RPG Maker MZ, Preview #3: Character Generator, Plugin Manager, Event: Plugin Command!

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Nicke

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Oh wow this is great! But I dread the time it will take to rebuild my game and wait for the plugins to arrive. Hehe oh well! Maybe I'll start a new game and do something simple this time. I've only managed to release a demo of my game for VX so. :D
 

Anyone

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Hey I have some questions about this, please answer them. Here they are:

1) Since we are talking about how you can choose to not upgrade to MZ if you don't want to, why exactly are they releasing this version? Also, who is being targeted for this release? Why wouldn't someone just learn to use more "flexible and powerful" game engines like Unity and Unreal but buy this?
Literally "everyone" is targetted for this release.
As for why they don't bother to learn a more flexible engine, is exactly why because they don't bother to learn. And that's fine.
RPG Maker has, what I call, the novice 90% of the way proposition.

If you're a beginner and you've never done any work on a video game, RPG Maker gets you 90% of the way for your first game. The assets exist. Music, sound, graphic & art. The gameplay exists. Battle System, Menus, Item Systems, etc.

All you need to do is pick those things up, put them into action, write the dialogue and have your game exist.
It's impossibly easy to design games like some of the early RPG games.

And that's why people don't just immediately learn unity or unreal instead.
You don't start 90% of the way there, you start at 0.

However, there's a point here, too:
RPG Maker does, in fact, not target everyone. (It wishes to, but it doesn't actually allow the advanced flexibility experienced game designer would want when creating something that is not very close to native RPG Maker game design)

And that's the point that some people (I among them) bemoan. RPG Maker is something you can graduate away from.
You don't have to, and there's a lot of people far more experienced than me who've stayed with RPG Maker despite this.
But the moment you want to create a project that is bigger than a small RPG, and you use more than 1 or 2 people on the team, the lack of flexibility in RPGM leads people to "graduate" away.

When you write your own menu system, implement your own new dynamic sound systems, create your own sprites & backgrounds, your own weather systems and day & night cycles, when you replace the entire combat system with one you've written...RPGM no longer gets you 90% of the way, instead you're backtracking, doing stuff you would've had to do in other engines as well, while dealing with the inflexibility of RPGM (everything being called by ID rather than creation ID, for example, is a major issue, limited database management, very simplistic asset management system that gets in the way when you've got more than 100 assets, etc. etc.)

At the point in time, a lot of the stuff that RPGM did in your favor now comes back to slow you down, and you end up having to develop patchwork fixes across multiple plugin systems to make stuff work that is easily integrated in other game engines. (example: I'm using a prefab system where I have prefab object events placed on asset maps. If I wish to place one of those events, such as a window that changes appearance based on time & weather to simulate light & weather effects such as thunder or rain, I simply go to the prefab map and copy the prefab event over instead of creating the event up from scratch. And because it's a prefab event based on a template event, if I ever wish to change the way it works, I don't have to manually edit hundreds of events to change a sound effect or graphic. I simply change the template the prefab event is being generated from, causing every event based on it across the game to change)

So RPGM is an incredibly good value proposition for beginners to easily enter the daunting process of game creation and have successes with little effort and no risk of abject failure because they programmed the combat system wrong or made syntax errors in the game engine.

But when your game requires a massive amount of changes in how the base engine works, the editor's shortcomings do encourage people to move on to engines that are more flexible but also less welcoming.

So ultimately, RMZ stays a very good value proposition for certain people - especially people who haven't yet used RPGM can find an even better start in RMZ.
But RPGM doesn't really cater to experienced developers - it leaves some room for them (plugin system) but it's primary focus are, and remain, beginners who'd often end up frightened away by the complexity of Unity or Unreal.

Personally, as much as the RPGM staff will despise me for saying it, I wish RPGM had a direct competitor in the market segment. :p
We'd probably see a lot more features then.

Sometimes I think it is funny that people consider some things that were from VX Ace to MV better and significant changes, when at the time, many people were saying "why do X, that is worse". Move to Javascript over Ruby. 48x48 tilesets rather than 32x32 were both heavily criticized.

I think it is interesting that people look at something like sticking with the same size tiles as "doing nothing" rather than "remaining compatible with the huge library of materials already available".

