For all those wishing they could make their own next-gen RPG, the wait is over. Enterbrain has recently announced the next installment in the popular RPG Maker series, and we have the screens to prove it.
Titled RPG Tsukuuru 5 in Japan, the game's move to the PlayStation 2 has had immediate and obvious results. Unlike its 2D counterpart, RPG Tsukuuru 5 is completely 3D--allowing for a plethora of new features. Such effects as weather, real-time shadows, day/night transition effects, basic 3d modeling, and limited texturing are all easily available to the user. The interface itself has received a major overhaul, and from the video demo it seems quite easy to manipulate, shape, add, and subtract all the 3D objects in one's world.
In addition to the world editor, would-be game designers now have more control than ever over their characters. While they do sport a super-deformed look, users have the ability to shape, resize, and modify almost every aspect of them. In addition to the modeling itself, each character supports up to 4 programmable "emotion" states, allowing the user to create an array of facial expressions for different situations.
Another big addition to the package is support for both a USB keyboard and a digital camera. One of the major issues with the original console-based RPG Maker was that all text had to be inputted with the awkward, and extremely slow, on-screen keyboard. USB Keyboard support will be a huge plus and allow an ease-of-use that was formerly limited to the PC version. Details regarding the digital camera are scarce, however the prospect of being able to import custom textures is promising.
As if the description of the "game" wasn't enough to get any aspiring game designer excited, it is rumored that Agetec is planning on acquiring US publishing rights, making a stateside release very likely.
Thanks to LionFranco@aol.com for the tip.