Negative stigma around RTP

Failivrin

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I agree the Steam crowd is REALLY hard on RPG Maker games. Even though mobile platforms have constraints, I have noticed mobile gamers are much more forgiving, and I've seen genuinely bad games get positive reviews in Google Play. Maybe given the wider, less tech savvy audiences, mobile players don't even recognize RTP?

Personally if I'm checking out RPG Maker games, I want to see something other than RTP. Doesn't have to be much; it can be resources I recognize from this forum. Something that shows the dev wasnt some random kid, because the best thing about RPG Maker is also the worst thing: literally anybody can make a game.
I personally think *some* of the RTP resources look bad. Mainly I'm thinking about shadows, but this isnt the place for full discussion.
I will also say that if the game is commercial, I expect to see some custom resources. Doesnt have to be 100% custom, but if I'm paying money to play a game, I hope the developer put some money into making it.
 

bgillisp

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@Failivrin : Most people would probably agree that the RTP Facesets from the generator are really bad. Were you around when we did a contest where people made the worst faces they could and made a game about it?

As for me, I don't care one bit what graphics you use. The game could be all ASCII with a D for dragon for all I care, as long as the game is good.

Though...I will say that if I go to a commercial Steam game and see a lot of really empty and bland maps, I don't buy it. If those are the BEST maps you got to show me, I dread to see what the worst ones look like.

Edit: Ok, I made an exception once for a $0.49 game as I wanted to see just how terrible it was. It was as bad as I expected. In fact, it was honestly like watching a train wreck, I kept going just to see how bad it was going to get. But there's only so many of those games you can take before you decide to not do that again.
 

Failivrin

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@bgillisp I think the RTP face resources are good on an individual basis, but I combine them with community resources in Schlangan's generator, usually manipulating color and position, then add my own touches with Photoshop. So I think you can get a professional product from the RTP; it just takes a little love and invention, and use of community resources like I mentioned. --For real though, I wouldn't play a game if I could see the facial parts were badly mismatched. It's so easy to find what you need in the forums, I'd just assume the dev wasn't trying.
 

bgillisp

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@Failivrin : Ah, see I just hired an artist instead to draw my faces. But to each their own method, right?
 

HexMozart88

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@kaisielizen says the one with the RTP face as her profile pic. XD
Personally, in a comedy game, the generator faces work fine (especially the Ace ones). But don't expect me to take raw, unedited RTP faces seriously.
 

bgillisp

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I think the RTP faces from MV are fine. It's the ACE ones that are pretty bad though. And honestly, I'd be fine with a commercial game with MV RTP faces.
 

bhindi1224

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I think the RTP faces from MV are fine. It's the ACE ones that are pretty bad though. And honestly, I'd be fine with a commercial game with MV RTP faces.
I haven't noticed anything in the RTP that seems cringeworthy to me. @Failivrin: I've been using Schlangen's generator too, but I"m having problems with some of hiddenone's facesets for the beasts, specifically the ones with multiple layers. I'll probably just import them separately, but I think it helps a tons with the RTP as well because you can adjust position and have many more color options.
 

Failivrin

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@kaisielizen I think the problem is despite whatever intentions of the creators (Kadokawa, etc.) you can't just pick a Front Hair and expect it to match every Rear Hair. Same is true of beards, eyes, etc. Unfortunately some people using the engine don't recognize that and go right ahead mismatching parts.

@bgillisp Actually I have an artist too. He sticks to an RTP-compatible style and handles whatever I can't make myself. Sometimes that just means adding clothes to a face I've already edited. Tip: Many artists in the forums actually prefer to polish and edit their clients' work as opposed to making content from scratch. Starting with a rough draft enables them to skip concept planning and the possibility of major revision. Most will drop their prices considerably for this type of assignment, which provides a great way to balance custom work with financial constraints. For another example, you can hire a mapper to build maps from scratch, or you can (cheaply) make a map and hire someone to parallax it.

In any case my general rule is, the most original pieces should get the highest visibility, whereas unaltered RTP makes better "filler."
 
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ChampX

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Here's how I see RTP.

Oh this game seems cool. I like the graphics of this game.

Huh this other game has the same graphics as the last game. Strange but I'll ignore it.

This game also has the same graphics. Something's not right....

Oh and this game to, and this one, also this one, here's another one, and another one....

At this point the games also lose identity as, yes, there are other ways to give games an identity but visual aspects are the most obvious and memorable of them all. You have maybe 5 seconds to grab someone's attention and graphics are the first thing people see and will judge. As the graphics probably match the other 5,834 games that person looked at, they will move onto the next game before they even see all the juicy stuff your game really has to offer.

As others have mentioned, the use of the RTP also signals that other aspects of the game are probably bad to. At least custom graphics possibly imply (though of course no guarantees) that some effort was possibly put in and they may look a bit more into what you have. First impressions matter.

There is also the issue of the RTP resources not being able to best convey what you are trying to get across, but they are the best resources you have available for that. This wouldn't apply to all games but I am sure it applies to a lot of them, i.e. this isn't really what I had in mind for what this boss should look like, but it's good enough I guess and I can't get a hold of anything better as opposed to a custom graphic tailored exactly to your needs. Same applies to the boss theme for the battle. These are the type of things that can separate bad games from good games and good games from great games.

