My Review/Thoughts of RPG Maker MZ (Please Don't pay Attention to this)

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AeroPergold

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RPG Maker MZ is latest in RPG Maker technology and I've been using it for the past few days and I sort of felt the need to made public my thoughts on it.

The Program Itself:
RPG Maker MZ is the RPG Maker I know and love and the first thing I noticed is how much better the program ran, I have yet to have an issue where the program froze my computer with the audio hanging whilst running VLC Media Player or Google Chrome in the background.

I also found that many things were streamlined such as now plugins can be interfaced with menus (which sort of becomes a problem latter on), plugin commands are now done with drop down menus and things were generally made more comfortable to use.

The program also has new features that are done ingame like the use of 3D particle effects in the animations, autosave, new menu UI and all sorts of neat things including new ThiccVision! ThiccVision is the exciting new Screen Resolution technology that makes your screen wider than a Pixar Mom's hips. Seriously the resolution is like MV's but wider.



THE RTP
I'm mixed here. For one, the RTP now features new enemy graphics featuring types of enemies that aren't present in RPG Maker MV. But sadly it doesn't include most of the common RPG enemies and unless an update is released bringing things like slimes and bats back, you're gonna have to import assets from RPG Maker MV, luckily both programs have assets that are 90% compatible with one another. The character graphics are good, but good luck finding one depicting a sailor or a sea captain or a merchant of some kind. Hell I swear Kadokawa lied about how the engine has the most assets out of any RPG Maker product, because how can it have the most when I have to import crap from RPG Maker MV?

Then we get to the music and its all energetic techno stuff that's all fine and good. But the selections for Scene music are all rubbish, try to musically convey a foreboding or a perilous moment. The soundtrack fails. The soundtrack also fails in the dungeon department and I found myself importing the RPG Maker XP remastered soundtrack, only to find that RPG Maker MZ simply can't locate the music unless I take the MP3s of the XP Remastered soundtrack and convert them into OGG and only then would MZ be willing to play the damn music.

Also, as a word of caution, if you're importing battle backgrounds (specifically files for battleback2) from MV, please be sure to move the background a bunch of pixels upward so that enemies and actors aren't floating in the walls. Which brings me to Battle backgrounds. All the stone ones are rubbish, I feel like none of the floor types match with the floors in the tilesets. And I feel like its missing a bunch of things since I had to import from MV. I feel like I should have to peek into MV for stuff that should've already been included in MZ.

The Artstyle
They changed the artsyle...again. However I do like the artstyle as it gives off a sort of Sega Saturn mid to late 90's look that I absolutely vibe with. However the trouble begins with importing characters and face graphics from MV since there will be clashing with human characters (luckily the robots from the title screen pack for MV seem to be immune from this).

So what about recreating the characters that are missing from the RTP that can't be imported from MV in the Character Generator? Then prepare for disappointment as there are actually less pieces for the character generator then there were in the default generator in MV and you can't import the Generator Parts from MV because of the clashing artstyles. This problem is compounded even further because the engine literally just came out and no has been making new stuff for the engine as of yet. Which brings me to the next section...


Plugins
Because the engine literally just came out, no one has made any plugins for it yet! Now I could wait for SumRndDude and Himeworks to pick up the slack, but I want to make games now and not later! So that gives me two choices either use what came with RPG Maker MZ, which isn't much because there's only a handful I'd actually use and half of then are still in Japanese; or go to Yanfly's site! Yanfly! The best name in RPG Maker plugin technology! The guy who sets the standard that everybody else follows, if you're plugin isn't compatible with Yanfly's then you're plugin isn't worth anything. However Yanfly has been drinking the Capitalist Kool-Aid and put paywall on every plugin expect for the most basic of ones, Like the CoreEngine and BattleCore. However now he's collaborating with Marimo and Archeia in their latest adventure: VisuStella!

VisuStella is the name they think will revolutionize the RPG Maker MZ experience like how Yanfly did in the beginning! Hoping they will set the standard that everybody else follows with their plugins!

Obviously with RPG Maker MZ's default stuff being rather lacking for my needs I went with Option B: VisuStella!


And I was greeted with the download link to a pack of the free basic stuff. However the pretentiousness began! The plugins should've arrive in a nice neat ZIP folder with the idea that I already knew what I was getting and already knew how to use. But No! It had to come in a project file complete with a demo showing everybody and demonstrating the plugins whilst being filled to the brim of the most self-congratulatory BS. The VisuStella Circle jerk had began! So I had to gut everything and then add the plugins that I wanted from the MZ defaults...at least the scant few that were in English. And made a reusable engine for myself to use.

