Bad Reputation of RPG Maker

dulsi

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
88
Reaction score
71
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
I've heard about RPG Maker's bad reputation but was really surprised at seeing it in person. I was at BostonFIG Talks and felt some disdain when admitting to using RPG Maker. It particularly struck me as odd considering the presenter admitted to not being able to write a game engine. Granted maybe I shouldn't say I use RPG Maker since I've only made a simple test game whereas I've written a few games using C++.
 

Bex

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Messages
1,492
Reaction score
409
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Which bad Reputation in which Area exactly?
 

dulsi

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
88
Reaction score
71
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
N/A
The bad reputation is that it is used by a lot of inexperienced developers and create bad games. This is partially due to it's easy to use editor. It is easier to take rpg maker and create a game with little experience. Whereas making a Unity game requires more technical knowledge. (That's not to say that Unity games are all good. Making a good game in either engine takes a lot of time.)

I don't think people at the conference would say all rpg maker games are bad but the general feeling towards the tool seemed negative.
 

Seacliff

RPG Maker Mastermind
Veteran
Joined
Nov 8, 2012
Messages
2,992
Reaction score
1,144
First Language
Yes
Primarily Uses
RM2k
With great accessibility comes wide varieties of quality. It's RPG Maker's greatest strength, but it's also it's biggest weakness in the public.

Ever since Ace, very lazy games flooded steam greenlight. Steam DIrect and the release of MV only made these games come in larger droves. This gives the perception that RPG Maker is so accessible, that it's only worth the time for people who don't actually learn game programming or game development.

I don't buy into that narrative, but whenever showing off an RPG Maker project so someone outside of the community, be it my own game or someone else's, I have to be aware of it.

I think the biggest step needed to remediate this issue is to have the average person understand the difference between game programming and game development. There are online classes out there called 'Game Development' but teach users how to use various game engines, which is normally the job of the Programmer, I find this very misleading. In AAA development, they are two very separate roles. It's the separation between the math and art behind a game's production.

RPG Maker has a lot to programmers, but its accessibility is to appeal for those interested in game design or stoytelling. Expecting one person to do both is unreasonable for larger projects, and only very few talented people have really pulled that off. (Pixel's Cave Story and Toby Fox's Undertale, for example).
 

Bex

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Messages
1,492
Reaction score
409
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Back in the Day the commercial part of the Community Game Talk was nearly not existant.
With RPG Maker officialy releasing in the West, came a felt big success but not even 2 years later, felt mostly everyone is talking like commercial Games and commercial stuff is everything rpgmaker is about. Ah and dont forget that "stuff" which gets much attention, calls in the Troll Brigades automaticly. So dont believe every non substancial or derailed critic about rpg maker.
=) Just enjoy your stay and dont listen to the nay sayers. I dont think that "To the Moon" spents one more thought than necessary about the NaySayers Criticism about rpg maker engine.
 

bgillisp

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
13,605
Reaction score
14,329
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Every engine has naysayers. Unity is no better, neither is Gamemaker.

Personally I find most naysayers won't look at your game or play it unless you code the entire engine from scratch. Of course, once you point out to them that then they would need to just stop playing games, as almost everyone uses one of Unity/Renipy/RPGMaker/Game Maker/Construct, they tend to get very quiet very fast.
 

Kupotepo

Fantasy realist/Advocatus Diaboli
Veteran
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
Messages
1,955
Reaction score
2,084
First Language
Thai
Primarily Uses
RMMV
RPG maker got a bad reputation because of Steam allows those very lazy games to go in its platform. You can compare a complete game section and some RPG maker game can you can see sad different of how Steam allows it to go through. In the past, Steam let someone who steals other RPG games to sell in its store. I hope the Federal Trade Commission doesn't see this because of this act can rise to deceptive Internet marketing practices of the game authors.
 

Bex

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 2, 2013
Messages
1,492
Reaction score
409
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
RMMV
RPG Maker isnt marketing nor advertising itself as Game Engine for Game Studios to make commercial Games.

But with Buying RPG Maker you get the rights to your Game,which includes the right to sell your Game(Or to have a donate button which otherwise would not be allowed). Other engines want up to hundrets of euros for this alone and are nearly impossible usable for casuals and what they want.
You can even use all those wonderful resources rpgmaker is famous for.
Its awesome for many ten thousands of People, without all that, it would not be rpg maker anymore, it would be limited and feel like cash grab, why investing much time into this engine than?
You would loose those ten thousands of people.
We love this japanese philosophy for this. RPG Maker is simply not ripping off its customers but is providing them with what they want and need +awesome and helpful Forums and community.
They would be mad if they change that because of a very few Gamers complaining and the Meme about "BadRPG Maker Games". Those are not influencing real good rpg maker games.
 

bgillisp

Global Moderators
Global Mod
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
13,605
Reaction score
14,329
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Honestly I haven't seen too many RPGMaker games on Steam these days. I think the flood of them has died off some. Unless you count the ones showing off pictures of half-naked women, which that is about 1 every month or so now. Nothing like it was right when Steam Direct started.
 

