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Wild Armor
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« on: December 29, 2008, 10:35:22 PM »

I'm searching for an RPG Maker tool for the PC and would like to know the choices I have to chose from. I know about RPG Maker XP & RPG Maker VX. If these are the best ones to chose one and I'm left to make the decion on one of them, does anyone have their own experiences or personal opinion on any of them to bestow upon me?

Money is not an issue, so let me know any others that are better ones out there regardless of price. I'm willing to throw down a maximum of $100 on the product.

Apologies if this doesn't go in this section, but I thought it would fit seeing it was about Computer RPGs. Thank you!
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Ramza
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2008, 12:10:59 AM »

dag, I hadn't even looked into VX. Sounds pretty sweet.

And yes this is the right place for your thread. :)
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Dincrest
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2008, 07:40:49 AM »

Eternal Eden was made using VX. 
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blackthirteen
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2008, 09:07:41 AM »

The main difference between XP and VX is the way tilesets and the mapping system are used.

Most people prefer XP but I had a lot of gun using VX, but I aimed totally new results with it.

XP can remind more of engine used to create Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger or Suikoden (visually speaking).

Results via VX can remind of Dragon Quest or Lufia.

Try both of them and you'll instantly know which one you prefer.

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Wild Armor
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2008, 04:14:03 PM »

Thanks for the info guys!

I went and did some of my own adventures on seeing both programs in action, thanks to youtube, and found that I'm pretty torn on which to use. I am going to have to give them both a try. They both have their pros and cons, but I'll see what I can do.

The reason why I ask is that I plan on using a lot of recycled images from other games because I plan on throwing some Bounty Hunting in the game. Whichever allows me to easily put image placement during battle is what I'm looking for.

And I did see the resemblances to RPG Makers VX immediately when I saw Eternal Eden, Dincrest! I was really surprised at the quality and visual, but the turn off was the battle background. Though with some more programming help I can change that, so I may go with VX. I'll let you guys know my decision in the end. When I do begin the game, I'll throw a thread up to let you know the process of the game's completion. ;)
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2008, 06:08:24 PM »

They're both sort of limited and their ease of use is greatly overstated from what Ir emember. Doubly so if you dislike... Ruby or whatever it is they use. Not to mention the licenses are pretty overpriced. I'm not saying you should go out and learn C++ just for the sake of programming an RPG, but there are comparable or better products that don't cost anything.

What specifically are you trying to do, by the way? That dictates the sort of tool you'll want.

http://www.verge-rpg.com/ VERGE is freeware if you wanna give it a try. I don't remember much about it, but it takes care of having a scripting engine and a tile engine. There's no built-in battle system. It's not really limited to RPGs either although that was its original purpose.

Game Maker, I believe, has a freeware version, and if not, the full version is something like 20 dollars. It should be fully capable of making an RPG, although its event system, as of a few years ago when I last tried it, was sort of bizarre and a lot harder to work with than just a normal scripting language.

There's also stuff like Hamster Republic, which I have pretty much no experience in, but it's also free and might work for what you're doing.
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Wild Armor
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2009, 12:48:17 AM »

The Results are in: RPG Maker VX wins by a landslide. Everything is pretty straightforward and easy to use. They have pretty much everything I want. I'm not a fan of the acid-trip battle background, but I can always fix that. I'll throw up a new topic about the game's progress or set up some blog to let you know the progress. Again, thanks for the info and hope your New Years went well. I spent mine online while eating sunflower seeds. :)
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2009, 07:58:14 PM »

VX is more user-friendly and hence easier for beginners to pick up; but once you want to do some more advanced stuff, you are either limited or have to do some hassle-some coding-from-scratch for them. Which isn't too big of a problem in many cases, since there are probably scripts out there that you can use to achieve the effects.

I'm assuming that for casual users, RTP or RTP styled graphics are probably gonna be used - so I think the graphics style is something that's important to look at with the decision, as they are very, very different.
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Wild Armor
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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2009, 08:37:06 PM »

There are sites/forums out there that are particularly useful for pretty much anything for RPG Maker VX & XP. I've already looked into to them before choosing and seen a lot of scripts that looks appealing to use. I don't plan on selling this, rather I'm just making this to have some fun and see what I could possibly create.

