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What're you doing to get around the limitations of the engine then? :D
For example, in the game I'm working on at the moment, I'm using events to make the map movement work like a node-based level selection (like in Mario World etc) instead of the default tile-based movement. For a commercial example, take LISA. That's a game that doesn't look like it was made in RPG maker because the movement is side-scrolling, and that's a result of clever graphical design.

There's also countless tiny little things that would be deliberately designed if you made the game from the ground up, but are hard to reverse-engineer into this engine. For example, when you press 'x' the main menu pops up, with all its options on it. But what if your game only has 3 menu options (Item, Skills, Save) and you wanted each of those to be accessed by pressing X, Y, or Start on a controller instead of being found in the same menu? What if you wanted to show a bar above an enemy's head indicating its super special move's charge-up time? What if you want UI elements like character's chat heads and current HP to fade in or out of view depending on whether the player is moving or not?

All of these things are doable, but not without some scripting knowledge. Most games are made up of hundreds of small UI decisions like this that players subconsciously take notice of. My #1 bit of advice for anyone looking to make their game stand out would be to ask yourself what, exactly, each button press should do, and why. And if your answer to any of those questions is "it should do what RPG maker has it do by default" then be ready to accept that your game is gonna have some similarities to many others.
 

SomaelCK

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After using RPG Maker for a good decade, I simply don't care about the stigma at all. Haters will going to hate for the sake of hating it no matter what you do. This 'stigma' thing is actually not exclusive to RM actually. I have seen people refused to play the games made in 'Unity' 'Game Maker' so on. Heck, there are even people who refused to play any indie games at all lol.

These types of people will never be your audience. No amount of convincing will change their minds. Instead, I'd rather use my time and energy to build an audience who would enjoy the game for what it is.

Back in 2020 (before coup and political ****storm in my country), we had a huge state-organized Game Jam and several teams participated. We're the only team that used RPG Maker (MV). The rest are all Unity and Unreal. Our game ended up being the most "liked" game after the audience voting. The fact is, there are huge amount of people who really don't care what tools do you used to make the game.
 

Helen1701

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After using RPG Maker for a good decade, I simply don't care about the stigma at all. Haters will going to hate for the sake of hating it no matter what you do. This 'stigma' thing is actually not exclusive to RM actually. I have seen people refused to play the games made in 'Unity' 'Game Maker' so on. Heck, there are even people who refused to play any indie games at all lol.

I wonder how many of those people who would not play an indie game play Minecraft, not knowing that it is in fact an indie game that got really successful. To hate for the sake of hating is just plain stupid and shortsighted IMO.

That said, there is a section of people who aren't so much 'haters' as people who would prefer not to have turn based battle even in otherwise excellent games. That said, I think some of the stigma comes not only from this (a mediocre battle system could be forgiven if the rest of it is bang on), but from the glut of really low quality games with too many errors to count (RTP used for the billionth time, bad mapping with a ton of dead space, not much of a story, spelling and grammar errors...etc). The problem is that when people see a game with those problems, they associate the game engine with those kinds of games. Therefore they don't spend their time and money on games made in the engine even when there is a game which is actually good. It's harsh but it is the truth.

Not everyone thinks like this, I'd prefer to read reviews for a game before spending to see if others enjoyed it before spending my money. I couldn't care less what engine someone used as long as I enjoyed the game.

These types of people will never be your audience. No amount of convincing will change their minds. Instead, I'd rather use my time and energy to build an audience who would enjoy the game for what it is.

Understandable, that's the reason I've just started up on youtube. Some people are going to enjoy my game so I may as well focus on those people as well as help other new people with their pixel art skills.

Back in 2020 (before coup and political ****storm in my country), we had a huge state-organized Game Jam and several teams participated. We're the only team that used RPG Maker (MV). The rest are all Unity and Unreal. Our game ended up being the most "liked" game after the audience voting. The fact is, there are huge amount of people who really don't care what tools do you used to make the game.

