While not all of you out there are, I imagine that a significant portion of our fans are adults. And even those that aren’t? Generally teens in high school with homework, extra-curriculars, and that exam on Thursday that you forgot to study for.

You heard me Jimmy, hit the books!

You heard me Jimmy, hit the books!

The truth is, very few of us make a living making games, so all of us have some responsibilities to handle outside of doing it.

And what does that mean? Sometimes you have time to work on your game, sometimes you don’t. And this is a tricky situation to be in! Stop and go on a project can really really drag it out longer than it needs to. (I know this first hand… as some of our friends on the forum full well know.)

So here are 3 tips to help you out when you are jumping back and forth on your project.

Tip 1: Plan time to work on your game!

The thing is, when you have a lot of responsibilities, or just other hobbies, it’s very easy to put a game project on the backburner for a long time. Instead of just saying “I’m going to do X later”, actually schedule time specifically for working on your project. Even just 3-4 hours a week is something, and because you schedule for it, you can fit other responsibilities around it. If you don’t schedule time for it, trust me, your schedule will have a way of filling itself up.

Just remember, scheduling game dev time instead of sleep is NOT HEALTHY!

Just remember, scheduling game dev time instead of sleep is NOT HEALTHY!

Tip 2: Set goals and a timeline!

Yeah, you won’t always meet the goals you set, but making a timeline, giving yourself deadlines, if you take them seriously, will force you to try to prioritize making time for the project. Sure it won’t come in over your actual responsibilities, but if you tell yourself “I’m going to finish that sprite this week”, you’ll think twice before starting another episode of that show you’ve been watching until 6am in the morning cause you lost control of your life and… wait no, I’m talking about myself there. (… Noooooo, it’s not 6am right now while I write this… It’s 5:55am. There’s a difference)


This is a big one. Because let’s face it. Even if you are taking your self-imposed deadlines seriously. Even if you are working on your project every spare moment you have. The truth is sometimes your non-hobby life will take over and you won’t touch your project for a week. Two weeks. Maybe even a month.

And all those cool ideas you hadn’t had time to implement yet. You will barely remember what they even were. So always, always jot down notes while you are making your game. Jot down notes when you are just thinking about your game. Always make sure you have something to go back to that tells you what your plan was!

Now if only I had actually organized these notes...

Now if only I had actually organized these notes…

Making a game, finding time to make a game, while balancing the rest of your life is a daunting proposition. One that I’m terrible at, but really hoping to improve. What advice do you have for people trying to organize their life to finish a game?



The Steam Winter Sale is coming to an end in less than 24 hours, but you still have the chance to loot some amazing discounts!

And if you’ve been into RPG Maker for a while, the tilesets we are looking at today come from an artist that needs no introduction: First Seed Material.

We were wowed by the packs back in the 2k3 days, and the MV days are no different!

24 Woods and Cave

First up in our “You should act now, because this deal is fire” list is FSM: Woods and Cave.

This tileset includes everything you need for spelunking and wandering the wooded wilderness. And all of it with the normal level of FSM quality and style.

At 35% off, this is a steal!

25 Town of Beginnings

But we are sure you need somewhere for a player to explore those woods and caves FROM, so that of course leads to the earlier MV pack from FSM, FSM: Town of Beginnings.

With this, you can build fantastic towns and cities, and of course integrates perfectly with Woods and Cave to give you enough to easily make a complete game, 50% off until tomorrow.

Don’t miss out on these deals, and more!



We’re half way through the Steam Winter Sale, the evil that sucks money from our wallets. So you could say that we are at Mid-Evil.

Ok that joke was terrible, but I needed an excuse to share the great deals on these Medieval sets from PVG!

13 Medieval Dungeons

First, we have the Medieval Dungeons set  This set sets you up with everything you need to make some really epic looking dungeons. Have your characters explore ruins with fantastic statues, forbidden altars, and more.

It also sets you up with a TON of monsters with a ton of content. 24 Monsters all with charsets, facesets, busts, battlers, and all kinds of animation sheets. 860 sheets of material in total!

At 35% off, this set is a perfect way to expand your Medieval collection today.

14 Medieval Warfare

Want to set your game during a middle ages war? Then Medieval: Warfare is the perfect thing to add to your Medieval resources! The tilesets are made to show a world torn asunder by battling forces. Siege equipment is at your fingertips.

