One of the things that I think you really, really need to make a good game in RPG Maker, is a well rounded skillset. But, it’s really easy, when working on your game, to just avoid parts you aren’t good at, put them off til later. Or just avoid parts that you hate.

Well, I don’t have to balance weapons right now, I’ve got plenty of mapping left to do.

I don’t need to work on eventing that system, I have plenty of dialogue to write.

Meh, I’ll just map this section tomorrow. But tomorrow never comes.

The "best" time to do that complex event system.

The “best” time to do that complex event system.

Its not that we aren’t working on our games. We may work on our games for hours every day. But its so easy to never finish because you NEVER do the parts you aren’t good at, and you never improve the skills.

Every RPG Maker user should be able to event, map, do database work. All the parts of the program itself. If you can’t do some part of that, practice. And not only that, when you step into arts, and music and plugins. Look, not everyone has to be an artist. Not everyone has to be a coder. Not everyone has to be a musician. But you have to be able to know how to do the basics.

Can you recolor a sprite? Can you identify when two pieces don’t match stylistically? You NEED to be able to do this.

Can you identify good music for the mood of a scene? Can you time a scene to music? You NEED to be able to do this.

Can you find the plugins you truly need? Do you know how to implement them, and implement all their options? You NEED to be able to do this.

If you are just here to mess around and have a bit of fun, and you don’t care about completing anything, that is fine. But if you are in the hobby (or if you want to make that hobby a profession), then you need to learn everything, you need to take it learning every part of the process a priority.

Now, you don’t have to be perfect at everything. A game can survive being mediocre in some areas as long as it excels in others, but what you can’t do, is have a part of your game be BAD. There are some games that have cool story, great visual style, and amazing music, but if it fails in various mechanics areas, its going to be bad, and no one will want to play it.

I still have not gotten over how much the gameplay of this game made me sad.

I still have not gotten over how much the gameplay of this game made me sad.

So today, I have a challenge for you. Over the next couple of weeks, you are to identify the thing that you struggle with in RPG Maker. What is your weakness? Then spend a chunk of your RM time practicing that thing until you can see a difference. Don’t put it down. Keep working at it. Make yourself work on it.

Want some inspiration? Join me live on our Youtube channel Wednesday, December 9th at 6pm Eastern time, while I work on making myself better at monster attack patterns and AI. Make sure to subscribe to get updates on this and any other stream we do!

In the comments below, tell us about what your weakness is. What are you going to work on the next few weeks to improve YOUR RPG Maker skills?


So you’ve gotten RPG Maker MV, gotten over the initial “What am I even doing?” and are ready to start building a game.

You’ve written out your 20 page story outline and you have an honestly unhealthy amount of junk food and energy drinks at the ready to get you through the dev time.

Red Bull, it gives you wings. calm down Icarus.

Red Bull, it gives you wings. calm down Icarus.

But maybe, just maybe, you are biting off a bit more than you can chew.

Sometimes, less and more. And all of the time, less is more likely to even get done.

“But, Nick, I have this epic story in this epic world, with these epic characters!”

Yeah, I know, man. I do, too. I have an entire notebook devoted to one story. But you know what that notebook is doing? Sitting there. I pull it out and write more in it occasionally, but its not something I’ll probably every finish. And unless I had like, 2 years of time, no worries, no bills, groceries to buy, etc., to do it, I don’t even think it would be feasible to try (All you millionaires out there, if you wish to front the money, I’d be willing to make the effort).

And if its your first game? Even more reason not to go with your magnum opus first. You are going to learn a LOT in your first game. And if it is a long sprawling epic, by the time you get to the end, you are going to groan out how much you need to redo in the beginning when you were just learning to waddle.

So what should you do instead?

Identify the One Thing that is the center of your design.

What is it, that ONE thing that you are most excited about with the story you want to tell? It can be a part of the story theme, a character, the world?

Then build a small game around that one thing.

Feature the World. Or the character. Build the whole game around that one thing, and have it be maybe a couple of hours. Get experience FINISHING something.

For example, the sprawling epic in my notebook, the key center of it, is the idea of sentient swords that are magical focuses, in a world where magic without one is very very limited. It leads to a culture of magical knight type people. I could make a small game that focuses specifically on that culture. Pick a time period in the storyline, make a small, more minor character, and write a shorter story that introduces everyone to the world. This could make a great small game.

