plubic_void21

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*I hope this is the right forum to post this* Still new, so trying to learn where everything goes and all.

Anyways, Most games aren't made for developers, as a matter of fact, especially in the indie scene, everyone wants to get their projects seen or heard, and most people, if ever plays other projects from the same engine or place - so my question is, have you played other RM games from this forum, and what are your thought on them.

likewise, for some RM developers, graphics we stress over, do you prefer RM default take on graphics, or would you want to see more people exploring and re-defining the graphical potential of the engine?

I ask these questions to benefit everyone, I believe it's quite important to experience and appreciate what others create, even in our own projects - it's important we not only play others games to help them, but also the same way we'd play Skyrim or Dragon Age - not only to support but also for the fun of it all.
 

Jesse - PVGames

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I've played some various RM games through these forums and on Steam, and plenty through the game-jam competitions over the past few years. I will say that although the default RPG Maker graphics are not my preference, I have played some games that were very fun regardless. It is not a deal breaker, and I think it might even make me focus more on paying attention to the game mechanics presented by the creator instead of just looking at new/different graphics. That aside, I do like seeing what new things people can do with different graphics. There were some great games this last IGMC where people drew their own maps and graphics and it was really inspiring.

Playing these other people's games always gives me all sorts of inspiration. Sometimes it is a certain atmosphere that they created, or sometimes a unique game mechanics. Other times a game impacts you more profoundly than you initially realize and it shapes the way you make your own games - for me that was Linus by @blueperiod a number of years back (though he still is working on it I think!) I would encourage anyone to play other RM games besides their own that they are making, it can be a great source of inspiration.
 
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I haven't played any games from these forums specifically, but I find the content on rpgmaker.net to be pretty interesting and have played a lot of games from that site, it seems to be a lot more creative in terms of whats being done with the engine. I think this forum from my experience is a lot better for things like technical help, it seems most of the user base here are younger people who just want to use the rtp with most games made being what I would consider to be "safe" rpg maker content, from what I have seen anyway, people have to start though somewhere I suppose.
 

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@VisitorsFromDreams I didn't know that site existed. Good to know though, definitely bookmarked.

@plubic_void21 Personally, I haven't played a single RPG Maker game. Though I do plan on changing that, once I finish fleshing out the database on my own game. This is more for research purposes though. (I'm working on what I consider the hardest part of creating with the software - that is the default database. It is imperative to edit, and use creative ingenuity, plugins, and various help in order to create a unique piece. Otherwise, it's essentially copy pasta :D.)

As for particulars on graphics, I personally think that's more of a preference issue. I do not think the graphics are inherently bad per say, but the simplistic graphical style with some creativity allows for a truly unique experience that otherwise does not have an appropriate avenue.

In other words, a lot of people have great storyboard ideas (or ideas in general) but lack the technical know how to to effectively execute it. RPGMaker simplifies this process (albeit to a degree) for those who want to see it come to light.

Nothing is more satisfying than playing something you created, and put a lot of dedication and work into. Additionally, building a fanbase inflates this. I do not think graphics are a major point of contention when concerning this.

Just my two cents.
 
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Mrs_Allykat

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I've played a few RM games, with some being better than others. It all depends on how much care was given to the game. There are also n00bs, like myself, that are just getting their feet wet. People make mistakes along the way, but overall my experience with RM has been positive.

Also, a bad RPG is just bad no matter what engine is used. I remember a few years back, I picked up an "A" title on the PSP in which the character images did not match the character talking*, and the text did not fit in the text box. A rush job is not limited to any engine, platform, or game genre. I think the big evil of any game is getting in a hurry.

Legend of Heroes II
BOSS: Don't worry main character! I will be with you forever!
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I've played a few completed games and demos from here, rpgmaker.net, and Steam. There were a few hits and a lot of misses for me. Great custom art is a huge plus, but all of those games I thought looked amazing still had underwhelming writing and bland characters. I think my very favorite RPG Maker games were actually highly polished demos that had a sprinkle of custom art (like only made for the main characters) and surprisingly impressive writing. There were only maybe three default RTP games that I actually enjoyed - and the developers made up for the lack of resources by pouring a ton of time into making custom/balanced battle systems that were somehow pretty fun. And I almost feel humor is a necessity if you're ever working with default RTP (because no one is ever going to take Ralph as an MC seriously).

And although everyone is fixated on custom art, let me tell you a secret that's always overlooked: sound. Not even music - but sound. When I hear the same RTP cursor confirmation, heal spell, attack, and menu button, I flip out. I am so ridiculously tired of hearing RPG Maker sound effects even in big-time games like Lisa the Painful. Please get or buy your own, and I will instantly forgive any game for its lack of custom art.
 