And on top of that Warfare uses Medieval’s doll system for making characters, utilizing 6 bases and tons and tons of pieces to add to create thousands of unique characters for your game!

If you like the Medieval resource series and don’t have this yet, at 40% off, there is no reason to pass this up!



Merry Christmas, everyone. Or Hanukkah. Or Kwanzaa. No matter what you celebrate, we are glad to have you here with us.

I’ve personally been working on the RPG Maker Team since  November 2011. This makes me the longest running person on the English language team. And as I sit here on Christmas Eve thinking about what that means to me, it is honestly a bit overwhelming.

I started using RPG Maker in the late 90s, I can’t pin down the exact year but if I had to guess I’d say somewhere around 20 years ago. Creating things and playing with the moving parts of systems has always been one of my greatest joys in life. And now, I get to talk about that every day as a job.

And it is perhaps the greatest gift I could ever receive. And that gift is all because of you the fans.

Thank you to all the hobby and indie devs out there that make RPG Maker a success. Thank you to all the resource makers who create both DLC for us, and to those who share their work with others freely on the internet. Thanks to all the scripters. Thanks to all the veterans, and the newbies.

Just thanks for all of you. And have an amazing holiday.

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Winter holidays are nipping at our toes, and with that comes the bustle of shopping for that perfect gift. If you’re looking for a last-minute gift to put under the tree or have a gift card to use, there’s an IMMENSE variety of RPG Maker goodies to choose from.

While having more asset choices is a wonderful thing for game developers, it can quickly become an overwhelming adventure in choosing just what asset to go for. To help you out, we’ve assembled a quick basic holiday gift guide – where we go over some of our favorite RPG Maker gift choices. Not all DLC made the cut, but we hope this article will help you decide if a product we’ve featured is right for you or your gift recipient.

We’re excited to share this article during the 2017 Steam Winter sale, which gives you an opportunity to pick up DLC at a great bargain and get more bang for your buck. However, you can find all the products we’re featuring in the RPG Maker Web store as well.

New Developer


Whether you’re looking to introduce a friend to game development or are ready to dive into it yourself, RPG Maker engines and DLC provide a great platform that makes development easier. Here are our suggestions for new-to-RPG-Maker gifts:

Engine: RPG Maker VX-Ace
VX-Ace is an established engine that still gives the developer a great degree of flexibility. It’s a very stable engine, and there’s quite a variety of content (both free and paid) that’s available in our stores and the RPG Maker official community forums. The program itself is simple to grasp and makes a great introduction to the basic RPG Maker logic. As a result, VX-Ace touts a pleasant experience that will help any new developer take the first steps into making their dream game a reality.

DLC: RPG Maker DS Resource Pack
RPG Maker DS Resource Pack is, essentially, a replacement for the RTP assets that come with RPG Maker VX-Ace. This is a large pack that features an iconic fantasy style that’s perfectly at home in any JRPG project. In addition, this pack features portrait busts and several sample maps that give you a starting point for your project’s environments. If you are a fan of this style and using RPG Maker MV, you may be interested in RPG Maker FES – which includes many of the same attributes as RPG Maker DS.

DLC: High Fantasy Resource Pack
If the cute JRPG aesthetic doesn’t quite appeal to you, you can check out PVGames’ western-styled resources that remind us of old Ultima games. This is another large gathering of resources, including tiles, characters, battlers and more. One of the best parts of PVGames’ work is that the artist is quite active on our forums and always willing to lend a hand with inspiration and insider tips/tricks. PVGames has expanded their style into RPG Maker MV with their Medieval series.

DLC: Inspirational Vol. 1
Music is one of the most memorable parts of RPGs, and every budding developer needs a library of expert compositions to suit every scene. Inspirational series by JDB Artist is our favorite for many reasons – the biggest being that it inspires several different genres and environments (classic adventure, sleek modern and creepy horror).

DLC: Spanish Guitar Strings
As wonderful as a general group of resources is, sometimes a developer has a specific atmosphere in mind – and this is where our specialized theme DLC comes in. It was difficult to choose which specialized DLC to feature (there are so many interesting themes!), but we settled on Murray Atkinson’s Spanish Guitar Strings. This is a favorite pack for a few of our staff, and it’s also available for RPG Maker MV.

