What makes an RPGMaker game visually stand out?

devisous

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Other than Parallax Mapping, what could make a game stand out from the other hundreds of games coming out? Or do visuals even matter? It depends on the player or audience you want to advertise to in my opinion.
 

HOLYMOTHER

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If you develop a unique art style, your game will stand out no matter what engine you use. And if your art is unique enough, the average person will fail to recognize your game as being made in RM -- even if you otherwise use the engine in the most default way possible! I've seen this many times over the years.
 

RCXGaming

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Other than Parallax Mapping, what could make a game stand out from the other hundreds of games coming out? Or do visuals even matter? It depends on the player or audience you want to advertise to in my opinion.

Graphics are the number one filter that helps people decide if your game is worth their time or not. It absolutely matters. It's what guides a potential buyer's eyes when searching through game sites like Steam and the like, especially during the store page part where you only have a few screenshots and potentially a video or two to share.

It also serves as shorthand to show people how much effort you have put into your game.
 

ZephyrAM

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I'd also say that the style or formatting of your overall game appearance matters a lot in separating your game from the general, poor stereotyping of Maker games. You can completely replace all of the game assets with custom graphics, but if you continue using the default menu systems, the game remains easily recognizable as 'Another RPG Maker game'.

Good, custom graphics (whether high quality or of a simple, appealing style) are absolutely the first thing to get the potential players attention - first impression is the most important, and all that. But consider how you use them if you want to keep that good impression past the screenshots.
 

DrBuni

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Or do visuals even matter?
Of course visuals matter, for enjoyment and if you want your game to sell copies.

The game having an unique art style, with custom made designs and artwork is honestly essential. The art doesn't need to be drawn by an illustrator/character designer with 40 years of experience either, a game like Bug Fables (not RPG Maker, but still RPG and indie) is far from having spectacular artwork, but the art is cute and unique.
 

Gensun

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I speak only for myself but a game that most likely grabs my attention is one that has an art style that communicates what the game is about. Good graphics can't just be unique, it has to synergize with every other aspect of your game design
 

Mike-Turtle

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ss_7a7e50f58a343b340c15bd2b8dbad25ef64e00ab.1920x1080.jpg

Visuals definitely matter. But, what makes an RPG Maker game stand out, is the same things that make any game stand out.
  • A unified theme.
  • An appropriate colour palette for the genre.
  • Interesting game-play elements.
  • Unique, identifiable graphics.
  • Complimentary music and sfx.
I'd like to think that Desktopia (the screenshot above) wouldn't be mistaken for any game, RPG Maker or not. You don't necessarily need to go this far either. I'd like to think that our more standard RPG, Evergloom (the screen below) also stands out.
Untitled.png

An RPG Maker game, is essentially just a game. The engine is unimportant, it's what you do with it that matters,
 

Bernkastelwitch

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I say they can matter but at the same time, if you are using RPG Maker to make a game, it shouldn't be first priority. I mean actually make the game first. I found games that were very pretty and had a totally custom tileset but played like garbage because the developer only focused on the art, sacrificing all the gameplay in the process. And I also saw the complete opposite of games with the RTP that actually played well.

If you want to change your art, I recommend you do so when your game is near completion, if only because at that point everything would be finalized and you won't have to worry about getting an entirely new set of art or have art go unused. Even simple RTP edits can help a bit in this.
 

KawaiiKid

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Other than Parallax Mapping, what could make a game stand out from the other hundreds of games coming out?
Well made custom tilesets come to mind, as well as some good custom sprites. Parallax mapping is excellent, and easy to get into, but games can look good without it.

If you are asking what can you do without parallaxing with just rtp? In my personal opinion, there isn't much you can do. One tip I'd say is to not make the beginner mistake of putting everything super far apart. Things aren't like that irl, and it makes your game look empty. A house shouldn't be a mansion, make it small and cluttered.
 

Iron_Brew

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Games are like meals; the first bite is with the eyes. If you want to stand out I'd honestly recommend figuring out who you want your game to appeal to, then trying to either make (or achieve by sourcing assets) an artistic style which helps you achieve that goal :D

A gane's aesthetic often says a ton about the content of the game itself, so think carefully before marrying yourself to an artstyle, and try to be as cohesive as possible! Beyond helping underpin the content and theming of your game, an appealing or memorable aesthetic can straight up be a USP for your game.

TL;DR - games are a visual medium, for the mostpart, so making the right decision about how your project looks is a tremendously important part of spinning up a new project.
 
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