Hyperborea Dev Diary #13: Parallaxing Maps in RPGMaker MV (pt 1) and Happy New Year – GIMP Editing

Happy New Year! I hope that you all had a great one and have been blessed with a beautiful 2018! Thank you all for your continued interest in Hyperborea. It means a lot to me!

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about what I’ve been doing with map design. Let’s be honest, RPGMaker MV’s standard mapping system, while nice for the basics, can feel a bit limiting sometimes. I really started to realise this when playtesting the game.

I was thinking, how can I improve this honestly, a bit drab looking map (see left). It was draining me when working on the game and making me feel a bit down. But after doing some research, I came across parallax mapping, which really allows you to expand on your maps in RPGMaker MV. I used the following tools to work with adding effective parallax to RPGMaker MV:

With just a little time and effort. I transformed the bland and “auto-shadow” RPGMaker look into something that, at least I think, looks a bit better. I was saying to some of my friends. It is amazing what some shadows can do.

The first step that I took to make this was to use Orange Screenshot saver plugin and save a full resolution screenshot. Because my initial map was 256 x 256, this was my only way to take an accurate screenshot of the whole map.

After that, I opened the file in GIMP. I created a new layer and started adding gravel near mountains. In order to make it appear rocky, I downloaded some free textures (you can find some here) and put them in my GIMP patterns folder (under a new folder I made: Snow). After that I used the clone tool with the “Acrylic 5” brush in GIMP.

After that, I created a new layer called “shade” at 90% opacity. This one was mostly using as a circle brush at 50%.

That sums up most of my GIMP editing, Just working with a lot of mountains, adding gravel and shadow. I will update tomorrow with more information regarding some of the troubles I’ve had with parallax on big maps. It’s a bit late now and I’ll be heading to bed,


William Lucht

Hyperborea Dev Diary #12: Fixing UI Elements

Dear friends,

Let’s be real here. The default RPG Maker MV UI… shall we say… leaves things to be desired. It’s coarse, it’s rough, it’s irritating and it gets everywhere. I’ve been trying to ameliorate this issue through the use of several different techniques.


Dragos Mad.  Art made a very nice medieval-esque miniature for the title sequence of the video game. For that, I am eternally grateful. Above you can a part of it as it scrolls by. Additionally, I have used several of MogHunter ‘s plugins in order to have a floating cursor effect and a gentle breeze of the cold tundra air. I used Canva, (not exactly the best editing software) to make the buttons. Could I have done it with GIMP? Yes, yes I could have, but I just got home that day and was using Canva at work and thought, meh, why not. I liked how it turned out, you can let me know how you feel however.

bullet and health

The next aspect that I have changed with the UI is a health bar in the bottom and number of bullets on the side. The times demand a lightweight UI and to be honest, I buy into it. I know the horrors of a cluttered UI. For a simple and responsive UI, I used Some Random Dude’s plugins. Talk to you guys soon. Hope that you are having a great Christmas so far.

William Lucht

Hyperborea Dev Diary #11: Fleshing Out Story Components

Dear friends,

Thank you for stopping by again! I appreciate it and apologize for the lack of updates! It’s been a pretty busy week for me in terms of work and life. And with Thanksgiving having just been around the corner, I’ve been traveling across the country. With that as well, I broke my main computer that I was working on Hyperborea and SID with when I was traveling. Of course, everything is backed up though, so we are safe in that regard. Phew!

This month, I have been working on Hyperborea mainly, trying to finish some of the more trippier sections of the story. I’m wokring on making convincing dream/hallucination sequences.  At the same time, I am working on the Steam store. While I’m not sure if I can get it done by the 31st, that is my aim! Thank you for sticking with me!



Hyperborea Dev Diary #10: Alignment of Purpose (Reducing Bloat)

Greetings friends!

