Sci Fi Battlebacks is a backgrounds pack created by Michael Rookard. A first in a series of science fiction resources, this pack includes a variety of futuristic environments that’s right at home in a variety of game settings.

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Michael’s recognizable style is an interesting mix of realism and western-style comic books, with a dash of classic fantasy. Looking through each piece, you can see how he’s inspired by some of the popular futuristic games such as Mass Effect and Starcraft – while at the same time paying homage to fantasy settings found in games such as World of Warcraft and Skyrim. The resulting art is something that can span over several types of science fiction, be it set in a faraway future or a medieval-fantasy-meets-futuristic-time-travel setting.

Priced at $9.99, this pack is a great value – as it includes sizes for both RPG Maker VX-Ace and RPG Maker MV. To entice you a bit more, we’ve got a coupon code for you that makes Sci Fi Battlebacks and all other Michael’s packs even better!

Use code: sf-bb-50
And receive 50% off on Sci Fi Battlebacks, Sci Fi Battler Pack, Skyforge Battlepack and Sci Fi Battlers 2.
Offer valid until Friday, January 13th @ 12:00 PM (noon) PST

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Sci Fi Battlebacks contains the following:

  • 19 Battleback 1 floors – which can be used alone, or in combination with Battlebacks 2.
  • 13 Battleback 2 floors – which can be used in combination with Battlebacks 1 or with Battleback 1 files that come with RPG Maker.
  • Battleback 1 includes: alien planet (x2), alien airship (2 color variants), engineering, hive city slums (2 variations), med bay (2 variations), moonscape, spaceship bridge (4 variations), shipwreck (2 variations), space elevator and futuristic floor (2 variants)
  • Battleback 2 includes: alien ship wall (2 variants), engineering (x2), moonscape (x2), ship walls (x2), space elevator (x3) and futuristic wall (2 variants)

Here are a couple of screenshots of these battlebacks in action:

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This moonscape is an essential background that can be used for battle encounters during a planet surface exploration. It can also easily be adapted to a visual-novel style of storytelling or used as a title background.

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This outer-space balcony makes a great backdrop for an alien invasion. Sci Fi Battlebacks includes a couple of battleback 2 images that feature spaceship fleets – this is a perfect way to show an increase in danger. In addition, the background can be used in a parallax capacity, with the characters walking along the bottom.

Lastly, here are a few thoughts and ideas to get your creative wheels whirring:

  • As mentioned, it would be pretty easy to use these battlebacks as game titles or parallax backgrounds in special events/scenes. You can also get extra usefulness from them by using a tint screen command – or, alternatively, using an art program to change the colors and tones of the backgrounds.
  • Don’t fret if your game is not in the same style as these backgrounds. They can still be used as a part of a mini-game, or a special event such as a battle arena. And if your project has no battles, these backgrounds make great “display art” background for galleries and monster bestiaries.
  • Lastly, these backgrounds are great for short games or challenge games. If you take part in game development challenges, having ready-to-use art is a lifesaver! Not only does it mean less time spent on development (since you don’t have to also make all the art), but it can be a great source of inspiration. Having to limit yourself to just the environments covered by the graphic pack can make for a very unique and creative story.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this in-depth look into Sci Fi Battlebacks. 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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We recently launched an exciting and fun art contest, in collaboration with Hiroki Kikuta (you can read more about it here). Although we loved reading your feedback and replies, there were several comments from fans who weren’t going to participate because they felt their art skill wasn’t good enough. That kind of comment leaves me with mixed feelings.

On one hand, I think it’s good to be aware of your limitations and to try not to bite off more than you can chew. But on the other hand, not taking that step to participate means a loss of some great one-time opportunities. And this isn’t confined to contests alone! A lot of developers have a similar attitude when it comes to sharing their games and projects, too.

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Putting yourself (and your project) out there for anyone to see and judge can be a rough thing. You could find yourself with a lot of negative feedback, making you think your project is just awful. And, of course, you could also find yourself completely ignored – like you wasted your time and effort on all that development. These aren’t irrational fears, either. We’ve all got at least one Internet experience that left us angry, frustrated or sad.

To think this could be what happens when you share something you worked hard on can be a major block. Some people deal with it by making sure that their project is extra polished – but this can create even more pressure to produce something amazing. And, thus, lead to even more intense feelings when you do put yourself out there – negative feedback is taken harder, being ignored feels more devastating, and so forth.

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At this point, a lot of developers burn out. They give up their current project and start something new. Maybe a smaller project, this time – something that you can finish making. And in theory, that’s the perfect solution. A smaller scale means a better chance to get things just right, plus it doesn’t give your dev reputation a hit (like that lame, hurried game release might).

