A Bit of Concern Regarding RPG Maker's Use

While I’m a fan of select WG games/mods like Skyrim’s Body Builders mod, my biggest concern about this site regards people overusing RPG Maker for their games. And besides, I don’t know beans about how to use RPG Maker to make a WG-themed game.

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Well, I think RPG Maker is a great tool for beginners, its reaaally simple to use and youre able to get stuff done quickly.
I dont think its the “overuse” that should be the bug here, I just think these games could be a bit better.
A game I really thought that was good was Olive and the Ruby Bra, raising my expectations for other games quite a bit.
But yeaht, it can be a bit weird to see that allot of the stuff is just RPG Maker over and over again

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My real problem is that RPG maker is a really shitty tool for wg game, at least for beginers. Something like Twine is much better for a simple reason - its only text, so instead of ugly standart rpgmaker models and hellishly boring rpgmaker battles player can use his imagination and it will always be better than anything new “developer” can make himself

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Not everyone wants to make a text-based thing, however. While twine games may be better in that there’s a lack of placeholder and default assets, they severely limit what the person is able to do with the game. Furthermore, many people just don’t enjoy reading what amounts to a glorified choose your own adventure story.

Now, I’m not trying to shit on Twine or anything. My point is that RPG Maker offers people a lot in terms of the games they might want to create. Even if you forgo creating battles, RPG maker has a lot of features that many people might want to use. Including simply being able to walk up to NPCs and talk to them.

Also, you say twine games “will always be better”, but you use very subjective reasonings to prove that. Just because you don’t like RPG Maker’s default assets doesn’t mean the game is bad. Furthermore, the addition of an increased amount of interactivity in a game may make the game better than a standard story written in twine. The existence of some sub-par assets making a game bad is a pretty shallow way at looking at a game’s quality. Twine games always being better at a basic level is also a laughable idea when you consider some people’s ability to write. I’d much rather play an RPG maker game with bad writing, even if it looks like shit, then a Twine game with bad writing, because at least the RPG maker game has less writing.

However, honestly people should just use what tool is best for making the kind of experience they want to make. If you want to make a text-based game, use Twine or Quest. If you want to make something that the features of RPG maker are useful to create? Use RPG maker. If none of those apply, find something else. Any conversations about these tools otherwise is absolutely pointless.

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You can just add better art assets if RPGM’s baby heads are a concern. Not everyone’s able to do that, but pixel art is more accessible than other media, and there’s templates to start with. And what if I just want to make a JRPG? RPGM is the easiest, if not the best, route for that.

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I don’t think the tools being used to achieve making a game is the problem here, but how far someone’s willing to go to show what they’re capable of. The final product of the game is a reflection of the creators’ vision, and if it ends up being an ‘eh’ experience then I don’t think it’s right to blame the engine.

another take, I’m pretty sure everyone’s just mad at rpgmaker because of default assets. but to replace those seems like a VERY daunting task, considering just how many sprites and behind-the-scenes assets that are happening. I’d love to replace all the sprites I’ve got, but I just don’t have the energy for it, nor the talent. And don’t even get me started on developing an artstyle for a game.

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Generally speaking, if I see a RPG maker project using the default graphics I add it to my muted list. I don’t care how good the story is, I just can’t be bothered.

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I would say the issue is that the wrong tool may be used too.
No need to walk around if every single significant interaction is purely linear, no need for combat if loosing is the goal, no need for ren-py if you are not going to get any images…

And any game opening with those accursed trumpets will immediately drop 5/10 points for me.

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I definitely feel you with the trumpets my god

by most of the things you listed are still possible within rpgmaker, if the creator doesn’t feel that combat is necessary then it can be cut. You could just make the whole game a cutscene, or even make it a goddamn dating sim style game. There’s tools within rpgmaker where legitimately anything is possible, but how far anyone else wants to go with it or how anyone views it sets it back.