That's pretty amazing going up against those bigger and more powerful game engines! It does go to prove that there is still a sizeable market out there for the sort of game we can produce in RPG Maker, and not every player necessarily wants the very latest hyper realistic graphics. If anything there is a resurgence of interest in retro styled video games these days, so much so that Nintendo has a subscription service where you can play old NES and SNES games (and with the expansion pack you can also get N64 and Megadrive games too).
 

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I wonder how many of those people who would not play an indie game play Minecraft, not knowing that it is in fact an indie game that got really successful. To hate for the sake of hating is just plain stupid and shortsighted IMO.
I think it's just blatant elitism that decidedly trying to gatekeep the game developing away from everyday people like you and me. They would point blank refuse to see your game as worthy of their time unless it has million dollar budget and made by best artists/programmers on the market.
Using cheap and accessible engine like RPG Maker/Game Maker is a crime in their mind already. I'm no longer trying convince those type of people now. I just shrugged and move on when someone said something like "Urgh! (insert game engine) game! I'm not playing it even for free".
 

Bernkastelwitch

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I think it's just blatant elitism that decidedly trying to gatekeep the game developing away from everyday people like you and me. They would point blank refuse to see your game as worthy of their time unless it has million dollar budget and made by best artists/programmers on the market.
Using cheap and accessible engine like RPG Maker/Game Maker is a crime in their mind already. I'm no longer trying convince those type of people now. I just shrugged and move on when someone said something like "Urgh! (insert game engine) game! I'm not playing it even for free".

We still have people who believe that Indie games are not "real games" and even people who say certain genres like Simulations ala Animal Crossing or The Sims and Visual Novels as "Non games". There are obviously going to be people who think all RPG Maker games are bad with no exceptions.

They're kind of vocal about it but I continue with my life since I am at least making a game.
 

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We still have people who believe that Indie games are not "real games" and even people who say certain genres like Simulations ala Animal Crossing or The Sims and Visual Novels as "Non games". There are obviously going to be people who think all RPG Maker games are bad with no exceptions.

They're kind of vocal about it but I continue with my life since I am at least making a game.
Anyone who would say Animal Crossing isn't a game clearly hasn't any experience of playing it. The whole point of it seems to be getting better stuff for your house, and chilling out. It is definitely a game, just a different kind of game. Not sure how to categorise it, but I am pretty damn sure it is a game.

I think it's just blatant elitism that decidedly trying to gatekeep the game developing away from everyday people like you and me. They would point blank refuse to see your game as worthy of their time unless it has million dollar budget and made by best artists/programmers on the market.
Using cheap and accessible engine like RPG Maker/Game Maker is a crime in their mind already. I'm no longer trying convince those type of people now. I just shrugged and move on when someone said something like "Urgh! (insert game engine) game! I'm not playing it even for free".

LOL, and yet most of the big companies with those millions of dollars employing top programmers and artists didn't start out as huge heavy hitters. Those companies made it big by making and selling successful games with far smaller budget restraints in the past. In other words, they likely all started in the games market by making and selling the very sorts of games that those idiot people wouldn't give the time of day to these days.

Game making should be within everyones reach, given the popularity of games, so it is really good to know that entry level game engines such as RPG Maker exist. Anyone who thinks game making ought to be exclusively for people working for Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft after getting a degree in computer science really needs to examine their attitude... it's just really negative. There are a lot of people with really good ideas but zero knowledge of programming, and game engines like this one give those people a medium in which to express their ideas.
 
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To be fair, this I can't agree with. "What about self-taught people" - well, they'll get better after receiving feedback. People learn things on their own, sure, but a person is always going to have blind spots and things that they don't notice, so when people say "hey, I didn't like X", or "why don't you try Y" that's not an attack, that's a service.
I feel like this depends on what they're suggesting. Is it "I didn't like X because I found it hard to understand" or "I didn't like X because I don't like X anyways"?

Is it "why don't you try Y because it's much easier than doing Z", or "why don't you try Y because it's what I prefer"?

They're similar, but very different in meaning. One considers the intent of the creator, the other is based on what some would call a "Karen" approach; i.e., change it because I don't like it, and I'm not gonna explain or further justify why you should change it.