I already have names of places, villains, heroes, and such down. All I have to do is make them and decide what to do with the battle system after. The last thing I'm working on is the battle script. The battle script is probably going to be the most easiest/hardest/funnest(?) thing I'll be working on... well other than the story :).

Once I have a couples of Villages set and triggered, I'll throw up that thread/blog to let you know the progress of the game. I'm pretty sure that everyone is going to take a liking to the game, I know I sure as heck am :).
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Dincrest
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2009, 08:39:26 PM »

Well considering how much I enjoy indie RPGs and RPG Maker creations (my recent editorial says it all), you can bet your sweet ass I'll want to try your game when it's done. 
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Wild Armor
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« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2009, 10:32:55 PM »

Thank you! (Haha). I'll be sure to make something that is fun for everyone, experienced and noobs.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2009, 11:51:30 PM »

Just a few points about your article I want to respond here and I may as well do it here. Actually, it's mostly just one point but I have to put up a bunch of other stuff to get to it as coherently as possible.

The central question at your article is "Why does RPG Maker get a bad rap?" and I'm going to try to answer that.

You draw a parallel between the Unreal Engine and RPG Maker. The Unreal Engine and RPG Maker are very different things. On one level, RPG Maker is a complete development tool, and, to the best of my knowledge, the Unreal Engine is not. Most importantly, though, the amount of difficulty and work required in creating a 3D renderer that works on the same level as, say, the Unreal 3 engine doens't really compare at all to writing an engine for a 2D RPG. For the latter, you can get by with a basic knowledge of C, and a fairly good knowledge of SDL and LUA. I have no idea what the former involves, honestly, but I'm pretty sure you have to know, in addition to programming, a great deal about how GPUs work, at the least, and a whole lot of conceptual stuff that pertains to 3D rendering.

In any case, though, it's not so much RPG Maker itself that bothers a lot of indie developers. Nobody complains about Clickteam products (Unless you're using Klik n' Play, but that lacks any capabilities for making a fun game). So, no, it's not the tool itself, but the community. More specifically, there's a certain mindset that a lot of the RPG Maker users tend to have. In brief: "I'm just doing it for fun, so it doesn't matter if it's good." Screwing around with making games for your own amusement isn't really the problem either, though.

I'm sure you've heard the saying that 90% of anything will be garbage, whether it be music, writing, movies, or video games--and this also filters down into all the different genres (personally, I think this number is a bit inflated, but I digress). Apply this to RPG Maker games, though, and the number shoots up to something like 99%. Yes, there have been a few good RPG Maker games. But the vast majority are utterly horrid, don't do anything creative, and are just a massive ball of typo-ridden, incoherent text and ripped sprites.

Need I say anything more than "Phylomortis?" And that was on the high end, as far as production values go (and its incoherence came from a completely different source).

Once bitten, twice shy, you know? It's not that RPG Maker gets a bad rap. RPG Maker games get a bad rap because mostly, they are bad, and it's very hard to seperate the wheat from chaff because it's mostly chaff.

Actually, the ripped sprites have a lot to do with it. If you're just doing something for fun, then you probably are just going to rip sprites, because you're not going to invest a whole lot of time in making a professional-level project with all original graphics and music. Of course, ripped sprites look sloppy, and it's also very bizarre to see a recolored Crono sprite standing next to a recolored sprite from Phantasy Star 3 because, stylistically, they don't go together at all.

But people also have a problem with ripped sprites on the ground that, well, technically, it's questionably legal and there's a bit of copyright infringement going on. It's specifically the ripped sprites that are a problem. Nobody cares if a game maker doesn't do there own art if it's from a public domain or with-permission source. Amaranth did this for a couple of their games, I believe. Using ripped sprites is lazy, looks lazy, and you could get far better results for free if you just looked around or asked around a bit. Or just modified the included sprite sets which are fairly good and, if I remember correctly, not that hard to modify.

But that's not even the problem, really.

And you do mention a warped sense of entitlement in your article. True, this is a problem, but it goes both ways. No, you shouldn't deserve to feel entitled just because you wrote the game from the ground up in C++. Just the same, you shouldn't feel entitled to praise just because you made a game. If your game doesn't have an appealing story or script, and none of your audio-visual assets are original, you shouldn't expect anyone to take you seriously, and you shouldn't get mad when they don't.