Seasoned RPG Fan


Whether you’ve worn the RPG Maker Dev uniform for a season or been our fan for a while, you’ve likely already seen much of material in this guide. But it’s with great thanks to your continued support and feedback that we can bring new engines, DLC and articles into our stores. In 2018, we plan to introduce even more content for you to enjoy! In the meantime, here are a few suggestions that might have flown under your radar:

Engine: Visual Novel Maker
Our dedicated team has been working hard on VNM for a while now and we were thrilled to finally unveil and release the engine in November. If you’re a developer who enjoys telling stories, a visual novel might be right up your alley. You could use it for quick side stories, making interactive comics that boost your game’s world or simply to practice your dialogue and story flow. The standard assets that come with Visual Novel Maker can also be used in RPG Maker – giving you an extra set of portraits, backgrounds and audio that enrich your projects.

DLC: Pop! Slasher Forest
We’ve just released Vexed Enigma’s newest pack in the Steam store. If you’re a fan of Pop! Horror City, you will love the newest addition to the style. Pop! Slasher Forest features an abundance of outdoor nature, classic 80’s camp area and a cast of killers and victims to match. With amazing attention to detail, this is a pack you need to own.

DLC: Cinematic Drums
At a glance, an audio pack featuring drums and percussion as its driving force might not be exciting – but Bittersweet’s Cinematic Drums is a truly unique and interesting collection. It includes powerful primal themes that would be in place in any fantasy-based culture, as well as modern and futuristic techno beats that you might spy at an underground rave. But if drums are not your thing, Bittersweet Entertainment also offers classic fantasy compositions.

DLC: Parallel Worlds Character Pack
One of the biggest draws of the Parallel Worlds character packs is that it includes different costumes for the 8 unique characters – allowing you to seamlessly switch between the modern and fantasy genre. When you’ve got the kind of plot where the modern everyday spunky hero is thrown into the adventurous fantasy world, having those costume options is a life-saver. If you’re a fan of the art style, check out Fantasy Heroine Character Pack or stay tuned for an upcoming new entry from the artist.

DLC: Heaven and Earth Music Pack
Heaven and Earth features Murray Atkinson’s masterful compositions, in collaboration with Otori Ayaka – a Niko player from Japan. What blew us away about this pack is its authenticity, from the choice of instruments to the way the melody flows. Even if your project doesn’t take place in Japan, the pack makes an inspiring soundtrack to listen to as you work on your game.

Unique and Artistic


Whether you’re a budding artist/musician/writer or you simply want to make a statement with your RPG Maker project, we love seeing the interesting and unique ways you show your creativity. You like to stand apart from the crowd, and we’re happy to share some of the niche products that will inspire you or make your development process easier:

Tool: MADO Window Builder
The ability to customize the game windows in your projects is a much-needed function when you’re focused on spicing up your game’s visuals. MADO makes the process simple and easy, allowing you to put more of your time and effort into other parts of game development.

DLC: Hiroki Kikuta’s The Calm
Hiroki Kikuta is a celebrated and legendary composer of some of our favorite classic RPG music, and we can’t even describe how thrilled and proud we are to feature his work in conjunction with RPG Maker. The pieces in this DLC are not only inspiring to listen to and fun to use, but they provide a great learning platform if you’re up for the challenge of analyzing what makes each song great. The matching Fury DLC completes the set, giving you a chance to experience a true audio journey.

DLC: FSM: Town of Beginnings Tiles
First Seed Material (FSM) is a well-known name among the RPG Maker veterans for their high-quality art and hard work, and the FSM DLC for RPG Maker MV does not disappoint. This is a large set of tile graphics that also includes a library of sample maps and a manual/guide on how to use the material to its full potential. The addition of these extras makes the FSM series one to watch and follow. FSM has a second pack out already, and the artist is hard at work on pack number 3.

DLC: Karugamo Contemporary BGM Pack 01
Karugamo Contemporary series is a quirky addition to the RPG Maker line. Many of the themes in this pack are catchy and get stuck in our team members’ heads and it’s not long before we’re all humming along to one tune or another. Having this pack in your repertoire might just inspire your players to do the same. And if you’re not a modern fan, Karugamo Fantasy line is along the same vein.

DLC: Animations Collection I: Quintessence
Sometimes developers tend to overlook some of the simple elements in their projects – such as icons, sound effects and animations. Animations Collection I: Quintessence provides the much-needed variety that will help you spruce up your project. This DLC includes a demo project, making it easy to implement and add to any game.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this quick holiday gift guide. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback and your personal recommendations of what to buy during the holiday season. Chime down below or find us on social media.



