Why is the RPG Maker name so hated?

Galenmereth

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Well, I suppose there are games on the scale of Chrono Trigger that manage to pull it off about as decently. Radiant Historia is one of those, although I couldn't persevere with the repetitive combat over time. I've tried many times, but it gets so dreadfully boring :<
 

Ralpf

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RPG maker isn't unique for this type of hate. I remember in the early days of the PS3/XBox 360 era Unreal Engine had the same issues, every game that was released with it seemed the have the same (horrid) brown tints everywhere, people started associating the bad art styles with the engine and thinking it was something in the engine causing that. Got to the point where people would dismiss games that were being made with UE off hand from association. That didn't last long of course, but people can be really stupid sometimes when it comes to this stuff. The only real issue is the developers got over their head trying to make "realistic" graphics, and everything was looking the same, see Uncharted's 'Next Gen Filter' making fun of their efforts in that respect.
 
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Zoltor

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RPG maker isn't unique for this type of hate. I remember in the early days of the PS3/XBox 360 era Unreal Engine had the same issues, every game that was released with it seemed the have the same (horrid) brown tints everywhere, people started associating the bad art styles with the engine and thinking it was something in the engine causing that. Got to the point where people would dismiss games that were being made with UE off hand from association. That didn't last long of course, but people can be really stupid sometimes when it comes to this stuff. The only real issue is the developers got over the head trying to make "realistic" graphics, and everything was looking the same, see Uncharted's 'Next Gen Filter' making fun of their efforts in that respect.
That's true, and omg It's a understatement. It was insane how many people were *****ing about another game, using the same engine. The funny thing is, graphic whores(which engines have little to do with, if it "looks" good) are always overhyping engines used in console games(omg it uses the new unreal engine, It's the best ever, ect, yet they know nothing about the engine its self), but that is only until another game uses the same engine, then they cry bloody murder, 
 
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Ashton

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Could we re-create Chrono Trigger using RPG Maker?  Of course we could!  The engine is designed to create that style of game.  
This was my only point. I wasn't talking about the time or skill required. I'm talking about the technical capabilities of the engine itself. ChronoTrigger was a AAA title, and while it gets it's share of hate it's still well respected. The RPG Maker Engine can make the exact same game if enough effort was put into doing so. Therefore the logical argument is simply that the engine is not "sub-par" it is the people who are cranking out bad games, etc etc etc --- The engine itself is not to blame because it *can* produce games on-level with previous worldwide hits. 
 

SoulPour777

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Well its simply like saying, a legendary sword isn't actually legendary because of how sharp it is or how beautiful the design of its handguard is, its the one who uses it that makes it legendary. Take that to RPG Maker, someone can produce an AAA game with RM, I saw some tech demos and sample demos from people around the internet that made games even similar to the 3D rotation that Xenogears had on PlayStation... so, the argument that you can't produce AAA games in RPG Maker is baseless and senseless. It's like saying, some people can, you just can't.
 

SoulPour777

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And you can make it fun, engaging, complex and visually interesting while using the RTP graphics.
Exactly. So there's no way that people should hate the maker, what they should hate is the lazy developer :p The tool is good, its just that the person using it isn't that good enough.

Hm, would that be something called Mode-7, or something similar, SoulPour777?

If so, I think you might be thinking of this game:

http://www.greenmangaming.com/s/gb/en/pc/games/indie/chronicles-dark-lord-episode-1-tides-fate/

I was looking at it yesterday with the sale being on.
The H-Mode 7 / Neo Mode 7 / Mode 7 is pretty similar to the ones in Xenogears, yes. More push for the RM programming and you can replicate a Xenogears game in RM. I bet using DLLs would make the game smooth. I saw a person on RMRK who posted his "Diablo 2 System" with whole mouse compatibility in RMXP...a person who created games like Ragnarok movement and style on RMXP... so its all possible.

Again, I'll repeat it, blame the developer, not the tool.
 

DavidGil

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There's a pretty impressive project being worked on here, as well:

http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198010120839/videos/

I ran into it a while ago and I'm guessing the person might be a member here with having Archeia on their friend's list.

Kind of puts to shame the work I can do, but I'm a beginner and have a specific skill set, so I can't do anything when it comes to graphics/scripting/animations with working on my own and not having the funds.

Still, won't stop me from working on a project, as I know I can do what I can do well.
 