However then it struck me that I had nothing to do quests with? So I went to the VisuStella site and spent $10 on a Quest Journal plugin. First the plugin's help file didn't say anything on how to make quests with it, and the VisuStella YouTube channel didn't have a video on how to use the bloody thing and I had to fiddle around until I discovered how to use it and it is the most cumbersome plugin I have ever used. Making quests requires going down a rabbit hole of menus upon menus. However if that wasn't unwieldy thing ever, everything had to be done manually. Which was fine since I had to update quest objectives and add and complete quests with the Gameus Quest System. However the quest trackers needs to be manually updated every time a quest objective changed or if a sidequest was completed and the tracker had to be returned to the main plot quest, however then I learned the hard way through experimentation that Quest Rewards had to be done manually! And oh boy oh do I LOVE THIS FEATURE! Now if I forgot what a quest's rewards are, I have to go through Menu Mountain and then had to remember or write down on paper what the rewards and hope not to forget them when doing the event programming and if I did THEN ITS BACK TO MOUNT MENU!!!

However the worse came when I discovered that the VisuStella team (rather cheekily) plastered their Facebook, Twitter and ******* links on the Title Screen whenever the plugin is active and I have plans to learn how to JavaScript so I can patch this nuisance out! I shan't have my game be an advertisement for their placid priced plugins and why have a bloody ******* when you're nickle and dime-ing the community! For instance, the Quest Journal plugin is about 200 KB in size, for $10 you are paying 5 cents per kilobyte!

If I wanted links to social media on my title screen let it be for my Facebook, my Twitter, and my *******.

With the Gameus Quest System during the MV days, it came with a special program that lets you easily and quickly edit and add quests and it gave out quest rewards automatically and the damn thing was free!

The VisuStella team do make good plugins but I wish they made them as streamlined as the MZ experience already is and priced them relative to what features are included and the beauty of it all is that now that people have to pay for such things no one would need or feel compelled to make their plugins compatible and I await the day that the name in plugin standards change.

TL:DR VisuStella makes well made plugins that are clunky to use and has paywalls for something that was originally free.

Sorry for the rant, I'm just disgruntled that nobody has made anything for this program yet.

The Conclusion and Back to Reality
RPG Maker MZ is a decent enough engine, feels great to use and I like all the new stuff (even if the tile layering is somehow worse than MV). But its missing a bunch of assets and the actual truth of this engine having the most assets ever should be brought into question when you have to import a good chunk of stuff from MV.

On one hand, its a more streamlined version of MV, on the other hand; Its a more streamlined version of MV.


I'd say wait for a sale and wait until the community starts rolling out plugins and Generator parts and until Kadokawa can get their act together and start putting in the missing bits. Also if you have to get VisuStella plugins, only do it if you actually have money and actually make money from RPG Maker project because I don't and I rely on my disability checks for these things, otherwise wait until the next big thing in Plugins come around.



Thank you and good night.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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Have you just not been paying attention to the JS section of the forums? There's like six pages of plugins for MZ already! And a fair chunk were out in the first three days following release.

Not to mention that this is less a review, and yet one more person complaining about VisuStella. At least be transparent about your intentions.
 

magnaangemon01

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Reading your review just convinced me NOT to get MZ. I have a hard enough time importing stuff as it is, I don't have time to figure out how to import from other RMs. So unless I get it free, or find it on sale for around $5-$10 in the next 5 years, it's a hard pass for me. I'll just stick to VX Ace for now.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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Reading your review just convinced me NOT to get MZ. I have a hard enough time importing stuff as it is, I don't have time to figure out how to import from other RMs. So unless I get it free, or find it on sale for around $5-$10 in the next 5 years, it's a hard pass for me. I'll just stick to VX Ace for now.
From some of your posts, it seems like you still need to properly learn some general things that apply to every engine.
 

magnaangemon01

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From some of your posts, it seems like you still need to properly learn some general things that apply to every engine.

I will never be able to fully master an engine. I just don't have the time. I just need to know enough to do what I want.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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I will never be able to fully master an engine. I just don't have the time. I just need to know enough to do what I want.
Well, how are you coming along with variables? I recall you mentioning that the tutorial game wasn't doing it for you. Variables are a very key feature that you will definitely need to understand as you continue to develop your games.
 

Cyberhawk

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Whole heartedly agree. Plugins SHOULDN'T be this expensive. The Debugger Plugin is an alright pricing. That one feels like actual fluff if you're not a programer)
Everything else? No wtf? feels like an gancha cash grab when your strapped after buying MZ during these times. These shouldn't have a price tag, and it feels just outright sleazy to do so. (Have you read the ToS for visu plugins? That's a F moment)
Trying to do notetags, like a passive state Hp above or below conditions) now is much more convoluted than it was in MV.
This review is very honest though. I have no real issues RMMZ. My issues lie with the paid plugins from Visu and the playtesting freezing mid battle at times.

The issue I feel is: Visu is going to be the staple of RMMZ, and over 1/2 of it's gonna be locked behind a paywall. A more expensive paywall than Yanifly's plugins at the end of MV.
 

magnaangemon01

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Someone gave me a project that explained it in layman's terms. I've learned enough to do an event or two.
 

mlogan

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The issue I feel is: Visu is going to be the staple of RMMZ, and over 1/2 of it's gonna be locked behind a paywall. A more expensive paywall than Yanifly's plugins at the end of MV.