Or, if you were just don't it for fun and didn't care how good it turned out, don't get mad when it turns out bad, and if you show it to other people, don't get mad when they tell you this.

It all kind of comes back to programming though.

Two guys make a game. One makes it in RPG Maker and the other guy programs it himself, from scratch, in C++. Both games suck. Utterly atrocious. However, the guy that programmed it himself made his own engine, and at the least, has that. The guy that used RPG Maker really doesn't have anything at that point.

(I'm not saying this is necessarily how I feel personally, though. This is mostly just the impression I get from other people).
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blackthirteen
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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2009, 06:07:57 AM »


Two guys make a game. One makes it in RPG Maker and the other guy programs it himself, from scratch, in C++. Both games suck. Utterly atrocious. However, the guy that programmed it himself made his own engine, and at the least, has that. The guy that used RPG Maker really doesn't have anything at that point.

(I'm not saying this is necessarily how I feel personally, though. This is mostly just the impression I get from other people).

(Pardon my English)

Itís relative. Neither the guy using RPG Maker nor the guy coding from scratch actually learn a moral lesson at the very end. Each of them can appreciate every second invested in their project.

I think it was the main point behind Nealís editorial. He doesnít need to get more scientific or conceited with his examples to explain the essence of his message: the energy and the love put in a game don't depend of the tool.

Iíve coded during several years with C++ and I had a lot of fun. I also coded directly in hardware (GBA) and it was wonderfully gratifying. I never could fulfill a commercial project though.

Iíve recently finished and sold a game using RM in the most simplistic way due to my restrained schedule and finance, and I had a lot of pleasure too. Morever my success isn't less pleansant than someone using Unreal Engine.

My motto: a tool is a tool. It's the end result that really matter.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 06:10:35 AM by blackthirteen » Logged
MeshGearFox
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2009, 11:29:19 AM »

I probably didn't explain myself clearly enough. Writing stuff late at night'll do that to ya.

Basically, in brief, and I'm not sure if this is still true or not, but a large part of the RPG Maker community really didn't put a lot of energy and love into the games they were making, made really bad games as a result, still wanted praise for having made a game, and were utterly adverse to recieving any sort of criticism. In other words, the games were bad, they makers were behaving in a problematic manners so people didn't want to deal with either after a point.

Also, this was going on when RPG Maker 2K was still the main version. RPG Maker 2K3 was out, but still fairly new, and not a lot of people were using it, and those that were didn't really have a good grasp on its capabilities yet, so most of the games being made were being made with 2K. Having used 2K, it's incredibly inflexible and no matter what you do, pretty much everything made with it is going to play the same, and the built-in gameplay mechanics you were sort of forced to use just weren't very good. Not to mention that on the internet, most indie game makers are more interested in gameplay mechanics and couldn't really care less about story, and if you're using a system that essentially prevents you from coming up with your own gameplay mechanics, they're not going to be interested by default.

But right, though. Seriously, the core of this thing is that disproportionately huge number of RPG Maker games are bad, and so people don't really expect quality from RPG Maker, and are turned off when they hear that something was made in RPG Maker because of this.
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2009, 01:32:30 PM »

Fox, I saw that same kind of mentality all the freaking time when I was in a band.  So I totally see where you're coming from. 

I'd go to shows to check out bands, see if any of them were good and try to organize a show with them, stuff like that.  Most of the bands I saw in basement shows were atrocious.  Mostly they were just lackadaisical guys who formed a band simply because they thought it would be a cool way to meet girls and possibly give them some cred.  "Hey I play in a band too, why won't you let us play a gig?  Uhh, because your band sucks." 

I would also see those rare bands who took things seriously and actually put effort into their music and managing themselves (which is something many local bands fail to do.)  They weren't on any labels or anything and were playing basement shows.  I was always supportive of those guys who took it seriously and actually acted semi-professional. 

Still my sentiment was purely as an opinionated layman.  Operative word being "layman."  In my mind, dismissing a game because it was made using RPG Maker was like saying a painting was not "real" art because it didn't use the most expensive paints.  Perhaps someone in the art community would look at that statement and give me a treatise on paint, but that treatise would be kinda lost on a layman. 
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 01:35:07 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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