An example would be something like this if I apply it to the RTP argument; "don't use the default RTP because it might not fit the style of your game" vs "don't use the default RTP because RTP bad and I hate it".
I'm a strong believer that feedback helps to illuminate weaknesses you didn't know you had, so yeah I do think that people who don't seek feedback and to improve themselves through the lens of other peoples' experiences with what they make are worse off. Like sure, there's a difference between constructive and non-constructive criticism, but some of the things I like most about my games have been the things I changed because people have been like "this mechanic is dogshit" with no constructive element to it.
And that's absolutely valid. I'm not going to contest what a person should or shouldn't do with critique or feedback they receive. If anything, I'm just expressing concerns on the intent behind what's being said.

If you or anyone reading is the sort that can turn even coal into diamonds, I commend you for your adaptability. Just ignore that from a scientific standpoint for a sec shhh
It was a jumping-off point for me re-examining the mechanic, but more importantly for seeking more detailed feedback to see if the feedback was unwarranted.

TL;DR - If you close yourself off to critique, you weaken yourself and your game.
I may sound like I'm repeating myself here, but I do really think it depends. I'm not saying I disagree with this approach, if anything it's probably closer to a "maybe, I mean if it works it works; but what about so and so in this context"

But I should be a little clear; I'm not saying to close off critique. Rather, I think that sometimes people should consider what it is they're about to say and why.

Are you somebody that was unfortunate enough to have bought YIIK and want an excuse to vent a little about wasting your money while giving much needed critique on the game? Or, are you somebody that looked at someone's neon-colored 'Mary Sue' and feel the need to tell them to give up their career?

Me personally? I'm already very finicky on being told what to do, and maybe that's something I need to work on. But I do think that giving feedback that keeps in mind the original intent of the artist hence why I used to really hate mods is important, too. Unless, um, the intent in question is actually really, kinda bad, if not dangerous...but I really hope I didn't have to point out that you should definitely stop someone from throwing themselves off a cliff. Or from releasing an unfinished game that may have ruined a popular horror franchise as we know it Security Breach

TL,DR: It depends, I guess? You do you.
 

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my tips:
  • related to the whole "default RTP looks bad" thing: etc etc make as much of the assets original as you can, but more importantly, this includes assets you don't really have any ideas for and don't think you can "improve". so many games have the default typeface and menu design. i think it's because people don't have any particular way of improving it, so they assume it's best to leave it as-is. but even if you can't make something "better", you can at least make something different. you can't make a net positive, but you can at least remove the negative of "oh, i've seen this before.". if making good assets for everything in the game is too time-consuming, make okay assets. if okay assets for everything is too time-consuming, make half-assed ones. reuse assets from your previous projects. not everything has to look beautiful, and if you were gonna use default assets for something, it couldn't be that important anyway. your font choice is not going to dazzle me. your old man npc is not going to look incredible. but at least they're different. even if the default assets are made more "competently", it still looks worse to use assets that the player has seen a thousand times and are generic to the point of being ugly.
  • make sure your mechanics break the mold from the stock rpg stuff included, or de-emphasize the gameplay a lot. rpgs are boring as hell until they're given some kind of twist in the mechanics. something that differentiates it. even dragon quest and final fantasy don't have particularly entertaining mechanics. they're good because of the way those mechanics are changed in each installment, the appeal of the series art/writing/etc, and the level/enemy design. add a twist to it, even if it isn't all that amazing or deep. (this is most likely why tp exists, by the way. a third meter that can be modified to work whatever way you want. you could control what it does, what raises it, what lowers it, even make it work differently for each character with enough patience. i'm glad it's there.)
  • square overworld sprites aren't very expressive and are hard to take seriously in my opinion. there are no actual limits to sprite dimensions. make taller sprites.
  • subvert the player's expectations for this kind of engine. use plugins, and use them a lot. this engine has a low-effort stigma because a lot of the framework for an rpg is already done. meaning people assume that if you actually had something to break the mold, you would've used gamemaker or something. it's possible you chose this engine because it was the easiest, not because it was the best. you accepted the limits of the engine and sacrificed ideas that would be difficult here just so you could use something easier to manage. (hell, that's what i'm doing. i don't intend to half-ass it, but i'm not making my magnum opus. i'm making small stuff.) so... do stuff that breaks that image. stuff that takes work to implement.
 
