So perusing our forums, I ran across an interesting thread. The thread was titled “Why bother making a video game?“.

A pretty dismissive title, but the question itself is really an interesting one. Why DO we make video games? Obviously, we all have different answers to this, and I want to, of course, hear your answers as well, but in this article, I’m going to give you mine.

But first, a little about me. My name is Nick Palmer, the social media and community guy for the English RPG Maker Community. I’ve been known in the community as Touchfuzzy for years, long before I was ever hired on by Degica, I was making games with RPG Maker.

This was the first RPG Maker I ever used. Seriously/

This was the first RPG Maker I ever used. Seriously.

I write. A lot. I mean, obviously, most of my job is writing (and yes, I know, I’m prone to incredibly long sentences (and parenthetical asides!)). But I love telling stories. When I was a kid, and well, even now, I want to be a novelist. I’ve played tabletop roleplaying games for many, many years (something like 28 years now?). I want to tell stories and for people to enjoy them. It is one of the primary things I like in life.

But on the other side, I also like math. And puzzles. And just taking things apart and learning how they work and putting them all back together. It is why I have an unhealthy obsession with board games for instance. I love playing within a system and figuring out how to make it tick.

And making games with RPG Maker? That combines those two things like peanut butter and chocolate. I get to play with systems, I get to learn eventing and manipulate things to get the engine to do what I want, and all the while, I get to use that manipulation to tell stories. Then people get to play within the system I make and see the story I told.

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I did actually finish one game, it was pretty fun, though horribly unbalanced and some of the puzzles were really, really unnecessarily hard.

To be fair, I also rarely finish anything. I have a secret project in the works now, but will it ever see the light of day? Who can say (well, it is work related, so probably my bosses would be unkind if it didn’t)? But even if I never do, it is fun to see the stories come to life, to manipulate the pieces and tools to get it to produce something that is uniquely mine. Unfinished or not.

So, why do you make games? Tell us in the comments below, or join the forums and ask in the original post!

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By: Lunarea

Magnificent Quest is a large music pack created by Joel Steudler, the genius composer behind many of the crowd-favorite music packs you’ll find in the RPG Maker store. This large pack includes 43 BGM songs and 20 ME shorts, perfectly suited for both short projects and long sagas.

Although Magnificent Quest can be used in both high and low fantasy, the inspiration for this pack is more modern JRPGs – which blend the classic orchestral melodies with modern rock undertones. As a result, Magnificent Quest is a unique album that will feel both inspired and memorable.

My favorite part of the pack is the sheer variety of melodies. Each theme has a unique melody, but fits a larger narrative well. This is especially important if you’re planning to create longer games – where you want to avoid having music feel repetitive and boring, while at the same time keep your music similar enough to not feel disjointed.

MQ_MP_Steam_Header_460x215

Magnificent Quest Music Pack contains the following:

  • 10 Battle Themes, including standard battles, special encounters and boss themes
  • 10 Dungeon themes, including music for areas such as catacombs, dwarven caves and the Underworld.
  • 10 Event themes, which can be used as character themes as well as backdrops for your game events – ranging from heroic to nostalgic.
  • 10 Town themes, including rural areas, palaces and cities.
  • Bonus: 3 additional themes (Battle, Dungeon and Event), and 20 ME themes (positive, negative, inn and rock)

Music can be a fantastic inspiration to create, and Magnificent Quest is no exception. While I was listening to the album, I had a ton of game ideas pop into my head – from interesting plot points and twists to world development. But since I can’t create an entire game just for this article (well, I could, but it would take forever!), I picked a single song to build something with – Town: Tranquil Refuge.

For this tranquil refuge, I jumped back into parallax mapping and created a cottage in the woods. I used RPG Maker MV RTP, as well as some choice wilderness pieces from SAKAN: Tileset Builder tool. I tried to emulate nature with an organic placement of the different pieces, but I still made sure everything lined up with the grid so the walking player didn’t feel off-center.