Many apologies for the lack of updates in the past weeks! I have had an especially busy few weeks at work and personally with items appearing at home. I hope that you all have been doing well. I am hoping of course to keep regular updates soon as I get more progress done on the game! I wanted to talk a little bit about the game overall. I have noticed, that when I engage in these projects, I often keep expanding scope over and over. This leads to feature bloat, and to be frank, items that probably aren’t so fun. While originally, I was hoping for a grander adventure over the Hyperborean wastes with in-depth creature combat and extensive puzzle-solving making it a 3-4 hour experience. However I feel like keeping it longer than an hour would hurt the narrative. To this end, I am deciding to realign the game back to its roots: resource management, horror, and decision-making (with some combat).

Last month, I have been compressing map design to make the wastes more interesting and also tougher to navigate, giving you the chance to make decisions on where to go based on the potential danger of the area.  Additionally, I have been writing letters/doodads for Hypatia and you to find scattered about, providing lore to the story!



William Lucht

Hyperborea Dev Diary #9: DEATH / Game Over States in RPGMakerMV


Like many adventure games, Hyperborea will feature people dying (RIP). This week has been focused mainly on death scenarios for poor Hypatia as well as multiple “game over” states depending on actions such as, but not limited to the following:

  • Stepping on tripwires
  • Falling and dying
  • Freezing
  • Bleeding
  • Bites
  • Going insane
  • Thinking about your senpai too much
  • Questioning life choices?

While RPGMaker does have a native game over, it doesn’t allow much flexibility. The way that I have gone about ameliorating this is to create a common event “death” which most critical events will lead to. This is combined with a death “variable” which will indicate which type of death you received, before finally ending with the game over sequence built into RPGMaker!


William Lucht

Hyperborea Dev Diary #7: Sakan Scene Builder

Hello Friends,

The last weeks, I have been playing with Sakan Scene Builder. If you’ve ever considering purchasing this, I hope that this little write-up will help you make your decisions.

Sakan is well integrated into RPG Maker MV, albeit with a somewhat clunky UI. The Scene Builder like a “movie maker” tool such as Vegas or Premiere that eases some of the nitty-gritty work of the scripting behind events in RPG Maker. While it is effective in simplifying the details, you could all of these things by hand should you choose.


To really nail in that “movie-maker” feel, you can place different tracks of audio/text/pictures depending on how you want to arrange the pictures. Scene Builder retrieves the files from your game folder locally, so make sure that your files are compatible with RPG Maker!


An interesting point is when you want to save your work for a later time., you actually export it as a JSON.


2 Resolution

An annoying thing for my Scene Builder was that every time I reopened the program, even after importing JSONs, I would have to reset my resolution. A small annoyance, but still one nonetheless.

Overall Sakan Scene Builder is a fun tool, with some minor QoL gripes if you just want to build simple scenes. However, if you want more complexity, then either scripting your own system in, using RenPy, might yield better results.



Hyperborea Dev Diary #6: Semele

Dear Friends,

Hello! Thank you for joining me today! This Labour Day weekend, I found myself in Detroit with some family. I did have the opportunity to work on some cutscenes though which will serve as the primary interlocutors of the story for the player! Additionally, I thought I’d introduce a secondary character. Designed by Schlee, I have the honour of presenting Semele, the love interest of Hypatia.


Your actions will determine if she lives or perishes in the harsh environment of Hyperborea! Can you save Hypatia’s “waifu”!

The following week, I expect to have a good amount of the cutscenes finished. Including death scenes, the opening cutscene, and maybe I’ll get some write-ups done for the scene builder tool that I bought for RPGMaker MV. And some commentary: Was it worth it?


William Lucht

Hyperborea Dev Diary #5: Map Size and Design

Dear Friends,

Thank you for tuning in! This week I’m talking a bit about map design and philosophy around Hyperborea. When I am designing the game, I am confronted with a major question: How can I make a environment both bleak and interesting?

This has been the main struggle in the level design of Hyperborea. By the nature of the environment, basically a frozen, barren, wasteland, it eliminates much of the available decor of a normal environment (ex. trees, flowers, human architecture).


However it does not preclude mountainous environments and canyons, which form some of the main “obstacles” in Hyperborea. When people do see plant life, it will be a special occasion that marks a certain event.

zoomed out image of a tree.

In this regard, the main map of Hyperborea will roughly be a 512×512 grid.  Of course interspersed with interior cells.