Using Default premade maps?

slickdeath97

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Do you guys think it is a bad thing to use default premade maps? If not do you guys think there should be a limit on how many are used?
 

Andar

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You can use the sample maps, but doing so will tell any player that you were too lazy (or whatever) to make your own maps, and that will hurt interest in your game.

I would suggest at least changing them and even then to only use them for a minority of your maps (less than 20%), and then not for any map near the beginning of your game.
 

Juanita Star

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Nah. Those and the dungeon generator save time and effort.

I do think you should have more than default stuff, but using them to complement your game and to save yourself from building Town #5 that is going to be relevant for ten minutes.

Edit: I would use them with no shame, just not put them in front of my game.
 

QuikInk

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If you're going to use the sample maps you need to find ways to make them stand out. Just as with anything 'default' - both game makers and players alike will have seen them countless times before - so ask yourself - why would someone play a game full of things that they've already seen before? What new ideas are you bringing?

The purpose of sample maps is to give you some examples / a basic idea of how to lay out a town/dungeon. So if you're using them as a starting point, then they're not a bad thing per se, but at least I'd recommend you consider:
-Using a non-RTP tileset
-Adding some customised assets e.g. custom signage on shops
-Adding bridges/walls/gates/fences etc. to change the default path you'd take
-Changing key locations around e.g. swapping the location of the Inn and weapon shop
-Adjusting the paths/trees/cliffs etc to make them less square and more organic
-Making NPCs interesting and give them backstories / something unique to say that describes the place they are and their purpose in the world
etc. etc.

Re: the dungeon generator - to be fair I did actually use this for one of my maps, but only to give me a basic idea of the paths (I wasn't feeling very creative that day). I then edited these paths to make them rounded/organic and not just straight lines (and used my own tileset too - see image).
Map104.png
 

QuikInk

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I do think you should have more than default stuff, but using them to complement your game and to save yourself from building Town #5 that is going to be relevant for ten minutes.
I'd also say (and this is just my personal view, others may disagree) that if you find yourself building towns that are only in the game for a few minutes with no real purpose, then reconsider whether that town is needed at all.

A- If you have time/inclination, try fleshing the town out and make it somewhere a player would actually find interesting to explore (e.g. have some sidequests, clues, or secret items there). Spend time thinking about the town's economy - how do the people there make a living, what industries do they have (this could affect the items they sell) etc.
B- If a town is simply needed as a generic resting spot and a place to stock up on potions etc., you could always consider having a 'commercial district' that has shops/inns and is accessible to the player - and then a 'residential district' that you can't enter (thus you don't need to map it). Depending in your world/personal style, you could either have one of the PCs say "We don't have time to stroll around people's houses" when you try to go in, or have a solider/guard or gate that blocks access.
 

Orchiid

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I personally would definitely recommend against it. To me it puts off the feeling that you, as a developer, aren't committed enough to take the time to make a map.
 

MerlinCross

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Right so I have never finished a 'game/product' but I use them myself. I use them as place holders or edit them a bit more into different shapes, like the castle got turned into a semi upscale hotel.

Though in some cases I question if it's a bad thing or not to use them. I mean each shop IS going to look different but if you're making a class room... kinda hard to make a class room look interesting, same with a school or office.

I still wouldn't use them in a finished product/game not without edits.
 

Black Pagan

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It takes only a few minutes to modify the Default RTP Maps, Keep the same Layout if needed but you could change the smaller details. Its not that hard to change a few minor details. I have played a few games where I have the weird feeling that its RTP but doesn't feel like it because it uses different graphics.
 

MerlinCross

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It takes only a few minutes to modify the Default RTP Maps, Keep the same Layout if needed but you could change the smaller details. Its not that hard to change a few minor details. I have played a few games where I have the weird feeling that its RTP but doesn't feel like it because it uses different graphics.
Oh yeah, as an example that school room that comes with the program(I think it does?) I threw on some more background/wall graphics, changed some placements of objects already in the scene and shifted some tiles around.