Magnificent-Map

Although we always encourage you to use your own creative ideas, we wanted to share a few alternate ways Magnificent Quest can be used in:

  • If you’re exploring a futuristic setting, think about adding a “retro fantasy” mini-game your player can play in between their missions. Not only does your player get a break from the main action, but you can make use of all fantasy materials you’ve got in your library.
  • To keep things fresh and exciting, consider changing your battle theme as the player gets stronger. The beginning stages could be more light and airy, and progressively grow darker/more intense as time goes on.
  • Music can inspire characters – and this JRPG medley would be perfect for that true anime fan in your modern project. Perhaps you could even add a side-quest where the party has to collect all JRPG themes across the world to unlock the fan’s ultimate ability…

We hope you’ve enjoyed this in-depth look at Magnificent Quest. We’d love to hear your thoughts and impressions. Chime down below or join in the discussion on our Facebook page or our Community Forum.

 

 

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Repeat after me: Tropes are not bad.

A lot of people attempt to avoid tropes, they think of them as cliches that weaken their story.

"Ha, no one has made a world that looks like mine!" "1. You weren't alive in the 80s were you? 2. Ow, I like my eyes, why"

“Ha, no one has made a world that looks like mine!”
“1. You weren’t alive in the 80s were you?
2. Ow, I like my eyes, why”

But it just isn’t true. Tropes exist because they work narratively. You can’t avoid them all and there are plenty of reasons to embrace them. Today, I’m going to look at one specific way to use them, as narrative shortcuts.

So what do I mean by narrative shortcuts? I mean that you can use a trope to get a player to understand a situation or character very quickly.

But I know what you are thinking: But every situation and character should be meticulously detailed and blah blah blah. Yeah, well, yes and no. Should your main characters be fleshed out? Sure, but you can’t flesh out every character in your story completely. Sometimes you just need to establish a minor villain for a short arc and you can just plop in “Corrupt Priest” done, and it works.

People know how a corrupt priest will act. People know the motivations of a corrupt priest. They don’t have to wonder how or why, they just know.

Well, you aren't wrong... but you are kind of a jerk.

Well, you aren’t wrong… but you are kind of a jerk.

And even for your main characters, starting with a trope helps people get going quickly. and then, when you reveal information about them that DOESN’T match the trope to flesh them out, it makes the contrast even more noticeable.

You don’t have time to go into backstories and personal details of every single character, situation, village. You should do as much as you can if that is where your passions lie in game creating, but too much exposition or too much character building can truly bring your game down.

The more minor the component, the fewer details we need to know about it. And tropes fill in all those voids that we don’t need to know about.

So how do you use tropes in your game? Do you find yourself using it to communicate information to the player quickly? What other ways do you use them? Tell us in the comments below.

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Time is running out on the Steam Sale, less than 24 hours to go!

Over on our blog, we’ve been highlighting some of the amazing artists who make RPG Maker DLC packs, such as Murray Atkinson, Celianna, PVGames, and Karugamo.

To close out the sale, let’s look at two more amazing artists.


First Seed Material barely needs introduction, being one of the most famous Japanese RPG Maker resource creators outside of Japan since the wild west days of the early RPG Maker online communities.

And now First Seed Material is making packs for RPG Maker MV!

FSMTownofBeginnings

The Towns and Beginnings Tiles are perfect for getting started on your game, covering interiors and exteriors for towns, villages, and cities.

FSMWoodsCave

And just released, Woods and Caves Tiles takes the next step, giving you plenty of materials to make woodland mazes and natural caverns!

Together, you can could create a full game from just this pieces, but the future is wide open for more packs by FSM, so be sure to be on the lookout!


Out of all the resource creators we have worked for for RPG Maker DLC, none has been a bigger name than Hiroki Kikuta, composer of Secret of Mana, Koudelka, Soul Calibur 5 and many more!

