Why is the RPG Maker name so hated?

Plainview

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I agree entirely with Sharm. Instead of complaining about what little the RTP provides (which by the way, is still very much usable), make them yourself. The RTP serves as a template, so if you really want to see specific stuff for your game, making it yourself is the best option. It may take long, but it'll be worth it in the long run.
 

Arkecia

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@Shelby

The point is that he uses a majority of RTP graphics; if you want to get nit picky he uses lighting graphics, but it doesn't change the community from identifying as a RTP game.

The point is that there's all kinds of things you can do with it, and that's part of the fun.
 

amerk

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Exactly. While the RTP itself can appear boring if it's been over-used and not used well, when used in conjunction with other talents, it can still do a pretty bang-up job (edits, with scripts, clever events, tinting...).

But to say the RTP is the reason for poorly designed games is ludicrous. Sure, it makes it easier for people to shoot out horrible projects, but in the end, the RTP is just another tool, and the user needs to know how to use it to its full potential.
 

saintivan

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I read through all of these posts because I think it is an important question (Why is the RPG Maker name so hated?). There were many good answers.

I believe that the "haters", most prominent on Steam are already a much smaller group than the actual RPG maker users on Steam. Some haters are thinly disguised angry teenagers, others ADD FPS loving gamers cognitively limited to reading only one line of text, and still others who provide valid criticisms.

I have stood naked before the wrath of the haters. The first two groups I ignored or sent scathing banter back at them, sometimes with great satisfaction.

The third group I have learned from. Due to their constructive criticism, I have spent fruitful months improving my game. 

Most people, even the learned masses, don't know RPG Maker exists. They will. RPG maker can bring a story to life in a way that paper and ink can never do.

Most authors, even the good ones, fail. Most RPG Maker games, even the good ones, will find no audience. That is the math, and there is no way around it.

In the near future, a talented and very lucky individual will create an RPG maker game that makes it past the gamer community all the way to the mainstream media.

The haters will still hate. Their voices will become tiny squeaks ignored by all. 
 

frrrosty

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I'll be honest... it took me a long time to come around to giving RPG Maker a shot because of my own biases.  I've made games in Pascal, QBasic, BlitzBasic, Flash, and Unity, and while I'm no master I'm accustomed to programming due to it.  

So many RPG Maker games I saw looked poor, or played poorly, or had serious spelling errors and grammatical errors, and so on.  So that didn't help.  But what really did it was my own bias, the feeling that making a game using RPG Maker was somehow "beneath" me or something.  It's easy to get wrapped up in that kind of thing, but on the other side when you're making everything pretty much by yourself in something like Unity, what ends up happening is you spend a lot of time before the game is done.

I'm not going to stop using Unity, especially because not every game I want to make is a RPG or suited to RPG Maker.  But there are enough things it has going on that I can easily make a game, and FINISH IT, and I can feel good about that.  In fact, that has freed me up to try my hand at pixel art, so that's a cool sign too.

When I first met my wife many years ago, she suggested RPG Maker to me, and I scoffed.  She just wanted me to finish more games.  She's a wise girl sometimes  :p
 

Ashton

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I'm not going to stop using Unity, especially because not every game I want to make is a RPG or suited to RPG Maker.  But there are enough things it has going on that I can easily make a game, and FINISH IT, and I can feel good about that.  In fact, that has freed me up to try my hand at pixel art, so that's a cool sign too.
Unity, among others, has one major problem in my view - there is very little in the way of available content you can import and use. If your not a good artist, you can still make a good game with RPG Maker, all it takes is a little time with a good image editor and you can even make rudimentary puppets out of static PNGs with a little effort (that's how I made one of my battler animations) However, when you step up to 3D engines you suddenly have a lot less to choose from, and besides that you end up spending DAYS trying to work out riggings for models (I've done it, using what many would argue is the single best 3D software available - Autodesk Maya, and after WEEKS of tinkering and adjusting I could never make a rigging that looked even vaguely realistic)

Don't get me wrong, there are a LOT of pre-built models available for both free download and purchase (quality may vary, obviously) but they are either extremely generic or extremely specific. If your game doesn't happen to fall into one of the categories, your going to spend 3/4 of your time looking for and trying (very unsuccessfully in some of our cases) to edit them and in many cases add the needed riggings. 

This also doesn't even begin to cover cost. I glanced over the Unity website and the first thing I saw was "Easy Payments" which tells me the price is extremely high (and it might very well be worth it, Photoshop and Autodesk also have high prices on their software but both can do things you cant even dream of!) which limits entry for a lot of us who's budget consists of "how many days can I live on ramen noodles for all my meals" to pay for it. 

I apologize if I am pigeonholing Unity, I'm only VERY vaguely acquainted with it, but I think my arguments still stand for most game engines.
 

frrrosty

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I apologize if I am pigeonholing Unity, I'm only VERY vaguely acquainted with it, but I think my arguments still stand for most game engines.
Don't worry about it.  I will say though, in response to some things you said:

- Unity is free, it only costs money if you want to publish without the Unity splash screen, or if you want to put your game on a platform other than PC/Mac/Web.  