Now, the important thing:

Avoid Story Creep

Its so easy, so, so easy to start with something small, and then you think of a new idea that enhances it. And then another new idea that enhances it. And another new idea. And another. And eventually, you are back to having an epic again.

You have to avoid doing this. Now, one idea, two, isn’t a problem. Implement the ones that are the best and try to ignore the ones that don’t enhance your game, or enhance it only very little. You can’t do everything.


Its a similar idea, but you can’t just equip +50 encumbrance boots in real life.

Do you have experience with starting small and finishing a game? Do you have experience with starting large and… well never finishing? Some other experience with your first game? Tell us in the comments below!


So you’ve picked up RPG Maker MV, and you’ve never used RPG Maker before. Or done any coding. Maybe you just like the idea of writing your own stories. Or maybe you are an artist who is looking for a context for your cool looking characters.

Either way, you’re new. Or maybe you aren’t and you just want to see what I have to say. That’s good too, maybe you RPG Maker veterans can tell me some things I missed in the comments. I mean, I don’t know everything. Which leads me to the first point:

You aren’t going to know everything, and that’s OK

Look, when you first start with RPG Maker, you are going to run into moments where you don’t know how to do what you want to do. I still blank on how to do things in RPG Maker and I’ve used it for longer than some of our users have been alive.

Action Patterns are still a bit tricky to me even now.

Action Patterns are still a bit tricky to me even now.

Now, don’t get me wrong. RPG Maker really IS easy enough for a child, and with just a little bit of guidance, you will probably be able to do most things just by experimenting with the editor. But sometimes you won’t. Maybe its a bit more complex. Or maybe you just learn different and self learning isn’t your thing.

That is OK. Don’t give up.

Your game is still there for you to make. Making a mistake, not knowing what to do next, those aren’t failures. Quitting is failing.

Whenever you need some help, or maybe just some encouragement in RPG Maker, there is a perfect place for you to go: Our forums. The RPG Maker fans are some of the most knowledgeable and helpful crew I’ve ever had the chance to hang around, and I promise that if you need some advice or instruction, its either already on the forums somewhere or someone will be able to point you in the right direction.

So now, you’ve learned how to use RPG Maker enough to make a game. Its time to finish that masterpiece, except…

Your first game will probably be abysmal and that’s OK

RPG Maker MV is an awesome tool for creating your own game. Its simple to learn, with a high degree of power for those that want to dip into coding. But while it lowers the barrier of entry on making a game, it doesn’t lower the barrier of entry for being good at game design.

Look, game design is an art. Its not easy, but no dream worth doing is. And just like drawing, painting, playing an instrument, composing, writing, etc, you aren’t going to be great at it the first time you do it.

Why can I not play this? I picked up the violin 3 days ago. That is so many days.

Why can I not play this? I picked up the violin 3 days ago. That is like, so many days.

What does make you good at it? Study, practice, experiment, tweak.

Pick up a game that you really like. Now, start thinking about WHAT you like about it. What parts of the mechanics work? Why do you think they work? You have to think differently about games to learn game design from them. Read what designers have to say. Maybe pick up a book or two on design.

Then put that in motion. Make games. Do some games just to get in the rhythm. Practice with things you’ve learned from studying. Try to implement them in ways that works for the same reasons.

Then try something new. Implement mechanics in novel ways, or implement mechanics you’ve never even seen. Experiment. Always think about HOW the mechanic you are using will affect the game.

Look at what you’ve done that works, look at what you’ve done that doesn’t. Enhance the parts that work, work on the things that you think COULD still work, and abandon the things that were bad ideas.

Because you WILL have bad ideas. We all do. The only way to learn is to do. You aren’t going to get better by just sitting there. Art takes dedication. But its worth it.

You CAN succeed. And that is definitely OK.

Look. Making a good game takes dedication. It takes learning. It takes being open to new ideas. And it will take time. But you can do it.

The only thing that stops someone from becoming good is themselves. Talent isn’t nonexistent, but its mostly a myth. All those people who are good at things: They worked at it. Yoshitaka Amano wasn’t born knowing how to make breathtaking watercolors. Yasunori Mitsuda wasn’t born knowing how to put together notes that will forever be emblazoned in our minds.

They worked at it. Skill is what carries them through. And skill is something anyone can build if they work hard enough. You can be a good designer. Just don’t give up on your dream just because it gets hard. Keep practicing. Keep learning. Never, ever stop learning.