HKTheCalm

The serene side of the duo of packs from Hiroki Kikuta, The Calm features the perfect sounds for villages, serene forests, and other bits of small wonder.

HKTheFury

On the other side, we have The Fury. Marches, battle themes and more, this pack drives forward to hard hitting adventure!

Together, this cohesive set of packs can make an entire game of quiet moments and rolling adventure. So pick up both in the Hiroki Kikuta Bundle.


The Steam Summer Sale is an excellent time for us all to pick up the packs we need to finish up our games. And it is also the perfect time to show appreciation to the artists who make them. So thank you to all the artists, those who make packs for us, those who make resources for free online, all the artists who make RPG Maker what it is today!

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This time, we are going to check out the hard working and definitely industrious Murray Atkinson.

I’m not going to cover anywhere near all his packs. Cause he has so many, no seriously. So just click through the last sentence to check out any of the ones I didn’t highlight below.

I’m just going to focus on a few of his latest packs, but be sure to check out all those older ones too!

SpanishStrings

Spanish Guitar Strings is one of my favorite music packs we have. The perfect sounds for a midwestern style game, with fast strings and splendid tunes.

EpicStrings

Like strings but want something a little more ominous? Check out Epic Strings, with harp, cello, violin, and more. These orchestral pieces will fit into most fantasy games.

MAHeavenEarth

One of Murray Atkinson’s newest packs, in the Heaven and Earth Music Pack he teams up with Otori Ayaka, a Niko player from Japan, to give us some wonderful Eastern set themes.

MAMedievalWarfare

And finally, we have the Medieval Warfare Music Pack. This pack would be great to pair up with the PVGames Medieval sets, clashing swords and catapults raining stones down on their enemies.

Murray Atkinson has done so many packs, at least one will be perfect for your game. So check them all out, see what fits your game! And always remember to support and appreciate all the artists who help you create the games you dream of.

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It is time for another Artist Spotlight! This time, we’re going to feature Celianna, who has done tons of VX Ace tiles.

Celianna is a long time member of the RPG Maker community, and someone I’ve worked with personally over on the RPG Maker Web official forums, where she is one of our most active moderators. She also is working on her own game, which you should also check out, called Tailor Tales!

But let’s take a look at her work for RPG Maker! All of these packs are VX Ace, formatted to 32×32 pixel tiles, so perfect for those who are still using an older maker, or are using a plugin in MV to use smaller tiles.

Cel1FuturisticTiles

First we have Celianna’s Futuristic Tiles, which includes tiles for a variety of modern and sci-fi locals, spaceships, cities, research facilities and more!

Cel2RuralFarm

Ever wanted to create a Harvest Moon style game? The Rural Farm Tiles are perfect for this, with a bright exciting art style and all the tiles you need to make farms and rural towns.

Cel3FBMedieval

After that, Celianna worked on two packs designed to match the RTP style of VX Ace, and add Fantastic Buildings! The first, for fantasy, Fantastic Buildings: Medieval

Cel5FBModern

… and the second for something a bit more contemporary: Fantastic Buildings: Modern.

Cel4AncientDungeonsBase

Her other series, the Ancient Dungeons series, features absolutely gorgeous digitally painted tiles. The Base Pack features pieces for towns, villages, castles, caves, crypts, ports and even chapels…

Cel6AncientDungeonsJungle

…while the Ancient Dungeons Jungle pack gives you the feel of a thick jungle, complete with Mayan style temples and beautiful waterfalls.

Celianna has plenty of packs, ideal for use in a variety of games, whether you want to enhance the RTP, hit the future, work the farm, or just go with a totally new Fantasy style, she has made something you can use.

So pick up one of Celianna’s excellent packs and be sure to join us Monday when we do our last artist spotlight for the sale!

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And now for another Artist Spotlight! Last time we took a look at Japanese music composer Karugamo, this time, we go completely in the other direction to check out PVGames.

