Opinion: Your game is already bad if you use all default graphics.

Morpheus

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I've seen too many people make games that LOOK like a RPG Maker game, play like an RPG Maker game and feel like an RPG Maker game. While there are GOOD games out there that use the default graphics, you can count the amount on your hands.

Everybody who uses RPG Maker *wants* to make an epic RPG game like they've always fantasized about, but there's so many bad ones out there over-saturating the 'market' for RPG Maker games that if your game LOOKS like a hastily put together game (Like in my example pic below) then it's already going to turn off 99% of the people who look at your project.

Here's the thing, the default graphics in the game look so.... stocky. Like just your average stock sprites. Unless you go with the parallax mapping route, your game is *going* to look awful.

The same goes for using the default sounds, battlers and music. You will never be able to make a *good* or *fun* RPG if you just half-ass your game. I'm not trying to turn anyone off with this post, but you're going to *really* have to put in alot of effort in your game if you're going to use the default options for your whole project.
 

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standardplayer

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That's why I decided a few years back that without an artist specifically working on a project, I won't be working on that project. Currently I work with an artist, and we've had this conversation many times.

Yes, good games can be made with default graphics. And yes, just because a guy has a shirt that says "I'm gonna kill you for reading this shirt" and is holding a gun and pointing it at you and has his finger on the trigger doesn't mean he's actually gonna shoot you.

But people are still gonna look at that guy and steer clear, not bc they want to hurt his feelings, but because they've been painted a highly specific image of what to expect
 

bgillisp

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I've said this before and I'll say it again. If you feel that way, then actually BUY those games that don't use them. The cost to get non-default assets is more than the average indie game makes these days, so devs have no incentive to go and make everything custom. I've heard of devs that did all custom assets and have sold between 9 - 1048 copies, which is not enough to pay for the art alone for new tilesets, facesets, sprites, music, etc.

I once did the math on what it cost to just get all custom replacements for the RTP. It was well over 20K. And none of those games I know of that went all custom made 20K, so they would run at a loss then.
 

Danitinkis

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I'm really worried about this topic. I'm using default graphics and working out on my game a lot in terms of story, characters and job/battle system to try compensating that issue, but I'm still scared because people care A LOT about graphics these days (something that doesn't care if your story/battle/everything else is ****ty in my opinion).

One thing why I'm using RTP resources is because they are to my liking and in my opinion, easy to "copy" the style to make other graphics. Even though I'd like some great art for my game, as @bgillisp said it may not be worth it.
 

standardplayer

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@bgillisp I don't think this is really meant to make devs feel bad about not being able to use custom graphics. I think it's bc of a lot of reasons that resonate with a lot of devs, and that boiling it down has already been done in other threads.

As far as replacing the rtp, why would you replace everything with custom? Even games that don't use custom don't have to use the whole RTP. You get what you need.

Also, you don't have to exclusively pay for graphics, it's very common for a video game team to have a graphical artist. I went for a long time without one, and to a lot of us devs it just didn't feel good to have your game look identical to so many games.

If we're mostly devs here, we know the struggles that other devs go through trying to get noticed so that people will give their game a chance. When that game takes so long to make, things like not being able to stand out against the herd so people can even try your game is probably a heavy feeling.
 

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Bad take. The RTP is an aesthetic. The fact that it's there by default means that there's a lot of low effort games that didn't bother to take it off.

But there's plenty of games that work the RTP as a deliberate aesthetic choice. Not only that, even if the RTP is there by default because the creator didn't bother changing stuff around, it certainly doesn't stop great games with great stories and especially great gamplay to come out of it.

However;

The same goes for using the default sounds, battlers and music.
Something that I DO find grating is when I see gorgeous, fully custom and very well made games like The Amber Throne.... And the Cursor sound effect is unchanged. It immediately cheapens all the loving work that went into the presentation to me. Conversely, a well presented RTP can be very cheaply crafted into a beautiful, engrossing presentation.

bglisp has a great point about how expensive custom assets really are. This expense is often unjustified and can be much better applied elsewhere on the game -- but even then, it'd be still very bad if the game didn't turn a profit.
 

HexMozart88

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While I tend to get turned off of games that use default everything, I wouldn't say it's automatically bad. I've played some pretty good games that use the RTP. It's not a half-baked job if people literally do not have the money or skill required to make a completely custom game. Most resources you'll find are RTP edits anyway. Heck. I've been complimented a bunch for my game's graphics and they're basically all edits from XP or Ace.
 

JosephSeraph

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I also struggle to find fully custom MV games that have a high level of technical quality. Quidget the Wonderwiener is... Lightning in a bottle. And oftentimes RTP > low quality custom.

But oftentimes too, low art technique = charming.
 

Morpheus

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But people are still gonna look...and steer clear...because they've been painted a highly specific image of what to expect
This pretty much sums up my post. Thank you, I could hardly have put it any better myself.

I've said this before and I'll say it again. If you feel that way, then actually BUY those games that don't use them. The cost to get non-default assets is more than the average indie game makes these days, so devs have no incentive to go and make everything custom. I've heard of devs that did all custom assets and have sold between 9 - 1048 copies, which is not enough to pay for the art alone for new tilesets, facesets, sprites, music, etc.

I once did the math on what it cost to just get all custom replacements for the RTP. It was well over 20K. And none of those games I mentioned that went all custom made 20K, so they would run at a loss then.
I agree, unless you have a team working together on the project, it's most likely not going to end up being good. You might get away with just making the graphics yourself since there's alot of scripts out there already, but it'll be hard.

You say you aren't trying to turn anyone off with your post, but the title you chose tells a very different story, and not a fair one.
I put 'opinion' in it for a reason.
 

bgillisp

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While it is an opinion, the fact is the market disagrees with you. I saw a game with only RTP sell 200,000 copies, and an RPGMaker game with all custom assets sell 1,048 copies. Interpret that as you wish.
 

Ed19

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Quite agree. But at what perspective? Are you saying free games or commercial games? If it was a free game, I would not complain.

The picture you've shown me is a bad map of RPG Maker game, like it was made it in just less than five minutes. Of course the developer is not putting a lot of effort. Usually, I would make one map for about 20-30 minutes to make it more polished.
 

standardplayer

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@bgillisp there is more to what a game means to the dev than just money. I don't think OP even mentioned the game being commercial, but even if they did, a lot of devs don't sell their games. So the ONLY thing outside of personal satisfaction that they get is people downloading and playing that game.

And if the graphics you have to show in videos and screenshots can't stand out, or remind people of worse games, you don't get those downloads.

There's more to all of this than just money, people's projects matter to them, and we all want players to give them a try and recognize our efforts.
 

bgillisp

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@standardplayer : While true, if someone goes commercial they want to at least break even (usually). If they have no chance to break even they will probably not be able to afford to even make the game.

But yes, I do agree with you that you gotta make what you present first sing. But that's true no matter what engine or assets you use.
 

The Stranger

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Would this sort of thinking also apply to any art that simply resembles the default stuff? The FSM resources, for example, are very similar to the MV RTP, does using them make your game garbage? How about edits of the default?

A poorly designed map is poorly designed regardless of the resources used. I think that's the real issue, and not that some people don't like such and such artstyle, so don't use it.
 

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