Tis’ the season to be… buying a bunch of games off of Steam. The Steam Winter Sale is here!

And while you are buying all those games, you can also be picking up some great engines and resources to make your own with RPG Maker!

1 RPG Maker MV

Let’s start with the biggest deal on RPG Maker MV we’ve ever had! 75% off

At that price, can you really turn down the latest RPG Maker? And, I mean, it is the season of giving (or so I’ve been told), so this is the perfect time to get your future game dev partners a copy of the engine. (It’s still giving when the reason is that you want them to help with your game, right?

At 75% off, MV is only $20! Can you really pass up that deal?

2 Steampunk Tiles

And with a new engine, or maybe you’ve had MV for a while, it is time to start a new game.

But what setting do you want to use? One of the most popular styles right now is the gaslight fantasy, and with the Steampunk Tiles for MV 30% off, you can get the perfect tiles for this type of setting!

Aren’t interested in Steampunk? Then check out all the RPG Maker MV DLC on sale!

But remember, these deals won’t last forever, you have only two weeks to pick up all that your heart desires!


One of the things I’m a huge fan of in games is Exploration. RPGs also tend to be some of the most exploration-heavy games out there.

So much to do, so much to see.

So much to do, so much to see.

Exploration comes in many flavors. It can be about exploring the world itself. Learning new things about the lore of why the world is the way it is. Or exploring the characters both learning who they are from their past, and exploring how they change after new experiences.

Or exploring mechanics (I’ll admit that, despite considering myself a storyteller, that this one is a huge deal to me). Figuring out how all the gears fit together, and how to manipulate them into being the strongest I can. Or most fun. Or to best follow some kind of theme.

And different people will like different aspects of exploring the games. I tend to like a little of everything, but some just want to explore the story that is going on at this moment with these characters. They won’t necessarily also care about exploring background lore unless it pertains to the current story. Someone who loves exploring mechanics, will not necessarily enjoy exploring the lore, the story, or even the characters.

Look, so I just want to use this new spell I learned, so if you could just stop talking...

Look, so I just want to use this new spell I learned, so if you could just stop talking…

And some people will love exploring all of these things.

Exploring is about your game saying things to the player. Saying things about the world, the characters, the mechanics, etc.

So try to have your game saying new things for each of the people playing it. A bit of new mechanics, a bit of new story, new character development or revelations, new lore. Because the most important thing to remember about exploration heavy players, and actually, the specific thought that made me write this article: The moment your game stops saying new things to the player, the game is over. Whether you have reached your ending or not.

If it stops saying things 10 hours into a 50-hour game, the rest of the game is going to feel like a slog to an exploration-heavy player. They are not going to continue playing. The game, that they were interested in, the exploration, is over.

How do you keep exploration players satisfied throughout your game? Join us in the comment section below.


Lore. The heart of every fictional world.

How did the world get there? Where did the people come from? How did the cultures become what they are? How did the world shape itself into what it is now? We tend to get information on this in info dumps in video games, not the most elegant of methods, but that isn’t what I’m here to discuss today.

Look, I love the game, but sometimes I wish it wouldn't just scrolling text me to death at the beginning.

Look, I love the game, but sometimes I wish it wouldn’t just scrolling text me to death at the beginning.

One thing I’ve noticed is that, unless it is a set up for a big reveal later, a lot of amateur gamers tend to just want to tell the truth about their world.

But that ignores something, something I consider very important whenever you give information to the player about history. And that is historical revisionism. We will never know 100% the truth about what happened in the past of our own world. We have broad strokes. We have good ideas based on research and original documents. But the truth is: Every single thing we are told, has a perspective.

Take the Elder Scrolls series for instance. Almost all the information we are given about the past is either from in-game books or by NPCs. And in both cases, you can only trust the information vaguely. Some books will straight up contradict each other, for instance, the birthplace of Tiber Septim is listed as Skyrim in one book, but another claims he was born in Highfall.

... I have been caught again in Skyrim. I wish I had the spare time to actually play though.

… I have been caught again in Skyrim. I wish I had the spare time to actually play though.

Every single “author” in the game has their own perspective. Their own reason for writing that book, and their own culture that has communicated the information to them. None of it is a 100% accurate summation of what really happened.

