Why is the RPG Maker name so hated?

Discussion in 'Commercial Games Discussion' started by Hamilcar, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. RHachicho

    RHachicho Veteran Veteran

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    Well as someone who is going to be using a lot of the RTP I can confirm that for a small project going too deeply into custom assets isn't really something that can feasibly be done. Even a well meaning project needs to decide where to spend the money .. And most will decide to spend it on cg/character art/sprite edits. However even I who will be using the rtp HEAVILY think that games like last heroes are a bit .. lazy. It's about selling something with it's own unique feel to it. Also let's face it because rpgmaker is easy to use there are going to be lots of bad games. I hope mine rises above this but I am new. And the workload is extreme to say the least. I spend at least 5/6 hours a day in front of my computer working on the game. Between doing simple rtp recolors/tweaks, Networking with artists and developing the game. I have something put by for development of the game. But I also need to eat so I need to do my own freelance work. I really have my hands full as a solo dev. And the kind of money I would need to spend to bankroll custom tiles for my game is still beyond me despite years of saving. It would pretty much eat up all my development funds at once.


    All in all I'd rather have cool character art, Sprite art and CG thanks. The rtp tiles are good enough.
     
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  2. Pierman Walter

    Pierman Walter Chunk Monster Veteran

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    Although I have seen some very well done projects that use exclusively RTP, I still feel like it seriously inhibits creativity in both story and characters. All the tiles and assets are made in a very traditional fantasy anime JRPG style, which is good if you want to make a game like that, but if you want to make a black comedy game in the style of Silver Age superhero comics, then you are kind of doomed. Although my opinion is probably wrong, I think a lot of first-time developers wind up creating games that are way too similar to each other, not only in terms of graphics, but also in terms of storyline, because of the unavoidable drawbacks and limitations of the RTP. There aren't really many non-fantasy genres that allow pink-haired princesses and guards in medieval armor to be placed in them without looking shoehorned and bizarre. 


    This is a hard thing to solve, as the post above me said, since not everyone has massive artistic talent or super hacker programming skills or can afford custom tile sets or pay designers for their own characters. An easier way of avoiding RPG Maker's terrible reputation is to put effort into a compelling story and personalities of the premade characters, which only requires the ability to type thoughtfully in dialogue boxes. I have played too many games where the pink haired character is a generic tsundere love interest, but in one game, Gehenna Gear, she was the villain, a dancing slave who made a pact with the devil to send your entire kingdom to Hell, where the game occurs. That was genuinely fascinating. Putting effort into story and characterization while leaving the art more or less the same still might not work though, since the cute big-headed wide-eyed sprites may not mesh well with the atmosphere you are going for. A lot of horror games tend to fall flat on this part. For example, in one game, I was cornered in a circus by a gang of serial killers and they were slowly closing in on me. The whole time I thought, "I've been to school birthday parties scarier than this." , because the animal themed serial killers all looked like toddlers dressed in juice stained onesies and I just couldn't take it seriously. The writing, foreshadowing, and the reactions of my character were great, but everything else ruined the mood.


    I'm trying to avoid this by doing a lot of sprite work and character portraits myself, but I'll still be using a lot of provided floor tiles and trees and things like that. Here is one of my overworld sprites. She has 32 legs, which is difficult to convey in a standard character sprite. The walk cycle for this lady is utterly ridiculous to make, as well as all the other work I have to do, but I need to do this in order to atone for the sins of my previous game, which was made entirely with RPT, but everything was edited to look like it had a giant butt.


    image.jpg
     
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  3. RHachicho

    RHachicho Veteran Veteran

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    Well without the RTP those games would have their creativity inhibited to 0% because no one would be able to afford to make them. People who can afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a games development do not use RPGmaker. Or at the very least they add to the engine so much that it is almost unrecognizable from the version the everyman picks up. And that's the hard truth of the matter. I say we should be grateful for what we HAVE rather than complain about the RTP being too limiting. For something like RPGMaker there are always going to be people who are lazy with it and people who get snobbish because not every game made on it is beautiful and unique. But that has always been the ideal that RPGMaker was made with in mind. There is nothing to stop you from using any one of a multitude of other game engines to develop your game if you have the know-how and the resources to do it. And this engine and it's rtp is what has allowed me, Someone who never really had the time or the opportunity to get into games design to make a game. I didn't have to learn coding or even javascript .. Just had to learn the engine. Which was hard for me .. but not impossible.