Want to talk about your experiences with learning game design? Just a newbie who wants to ask some questions? Join us in the comments below, or check out the discussion topic on our forums!


Dev Blog – Skyforge Part Two, Battlers!

in Resources

First we will take a look at the big boss, Lord Alias’Thra


If you remember from the previous blog post, I usually start with a rough silhouette


Here you can see I have a slightly less rough outline, and I’ve started rendering some of the areas


more rendering


And here he is, in all his vainglory.


Initial silhouette sketch













Join me here for the next installment of battlebacks as I continue to refine this BattlePACK!


The Preorder period for RPG Maker MV ends soon, don’t miss out on bonus resources, preorder today!

Its Episode 12 and we are almost done with our Plugin Previews! Which means that we have almost no time to figure out who is the yogurt thief! Also, that today will be filled with awesome plugins, I guess.

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, we won’t have the big guns today, instead we will need to wait until tomorrow for those! But we do have several cool plugins to show off. First up we have Save Event Locations from Yanfly, allowing your maps to keep events where you last left them. Yanfly has also created a plugin to easily have NPCs chase the player. And from Yami, we have Transfer and Steal States, letting you move states from one character to another.

Click below to see these and MORE in action, on the RPGMaker Channel!

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And now, with time running down, we need to hurry to identify the Yogurt Thief!

The RMW Investigation team has selected >Talk to Ralph

I find Ralph and Eric sitting near the set, waiting for the next scene to roll. Eric is browsing through a magazine, while Ralph is idly munching on an apple.

“Hello, Ralph, I need to ask you a few questions about some recent happenings,” I say dutifully.

“Sure, anything to help!” he says enthusiastically. Eric looks over the top of the magazine he is reading.

“Recently there has been a rash of… very serious food thefts. First your pudding, and now my yogurt. The post it claiming your pudding seems to have been removed and thrown to the side. And the culprit who stole my yogurt seems to have been trying to frame you. Though as Eric has told me, this is clearly false as you were too grumpy…”

“Hey!” he interjects, shooting daggers in Eric’s direction.

“… to have eaten a delicious mango yogurt that day. As such, I believe the key is to find out who your enemies are.” I nod, amazed at my own deductive reasoning.

“Enemies? I can’t think of any, I get along with everyone!” He beams with a giant goofy smile.

Eric flips the page of his magazine, never looking up. “What about that Prince whose bride ran off after you instead of marrying him?”

“All I did was save her kingdom! I didn’t want to marry her!”

“Or that vizier you accused of murder.”

“All I said was that it always seems to be the adviser in these situations! And did you see his mustache! He looked like a villain!”

“Or that white haired pretty boy swordsman, what was his name, Oscar?”

“That was a friendly rivalry!”

Eric finally looks up from his magazine, fixing Ralph with an exasperated stare. A few seconds tick by in silence.

“OK, fine, I have enemies, but no more than any heroic hero doing good has,” he grumbles, barely audible. “Its not like we KNOW they are after me.” He idly kicks a small rock that had inexplicably ended up in our studio petulantly.

Hmmm… It seems most of Ralph’s enemies don’t have access to our set. That means they must have snuck on. I thought we were dealing with a member of the cast. That gives us more options. We can investigate the evidence we have already gathered, or talk to our security guard to see if there were any weird reports.

>Talk to Alex
>Talk to ROB (Security Guard)
>Examine Note
>Examine Post It.

Which of these Plugins do YOU plan on using? How are you going to use them? Do you have any interesting ideas for Transferring and Stealing States? Join us in the comments below! And don’t forget to vote for the next step in our Yogurt Theft investigation!


Want to use these plugins and more as soon as possible? Preorder RPG Maker MV TODAY!

Hey, it’s episode ELEVEN. If you don’t know what is going on, we are previewing plugins, and also, investigating a yogurt theft in the staff kitchen on the blog. Obviously the latter is more important, but I understand if you are here to investigate the plugins instead.

Last time, Ralph, Eric, and our other heroes (and potential food thieves), expressed concern for our MV heroes who have gone missing without contact. Will we hear from them again? Will Ralph and Co need to save them, or will they escape on their own? Or maybe they just forgot to put batteries in their inter-dimensional walkie talkie?

