Any Ideas on How to Make a Legal Pokemon Rip-Off?

KB

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So, I bought RPG Maker XP and downloaded Pokemon Essentials, but the wiki got taken down, and while there's still a very active fan game community that seems to have no problem borrowing assets that are either from or very close in appearance to those from the original games, I think I've pretty much realized that is technically illegal.

I could just replace the graphics and such for the Essentials plug-in I already have, but that can't be used for commercial use because of the user agreement, and it's blatant similarities to the Pokemon games, as the plug-in was created to make Pokemon games.

I want to get started working on something that can be distributed commercially. I don't know if I will. It'll probably just be a test project, but I think it would be more satisfying to work on something that I know can't be taken down by an overzealous video game company.

Right now, though, I don't really know how to use the XP engine. I guess I'm willing to purchase another RPG Maker model if it's more user-friendly, but I'm lost without good plug-ins that can improve the functionality.

I wanted to include:

random encounters (even though I don't know if I have a use for them)
turn-based battles that show both battlers--the opponent and the player character
dependent events that let people or other creatures follow you around
cut scenes
(basically something that could make a game function like a Pokemon game but with flexibility to create a fair amount of variation in presentation and game play and scripts that aren't dedicated only to fan game creation)
I would really like to learn how to have sort of real-time battle system where the AI responds to the player's input instantly, maybe sort of like Street Fighter...
 

Shaz

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while there's still a very active fan game community that seems to have no problem borrowing assets that are either from or very close in appearance to those from the original games, I think I've pretty much realized that is technically illegal.
Technically illegal, and therefore you would not be able to get support in this forum, as this is Degica's official forum, not a fan forum, and as such we do have a problem borrowing assets from original games.

I haven't played Pokemon, but most of the things you say you want to include are pretty standard. Maybe you can go for a completely different theme, different characters, but use some of the same features/systems.

MV and Ace both have random encounters, but you can also use events to initiate battles.
MV gives you the option of front view (see the enemy but not your party) or side view (see both) battles.
Not sure on the events that let people or other creatures follow you around. The easiest way is to make them party members, and use the followers system (available in both MV and Ace, but you'd need a script in XP - in that engine you're searching for a script called "caterpillar system", but it's called Followers in later versions). If you don't want them to be party members, there would be clunky ways of doing it with events, or you could get a script/plugin written (if there isn't one already).
Cut scenes are possible in any engine.
I think there are a couple of real-time battle scripts for Ace, but I don't know if any have been written for MV. Maybe check mvplugins.com and see what you can find.
 

MrB

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If you want more plugins, I've found that there are a wealth of plugins available for MV. It was on sale not too long ago, if it still is, I would recommend getting that!

But..
- Random encounters are in XP, so that should be fine right?
- There is a sideview mode in the later RPGmakers, if there's on in XP as well, you can use that. If you want a more pokemon styled battleish screen, you should see if you can find a plugin that allows full control over images in battle.
- In MV, extra party members automatically follow the player already, so there is that.
- and I believe you can add cut scenes in every RPGmaker to date!

I just don't understand what you mean with the last part. Doesn't the AI already respond right after the player? If you are having one on one battles, the regular system should be fine right?
 

KB

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Technically illegal, and therefore you would not be able to get support in this forum, as this is Degica's official forum, not a fan forum, and as such we do have a problem borrowing assets from original games.


Right, so you understand why I don't want to use Essentials, right?

I haven't played Pokemon, but most of the things you say you want to include are pretty standard. Maybe you can go for a completely different theme, different characters, but use some of the same features/systems.


Where exactly should I look and what do I need?


Also, out of MV and ACE, which one is best?
 

KB

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If you want more plugins, I've found that there are a wealth of plugins available for MV. It was on sale not too long ago, if it still is, I would recommend getting that!

But..
- Random encounters are in XP, so that should be fine right?
- There is a sideview mode in the later RPGmakers, if there's on in XP as well, you can use that. If you want a more pokemon styled battleish screen, you should see if you can find a plugin that allows full control over images in battle.
- In MV, extra party members automatically follow the player already, so there is that.
- and I believe you can add cut scenes in every RPGmaker to date!

I just don't understand what you mean with the last part. Doesn't the AI already respond right after the player? If you are having one on one battles, the regular system should be fine right?
Yeah, I guess I really want to find a good tutorial on how to use what I already have or find what I need.

RMXP looks pretty impressive with the Essentials plug-in, but that plug-in was designed for Pokemon fan games--it even comes with a very basic demo game that has sprites and graphics that look like they came out of a Pokemon game, and it cannot be used commercially at all, due to the user agreement and the blatant similarity games produced with it have to Pokemon games.

That plug-in, though, is proof that RMXP can do a lot, and before I try downloading another version of RM, I think I would just like a good plug-in that isn't related to fan game creation and is available to use for commercial use as well, even though I think this is probably just going to be a learning project, not anything I plan to try to sell.
 

Windows i7

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Don't make a rip off. Make something inspired by it. As long as you avoid trademark and asset issues, Nintendo will leave you alone (as a company they aggressively defend their IP rights, which is their right to do so). So what you want to do is come up with your own terms for the creatures to be captured and used to fight each other.

