06
Sep
10

RPG Maker

I started messing around with RPG Maker ’95 about ten years ago now.  Since then there’s been RPG Maker 2000, XP, 2K3, and VX.  It’s the same thing every time, but made more shiny with each iteration.  You get a toolkit full of graphics, music, and game objects to throw together into what will hypothetically be a full-feature JRPG style game.  Most of my time was spent with the 2000 version, but a game never materialized.  I did however learn that making games is hard.  Even when most of the work has already been done, and it takes a lot of planning.  But it’s still just fun to mess around with the toolkit.  I wouldn’t call it a game in its own right, but it’s a neat sandbox experience (if you already like JRPGs though.)

Lego Excite Bike, By Skinny Coder

BASTARD!

Making games with RPG Maker is a lot like trying to make anything with legos.  When you’re building your lego ultimate lego fortress, are you thinking about how cool everyone else will think it is?  Not especially.  You’re enjoying the fact that you’re able to imagine something, and make it come together right in front of you.  There’s nothing to learn, and you don’t need to be an expert to come up with something you enjoy.  You aren’t going to sculpt any Davids, but if you’re just trying to have fun then who cares.

Making games with RPG Maker is much the same.  If you’ve ever played a JRPG, you can probably think of something you’d like to see in one, or would like to about it.  It’s very easy to just begin throwing pieces together and enjoy the novelty of coming up with your own game.  You’re restricted to old school Dragon Quest style front-view battles, so there’s little chance your work will be winning game of the year.

It can still be a lot of fun, and it’s a good way to try and challenge yourself to figure out how to design and manage game resources.

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