Open World Skyrim-Esque RPG - Is It Possible?

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Hello! Apologies if this is in the wrong place, but over in the 'ideas and prototypes' forum the rules indicated that you must have a more specific idea of what kind of game you're developing, and all I really have at this point is a vague concept.

I'm interested in creating - as the title states - an open-world RPG similar to Skyrim, but with a heavier focus on exploration and just enjoying your time in that world. There wouldn't really be a main plotline, but rather tons of smaller quests to complete and many secrets to find. The world would be very detailed, but also massive - I'd like it to be much bigger than Skyrim, actually.

So, as I've never actually used an RPG Maker product before, I'd like to know before I drop $80 on this - can this be done?

Now, I'm not asking "is this realistic" or "can one person do this." I just want to know, technically, with RPG Maker, is it possible?
 

Andar

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Technically no problem, you can have up to 999 maps of up to 250*250 tiles in size (default screen is 17*13 tiles).

Filling that world is a lot of work and needs a lot of ideas, but that is not what you asker for.

As for the price, you can test RMMV with the windows-trial downloadable on this site, that gives you 20 days to test.
And if you're willing to limit yourself to steam, you can find RMMV often on a sale with 50% or more if you're willing to wait a bit (while using the trial).
If you're not to late i think it is or was on sale in the humble store this weekend, check there.
 

Nightblade50

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It is possible. I created one once. A quest log and a map script are very good to have.
 
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Glad to hear that it is possible! Thanks for the quick responses! Andar, I'll probably take your advice and wait for it to go on sale on Steam. In the meantime, I should probably work on developing the concept a bit more.
 

Nightblade50

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Glad to hear that it is possible! Thanks for the quick responses! Andar, I'll probably take your advice and wait for it to go on sale on Steam. In the meantime, I should probably work on developing the concept a bit more.
It was on sale for black Friday. Too bad you missed that deal :LZYangry:
 

gstv87

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nothing is totally "open" and "unlimited".
even skyrim is scripted and stuck to a narrative.
even if you have a "random quest system", the randomness is not random at all, it always works within a set of given values like "bring object to place" or "gather amount of objects" or "kill character"
write down all possibilities, and the game will never step outside that.
 

XIIIthHarbinger

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Technically, yes it is possible to make an open world game like Skyrim, yes technically you can make it bigger than Skyrim.

For example I am making an open world sandbox game, with a decentralized narrative structure based upon the player siding with one of multiple factions.

The standard map cap for the program is 999, however there are plugins to allow you to expand it past that. Though personally I wouldn't recommend it, as you'll likely never complete such a game.

Now Skyrim uses cells that are essentially 192 feet in length & width, & the game world is 119 cells across. Making the game world of Skyrim equivalent to 18.6 square miles, divided into 14,161 cells.

Now before I shrank my primary project down to it's current dimensions, I was using a 20 x 20 map grid, with each map being 250 tiles in length & width. Giving me 400 field maps. Now assuming you use each tile to account for a square yard, it was still only 8.06 square miles.

Understand, that's less than half the size of Skyrim, & I still made a project that is hands down one of the largest projects made with RPG Maker, & I didn't even get it to a beta testing phase after nearly 4k hours of development. Ask around, virtually no one here out of the nearly 90,000 members made anything that big, let alone did it solo.

Then understand that to even reach the same size as Skyrim, will require 923 field maps at 250 tiles in length & width alone. To surpass Skyrim in size in any meaningful way, you're going to have to top a thousand field maps, I don't know of anyone who has made anything that big, not even I have tried to make something that big. & that's not even beginning to factor in your dungeons & building interiors.

You might not want to hear this, but you aren't going to make a game world larger than Skyrim, unless you are working with a fairly sizeable team. That's simply reality.
 
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nothing is totally "open" and "unlimited".
even skyrim is scripted and stuck to a narrative.
even if you have a "random quest system", the randomness is not random at all, it always works within a set of given values like "bring object to place" or "gather amount of objects" or "kill character"
write down all possibilities, and the game will never step outside that.
Did I say that I wanted to create an "unlimited" game? I'm fully aware that Skyrim is scripted. However, what makes Skyrim so enjoyable for me is that you can do whatever you want, when you want. You can just run around in the wilderness and hunt animals forever if you like. You can live the life of a normal citizen in one of the towns. You're not playing the role of an already established character, you make your own character and write your own story, to a certain extent.

Although, a random quest generator would be very interesting.... if given enough variables, it could certainly feel infinite, even if that wasn't technically true.

You might not want to hear this, but you aren't going to make a game world larger than Skyrim, unless you are working with a fairly sizeable team. That's simply reality.