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so my question is, have you played other RM games from this forum, and what are your thought on them.
I played several RM games in this site, and other sites. Honestly though, if I never knew RM and how to develop a game (or how developer did their game), I might despise their games since they're usually lacking of the game elements I like (see some people despise grinding/leveling, I like them, but people just remove it all together and said "this game has no level/grinding" usually take away my interest). It's like, well if I want some fun from a game, I'd rather go to my steam library and pick some games there to play (I don't really have many RM games in my steam library anyway).

However, I seek different fun when I'm playing RM games since I couldn't really play it as a pure gamer (I could only name it one or two I could enjoy to play as a gamer). That kind of fun is to see a fellow RM'ers creativity of using engine. Since I know the engine, and the limitation, I want to see how far it can go. It's like playing with lego and see what people can do with it.

You could say I play to help them, but you could also say I play for pure fun as well (but fun in different matter). I played a fan game made using RM, I just want to see how is the franchise turned into a RM game, it's different fun, but still fun regardless. And in the end, I didn't really leave a comment / critique to the developer to improve the game. I did gave them a feedback though, because everyone love their game getting feedback.

do you prefer RM default take on graphics, or would you want to see more people exploring and re-defining the graphical potential of the engine?
I don't care either way though. I have no problem playing a game that use default graphics, or use custom one. I played some of game with almost custom graphics all the way but it was disappointing because I didn't feel engaged (cheap battle system or so). I do feel like a custom graphics is like a trap, because a skeptic side of me would think the developer might have thought of "use custom graphics for a sake of custom graphics, because default stock asset are overused". Personally if they think of graphics first before the gameplay, it might falls off, unless maybe when your game "barely" has gameplay like horror or puzzle games, it might works, which again is not my type of game anyway.

When I hear the same RTP cursor confirmation, heal spell, attack, and menu button, I flip out. I am so ridiculously tired of hearing RPG Maker sound effects
I never have a problem with default sound, it's kind of reminder that "I'm playing RM games and this is the one that would be expected". But I do agree that it would be quite refreshing to hear different sound effect
 
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I never have a problem with default sound, it's kind of reminder that "I'm playing RM games and this is the one that would be expected". But I do agree that it would be quite refreshing to hear different sound effect

I feel the opposite, the last thing any game should ever do is remind you of the engine its made in. The only time I ever here people talking about a game obviously being built in a certain engine is with RPG Maker (even Unreal 3 had games like Asuras Wrath and Borderlands which defied expectations of what the engine could do). A game should be able to stand on its own and the engine should be the last thing on anyone's mind thinks of when they play it. An engine is a tool, not a crutch or an excuse for lazy art or audio design.
 

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I feel the opposite, the last thing any game should ever do is remind you of the engine its made in. The only time I ever here people talking about a game obviously being built in a certain engine is with RPG Maker (even Unreal 3 had games like Asuras Wrath and Borderlands which defied expectations of what the engine could do). A game should be able to stand on its own and the engine should be the last thing on anyone's mind thinks of when they play it. An engine is a tool, not a crutch or an excuse for lazy art or audio design.
Personally, if you don't want me to remind that the game is made by RM, build it from scratch. Ditch all the tile based movement, go pixel movement for starter. Revamp the menu layout on the point it won't have a huge status window on the right, small main menu on the left. And obviously don't use windowskin for your user interface. Ditch as well as the animation, go original, that no one would reuse it in other project.

If all those RM games signatures are present, I would not mind hearing the same sound effect as well as it's a part of make it a RM game, and one of the "feature" I would expect on RM games. I can't help myself not to think that I'm playing RM games.

And regarding your point of last thing any game should do is to remind you of the engine its made, probably the developer should use more versatile engine that would let you build your game mechanic from scratch. A good thing about RM is it provides the framework for RPG, so you won't have to build it from scratch. But since everyone is using it, it can't also help that they have similarity (including sound effect).

Does it make the game bad? no, I will still enjoy if it done properly. Just don't get triggered when I'm saying "oh, I'm playing a RM game"

I personally have 3 RPG in my list. One is WRPG usually focused on customizing your character and make your story, JRPG where you would enjoy someone's story, and RPG Maker games where it has features that I listed above. No, I couldn't treat RM games as the same as other games, I separate RM games on different box, that I would always think "Oh yeah, I'm playing RM games"
 

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Have you played other RM games from this forum, and what are your thought on them.
Yes, in fact, I have played many of them. I use them as inspiration for my own project on what I SHOULD and SHOULDN'T do. I also love to lurk/follow the people that stream and do Let's Plays of Rpg Maker games, because to me, seeing how people react to certain game mechanics, battle systems, music, artworks, etc. is extremely useful to me as an indie developer.

