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.
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.