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Cronus

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This is a very interesting question to raise at this moment, considering how popular indie games development has become and how easy is to try to publish and produce your own. This of course attracted many RPG Maker users and people who never used as well. I will write down my opinions about it and, forgive-me if someone already said the exact same things.

I've been using RPG Maker for 8 years or so, already spent a lot of time on communities, playing games, giving feedback and of course, making my own projects. And there's a lot of peculiarities you can observe happening frequently, even when we are not talking about the commercial scenario. In a nutshell, the biggest issue that RPG Maker games and developers demonstrate in general is laziness. Of course, it isn't so easy to just use one word and I plan to go forward with my argument, but again, I think this sums up the general scenario.

Something very important to start with: your game's features are proportional to what your game's purpose is. You cannot say that all the games should have original and awesome art to be a good game, nor that they must have all original and innovative gameplay mechanics, and so on. Each game haves a core that will carry the most important features, some of them being art, some of them being gameplay mechanics, some of them being narrative. Of course, you can expect that all these features will have a balance between each other, but they don't need to be so sharpened as the core aspects. What I'm trying to say here is that there's no point on saying "RPG Maker Games with bad narrative are worthless" - if you are making a game focused on action, puzzles or non-linear exploration, the narrative usually doesn't matter (just an example). So the game's attributes by themselves doesn't matter, but how well they are executed on the context do.

The second part to understand is that what makes a game special is what set it apart from the others. Can you imagine a scenario where all platformer games on existence had bricks to break with your head, enemies you kill by jumping on them, coins that gives you extra lives and pipes to go down on secret areas? You can recognize some of these elements on some games of the genre, but only Mario will have them all as described. This is its identity. Same thing happens with other genres, including games on the RPG side. Here is where the two points I've made at this moment merge together: what makes a good game is how well it is executed on the given context and the identity of the experience delivered while doing it. At least is what I most believe above everything on games.

Now going to our problem: remember when I said the word was laziness? RPG maker is intuitive, it is easy to learn. But not only this, it also comes with a huge package of things already ready to use: lots of graphical assets, music, sound effect library, a huge database with enemies and heroes already done. RPG Maker already comes with a game ready to make, you just have to assemble and learn how to do so. Any first time user will be extremely happy to have so much content and will see all ideas possible to execute without much effort, just learning the basics. This is where it starts: it's easy to make, you have everything on your hands. You don't know how to do art? You don't know how to do music? You don't know how to code?! "Fear not, young aspiring indie developer. We have this done for you. And if you need more, you have whole places on the internet dedicated to provide you with more graphical assets, music and all the add-on scripts you could imagine. Go and make your dream game."

This. Having everything on hands creates safe zone where you don't really need to understand much about game design or how any of the individual parts of the process works. The principles of context quality and identity I said before will not be learned, at least not without time, study and dedication. Some people will not care or look for criticism, it doesn't matter how much ridiculous the tale they want to tell is, nor how ugly their maps are. But how can you blame them? Big part of these users are still kids or teenagers which never had any touch with game development before, of course they don't know everything and they will take the time to learn gradually. But instead of evolve with the time and develop self-criticism, some of those people will get ambitious. They will be proud of their work even if it is a frankenstein made of numerous assets ripped from what they could get, glued together and shoved on people's faces as a product. These products are the bad RPG Maker games, made without self-criticism and without the necessary time and dedication.

"But there are good games! There are good developers!", one say. And it is not wrong, they indeed exist. These are the experienced and dedicated people who started doing ugly RTP games but had the dedication to learn and become better over time. What happens is that with this experience, RPG Maker stops being enough. These people will migrate to other engines, to invest time doing art for bigger projects, they will search for things with more potential. I'm not saying RPG Maker doesn't have this potential, it does - but it doesn't so well as other alternatives, principally if what you seek is not traditional top-down J-RPGs. Again, I'm trying to paint a general picture, but there's exceptions. Some people will develop great RPG Maker games, some people will do great things without the need of having 5 years learning. But they are the minority that shines on this topic, as the reputation is made by the majority.

I think I've said enough, maybe even too much, but this is a very extensive topic. Trying to sum up: RPG Maker games are infamous in general because they are made by inexperienced people who still doesn't know how to make their games different and interesting. They make what they can do with more ease, using generic resources everyone uses and their games will be poorly executed, usually. Some of these people will ignore this fact and will try to publish their "work", while the good ones will be hidden gems buried on the communities (that are a huge niche, by the way). Most part of the experienced people will move on from RPG Maker, and the cycle will repeat - it was always like this. What makes a small difference today is what I said on the beginning: indie game dev popularity, publishers, money, steam greenlight, etc.

