ts50

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Agreed. Back on topic, I think four things make a "good" game. It has to be story-rich, coherent, immersive, memorable. (In no particular order.)

Like you said the issue with RM usually lies in the graphics. I'd also add the default mechanics - RM's default battle system is so generic and boring that if a game includes it vanilla, I will generally just quit.

RPG Maker, I feel, is often used by people who are talented writers and have good story ideas but perhaps are not very good at coding and hard technical stuff like that, so for them, something like Unity or Unreal would not be ideal. A lot of RM games have good story and are coherent.

The issue is immersion and memorability. Quite simply, the RTP is anything but immersive and memorable. It breaks any feeling of immersion and does not remotely stand out in the memory.

I will argue that assets being custom made is more important than them being very high quality. You can hire people to draw resources for your game that do not cost very much money. (This of course under the assumption that you aren't an artist.) So for my game The N.E.X.U.S. Project, while the tilesets I use are just DLC (which anyone can buy and download), the character graphics are completely custom made. It is my attempt to make my game more memorable.

As for immersion, just adding some lighting effects can really do a good thing to your game. Even games that use just default RTP maps can be vastly improved through lighting plugins. Many of them are not too complicated to set up. Little things can make a massive difference.
 

LittlePIGGY

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Regardless, I don't think it means that any talk of "what not to do" is in anyway a waste of time, even if it may not apply to everyone.
And I'll say, "everything is poison and everything is medicine, it depends on the dose."
Perhaps some people are trying to satisfy an audience that doesn't wanna be satisfied
To the point! Whatever we do. RPG Maker will remain itself. And where one will see good games - others will only see the engine, which for some ridiculous reasons is considered stigmatized. And we, as a community, for some reason recognize this as the truth. Instead of using positive examples to show that creativity is limited only by imagination and the desire to try and learn.

No one will escape the stigma. Because the maker will always remain itself. And we either accept it, embrace it as it is. Or we pretend to be snobs, fueling this stigmatization.

It pains me to see how people are looking for excuses for themselves, instead of saying "I like tiles", "I like chibi". And yes, I REALLY like the chibi from the MV version. Developers can use a custom one not because they are under pressure from stigma or public opinion, but because they really like something. They can, but they don't have to.
 
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ts50

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others will only see the engine, which for some ridiculous reasons is considered stigmatized
There is a distinct reason why games made in RM tend to be very similar while those made in Unity and Unreal Engine, etc., are very different - RM is very restricted by default in such a way that it is not very easy to make an immersive, memorable, unique game with it. One almost has to fight against the engine. I know I do. In addition, whereas more complex game engines require you to do things all by yourself, make/buy assets and code yourself, RM almost encourages the opposite.

It is stigmatized because it does not merely permit but (albeit inadvertently) encourages non-immersive, generic, boring games.
 

LittlePIGGY

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games made in RM tend to be very similar
There are only 7 notes. There are also few colors perceived by the eye. There are few letters (it depends on the language - there are only 33 of them in Russian, two of which are not pronounced). But none of this limits creativity. The glass ceiling of stigma is only in our head. And it is based solely on snobbery and the desire of some to come up with a reason to consider themselves better than others. This kind of competition is not entirely fair. The same "how to do it right" tips will make the games more different? There is no "right" and "wrong" in creativity. There are works and does not work.
 

wilpuri

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I try to find a good thing to say when ever I can, but when asked what I think are the ”bad things” I answer what are the bad things. This just happened to be the thread for that.

When I eventually release my game there will be every fault imaginable and if the game gets noticed at all there will be people pointing them all out. Some things people seem to dislike here are in my game and I simply disagree with them, some I just don’t have skills to avoid. Some points I’ve considered and fixed.

I haven’t been long on this board so it might be that pulling people down and giving bad feedback is a problem here, but I think at least for me it’s good to know how people feel about different things and if ie. something is widely hated. I think it’s healthier to discuss it this way that pointing out from someones project. This is all theoretical and not someones precious Steam score.