An author and artist, PVGames has been fiddling with games since he was a small boy, from board games, to text adventures, to eventually working on some serious projects in the last few years. One of the things he noticed along the way was the lack of resources for non-artists to make games, so he put his 3D rendering and animation skills to the task of making some, including rendering several 2D packs for RPG Maker.

So, are you looking for something a little less JRPG and a lot more WRPG? Something… positively Medieval.

PVGames has a series of packs just for you, set in a more grim and serious Medieval world, less fantasy, more sword and shield. Let’s take a look at the Medieval Series, a series which includes tiles, spritesets, parallaxes, and tons of component pieces to make your own sprites and facesets, with pieces from each set being compatible with all the others.

MedievalTownCountry

The first pack Medieval: Town and Country features pieces for making just that, Towns, Cities, the Countryside, and the people and animals you would meet there.

MedievalInteriors

But of course, you’ll need Medieval: Interiors as well. Packed with all the things you need to make insides of houses, shops, and more.

MedievalWarfare

Medieval Warfare focuses on the machines of war, and the destruction they cause. Catapults, ruins, banners, everything you need to show the war ravaging your world.

MedievalKnightsTemplar

And with all the war going on, the church couldn’t just ignore it. Medieval: Knights Templar focuses on a wide array of customization for Knight characters.

MedievalDungeons

But maybe a bit of western fantasy would be a good idea. Medieval: Dungeons takes you to the depths of the dungeon crawl, with tiles and monsters for your heroic characters to defeat.

MedievalBosses

And when you reach the bottom of that dungeon crawl, you’ll need a massive foe to face. Medieval: Bosses is ready to deliver, with 8 massive fiends for your heroes to conquer.

The PVGames Medieval series is one of the largest collections of art for RPG Maker outside of the standard RPG Maker style, and with these 6 packs you’ll have plenty to work with to build your game. Grab them while they are on sale, and look forward to another artist spotlight in a couple of days!

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RPG Maker would be nothing without the artists, both those who work with us making official packs, and those in the community. So for our Summer Sale, let’s put some spotlight on some of the amazing artists that are creating fantastic art and music and the great deals you can get on their work!

First up, we have Karugamo. Karugamo is a Japanese composer who has spent ten years learning the craft, and decided that making music for indie games is where his passions lay.

Karugamo has made several packs for us, in two different series, first, we have the Fantasy series. Four packs featuring music for different situations.

KarugamoFantasy1

Karugamo Fantasy BGM Pack 01 is focused on the core of most RPGs: dungeons, towers, and land and sea travel.

KarugamoFantasy2

Karugamo Fantasy BGM Pack 02 hits the other major half of RPG locations: castles, churches, cities, and villages.

KarugamoFantasy3

Karugamo Fantasy BGM Pack 03 adds in the music for your battles, both regular and boss, and theme music for dashing heroes and dastardly villains.

KarugamoFantasy4

And Karugamo Fantasy BGM Pack 04 rounds out most of the last missing pieces you’ll need: mystical, suspense, cut-scene/event and romantic music.

All together, these four packs contain 80 tracks, consisting of every single thing you’ll need for a fantasy RPG Maker game.

But what if you are building something a bit more modern? Don’t worry, Karugamo’s second series focused on just that. The Contemporary series contains two packs so far.

KarugamoContemporary1

Karugamo Contemporary BGM Pack 01 focuses on modern towns, and lively cities.

KarugamoContemporary2

Karugamo Contemporary BGM Pack 02 hits the natural and supernatural.

Both packs are heavily inspired by the sounds of anime and j-pop, with catchy, quirky tunes that will have your players humming.

So enjoy the works of Karugamo, pick up some packs in the sale, and round out the music in your current project. And tune in in a couple of days when we feature another great RPG Maker artist.

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The Steam Summer Sale is here!

We all know Summer is the time of beaches, sun, sand, and getting outside. But let’s be honest. It is just too hot to be out there! Much better to be inside in the AC and under a fan working on your game right?