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Depends on the game. Someone looking to make a more traditional experience might not benefit alot from changing the mechanics too drastically.

To be honest, your motivation for giving people tips for their creations should not come from purely *your* preferences. It should also benefit the creator, too.

Keyword being, purely. I'm not saying you can't ever express what you wish to see at all. Just be more mindful and balance it with something else. Work with the artist, not against them.
 

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I think there is basically only one thing: Not being lazy. Easy gives you the choice to be lazy and that is tempting.

I have dabbled a bit with an iPad tool called Hyperpad. You can make a pretty decent games with that, but it’s so easy that almost all you see are very poorly done FNAF-clones by kids or half-finished platformers with a jumping blue square or something.

Same goes with RPG Maker. All the lazy stuff (and games made by very young people) just make it seem that it is all you can do.

In my own game I think 50-60% of the time so far has gone to the pixel art and it’s not even that detailed (or good). It’s not a simple thing to just have your own graphics, but for me it was a must. The characters and places need to be what I have decided, not what I can find in the library. And not something already in thousands of projects.

If you’re doing a 3D game with Unreal or Unity you can easily use same rocks and trees that someone else has used, because that is what those things look like, but you can’t suddenly throw Solid Snake in there and think it’s okay, no one notices. In pixel art even a grass tile may start to look too familiar if it’s overused.

If someone doesn’t mind the generic look it’s okay, but you can’t avoid the stigma that way.

(and I do know some people CAN make the magic happen with just slightly modifying the basic assets, but that takes time and skill in it’s own way)
 
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barp

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To be honest, your motivation for giving people tips for their creations should not come from purely *your* preferences. It should also benefit the creator, too.

Keyword being, purely. I'm not saying you can't ever express what you wish to see at all. Just be more mindful and balance it with something else. Work with the artist, not against them.
that wasn't my intent. but honestly, i think the line between "combatting the stigmas of rpg maker" and "avoiding aspects i think most people in general don't like" is kinda blurry. most of these stigmas are ultimately just fairly popular opinions about common rpg maker characteristics. for example, people always say to avoid default RTP assets... because a lot of games use default RTP assets, and a lot of people think they look bad. i wasn't trying to insert my own opinions or anything. but maybe i assume too much about how popular my sentiments are.

like, what i was trying to saying with the mechanics stuff is that... one stigma against rpg maker is boring combat. because all rpg maker games share one very basic combat system. a lot of them build off of it and change it, but when people think of "rpg maker games" as a whole, they think of characteristics shared by all of them. and the thing they all share just happens to be, by itself, boring to the point of being bad. (games with mechanics like this can be fun, but only from tight level design. and they don't have enough confidence in the average rpg maker dev to bet on that.) so what i'm saying is, if your mechanics don't build off of it and make it more interesting somehow, it's easy for people to write it off as "typical boring rpg maker combat". (but again, combat can be de-emphasized, and it doesn't have to be the selling point.)

you have a point with the square overworld sprites thing though. sorry.
 

wilpuri

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because a lot of games use default RTP assets, and a lot of people think they look bad. i wasn't trying to insert my own opinions or anything. but maybe i assume too much about how popular my sentiments are.

like, what i was trying to saying with the mechanics stuff is that... one stigma against rpg maker is boring combat. because all rpg maker games share one very basic combat system.
I think you are on point. Of course everyone has their own point of view, but you have found the things I try my best to avoid. And also the same reasons why I ignore majority of the RPG Maker games.

EDIT: and this is not aimed at those who really try hard, but for the quick test projects that some people try to pass as games.
 
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Iron_Brew

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I get where you're coming from, but I still can't agree @TheMeowingFox - no disrespect meant, naturally, but I did want to address a couple things:

If you or anyone reading is the sort that can turn even coal into diamonds, I commend you for your adaptability. Just ignore that from a scientific standpoint for a sec shhh

All gamedev is iteration! 99% of what you do at the start of a project you'll want to change by the end. Adaptability and resilience are the most important aspects of a gamedev, and I applaud anything that helps a person to become more adaptable and resillient.