Like that was actually the reason for that decision. We wanted to make sure people could move to MZ as smoothly as possible and not feel like all the money they spent on MV materials was a waste, because people were not happy about all their VX Ace materials they spent money on being incompatible with MV.
You're milage with feedback will always vary. Some people dislike change simply because it's change, others will have reasons that make sense to them, but no you, and others will have reasons most people can agree to.

At the end of the day, people will interpret things differently and things you did for a certain reason may appear to be done for a different reason by others. (The fact that most major corporations in general, but especially in game & software design lie their ass off & throw PR nonsense around isn't helping the companies either that are actually being truthful. As a result, people are bound to be more suspicious of motives when money is involved.)

You could look at the tilesize, for example, and argue compatibility. But someone else might come along and say: "Yeah, but the new graphics of the tilesets and characters are incompatible with the old RMV art assets!"
Which...is correct. But then again, if RMZ didn't have any new art assets that are significantly different, people would come along and argue "You were just too lazy to come up with a new art style and put in all the RMV assets you didn't ship with RMV!"

You can't please everyone. In fact, art-wise, unless "Dark Fantasy" characters become a RPGM's standard assets, I'll never be pleased. :p

At the end of the day, you'll have to pick your audience. And while justifying or explaining why something was done may at times feel frustrating, and won't satisfy everyone who complains, it does help make it clear for others.
Sometimes that's just the best you can do.

Just because there are a couple of eternal complainers like me, don't think that we don't value the things that RPGM does do for us. A lot of the criticism comes from a place of passion for what RPGM has allowed many of us to do, all the way back from the days when many of us didn't have the first clue as to how anything works in game design. ;)
 

KoriCongo

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Sometimes I think it is funny that people consider some things that were from VX Ace to MV better and significant changes, when at the time, many people were saying "why do X, that is worse". Move to Javascript over Ruby. 48x48 tilesets rather than 32x32 were both heavily criticized.

I think it is interesting that people look at something like sticking with the same size tiles as "doing nothing" rather than "remaining compatible with the huge library of materials already available".

Like that was actually the reason for that decision. We wanted to make sure people could move to MZ as smoothly as possible and not feel like all the money they spent on MV materials was a waste, because people were not happy about all their VX Ace materials they spent money on being incompatible with MV.
There's a difference between "better" and "significant". I also criticized the move, quite heavily (again, performance and memory leaks in those early days...), but it is significant changes compared to VXAce and MV. A "better", significant change for me would have been allowing people to adjust grid sizes like how people could do in TileD, but different strokes for different blokes, I guess...

(Or at the very least, make some kind of tile importer...)
 

nio kasgami

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There's a difference between "better" and "significant". I also criticized the move, quite heavily (again, performance and memory leaks in those early days...), but it is significant changes compared to VXAce and MV. A "better", significant change for me would have been allowing people to adjust grid sizes like how people could do in TileD, but different strokes for different blokes, I guess...

(Or at the very least, make some kind of tile importer...)
As archeia said they tried to do multitile support and it was so much trouble that it got scratched. Do remember rm has automatic mapping which make multitile support very complex to code its not by the js code but by the editor code that is complicated.

Its not they didnt tried to do it its because it arised so much bug / problem they didnt want to include it.

Then it come with furnishing RTP assets for multiple size support.

Its very expensive
 

ItsAri

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You have no idea how much I wish that were true but it is still chibi.
It's chibi but they still look like they have human-ish proportions. To me, it's prevalent in the battlers more than the walking sprite.
 

Lady_JJ

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Great news about the Yanfly plugins being ported to MZ. My question is: will these plugins be part of the original product or an additional asset? Maybe you're not at liberty to say yet?
 

Anyone

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Great news about the Yanfly plugins being ported to MZ. My question is: will these plugins be part of the original product or an additional asset? Maybe you're not at liberty to say yet?
As far as I know the yanfly plugins are ported/recreated by people yanfly funds from the patron (for some reason that word is being censored??) money he took for it.
It's not related in any way to the official RMZ.
 

Animebryan

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Great news about the Yanfly plugins being ported to MZ. My question is: will these plugins be part of the original product or an additional asset? Maybe you're not at liberty to say yet?
According to Yanfly's latest YT video, a Core set of plugins will be released for free under the name "VisuStella". Whether or not that applies to all of the future plugins under that name remains to be seen.
 

Sharm

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@Anyone it's being censored because a lot of people were advertising their accounts here, especially those who were competing with the store here or scammers, both of which wanted to bypass the rules.
 