Well, good thing that we have the deals to get you, or that friend you know needs RPG Maker going.

RPGMakerMV

Like RPG Maker MV for 65% off! The latest and greatest, RPG Maker MV supports Windows, Linux, OSX, so no matter what OS you are using, or what OS your audience uses, they’ll still be able to play your game.

But maybe you are fond of some of the older RPG Maker versions?

OtherEngine

Don’t worry, those are all 80% off! This is perfect for picking up the resources included, buying for a friend or family member to get started, or just wanting to pick up the version you remember using as a teen!

And don’t forget to check VX Ace and MV DLCs for even more discounts on packs you might need for your current or future projects!

Sakan

We’ve also got some stellar tools to build your own graphics for use in RPG Maker MV.

The first RPG Maker MV Tool, SAKAN Tileset Builder makes it easier than ever to throw together tilesets quickly from component parts! Get it now for 33% off!

 

GCH

 

Don’t need tiles, instead you need sprites and facesets? Then look no further than Game Character Hub!

With Game Character Hub you can easily make new characters from component parts in no time at all. Pick up Portfolio Edition, with RPG Maker MV support, for 40% off!

So head over to the Steam Summer Sale and get the engines and tools you need to bring your project to life!

We’re all excited to see what you will make!

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So you’ve decided to set your game in a modern/semi-modern setting. Good for you! I like medieval fantasy as well, but more variety is never a bad thing.

Earlier this week, we talked a bit about some of the differences you need to keep in mind for a modern day setting.

Today, I’m going to address something a lot more specific: Skills. What are they? Specifically: What do they represent in your game?

In fantasy games, skills usually represent magic, but in your modern game, is that what you want? Here are three options for Modern game skills.

Exceptional Skill

The first option is that skills represent just being super awesome. You have done your thing so much, that you are the best at your thing. No one can do that thing better. (Even if it is underwater basket weaving)

Pop Horror City: Great Skill at shooting the undead. (Pack available through Steam and the RMW Store!)

Pop Horror City: Great Skill at shooting (and outrunning) the undead. (Available through Steam and the RMW Store!)

The cool thing about this one is that it is really easy to justify a lot of abilities with. You know how to poison your blade? Cool. You can shoot really fast accurately? There you go. Some things though stretch credibility a bit. Rapid healing is kind of weird for instance.

Advanced Technology

Advanced Technology can do all kinds of things. Mend bones together, blast enemies to pieces with cool laser beams, build walls of hard light to protect your allies.

And Sci-Fi skills means you need some Sci-Fi Battlers! (Available through Steam and the RMW Store!)

And Sci-Fi skills means you need some Sci-Fi Battlers! (Available through Steam and the RMW Store!)

Advanced technology means going a bit sci-fi, but many modern settings use it pretty liberally, just look at any major comic book universe, or even spy fiction to a lesser degree. The one issue with advanced technology is: Why is it a skill and not just equipment? Maybe it takes specific skill to use that equipment? That is something you can tackle pretty easily, but should be kept in mind.

Psionics

In the “no really it isn’t magic” category we have Psionics.

Psionics is basically magic, just with some pseudoscientific mind over matter explanation, so you can pretty much explain any and every skill away with the flimsiest, or most complex of gobblygook explanation you can think of.

Magic can cause all kinds of weirdness, like some Paranormal Monsters! (Available through the RMW Store, Coming Soon to Steam)

Psionics can also explain all kinds of Paranormal Monsters!(Available through the RMW Store, Coming Soon to Steam)

Psionics is pretty accepted in modern settings in fiction, so there really isn’t a lot of downside to this one unless you want to stick more to realism. And like I said, anything can be explained through psionics.

You could of course, also combine all three of theses, with different characters having different skill origins. You could even just use straight up magic if you wanted to. It’s up to you. What other skill origins for modern day settings can you think of?

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