Rafael_Sol_Maker

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Hello there!

To be clear, this topic isn’t directed to English staff we got here, admins, mods, translators, none of them are to fault here. They did a wonderful job and created a very awesome community around. I love all of you, guys. This one is directed to the ones who made the software and only to them. But obviously, is open to everyone read and answer.

Intro(duction)

There’s a lot of other rants all over the internet, most of them are right, some are exaggerated and a few are totally off by a wide margin. But then, there’s mine, it's up to you to judge where it sits. I’ve been using this software series for 15 years already, already reviewed past edition for a game making e-magazine. I even wrote an entire review for MZ that is done for ages, but never found the motivation to publish it in that e-mag again.

And if the franchise doesn’t change in direction, well, that will be the last one I will buy and will stop recommending newer versions altogether, completely.

It’s a bit sad, I’ve been using RPG Maker MZ for quite a while, bought it so happy initially, and I’ve been writing a lot of code, but I can’t help myself but die inside a little each time I need to open the editor. We all know, the scenery changed, and RPG Maker kinda of were left behind. I’m not talking about raytraced 3D ultra-advanced graphics; I’m talking about simple QoL and (possibility of) customization of the game from the editor. Simple stuff that makes a huge difference. It can keep doing 2D RPGs like it does forever and wouldn’t be happier if not the reasons I will list here.

Well, as a veteran I have a lot of complaints in several areas, some fair feedback about others, things from inner workings to the very premise of the software, but I know that it won’t change, so I would like to focus on what might be possible to change in future updates. The list is extensive and I will be adding more as soon as I remember or discover the need, I’ve been already planning this for weeks and writing for hours already, but this theme can’t be exhausted so easily. Let’s start with some Q&A?

Q&A (sort of)

“Oh, you’re just nitpicking, the software just works fine”

No! It’s not working fine! It works but we can’t say that it’s optimal. You have a lot of extra steps for simple tasks! It’s NOT fine! How this can be like this, they’re not selling it as easy to use? You can’t even say that the reason is to not make it complex. Once you see my rants/suggestions you will understand it better.

“The software always has been like this; they have no reason to change it now”

Wrong! The guys behind can’t be simply so short-sighted that can’t see that this engine has a global following, and everything that they can improve will also be a good selling point for them. I know a bit of the behind the scenes, I know you guys here at rmweb had to fight to bring some very basic updates like the one from the layers in the toolbar (BTW, you guys are my heroes for that, thanks in advance). But we need to talk what is wrong or outdated on RM, and we need to make it reach the Japanese guys who made this software.

“Just do it by plugins / yourself and it will be fine!”

No! That’s not supposed to be the way it should work. Most of them, to be honest, aren’t even for me (that spends 99% on a code editor) but for everyone else. Some of them are grotesque oversights, maybe, but some are misconceptions and wrong-doings that no software at this time should have. They don’t even have an excuse, because this software already got so many iterations, they had so much time and opportunity to learn and implement some UI/UX practices that it hurts me to say that: We’re not in 90s anymore, friends!

Is there’s some way this complaint can reach people that can make this happen, well, please, let’s do it. I bet some guys would even work for free to add these features I’m listing here. Maybe a petition? Making some noise somewhere? Translating and sending a letter to Ojima-san? Dunno! Well, if possible, leave your feedback and suggest some stuff too, but please don’t forget, here we’re not asking for the next 3D RM with built-in VR, so please keep the scope of suggestions laser tight and in-line with what we already have.

Thanks for reading so far. Let’s begin the list!

Main Editor

1. No templates for new projects. It’s a complete disgrace, every time you create a new project you need to copy all over the RTP and database you probably WON’T USE. In MV we had almost half a GB (around 400MB ) of resources you have to delete manually or using the Resource Manager, that is even worse. No, Steam Workshop won’t make up for that. Solution: Make a new 'New Project' screen screen where you can choose starting from blank (or minimal), “default RTP” and maybe from pre-configured DLCs as extra “RTPs”, with resources and maybe even plugins already pre-set. Templates! Who would've thought that? That alone would save us huge time and highlight the excellent DLCs we got in store we can buy.

(More soon!)

Database

1. Well, there’s a lot to talk, but the worst offender is that basically any resource and a lot of options are customizable by any degree. You’re always stuck with the templates and what they chose for you. You also can’t change several details that make a huge difference in final game. Even the ones you can have some kind of drawback: For example, you can change game / UI resolution (what is already a miracle they did, in this context), but even this way the UI become a fugly mess. But then, you can’t change base tile size, numbers of frames for any animations, speed of character movement… List goes on and on. There’s a lot of other stuff that is hard coded in engine (that you can change via code) or in editor (that you CAN’T change unless you do some really ugly workarounds). I can’t even start to properly say how everything is so rigged and in so many points. Database isn’t that flexible at all. Solution: We urgently need more options to change these ‘hidden numbers that reign the game’ accessible somehow. We got some tabs on Database for this, they should be able to add a lot more there.

(More soon!)

Event Editor

1. Event conditions are very limited. What a shame. Solution: make a field where it’s possible to add conditions like Traits, most of the UI and code could be easily lifted from Condition command event.

2. No way to name, or easily able/disable, drag’n drop event pages. Solution: Well, make that possible, dang it!

3. No way to easily able/disable or drag’n drop command events, something that should make eventing and testing SO MUCH better. Solution: Same as above.

4. No way to easily disabling events entirely unless you delete or move them to other maps. Solution: We already got an Events panel, so this should be easy to add.

5. Eventing “code” is awful and hard to understand (Hear this from someone who reads Assembly code) and there’s no way to make it better. Simple events are okay, more complex events are a chore. There’s no way to click to highlight, for example, an entire branch from one command to see where it ends. Solution: Oh, boy, please don’t let me start…

6. There’s no way to multi-select command events other than Shift. Solution: CTRL selecting would make eventing a tad better, it should be a good addition.

