RPG Maker MV is the latest release by the KADOKAWA CORPORATION ENTERBRAIN Brand Company, which is their 5th release under the name “RPG Maker”. The RPG Makers are set to deliver a user-friendly environment to develop your own 2D-classic-RPG game.
Let’s face it: If you go to your local indie-game developer meetup and you’re telling everyone the “engine” you’re developing on is an RPG-maker, you won’t be taken seriously. Maybe even made fun of. The RPG maker keeps the ugly challenge coding from you as if it was a deadly disease, which for people like me, makes it so much easier, but just isn’t “real” game developing in the eyes of most.
That however, does not mean that you cannot create real games with overwhelmingly positive community reviews, as “To The Moon” prooves, which has been developed with this very piece of sophisticated software.
So what does RPG Maker MV offer you, and what is it missing? RPG Maker MV – much like all the other titles of the series offers you most tools to create a full-blown game of a very specific genre.
The terrain editor
The terrain editor is the very first thing you see when you open up the program and is only one part of the world editor. It lets you build your world as you want it, using premade surfaces, terrain, objects and decals that you can place in your world.
In is crucial to understand that the assets in the world editor are catalogued in different “catagories”. The first one being the “World”, which is supposed to be the overview over your whole world. Here you let the player know where the mountains are, where there are villages, the sea and so on.
The other categories are “outside” and “inside” as well as a bunch of others that have to be purchased individually in the form of Steam DLC’s.
Another neat function is that you can actually have dungeons randomly generated, by giving the software some information like whether you want it to be maze-like, have margins and so on. For more detailed terrain there is even a shadow painter, that lets you add a feel of three-dimensionality to your levels. (It makes quite a difference if you are building a massive castle with or without shadows.)
The event editor
The world editor of course is not complete without the event editor, which let’s you set certain events on certain tiles. The variety of triggers alone will blow your mind, you literally feel like there is no end to what you could let happen when the player gets to the certain tile, a simple display text, some loot to pick up or a boss fight, you can do everything.
The character generator
Probably one of the features that saves you the most time compares to making a 2D RPG from scratch is the character generator. It allows you to create every character that will appear in your game like you know it from any RPG. Nose, ears, face shape and so on are all under your control. The neat thing being: It also has the equivalents of all the different clothings and decals in various angles for the in-game pixel version of your character, which is amazing!
Playing with numbers
As you know, RPG’s are always a big game around numbers, especially when it comes down to battling. This is why every character in RPG Maker comes with all the stats you need. HP, Atk, Def, Magical power, agility and all the other numbers you know from games like: Every RPG Game Ever. While the software builds all the playing around with numbers really nicely in the finished game, just like you any player is used to playing around with pieces of equipment and such, it can get quite tedious and frustrating to keep track of the players characters stats throughout the game and what they approximately are at a certain stage of the game due to a lack of a character overview/manager kind of thing.
Now let’s talk add-ons: Currently there are two DLC’s available for the RPG Maker MV a Cover Art Characters Pack and an Essentials Set. What you get for each of them is a wider and broader asset library, is it worth getting them?
Cover Art Characters Pack – Featuring a brand new main party and brimming with bonus material, this pack includes the essentials to build the perfect character party. From witches and warriors to enhanced androids and samurai, our characters are a perfect blend of science, magic and fantasy. Whether you’re looking for new heroes, or simply want more variety for your game
- 8 main party characters, complete with walking and damage animations.
- 8 matching portraits (waist-up) and facesets, cropped and formatted for your convenience.
- 8 animated side-view battlers.
- 8 unique character music themes, in OGG and M4a format.
- BONUS: 8 support NPC characters, complete with a walking sprite, damage sprite, portraits and facesets.
Essentials Set – From expertly-composed original music to clever tileset add-ons and emotion-packed character facesets, this pack includes material that enhances the standard RPG Maker MV resources and really lets your projects shine. The music included in this pack was composed by Murray Atkinson. The graphics are a collaborative effort from Degica’s art team – including some secret requests from the community.
- 14 music themes, in .ogg format for use in RPG Maker and .mp3 format for listening as you develop your game.
- Tileset add-ons for 4 dungeon types.
- Tileset add-ons for town interiors and exteriors.
- Facesets with emotions for standard RPG Maker MV heroes
- BONUS 1: Icons matching the dungeon tile additions
- BONUS 2: 3 title backgrounds
Yes. That is, if you buy want to build an awesome RPG of course. Here is what you should consider before spending that much money on a piece of software:
Are you going to actually use it? Here is what doesn’t count as “actually using” it:
Building a level and then stopping because, meh. Building a game worth playing in this thing is still very hard work and takes a lot of effort and time, it’s not like building a house for your Sims.
Wanting to revolutionize the indie game world. I’m sorry, but building a game in RPG maker doesn’t make you a game developer, it much rather makes you an author.
So when should you absolutely go for the RPG maker? When you have a story to tell and you want it to be told in a game, not just written down, not just in a short film. My advice would be: Make up the story before you buy RPG Maker. Once you have mapped out the storyline, then go for it. Buy the game and it’s DLC’s, you will be pleased by the software and the asset libraries, because what it does, it does in an absolutely astounding manner.
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