won't be able to use some options, which also isn't an issue if the maker doesn't plan to use them), but if done in MGE, remember that the character is divided in parts, so in 2D those parts would be layers from the character, like this example: (with some parts cut for simplicity)
In this example most frames are set as a "Side" view (although he is more at a "diagonal" angle), with the poses of Mega Man climbing a ladder being from a "Back" view, and a few from the "Front".
By default MGE sets the 2D character layer from a Side view in this order, from the front to the back:
- Front Arm (in this example the right arm)
- Front Leg (R.Leg here)
- Back Leg (L.Leg)
- Back Arm (L.Arm)
- Palette (not visible to players)
This is great for characters with few movements, but this may have a few issues for "lively" characters, specially playable characters. To fix it, the maker can add extra layers for more detailed sprites, like the 3D example, to avoid issues like the center example from this image:
It is also possible to change the order of the layers, which would help with a few poses.
A character done in 2D can be used in 3D gameplay too, similar to how Doom and Duke Nukem uses sprites. But if the maker is going to use the character in 3D gameplay, make sure each part has a Front, Side, and Back view available.
Now let's do the same with Mega Man to explain this:
And here is his
1UP head. Notice the parts left with a black background? (for now ignore the ones using special effects, like pallette changes, "aura", and "fading") Excluding the ones where the front arm is in front of the head, those where left to indicate some issues:
In the frame of Mega Man finishing to climb a ladder, the body is in front of the head, which doesn't follow the default format, and changing the layer order would make it worse. Depending of the character's pose (or the character itself, like a hunchback having his body in front of the head when saw from the back), a layer may be in a position that would not be good from the default settings. To fix it, the maker can:
Either make a part specially to that frame, be it only the visible part or duplicating the front part, or set the frame as a "layer exception". MGE must have an exception option to allow frames that don't follow the default format like this one to be set properly.
Also, the Proto Shield is in front of Mega Man while climbing ladders, and one frame of him holding the shield was editted to show that a bigger shield would also be in front of him. As item position is defined in the item's options, make sure to check if the item looks good in every character able to use it. In this case the shield's options used would be the bold parts for Mega Man:
- "Hand (Any)" - Random hand
- "Right Hand" or "Left Hand" - The character will only equip it on the right or left hand.
- "Hand (Preference)" - A right-handed / left-handed character will equip it on the hand set as his preference. If the character has none set or is ambidextrous, this will function as "Hand (Any)".
- "Hand (Front)" or "Hand (Back)" - The equipped item will be visible in the front or back hand from the player's view, being inverted when the character turns. 2D only as it would be strange in 3D.
- "Not Visible"
- "Body (Back)" - The item is visible behind the character's body.
- "Manual" - Equipped by player when pressing a button. (i.e. Mega Man's Special Weapons)
- "Auto (Get)" - Equipped automatically when obtained. (i.e. Ghosts 'n Goblins armor)
- "Auto (Condition)" - Equipped automatically under set conditions. (in this case when standing and jumping).
- "Default" - Follows default layer options.
- "Exceptions" - Follows default layer options, with exceptions. (i.e. the example of the shield being bigger).
- "Custom" - Custom layer options. (advanced)
By the way, the item position follows the character's position, so as the poses of Mega Man climbing a ladder are from a "Back" view, the shield will change its sprite and appear in front of him. If these are not set as a Back view, the shield will appear behind Mega Man instead.
- Name - The engine has a few default names, but why not give a new one?
- Type - Playable, NPC, Enemy, Boss, Sub-Boss, or Other (obstacles, mimics, background characters like NPCs that can't be interacted, a mix, ...). (Must be set)
- Species - Human, Humanoid, Elf, Dwarf, ... ("Humanoid" by default)
- Class - Fighter, Mage, Gunner, Healer, ... (None by default)
- Data (biography, age, birthday, birthplace, ...)
- Alignment - Good/Bad? (optional option that is off by default)
- Level - Add if using RPG elements like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and Super Paper Mario. Off by default.
- Experience Points - A must have for playable characters if Level is enabled, even if no enemies are set to give exp. Some games enhance the Level (or more often only one status) under set conditions. For example, Mega Man X's Max.HP increases with special items, and Solid Snake's by defeating bosses. Also Monster World and Popful Mail.