7. This one isn’t very important, but anyway! Event commands list is a joke. We’re in 2020+1 and all we got is a huge list of buttons in 3 tabs, separated by some separators. No icons, nothing is clear, unless you know by (muscle) memory, you’ll have trouble finding the command you want. Solution: A better UI here would be welcome here.

8. There’s a lot of minor complaints in individual event commands (like Move Route not even having option to use path finding. Argh), but I won’t enter on details right now. Solution: We will see that later...

(More soon!)

Map Editor

1. Zoom doesn’t go above 150%. What is totally useless. If you want to spot minor errors in tilesetes / mapping, 200% would be the minimal acceptable. We don’t need to go above 8000%, but the numbers are simply in arbitrary limits that won’t help anyone. Solution: Make Zoom go to at very least 200%. 300 or 400 should be interesting, but not much more beyond that.

2. No Live View / Preview feature: No, it’s not like we need the map running with everything in the editor, but at least some useful way to see the animations of the tilesets and size of the events. Some kind of preview. In Map Mode we can view maps semi-decently, in event mode, well, it just put some grid, it’s junk. Solution: Make this possible, of course.

3. No way to completely hide one or other layer. That’s so simple that is completely ABSURD that we don’t have this feature. I could ask for a layer menu where you could add or remove mapping layers, but maybe it’s too much to ask (yeah… sad, I know), but why to not hide completely to make it easier to do my mapping? Solution: Can you guys do it pretty please?

4. Autotiling match (always been a) mess. Been like this since VX days. You have to know profoundly the templates to know what tile goes above other in compositions (like what fences or grasses go above that ground, or if this dark water or ice goes above normal water, et cetera). It’s horrible when making the tilesets, and even worse in the editor, since you can’t change that. Solution: We already got layers, right? So, get rid of these pre-composed autotilesets sets rules, so you can stack up any autotile you want above each other.

5. UI isn’t any flexible or customizable. Solution: Maybe not a big problem, but if we add some more useful stuff in UI (like visibility of layers) they should make the interface dockable / resizeable for different stuff. This should improve the workflow for several people.

(More soon!)

Default Game

1. Touch controls are a joke. Okay, they’re a bit better than MV, but other than taking space you can’t have back unless you do some code, touch UI is beyond reason to be like that. Solution: If a guy wants to do a mobile/touch game, the template option I explained earlier would do wonders. We only need an option to have a template for this with proper UI and this would be solved.

(More soon! Believe me, this one has a lot to improve)

Closing remarks

Thanks for everyone who made this software possible and where it is today. My appreciation can’t be measured in words, this software literally changed my life. In exchange I want to be brutally honest and help it improve.

I hope we can have a good discussion here. Have a great day/afternoon/evening, reader!
 
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Dev_With_Coffee

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Sorry my English, it may seem a little confusing.

Why do the characters' heads get bigger with each new version?

Main Editor:
1. I completely agree, it really frustrated me, sometimes I just needed to make a single example map for some test or provide support to some user and besides consuming a huge space on the hard disk it takes an unnecessary time, besides affecting the loading on hosted games.
To get around this I created a base project, with graphics converted to 8-Bit (256-colors), only with the graphics and sound resources really needed.


Map Editor:
1. The ideal would be up to 800% to analyze the pixels of an image, based on MSPaint (Window 7 or higher).

2. If the editor currently consumes CPU / RAM unnecessarily, I wonder how much it will consume if it shows the actual size of the graph on the map.
Of course, this is not something heavy on older publishers that did not focus on JRPG, this in mid 2007.

3. I believe I saw this option only in Rpg Maker XP, I still consider it the best editor in this regard.

5. I won't even include many details, when I am offered the VX and ACE as a gift I denied it at the time, I can't adapt.
I think that's why parallax mapping has become so popular.
 
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TheoAllen

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And if the franchise doesn’t change in direction, well, that will be the last one I will buy and will stop recommending newer versions altogether, completely.
It's fine, it's not the end of the world. I still use the older maker (VXA) as my main.
Personally, I will recommend the new one if it's objectively better even if it just a little bit better.

==================================
Now let me nitpick your suggestion
For example, you can change game / UI resolution (what is already a miracle they did, in this context), but even this way the UI become a fugly mess.
This was the reason why the previous maker never had a resolution change. They shipped it with a perfect working resolution. If the resolution change, that is the responsibility for the dev to adjust everything, even if it means digging into the code.

You can not expect to change the resolution and it worked without effort like many games do with their fixed resolution options. You're the dev, not the player.

By the way, they did a lot of a good job in this department.

But then, you can’t change base tile size.
My question would be
1. Is Qt editor able to do that?
2. How many sample resources they need to provide?
3. How many size options it would be? or is it flexible?

numbers of frames for any animations
We have Effekseer for animation now. And afaik that does not have frames.
Now if you are talking about the sprite's frame, that would be a different story.

Same as the previous question. How many sample resources they need to provide?
A sprite with 3 frames of animation, then a sprite with 5 frames of animation, the list goes on ...

Not to mention, battler sprite.
How would you integrate "put any number of frames for the sprite animation" with the character generator?

speed of character movement…
But you can already do that

List goes on and on
I would like to see...

Solution: We urgently need more options to change these ‘hidden numbers that reign the game’ accessible somehow. We got some tabs on Database for this, they should be able to add a lot more there.
I agree. Some of the hardcoded system stuff should be editable without resorting to a plugin. A simple example would be the critical rate.

1. Event conditions are very limited. What a shame. Solution: make a field where it’s possible to add conditions like Traits, most of the UI and code could be easily lifted from Condition command event.
The event condition is fine as is. If you have more suggestions for "more condition", I would like to see, not just "like traits", but an exact list of what is lacking.

2. No way to name, or easily able/disable, drag’n drop event pages. Solution: Well, make that possible, dang it!

3. No way to easily able/disable or drag’n drop command events, something that should make eventing and testing SO MUCH better. Solution: Same as above.
That is not a solution. You are not even asking or speculating if it is possible to do in the current editor software. Besides, cut-paste already does the work for this.