Today, from Yanfly, we feature the Region Restriction plugin, a neat way to keep NPCs from blocking the path of your party as they wander through your world. We’ll also be showing off a cool plugin to enhance the mouse controls of MV, allowing you to make the game even MORE intuitive for the player. Also, we have a few utility scripts and then a video on Parallax Mapping tips!

But I’m sure you don’t want to hear me talk about plugins, you want to see them in action. Click below to check out the episode, then come back for the next chapter in our investigation!

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And now, for the case of the missing Yogurt. Last time, we learned that Ralph couldn’t have taken the yogurt, as his mood was entirely wrong for when he has eaten something delicious. And that is where I asked you to help. I think that, together, we can catch this evil, depraved, immoral, and inconsiderate yogurt thief.

The RMW Investigation team selected: >Examine Fridge

I open the fridge to take a look, and what I see is a horror show. When was this thing cleaned last? There are stacks of leftover takeout and tupperware leftovers, and a gallon of milk that I believe was last opened in the Super Dante days. As I move some things around, the vague smell of rotten eggs invades my nostrils.

In the drawer where I normally put my yogurt, there is nothing. Well, nothing that is mine anyway. I find a half eaten summer sausage in a ziploc. The label on it is indecipherable. I’m not sure whose it is.

As I rummage through the fridge, I hear a voice behind me.

“Hey, I just need to get to my lunch.”

I turn, narrowing my eyes to see what interloper is interrupting this very serious investigation to see Aluxes standing behind me. “Not now, this is an important investigation into theft,” I respond adamantly.

“Wait, is this about the pudding! I told Ralph there wasn’t a post it on there saying it was his when I found it! And I said I was sorry already!” he blurts.

“What, no. This is about my yogurt. My beautiful, innocent mango yogurt. But wait, you admit to being a food thief!” Aha, a lead. “If you’ve done it once, of course you would do it again!”

“No way! Anyway, I’m allergic to mango, see,” he turns his wrist over to reveal a medical alert bracelet of holy protection +4, with his mango allergy engraved on the underside.

“That is… that is the saddest thing I have ever heard,” I say, tears welling up. The emotion this evokes in me cannot be described. The pure sorrow. “How can anyone truly be happy without mango?”

“Are you… are you OK? Do I need to get someone, uh, I think I’m going to be going now.” Aluxes excuses himself, leaving with repeated shallow bows as he backs out of the breakroom.

Realizing I could not spend any more time contemplating the sad fate that was his mango allergy, I return my investigation to the refrigerator, I notice something crumpled up and what seems like deliberately thrown in the back, behind some kind of Chinese food that was beyond identifying at this point. A post it note. On it reads “Ralph’s Pudding, do not eat!!!!!!!!!!!!”. In the corner, underneath the frankly excessive amounts of exclamation marks, there is a rough drawing of an angry Ralph.

Could Aluxes be telling the truth? Maybe the post it was removed before he saw it? Or did he remove it himself and is now deflecting the blame. It seems we have even more mysteries on our hands than when we started. What should be our next step?

>Talk to Ralph
>Talk to Alex
>Examine Note
>Examine Post It

So what do you think of the plugins we’ve previewed today? Ever been annoyed at being caught in a corner by an NPC? Like the looks of those mouse enhancements? Tell us in the comments below. And don’t forget to vote for the next step in the Great Yogurt Thief Investigation in the comments here or on our Facebook.


Hello, fellow RMers, its that time again. The tenth episode of our RPGMaker Channel Plugin Previews is here!

Ralph and Eric are joined by their friends, and the time has come to exact revenge on the yogurt thi-, I mean, its time to check out more plugins. Will we learn more about Alex’s adventures through time and space? Will Aluxes instigate more jokes out of Eric at Ralph’s expense? Will someone bring me a yogurt!?

Anyway, another day of previews have come, and we’ll be checking out two really useful scripts by Yanfly. The first, the Battle AI Core will give you great new options to make your enemies smarter and meaner. And the second, Region events, will let you assign common events to entire regions for when they are stepped on, giving you plenty of options for implementing mechanics fast and easy.

But now on to the important part, wiping that smile off Ralph’s face for stealing my… wait no, no, click below to check the episode. That was the important part.

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Finally, I can talk about what really matters. During the episode, I had a chance to talk to Eric. He told me Ralph was grumpy all day yesterday, so there was no way he had eaten my delicious mango yogurt, it would have cheered him up. And Eric knows Ralph better than anyone, so I trust him. Hmm… This means someone is trying to frame Ralph.

