If you are new to this site, I am an RPG Maker Game Developer. I also have some experience with Unity and Unreal engines. Many have asked me why I chose to create a game on RPG Maker when more modern feature heavy game engines are readily available. This post will be my essay defending the credibility of RPG Maker as a viable engine in the current game landscape. If you are creating a game on RPG Maker, this essay will also have some great general concepts to chew on.
The Five Points in Defense of RPG Maker
RPG Maker is a Great Place to Start
Games made with RPG Maker engines do come with constraints. These ‘constraints’ can be the very aspect of the engine that helps your first game to be awesome. Two of the hardest ongoing decisions occurring while making a game are deciding how many features to include and what features to include. RPG Maker makes these ongoing decisions easier.
RPG Maker Makes a Specific Style of Game
While it’s possible to create some really crazy stuff with RPG Maker, most of its games follow a very specific and general retro aesthetic and playstyle. This is a good thing! Please don’t use RPG Maker to try and create the next big shooter style game.
Lean Into RPG Maker’s Core Features
Every plugin, whether custom or downloaded, should be added to a game with great consideration. Before adding a plugin, ask yourself: how much better will this make your game? If it’s only a slight increase in quality, the weight that quality against the possibility of creating a plugin conflict that could catastrophically ruin your game. Perhaps, try to fully utilize the engine’s existing capabilities to make your game fun and interesting.
Free Plugins are Going to Behave like Free Plugins
RPG Maker boasts numerous immense libraries of free plugins. These plugins are going to behave like most free things. They may work great, they may be terrible. Predictability is expensive. Don’t expect free software to be perfect. At the same time, plenty of free plugins are amazing. Just be realistic about your initial expectations when adding a plugin to your game.
Unique Features Usually Require Unique Programming
When many aspiring RPG Maker game devs have a few specific ideas of mechanics they want their game to have. I have seen many people try to create a specific mechanic for months, only to decide it wasn’t really what they wanted in the end. I spent weeks on the menus for Familia, deciding later that I would just use the default menus for the engine later.
Thanks For Reading
Please continue this conversation on the Familia Discord. Let me know if I missed anything. Also check out the video version of this post.