RPG Maker VX Ace is a great tool, but one flaw is it’s native resolution of a questionable 544x416 pixels, or 17x13 tiles with 32 pixels each. It’s an odd choice, considering it doesn’t really scale up to anything and it’s not even in 4:3 format like the older iterations of the software.

In my game, I wanted a smaller viewport, so I set the resolution to 640x352 pixels, or 20x11 tiles. You can resize the game window pretty easily with a simple Ruby snippet, provided it is below 640x480 pixels. You can paste this anywhere before the Main script:

Graphics.resize_screen(width , height);

My height of 11 tiles was smaller than the default of 13 tiles - and the tile limits are hard coded in the editor window!

Uh-Oh

Enter the hex editing.

Hexing it up

RPG Maker VX Ace saves it’s maps in files under Data/MapXXX.rvdata2. Let’s create an empty map and look at it in a hex editor! Remember to close RPG Maker and back-up anything important before you change anything.

A map file in hex format

Pretty hard to read, but we can make out some variable-sounding things on the right. Two things in particular -

@width and @height

Something that looks like width and height definitions - remember how the standard map is 17x13 tiles? The 16 and 12 seem to be the dimensions. Let’s try changing things up!
These are in hex format, so 00 - 09, then 0A - 0F and so on. So the values map like this:

Hex value Tile dimension
05 0
06 1
07 2
08 3
09 4
0A 5
0F 10
10 11
11 12

Save the file and open RPG Maker again. Look at the map and … nothing changed? That’s right, the map didn’t change. Open up the map properties and you will find your changed values right there! Just accept the dialogue and voilà!

Smaller maps!

Now, if your screen is not resized properly, you will get problems with scrolling maps, but otherwise, I have yet to encounter any bugs.

Happy non-traditional-size-mapping!