Avery

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My main issue so far is the RTP actually.

The Tiles are clashing in so many sections that I don't know how that could happen to a professional artist team. And I don't know why they kinda redrew the MV RTP in "same but different but also with more style issues than before". Every screen has several things that just don't work.
MV already had that (mostly in the modern tiles, those trash cans...), but not as severe.
Here is like a quick glance at one of the screens (as said, only issues that are not a question of taste):
MZ issues.png

Similar it is with the chars (and seems to be the same with the SV battlers), they use the same base, BUT a slightly different style. So slightly, that people will want to keep using the MV stuff, but so different, that MV ones will stick out and while adjusting them is possible, it will be very annoying to do so, especially if you find a bunch of cool chars you want to use. They do not look significantly better (in my opinion, though), so if they just changed the eyes and made the hair more detailed, why not, but using an outlineless shading styles for the clothes only makes the old chars clash and that's about it. Without the lines you can add more details, sure, but you are also less able to see them, so... well.

I felt like all other transitions did it right: Either a full new style OR an expansion of what was there.
Like XP to VX -> full new style

VX -> Ace full new battlers, everything else was an expansion what was there (with slightly clashing faces, but okay)

Ace -> MV full new style

MV -> MZ about same style on the tiles but all the basics again but a bit different and nearly the same chars but different enough to clash

For me, the generator is also a massive issue. It is something a lot of people want to use, because of the SV battlers creating new chars from scratch is very difficult, expensive and/or time consuming and I am fully on the side of people who want to use that shortcut. But with how the generator works, I seriously sometimes need as long to set up a generator part in a usable form than actually creating the art for it. Having a different folder structure and an easier naming system would help a lot.

This being said, I see all the other advantages, the mapping layers, the but I do not understand why the engine got so many nice features, but such weird decisions on the art section. I know that I stay on a very specific section makerwise, but... ooof. In the things I love doing for the maker, I'm not wowed. Or maybe wowed in a not so positive way.

I love the other changes though, other people already praised them so I don't need to repeat that.
 

Candacis

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Wholeheartedly agree.
I don't understand why we have so many different styles clashing inside one rtp.

Additionally, the style is very similiar to MV. Which is good, because in theory you can mix everything together, right? But the MZ rtp seems to have the same objects that MV already had. Nothing new. No new theme or area.
It would have been great to include the MV rtp and just add to that. Thus giving people using MV rtp more reasons to jump over to MZ.

Instead it is the same. In some places better, in some worse. As far as I can see with the limited screenshots we've gotten.
I'm curious to play around with it, but looks difficult with all those mixed tiles.

If, instead the goal was to make the MZ rtp look different from MV, it didn't go far enough.
 

Lady_JJ

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@Anyone and @Animebryan
Thanks for the clarification. I'll go visit Yanfly's site. In the meantime, I'm finding so many wonderful resources, especially in terms of plugins and artwork. I am planning on purchasing MZ when it is released if it's reasonably priced.

Coincidentally, I've just spent a few hours this morning looking over Anyone's [TAB] Tall Adult Body Generator and Message Face Switcher plugin. Good stuff. :)
 

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The issues highlighted by @Avery are quite significant. One of the major pulls of RM is the RTP, meaning you can -- as long as you accept not having unique art -- get started quickly. The MZ RTP both overlapping with MV's yet not being a proper reimagining and even having such quality disparities is worrying.
 

Sharm

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I'm not sure what I think about the RTP personally, but it hasn't been a style I'm interested in for a very long time, so I'm not worried about it either. I understand the concern others have though, Galenmereth is right, it's a huge reason why people buy RPG Maker. The art problems are concerning, but unfortunately, it's also too late to do anything about it. The only options are to make a new RTP (huge expense, very unlikely), or hope this isn't a dealbreaker for most customers and get better art direction for the next maker. Although some of the errors could be fixed up, some of these style clashes would take a complete redraw to fix, so a cleanup instead of a replacement would not only be insufficient, it might be more work than starting over, so it has a high expense too. If this is a no sell, RM is in a really terrible position.
 

AfroditeOhki

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Sometimes I think it is funny that people consider some things that were from VX Ace to MV better and significant changes, when at the time, many people were saying "why do X, that is worse". Move to Javascript over Ruby. 48x48 tilesets rather than 32x32 were both heavily criticized.