But if your attitude hasn’t changed – if you’re still trying to only produce and share the best game ever while comparing it to AAA games on the market, the solution won’t work. You’ll probably still find yourself with the same fears, the same frustrations and the same challenges as before. Only, this time you might be even harder on yourself when things go wrong.

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So, maybe it’s time to challenge that attitude and do something different!

Putting yourself out there is terrifying, but it gets heck-of-a-lot easier with experience. Whether you’re left with a feeling that it wasn’t so bad, or you got the worst feedback ever, you’ve got the opportunity to learn and grow. Sharing something you do care about down the line will be easier.

Don’t let yourself and your attitude stand in the way of success. Hold your breath, close your eyes and just jump in.

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The Steam Winter Sale ends at 10 AM Pacific January 2nd, and that means we have just a few hours left to get some great deals on RPG Maker DLC!

RPG Maker’s default resources have a lot to work with if you want to make a JRPG, but what if your inspirations head more towards the older western RPGs? We have the series of graphics for you!

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Pioneer Valley Games introduced the Medieval series to give the look of classic WRPGs, and they started with these two sets, Town and Country and Interiors.

Between the two, you can create a glorious medieval city for your players to explore! They also include tons of templates to build your own characters in a paperdoll style fashion, busts, sprites, even full art shots.

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But the series didn’t end there. PVG continues to pump out more amazing compatible DLC, like Warfare and Knights Templar.

Add all the siege engines, fortifications, weapons and armors you need with Warfare, and then add in the Holy Knights with Knights Templar! Both include tiles as well as more pieces and templates for the paper doll style character creation system.

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So check out these DLCs for RPG Maker MV, as well as the Engines, and many many more DLCs, on Steam now before time runs out!

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It is that time of year again. The year is ending, and it is time to make our resolutions.

And a lot of us, I’m sure, are going to make some in relation to making our games. We’re finally going to finish that 80 hour epic! We’re finally going to learn to make tiles as good as Celianna, or music as fantastic as Joel Steudler’s.

Winter is here...

Winter is here…

But before you make that grand declaration, let’s take a step back and be realistic.

The two things I see people do with resolutions all the time is go too big, or too small.

If you go too small, you accomplish your goal, but you were going to anyway. I could have a resolution to write more blog posts, but you know, that is my job, I’m going to do that (or my bosses might get angry at me, which is much worse than breaking a resolution).

Yes, all my bosses are hooded shadows. Aren't yours?

Yes, all my bosses are hooded shadow monsters. Aren’t yours?

A resolution should push you to do better. Get better. Or just push yourself to get things done.

But then, you can go the other direction. You go too big. This year, you are going to finish that epic game right?

But what if you don’t. It was a giant goal, you didn’t finish it, but what does it matter, it was impossible. You’ve gone so big, it didn’t push you to finish, it pushed you to procrastinate. It pushed you down, because you feared that you couldn’t finish the goal, or because you felt it was so impossible of a goal, it wasn’t going to happen anyway.

Pick something in the middle. Pick a medium sized goal. You are going to finish a game this year. You are going to improve your pixel art. Pick a goal that will push you to be better, to do more, but isn’t so big that it will crush you.

It's a metaphor.

It’s a metaphor.

Pick the resolution that is the right sized for YOU. And then work for it.

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Christmas is over, but RPG Maker isn’t done with the Holidays yet! Not only can you still buy RPG Maker products at great prices in the RPG Maker Web and Steam Winter Sales, but we’re also doing releases, contests, and even freebies!

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From Bittersweet Entertainment, as a follow up to the original Samurai Classics, Samurai Classics: Temple of Darkness brings 17 brand new tracks, and 10 new sound effects inspired by Japanese shrines and temples.

Take a listen to the samples over on sound cloud, and you are sure to want to pick it up today!

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For the second expansion to Celianna’s Ancient Dungeons, we have Ancient Dungeons Winter! Get in the mood for the season with this expertly crafted snow and ice filled set!

And for the full effect, be sure to pick up the original Ancient Dungeons!

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And if you are an artist, it is time to enter the Calm and the Fury Art Contest. Renowned video game composer Hiroki Kikuta is doing two RPG Maker music packs, and your art could be the covers!

Follow the link for full rules, and make sure to get your entry in before the deadline!

Contests, sales, releases, make sure check them all out, but also be sure to check out the RPG Maker Web Resource Staff release, and get some freebies for Christmas today!

Happy Holidays, Happy RMing, and have a great rest of the year!

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It is the time of year again for cold weather, wind, and snow, who wants to be out in that? Much better to be inside, wrapped in a blanket, in front of your computer, with a cup of hot cocoa and your project on the screen.

