The Principles of Making a Good RPG Maker Game: Will My Concept Work?

Discussion in 'Product Discussion and Support' started by Stian, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. Stian

    Stian Warper Member

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    Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum. :smile: I see there's a wide range of sections for posting in here. So I hope this section is appropriate for the questions I have in mind.

    I need some input to figure out whether I should be making an RPG maker game, given the intentions I have in mind, and how I might succeed with making a game worth playing.

    The software I consider using is RPG Maker MV. I purchased this software about a year ago (unless it was two years back), but I'm not very familiar with it. I've seen a number of YouTube tutorials, so I have a basic understanding of its functionality. I also know there's a myriad of plugins available. Still, my knowledge of the software and the plugins is very limited. So I don't really know yet whether this software allows me to create the game I have in mind.

    It's also worth mentioning that it's been a long time since I played 2D RPGs, though I do remember playing some of the Final Fantasy games (PS versions), which I mostly enjoyed.

    Before I move on, I also want to specify that I do have the intention of making my best efforts to create a worthwhile game. So if the questions I present seem a bit critical, that's only because I want to be given honest answers about whether pursuing RPG making is right for me. :smile:

    So here goes:

    For the last year, I've been practicing screenwriting. Prior to that, I've spent several years learning the craft of storytelling, in particular related to screenplay writing. My strength when it comes to making games would therefore be storytelling. It is also because of the story I have in mind that I think making a game would be a better option to writing a screenplay or a novel.

    However, what I'm unsure about, is the RPG Maker software's potential of enabling certain emotional/mental expressions through body language.

    For example, in screenwriting, it's a general rule of thumb that you don't make the dialogue "too on the nose." Instead, you show a character's thoughts and feelings through visual expressions. So when I'm working on my script, I'm very often relying on characters tightening their fists (anger), folding hands (relaxed) or touching their neck/chest (meaning: "this is an intimate topic to me / I feel vulnerable"). This is a good way of complementing what they say.

    I believe that the story I want to tell will only succeed as an RPG if I can express emotions through these examples of body language.

    So this raises the question: What range of emotions can be appropriately expressed through the RPG Maker software's capabilities? Can RPG Maker software be used to tell any kind of story successfully? Or are there some kinds of stories that are better told through the graphical design and animations of RPG Maker software than other stories?

    More precisely, I think it's a question of what kind of characters can be expressed well given the range of graphics and animations within the software.

    One suspicion I have, is that dramatic scenes in 2D RPGs work well because of the musical cues (less so because of character animations) and that the "best" characters in 2D RPGs -- those who best express their personality given the graphical capabilities -- are those that are funny. Of course, this is based on my memory of console RPGs I played several years ago, none of which were created in RPG Maker MV.

    However, the characters I have in mind, will only work well in an RPG if I can express their intentions, worries and emotions through animations. I want to picture them in my mind as real people, and I want the players to relate to them as such. It's therefore important that even when nothing externally bad has taken place or is about to happen in the game's storyline (e.g. no one has just passed away, and there is no imminent attack by an evil king), I can still design the characters in such a way that the players will feel the struggles they're going through and in general have the experience of drama.

    I personally prefer that drama is created by more than music and external circumstances. And it is a requirement for this particular story that RPG Maker allows this.

    I think this clarifies the concerns I have... The reason I want to make RPGs, is that battles will likely be an important aspect of the central character's personal development. I therefore think an RPG will be a better medium for telling the story than any other format.

    In conclusion, I am positively interested in making this work. :smile: I'm also eager to learn about the principles of creating drama in RPGs. So if there are any such principles, I'd be happy to read an article or watch a video about it.

    Here is a list of some other questions:

    1) Is it difficult to make graphic designs for monsters? I may have to create new monster designs for story purposes. Unfortunately, I don't have any experience in graphic design.

    2) Where would I find music to use for my game? I suspect that "everyone" has heard the included tracks in the RPG Maker software, so I guess I should find something new to use. I don't have any experience in making music either. Will it cost much to gain the right to use tracks made by others?

    3) Where can I find tips on how to make battles challenging / exciting? I guess challenge and excitement depend on a number of factors, from equipment to battle system.

    4) Can you recommend any RPG Maker games I should play that demonstrate the level of drama I envision for my own game?

    Thanks everyone!
     
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  2. Engr. Adiktuzmiko

    Engr. Adiktuzmiko Chemical Engineer, Game Developer, Using BlinkBoy' Veteran

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    You can do these "body language" stuff in RPG Maker MV given that you have the graphical resources for them..

    Like you can have various bust images showing the different emotions and show the correct image during the dialogue using the event commands that MV has.

    Basically, the possibility of showing these emotions is more of "can you make the necessary graphic resources for it?".

    for the other questions

    1) Depends on the style that you want them to be.. But if you dont have any experience making them, then it might be pretty difficult.

    2) There are a lot of free and paid music in these forums, just look for them. There are also musicians here open for commission for fully custom music, if you have the money for it.

    3) Just check out the game design subforums, there are good discussions there
     
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  3. TheoAllen

    TheoAllen Self-proclaimed jack of all trades Veteran

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    Making a story for the game is a bit different than making a story for novel/comic/other media. You have to make sure the story you're writing is for a game, i.e, in a game especially RPG you may want to cut a lot of contents because you want to balance gameplay and story. You could end up making a scene longer because you get carried away if you're focusing too much on the story because you think it's important.

    That also depends on the resources available for you. Are you capable of making the "body language" graphics? If yes, you can. Either you do it as a sprite animation or bust picture. However, RPG Maker does not provide the generator for it, only face generator for various expression. If you want more "body language" image resources, you're on your own. But rest assured, you can do it in RM if you could also make your own graphic resources.

    There're many successful story-based RPG Maker games, including some popular horror game (imo, they're essentially story-heavy game).

    Nah, they complement each other. Sprite choreography, character picture, face emotion, visual effects, music, all play their part.

    There're a lot of free monsters resource out there (mostly battler graphics though). You can use them. Ofc, if you want a custom monster, you have to make it yourself. If you have no graphics design experience, you can pay people to draw it for you.

    Follow my signature :p

    You can read topics posted in Game Mechanic Design. However, this needs experience. No amount of topic/tips you read is going to help you unless you experience it yourself, on what makes it bad and good.

    The only RPG Maker game that keeps me playing because of the story so far was Quintessence: The Blighted Venom. From all RPG Maker games, this one was the one that captured me in term of the story. It is not finished yet and currently on hiatus (I don't even think it will be finished), but it has like 12 hours of playtime already. And from the same developer, To The Moon is pretty popular, although I haven't tried it yet.
     
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  4. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

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    As your query is more about the capabilities of the engine than anything else, I think this is better over in Product Discussion and Support.

    Moving this.

     
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  5. Stian

    Stian Warper Member

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    Right! Gotta get used to which sub-forum is appropriate for different inquiries. Thanks! :)
     
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