- As far as content goes, yeah, you can get a lot on the Asset Store.  This includes code, models, particle effects, and pretty much anything.  But yeah a lot of it costs money, and you still have to do a lot of work.  The biggest thing is you don't get a "full set" that gives you everything you need art-wise like RPG Maker offers.  That's a huge benefit of RPG Maker.

- With regard to models and riggings, most things I do in Unity are 2D or 3D with simple objects.  You don't have to have animated 3D models with bones and things for a lot of games.  You can still make sprites the old-fashioned way and make puzzle games, platformers, and so on pretty easily.

The main advantages of RPG Maker as far as I can tell are: it's easy to get assets that generally fit with other assets, it's insanely quick to get your game up and running, and you aren't staring at code non-stop.  All of that said, though, it does feel to me more like modding a currently existing game than making a new one from the ground up.  There's nothing wrong with that, of course!  Again, the amount of work to a playable, full game is dramatically reduced and the barrier to entry is way, way lower.
 

Ashton

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Don't worry about it.  I will say though, in response to some things you said:

- Unity is free, it only costs money if you want to publish without the Unity splash screen, or if you want to put your game on a platform other than PC/Mac/Web.  

- As far as content goes, yeah, you can get a lot on the Asset Store.  This includes code, models, particle effects, and pretty much anything.  But yeah a lot of it costs money, and you still have to do a lot of work.  The biggest thing is you don't get a "full set" that gives you everything you need art-wise like RPG Maker offers.  That's a huge benefit of RPG Maker.

- With regard to models and riggings, most things I do in Unity are 2D or 3D with simple objects.  You don't have to have animated 3D models with bones and things for a lot of games.  You can still make sprites the old-fashioned way and make puzzle games, platformers, and so on pretty easily.

The main advantages of RPG Maker as far as I can tell are: it's easy to get assets that generally fit with other assets, it's insanely quick to get your game up and running, and you aren't staring at code non-stop.  All of that said, though, it does feel to me more like modding a currently existing game than making a new one from the ground up.  There's nothing wrong with that, of course!  Again, the amount of work to a playable, full game is dramatically reduced and the barrier to entry is way, way lower.
Orly? I might have to play with unity on my next project then, even if I find out it's not for me it will be a valuable learning experience (and I do have some background in coding as long as it's not 99% code-work to make anything).

Personally, I would hope that there's nobody out there making games on RPGM using only the RTP... and to be fair, a lot of the assets don't fit too well when you start branching out from the done-to-death fantasy games, even a small change in genre or tone and you need a lot more assets (I'm looking at something like 100mb of assets and I'm only through my first map! Dialogue images alone take a lot of space and need a lot of expressions)

Well, if I am 100% honest, I think I was asking a little too much for my level anyway, especially considering the riggings in most games (I was trying to make a full 14-joint-hand  (each hand) when most games rarely do much with animating hands) Though I was also planning to do straight-up 3D animation with the riggings, so...

While I'd argue that, again, the RTP only goes so far, you are right that it saves a lot of time (which will be spent looking for OTHER assets needed @_@)
 

Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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Unity AFAIK is only free up to a certain extent if you're going commercial... Like if you hit a certain profit or revenue treshold you start paying them... Though personally, the $1500 dollar one-time payment for the license for it seems to be worth it.

Anyway, I do think it's really just because a lot of bad games made with RM were lurking around. And oh well, I wouldn't even dare compare a game made by 1 person using a $70 dollar software from something made by a AAA company that is making games for the past 2 or more decades having more than $100K budget per game using a team of more than 10 persons working full-time (even overtime) coz that is just a mismatch.

PS: Looking back at the pages, it seems like a lot of people focus on the graphics part. I guess it shows how people nowadays are so focused on the graphical aspect of games... I've seen my fair share of games that get the hype because the graphics are so awesome, but then when you get to play them, it was like all I wanna do now is get rid of them... 

I do miss the older era of gaming where people play games for what they truly are, not just to see some epicly shining graphics...
 
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Ashton

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In regards to past eras, There was a huge balance going on between gameplay/story and art/animation (mostly due to cartridge/disk/disc space limitations) you had to choose whether to spend your precious ROM on fancy actions or on telling a story. While compression did help this, there was still a time where amazing (for their time) graphics often meant less emphasis on story.  Today with digital distribution (or physical distribution using an unlimited number of discs) it's no longer a problem.

I do hate to see how this plays out in today's world though, even with limitations lifted it seems often that slider is still in place, and most players want it cranked up on graphics and not plot. (I laugh that I could make a hyper-realistic 6K resolution "game" where you just stare at an object --- but that object is BEYOND reality in detail, and it would sell a decent number of copies purely because it's got "unbelievable graphics" even though the plot is literally zero)

While I do feel there is something to be said for making your own graphics (or at the least editing the RTP and/or adding to it) a great story can be told using nothing but what comes pre-installed. People do put too much emphasis on graphics these days imo (though again it can make a huge difference, and make storytelling easier if you use some custom graphics --- still not 100% required though)

That's also my argument about why 2D games have faded away for the most part (mobile platforms excluded, but even those are starting to fade too with better specs and more powerful mobile engines) in favor of 3D (which I still argue looks too uncanny valley in many situations)
 

Lorenze

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I feel like we have a conversation like this almost every month, so I don't really have too much to add on. It's kind of getting old. But here's a repost from a comment on Steam from more of a player's/buyer's perspective that I kinda agree with for the most part (except the turn-based section).

