Help - best engine for Retro style RPG?

Leon27

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Hi, new here and i would like to ask your advice please.
I would like to make a retro style rpg. Ideally, i hope to achieve a 16 bit style, like Chrono Trigger.

I have found many amazing examples, done in RPG Maker 2003. Such as:
- Aedemphia
- Ara Fell
- Theia the Crimson Eclipse
- Beloved Rapture

After buying RM2K3, i found the tilesets provided are extremely limited. Also, the graphics level of the standard tilesets are more 8 bit rather than 16 bit (in my opinion). Therefore, i suppose that my game would require almost 100% new tiles to be built manually.

Therefore, my question is this:
- since that i plan to create my own tileset anyway, why not use RMMV?
- could i create 16 bit retro tilesets for RMMV, and achieve the 16 bit retro look?
- the benefits i suppose, for using MV, would be better interface and plugins and features.

- why do so many developers (such as the games above) use RM2K3 for their retro games? Is there some feature exclusive to RM2K3 that makes it more suited for such a graphic style?

- lastly, is MV easier to use than RM2K3?
(easier as in: more user friendly, and many plugins available to support)

Your advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank You
 

slimmmeiske2

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I've moved this thread to Product Discussion. Please be sure to post your threads in the correct forum next time. Thank you.

 

Eurritimia

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- why do so many developers (such as the games above) use RM2K3 for their retro games? Is there some feature exclusive to RM2K3 that makes it more suited for such a graphic style?

I think rm2k3 games look and sound retro because rm2k3 itself is a retro engine. Originally it wasnt but being 15+ years old with minimal updates, it slowly became retro. And some people whove been using rpgmaker for a long time just find easier to use rm2k3. personally i find mv the easiest maker to use, but your mileage may vary here.
 

Lynvia

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The assets that come with the game maker systems are fairly basic, but they sell expansion, graphics, and audio packs that help. Also, there are a lot of fan-made assets out in cyberspace. My son found rm2k assets for Naruto and Pokemon online for a homebrew game he was making for his own enjoyment. It never went anywhere, but it's amazing what's available out there.

Of course, whatever you use, you need to consider the licensing issues. Often people will produce graphics sets that are free to use for both commercial and non-commercial games, but they might even be based on something that requires royalty rights, like my example above.

RMMV is a good engine, especially if your intent is to make the game available on smartphones. With the tutorials available here, and some free downloads and a good deal of sweat, you can publish to Google Play and the Apple Store.

rm2k is strictly PC based, unless you are using the old Playstation engine. RMMV is java and therefore portable to play on anything that supports it, even an Apple Watch. ;-)
 

ShadowDragon

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there arent many 16 bit tilesets, but you can create your own on them, you can even make tilesets look to 16bit
if you throw in an effect for it. or edits them with plain color to the look. just make sure, that RMMV uses 48x48 tiles,
so 16bit in that part can be tricky, but you have a nice detail if you make 16 bit color.
 

Archeia

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I just want to say that retro games are more of a design and aesthetic decision rather than an engine-specific thing. Any 2D game engine will work. But to the meat of the convo:

Your examples have more than 10 years of development time (unsure about Theia but I wouldn't be surprised if it is one of the decades long games) and those developers just didn't give the new RPG Makers a try since RMXP. Or like the restrictions and features Rm2k3 provides that newer makers don't thanks to @Cherry. But they're just easily achievable with RMMV.

You can create 16 bit RPGs in newer RMs. Some requiring more work than others. Thankfully, MV is actually the most versatile since you could change the default tiles to 16x16 if you want via either plugin (@Shaz's plugin) or a third party map editor like Tiled. OR just triple scale your graphics to look zoomed in.

The problem comes in if you want nearest neighbour display with RMMV, which is easily fixed. The same cannot be said about using Pixel Fonts. You need to use Bitmap Font scripts (@Victor Sant 's SFont as an example) to achieve that crisp look. If you wish to use MIDIs, don't. Just convert them to OGGs, set your loop flags and then be on your merry way.
 
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djDarkX

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I'm using Ace to make a retro game using the Horror City stuff (which is limited, but I can make new stuff for it easily enough) and without the need for SFont due to a script I got as an exchange from Neon Black that does bitmap fonts with excellent compatibility with Yanfly's stuff and many other things. Treats it as a normal font so anything can use it instead of like in MV where most scripts can't seem to call on it for anything, like Luna or other stuff like SRD's MUD Maker. Still, it's all about how skilled you are in making the game, as Archeia said.

Mine won't involve combat, it's gonna be an adventure game, but I'm even working with a framerate limited to 30fps, like an old TV would use. Animations are adjusted accordingly and I'm even editing the tilesets to allow msyelf to get as close to 16bit as possible without actually developing the game for a literal 16bit console. :p

That being said, use MV and use the Tiled plugin. I have a video tutorial that shows how to use it, but it is a little outdated. I might update it soon-ish.

Good luck!
 

Leon27

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Thank you all for the replies. I think I have my answer, I will proceed with MV after hearing all your ideas.

djDarkX, could you share the link for your video tutorial? Thank you
 

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