It's still kinda the same room/map but threw my own curve on it.

Also do we have less maps than in previous verisons like VX? I could have sworn there was a 'mine' map/tile set
 

Tamina

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Do you guys think it is a bad thing to use default premade maps? If not do you guys think there should be a limit on how many are used?
I'd avoid it, but it's less about being "lazy" but more about the default maps don't always tell your story well.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but as a solo dev I often encourage people "be lazy" in a smart way. I've seen too many projects that took 5 years or even 7 years and still in an incomplete state. Or people spend years on things mostly irrelevant to actual gameplay, such as a menu. Since we don't have all the resources in the world, sometimes we just have to work with limitations.

When I started my first RM project 10 years ago, I made 3D pre-rendered background for my project and all custom art. Needless to say this project never gets done. Many years later I decided to finish a project so I made "no custom art" as a rule. I was finally able to make some progress toward finishing the project. This isn't lazy, it's working with limitations, because an unfinished project meant nothing and a project that takes 5-7+ years to finish probably won't generate enough commercial value to support the next project unless they sell tons of copies - which is hard. Finishing a project within reasonable timeframe, IMO, should be the No.1 priority.

From my experience showing the game to players outside of the RM community, they do not care about RTP nor how the menu looks since they don't see RTP as often. They only ever care about the gameplay and story. So I do believe that being lazy is alright for solo dev, since ultimately it's the gameplay that matters. You just have to try to sell the game to people outside of RM community, or those who doesn't care about RTP.

So, if being "lazy" is alright, why can't we use default maps? This because default maps weren't created for YOUR project. It's created to show how tiles were used. Maps are part of the storytelling and world building, so the design has to reflect your world and game mechanics. A home of a rich family will look very different from a poor family. A military castle will look different from a castle of a noble lady who likes flowers but despises war. A town with serious tone will look different from a town with a more light hearted atmosphere.

Even a boring looking dungeon can have a backstory behind it with better map design. Imagine your cave only has....rocks in it. That's boring. Now add a monster's nest or home of rebels in the cave, suddenly it's a lot more interesting.

To tell a good story, every location needs personality. Therefore I'd avoid dungeon generator or default maps. If you really want to use it, at least modify it.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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They are good as an example of how to do some things with the editor, but the default maps look kinda bad IMO. They are very boxy and don't use the space well.
 

Frostorm

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Where are these "default maps" you guys speak of? When I start a new project, it just gives me a blank grassy plain.
 

Ace of Spades

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If it's your first game and only plan on showing family/friends, I would say go for it. If you plan on releasing your game to others on the forums, I would advise against using any of the premade maps. The sample maps are there for new users to see some examples of how to use the tiles.

If I load up a project and see one of the default maps, I'd be under the impression the creator has little to no experience with RPG Maker. It'd be the same thing if I see the default title screen and 'Theme6' start playing, or if the default character is named Harold... I'm immediately turned off because it shows how little effort went into the project.

Everyone has to start somewhere, but the only way you're going to learn and develop your skills is by doing it yourself. Your first few maps might look 'ugly', and that's okay... it's part of the growing process. The best way to learn is to practice. I'm sure other users can testify to how many times we've remade our maps multiple times, with each iteration becoming more honed and refined.

Hope this input was helpful, good luck with your project!
 

Quexp

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Where are these "default maps" you guys speak of? When I start a new project, it just gives me a blank grassy plain.
In maps list (lower-left of screen), right-click and select "Load".

Do you guys think it is a bad thing to use default premade maps? If not do you guys think there should be a limit on how many are used?
I think it depends on who the game is for. Friends/Family most likely won't mind but other RPG Maker users will find them boring as they have seen them in games numerous times. This is your first game though so I say relax and have fun with it. Don't be afraid to explore and try new things though! :)
 

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