There are many problems associated with RPG Maker. The first one is how most of them ALL look the same. Why is that? Because everyone uses the same old tilesets bundled (or worse, rips them from snes games).

 

Then there is the community. People simply burned out from so many horrible RPG Maker games that the community regularly churns out, all of them with a promise of "innovation! extraordinary storytelling! deep characters!" that never delivers.

 

Then, there is the tool. RPG Maker is extremely limited. The biggest problem is probably when it comes to battles - you are pretty much guaranteed to face a terribly archaic and depthless turn based battle system without any flair added to it. Turn based is not bad by any means (the Mario RPG games are a good example of great turn based) - NES style turn based, though, definitely is. If you can extend the functionalities of RPG Maker with your skills, then you will most likely graduate to Gamemaker or some other engine, so when you see RPG Maker you know the design vision the dev had will most likely be impaired by the engine choice and the lack of coding skills.

 

The writing is also usually subpar, and more often than not downright unprofessional, riddled with grammar mistakes (if you are serious about your game, you should get someone to proofread and edit your script). 

 

If you want to tell a story but you lack the skills to make a proper RPG, there are other tools available. Look into making a VN, for example - Ren'py is pretty easy to use, or so I hear. There are even other solutions available nowadays withg multiple device compatibility that are even easier to use. You dont have to make the user suffer through 10 hours of boring padding added by uninspired and depthless random battles and useless backtracking to tell your story. Or... release your game in the RPGM community, get feedback from it, improve on it in further games and then, when you have a quality product, come back to GL and try your luck.

 

RPG Maker devs have the terrible tendency of biting way more than they can chew and think that hard work equals good work. This is why there is so much rejection towards it on Greenlight. Steam is a place for games with professional quality, after all - indie or not.
 

Solo

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The writing is also usually subpar, and more often than not downright unprofessional, riddled with grammar mistakes (if you are serious about your game, you should get someone to proofread and edit your script).
Whoa, whoa. This is not RPG Maker's fault. I pride myself in prioritizing a well-written story.
 

Sharm

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That's the thing though, none of the main complaints are actually the fault of the maker, it's the manner that the program is usually used. RPG Maker isn't hated because it's a bad program, it's hated because the default result is very bad games.
 

Ashton

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That's the thing though, none of the main complaints are actually the fault of the maker, it's the manner that the program is usually used. RPG Maker isn't hated because it's a bad program, it's hated because the default result is very bad games.

You hit the nail on the head. 

Also I might add, humanity as a whole likes to lash out when it's angry but it cant last out at doens of no-name game "developers" who made bad games on RPGM, so they lash out at the program itself (much like how we've seen game consoles be attacked for low-quality games on them)
 
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RPG Maker is severely limited in some aspects and completely broken in others.

Try using fullscreen in windows 8+ with the RGSS player.

spoiler: It lags out the ass

Not that you can't work around these limitations of course, but some of them are so hard-coded in that it just isn't worth it.
 

Ratty524

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You hit the nail on the head. 

Also I might add, humanity as a whole likes to lash out when it's angry but it cant last out at doens of no-name game "developers" who made bad games on RPGM, so they lash out at the program itself (much like how we've seen game consoles be attacked for low-quality games on them)
Actually, they do lash out towards the developers. The whole point of that post Gav made is to explain just why everyone outside the community is quick to label RM games as crap. Amateur developers with absolutely no sense of scope released sub-par games that had no voice in the gaming world, so much so that the program was given a stigma. This is something that was not necessarily caused by the engine itself, but by its developers making a poor representation of what this community really has to offer.
 

Dalph

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I don't like where this is going so I'll stop posting here from now on.

Hate threads like this one are totally useless and deserve only to be buried, also ranting against the tool serve absolutely no purpose and won't automatically fix its issues for sure.
 

amerk

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Even games like Enelysion, Star Stealing Prince, and Altered Legend get hated on from time to time. I'm playing Sweet Lily Dreams now, and there's still plenty of spite against that game simply for being made in RPG Maker, and that game is professionally well done.

So we can stand here and talk about what causes the hate and what can be done about it. The problem is, with or without the amateur games, there's always going to be somebody who hates the engine and will voice that hate as loud as they can for nothing more than because it was made in RPG Maker. Sure, amateur games don't help, but they're not the sole reason. Heck, I've come across a few games on Steam that weren't made in RPG Maker, but that hasn't stopped people from accusing the game of being such. People who will hate will do so, and there's nothing you can do to get them to see beyond their own prejudiced bias.

The only thing you can do is to continue to have fun with the maker while you design the game as best you know how and ignore the worthless rants that are spatted from illogical people.
 

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