4. No way to easily disabling events entirely unless you delete or move them to other maps. Solution: We already got an Events panel, so this should be easy to add.
1. Exit event processing at the beginning of the event
2. Make an empty page on the last page

Problem solved.

5. Eventing “code” is awful and hard to understand (Hear this from someone who reads Assembly code) and there’s no way to make it better. Simple events are okay, more complex events are a chore. There’s no way to click to highlight, for example, an entire branch from one command to see where it ends. Solution: Oh, boy, please don’t let me start…
And you are not giving a solution as you claimed.

Also, programming in event code is procedural. Means it goes line by line from start to finish. As you said, this works for simpler events. For everything that requires complexity, more effort is required. Whatever you decide to go, making an event (even with QoL), making a plugin specifically for a complex mechanic, it all needs effort.

6. There’s no way to multi-select command events other than Shift. Solution: CTRL selecting would make eventing a tad better, it should be a good addition.
I agree

7. This one isn’t very important, but anyway! Event commands list is a joke. We’re in 2020+1 and all we got is a huge list of buttons in 3 tabs, separated by some separators. No icons, nothing is clear, unless you know by (muscle) memory, you’ll have trouble finding the command you want. Solution: A better UI here would be welcome here.
I would like to see an example mock-up of the UI. That would be the actual solution.

8. There’s a lot of minor complaints in individual event commands (like Move Route not even having option to use path finding. Argh), but I won’t enter on details right now. Solution: We will see that later...
Pathfinding is a complex mechanic. Not to mention, costly in terms of processing.
Not that it is impossible (I made a plugin for it), but hear me out.

Solution 1
Evaluate the path as you go.
This is good for auto movement or if you want to step forward to a few tiles that use pathfinding in each evaluation. This takes up processing power especially if you want to travel a long distance.

Solution 2
Generate move route
This generates a move route on the fly in the game. Taking an account of any obstacle right from start to finish and the generated route will not change. This will not take much processing power except at the beginning of the calculation. However, if something suddenly blocks the path, it will not make a new route like the solution 1

Solution 3:
The editor generates a move route. However, since it is generated at the editor level, the editor does not know the current state of the game. it is possible that it bypassed an event or assuming an event as an obstacle to avoid, or an event walked (by auto movement) straight blocking the way, idk. The end result ideally would be just the editor generate the route for you to edit the route. That probably would be the most fitting solution to your problem.

1. Zoom doesn’t go above 150%. What is totally useless. If you want to spot minor errors in tilesetes / mapping, 200% would be the minimal acceptable. We don’t need to go above 8000%, but the numbers are simply in arbitrary limits that won’t help anyone. Solution: Make Zoom go to at very least 200%. 300 or 400 should be interesting, but not much more beyond that.
This would help tile setter so I can agree I guess.

2. No Live View / Preview feature: No, it’s not like we need the map running with everything in the editor, but at least some useful way to see the animations of the tilesets and size of the events. Some kind of preview. In Map Mode we can view maps semi-decently, in event mode, well, it just put some grid, it’s junk. Solution: Make this possible, of course.
Again, that is not a solution.

A solution would be how to make an emulation of the actual game. What is shown in the Qt editor was just a representative of database editing (yes, the map is data to edit using the editor). What actually emulates the game is your game.exe, which executes everything and makes everything feels alive. What is stopping you from just hitting the playtest?

3. No way to completely hide one or other layer. That’s so simple that is completely ABSURD that we don’t have this feature. I could ask for a layer menu where you could add or remove mapping layers, but maybe it’s too much to ask (yeah… sad, I know), but why to not hide completely to make it easier to do my mapping? Solution: Can you guys do it pretty please?
4. Autotiling match (always been a) mess. Been like this since VX days. You have to know profoundly the templates to know what tile goes above other in compositions (like what fences or grasses go above that ground, or if this dark water or ice goes above normal water, et cetera). It’s horrible when making the tilesets, and even worse in the editor, since you can’t change that. Solution: We already got layers, right? So, get rid of these pre-composed autotilesets sets rules, so you can stack up any autotile you want above each other.
Mapping has always been a problem, now that they brought up the layering after 4 generations of
RPG Maker despite the fact that the code for layer had already existed many generations ago, they just didn't allow you to edit until MZ. More QoL in this matter is always welcomed.

5. UI isn’t any flexible or customizable. Solution: Maybe not a big problem, but if we add some more useful stuff in UI (like visibility of layers) they should make the interface dockable / resizeable for different stuff. This should improve the workflow for several people.
The UI is customizable via plugin commands as of now and it is fine by me. However, I agree about the flexibility. A resizable window that let me see the inner indent of stacking conditional branch would be nice, to be honest.

1. Touch controls are a joke. Okay, they’re a bit better than MV, but other than taking space you can’t have back unless you do some code, touch UI is beyond reason to be like that. Solution: If a guy wants to do a mobile/touch game, the template option I explained earlier would do wonders. We only need an option to have a template for this with proper UI and this would be solved.
I personally don't like mobile touch UI, but I'm curious how people could make it better (even better with mockups).
 
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Jragyn

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Not to mention, costly in terms of processing.
As a fellow developer who has been building AI for stupid events to be a little less stupid in an ABS context, I'd like to call out that it may be costly, but it is relatively costly. When I was initially building out the AI, I had all events (enemies) pathfinding (using basically the default algorithm that MZ has) their way optimally towards their targets (player, other enemies, etc) and it doesn't really start hitting the upper limit till you have about 100 events concurrently trying to pathfind to some destination.

In short, having the option to pathfind to a point (x,y) or even a moving target (player/event) should absolutely be an option in the moveroute window- without us coding it as a possibility.

Chances are, if your computer is choking when trying to pathfind a few events across a map, your computer is probably just choking at trying to run RPG Maker itself which runs pretty light on my windows machine at about 225MB of RAM for the editor, and about 350MB of RAM when running the game.

