My Experiences Returning to RPG Maker VX Ace

AeroPergold

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So I've been making RPG Maker games for over ten years now, and next February is going to be the tenth anniversary of my first completed project: "Brony Quest: When Nazis Attack". A crude game made with the base settings (no scripts) with even cruder language (most of the "comedy" of this game came from those phunny ph*** words and little else.)

A few days ago, I was in my office, taking a break from working on "Venture Quest" when I thought about either redoing/remaking Brony Quest in RPG Maker VX, the original engine it was made in. So I got home and played around with it, and quickly discovered that little of the RSSG scripts survived to this day with a good chunk of Yanfly's stuff lost to time immemorial. So I bumped up an engine (more like half in reality) and went to RPG Maker VX Ace.



Going back to RPG Maker VX Ace was like seeing an old friend for the first time in years. It was my first legally acquired RPG Maker software and I made loads of games with it until mid-2015 when MV first came out. But after a few days I discovered why I left that old friend, confined to the deepest recesses of my Steam library.

For one, I love the RTP graphics. It had not only NPCs but NPCs doing things like rummaging through a bag or carrying a box. It had a charm that I miss in MV and later MZ. The RTP literally had everything ready to go: 8 classes, a entire list of skills/items/actors/equipment, an entire game's worth of enemies and two final bosses even. It was nice to see these things still there after all these years.

Plus this is where the game got more advanced than VX so DAMAGE FORMULAS!!! I love how there's a quick formula so you could bang out a simple formula if you were a noob like I was nine years ago. I love that option being there.

I like the look of the old RSSG3 scripts. Like yeah it was clunky and obtuse to those who are code-illiterate. But it was cool looking at what and how these things worked, plus nothing is obscured so you can edit to your hearts content...so long you knew what Ruby was. Adding stuff to them like working in a quest log plugin made you feel like a hacker and now that I'm a lot more experienced than I was years ago, working with these scripts feel less daunting to me (but still a little bit though...).

I love the buttload of options for sound files. Like there's our old friend MIDI and they're (MIDI is they/them apparently lmao) pals; WMA, WAV, and MP3! Of course there was the newcomer, OGG which would be the sole sound format for future RPG Makers but oh well. I love how you could chunk in any ol' sound file and it will play it just fine. Albeit by this point MIDI was a legacy feature that had a initialization option in the System menu of the database so you could tell it was on its way out but man.

Where do I begin...

The RTP skills feel off to me, like just a singular Saint and Starlight? Fire I and II but no III? The enemy skills were paltry and I think I've been spoiled by the fantasy database RTPs of MV and the RTP of MZ and so I had to add those skills into VX Ace so it would feel more complete and why does Hammer, Staff, and Gun have no skills that use them?

Adding some of the modern stuff into VX Ace wouldn't been so hard if you could JUST highlight multiple database items at once!!! This was a pain when I had to modify the enemies so there could be blank spots for future enemies and for it to be organized but copy, pasting, and deleting individual enemies was painstaking to say the least.

Then there's the default battle system, why is it so ugly? I had to install Cozziekin's EarthBound battle system so it would look good. The battles would be fine if the resolution wasn't so bloody small.

Like this 544x416 resolution. How did we get by with this? Its a JRPG for ants! Of course with Yanfly's core script, you could bump it up to 640x480 which is much better but not by much and its a pain when you have to resize the battlebacks and the title and system graphics. So I went to town on Paint.net, resizing everything and the result was...pretty okay.

Scripts were so bulky and obtuse to work with. Even now its a pain to look at everything and figure out how to properly use any of them...if any of them were still around. Thank god Archeia preserved a large number of these old scripts so they won't be lost to time (game preservation is important guys!) but man I had to go digging for them, even seeing the defunct read-only RMRK forums which was sad to look at, all those posts and dead accounts from eons past. But with a good amount of archeological work I got a good bunch of legacy scripts to hopefully create a neat lil' game with.

So this next issue comes from the fact that I have a sizable 1080p monitor mounted on a elevated portion of my desk. Everything looks so tiny in the editor of VX Ace! Text looks tiny with micro icons and nano sized information. My eyesight had deteriorated since I last touched VX Ace and I wear eyeglasses and even then I had to lean forward over my desk and doing that hurts my upper left corner of my back where my shoulder is and its pretty painful.

Also those butt ugly, nightmare inducing character generator graphics. The default Dan that's on there when you first open it up still stares into my soul.

CONCLUSION

So I think I might make something in VX Ace for nostalgia's sake. It would be cool to practice the skills I had gained in MV/MZ eras and see what I can make in this antiquated engine. I'm currently working on a reusable starter project and as soon as I feel its filled in enough, I will jump into making something with this old friend. Even if parts of it aged like milk in the Sahara. Here is a short list of ideas I have:

  • A reproduction of "BQ:WNA" with a prologue and epilouge, albeit I might not do it because I'm hella rusty with MLP lore.
  • An isekai featuring a man from Boston, Massachusetts. (A fantasy RPG featuring a M*******, how daring!)
  • A Fantasy RPG featuring 1980's era Miami Cocaine Cowboys (because why not?)
  • Some kind of funny parody I guess, idk
  • A return to form Comedy RPG from my early Gamejolt days

So yeah, that's the thread.
 

TheoAllen

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Me and my pal are still using VXAce to this day, despite the engine being already one decade old, for me, it is still as good as new. The modern version of RPG Maker, for me is just different version of RPG Maker, built for different purpose :D
 

Kes

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On your resolution problem, Yanfly's Ace Engine Core script gives you a bigger resolution, 640 x 480. It might not sound such a big difference, but visually it helps more than you might think.
 

AeroPergold

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On your resolution problem, Yanfly's Ace Engine Core script gives you a bigger resolution, 640 x 480. It might not sound such a big difference, but visually it helps more than you might think.
I'm actually using it right now and I mentioned it here. But I'll gladly take the 640x480 tho even it if meant resizing all the battlebacks and title graphics.
 

sabao

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I just jumped back on here to see what was up with the community after not checking in for some two odd years and reading statements like VX Ace being considered "old" just made my knees hurt.

That said, looking around here and popping open the software sure takes me back. Personally, I still pick up all these new-fangled versions when they release out of habit, but haven't really found the spark to create anything in the last half-decade. Perhaps I'll try something on 2k or 2k3, where I'm less likely to be paralyzed by choice.
 
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KenKrath

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My entire project (series of cutscene) are made in VX ace and still using it.
 

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