    Honestly I know you mean well but I just think this sounds like "I want to have my cake and eat it too." You can't have it both ways. Either you have something that gives you complete artistic freedom. And requires lots of know how and money to make happen. Or you have something like RPGmaker which enables developers like me to make games. I mean seriously what do you want? An expanded RTP that covers every time period and/or genre? Good luck affording the engine in that case XD. And .. let's be honest most people who pick up RPGmaker want to make something like a Jrpg. As that is the primary genre around which the engine was designed.


    I for one am deeply grateful that something like RPGMaker exists. And snubbing things just because they use the rtp is also very shortsighted. I have played some great games that drew heavily on the rtp. I have also played quite a few truly beautiful games that didn't use any of the rpg that where dull as dishwater. As for that horror game you mentioned .. sounds like a design mistake to me. If something isn't scary you can't really just go ahead and blame the rtp. After all some very mild sprite edits to any of the rpgmaker child sprites could make them look creepy as all hell.


    And then there are games like It moves which gave be god dayum nightmares!


    Because creativity is about far more than what your art assets look like imho.
     
  4. Nomi

    Nomi Veteran Veteran

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    As enterbrain (with good will and not just on moneyhunt) I would consider to make different bundle Versions.


    Charakter pack Scifi, Fantasy, Modern etc. and sell them with the Engine. So everyone one has a (different) base to start from or could mb even start without that base. Including just templates to a "no bundle" Version.


    p.s. on the other hand I also wonder about the choice of art often. It's sometimes crafted really weird and with a few more 100$ it could be done far better. And a few 100$ shouldn't break enterbrains legs...
     
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  5. RHachicho

    RHachicho Veteran Veteran

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    And then what genre's do they cater for? Horror? Sci fi? Is it fantasy/anime scifi or lovecraftian horror? Shall we have a cyberpunk bundle? What about the post apocalyptic or modern military guys? They need a bundle too! OH and don' forget the comedy and romcom people! they need their own bundle!


    Trust me it would not end. They would never be able to make enough bundles. And often the dlc for rpgmaker eventually end up covering a lot of those bases. As do many free community made tiles and sprites. And if you want to do something shocking like spend money there are no end of artists who would be happy to make you exactly what you want.


    So no .. no that would not work. And not it isn't a symptom of entebrain's "moneyhunt" although .. here's a shocking truth .. shhh .. are you listening .. wanting to make money ISN'T EVIL!!!!!


    THERE I SAID IT! XD
     
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  6. Pierman Walter

    Pierman Walter Chunk Monster Veteran

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    I didn't mean to make you angry, and I'm assuming Nomi didn't either. Why do you think I look down on the RTP? I myself use it, and I gave a good example of someone who used it well, too. I just think the engine would have a better reputation if there were greater variations in the types of games it produced.
     
  7. RHachicho

    RHachicho Veteran Veteran

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    I I wasn't angry .. I was just making my point. Sorry if I came off as a bit aggressive. It wasn't intentional XD. I'm Bipolar so sometimes I get carried away making my case.  However I do genuinely think that Nomi doesn't really understand the realities of what such "bundling" would entail. Even if entertain where to produce say .. 10 bundles. Each of them would add tens of thousands of dollars development cost to the engine. And you would not guarantee the sale of a commercial license for each bundle with each engine sale. Like you do with the current RTP. It wouldn't just be a matter of lowering profits .. it might make rpgmaker unprofitable altogether. At least at the current price point. And even with a significant hike it might become difficult to justify keeping the engine. It's very easy to point fingers at suspected corporate fatcats. But we have to remember that very few  decisions like this exist in a Vacuum.