No templates for new projects. It’s a complete disgrace
Keep preaching! If templates became a proper (and community-contributed) resource, I wager tons more folks would buy it knowing they wouldn't have to download 1000000 plugins and resources and stuff to get their [insert some generic genre of game here] game going.
 

TheoAllen

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@Jragyn thanks for voicing your opinion.
I have already provided the 3 possible solutions. Which one are you preferred or if you have your own solution? I assume that you know what I'm talking about.

Chances are, if your computer is choking when trying to pathfind a few events across a map, your computer is probably just choking at trying to run RPG Maker itself which runs pretty light on my windows machine at about 225MB of RAM for the editor, and about 350MB of RAM when running the game.
This depends, some users might be stupid enough to make a 256x256 map and try to pathfind from corner to corner. Then it lagged. And when that happened, users often blaming the editor for not being optimized while it's on them to optimize the game.

In short, if anything happens in the pathfinding, it is easier to debug with a manual move route than dynamic pathfinding, except if we use the 3rd solution, which means the editor generates the move route in the editor. Not as a "search path on the fly" like the first or second solution.
 

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“The ____ always has been like this; they have no reason to change it now”
This is an argument I literally don't understand. It's basically saying that tradition should trump innovation and improvement.

I do agree with a few things here, and there's another thread going on of simple things people are surprised isn't already in the editor.

How would you integrate "put any number of frames for the sprite animation" with the character generator?
Best guess would be a single number for simplicity. You could put the 'default' in system (so, 3 as it stands) and each place a sprite animation is used it will be set to default initially with the ability to change it to whatever you want the sheet to use. Then the editor will divvy up the sheet based on the number of frames. If walking uses 7 frames, the width would be divided by 7*4 or 28 (7 frames of walking, 4 characters wide). Side view battlers would be similar, it's currently 3*3 (9) wide, so setting it to seven would make it 7*3 (21) wide.

I'm not sure exactly how hard it would be to integrate but that seems the easiest way.
 

Rafael_Sol_Maker

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[...]
Now let me nitpick your suggestion
[...]

Hello there, thanks for the insightful answer, I would like to answer this point by point, maybe gonna do that later.

But one tendency you answer has is to use what we already have or workarounds to get some stuff done. But that's not the point of my suggestions, I know that they have workaround like that for more than a decade in some cases...

My point is to bring some much needed QoL, things like, adding dragging and drop too instead of only cutting and pasting. My aim is to make the editor usage more fluid, because even software 20 years ago had and RM simply never bothered.

If the question here is simply to use workarounds all time, well, I wouldn't have reason to create this topic, do you know what I mean?

Another ones you said the devs should provide the resources (and it would make the software bloated or expensive, I suppose), but that's simply not true. If I want to use different tile sizes or animation with more than 3 frames, for example, the editor shouldn't penalize me for even trying, making it impossible to me to do it myself. The devs just give the option in the software and is up to the user figure the rest.

Instead if I use anything different from the default sacred template, the editor messes up the visualization of the resources. it's painful to watch. Even if you do the code fully functional for whatever resources you're using, you lose the ability to use the editor. It's shameful.

The map preview thing, for example, they also wouldn't spend a lot of resources. They already do 99% of what is needed (even more, actually, adding grids, square with event graphics preview, et cetera), all they need is animate autotiles (so we can spot errors on that) and show events in real size, maybe. That's all.

Playtest is a much of a distraction (specially if you don't use a plugin to skip the title screen and logos before it) because it takes time to load and start the game and well, you're stuck to the limited screen resolution of the game. Oh and you also need to always set up the hero starting position, if it's transparent you need to make it visible from DB and wait to automatic events to finish every time. That's simply bothersome, too much of a hassle.

Specially why if you make several quick edits, well, you need to save the project, close the game window and open it again (not even the playtest button works like it should, resetting the game, it only opens if none was opened! This is a pain in the back!)

And then finally you say some that I should provide mockups or whatever, where is clearly the job of the devs to figure it out, well, because it takes time to me doing so, for something that I don't even ideia if will be heard or not, as if I didn't spent already a lot of time just thinking and writing. Yes, I could do do that, improve my suggestions, but why I should? I don't want to waste my time unless it's strictly needed. That's the reason I'm describing, instead of making mockups. Besides that, I still have plenty of small suggestions to make here, I can't do that now, anyway. If the devs spare some time and promise to look at this question, well, I could happily do that once I finish the list.

Do you see now where I want to land my critique? Well, by the way, thanks again for the answer.
 
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TheoAllen

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But one tendency you answer has is to use what we already have or workarounds to get some stuff done. But that's not the point of my suggestions, I know that they have workaround like that for more than a decade for some of them...

My point is to bring some much needed QoL, things like, dragging and drop instead of cutting and pasting. My aim is to make the editor usage more fluid, because even software 20 years ago had and RM simply never bothered.

If the question here is simply to use workarounds all time, well, I wouldn't have reason to create this topic, do you know what I mean?
My point is, if something can be done by making a workaround in the editor, the priority goes down to the list. if something is not provided in the editor, that one takes up the priority. For example, the map layer took priority because there is no way you could do that in the default editor, thus we have MZ. Also, changing how TP is initialized and crit rate is impossible without resorting to the plugin. So that also takes priority over "how to conveniently disable event".

Guess what, of course, we wanted more variable conditions, as much as I hate "equal or more than x" in the event page condition and I wanted more than just that, MZ still does not have it. The higher up does not seem to listen. It took 4 generations of RM to make them listen to multilayer options in mapping. Even with that, as you have said, not perfect.

Another ones you said the devs should provide the resources (and it would make the software bloated or expensive, I suppose), but that's simply not true. If I want to use different tile sizes or animation with more than 3 frames, the editor shouldn't penalize me for even trying, making it impossible to me to do it myself. The devs just give the option in the software and is up to the user figure the rest.
One of the main appeals of RPG Maker is that you already have working assets that you only need to think about your game without doing chores on making the resources.