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90% of the times, rpgmaker chosen for its ease of use, not its features. There are interesting projects using it, but they all from more or less expirienced developers

Im yet to see good rpgmaker jrpg

I mean, probably the most active game on the site right now is Some Bullshit, and then you’ve got other projects that have a lot going on so far even if they’re not quite done yet, like OATRB, Seeds of Destiny, Witch of Gluttony, Coven of Calahree…and I will admit that these games aren’t exactly in an ideal state at the moment, but they’re also heavy WIPs.

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And none of them are good jrpg. I like some of them, especially Some Bullshit but gameplay in most of them is horrible. I find rpgmaker games at their best then they have no/real time gameplay (think of Princesses and Conquest), which is kinda defeates the whole point of using, you know, RPG maker. Im gonna die on this hill - best quality of rpgmaker for newbies is its accesibility, not functionality, which leads to tons of low quality Bobby`s first “games”. And dont say that “its a starting point”. Best starting point for developer - computer classes

As someone who’s currently in his second year of studying game design and started working on games with RPG Maker let me say this: RPG Maker is an amazing tool to start with if you want to get into Game development later down the line. It teaches you the basics on how algorithms work, how to design maps, combat encounters, items and more. I honestly reccomend it for anyone thats remotely interested in making games but has no prior experience in the field…which gets me to the main topic here:

Honestly, most people on here probably dont come from a game development background, and thats fine, not everyone can be expected to be. That being said, pointing out that theres “too many RPG Maker games” pretty much does nothing but potentially scare away people who want to learn how to make games, which is…pretty counterproductive in a niche community such as this. The people who use this tool probably do so for ease of use, as pointed out before. Even if Twine is an alternative, a lot of people prefer having SOME kind of visual and gameplay factor. If these projects hadnt been made with RPG Maker, they probably wouldnt have been made in the first place, which would lead to a less active community which we should want…why exactly? The people who experiment with RPG maker arent magically gonna learn how to use unity with no prior experience and its not like a person making a game with RPG maker discourages those with those skills from making their own games.

Now, is that to say that these games are great or even good? Gameplay wise, Id say theyre pretty mediocre…but…duh, most if these people are making these games as their first attempt at making a game ever. Dont hold them up to the same standard as your average steam indie game.

A lot of these projects improve over time as the developers get more used to the tool, and games like Some Bullshit also benifit from unique art as well as some downright amazing writing. Cant say Ive ever been as invested in a fetish game’s story and characters as in that one.

So…to not stretch this any further: No, RPG maker games shouldnt be made less often. There are simply no alternatives which offer quite what it does and those who wish to learn how to make games should be encouraged to learn, through mistakes or otherwhise, to improve their skills so that those that persist might someday create something amazing, wether that be in RPG maker or with some other development tool.

(And on a side note, for those looking for some good RPG maker games that arent fetish related, check out doom and destiny advanced. That game shows the potential RPG maker games have in terms of writing, unique gameplay and artstyle.)

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also off, lisa the painful, and toilet in wonderland. those are good rpgmaker games too.

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Poor combat in RPGM results less from the engine itself and more from just not having good game design in place, or–as I’ve stated–not being finished. OATRB doesn’t have a lot of fights, but I don’t think I’m gonna forget the fight against Death for a long time. It was optional, but it was actually challenging and required that I put on my thinking cap.

Then there’s other projects where you can point to specific design flaws that could actually be circumvented without using a different engine. Vale City is notoriously unfun because of its progression, but were it not for that progression, the game would actually be pretty good. It even uses the body type system to break the typical RPG mold of dealer-healer-tank…ealer…by making it so that no one character is always the primary damage output. Design choices hurt the game, not RPGM’s actual components.

That’s not really true. Learning to code doesn’t teach you about game design, nor is it nearly as accessible. I actually tried to learn coding in college, and you know what it taught me about games? Zip.