For some RM developers, graphics we stress over, do you prefer RM default take on graphics, or would you want to see more people exploring and re-defining the graphical potential of the engine?
For me, it's not the graphics themselves, but what is done WITH the graphics. I've seen people use the RTP beautifully in their game, and I've seen many RTP made games that look like utter garbage. But, the same can be said about custom graphics. It all boils down to how well a person uses the graphics they chose to go with.
 

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I play some here and there. When I was new I played a few demos and commercial games to get an idea of what people have tried in the engine. Sure, I played a few bad ones too, but even a bad game can be good to play through for research reasons, just as long as it doesn't raise your blood pressure to 156/125 in the process.

As for a couple other points on here:

-Sound effects: I don't care as long as they don't drive me insane. And for those who said they don't want to hear the same old SE, Hope you are holding AAA games to that standard too, as I read somewhere that all AAA games have used the same SE library since the late 80's. And honestly it makes sense, as there are only so many realistic explosions you can record before they all sound the same (to give an example).

In fact, I've caught a few AAA games using the same SE we use in RPGMaker in places. But I doubt Degica can do anything about it either as most SE's are public domain anyways.

Though, off topic, but I should make my game use the old cartoon BAM and POW bubbles (see the 60's Batman cartoon or movie if you have no idea what I'm talking about) instead of SE. Would certainly be different :)
 
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Personally, if you don't want me to remind that the game is made by RM, build it from scratch. Ditch all the tile based movement, go pixel movement for starter. Revamp the menu layout on the point it won't have a huge status window on the right, small main menu on the left. And obviously don't use windowskin for your user interface. Ditch as well as the animation, go original, that no one would reuse it in other project.

Oh yes, building from scratch should be the idea, I think people consider "the RPG Maker Engine" which is for developing the game AND "the assets it comes with" as the same thing. Its not hard to build a game in RPG Maker from scratch, all it takes is some patience, like you said the engine is a frame work, and in that respect the engine is great. There's plenty of games like One Shot, Yume Nikki, Hylics and LISA (outside of the battle backgrounds and some sound effects) that could easily pass for a game made in other engines due to the care that's been put into them, that's because they JUST use the framework of the engine and they have a clear vision behind them.

I'm personally trying to set up my current project in a way where the plugins and assets i'm using can be used to make completely new games out of the template in the future, almost like building an engine within the RPG Maker engine using plugins. Its all quite doable.

And regarding your point of last thing any game should do is to remind you of the engine its made, probably the developer should use more versatile engine that would let you build your game mechanic from scratch. A good thing about RM is it provides the framework for RPG, so you won't have to build it from scratch. But since everyone is using it, it can't also help that they have similarity (including sound effect).

My issue with this is that when you have so many people are using the same/similar assets all the games bleed together. This is bad for both you as a developer long term and for the engines reputation. I have no issue with people using the RTP to learn, I think its a great way to wrap your head around the engine BUT I do have an issue when 95% of the games on Steam (all different games mind you) made in the engine looking exactly the same. You could literally grab a screenshot from each and put them in a line and most people would be hard pressed to tell you that they are from different games. That's an issue, and it makes general consumers not want to touch games by people like me who do make everything 100% from scratch purely because of the reputation of the quality of games made in the engine. RPG Maker is a powerful engine, especially for its price, but it doesn't get used as a powerful engine often and that low barrier to entry and the volume of content it creates a flood of content that reflects poorly on a lot of us.

bgillisp said:
Though, off topic, but I should make my game use the old cartoon BAM and POW bubbles (see the 60's Batman cartoon or movie if you have no idea what I'm talking about) instead of SE. Would certainly be different :)

Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass has you covered. ;)
 
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-Sound effects: I don't care as long as they don't drive me insane. And for those who said they don't want to hear the same old SE, Hope you are holding AAA games to that standard too, as I read somewhere that all AAA games have used the same SE library since the late 80's. And honestly it makes sense, as there are only so many realistic explosions you can record before they all sound the same (to give an example).

I do, but those cases are really rare because the vast majority of sounds can't be readily associated with something else right away. Like I've heard the Bloodborne parry sound effect from animes and mobile games, and I chuckle to myself every time I hear it. It really is immersive-breaking if you're familiar with the sound. However, the other 99% of their sounds cannot be readily associated off the top of my head with anything else outside of the souls series - so it ends up not being an issue at all.