If we are going to use 16x16 tiles, where is the example resource for it?
If we are going to use 8 frames of walking sprite, where is the example resource for it?
Frankly speaking, if it wasn't because of the default asset, I probably won't touch RPG Maker. There are numerous game engines better than this.

If the dev wants such flexibility but not expecting a sample working resource, what makes it different than say... God**, GM*, or Un*ty? An RPG Maker with the only working framework (code base for RPG) but without the working asset?

The live map thing, for example, they also wouldn't spend a lot of resources. They already do 99% of what is needed (even more, actually, adding grids, square with event graphics preview, et cetera), all they need is animate autotiles (so we can spot errors on that) and show events in real size, maybe. That's all.
I get what you're trying to say, what I'm saying is that it is better to use playtest to actually see it because of many factors such as custom effect and all. However, if you just want to see animated tile and the actual event size (this will only preview page 1 because there is no way of knowing which page is active without actually playtest), should be possible.

Playtest is a much of a distraction (specially if you don't use a plugin to skip the title screen and logos before it) because it takes time to load and start the game and well,
This is a legit suggestion. Making faster bootup, bypassing the title screen should be in the default for developer convenience because there is no way you would do that without a script.

Oh and you also need to always set up the hero starting position, if it's transparent you need to make it visible from DB every time. That's simply bothersome, too much of a hassle.
Moving the starting point can be troublesome especially when you forgot where is the actual starting point. However, I personally don't bother with "change the transparency" if I want to just see how my map looks. I can just stay transparent while pressing CTRL to bypass everything.

Specially why if you make several quick edits, well, you need to save the project, close the game window and open it again (not even the playtest button works like it should, resetting the game, it only opens if none was opened! This is a pain in the back!)
I don't remember this, but pressing F5 (refresh the game) does not work? This works if I wanted to change a few pieces of code, but I don't remember about the database.

And then finally you say some that I should provide mockups or whatever, where is clearly the job of the devs to figure it out,
Yes, I could do do that, improve my suggestions, but why I should? I don't want to waste my time unless it's strictly needed. That's the reason I'm describing, instead of making mockups. Besides that, I still have plenty of small suggestions to make here, I can't do that now, anyway. If the devs spare some time and promise to look at this question, well, I could happily do that once I finish the list.
You claimed to provide the solution, yet you did not.

Do you see now where I want to land my critique?
Don't get me wrong, I welcome to see any improvement to the engine. I would be glad to see if they picked up and make it better. I just enjoyed the discussion of some potential issue to tackle, which is more important and which are not. And of course, I'm not Degica or Kadokawa representative.

Well, by the way, thanks again for the answer.
You're welcome.
 
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Rafael_Sol_Maker

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@TheoAllen

Yeah, I know what you mean, mostly. Still, I do stay with my point that small additions and modifications like I said would make a huge difference, specially over time or for someone who use it a lot.

You said about priorities, but I would say that the devs behind it don't have any priority at al, they're trying to milk the product selling the same thing over and over with minimal effort. If this software were made elsewhere in the world I doubt it would have this level of polishing, but feature wise it would be much better.

Honestly, I don't understand what's going on with the makers behind the product... They took ages to add something that is literally already there, and only need some commands to make it work. They launch a product with minimal modifications and do very basic bugfixing, and then couple of years later launch a new product that should only be acceptable as a yearly upgrade, if something. Things that should be a 6-months free update.

They seem very reluctant to alter pretty much anything, and then they make sound like a big deal about something so basic and trivial like layer editing (that was already on RMXP ages and ages ago) that is kind of built-in internally already. Do you see what I mean?

They took so much time to add so simple things that I get desperate only in thinking about it. And it's not like it's one guy alone doing a software for a couple of people to use. Even if it was the case, there's no rational excuse for the software not staying in top condition. I guess I should be more patient and wait another 15 years to see what I'm asking become truth.

Sorry for the sad tone here in this message, pal. But that's the way I feel. I've been supporting this software for a lot of time, as dev that uses and teaches the tool, writing several pages of articles, writing plugins and scripts, translating it to other language, and supporting other members in forums... I don't want that the engine let me down. I want to share only love about it, I would like to feel that the software I grew up grow with me, that it supports me back the same way I support it.

Later I will put some more suggestions. Please be welcome to put yours here too! Cheers,
 
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They seem very reluctant to alter pretty much anything, and then they make sound like a big deal about something so foolish like layer editing (that was already on RMXP ages and ages ago) that is kind of built-in internally already.

Didn't Coca-Cola do something similar with vanilla coke? Release it, then take it away, then bring it back as if it's brand new.

All MZ did was strip out the in-built animation editor and tell users to download yet another program to create animations. I'm not sure if I'd call that an upgrade at all. If anything, it should've been optional.

"Hey! MZ has an in-built editor, but it also supports animations from this 3rd party program!"

Every little change in RPG Maker often comes with drawbacks, and there's no reason why it should be the case. It feels like we're dealing with a genie - every wish granted comes with some unforseen consequences. lol.

I'd laugh if the next RPG Maker is released without a map editor. Instead, you're just told to download GIMP. I mean, it is a far more powerful editor than the in-built one after all. :p
 
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TheoAllen

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You said about priorities, but I would say that the devs behind it don't have any priority at al, they're trying to milk the product selling the same thing over and over with minimal effort. If this software were made elsewhere in the world I doubt it would have this level of polishing, but feature wise it would be much better.
They have priorities. You just don't know because you mostly focused on the QoL part because something you wanted is not yet implemented, thus they did not seem to have priorities.