Just to finish, an important detail: this doesn't happen ONLY with RPG Maker and RPG Maker users. RPG Maker is maybe only the biggest example because it is more accessible than any other.

PS: I don't think that the RTP is ugly or that the default assets are bad, they have great quality. The problem is that using them imply on lacking originality, so you cannot expect to make a serious game that will be praised even if it looks exactly like another thousands made by other people like you.
 
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whitesphere

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Building my own RPGs with RPG Maker has shown me just how much work it takes to create a complete RPG with, say, 20 hours of content.  When we play through it, it's like "Oh, this is fun, I can do something like this."

The devil is truly in the ten million details that have to be gotten just right, from making good maps (using RTP or no, it is a big job to get maps to look at least presentable), to adding the items, to creating the skills and specialized effects, to creating a compelling story with interesting characters, to balancing gameplay.  

In my current project, I had a part of game balanced, but as I've been adding specialized weapon skills, and quests where one party member was arrested, that throws off the entire balance and I need to re-test with these.  Otherwise, the game would quickly not become fun to play.  Making the party too powerful makes for a boring game, but if they are too easily killed (when wielding the proper equipment and having the proper levels), it makes for a frustrating one.

Obviously, these can all be done.  And, since we all have different skills, we'll find some parts much easier than others.   But making the entire game, if it's any significant length, takes a LOT of work.  Just ask any of the participants in the Indie Game Contest that took place in June.  

Making a game is sort of like, say, baking a cake.  Every ingredient needs to be in the right proportion and added at the right time.  "OK, now is a great time to challenge the party with a really hard boss.  Here's a great spot for the plot twist."

And, while a master chef makes baking the cake seem easy, it's incredibly easy to make crap, if any of the many steps aren't done right.  A game that's not balanced ALL the way through can become frustrating.   A game whose maps look like crap fails to tell a good story.  A story with NPCs with bad spelling/grammar errors throws the player out of the world.  A game with tons of nearly blank filler in the map feels too slow.   A game with a disjointed or illogical story (unless that is precisely the point like in a horror/thriller) throws the player out of the game's world.  Many beginner RPG Maker games make at least one of these mistakes, because it's incredibly easy to miss at least one.

The funny thing about skills?  When you have little or no skill, you don't KNOW you don't have skill, because the very ability to discern "This is good or not" takes a measure of the skill you don't have.  This is why, say, professional musicians might say "I slipped on the 2nd movement," and have a host of other critiques of his/her performance, but the rest of us amateurs just see the amazing performance.  
 

captainproton

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@whitesphere. At least baking is essentially chemistry and there are specific, mathematical formulae for making cakes. Rpgs, however, are largely intuitive, with only a handful of "rules of thumb".
 

Lucy Fox

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Somehow I think that the RTP is used very often, because other graphics are not only hard to make for someone, but also not free for commercial usage.

I myself use a lot of music from Jamendo and other sites. They have great music, but you aren't allowed to use it comercialy.

Same for many graphcis and scripts I use. (Because I wanted a more unique look for my game I can never make it commercial xD)

If you can't do everything on your own and haven't a lot of money to spend for licences, then it may be very hard to get enough ressources for a whole game.

Also I agree that it depends much on the users mapping skills. Bad maps are bad maps.

I've seen some really great RTP-Stuf. And I've seen very ugly custom graphics.

RPG Maker is a great tool. It's easy to learn but hard to master.

Other engines like Unity for example aren't that easy. And making 3D is even harder than making some 2D stuff.

Also eventing is easier than any scripting language. And you can do really amazing stuff with events.

So when there is someone who just want's to make a great game. He/she can do, without spending years in learning 3D and programming.

And... everytime you can do something easily (and/or for free), there are always people who make crap.

Same for books. Everyone can release a book today. But not everyone can write a good story.

There is only a small percentage of "good" between all the "bad".
 
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whitesphere

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@whitesphere. At least baking is essentially chemistry and there are specific, mathematical formulae for making cakes. Rpgs, however, are largely intuitive, with only a handful of "rules of thumb".
I agree 100%.  That is what makes good RPGs even harder to "bake", if anything.