But I should be a little clear; I'm not saying to close off critique. Rather, I think that sometimes people should consider what it is they're about to say and why.

Are you somebody that was unfortunate enough to have bought YIIK and want an excuse to vent a little about wasting your money while giving much needed critique on the game? Or, are you somebody that looked at someone's neon-colored 'Mary Sue' and feel the need to tell them to give up their career?

I get where you're coming from, but some people do need to hear this kind of thing. The number of people who've told me to kill myself and that I'll never make it in my career is as long as my as arm, but at the same time they helped prepare me for the actual scrutiny and garbage that happens when you release a commercial game.

Now that stuff doesn't faze me. There's something to be said for getting toughened up through constant unfounded cricicism.

You said that you have a problem with people telling you what to do, and I get that impulse. Especially if you're solodevving, but there is always value to someone telling you your work is crap, even if they're just doing it to be a ****head.

This is just my opinion, of course, but I do think that being constantly berated has helped me develop a numbness to unfounded or ****ty behaviour, which has really genuinely helped me with the mental stresses of putting my work out there.
 
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Solodevving I am! Well, attempting to. Actually I generally prefer to be very hands on with my creations because I've learned over the years that I am the only person that can best make sense of whatever ideas I have about my stuff. Which can be hard with coupled with terrible, terrible indecisiveness that can cripple my entire focus on a given task.

So in those moments where it's harder for me to create something out of nothing, suggestions do help, but I don't commit to them. I guess I kinda just, pick it apart, use what I like about it or what would make sense, and throw away the rest.

But I guess I understand what you really mean. Learning what not to do was what helped me when I started getting serious about art and writing, to be honest. As well as what not to do when public ridicule is thrown at you. Oh boy, plenty of the latter.
 

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In my personal opinion, it's not the engine that leads to uninteresting games but the game developers' lack of creativity and, like it or not, lack of experience. This is also true for other engines (Unity, Unreal, etc.). Don't think that your game will automatically become much better if you switch to Unity (by the way, there are tons of garbage done with Unity on Steam).

In the past, and I'm talking about a time when there was only RPG Maker 2k/2k3, the game developers of this community challenged themselves to break all boundaries and they tried to make everything as different as their creativity and know-how allowed. They changed the combat system, the graphics, the menu etc. with pure commands, since it wasn't possible to override them with plugins. We were always very excited about every new version of a game because we wanted to know who pushed it even further and most importantly: how she/he did it.

So I don't really agree with the people who say that the engine is the bottleneck. Sure the engine can still evolve (e.g. lighting, shadows, more commands), but you already have access to useful features.

Here is an example of a combat system created with commands only, so no plugins involved:


If you really want your game to stand out, you should consider this:
  • Provide a good story that will keep me hooked to your game for hours. Take your time to write a story that makes sense and is coherent. Think about characters and character development. Think about creating an interesting complex world. Don't just think about the beginning and end of the story and start developing the game right away.
  • You all know: you eat with your eyes. If you serve a player the 100th game with the standard RTP look-and-feel, they will look for something else. Graphics are very important. I can't stress this enough. Learn how to create maps, think of a unique hero to make him remarkable, try to play with light, shadow and colors.
  • Most game developers forget about music, which is a big mistake. Take your time and think of something unique for your title screen, use genres that fit your game and the game atmosphere.
If you can handle all these aspects yourself then thumbs up because you are multi-talented. But if you lack in graphics, music or story, you should look for professional work, either by buying assets or teaming up. Or you can learn and gain experience by doing it yourself which can be fun.

*If you are developing a game just for fun and for free, don't take my post too seriously. Just enjoy your hobby and have fun being creative.
 
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Eh, I agree with what you're saying and I don't. It isn't entirely the fault of the engine, that much is certain, but you can't deny how frustrating it is to bend RPG Maker the way you want without the use of plugins or touching the source code. The way it is currently packaged can be limiting, and can be a factor. It's not a sole factor, but it is a factor.
 