Speaking of rebranding, let's compare each version of RPG Maker.
From 2003 to XP (Disclaimer: I didn't touch 2003)
  • Stripped a lot of eventing commands and added RGSS for the first time. Because, hey now you can add something by scripts. No need for complex eventing, idk.
  • Added multilayer mapping.
  • Users did not like it now they had to learn programming language to add anything.
From XP to VX
  • Mapping is simplified. The unlimited tileset is gone for good (probably because of the reason that it lags). Multilayer is gone for simplicity and added more auto tiles (It took me a while to make a map in RMXP so VX mapping style never been a problem to me)
  • Chibi graphics, for simplicity?
  • More organization in the event command.
  • RGSS2, the script structure was much better than RGSS and it creates fewer compatibility issues than RMXP.
  • More control in the message box, (IIRC, RMXP show message was just a plain textbox without control).
  • From XP to VX were basically a drastic change in the design
From VX to VXAce
  • They have added multiple tilesets that were not possible to do in VX
  • They have added traits (named "Features" in VXAce) and that eliminates most of the things that previously need a script in XP/VX to do so.
  • They have added damage formula
  • They have added character creation (although it's horrible, it is a start)
  • Many small things I don't remember ...
  • Improved the RGSS structure, it creates fewer compatibility issues.
From VXAce to MZ
  • The engine reworked to a completely different environment. Although you could say it's just reskinned because there is nothing much different than VXAce other than "Hey, it's in JS so I can use this JS library to do awesome stuff"
  • More intuitive plugin manager with the user interfaces to interact with. This eliminates the possibility that the user configures the script wrong.
  • The source is open. Up to the point you could just use a text editor to create the whole game without touching the RPG Maker editor or make your own. Of course, this comes with EULA.
  • Hey, built-in side view! you don't need third-party code anymore.
  • Character generator with side view sprites.
  • While it looked like a reskin, this is still a major change.
From MV to MZ
  • The year is 2020, it's the year for widescreen support. The 4:3 screen ratio is so 2011. They added an option for resolution change that was not previously possible.
  • (I probably should tag @The Stranger for this point) To support the wider resolution, they had to change the animation editor from a primitive frame by frame into a completely different animation (Effekseer). The reason probably because the primitive animation editor only supports a certain range of resolution. If you are going to use 1080, there is no way for you to create an animation that is shown on the whole screen. Plus it also eliminates the 192x192 limit.
  • Plugin command means you can make your own eventing command. This is for me a huge improvement. However, only users with programming knowledge can add something to it.
  • Brought back multilayer mapping because apparently, people wanted it back.
  • The core game loop is improved in the backend code. Making RMMZ perform better than RMMV.
  • Many small things we have already know (probably?)
  • From the outside perspective, RMMV and RMMZ are no different. The same engine, with a little change, and people are not wrong assuming that. Many still use RMMV due to the fact it does not change much. However, there was a huge leap from RMXP -> RMVXAce (we ignore VX) -> MV.
Priorities? Yeah, they have. They just did not add a few small qualities of life you expected. But they added something that was not previously possible. Except from 2003 up to VXAce, it looked like they have made some experiments by adding and removing stuff.

You probably are not wrong assuming they just milk the same product.
A lot of your small stuff can be added 5 years later to their road map. You suggested A, B, and C. Then A is added in RPG Maker 2025, and B is added in 2030. And C sometimes later. Because this sounds like their roadmap. Maybe they wanted to milk the product, or maybe there are some technical difficulties preventing them from doing it, maybe they prefer to wait and see if there is a new technology they could implement later in the future.

Please be welcome to put yours here too! Cheers,
I would, but there are numerous threads saying what should be improved. I'm not sure if adding more to the crowd would help.
 

The Stranger

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@TheoAllen As you said, there's a fair bit that was changed, but it was all under the hood stuff that really doesn't affect non-programmers\scripters.

The removal of the built-in animation editor sucked. It didn't matter that those animations couldn't cover the screen at high resolutions, because there's still a fair number of people who stick with the default resolution; mostly because the UI and other stuff looks wonky once you mess around with the resolution.

The creation of animations has always been a chore in RPG Maker. We just went from a chore we could perform without leaving the editor, to one we had to download another program to for; that and Effekseer isn't any more accessible than the built-in animation editor.

Little changed for non-programmers. We got layered mapping back, which had been removed from RPG Maker after XP for some odd reason, but it was still mapping stuck to a rigid grid.

Accessible eventing commands have remained mostly the same since time immemorial. Maybe a few event commands have been added or removed since the old days, but for the most part it has remained the same which is a huge shame. Not just commands, either, but even the layout and how we set them up has largely remained the same. We still have to rely on scripters to gain access to the same extended move route commands, or to utilise different event triggers which should probably just be part of the engine by default at this point.

Then you come to weird decisions when it comes to the default art. MV and MZ use the same tile size, sure, but the default assets look different while being pretty much the exact same thing, if that makes any sense. It's just so strange. Then you have things such as random actors not getting static battlers (the ones you can use as enemies by default), which just seems so random; actor 2_7 gets an enemy battler, but not Actor 2_8, for example.

I don't know. Some of my own complaints can be boiled down to RPG maker fatigue. Seeing these seemingly superficial changes over the years, relying on the same handful of people within the community to fill in the blanks (missing resources, etc), and patching up the broken engine with various community scripts has just left me kinda jaded. Not saying the community doing these things is a bad thing, because it's not, just that it shouldn't have to do the same old song and dance each time a new maker is released. That's what it feels like. New maker comes out - wait for the same scripts to come out, and for the base resources to be fully completed by the community.

I'm just rambling now. lol.
 

TheoAllen

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It didn't matter that those animations couldn't cover the screen at high resolutions, because there's still a fair number of people who stick with the default resolution; mostly because the UI and other stuff looks wonky once you mess around with the resolution.
How are you going to satisfy people who want a higher resolution if you have this mindset?
"Default resolution is fine", but you are not going to close your ears that people have already tried to use a higher resolution, are you?

The creation of animations has always been a chore in RPG Maker. We just went from a chore we could perform without leaving the editor, to one we had to download another program to for; that and Effekseer isn't any more accessible than the built-in animation editor.
The accessibility of Effekseer is another topic to discuss, and it is probably better to talk about how to improve Effekseer itself rather than being mixed in RPG Maker topic.