Also, I hope you realize that Nintendo's very existence depends on them defending their IPs (this is also why their games are often so good; they NEED to be). They certainly do not sell consoles for specs alone!
 

Shaz

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You are probably not going to get anyone to make you a script for XP, given it's over 10 years old and there have been 3 newer versions released in that time. Even if you offer payment, I think it will be difficult to find someone to do it for you.

Ace is good, and there are still enough people around who use it that you could probably get scripts written. It's also fairly cheap, especially if you get it on sale. MV is the latest and greatest, much more flexible, but costs more as well. It WAS in a humble bundle only a little while ago, and I saw someone mention this morning there's another (or the same?) humble bundle for RM - just not sure if MV is in it. Could be a good way to pick it up cheap if you want to keep an eye out for it. However, humble bundles usually provide Steam keys rather than downloads from the RM Web Store, so if you don't use Steam, that wouldn't be any good to you.
 

BK-tdm

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There's Moonrise and more popular now TemTem which is a mon catching game with evolution and elemental mechanics releasing even on switch, that can give you an idea on how to make a Mons game even on the same platform as the competition, even Nintendo is ok with it.

Go back to the good old rival of pokemon, Digimon, both released their anime at pretty much the same time, and both were about mon fights (Digimon World 2 was turn based more pokemon-like but with a 3v3 format, it even had wild mon catching mechanics), but that was it, their settings, their lore, worldbuilding and even interactions with the "players" (digimons speak while pokemons only can say their names) vary greatly, thats your starting point, keep the creature catching and battling, now add the hows and whys, be creative and (try at least) be original.

Nohing can stop you from making a turn based rpg based on catching wild creatures and make them battle against each other, thats 0% lawsuit material and its been proven already, what you cant do is rip pokemon game assets or make lookalike ones (90% likeness type of art), copy names, mon designs and stuff that screams pokemon ripoff, things like "Surf" puzzles, "Strenght" rock pushing puzzles, "beat this part to get HM Cut to pass trough to the next town" progression quests are all free game too.
 
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As has been mentioned its best to pass on making a 'rip-off' but rather make something 'inspired'. Not just does it free legal issues but allows more creative freedom. Don't be a clone, be yourself.

Anyway to start with I'd look into tutorials and scripts for 'XP' and play around with it. Half of what you are asking for are already doable either baseline (random encounters) or with scripts (though XP is old so I don't know how many are still on the web). After that look into feature lists and scripts/plugins for 'VX Ace' and 'MV' to help decide whether you want to upgrade or not (MV is the latest version but has less addons due to 1.6.1 breaking older plugins). MV can also do random battles by regions if you wanted to go the Tall Grass route.
 

Felski

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I think the best idea might be to invent your own monsters and another catching mechanic. Nets maybe? The monsters are then keept on a farm instead of a pokebox.
 

KB

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Interesting ideas. I got curious about the Pokemon clones out there, so I decided to play one to get an idea. Has anyone played Nexomon? If so, what's your opinion of it?

I personally think it's very close to Pokemon, but that might not be a bad thing, really. It's got its own story world and original monsters. Actually, I like the Nexomon designs a bit better than the Pokemon, as the Nexomon look more like real animals. Also, there's something about the low catch rate. It makes me feel like I really had to work hard to catch a strong Nexomon. Compare that to a Pokemon, where you throw a ball and usually catch something if it's weak enough.

Most of the things Pokemon does, though Nexomon also does.
Creatures evolve after reaching certain levels.
There's a nurse and market when you reach the towns.
The inside of the healing center for Nexomon looks like a Pokemon center.
There are leaders that the player has to defeat in almost every town...
There are evil minions that need to be stopped.
The player is only allowed to carry six Nexomon.
There's a PC for extra Nexomon that the player can access at the nurse's station...

It's very very Pokemon-like, but it has a different feel and better game play. For one thing, there's an actual coherent plot in Nexomon; Pokemon doesn't exactly have that...
Sure, eleven year-olds are supposed to be out catching monsters and training them to win battles, but we never learn why. This game explained the whole monster world premise a bit better.

------------------------------------------

Assuming Nexomon is a good example of a legal Pokemon clone, perhaps something like that's what I should try to design?

I already have a story line in mind, but there are a lot of things the monster catching games do that I don't know how to code for.

Any suggestions?
 
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Kes

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... but there are a lot of things the monster catching games do that I don't know how to code for.

Any suggestions?
'Game Mechanics Design' is for looking at aspect of game play at a more conceptual level. It is also meant to be engine neutral. "How do I...?" (implementation) questions go in the Support forum for the engine you are using. Therefore if you have seen a mechanic and want to know how to do it for your game, you will need to post a new thread for that mechanic. If it's more than one mechanic, then it's more than one thread.
 

Felski

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I already have a story line in mind, but there are a lot of things the monster catching games do that I don't know how to code for.

Any suggestions?
I usually end up googling specific game design topics. Like "How to implement loottables". This usually brings up good articles on best practices for the topic.
 

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