    Also immediately assuming "corporate greed" when you can't have something you want IS a bit of a personal bugbear of mine. It's like immediately assuming politicians are evil because they make a decision you don't like. Sometimes you just can't please everybody and a lot of the time in this imperfect world you simply have to take the best choice available. Same with business. And to me simply having something like rpgmaker available is like a dream! I am 35 and I remember when games came in a great big box of 3.5" floppy disks and you had to be some kind of genius to even think about making one. Complaining that the rtp doesn't cover all genres does kinda feel like first world problems to me lol.
     
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  8. Nomi

    Nomi Veteran Veteran

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    Indeed we didn't want to make you angry. But you seem a bit blindsighted yourself. You work for enterbrain or where do you get your numbers?


    Adding "Tens of thousands" for some ressource is a bad joke.... especially for "each". In my last company we got our graphics by artist from eastern european countrys for a few hundred €. --> not saying that cheap work is the way to go, but just as example.


    You definetly wont pay "tens of thousands" ...and like u say: DLC does exactly what I said!


    I was just considering to give the option to choose a "scifi"/"horror"/"whatever" dlc pack INSTEAD of the regular pack.

    So you can get the art style u prefer and reach more different games in the community...
     
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  9. RHachicho

    RHachicho Veteran Veteran

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    I think you might be underestimating what tile-sets cost to make there a bit. A good tile-set about the size and quality of the rtp costs between 15 - 20k. If you want to go low-fi you can probably make it for about 10, Getting tiles to sync together naturally is tricky and difficult work. Try doing some basic edits to something like grass and you will soon see it is very difficult not to make them look like "panels". I once asked what it would take to commission a single tileset .. Not including outside/inside dungeon etc. Just a custom natural tile-set with grass rivers etc .. for one location.


    The quote given to me was 8k and I wasn't asking for something even nearly the size of the RTP. I knew then and there I wasn't going to be commissioning whole tile-sets. Not only is this expensive but it represents a significant risk. As often when this amount of money is involved people will try and scam you by stealing/editing other peoples work. No one wants to spend thousands of dollars of custom work .. or even hundreds on someone who might give them tiles that get their game pulled because they violate someones IP.


    As far as DLC goes you pay extra for those and that pays for them ... The fact that they charge more after the fact is what makes such a scheme worthwhile financially.


    I honestly don't know about going to eastern European artists and getting low quality work. I don't know how low quality we are talking about here. But I can't imagine you get anything very good looking for a few hundred dollars. Could you provide examples of such work for comparison?
     
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  10. AwesomeCool

    AwesomeCool Bratty and spoiled little sister Veteran

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    @RHachicho -You are right, it takes a ton to make a completely custom resource game.   However, who is talking about completely custom resource games here?


    Those two are talking more about making a better dlc system to diversify the games out there.  Akin to how RPG Maker games using PV games stuff avoid all the rtp hate (they still can get hate ofc) and you do not need thousands of dollars to use those resources.


    The problem with the current dlc system is that it is way too unfocused. Aka, too many small singular packs that cannot be used to make a complete game. 


    Ex: sci-fi offerings lack of consistency in style and even complete resource types are at the point of nonexistent still.


    You said the saying "I want to have my cake and eat it too," but I think the idea that having one massive pool of resources in one style available for all and then expect all games to have those resources be treated completely separate entities with no bias is exactly having and eating the cake.
     
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  11. HexMozart88

    HexMozart88 The Master of Random Garbage Veteran

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    If you cannot draw, I think the best option would be to use the resources provided here or elsewhere for main characters, and use RTP for unimportant characters. I think the RTP works best if you use it in a way no one expects. For example, Don't use the shop lady graphic for the shopkeeper because everyone uses that exact same graphic for the exact same purpose. Instead, you can use maybe a war leader character and give them a backstory, just one or two sentences, to explain why they became a shopkeeper. However, I should say that I have used RTP for some moderately expected purposes. Example, I have a knight in my game who is the dude with the green hair. But, I'm redrawing him so it'll be easier to appreciate that I drew it myself. I do have the maid character as a maid as well, but I am also redrawing her and she actually does have a rather interesting role. 
     