And you should use this same method. Every time a character starts speaking about a past event: Remember what he knows. Remember what culture he grew up in, how that culture would view the event, his opinion on the accuracy of his cultures perspective. Remember that every person is fallible and has a bias.

Spin is just normal in history. Not the greatest thing about the real world, but it is the truth. So make sure your make believe world follows through. Unless there is some objective way of viewing the past, all history will be to some degree, subjective.

The truth is, the only things we can truly believe are the things we see with our own eyes. And even then…


From A – Z: Pop! Slasher Forest

Pop! Slasher Forest is the newest pixel retro pack by the very talented Vexed Enigma, the artist behind the popular Pop! Horror City and its character add-ons. Like its predecessor, Pop! Slasher Forest has a horror vibe – it is, after all, inspired by the campy 1980’s slasher flicks like Friday the 13th. But upon closer examination, this pack offers quite a bit of versatility that makes it at home in other settings.


Pop! Slasher Forest includes:

  • 8 unique hero/NPC characters with a recolor option and down poses (for a total of 16)
  • 2 “killer” characters (clown and maintenance worker), including a recolor (for a total of 4)
  • 18 matching facesets with emotions


  • 16 animated tile characters (such as doors, flickering lights, campfire flame and window glow/lights
  • 21 Tileset files (A1x1, A2x2. A3x1, A4x2, A5x3, Bx3, Cx3. Dx3 and Ex3) which are divided into three main areas: forest, camp/lodge outside and inside. One of the E files includes decrepit or bloodied versions of furniture.
  • Pictures and Fogs folder include images that can be overlayed to give a more atmospheric effect – such as spotlight lighting or a rolling fog.
  • Bonus folder includes 28 character bases and 18 faceset bases


One of my favorite things about Pop! Slasher Forest is the attention to detail that Vexed Enigma put in when planning and creating this set. For example, the “tree” section features a surprising number of tree varieties – which can layer together wonderfully to create natural-looking tree groupings. Aside from a tent, there are several pieces of gear (backpacks, sleeping bags) that can layer together to make a realistic camp. And there are quite a few sets of furniture that are the classic furnishing style in cabins and camps I’ve visited when I was younger.

But what if you’re not interested in making a slasher game featuring a summer camp by the lake?


You’re in luck, as Slasher Forest features several elements and details that could be used to create a haunted manor or a classic infested home. If you’re not looking to create a horror game, this pack still has a lot to offer, as quite a few of the elements would work for a Noir detective game or even a post-apocalyptic survival theme. The addition of decrepit/bloodied varieties for much of the furniture gives you the opportunity to show the passage of time and works especially well for flashback sequences.


We hope you’ve enjoyed this in-depth look into POP! Slasher Forest. 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.


So you just picked up RPG Maker in the Steam Autumn Sale. Or maybe you picked up Visual Novel Maker. Either way, you are about to embark on the journey of making your own game.

You know you want Visual Novel Maker

You know you want Visual Novel Maker

This is a fun, magical journey. And one where you will learn a LOT.

And the truth is, by the time you finish your first game, you’ll have learned so much, the stuff you made at the beginning will be garbage compared to the stuff you made at the end. When you are new there is just SO MUCH to learn, that you’ll definitely wish you had done the beginning differently or done that mechanic this way, or whatever.

Because of this, there is one major suggestion I would make: Make a practice game first.

Ok, so it isn't perfect, but its a start, and it let me learn shift-clicking.

Ok, so it isn’t perfect, but its a start, and it let me learn shift-clicking.

With the practice game, make a small game, maybe an hour or two long. Use a simple story you won’t care if you mess up. Don’t try to make your magnum opus on the first game, it is not going to end well.

For that matter, you don’t even have to make an original game. The first thing I ever did when I opened up RPG Maker was remake the first chapter of Dragon Quest IV (and if you are using Visual Novel Maker, I’m sure you have a favorite VN you can copy to learn the ropes).

And if you can't think of one, you can always pick up Nurse Love Addiction, on Steam, from Degica Games. :B

And if you can’t think of one, you can always pick up Nurse Love Addiction, on Steam, from Degica Games. :B

This let me get used to the engine, figure out the basics and then have a better grasp of what I could do for my first REAL project, without having to think about any design elements. Which, admittedly I still didn’t finish that first real project. Or my second. Or my third.

I swear I’ve finished one game. Really.

But seriously. Learn what you can do first BEFORE you try to make that game you really want to do. A practice project is the perfect way to do that.