Oh, I know. I'm more interested in doing this as a sort of ongoing side project than anything, I know that it's extremely unlikely it would ever be finished. I just find stuff like this fun, and I want to at least try to make the kind of game I would enjoy playing.
 

jayray

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wow.... that was kinda harsh...

nothing is totally "open" and "unlimited".
even skyrim is scripted and stuck to a narrative.
even if you have a "random quest system", the randomness is not random at all, it always works within a set of given values like "bring object to place" or "gather amount of objects" or "kill character"
write down all possibilities, and the game will never step outside that.
Let me speak on this... technically he IS correct... but what he didn't say is... that in Skyrim those quests, while bound in guidelines, still can be as fresh as you set them... whether preset in the start of the game, or set up in a randomizing script, you can not just have 999x250x250 tiles, BUT databases can be thousands of items, as can variables, as can switches, and yes... you.. can...

You can get as basic or as complicated with your scripting randomization as you want as well,
"The old lady of Haragon needs a charter from Lord Markud, retrieve it from the Barrister!" might be a preset quest or one created through the use of several randomized variables, I myself have worked with a questing engine that took no less than 40 start locations, 40 ending locations, plot, questgiver, and possible antagonists/obstacles in the way... and yes while it WAS limited, it still had so much immersiveness that it never appeared repeatitive.

Now as far as your world maps go. If you work it correctly, there ARE MV plugins that DO allow even MORE than 999 maps, using folders and different mapinfos for each... "Chapter" of your story. This way, you can add lands, and even work with DLC style content addons...

For the items, I'd definitely suggest some books, some maps, some scrolls, give the player some intellectual meat to chew on... A scroll that states that near a rock that looks like an eagle, at the base of a river that falls twice, lays the Chalice of Everkind, could set the player on a mission OUTSIDE a quest or regimented set idea, to find the item for profit or.... once he finds it? through in a scripted storyline and a few adventures from it...

in my opinion, yes RMMV is definitely worth the $80 as a 2d exploration RPG engine.
 
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I'm all for open worlds as they CAN be great but the common thing I find that people have nits with is the face, the game is huge, vast and feels empty. So when you begin work on your project keep that in mind. It means a lot to you since you crafted this huge beautiful world but to other players, it's just a huge world to explore and the looks of the world will only get you so far.

So in short, big is only good if you got content to fill it.
 

XIIIthHarbinger

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Oh, I know. I'm more interested in doing this as a sort of ongoing side project than anything, I know that it's extremely unlikely it would ever be finished. I just find stuff like this fun, and I want to at least try to make the kind of game I would enjoy playing.
(shrugs)
So long as you understand the situation.

Personally I shrunk my own project down for a few reasons.

First to increase the number of terrain features per map so that they didn't feel so empty. Second, so that the maps were more visually distinct from each other. Third, so I could spend more time on world building & lore crafting, because I want my current primary project to be the first in an ongoing series of games all set within the same IP universe, exploring different locations geographically & chronologically.

Simply put, I decided I was placing too much emphasis on scenery, & not enough on setting & story.
 

chungsie

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to really get the effect skyrim has, I recommend some sort of map event wrapper, not sure if there is an mv port, but Heime has one for ace. also a map stitcher. and you probably will need a performance script. therre are free ones that do the job, or paid ones that are way more powerful.
the event wrapper will allow you to move an npc from one map to another, as well as script your events if you want. the map stitcher basically draws every connected map when on a specific map with connections.

I have seen action rpgs made in ace, so it is possible totally. as for first person options, it could be impossible.
 

jayray

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In my honest opinion, one of the few limitations as far as terrain features is the idea that you have a possibly limited tileset. Look into Yanfly's Grid Free Doodads. And as far as size... if you don't mind zooming the map in a little bit and making your character appear a little smaller. That in addition to getting a good pixel movment plugin, and you can dramatically increase the "size" of your world... Sure the scenery might look a LITTLE pixelated, but... I really don't know if that's an issue you want to tackle.

Also... if you're looking to ditch pixel art all together, might I suggest PVGames own Medieval sets. Town and Country, Dungeons, Warfare, Plaguebringers, Knight Templars, and the upcoming Underdeep can give you that Skyrim/Oblivion-ish feel as well...

For mountains and terrains however, I stand by EarthSculptor, a great low-spec terrain modeler that can really help build that environment in a way that makes the game feel more organic and much less like a tile engine.

One final thing... Randomized dungeons.... well, here's something you COULD look into, there are a few random dungeon makers here, but what I find as one of the best ideas is the "BIND pictures to map plugin" and setting up a common event to turn on or off certain switches from a base. If the switch is on, events that would have blocked off the path to another section are able to be walked through, and if the switch is off, the event stands firm. You can also tie those switches to the Grid Free Doodads plugin for items to show on walls or not, depending on the switch.

Trust me when I say, by adding some variables, you can increase the playability beyond that 999-map limit
 
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Wow, I'm amazed at how helpful you all have been. Great suggestions!

As for tilesets, I'll definitely look into the ones suggested, but I'm also considering making my own.
 

chungsie

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so a tip I wish I understood earlier. when making an autotile, set grid to match the engine grid size, and then reposition along x and y at equal distance until there is a single cell around the center of the canvass. that will give you your center pattern, and edges and corners. then put in a larger canvass/sheet.
 

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