With RPG Maker however, most games use the same 100% set of sounds - and it's easily apparent to players familiar with RPG Maker games. After playing dozens of RPG Maker games, it's harder to appreciate something when it constantly reminds you of the sum total of all other RM games you've played in the past.
 

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@Dark Horseman : It's not as rare as you think, you just haven't played the right games. In the early 90's about every game used the same scream for death to the point it got ridiculous. So much so that the RPGAddict said he never wanted to hear that scream again due to hearing it used in about every RPG he played released in 1991. Now granted, most don't use that scream anymore, but that is one case of it happening across the board.

But this is now a tad off topic. Still I'd say as long as it isn't annoying, I don't care what sound you use to enter the menu. Though I might do a double take if you use the frog ribbit for that SE :)

Graphics: ASCII games. Enough said. All of them used the same graphics, and no one cared honestly. The trick is in how you use them. In fact, someone has recreated the old Wing Commander Privateer in ASCII. I kid you not. And SSI got away with using the same graphics and engine for 9 games back in 1988 - 1991 (with minor upgrades on the way), and again no one seemed to care. Maybe we just have changed on what we expect with graphics now that the tech has changed? But, honestly, why? A good game is good, regardless, and a bad game is still bad no matter how shiny and nice it looks.
 
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Graphics: ASCII games. Enough said. All of them used the same graphics, and no one cared honestly. The trick is in how you use them. In fact, someone has recreated the old Wing Commander Privateer in ASCII. I kid you not. And SSI got away with using the same graphics and engine for 9 games back in 1988 - 1991 (with minor upgrades on the way), and again no one seemed to care. Maybe we just have changed on what we expect with graphics now that the tech has changed? But, honestly, why? A good game is good, regardless, and a bad game is still bad no matter how shiny and nice it looks.

There was a bit of a difference between ASCII games since that was largely due to limitations of time. Likewise ONE company making 9 games with the same assets in engine in a 3 year period is nothing crazy, game companies used to largely have to develop there own engines in house and had limited resources for asset creation, especially with publisher deadlines. Its a pretty huge jump to compare these two situations to hundreds of people who are working independently all using the exact same assets.

Its is a little off topic this discussion, but I think it is also a huge part of the RM game scene and therefore worth discussing.

A good game is a good game regardless, yes, true, but id be hard pressed to call something that doesn't have its own unique voice visually or audibly a good game regardless of how well it plays.
 

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Up to you. But as flooded as Steam is these days developers are going to have less incentive to make everything unique due to how high the odds are they will not recoup their costs. So until something changes, better expect more games that look/sound the same, not less.

Sure, you will stand out more if you don't, but with 7000+ games released every year odds are high you still get buried even if you are unique. Remember, there are unique RPGMaker games with unique graphics that only sold 1000 copies (the developer reported his sales here, hence how we know. For privacy I will not reveal which game it was), and there are RTP only RPGMaker games that have sold 100,000 copies. So there are quite a few people that this would say that they don't care, if the game is good.
 

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Oh yes, building from scratch should be the idea, I think people consider "the RPG Maker Engine" which is for developing the game AND "the assets it comes with" as the same thing. Its not hard to build a game in RPG Maker from scratch, all it takes is some patience.
Yes, but we're talking about reminding that the game is made in RM engine.

Building from scratch might a little bit exaggerating I admit, but if you build from scratch, and I'm not saying to try to mimic an RM build, you might put your personal game feels along the way while building it. Maybe you would end up choosing different size of tiles, maybe you end up handle the parallax map layers in different way to make it more alive, maybe you gonna handle collision detection differently, and more maybe..... Like why some of top down games are so distinctive from each others, and why RM games looks the same despite the effort of putting custom graphics (they're using same unmodified framework).

Putting a different asset alone won't make it out of the RM engine signatures they have. Like you said you will need scripts/plugins so that it will modify the framework and give different feels of the game. Trying to use different sound effect is good though (since it's the root of this topic), it will bring some fresh air, but to make it unlike other RM games? I will see about that later.

My issue with this is that when you have so many people are using the same/similar assets all the games bleed together. This is bad for both you as a developer long term and for the engines reputation.
Regarding the engine reputation, I agree it's bad. This is also why I personally play RM games as... RM games. Like what I said on my first post that I won't categorize RM games as the same as other games, it's different category of a game for me (or at least majority of RM games). If that is what you mean by "reputation".