EthanFox

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Oct 15, 2018
Messages
485
Reaction score
339
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
If I can offer a similar perspective, I'm an indie author, who has previously released books on Kindle, and I believe the "hobbyist end" of any industry gets a lot of flak.

People associate indie books with low-end, self-published works that are poorly written, with MS Paint covers, and demonstrate little understanding of the craft of storytelling. The reason for this is, I'll admit, that many books exist on Kindle which fill those shoes.

I'm willing to bet former YouTubers struggle to be accepted if they really want to pursue broadcast TV or go into acting. I'm certain there's some friction, because they didn't go through "the proper channels" like a more conventional applicant would (such as going to film school/acting school).

Videogames are no different. Less than 10 years ago, people used to be very dismissive of games which used pre-existing engines at all. I remember some people being critical about Left4Dead, saying "a Half-Life 2 mod should be free, not paid content". I remember how surprised people were to find out that the original Splinter Cell on Xbox used the Unreal engine. People are still very dismissive at times of games made in Unity, when it would surprise people just how many games they love were made in pre-existing engines (especially in the last 5 years, where this kind of thing has gone through the roof).

Going back to my author example, my only solution to this was always to just try and rise above it. You can't really do anything about the public perception of your medium. The only action you can take is to make your own work the best it can be. Speaking personally, I took time and spent as much as I could afford on my work, and did my best to try and "punch above my weight". At least, then, I know that I'm avoiding the pitfalls that sometimes others fall into.

I'm trying to do the same with my RPG Maker project.
 

Kupotepo

Fantasy realist/Advocatus Diaboli
Veteran
Joined
Jul 5, 2017
Messages
1,955
Reaction score
2,084
First Language
Thai
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Bex, I am talking bugs when YouTube walkthrough video. I do not refer to customize graphics. The deceptive marketing of showing pictures that do not exist on the real games. It is not the engine is the people who make the games. You can search on Rpg maker games which you will find mixed results.
I do not talk about people on this website which is impressive and hard working.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
307
Reaction score
365
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
RPG Maker is in a weird spot, you can make commercial games with it but up until recent years most games made in it have been made as hobbies. Once upon a time you had to actively hunt these sorts of games out, know where to look for them. Thats when you had your big cult hits like Yume Nikki, OFF, Space Funeral and Lisa. Nobody would argue these games are bad regardless of the engine.

I think since the engines hit Steam and people started releasing their own content on the platform there has been a big shift, both for better or worse. Now its in a similar situation to Unity where a lot of games look like asset flips to the untrained eye, obviously some games are made with a lot of love (which doesnt mean the games actually good, but effort carries weight) but if they are sharing the same RTP as a tonne of **** games then most people are going to lump them all together. The same goes for mechanics, music and a tonne of other aspects.

If more games avoided the RTP and did more to differentiate themselves aesthetically the stigma would slowly go away, but seeing as most people who use the engine choose it because it comes with assets and mechanics preinstalled and it allows for anyone to make a game no matter the skill level I dont see that happening.

Like any tool, it has a reputation based exclusively on what the masses craft with it rather then based on its own merits.
 

TWings

The Dragon Whisperer
Veteran
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
527
Reaction score
861
First Language
French
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Honestly I haven't seen too many RPGMaker games on Steam these days. I think the flood of them has died off some. Unless you count the ones showing off pictures of half-naked women, which that is about 1 every month or so now. Nothing like it was right when Steam Direct started.
I'm not too sure about that. I still get 1 - 2 RM games on my discovery queue every couple of days (including the ones tagged for nudity). Most of them seem pretty bad. I also noticed that a lot of those are made by chinese speakers, which makes sense since those people can potentially make a living out of this (1$ can be worth a lot in some asian countries).
 

Rixis (릭시스)

Mecha Queen
Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
158
Reaction score
36
First Language
Korean
Primarily Uses
What we are witnessing is a generation shift and revolution to the entry level of the Game industry. At this point just about every game uses some kind of propriety game engine EXCEPT for maybe some big AAA games(and even they reuse their own in-house stuff). Unless you have the money or incredible skill and time to make your own Engine from scratch (which, why bother and reinvent the wheel if there is something available to suit your needs?) You are prob better off to just using any tool available to get the experience under your belt.

