The RPG Maker series came to Nintendo 3DS this month, but what exactly is it, and is it something worth investing in?
RPG Maker is a nifty tool that allows any average person to become their own game developer and create a unique RPG exactly to their liking. From creating the characters to designing the maps, setting up battle encounters and writing the scripts – you can do it all. The PC versions are very immersive and possibly more in-depth, but that doesn’t mean to say that 2017’s handheld version doesn’t deserve some praise.
RPG Maker takes a bit of figuring out and getting used to, and this installment can be particularly awkward from a mechanical point of view (nothing the internet can’t help with though!) Still, there are plenty of pre-created character graphics, items and map pieces for those new to development or looking to put something together relatively quickly, while also offering detailed options such as naming your own weapons, classes etc. and setting up specific leveling bonuses and skills.
Once you get more used to the controls, you can soon become completely immersed in bringing your imaginary scenarios, characters and storylines to life. And with some simple scripting you’ll be adding in screen transitions, NPC movement and weather changes in no time. It has to be said, however, that even for the casual developer, you need to be prepared to dedicate a lot of time and patience if you hope to learn all the ins and outs and create something you can be proud of. I’ve not got very far through my first game yet, simply down to the fact that it took around four hours to create characters and produce my opening few minutes alone. That was before even a single fight had taken place!
If you’re willing to put in a little effort and like the idea of continuing to work on the go, then RPG Maker Fes is definitely a worthy investment. Granted, you’re probably best going with a PC version if you’re really serious about production, but for the most part this is a great piece of software that does everything you need it to to get started in game design. Happy with what you’ve produced? Then share your completed game so that others can give it a go. Similarly, you can download some extra software for free that allows you to check out other people’s creations too.
What more can you ask for really?