If you want alternatives to VS, then support other plugin makers. It's simple.
 

Dororo

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Arrrgh.
Ok, I'll have to do an example.

Let's say you own GODOT.
Go to the Godot website.
GODOT doesn't even tell you the specs, the first thing you'll notice is the amount of TUTORIALS about how to do the MORE COMPLEX stuff with engine.

RM start with the number of tiles, how easy is to make DragonQuest 3 again and again... and a small notice you can expand the thing "if you're a coder".
And not explaining how to become one.

So, can you spot the difference? The different target?
The first program naturally generate coders that can use the software.
The second doesn't have any interest you code a single line, as long as you buy the product.

This trend (perfectly legit) doped the community into believing that in the exact moment you'll need something, there will be some coder that will share the perfect plugin for that.
This logic create a "low knowledge, high enthusiasm" fanbase.
A fanbase that can be easily "spoiled" (but legitly, be aware) - they WANT to own that thing, so you can sell it to them.

Now, let's say a 10$ plugin sell 1000 copies.
I'll bet that for 1/20th of the same earning, you can recruit a coder that will create the same thing and release it for free and for everyone else to use.

So, in a word: it's not VisuStella bad behaviour to ask for so much money, it's a doped fanbase that pretend to have, instead to pretend being educated.

As for your MZ review, you're not asked to import anything to have it work, so that doesn't count.
 

magnaangemon01

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As someone who has a very limited income, I'm not paying anything for plugins. So if MZ can't do what I want, I'll just use MV or VX Ace, so what's the point in getting MZ?
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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So, do people have issues with paid plugins? Is this some thing against plugin makers trying to make a little dough from their work?

As someone who has a very limited income, I'm not paying anything for plugins. So if MZ can't do what I want, I'll just use MV or VX Ace, so what's the point in getting MZ?
That's up to you. You gotta see what it offers compared to other versions.

EDIT: Can a mod merge this post with my above post? Derped on the edit function because I'm walking and posting simultaneously.
 

mlogan

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In short, yes, because for so long coders gave their work away for free.

edit:

@Sword_of_Dusk , please avoid double posting, as it is against the forum rules. You can use the "Edit" function on your posts to add additional information you've forgotten or respond to multiple people. You can review our forum rules here. Thank you.

 

Sword_of_Dusk

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In short, yes, because for so long coders gave their work away for free.

edit:

@Sword_of_Dusk , please avoid double posting, as it is against the forum rules. You can use the "Edit" function on your posts to add additional information you've forgotten or respond to multiple people. You can review our forum rules here. Thank you.

That's why I asked if a mod could merge my posts up there. There's no delete feature I could find.
 

cayenne_spicy

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Irony:

Plugin users who don't know JavaScript and so they can't make their own: "I'll spend a lot of time complaining about these plugins costing money that I can't afford!"

The same plugin users: -doesn't spend any of that time trying to use free online resources to learn JavaScript so that they could be the one creating plugins and earning income that they obviously need-

galaxybrain.png
 

magnaangemon01

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Irony:

Plugin users who don't know JavaScript and so they can't make their own: "I'll spend a lot of time complaining about these plugins costing money that I can't afford!"

The same plugin users: -doesn't spend any of that time trying to use free online resources to learn JavaScript so that they could be the one creating plugins and earning income that they obviously need-

galaxybrain.png
I don't have time to learn javascript. Also, I tried once and couldn't grasp it.

So Irony:

Stuckup elitists think everyone should know everything.
 

AeroPergold

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Have you just not been paying attention to the JS section of the forums? There's like six pages of plugins for MZ already! And a fair chunk were out in the first three days following release.

Not to mention that this is less a review, and yet one more person complaining about VisuStella. At least be transparent about your intentions.
I made this post before I discovered that pages. Whoops.

Okay so I might have been really salty when I made this post and I apologize.
 

nio kasgami

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TBH, I strongly disagree we have to go against your opinion who tbh is the most entitled comment ever :

handful I'd actually use and half of then are still in Japanese; or go to Yanfly's site! Yanfly! The best name in RPG Maker plugin technology! The guy who sets the standard that everybody else follows, if you're plugin isn't compatible with Yanfly's then you're plugin isn't worth anything.

I am sorry but this kind of attitude is what make me and MANY devs quite the RM Scene (even Mog hunter was reluctant to come back) because people was expecting us to be 100% 'yanfly' standard.

I AM SORRY but me working my ass off for free on a plugin and get told : ah yanfly already does that or I will wait yanfly finish one your plugins s*ck.

was the most toxic part of this community and I am flabbergasted that this mentality STILL exist

also? paying for plugins is expensive?
did you ever checked how much unity stuff can cost? Minimum 60$ for a good 'plugins'

I don't pay my plugins dev or the artist I commission (even if I can do both by myself) below at least 50$ for their services.

you want to game dev then save up money.

as for visustella then giving them a feedback feeling the plugins is too hard is the responsibility of the community / user to ask them to clarify or streamlines the usages.
 
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