I think it is interesting that people look at something like sticking with the same size tiles as "doing nothing" rather than "remaining compatible with the huge library of materials already available".

Like that was actually the reason for that decision. We wanted to make sure people could move to MZ as smoothly as possible and not feel like all the money they spent on MV materials was a waste, because people were not happy about all their VX Ace materials they spent money on being incompatible with MV.
I, for one, am extremely grateful that MZ is keeping at 48x48. Otherwise I wouldn't even consider getting it, seeing as I've gathered and made so much for my game in that size already.
 

Tea's Jams

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@nio kasgami Has it right. If we were going to go with everything always being an update, even completely rewriting all the corescripts of the engine and the editor, then we'd have to have some other kind of funding model. (this isn't even touching the fact that if we did this as an update (which we can't for financial reasons), there would be a riot over every single plugin being broken by an update)

We'd have to take revenue splits, but the problem with that is that very very few commercial RM games make much money and 99.999% of RM games are non-commercial (as well as the fact that we'd have to have more staff to handle that part, we could very likely spend more money on new staff than we actually make.)

Or we'd have to switch to a recurring payment type deal... which would end up costing more than just buying a new engine every 5 years. Because with the current model, for every person who uses RM seriously, there are about hundred that buy it, try it for a month and then never use it again. We'd lose most of the people who do that with a recurring payment, or they would just pay one month and be done.

Those types of users are basically subsidizing the cost for all the serious users. Not to mention... no one likes recurring payments for software. I do that for Adobe and MS Office and it sucks.

At the end of the day, we would love nothing more than for everyone to be able to use the latest engine and have the latest features, but we also have to be able to survive and for that we have to make money or RPG Maker just stops existing.

If MZ doesn't sound like something you need right now, that is fine. You don't have to buy it. We hope you will in the future, but MV will continue working as long as you have an OS that supports it (so for the foreseeable future).

I can't do anything other than tell you that MZ is better, and that personally I'm never going back to MV, as there is no reason to ever do it.

Thanks for this, it's full of insights.
 

K2loid

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Acting like the tile issues somehow a huge dealbreaker is really pushing it, like REALLY pushing it, but it's true that these are some of the worst implemented trees I've seen so far. Lower contrast than anything on the map, no outline, just adding colours instead of using a range that can detail both halves of the tree, isolating the darkest colours to the shaded side, etc etc etc It's just a completely different art style to a degree that is almost cartoonish.

I think it's just people failing to convey the Hi-Bit art style, even as it becomes mega popular, out of a fundumental lack of understanding of how to implement it. Games with super high resolutions like Owlboy still use 4-colour/4 colour (base and reflective lighting) on their hyper-complex art. The scale is more or less 1:1 with how a 48x48 res game looks (the Owl Boy himself fits perfectly in a character sheet), yet the work itself is very simplistic. Attempting to make each piece look like a crispy little illustration definitely opens the artists up to more possible errors, especially if they're all done by different artists with different techniques.

That is simply why...I will never in my life shut up about the DS asset packs.
 

Candacis

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It is not a dealbreaker for me, but it is also not something I'm getting excited about.
It is probably too late to make adjustments to the rtp. Still, people giving all kinds of feedback about other aspects of the new makter. Why not about the rtp?

In whole, I feel the MZ rtp is a huge missed opportunity. So many improvements in other areas of MZ, but someone thought let's make almost the same MV rtp again in the same style? Little innovation or experiments here. At least what I've seen so far.
 

Sharm

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Huh? Hi bit? But none of this is high bit, it's not pixel art at all. The style differences aren't dependant on pixel art vs raster either so it's not a case of being used to one style and failing to switch to a new one. I really think it's a problem with the style guide and thus the art direction, personally. Either that or a lot of the artist weren't following the style guide and it wasn't discovered until too late . . . which is also a problem with art direction.
 

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Hey guys :) I'm new here and i have a stupid question ahah
How i can download this plugin for characters generator ?
I know how to instal plugin but i dont see any link for download it so, im curious
(Some of you are so talented im jealous and YES, im bad in english ahah (thats why i dont know how to download the plugin,,,))
Thanks :D
 
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I spent a lot of time creating it.
Follow up new work.
With every new day I'm working on more and more exciting stuff, how can I even control my own hype?
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