The game of your dreams is at your fingertips, and with the sales rolling in, all the tools and materials are ready to go, are you?

For most of our discounts on our store, just add to the cart or use the Coupon Code rmw-santa-16. For full details check here!

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MV, XP, VX Ace and even 2k3, we have all the engines you’ll need. Either through our store, or on Steam, you’ll get a good deal with these deeply slashed prices.

Whether you are finally getting the latest version, buying an old favorite, or picking up a present for a friend or family member, you’ll not be disappointed with the price!

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And with your engine in hand, you just need art and music. Pick up all you need, with your choice of a large collection of tiles, characters, music, sound effects, and more!

Visit our store, and again over on Steam, and notice all the huge discounts on just what you need.

And don’t miss out on our giveaway and free gift! Just for the holidays, as a present from Degica & Kadokawa to you, enter for a chance to win big prizes, and pick up a few generator pieces for free!

Happy Holidays from the RPG Maker crew. And good luck, good gaming, and may your wishes come true!

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Can you art? Do you want some of your arting to be associated with a renowned video game composer? Well, here is your chance!

Join in on The Calm and the Fury Art Contest!

Two albums are coming from the brilliant Hiroki Kikuta, one to accompany the quiet, peaceful times in your game “The Calm”, and one to accompany the action and danger “The Fury.”

And with this contest, YOU have the chance to be the cover artist for the albums! So follow the link, read the rules, and throw in your best piece representing the themes! If you get selected, not only will your art adorn these albums for all time, but you’ll also receive a cash reward, and a signed, physical copy of the album!

Who is Hiroki Kikuta you say?

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Hiroki Kikuta is a Japanese video game composer and game designer. His major works as just a composer are Secret of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3, and Sōkaigi. He also was the producer, director, writer, concept designer, and composer for the cult hit Koudelka!

If you are an RPG Maker fan, a Hiroki Kikuta fan, or even both, this is the perfect time for your art to shine, do not pass up this opportunity, join the contest today!

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From A to Z – The Agency

The Agency is a music pack collection created by Murray Atkinson. This pack focuses on mystery, crime and detectives. Melodies that build up tension and danger are scattered between songs that focus on lighter or more whimsical elements of detection. This makes The Agency versatile and useful for both serious and comedy games.

Although the Agency is all about crimes and detectives who solve them, there’s a wide variety of under-themes. Some songs are perfectly suited to Victorian or Steampunk environments – such as stories inspired by Sherlock Holmes. A few swanky jazz songs are perfect for the classic Noir theme. Other songs are more ambient in nature – fitting in with modern police procedurals that might have you chasing a serial killer or ten. This wide range makes the Agency a great investment to span across many games and game genres.

With 27 songs, this pack is a bargain at its full price of $14.99. But we know you love a great deal – so, you can pick up your copy of the Agency for only $9.99 until December 18th, 2016. Enter code “detective” at checkout to see your discount.

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The Agency contains the following themes:

  • Brood and Foreboding, Clockwork Detective, Crime Scene Investigation and Race Against Time are ambient and tense, which fits well with more serious settings (ex. Exploring a serial killer’s lair).
  • Daggers and Cloakers, In the Conservatory with the Revolver, Mission- Abandoned Factory, The Candlestick and the Library and The Silence is Killing Me are complex and non-repetitive, which makes them great for general mysteries as well as for detectives solving major crimes.
  • Jazz Club Combo and The Pink Pincher are in the tones of classic Noir Jazz
  • Closed Case, En Route to the Scene, Falling Skies, Metropolitan Mystery, Spectral Visions, The Awakening, The Investigation and Theme for Stella are more modern police procedurals, with some songs doubling as great nostalgic/sad or character orchestral themes.
  • Composing Helps Me Think, Get Sherlock, The Forgotten Cello, Theremin Killer and Ye Olde Nutcracker are inspired by classic Sherlock Holmes, with a touch of fun and whimsy.
  • Mission Unstoppable, Stranger in Chinatown and The Heist are a Spy/criminal element bonus for extra variety.

For my map creation, I couldn’t decide on a private eye’s office or a crime scene, so I’ve created a couple of small maps of both:

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For the details, I used the Sci-Fi elements of RPG Maker MV’s RTP. I added some extra variety by combining a little parallax mapping and editing into the mix. Although RMMV RTP was not built with detective games in mind, it’s still possible to use it to create some interesting content.

If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes like I am, it’s even easier to create your environments by combining the gothic elements of sci-fi RMMV materials with the standard medieval RTP.

And if Noir is your flair, pieces of RTP could still be useful if you stick to the black and white tint and add a few classic elements such as a rotary telephone, typewriter and the obligatory jazz club.