This isn't exclusively a problem with RM of course, as any engine that comes with pre supplied art (or has an asset store to purchase from) will suffer the same problem.

I do think the RTP is fantastic for placeholder graphics and you could even use it for showing off rough ideas of how the game may look using the default RTP or RTP from DLC packs to get the point across before the final graphics are produced. It sure beats making squares and circles for placeholder graphics in other engines.
 

bhindi1224

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So in other words, if I'm understanding correctly, anything that you can buy for this program specifically isn't good enough for a finished game? Because other people will also use the same materials? So then the slogan should be, "SIMPLE ENOUGH FOR A CHILD. POWERFUL ENOUGH FOR A DEVELOPER. Also, make sure you also have a bankroll or you're just generic and people won't want to play your game." I'm half joking and half serious with that comment. :kaoslp:
 

ChampX

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But, the reality, the ugly reality, of what you said though!
 

Poryg

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Actually, I don't mind default assets that much. I can understand default tilesets to say the least and default animations too.

I can't stand default music and battlers though... Just like Aekashics's free battlers (All of them for the same reason - apart from being widely used, the incompatibility of the styles with default RM is incredible). As for character generator, you can always make some quite good things out of it.
Final bosses.png

However, I understand the hate. And encountered it even wayyyy back then. Back when Czech game making community was still active, we had it like this even in our Czech community, if you admitted you were using resources not made by you (not just rips, it could be anything), you'd be smashed with hate that your game sucks and interrogated why in the world don't you use your own resources... For understandable reasons though, anybody can just grab somebody's resources and make a game using them... But then again... Almost none of these people ever tried to make their own game.

So the answer is simple. "Try to draw your own tileset! Here you have the dimensions and go on, tell me once it is finished."
 

bgillisp

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@bhindi1224 : Right? And the funny thing is, you can go to the Unity store and buy premade assets and use those and the hate is NO where near as strong as it is with the RTP. Unless you do a total asset flip that is.

Also, one thing to keep in mind. If someone uses all RTP, it might not be they are lazy. It might be they have NO idea how to replace it, and got so paralyzed by fear that they did nothing about it. Sure, searching and such will fix that, but once someone gets paralyzed by fear, it is common for them to do nothing or ignore it. I see this every day as a teacher (I teach math, and it is common for students to get SO frightful of a math problem they will just ignore it instead of trying something). So maybe, instead of ripping them for being lazy, why not ask them if they just had no idea how to change it out? Maybe they were honestly stuck and too afraid to ask for help or search for it?
 

Failivrin

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Maybe a good question is, where can you market an RPG Maker game that doesn't already have an audience familiar with and ready to lambast RTP? I mentioned Google Play doesn't seem to have this crowd. Has anybody else discovered such a market?
 

ChampX

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@bgillisp That goes with the assumption that you are judging the person's game from a developer point of view, or more specifically, a RM developer point of view. Given that these forums are about helping people in the RM community create games, that mindset makes sense to possibly have when looking at someone's game. To the players on Steam or other platforms who are just players? They won't care what the reason is. They will harshly judge anything bad regardless. Players are cruel.

I may sound harsh, but usually when I know that the developer is inexperienced, I am actually way more forgiving in judging their game since I know that beginner feeling all to well way back when I started and everyone starts somewhere. If I'm going to judge a game on these forums, yea I can be more lax as this is a learning community, but if I'm going to judge a game that made it to Steam, I'm going to expect some bit of professionalism and polish.
 

bgillisp

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@ChampX : You haven't been on steam in a while then if that's what you expect still. Look at all the games that are getting through now, from any engine.
 

SOC

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Well, I would like to say that even if you are met with harsh criticism from whatever resources you use, do your best with what you have and be as creative as possible with them to make the best game you can. Don't be frozen in fear to not make anything simply because you're afraid of what others will think about your game just because you aren't an artist who has other decent resources available. It's always better to just simply make your game and do your best. If RTP is all you have, then make some great stuff with the RTP and get the experience you need as a game designer doing it. Making is always better than not making.
 

ChampX

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@bgillisp I'm well aware of that, which is why Greenlight basically got replaced (one reason at least). My point was Steam is a professional platform so you expect more professional work, in the indie sense, to show up on average. At least in theory.

On the contrary, I actually think it is more difficult to make a GOOD game with the RTP than custom assets because of the extra hurdles one would need to jump to make the game really solid and polished as well as to give a good first 5 second impression to players to catch their interest. I am sure it has been done, but they would be diamonds in the rough.
 

Failivrin

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[/QUOTE]
There is also the issue of the RTP resources not being able to best convey what you are trying to get across, but they are the best resources you have available for that.
Missed this earlier. Very good point. I'm a writer in "real life," and I've noticed many people using RTP are unwilling to compromise their writing, because they feel it's their game's most unique asset. Truth is, good writing requires lots of compromise ("Kill your darlings" as the saying goes). It is much better to make your story RTP-compatible than to try making RTP compatible with your story.
 

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