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Eh, I agree with what you're saying and I don't. It isn't entirely the fault of the engine, that much is certain, but you can't deny how frustrating it is to bend RPG Maker the way you want without the use of plugins or touching the source code. The way it is currently packaged can be limiting, and can be a factor. It's not a sole factor, but it is a factor.
No doubt about this, RPG Maker engine itself has still room to evolve and I hope they keep it going because I want to see this engine for the next 10 years available.

The RPG Maker engine has the challenge of balancing accessibility/simplicity (simple enough for a child) and flexibility/versatility (powerful enough for a developer). From my perspective you get both to a certain level to implement an eye-catching (rpg-) game which can be commercially successful.

If you can't make your game ideas work (because you need physics, 3D etc.), you have to consider another engine that is more open and allows you to do things your way. But usually that kind of openness makes the engine more complex and harder to learn and at the bottom line you get what Unity or Unreal already is. Means, code yourself.
 

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In my personal opinion, it's not the engine that leads to uninteresting games but the game developers' lack of creativity and, like it or not, lack of experience. This is also true for other engines (Unity, Unreal, etc.). Don't think that your game will automatically become much better if you switch to Unity (by the way, there are tons of garbage done with Unity on Steam).
but aren't engines like unity more flexible?

a lot of interesting ideas require bending the limits of rpg maker with plugins and scripts, which is much less feasible if you're not a programmer... and that's a big reason why people use rpg maker: the framework for an rpg is already done, and it's possible to make a complete product with zero knowledge of programming. the sky's the limit, sure, but only if you know that stuff, and if you did, it would probably be easier to use gamemaker or something.
 

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In my personal opinion, it's not the engine that leads to uninteresting games but the game developers' lack of creativity and, like it or not, lack of experience.

It's not that I disagree with the "creativity" part, but very frequently "creativity" needs certain level of technical skill to accomplish what you want.
In RPG Maker, if you don't know coding then sometimes there's is no way to add functions that you want.


In the past, and I'm talking about a time when there was only RPG Maker 2k/2k3, the game developers of this community challenged themselves to break all boundaries and they tried to make everything as different as their creativity and know-how allowed. They changed the combat system, the graphics, the menu etc. with pure commands, since it wasn't possible to override them with plugins. We were always very excited about every new version of a game because we wanted to know who pushed it even further and most importantly: how she/he did it.

I don't think it's fair to say that, time has changed for indie game developers.

In the past we didn't have as many game building tools available, so people were more likely to brute force everything. These days I don't see a point because efficiency matters. Why event everything when plugin does the job for you? If you really want to customize your game a lot, why don't you just build everything from scratch in a different engine?

Case to the point, once I wanted to change the menu in RMMV (that was before hud maker ultra exist), it took me days to search for a few plugins and integrate them together, then change windows position by repeatly run the test version (since you can't drag and drop then see the result in the editor) then change the result. I imagine creating menus with eventing would take even longer.

Do you know how long it takes to build the same menu layout in Unity? 30 min or less.

It's not that people are lazy with customization, it's more like "well yeah if I want to customize so much I'd use a different engine because it's faster".
Because we have so many more tools to choose from these days, we no longer have to stuck with 2k/2k3 and brute force everything like 20 years ago.

This is also true for other engines (Unity, Unreal, etc.). Don't think that your game will automatically become much better if you switch to Unity (by the way, there are tons of garbage done with Unity on Steam).

No, using a different engine doesn't automatically makes your game design or story good. But building an entire system from scratch does give you greater flexibility to control everything, which makes your final product closer to your creative vision.
 
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Remember to do your 0,01% progress on your game today!
Went to see Jujutsu Kaisen 0 yesterday, it was cool. The movie wasnt really a masterpiece, it had some pacing and characterization problems, but overall I enjoyed it, maybe because it was the first anime film I have ever been to in the cinema lol. The battle animation & music were top-notch. I havent seen much of the anime so people who watched the entire season would probably like it more.
MainMenu.PNG
Finally satisfied with the main menu xD

The plan was to have battle sprites in the menu...But these faces from Ocean's Nostalgia look pretty damn good imo. (Will have to adjust for them ofc and maybe recolor to match the overworld/battle sprites more)
It's always disturbing to me to see my cat eating something off the bathroom floor.

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