Hell even if you build your own engine then what about using Libraries for a bunch of languages? If you are so good then why not take it even further? hmm? Ok, I know thats a bit of a reach, but you get the idea.

Ultimately if you want to make games or get further in your career, I don't really think it matters how you get there. People only care about the end result 90% of the time.

That being said, I do think RPG maker lacks the teaching skills of proper game development on an above beginner level. it can be a great start to get your feet wet and learn some fundamentals of making a project and other aspects, however I think things like Unity and unreal, and even game maker help getting you to understand creating actual features and programming of a game far better and you can learn the process more intuitively. RPG maker doesn't actually require you to make much of anything out the gate and you more or less just expand on whats there in most cases.

So I would say if you want to learn more and deeper, I wouldn't get too comfortable with RPG maker, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with using it to create a nice piece and show off to people if you put that effort in. And you will absolutely learn some things.

In this day in age, the entry barrier for a lot of things have been dramatically lowered and all traditional routes are slowly loosing their keys to power, which is probably why a lot of new school ways catch flak from the old generation of just about anything. This is common as society evolves. No sense to feel ashamed, just keep learning and growing until YOU are part of the new wave :)
 

Misaki

Dusk
Veteran
Joined
Apr 21, 2013
Messages
156
Reaction score
27
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
RPG Maker reminds me quite a lot of the negative stigma the game devs get for using stuff like Roblox as a game engine. Both have their benefits and a dedicated community of devs making games for them, but have an iffy reputation for using them.

But the best thing to note - these are tools to make games. It doesn't necessarily have to be the best tool out there - it should be the tool that is the most efficient for you, and the most comfortable. Which is why I absolutely loved the interview from To the Moon's Dev.

“It’s still, at the end of the day, a tool. It’s just a matter of whether it’s the right tool. The most efficient tool,” says Gao.
 

ChampX

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
207
Reaction score
142
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
People just need to use the best tool for making their game and never honestly become too attached to a single tool. Want to make a classic top down 2D RPG? RPG Maker is ready for ya. How about a 2D platformer? Unity or Game Maker seem solid. Perhaps a first person shooter is up your alley? Unity or Unreal can work here to. Hey lets re-create Pong! Well almost any tool will probably work here, but the project is simple enough you could get away with making it from scratch to.

It isn't usually enough to just look at engines though. See how they can be extended to save time and offer additional functionality. RPG Maker offers plugins, but in the case of Unity you have the asset store which can offer time saving features as well. I know Game Maker has kits you can grab to. Other engines also have similar options and even if you --code from scratch--, you'll still be hunting down APIs that may be useful anyway.

If you told me back in my early college years that people used RPG Maker or Game Maker or similar to create commercial games, I would have laughed as this was back when they shoved down our throats "everyone uses C++". Now look at today, so many potential solutions to making games that I'm still in awe. And in another 10 years from now, we may even see another tool that doesn't exist today that will just blow everything else out of the water. Who knows. In this industry, you just need to be willing to move as tech demands and use the tool that best fits your needs.
 

Robin Hoot

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Feb 14, 2016
Messages
83
Reaction score
22
Primarily Uses
It's silly imo. RPG Maker is a tool, and what it does depends entirely on the person using it. Though personally I would never spend money on an RPG Maker game, I have played plenty of good ones, and some of them became all time favorites.
 

EthanFox

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Oct 15, 2018
Messages
485
Reaction score
339
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Though personally I would never spend money on an RPG Maker game,

Do you mind if I ask why this is the case?

Also want to add, I'm not trying to be argumentative for the sake of it here. I'm genuinely curious.
 

Rixis (릭시스)

Mecha Queen
Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Messages
158
Reaction score
36
First Language
Korean
Primarily Uses
Do you mind if I ask why this is the case?

Also want to add, I'm not trying to be argumentative for the sake of it here. I'm genuinely curious.
I actually share the same resentment with Robin Hoot, for me I think its personally because of the years i've been involved in the community and because how well I know the engine itself inside out that its feels a bit weird to pay for a commercial game in RPG maker. Thats the best I can say for myself anyway.
 

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

Making Houses and Outside on the same map with RPG Maker MV!
Do people actually use buff/debuff function?
Ami


Imagine you (as Miner) Sleep in the Cave,the other side is a Bunch of Golds,how d'you feel?
finally got footage of my main character running around his corrupted street...
I finally got the ships and water to flow like I wanted to~ the canals are a success. Now to loop the animation for the kites. So many kites.

Forum statistics

Threads
107,702
Messages
1,031,532
Members
139,835
Latest member
dangkykubetim
Top