First things first: Feel free to ignore me. I'm likely going to be the outlier in the subject (I am so often the outlier, 'cause I'm a raving lunatic
) and I haven't really read the other replies, but I wanted to give you the heads up here to ignore me.
Proceed at your own risk. Or peril. Or whatever.
(Clickbait title ;P)
Now I am sure there are many, many areas of this which I do not understand and am not aware of.
And I am not trying to cause a problem or offend anyone. I am more just expressing a thought.
But one thing which has been odd to me (as someone coming from older versions, after many years) has been the apparently very strong focus on producing commercially successful games.
As long as I've been around the forums, I haven't really noticed an "increase" in commercially successful games. I think a great majority of people who pick up these programs really do want to get into actual game design.
I mean, don't you? Wouldn't you want to be picked up by your favorite game studio to work on a new IP or one of your favorite IP's?
I think that's a common dream among those who pick up "game making" programs and begin engaging with the community at large.
What I think has become more common... is just the people who actually do publish their games for actual sale compared to years before. With it being far easier than ever to self-publish and even put games up on Steam or other websites, more and more people are taking steps toward their dreams of actually being "real game devs".
Which, honestly, I think is pretty fantastic. I like that there's now a lot more avenues for people passionate about their projects to get those products into the hands of users.
Yes, even if it has served to largely hurt the reputation of "RPG Maker Games" as a whole due to the amount of shovelware released for cash. But, that's pretty much true everywhere. You make something accessible, and you invite the Hucksters trying to "make a quick buck". It is what it is.
For me, I always loved seeing such silly fan games, random experiments, artistic expressions etc people would make. And some were just a quick laugh, but some were hard work and very nice, and still free.
Oh, you can still find them. They're pretty readily available in a lot of places! I picked up RPG Maker Fez or whatever, primarily to play other people's games. Yes, I know, I'm weird. But, there's a massive amount of such games on there. I played a lot of cute little 8 hour games. Most of which were designed very poorly. Half of which still had enough charm that I played to completion and didn't regret my time with them.
And, hey, I'll never stop plugging "Final Fantasy Endless Nova", which was made in RPG Maker 2000, is very difficult to find now, but was one of the best "fan tributes" of the series I've ever played, and was even a remarkably good game for being 100% free.
Just gotta go looking!
It can feel a bit now as though the general community is focused strongly on making games for sale. And then it can seem (again, I am outsider, not informed) that this has had a knock-on effect, where new devs will now be redirected to focus on the same design philosophy, rather than just being encouraged making whatever mad nonsense they had in their brain.
Honestly, the forums have always been this way. When I first joined the forums, I can tell you the "big three" things that were "you should have this in your game!" in nearly every thread.
1. Visual Encounters.
2. Side Features (mini-games, crafting, puzzles, etcetera).
3. Tutorial Sections.
Views have shifted on these things since then. They're less "pushed" and now more accepted as "optional", or "not as good as they once were".
There was a time where I would make a post that said, "puzzles are awful in RPG's, never add them!" and nearly every reply was pushback on that opinion with no allies in sight. Same with mini-games and crafting. Now, there's about an equal chance of people falling on either end of those subjects. Those "side features" are no longer the juggernauts they once were.
The argument for Visual Encounters has also changed somewhat as well, with a lot more people wanting to actually make those systems "their own" and not implement "as is". There's a lot more conversation about ways to design those systems and features to add into them. That didn't exist when I first joined these forums.
There used to be a pretty massive push for the beginning of every game to have a "Tutorial Section" to teach the player everything. But, even that has gone away and mellowed. It has turned into "Only put a tutorial here if you need to explain something that isn't easily understood".
Heck, we're currently seeing a cooling off of the attitudes of "you have too much text to read!" and "Your cutscenes are too long!". Those are currently turning into "your writing is too bland" and "your cutscene should only be long enough to get across all the necessary information".
The tides shift all the time. Fringe opinions I held 10 years ago are "normal" now. Accepted, even. Thankfully, I've got all new sets of fringe opinions
But, anyway, the forums have always been that way. People who demand everyone conform to "standard practices" that the AAA industry uses and other people who put their middle fingers in the air and declare they're going to do things differently, even if they're doing them wrong. Corporate versus the Punks.
Always been here.
It could also be that I was just not aware that this was always the case.
Well, unless you've been cruising the forums for a very long time, you might not have noticed it. For all the "change" these forums have undergone in terms of who is here and who isn't and what is accepted and what isn't... It's all still the same.
Same as it ever was. Some people who were immature and rowdy 10 years ago have mellowed out (I like to think I have... a little... but maybe not). The mods and admins have changed and come and gone, and some have gotten more tolerant and mellow too. The community has gotten more tolerant and mellow.
But, all the same grudges and factions are still here. All the same rivalries and debates. We're debating the same stuff today that we did 10 years ago. Answering all the same questions from 10 years ago.
Same as it... ever was... Look where my hand was. Time isn't holding up. Time isn't after us.
Yeah, sorry, just wanted to get that song stuck in your head.
But anyway. It feels a bit as though things can get a bit apprehensive and restrained, because they are not "on par" with the trends or standards of "commercial" projects.
It is just something I was wondering, if anyone had opinions.
Yeah, it's really always been that way. Passionate people talk about things passionately. Passionate people tend to get really stubborn and bull-headed about things.
How's the song go?
"I want a be a lion... eh... Everybody wanna pass as cats. We all wanna be big big stars, yeah, but we got different reasons for that. Believe in me. 'Cause I don't believe in anything and I... wanna be someone... to believe... to believe... to believe in..."
Yeah, stolen from Counting Crows, but it does apply to our delightful and humble forums quite well.
We all want everyone on these forums to believe in us. We all want to be big big stars.
It's just doing things up to standards of "commercial projects" is the most clear cut way to get both of those things.