  12. Nomi

    Nomi Veteran Veteran

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    @RHachicho I sadly can't show you - that would surely be against the legal rights of my company. But I'm talking about "real" drawings and not Pixelart anyway.

    Also I never talked about low quality graphics - the reason why it's cheap is simple. Thats how globalisation works. The people can reach a better life there with less money (compared to countrys like USA,Germany or GB). There are other reasons ofc! Possibly they prefer less money to getting nothing at all and would be poor without such...thats why I said it could be a ethic problem. In the end the important thing is you CAN get cheap graphics there.


    And I totally know how much work a tileset is, I can do it myself - but are mostly to lazy ofc. It's a ton sheep of work!


    Still you could count the workhours and talk about the pay - it would not be as high as you are counting.


    Ofc there is also the question what's needed: For example a "scifi" or "horror" sec COULD have the same tiles like fantasy (mayboe horror just mixes up scifi and fantasy?) and then we just need some new Charakters. AGAIN Horror could be created by mixing the two other.


    This is NOT about doing 5 Million unique Tilesets. Imagine it like RPG Maker would be a fast food menue!


    What I'm suggesting is to leave the customer the choice of his drink! Nothing more


    .


    And yeah - that would cost money ofc. But the topic is "Why is the RPG Maker name so hated?" and the same sprites on and on and on is one of the biggest issues. Making more different sprites would help a lot. People wouldn't say "Oh just another of these poor Rpg maker games". Many people judge the game by its RPG Maker tilest - and me too. Who could judge us for something like that? The experience shows that Games done with the regular tiles are "often" poor work or done by 1-2 semiprofessionals and therefore maybe a lot of work but still ...hmmm njaaaaaaaa...(even more often they are ***** - I have sadly seen a lot of these)


    With a better Name REAL companys COULD consider the RPG Maker as a real engine compared to unity and such - paying money in the development of a new maker or other tiles etc.


    That is how investment works. Pay money and hope to get more out of it...


    p.s: No offense to any of you or your games done with regular tileset/chars intended. Just talking about my experience so far and my personal view on the waves of low quality rpg maker games...
     
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  13. Cunechan

    Cunechan Veteran Veteran

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    I think the main problem that people have with RM games are that there are many people who think they can push out a commercial game within two weeks without knowing much about the engine, leaving it with simple and partly wrong used graphics, mechanics etc. There are enough resources one can choose from, or even make his/her own resources, making a game is easy but making a good game needs a lot of patience.


    It's not only graphics, it's character depth, worldbuilding, storytelling, balancing, plot/story, and, what's probably the most forgotten element; gameplay. And you can't just leave your games alone with bugs, thats a no-no. There also might be a few other elements I can't think of right now.


    I've seen so many RM games on steam which confirm there ARE good games but also bad games. I've also seen people ranting about the engines. Well, there are many beginners and the engine is pretty easy to learn, but everyone improves I think and can become a professional. It's more the problem that many people are new to game design but thats all learnable. There are a lot of good commercial RM games, have you everplayed LISA? It's made in ACE and it's beautiful


    The problem I have with most games is that many just steal resources, art, etc and just bring the game out commercially or dont give credits at all? Well, that's the license thing. It's been like this for a long while and still happens. But back then with Vampires Dawn and games like these it didn't seem to matter anyway
     
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  14. RHachicho

    RHachicho Veteran Veteran

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    Look it's simple math right now they make their RTP one RTP and every copy of rpgmaker they sell goes towards paying for it.


    But if they make 10 rtp's and people only buy 1/10 of them or 0 of them with the engine all of a sudden they have to sell 10 or more copies of rpgmaker just to get back one portion of the profit that would have been guaranteed in a single sale. And they have to do this for EVERY bundle. Good luck getting your money back for all that RTP at this point. DLC is also usually not as extensive as the RTP and caters to things that are highly in demand. 