Of course, the more RPGs we play, the more we get a better sense of what is good and not good when we make our own RPGs.

And, to add to Lucy Fox's point:

Even if you ARE a professional programmer, it's a huge relief NOT to have to write a ton of code to get all of the basics running in your RPG.  The code I'd have to write to build a basic RPG engine would probably take me months or years (probably the latter).  I'd MUCH rather use that time and energy actually writing and tweaking the actual game itself, rather than crafting an engine.
 
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Razzazaki

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One game that i like which is made in RPG maker is Sweet Lily Dreams
 
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Actually Chrono Trigger would be borderline extremely easy to make, and would take a lot less time to make then most RPGs.

The only thing that would be hard, is the tech system, and the weird targeting system in battles, because you'll need scripts for them.

Once you get that handled, It's a cake walk, very few dungeon maps exist in that game in general, no world map to speak of, no town maps, the maps the game does have, aren't complex at all, features that aren't fully implimented, very few side quests, simple puzzles, exc.
No. This is so wrong. The pixel art of the game alone would take years. If you're one person? Decades. Sure it isn't Seiken Densetsu 3 level, but it's just a bit below it. A good game-breaker right off the bat? 16 x 16 tiles instead of 32x32. Good luck getting RPG Maker to do that.

That's just the bare minimum.

You saying Chrono Trigger is easy to make is insulting the hard work of a lot of people and shows your ignorance. I'm making a game using the SNES sdk and let me assure you, it is the most excrutiating thing in the world. It's even harder when you use RPG Maker. RPG Maker cannot make Chrono Trigger without heavy, and I mean heavy tweaking. Unless you have a few thousand dollars to dump on making the engine better suited then don't bother. That's just the technical portion. The art is a different story. As is the music. As is the story. You said you aren't a fan of Chrono Trigger but that doesn't allow you to put it down as a game that's easy to make.
 
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DavidGil

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One game that i like which is made in RPG maker is Sweet Lily Dreams
I could be mistaken because I've not seen it myself, but I believe that someone said that game's also been on the receiving end of criticism. It's essentially a case of no matter what you do, your game will find criticism, whether it's rational or not, if it's indeed true.

That said, while I haven't been following the game much since the first day or two of release, I was quite pleased with the reaction to Always Sometimes Monsters. (Because the fact it was made with RPG Maker didn't seem focused on or anything, and I didn't see a lot of negativity surrounding other than people complaining about the things it focuses on, meaning the adult/real life content.)

PS: And yeah, Chrono Trigger could easily be replicated. Afterall, it's so very easy to write a good story, even if it lasts for only five minutes. And this is discounting all of the other work, like art, different time periods, and programming.
 
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Ralpf

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I could be mistaken because I've not seen it myself, but I believe that someone said that game's also been on the receiving end of criticism. It's essentially a case of no matter what you do, your game will find criticism, whether it's rational or not, if it's indeed true.

That said, while I haven't been following the game much since the first day or two of release, I was quite pleased with the reaction to Always Sometimes Monsters. (Because the fact it was made with RPG Maker didn't seem focused on or anything, and I didn't see a lot of negativity surrounding other than people complaining about the things it focuses on, meaning the adult/real life content.)

PS: And yeah, Chrono Trigger could easily be replicated. Afterall, it's so very easy to write a good story, even if it lasts for only five minutes. And this is discounting all of the other work, like art, different time periods, and programming.
You will not find a game (or anything) that is liked universally, there are plenty of games I can't stand that tons of people love, and vice versa.
 

DavidGil

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I know, Ralpf. Subjectivity and all that. But from what I remember, the criticisms of Sweet Lilly Dreams was still relegated to the 'rpg maker is bad' type of criticism you see. Or the graphics were panned. At least that is the impression I got.

The usual kind of thing, you know, that you see directed at retro/rpg maker games? But again, I never actually saw the criticism against the game. I just remember someone saying that it drew criticism.

It's just a no-win situation really. All we can do is make the game we want to make, hope for the best and try to ignore what others say if it's the not type of criticism that's useful.
 
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Ralpf

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I just went through all the negative reviews on the Steam store (there weren't many), only one mentioned RPG Maker.

Overall, this game was clearly intended for 10 year old children. I would recommend getting this for you daughter, but not for yourself.
Better off buying a noose.
Ew furries.
I haven't played it yet, so I can't really comment. But the negative comments in general weren't very specific....
 
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