I also play drums and there is only so many things you can do with rock drum kit, but I can still try to be the best I can be and try to learn things that make me a better drummer to listen to and play with.

Dragging someone down doesn’t help anyone, but posotively kicking but to avoid lazy or generally uninteresting work should just push people to make more meaningful projects.
 

Iron_Brew

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Heyho!
I haven't read all of the thread, but maybe my take on this might be interesting to you.

When we used RPGMaker to make our games, we basically did EVERYTHING to get around the limitations and pitfalls of the engine :D Up to the point where people asked 'Was this even done in RPG Maker?'

The point was not to fight against the engine or something (RPG Maker is a nice engine overall for the games it's designed for), but to make sure our games are unique and stand out not only in the RPG Maker space, but also in the wider indie gaming space.
Here's an LP to show the game in question (the only one we ever made with RPGM haha)


So, my advice (if you want to be a full-time dev anyway*) is to make your games as unique as possible!

Don't think about it like "what are the limitations, and how do I get around them?", instead try "how can I make my game stand out?"

Hope this helps!
Stay funky,
Dez

*If you just want to have fun making games, however, I wouldn't worry too much about anything haha
Holy ****, that game is INSANE! Colour me deeply, deeply impressed! Incredible work matey, and great advice!
 

ericv00

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"And do not work alone."

Definitely a nitpick, but what if you do want to work by yourself? There are lots of indie devs that ride solo. Is it alot of work? Yes. Probably.

But is it worth it? Yes. Most likely.
Off topic, but I am compelled to chime in!

I'm working on my own. I have reasons for it. I am dead-set on continuing this way.

That said, working alone is very inadvisable. Haha!

Years ago, I set up an 'art work day' in a coffee shop with friends to help keep us on-track in our projects. Everyone involved says they got more done doing that than working alone. Everyone does better when they have to answer to someone else with their work and time, without even beginning to mention delegating tasks on a common project to the persons best suited to tackle them.
 

Indinera

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"That said, working alone is very inadvisable. Haha!"

Yet I've been working alone for most of the last 20 years... It certainly worked for me.
 

ericv00

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"That said, working alone is very inadvisable. Haha!"

Yet I've been working alone for most of the last 20 years... It certainly worked for me.
Congratulations
 
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Has anyone here mentioned the writing aspect yet in how to make good game? If anyone has, forgive me, I'm forgetful as heck.

And if not, lemme say a thing; tropes are tools. They are neither your friends, or your enemies. In other words, you don't have to, as they commonly say, avoid cliches like the plague. Use what works and throw away the rest.

It's helpful at most to be mindful of what is and isn't considered overdone, but not exactly something you need to know about? I believe the key to making a good game is to write it well in general, on top of decent programming.

I don't think that's something that should be neglected; your game can look and play like a dream, but if the story falls flat in anyway, it's a turn-off. And sometimes, complicated =/= good.
 

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Off topic, but I am compelled to chime in!

I'm working on my own. I have reasons for it. I am dead-set on continuing this way.

That said, working alone is very inadvisable. Haha!

Years ago, I set up an 'art work day' in a coffee shop with friends to help keep us on-track in our projects. Everyone involved says they got more done doing that than working alone. Everyone does better when they have to answer to someone else with their work and time, without even beginning to mention delegating tasks on a common project to the persons best suited to tackle them.
Working alone is actually possible, but crafting everything alone ... well, if you're not a multi-talent, it's impossible. For a game you need writing, programming, graphics and audio. Either you have a team that shares the skills, or you buy the assets.
 

ericv00

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Working alone is actually possible, but crafting everything alone ... well, if you're not a multi-talent, it's impossible. For a game you need writing, programming, graphics and audio. Either you have a team that shares the skills, or you buy the assets.
Well, I would say the more important aspect of working with others is that you are responsible to more than just yourself. Even something as mundane as showing up to work on time has a profound influence on how effectively you use your time, and if there is no one else you are responsible to, there is no 'on time'. Having someone to account to with regards to your productivity, or effectiveness, or organization, or what have you encourages people to try harder to impress (or at least not disappoint). Typically, people want to generate more respect for themselves, not lose it, and neither is effected much when you work alone, with the exception of the actual completion of your endeavor.