Who should I do next to solve the case of the missing yogurt? Make sure to vote in the comments here, on Facebook, or on the forums!

>Talk to Aluxes
>Talk to Alex
>Talk to Ralph
>Examine Note
>Examine Fridge

So, have the plugins in this episode given you any ideas for your game? Have a vote for my investigation into that diabolical yogurt theft? Tell us in the comments below.

And remember RPG Maker MV is just around the corner. Don’t miss out on our preorder bonuses, Pick it up Today!


(Editor’s Note: We now continue our regular scheduled intros without our previous writer, who has left us to become a train hobo, or something. Who cares.)

Eight glorious episodes of the RPGMaker Channel Plugin Previews are behind us, and now to hit the home run in the Ninth!

The days are ticking down to the release of RPG Maker MV, and Ralph and Eric aren’t done yet. They have more questions to answer, and more plugins to preview. Will Eric have to make up for Ralph’s general obliviousness? Will whatshisname do something else totally obnoxious?

Today, we have the ultimate time saver Plugin from Yanfly: Base Troop Events, to make your repetitive and time consuming default battle eventing super super simple. Also on display, a quick tutorial on how to use the Main Menu Manager plugin to put a shop right in the menu! And in response to the many, many requests we have received, a brand new, just finished Text Wrapping script is also on display!

Join us in Episode 9 of the RPGMaker Channel to see these and more by clicking below!


Do you have any plans for some default battle events now that you have the Base Troop Events to play with to cut down on the dev time? Does the shop in the menu tutorial give you some great ideas for your own in menu systems? And how much will you love some default text wrapping? Join us in the comments section below.

So with more plugins revealed, its time to preorder RPG Maker MV, right? Do it today!

Now time for some yogurt… hey, wait, what is this in the fridge.


My yogurt. *cry*.

1 comment

(Editor’s Note: Last Chance. Do not screw this up. DO NOT MENTION A BABY. THERE. IS. NO. BABY.)

Wow, we’ve made it to Episode EIGHT. Only 6 more days to RPG Maker MV’s release and there are still many many launch plugins to show!

Feeling quite rested and with full bellies, Ralph and Eric take a break in a quiet meadow to bring us yet another day of Plugin Previews and another round of your questions answered! Will Eric be able to keep him on track? Will Yanfly have to show off yet another unrevealed talent to save the day?

In this episode, Yanfly again shows off coding prowess, presenting us with the ability to add permanent status effects to our characters, using the Auto Passive Effects states plugin. Our fluffy coding master also brings us the Main Menu Manager, a convenient way to alter the commands in the main menu and how they work.

We also have Yami’s Hospital plugin, just in case Ralph suffers from exhaustion again! But enough talk, have at you! Click below to check out the full episode.


Do you plan to change your menu? What do you plan to alter and why? How about Auto Passive Effects? Thinking of a way to use that in your game? Join us in the comments below!

Ready to jump into RPG Maker MV? Get it on launch day by Preordering today!

A baby once bit my sister… (Editor’s Note: You were so close. So close. *Cry*)


(EDITOR’S NOTE: I swear if you say anything about a baby, you’re sacked.)

Hello my fellow RPG Makers, and welcome to Episode 7 of our RPGMaker Channel Plugin Previews!

Ralph is back, thanks to the healing powers of Yanfly’s cooking (Is there anything that androgynous ball of fluff can’t do?) and he is ready to answer your questions, show off some plugins, and strike back at the evil Darobach Empire. (Editor’s Note: WHO?!) With Eric at his side, there is no villain he cannot overcome! (Editor’s Note: The only villain here is your incompetence)

Now, its time to upgrade our Items, with Yanfly’s Item Core and Item Upgrade slots. We also have Shaz’s More Escape Codes Plugin, and a complete overview of MV’s character generation system! So click below to take a journey to learn even more about RPG Maker MV!


Are your items going to be enhanced? Which of these do you think is going to make it in your game? Join us in the comments section below. Also. Baby. (Editor’s Note: I hate you.)

Make sure you are ready to go the day it releases, with all these plugin packs and two bonus resource packs by Preordering RPG Maker MV Today!

Also, please save my job (Editor’s Note: You don’t deserve saving)