Accessible eventing commands have remained mostly the same since time immemorial. Maybe a few event commands have been added or removed since the old days, but for the most part it has remained the same which is a huge shame. Not just commands, either, but even the layout and how we set them up has largely remained the same. We still have to rely on scripters to gain access to the same extended move route commands,
If you have the list of what could be improved, then list it. Saying "it's the same as the old days" does not tell anything. What is wrong with having the same command? What is the problem? Why it is a huge shame? You are not going to change the event command layout for a sake of being different, are you?

Don't get me wrong, I would like to see your list. And I would agree if it's good.

or to utilise different event triggers which should probably just be part of the engine by default at this point.
This one I can agree with.

Then you come to weird decisions when it comes to the default art. MV and MZ use the same tile size, sure, but the default assets look different while being pretty much the exact same thing, if that makes any sense. It's just so strange. Then you have things such as random actors not getting static battlers (the ones you can use as enemies by default), which just seems so random; actor 2_7 gets an enemy battler, but not Actor 2_8, for example.
This just proves the point that providing the default resources for multiple sizes of tiles and/or sprite frames might not be viable. Sure, for the smaller size they can just repack the VXAce tileset as the sample resource but then people could tell that they are lazy for reusing the same asset, IDK.

I don't know. Some of my own complaints can be boiled down to RPG maker fatigue. Seeing these seemingly superficial changes over the years, relying on the same handful of people within the community to fill in the blanks (missing resources, etc), and patch up the broken engine with various scripts has just left me kinda jaded. Not saying the community doing these things is a bad thing, because it's not, just that it shouldn't have to do the same old song and dance each time a new maker is released. That's what it feels like. New maker comes out - wait for the same scripts to come out, and for the base resources to be fully completed by the community.
Maybe, it is fatigue from an RPG Maker veteran. Yes, we have seen this all over again, the same thing. The question is whether if they cater to old RPG Maker veterans who may or may not get bored or try to get new users who are going to purchase the product by making it less intimidating and less complicated stuff to learn.

However, I'm not against adding something essential in RPG such as having skill cooldown a thing. Because why would you need a plugin for such a thing when skill cooldown is basically had been implemented in many RPGs and proved to be a good design. Imagine having a new user who is familiar with RPG and thought "how can I set up a skill cooldown?" ended up knowing they need a plugin for that.

====
EDIT:
I wanted to drop this funny image for lul
172367238_310760220625901_8970109479513316755_n.jpg
 
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Renkirin

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You've just said everything that was on my mind.

8. There’s a lot of minor complaints in individual event commands (like Move Route not even having option to use path finding. Argh), but I won’t enter on details right now. Solution: We will see that later...
I can't believe why that feature is not available by default. It's literally right there in the base code, just not exposed in the editor...

This is the exact reason I recently made a plugin for this (Move Route pathfinding). I'm not a big fan of move left/right/up/down or whatever cardinal direction all the way to destination. Not even if it comes with a visual preview guide.

The thing here is, the devs hide these actually important features and parameters that should have been tweakable/accessible by default. People shouldn't have to make a plugin just to gain access to a significant feature that already exists.
 
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The Stranger

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Pathfinding really should be part of the base engine by now. It's not only easier to use, but it can allow events to move around obstacles rather than just stand there because the player has blocked their path.
 

Rafael_Sol_Maker

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Well, I don't know if it's something to be considered or not, but comparing QoL and small feature updates as main selling points and strategic decisions for a considerably long running franchise seems to me as a shot way too off from the basket, @TheoAllen.

The only strategic decision we can take for granted is that they wanted to streamline some stuff on VX, in order to polish it more, and then are spending the rest of the time undoing this one step at time. VX Ace is a VX with minor improvements and multiple tilesets. MV albeit being a generational leap (like 2k3 to XP was), is basically a clone of Ace feature-wise, and then MZ is a MV with minor improvements with 'layering' finally back.

Everything has been like this as far I can remember; 2k3 was only a minor improvement over 2k.
So their only strategic decision considering all the story of the franchise was... to stay the product basically the same over the years. If it's a good strategy or not, we can discuss, but the matter is again, in order to bring the topic back to the line, is that there are some small stuff that they have no excuses for not putting in the product whatever the reasons. It's not like we're dictating how the future of the franchise should be. The gag is funny but we don't want rounded squares here in this topic, at least it's not my feeling on that now.

Okay, I concede that we probably are suffering from franchise fatigue at this point, but from most of the functional standpoint, even if you take all the additions because, well, let's suppose, they simply don't want to add, we still have all the usability issues here, because a software is supposed to work a certain way, it's common interface guidelines for most of the software, even if it's not a strict rule. And yeah, we know that RM follows most of it, but let's be honest here: Don't you think that adding some of those things wouldn't be better for everyone? Or do you prefer to try to find workarounds for everything?

Otherwise I could see that you're here only to oppose the argument (what is fine and good as a casual sanity check, sometimes) instead of contributing to them.
 

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Part of the problem is that RPG Maker intends for itself to be, and I'm not throwing insults here, a toy to play around with. Here's an easy way to make that 16 bit Final Fantasy clone you've always wanted to make since you were a kid.

Their customers, on the other hand, want a product that can make a commercially viable, modern RPG that pay homage to the 16 bit Final Fantasy era of CRPGs. That demands a lot more powerful engine than what they want to make so the community has to fill in all the holes. And even then, you pretty much have to rewrite half the engine to get to that commercially viable state.

It's kind of a paradox.
 

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VX Ace is a VX with minor improvements
They are not minor improvements. Otherwise, many people would still use VX and not VX Ace during that time. See, some people including me still stuck in VXAce while some others use MV. And now with MZ, people are still sticking with MV. VXAce is a huge leap from the previous RPG Maker and it opened up more design choice that was not possible except using a script. Then VXAce base design was used for the next two generations of RPG Maker. Again, maybe you are just nitpicking it because you are focused more on QoL.

but let's be honest here: Don't you think that adding some of those things wouldn't be better for everyone? Or do you prefer to try to find workarounds for everything?
This depends on the suggestion and I believe I already have said my opinion on each of them and the possible the obstacle to overcome. But let's assume that you ignore those points and just want to ask directly to me assuming if it's possible to do (because you seemed to force me to agree with you).