Well, no shit your local friendly C++ teacher not gonna teach you gamedesign, its not his job. My point is not that “You should learn specific stuff in specific school” but “You should learn”. Programming is not cooking, you cant get good at it by just simply bashing your head against wall
Creating games is hard, really hard. So then Billy hastely put toghether ugly mess of a rpgmaker “game” and quickly learn that even RPGmaker requires some work to make less basic stuff, he abandons it just as fast as he started, because he wanted make a game, not learn how to make a game, if that makes sence to you. And we left with another dead project, which is not as bad as it is sad
So yeah, i absolutely discourage people from using RPGmaker without knowlege of programming and at least basic leveldesign, because else result inevitability will be dissapointing for both young dev and this forum

Well now that’s an entirely different ballgame, and if that’s where you’re coming from, then your position makes a lot more sense. You can learn to write in English, but that doesn’t make you a good novelist. But there’s not really any engine, to my knowledge, that directly teaches the user how to design a game, only how to set one up. What you’re describing goes for pretty much any medium–if you go into something without knowing how to do it, chances are, you’ll fuck it up.

You need to try to understand game design before trying to make a game, and that goes for every art medium in existence. And experimentation goes a long way with feedback. If you just pump .exe files out into the void, you’re unlikely to learn anything short of how the engine works, but if you post a game to a forum like this one and ask for feedback, you have a chance to learn what it is you’re doing wrong.

Long story short: RPGM is a tool like any other. It does fuck all by itself, all that matters is how it is used. And it can be used for a lot more things than you might assume at first glance.

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So how do you propose people learn how to design games if theyre not allowed to design games?
Are you gonna tell an aspiring artist he isnt allowed to draw badly at the start? Are you going to tell someone who just started making videos his videos are shit and he should stop right away?

Learning how to design games takes time, lots and lots of projects and most importantly - failures.
Ive made over 20 RPG maker projects, trying out action battle systems, normal jrpg systems, a zeldalike that wasnt tied to a grid and had overworld fighting, none of them Ive finished properly, but each one of them taught me something. Be that how to design maps better, how to make an encounter fun and balanced or how to create basic algorithms.
Nowadays I create mods for games I like, create game projects for uni and hold a dnd campaign with tons of homebrew elements that I all designed myself. If I hadnt “bashed my head against a wall” 20 times with my rpg maker games, I would have to learn how to make a proper skill, map or algorithm now…and thats something I couldnt afford to only learn now.

People need to start SOMEWHERE. Youre telling them “Fuck learning with a basic tool, you go and start programming right away with something complex you wont even understand!”

You wont get good at gamedesign by reading about it or watching videos about it. Youll get some pointers thatll make the process easier. But you have to SEE the results of what youre doing yourself. My teachers at uni always tell my course that we have to make lots of small projects, because youll learn something from each of them.

Now there is one thing Ill agree with here…not everyone should upload their first RPG maker project on this website. Looking back at my first games I cringe hard, because theyre objectively aweful…but they still taught me the basics.

Dont discourage people who could use those aweful first projects as a jumping board to something cool from even trying.

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I started programming when I was like 15 thereabout, using the scripting language in the TES construction set, moving onto the original Game Maker a little after, where a lot of programming concepts were introduced to me via the visual scripting system. Neither were great introductions to programming, but they started me on my path to becoming a professional developer.

A tool used to create something does not make or break that project, outside of extreme cases. There are times in which an engine is a bad choice. You probably shouldn’t use RPGMaker to make an FPS (though I’ve seen some ridiculous abuse of the engine to produce things I would have never thought possible). 100%, however, if you aren’t familiar with game design, starting with an engine that will handle most of the leg work for you is a great way to ease into game design and programming in general, which is basically what everyone else is saying.

There’s nothing wrong with a tool that opens up the floor to a given craft and makes it more accessible to people who have no experience. This means, yes, we get a lot of low effort or first time projects that are suffering from lack of care or lack of experience. But if its the latter, then that person tries again, and evolves to using more robust tools or starts to see how they can more effectively use the original tool.

Or they can burn out trying to do something the “proper” way by trying to make their first project in Unreal.

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