Game Character Hub is made to provide graphics resources to RPG Maker, and especially to provide characters, for RPG Maker XP and VX. A character is a PNG image, where someone is drawn onto. As in a video game, characters can walk, they must have a walking animation. This is made by providing several images of the same character, one for each movement of its.
Thus when we talk about a “character”, we actually talk about a picture which contains several poses of the video game character. In RPG Maker each character can move in 4 directions: leftward, rightward, upward, and downward. As a character can walk, the image must provide poses of the character when its feet are moving, for each 4 directions. Therefore a RPG Maker XP character has 16 poses, and a RPG Maker VX 12. Game Character Hub supports both.
A RPG Maker XP character
8 RPG Maker VX characters
This is what Game Character Hub looks like. The main frame displays the current document. The upper toolbar gathers shortcuts to the most used functions. Aside are dock windows, such as the layer/item manager, the preview of the current character walking (how it will look like in your game), the history of the whole document, and a window to select colors for drawing functions. All those windows may be moved, undocked, or closed.
The main frame displays the current character. You may zoom in like in the screenshot above to see more details and to be more accurate when you work on it. It’s on this frame most of the work will be done: selecting cases, selecting pixels, using editing or drawing functions…
The grid is displayed to show the clear separation between each case of the character. However you can turn that feature off. You may also change its background color.
This window allows you to manage the current character’s items. Each item is considered as a layer in Game Character Hub. It’s through this window only you will be able to manage layers.
You may reorder layers, remove them or simply hide them, rename them, change their opacity, duplicate them and merge them.
You may also select layers in this window. This is useful as you use editing or drawing functions, to define the elements to be edited.
This window displays a preview of your character, walking, as it will be in-game. You can pause the walking animation, and change some settings: the character’s pace, the background color, and even a zoom value.
This window displays the history of the document. Whenever you modify anything in the document, this window is updated. It allows you to navigate through the former states of the character, thus undoing the latest changes. You may also redo them all by clicking on the latest state of the document.
This window simply allows you to select a color. Two are kept in memory. Those colors will be used whenever something is drawn onto the character (with a drawing function).
Since a character is made of single items (hair, shoes, armor,...), Game Character Hub offers you to create your character from such items. Those items are offered bu Game Character Hub, in a library (you may add your own items if you want to). Therefore in order to create your character you must choose amongst those items. Once this is done, Game Character Hub considers an item as a layer (as in any advanced drawing / photo editing program), and you are free to reorder them.
In Game Character Hub you have two kinds of items:
Game Character Hub is still compatible with items of its former release.
Single items are like PNG pictures.Exemple:
GCH Elements are a container of several layers, but they only represent one item for the character. This is made for instance for elements like a sword, which should be placed on the back of a character. Let's consider a knight character. You want to put the sword on his back. Since items are handled as layers you can only put the sword layer before of after the knight layer. If you put the sword before, then when the character doesn't look upward, the sword will be before him, and if you put the sword after, when the character looks upward, the sword will be on his chest. So you cannot do it if the sword is only made of one layer. That's why GCH Elements exist. If the sword is a GCH Element, then it can be on two layers:
|A single item (layer)||+||Another one||=||GCH Element|
Game Character Hub offers some powerful ways to save characters. Those functions allow of course to recover your work, to generate hundreds of versions of the same character with color shifts, to save characters to unexpected formats, and even more!
This format is for Game Character Hub only. It simply allows you to save your character and then to recover your work next time you open Game Character Hub. You cannot use this format in your game. Use PNG images instead.
In order to use characters in your game, you must save your character into a PNG image. When you do, you will be prompted to select a "saving process". Those saving processes tell Game Character Hub how to create an image from a character. Thanks to this system you can save your character to unexpected format, ie different programs than RPG Maker XP and VX.
Game Character Hub offers by default some saving processes: saving an image for RPG Maker XP, RPG Maker VX (a single character, or within a big image containing 8 characters (see the picture at the top of the page)).
Game Character Hub allows you to create your own saving processes, so you can export your characters to any kind of format!
When in a game you may need hundreds of characters, it is very useful to have tools that generate them automatically. Game Character Hub offers this feature. From a character you created, you can create spare copies, when the color of some elements of your choice has been changed. So only with one character, you may create dozens, and save valuable developement time.
Here is the result of the function where the hair color of a RPG Maker XP character was set to shift 8 times. Thus 8 PNG images were generated:
You can also select saving processes in the multi-saving function, and then generate dozens of characters in the right format. You may also set several saving processes so you have saveral characters drawn onto a single image.
Here is the result of a combination of both. I had a use of it for another project of mine. 7 characters were saved onto the same image thanks to the saving process system.
That's a proof, if needed, that Game Character Hub can create characters for unexpected formats, for other programs or games than RPG Maker XP and VX.
Game Character Hub offers a dozen of editing functions for the elements of your character. Those functions are made to rework elements. All those functions can be applied on anything: a single element, a couple of element, some cases of the character, etc… You just need to select what you want reworked and launch the function! Here are the most used:
When added to the character, some elements might be at the wrong place (some hair could cover the character's eyes for instance). This function simply allows you to move the element(s) you want, within the character cases you want, to its right place.
This is most useful feature. If the color of an element doesn’t please you, you may use this function to change it! As all editing functions, just select the elements you want changed, and the cases, and then launch this function. A window shall appear, to set up the coloration process.
Since Game Character Hub hasn't been translated yet the window is still in French. The first slider allows you to change the hue of the color. The second one its saturation. If your item is in gray scale, moving it rightward will give it a color. If your item has a color, moving the second slider leftward will make it gray scaled. The last slider is the brightness. The higher the whiter your item, the lower the darker.
As you move the sliders you can see in the meantime the changes on your item.
You may want to rework the shape of your items. Game Character Hub allows you to resize your elements, to rotate them or to flip them!
Game Character Hub allows you to draw onto the character. There are several options to accelerate the drawing: you can tell Game Character Hub that when you draw onto a case, it draws onto all cases or just some of them.
The eraser may be the most useful drawing function. With it you can remove some pixels from the cases and the items you want. This is very helpful when a particular item of a character doesn’t really fit, so you can correct it manually.
Game Character Hub offers usual drawing functions. You can draw lines, rectangles, circles, fill pixel selection with the bucket tool, or draw manual shapes with the pen tool. Each shape can be filled by either a color or a gradient (which can be edited through a gradient editor).
In RPG Maker XP, tilesets are used in order to create a map in the game. A tileset is an image made of 32*32-pixel-sized tiles. Each tile represents an item or a part of it, like a barrel, a door, or the roots of a tree.
RPG Maker XP allows you to use only one tileset a map. So if you want to have a map with tiles from two different tilesets (or more) you must create a bigger tileset which contains all of them.
There are several versions of RPG Maker, and every version has its own way to store characters. Game Character Hub allows you to convert a character from a version to another. This includes RPG Maker 2003, XP and VX.