    It's honestly a fairly simple premise. Each new bundle would make earning a profit on any one bundle much harder. And the more bundles you have multiplies that affect it does not just simply add to it. Let alone the fact that there would still be people complaining because the DLC doesn't suit their needs.


    I won't say any more on the subject .. if you don't get it you don't get it.


    Now .. if you want to extend the DLC system to make dlc more expensive and further reaching .. THAT .. I'm all for. But they weren't talking about that Nomi was talking about picking and choosing your RTP when you buy rpgmaker. And that is completely unfeasible.
     
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  15. HexMozart88

    HexMozart88 The Master of Random Garbage Veteran

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    Yeah. I agree with you on that one. Just because you buy the engine with the RTP does not mean you have to necessarily use all of it. Just use what you want to. If you want to make a game with RTP, go ahead. No one's stopping you. Heck, I made a game for a school project once using mostly RTP and my class went wild.  
     
  16. RHachicho

    RHachicho Veteran Veteran

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    Aye .. for example here's what I did with a bit of simple recoloring. Imagine this with a subtle sunset tint and a pine forest that is coming from a set of custom pine trees I commissioned. I think it will look really great XD But I don't think anyone could argue that it doesn't wear the RTP on it's sleeve.


    screenie1.jpg
     
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  17. Nomi

    Nomi Veteran Veteran

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    @RHachicho


    Your math makes no sene to me at all...and btw. it is no easy math. Starting by a Math that just takes grafics worth into account. We know a sheep about their cost.


    By all that we know the graphics could be worth nothing or worth millions. But I'm quite sure that the most repay ll go into programming and not tilesets - usually artists don't get much money compared to others.


    In the End there are tons of variables bound to giving the maker a better name. There could be millions of win or loss...



    Its exactly what I'm talking about...making better dlc. --> take out the normal sprites etc. --> make a bundle option to get the maker + a dlc of your choice



    ...same.
     
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  18. Helladen

    Helladen Deviant Designer Veteran

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    To be perfectly honest, RPG Maker games try to be too much the same. They are not innovative enough. Steam Greenlght is filled with hardcore gamers, you have to understand these markets intensively to make a good RPG Maker game. Making video games takes a long time to get good at, to create your own style that is really unique. Something that appeals to a certain demographic basically, in a very refined way that is marketable and not forgettable.


    This is why I suggest to not try to sell your first RPG Maker game, I have been making games since I was 8 and still I barely have the confidence to make a commercial game with an artist and I solo developing it. It is a big task to make a game that is worth selling, there's so much competition that it is unreasonable to assume your game will be worth the money you are charging for it. Out of the 1000s of RPG Maker games, there's only a few that are not forgettable amongst the rest.


    Gamers understand this, the ones in Steam that will vote for your game. This is basically the problem RPG Maker community needs to understand. You need to be able to make your game as good as To the Moon in terms of production quality, or you are going to have a hard time making it commercially.
     
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  19. Labyrinthine

    Labyrinthine Artist/ Developer Veteran

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    It doesn't really have to be To The Moon quality. Not every game can be one of the best ever. Just create something original and try to forget anything you know about established tropes. There's more than enough Final Fantasy clones in the market already. Proper marketing is very important. There are tricks to sell a lot of games even if the quality is not sky-high. One of the most important things to remember is a low price point and visibility.


    Also, be confident and determined to create the best RPG Maker game ever. Confidence, confidence, confidence. Don't let the reality and tough competition get in your way.


    Edit: The again, if you were to ask 10 + dollars from an RPG Maker game then it's really gonna have to be super quality or it won't sell. I will probably never be asking more than 3-4 euros,even from my current project which will take multiple years to complete.
     
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  20. Helladen

    Helladen Deviant Designer Veteran

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    To the Moon wasn't even that high production value, it just contained good content and an original game. This is what gamers want. Most game developers make games that are bad, which is why RPG Maker games get this bad rap from gamers.
     
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