Larry Jones

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Hallo there,


I am interested in making a game in RPG Maker VX Ace. My interests are really in storytelling, humour and platforming.


I guess where I have fallen down in the past in my attempts to create games on this platform is the fact that, frankly, I have very little knowledge of, or interest in, RPG games! I never played any of the famous RPG games, and whilst I probably have played at least one game resembling an RPG at some point, I never really understood the mechanics very well or how you would 'put together' / design a game of that nature.


One solution to this would be to brush up on the genre and learn about it, but I thought a better approach for me might be to use RPG Maker to make a game that focuses on what I'm already interested in.


The question for me, then, is this. How do I then actually make that interesting to play? Do you guys have any advice for me and do you think I could make a game that focuses on something different to the norm and still make it interesting? What elements would you want to see in a game that's forged in that path?


Cheers guys!
 

mlogan

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It sounds to me like what you are wanting to make is a Visual Novel, from my limited knowledge of that genre. You might search for topics on them, or what and see what others have to say. At the end of the day, I say make the game you want to make. If you feel you need more gameplay, but don't want battles and such, you can always do a variety of puzzles. But yeah, I'd research Visual Novels.
 

Larry Jones

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It sounds to me like what you are wanting to make is a Visual Novel, from my limited knowledge of that genre. You might search for topics on them, or what and see what others have to say. At the end of the day, I say make the game you want to make. If you feel you need more gameplay, but don't want battles and such, you can always do a variety of puzzles. But yeah, I'd research Visual Novels.



Thanks very much m'logan ;p That gets me thinking - and I'll definitely look into that!


And yeah, I remember playing some games I absolutely loved that were made on RPG Maker and had lots of puzzles (John Wizard, if anybody's interested). My downfall with that is the knowledge it takes to make such puzzles - I think they're pretty complex to "program" even using the basic UI of RPG Maker, right?
 
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mlogan

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Nah, there's so much you can do with just events. I know there are a lot of topics here that discuss different types of puzzles and even some tutorials over them.


If you've not used RPG Maker programs before though, I highly recommend that you spend time working through some tutorials of the program so you can learn how the basic things like switches and variables and conditions and such work. Once you've got a good grasp on that, you can use that knowledge to make puzzles.


Also, no need to quote whole posts when replying, particularly if it's in response to the last post. If you want to address a specific member, you can use the @ symbol followed by their name, like @- Laurence -. Welcome to the forums!
 

Larry Jones

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Ok thanks @mlogan


True, I guess I can see if there are any tutorials for what I'm looking for. When I tried a few years back I got bogged down trying to work it out, but maybe if I can find some clear tutorials then there'll be no problem.


I'm looking forward to coming up with something and sharing it with you all.
 

Basileus

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My advice would be to get a relatively short RPG, preferably something Super Nintendo era and just play it for a few hours to get a feel for map design, player movement, dialogue and events. Tutorials will be essential for RPG Maker, but without actually playing an RPG you won't have the context to visualize the finished product.


Platformers are right out. If you are set on platforming mechanics then you might be better off with one of the other game creation engines before you get too deep into this one. 


Visual Novels are good for storytelling but have very low actual gameplay. Almost none in most cases. A Visual Novel is actually just a book that has drawn backgrounds and character models expressing a basic range of expressions to tell a story in a kind of puppet-show manner. The key to a good Visual Novel is choice points - letting the player guide the story to some extent and having multiple endings. Not doing so is close to a cardinal sin of the genre, so if you only want to tell a single, linear story then it better be absolutely amazing or else a linear RPG would actually be better suited to your purposes.


RPGs have gameplay elements in-between story segments and there are a lot of things you can do mechanically to immerse the player in the world and characters. You don't even strictly need combat - if you want everything solved with dialogue and puzzles then you can certainly do so.


So again, I strongly recommend that you actually play one or two RPGs just to get a feel for what you can do to tell your own story in that format if nothing else. Ask around for a couple older RPGs with great, memorable stories and pay super close attention to what the game asks you to do as the player and how it presents the story. Once you can visualize what you want, it will be a LOT easier to know which tutorials you need and ask for help on your project.
 

Larry Jones

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Thanks @Basileus - great advice! I've played a few RPG Maker games and even had a few goes at making my own a while back, but yeah, especially seeing as I wasn't playing 'standard' RPGs but stuff that mostly involved puzzles and so on, playing one of the popular commercial RPGs would be a great idea.
 

Basileus

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You'll likely hear this one a lot, but I highly recommend Chrono Trigger. It's a SNES game that's pretty easy but tons of fun to play. The characters are simple but memorable and some of the villains are awesome - the boss fight against Magus is one of the most iconic fights in RPGs for being a dramatic close to a story arc combined with killer music and a challenging but fun boss fight.


Secret of Mana, Breath of Fire, and Tales of Phantasia are also worth a try. 


Make sure to soak in the experience at first and just enjoy the game. Then you can think about what's actually happening on screen and what mechanics in RPG Maker can replicate those experiences.
 

Milennin

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Kind of sounds like my first RPG Maker game, which had no combat and was more like a visual novel with exploration elements and a fair number of mini-games. It had also had a lot of humour, lol. Despite some poor design choices, it was pretty well received by those who played. You really don't have to be good at the program for making such a game. All you need are ideas. :)


What I like most in such a game are likeable characters (this is the most important for me), as well as scenarios that aren't heavily predictable. Like, make crazy things happen and make me go "I don't know what is happening, but it's awesome and I like it, lol." :D
 
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GoodSelf

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As long as you love the game you're making, other people will love it as well.
What I'm trying to say is to make a game that YOU want to play, and I guarantee you other people will want to play it as well.
 

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