Q: Project template
A: I agree, no debate on that.

Q: Fixed resource format, make it not fixed.
A: If this comes with the sample resources, I agree. If not, then it would be the same as other game engines. And I would just pick other game engines that are far superior.

Q: Event conditions are very limited. What a shame.
A: More condition is welcomed. I'm curious about the list of new conditions though.

Q: No way to name, or easily able/disable, drag’n drop event pages.
A: Naming the event is fine as is (I don't name my event that much), disable event I agree, rather than drag n drop, I prefer to memorize the last event page I accessed. If I edited an event 10 pages of event resembling the game progression, and I wanted to edit the last page, take me right away in the last page and don't make me click the last page every time I opened the event.

Q: No way to easily able/disable or drag’n drop command events, something that should make eventing and testing SO MUCH better.
A: Disable event command is not important, good to have but not important. It is like commenting out a line in coding, which usually done for debugging purposes to see if anything fixed or broken when making a system, however, I'm in the camp that does not make a complex system using event. After all, writing code is always superior to drag and drop eventing when you know how to do it (with a little bit auto-complete from IntelliSense). This is only useful for people who can not code and wanted to make everything out of eventing. So, good for everyone, probably? I can agree about the drag and drop event command if it means I don't need to store the event command in my clipboard by CTRL + X and CTRL + V every damn time.

Q: Eventing “code” is awful and hard to understand (Hear this from someone who reads Assembly code) and there’s no way to make it better. Simple events are okay, more complex events are a chore. There’s no way to click to highlight, for example, an entire branch from one command to see where it ends. Solution: Oh, boy, please don’t let me start…
A: Again, I'm in the camp that does not make a complex system out of eventing so I'm unable to relate, thus it's fine as-is for a simple event, however, selecting the entire branch to see where it ends is good.

Q: There’s no way to multi-select command events other than Shift.
A: I believe I already agree with this.

Q: This one isn’t very important, but anyway! Event commands list is a joke. We’re in 2020+1 and all we got is a huge list of buttons in 3 tabs, separated by some separators. No icons, nothing is clear, unless you know by (muscle) memory, you’ll have trouble finding the command you want.
A: You are not giving the solution yet, like in the gag image, you replied with "this is not my job", so I can not answer if I would agree with the solution.

Q: There’s a lot of minor complaints in individual event commands (like Move Route not even having option to use path finding. Argh).
A: if it's done by the third solution I gave you, then I agree.

Q: Zoom doesn’t go above 150%
A: Good to have, but tell you what, I don't even use 150% zoom. So why would 200% zoom take priority when they could fix everything else?

Q: No Live View / Preview feature:
A: Live preview is too complex for me to agree without seeing the solution. For example, you mentioned that you want to see the event sprite size in the live preview, however, you did not provide a solution what if the event has more than one page and each of them has a different image with a different page condition. I can not answer.

Q: No way to completely hide one or other layer.
A: I agree.

Q: Autotiling match (always been a) mess. Been like this since VX days. You have to know profoundly the templates to know what tile goes above other in compositions (like what fences or grasses go above that ground, or if this dark water or ice goes above normal water, et cetera). It’s horrible when making the tilesets, and even worse in the editor, since you can’t change that.
A: I agree.

Q: UI isn’t any flexible or customizable. Solution: Maybe not a big problem, but if we add some more useful stuff in UI (like visibility of layers) they should make the interface dockable / resizeable for different stuff. This should improve the workflow for several people.
A: I don't like dockable, I don't agree with that if dockable means something like GIMP. Resizable is something I can agree with.

Q: Touch controls are a joke.
A: I disabled the touch control, so I agree. However, make it at least having "Do you want to remove the touch UI?" in the option.

Part of the problem is that RPG Maker intends for itself to be, and I'm not throwing insults here, a toy to play around with. Here's an easy way to make that 16 bit Final Fantasy clone you've always wanted to make since you were a kid.
Here is what I meant by if they wanted to get a new user to pick the program for the first time and not being overwhelmed by more features or a long time, veteran users who have known everything and want little things improved to be more professional game engine, which again may or may not stay due to the boredom. The more intimidating it can be, the more it could scare away some potential new users who just wanted to make a little game for their circle of friends.
 
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Rafael_Sol_Maker

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Back to the track:

Event editor - new suggestions

1. Suggestions to make the "eventing code" more readable and usable (other than drag'n dropping):
- Remove that annoying squares ◆◆◆ and : where it's unneeded;
- Make branches and sub-branches selectable, so you can see the scope of them clearly;
- Make branches and sub-branches collapsible, the classical [+] button;
- Make Labels (markers) and Comments more standout, so they can act as section separators;
- Make possible to easily enable/disable some event commands;
- Make the tabspace for indention a bit wider, like 4 chars wide would look great;
- Make it possible to change the "code" font size, like zooming in and out.

2. About the Event conditions, there's no easy way to add everything that is lacking, I still think that a better bet is to put a blank list where you can add conditions brought in a modal box like Conditions (that have 4 pages of conditions!). This alone would be HUGE for flexibility allowing several new kind of eventing possible and we still would streamline the interface of the event window.

3. Make it resizable, as most of the UI, it's rigid AH. If something, as monitor res goes up from time to time, we lose a lot of real screen space with a interface like this. It's not like it's a modal box, it's an actual editor that you spend a lot of time on it! So it should be better modelled as that.

4. Probably not that useful, but make the Notes field bigger and multi-line, maybe even event page-based.

As today I'm feeling a bit inspired I did some actual mockup with some of the changes (It's just me playing, don't take it too seriously):
kind of.png
 

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@Rafael_Sol_Maker your Imgur picture does not seem to load here, despite the fact I can access imgur. Can you give the direct link or just upload it in the forum?
 

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