The stats below can be renamed. Here are some alt. names for base stats: Body, Mind, Soul, Heart, Technique, Will Power, ...
- HP - Health/Life Points/Vitality
- MP - Magic Points
- Stamina - For advanced gameplay. Examples: Monster Hunter series, Metal Gear Solid 3, Kid Icarus: Uprising, ...
- Attack Power / Strength / Vigor - Physical Power
- Defense Power / Resistance - Physical Defense
- Magic Power - Magical Power
- Magic Defense / Magic Resistance - Magical Defense
- Intelligence / Knowledge / Wisdom - Alt. "Magical Power" value.
- - Alt. Magical Defense
- __ Power - Element/Status % power or chance to inflict. Has the default Elements and Statuses listed in ___, and can be customized to have more or less.
- __ Resistance - Element/Status % resistance. 100% = immune. 200% = absorbs a % equal to (TBA).
- Charisma - Mainly for games with advanced RPG elements.
- Luck - % chance of obtaining items from enemies and causing critical hits (if on).
- Accuracy / Hit Rate - RPG only? Off by default.
- Evasion Rate - RPG only? Off by default.
- Critical Rate - Chance to cause a critical hit. Off by default.
- Agility / Speed / Dexterity - Movement speed. Max. for The Flash and Super Sonic.
- Acceleration - How fast speed increases.
- Brake - How fast speed decreases.
- Move - For strategy games, tactical RPGs, and board games. Movements per turn/tile or how long it takes for the character's turn.
- Jump - On/Off, active by default. Turn off for characters that don't jump. Examples: Bionic Commando.
- Jump Height - How high the character can jump.
- Jump Distance - How far a character can jump.
- Height - Determines areas, vehicles, and equipments that can be accessed. Playable characters height must have a min. of 0,20 m and a max. of 3,0 m, otherwise they will not be allowed in default multiplayer matches.
- Weight - Mainly affects gravity, like jumps and running speed.
- Running Speed
- Jump Height
- Jump Distance
- Falling Speed
- Fall damage (on/off) - Set height if on, default values being 10 m for min. damage and above 50 m for lethal fall.
Equipments are additions to the character that are attached to one part of his/her/its body, each having their own details. Here is a great example of a handgun I found while browsing #pixelart (worth checking out at least once in a while, great stuff!) showing aim positions, shell physics, smoke, light, and slide recoil.
Transformations and Assists
Different forms, alternating between characters, or using vehicles and familiars. A character's Height value affects vehicles as they have a min. and max. height to be used. (unless set to adjust to any character)
- Change (switch/transform) - Examples: Mega Man X8, Wai Wai World, Ben 10, Zelda/Sheik and Pokémon Trainer in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, ... Mega Man X may count for each weapon and armor, but these are better considered as equipments with special conditions (changes pallette and grants new skills) instead of forms, except for the Hyper Modes in MMX Command Mission. Axl (X7-X8) and Model A uses this.
- Find - Has the option to start with it or only use when it is found. Can be set to be limited for specific characters to avoid everyone from using it, or limited to a character class (humanoids only, for example). May also include penalties for characters that don't have the requirements to use it (a character without pilotting skills may get inside, but actions will be random or do nothing at all). Examples: Mega Man X Ride Armors and Ride Chasers, Captain Commando (arcade version), Golden Axe, Metal Warriors, Kirby: Planet Robopot, ...
- Team - Examples: Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin and Ice Climbers in the Super Smash Bros. series.
- Merged - Two or more characters can combine to form other character. Examples: Dragon Ball Fusions, the zords from Power Rangers, Ukon & Sakon from Naruto, ...
- Normal - Examples: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
- Timed - Disappears after some time. Example: Assist Trophies and Pokémon is SSB series, Rush in Mega Man games.
- Limited Time - Can only be used for some time, and either can't use again after it is over or must wait it to "cooldown" to use again. Examples: Wario, Fox, and Giga Bowser in the SSB series, Rush in Mega Man games (ammo).
- Special Condition - Only used on set conditions, which may also include one of the previous ones. Examples: Captain Falcon and Solid Snake in the SSB series, Beat in Mega Man 7, ...
- Advanced - For programming own conditions, but if this is used it will not be allowed in default multiplayer matches.