You are right if you're worried about the engine reputation when you want to make a game in RM, want to spread the word about your game, or sell it, people might not interested on it because it's made by RM, not 100% scratch, or people would just think "It might be another crappy RM games" without even trying it. However, I believe that RPG Makers were made for developer especially hobbyist to make their game/story come to live easier without they need to build it from zero. That said, I personally think RM has its own communities where the market is the communities itself (people who familiar with the engine, and a hobbyist developer, we talk about gamedev as a hobby same as playing a game, it just since VXAce era, people were commercializing things).

It's not really the engine fault as it really does what it should do (it's been a hobbyist engine for quite long and I don't think they will step out from that line anytime soon), it just if you plan to spread the word about your game and not locked with internal RM community market, you will need extra step to go beyond that boundary.

But looking at how you write, I see you seem to be serious taking the RM engine as gamedev tool and the game created by it to be sold in wide market, while I'm here consider RM engine as a hobbyist engine, reason why I never have a problem with it, I guess? Good luck on whatever lies ahead on you :)
 

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Yes, but we're talking about reminding that the game is made in RM engine.

Building from scratch might a little bit exaggerating I admit, but if you build from scratch, and I'm not saying to try to mimic an RM build, you might put your personal game feels along the way while building it. Maybe you would end up choosing different size of tiles, maybe you end up handle the parallax map layers in different way to make it more alive, maybe you gonna handle collision detection differently, and more maybe..... Like why some of top down games are so distinctive from each others, and why RM games looks the same despite the effort of putting custom graphics (they're using same unmodified framework).

You need a hook. That hook MAY be custom graphics. Or custom engine elements. Or both. Easily the best RPG Maker game I've ever played, though, uses the VX Ace engine with virtually no special graphics (a few behavior sprites) or recognizable scripts. The developer even uses the RTP face graphics for the characters. It has a well-balanced, but standard front view battle system. What makes it great is solely story telling and world building (so, story telling and more story telling). This game is a commercial success, too.

If you are good at scripting/building your own plugins, do that. If you are a great artist, use it. But if you aren't, find a different hook. You won't please everyone no matter what, and you don't have to. Better find your niche and make 0,5 % of the market (commercial) or the worlds player base (non commercial) fall in love with your game.
 

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You need a hook. That hook MAY be custom graphics. Or custom engine elements. Or both. Easily the best RPG Maker game I've ever played, though, uses the VX Ace engine with virtually no special graphics (a few behavior sprites) or recognizable scripts. The developer even uses the RTP face graphics for the characters. It has a well-balanced, but standard front view battle system. What makes it great is solely story telling and world building (so, story telling and more story telling). This game is a commercial success, too.
Again, I'm not saying just because it reminds me that the game was made by RPG Maker, it's automatically bad. Think of this, if you're watching a film, and you actually interested on analyzing the SFX like how it's made instead of enjoying the film. You don't enjoy the film as the same as everyone else.

And by that I mean, once I know the game is made by RM, my expectation goes lower (this is including me, hearing the same sound effect, AGAIN). I won't expect an exceptional gameplay on a game made by RPG Maker. Story? yes, that would be the one everyone can do in RPG Maker games, telling a story. But gameplay? I believe once the developer is smart enough to code their own game, RM would be the least engine they look at. And the one who use RPG Maker are the one who wants to tell a story. How many times I've reacted "Oh, so RM can do these gameplay too" on RM games? It's zero.

Does make it bad? again, no. In fact there're some commercially success in regard of that.
Again, it just I can't play RM game as the same tier as the other games.
 
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@TheoAllen : Interesting you say that. Do you hold other engines to the same standard? There's many a game out there that uses the same default menu that is not made in RM (I forgot the engine it's in though. Gamestudio?). And there's many Unity games where the dev doesn't know how to code so you can constantly fall through the floor. So it;s not just RM that people use that don't know how to code. In fact, I'd say odds are high a high % of Steam games released now the dev barely knows how to code and is using a premade package, which, if it doesn't do something, they never fix it.

I say this as I see a subgroup here on the forums that appear to hold indy games to a different standard than AAA games. I once made a comment that if I designed my opening dungeon as poorly as Atlas did in Persona5 my game would be panned for it. But they get away with it as they are Atlas (and don't get me started on that convoluted mess they did with the endgame either, that was REALLY bad). So I honestly wish the double standard that we hold indy games to that we don't AAA games would stop, as there is no honest reason for it.

PS: I actually can code. I'm a computer science major, learned C way back when. I chose RM though so I could finish my game in under 20 years and not be the next Grimore. So there are reasons to choose RM even if you can code.
 

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