This is why it was so nice when I had 'art work days'. We were working on independent things, but the mere presence of people paying attention to your progress was enough to encourage greater effort, prowess, and skill advancement.
 

Indinera

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"Well, I would say the more important aspect of working with others is that you are responsible to more than just yourself"

This can easily be flipped around.
When you're the ONLY person responsible for your success (or demise) you work 10x harder, because you sure know no-one else will get the job done for you.
Told from experience.
 

Dezue

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Holy ****, that game is INSANE! Colour me deeply, deeply impressed! Incredible work matey, and great advice!
Thank you! Glad it helped! :)

On working alone/in a team:
I like doing both, and both 'styles' have certain advantages for gamedev, as other have already said. I guess it's a personality type thing in the end.
 

Tamina

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Agreed. Back on topic, I think four things make a "good" game. It has to be story-rich, coherent, immersive, memorable. (In no particular order.)


I think the 3 things that makes a good RPG game is aesthetics (including music and sound), story and gameplay.

Cohesive, immersive, memorable can be achieved with elements above.

Most RM developers in the community focus on aesthetics and story but completely ignored gameplay. Hence the stigma.


This is an interesting discussion, but it’s a bit of a sidestep from the topic.

How to make a good game is a bit different thing than avoiding the (real or imagined) stigma of this engine. That’s why I have pointed out the graphics, because I believe most of the stigma lies in there, not the quality of the game.

I think they are related. If your game has the same old game mechanic and menu system as every other RM game, but with different graphics, I'd look at the game and think "okay this is another RM game that looks different but with the same old gameplay". No amount of graphic change would change such stigma.
 
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ZombieKidzRule

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If your game has the same old game mechanic and menu system as every other RM game, but with different graphics, I'd look at the game and think "okay this is another RM game that looks different but with the same old gameplay". No amount of graphic change would change such stigma.
This is very interesting and I am sure that many gamers have this type of perspective. I am probably guilty of it too. But I have to wonder if they/we are aware that this is a type of unconscious bias?

For instance, if you think about the games that you mostly prefer and the games that you have enjoyed the most, do they fall generally into the same type?

I mean, how different are FPS games, really, conceptually? Wait! Don't grab your pitch forks and torches yet! Just hear me out.

I know that FPS games can offer unique takes on certain things, but in the end, the game is an FPS game. What makes them different, at least from my perspective, is the story, graphics, setting, concept, etc. Not necessarily the game play.

So I have to wonder if gamers, generally speaking, tolerate things in the type of games they like that they become critical of in games that don't match their optimal preference?

Or maybe "same old game play" is more obvious in the RM game series?

I mean, I like the Grimrock style game play and that isn't original. It is very similar to games that I started out with. There are some things that I would like to see changed, but if you took the Grimrock style game play and repackaged it with a different story, graphics, visuals, setting, yet still didn't really change the game play and it was not a bug infestation, I am probably going to snatch that up every time and enjoy it.

So my question really is if you (in the general sense, meaning anyone reading this) think of RM games like this, is that perspective consistent with other types of game play that you prefer?

Honestly curious on this.
 

wilpuri

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I think they are related.
Yes I know. It was in response to the discussion that was about positivity vs negativity. What I meant was if someone asks about the stigma you can’t just start talking about what makes a game good.
 

AphoticAmaranth

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So I have to wonder if gamers, generally speaking, tolerate things in the type of games they like that they become critical of in games that don't match their optimal preference?
Personally I'd say the opposite is true; if there's a type of game I like, I'm going to be more critical of it, because chances are I've tried something similar before.

It's also more obvious in RM, because you can see the exact same HP/MP values across similar games.
 

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