Lastly, here are a few thoughts and ideas to get your creative wheels whirring:

  • Jumping into detective genre can be fantastic for those of us who struggle with finishing a game or keeping a project simple. By adopting the “one case per project” episodic model, you can narrow your focus a lot and limit your game’s size. At the same time, you can build up your characters and world (or even a big mystery!) over the span of several projects, so that longtime fans of your work will look forward to each new episode.
  • There is a lot of room for characterization, and even more if you make your detective into someone rather unconventional – such as a private eye who is hated by the police, or an amateur sleuth who just likes a good puzzle. These features can translate into great minigames, such as breaking into the police station to steal a report or stealthily moving across the terrain to get into the mansion that’s been broken in.
  • Books and movie shows can be a great inspiration, particularly when it comes to pacing. Modern police procedurals, for example, can be studied for how they tackle character development, the mysteries themselves and how they present resolutions. Does each episode end in a way that leaves you frustrated, or do you feel intrigued enough to want to keep watching?

We hope you’ve enjoyed this in-depth look into The Agency. 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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Karugamo Fantasy Vol. 1 is a music pack created by tobi, a Japanese composer that’s known in the Tkool RPG Maker community as well as some of the international RPG Maker communities. Volume 1 is the first in the Karugamo Fantasy series, and it focuses on dungeon and field themes.

Karugamo uses instruments and sounds that are often found in jRPGs or Japanese anime shows/movies, and is therefore right at home with the standard RPG Maker RTP. Although Volume 1 includes music optimized for dungeons, several songs have a whimsiness to them that makes them suitable for lighter games – particularly involving puzzle elements. Field and ship themes work great for any travel-themed areas, and can easily be used for bravado character themes.

One of the unique things about Karugamo is the use of instruments such as xylophone, electric guitar or the classic harp. This interesting medley of sounds sets Karugamo apart from other classic JRPG themes.

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Karugamo Fantasy – Vol.1 contains the following:

  • Natural Dungeon 1-4
  • Tower Dungeon 1-3
  • Unnatural Dungeon 1 (variants A, B and C)
  • Unnatural Dungeon 2-4
  • Field 1-6
  • Ship 1 (variants A, B)
  • Ship 2
  • Bonus: Cover character in RPG Maker MV standard style.

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One of the things I really enjoy doing when it comes to music is creating a map or two while listening to the song. This is a great exercise for two main reasons. One, it allows me to listen to a particular song several times and get used to how it would flow in a game setting (where songs are often repeated). Two, it makes it easier to remember a song once it’s applied to a specific setting – and with a growing music library, it’s nice to remember songs quickly and easily.

Here is a map inspired by Natural Dungeon 1 – a whimsical tune that I felt went together with a friendly animal farm. I used RPG Maker MV RTP to create this map, but I bet it would be even more authentic to use some custom animal tiles or animal hybrid NPCs.

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Although we always encourage you to use your own creative ideas, we wanted to share a few alternate ways Karugamo Fantasy Vol. 1 can be used in:

  • As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, a whimsical animal or fairy village could easily be enhanced with the Natural Dungeon themes. In addition, an abandoned tower that uses one of the Tower Dungeon themes would fit into this animal kingdom idea.
  • Unnatural Dungeon themes have a nostalgic feeling to them, which would make them great for less dramatic/tragic flashbacks. In addition, there are some vocalization elements that add a touch of intensity that might work for tense scenes.
  • Although the Field themes invoke a great sense of adventure, they would also fit great into a puzzle-themed mini-games. Field Land 4, for example, has a slightly Asian feeling that would make it a perfect theme for a mah-jongg mini-game or a gardening challenge.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this in-depth look into Karugamo Fantasy Vol. 1. 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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The trees are turning, and it is time for you to turn over a new leaf, too. It is time to buckle down and finally make that game you’ve been dreaming of.

And the Steam Autumn Sale is here just in time to help you out! With almost everything RPG Maker on sale, there has to be something you need!

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Want to upgrade to RPG Maker MV, the latest Engine? Now is the time.

Or maybe you prefer an older engine, or want to use some of the resources from them? This sale is still for you!

With our RPG Maker Engines 55-90% off, you can get a whole lot of power, for not a whole lot of dough.

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Have the engine but don’t have all the resources you need?

Then take a look at the absolutely massive amount of RPG Maker DLC available on Steam. You can stock up on everything you need with up to 80% off!

And don’t forget to check out all the great games released by Degica, including some superb RPG Maker titles, and plenty more.

The Steam Autumn Sale is the perfect time for you to change your colors, and get your game started!

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