RPG Maker MV Review – RiceDigital’s First RPG (PC)

In recent years there has been a slew of tools for game development. But none can match RPG Maker when it comes to making your own RPG game. Not to mention there are some excellent non-RPG games made with it.

 

 

I have been using RPG maker for years and have been excited to see what new features RPG Maker MV will bring. With the new deployment system in place, Android and iOS support is one of the highly sought features for many years.

 

RPG Maker has a long history starting in 1992. where it was released as RPG Tsukūru Dante 98. After having success with RPG Maker 2000 through RPG Maker VX Ace, the latest version RPG Maker MV was released this October on Steam. With this year’s release HTML5 is finally supported, so we decided to create our very own Super Rice Digital Store RPG!

 

 

Although no manual is available on the Steam page there are rather detailed instructions in the editor itself which can be accessed through the Help menu. In this menu you have explanations on how to use some of the basic features of RPG Maker. This is a good start, but for better understanding of the intricacies of RPG Maker there is a huge community with user made tutorials out there, many of which can prove to be very useful. From tips for building your own maps to making your custom scripts this is where you would need to look into.

 

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One of the best features of the RPG Maker is its character generator. It gives you enough variety to make a great party of characters, but in case you need more tweaking, the system for importing and exporting your resources has been improved. Even if you are not very fond of it, this is a system that can help you make a mock-up of your characters really fast.

 

When RPG Maker MV was announced there has been talk of it using three layers for backgrounds. Some users interpreted this as a comeback of RPG Maker XP system of background layers, where there were two layers for tiles – background tiles and details. I also was excited for the return of that system, but instead what we got was a single layer for maps and a level for auto generation. It gives you the option to mix already placed tiles, but you don’t have much control over it. Another use for this additional layer is RPG Makers’ auto tile placement which is a nice addition, but I would have liked to be given the option to turn it off.

 

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New to MV is the plug-in manager that makes using and managing of plug-ins much easier. It along with the new java script support should make RPG maker programming a bit more accessible than with the previous Ruby implementation. Some users might be happy that Event Searcher function from XP has made a comeback.

 

The core of the RPG Maker, that is its Database has not changed much, but its interface looks more polished than ever. One of the more important features that users are sure to use a lot is a Tileset Manager that lets you mix and match available tiles, as well as to include your own. But whenever you make a custom tileset you have to set the passability manually by clicking on each tile which can prove to be very tiresome, especially if you have a large number of tiles.

 

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One of the highly requested features was a side-view battle system. Although you could get them in previous releases with a bit of coding, Enterbrain has now added full support for this style of combat. So now when you are creating characters you can also configure their side-view battle look which uses a bigger set of tiles. In order to use side-view battles you only have enable it in the System menu and RPG Maker will do the rest. Your party members can now be seen behind your character, reminiscent of those oldschool RPGs. This is the new caterpillar system that is easy to use and can also be toggled in the System menu.

 

It has been long due and RPG Maker MV has improved its display resolution. While it is not fully HD, it is an improvement over the previous releases – it has been bumped up to 816×624 over the previous 544×416, with a sprite increase (48×48 over the previous 32×32 pixels).

 

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One hot new feature of RPG Maker MV is an ability to export your game to HTML5 and mobile devices. The HTML5 can be a bit finicky at times. Because of the bigger file size of the project it can cause some lag in loading. Chrome currently doesn’t support HTML5 audio, so if you want working music and sound effects you will have to try a different browser for the time being. However, being able to run your creations inside a webpage is worth it. Now you can even exclusively use the mouse if you want to. As for mobile devices, exporting essentially gives you an HTML5 version. Although exporting for Android and iOS isn’t ready to be used just out of the box, there are instructions on how to make them work using the appropriate tools for the job.

 

RPG Maker MV comes prepackaged with a lot of resources to start making your games. There are default tiles that consist of a typical fantasy set with the additional Sci-fi set that some users might appreciate. I can imagine them being used for an RPG set in modern times.

 

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If you need some more assets and find the default ones useful there are two DLC packs available each available for 9,99€. There is the Essentials Set, that gives you additional dungeon and town tilesets, emotions for RPG Maker default characters and 14 additional music tracks. Depending on how you use the default tiles and music, this DLC might be worthwhile.

 

Cover Art Characters Pack gives you 8 character packs each with its own tune and 8 fully animated NPC characters. The only complaint I might give it is that they sport a different style than the rest of the characters so for the sake of consistency you may find them less usable.

 

RPG Maker MV is still the best program on the market to make your dream RPG game. It has all the tools necessary to get your creative juices flowing and enough resources to make your first game or two. While it might lack some flexibility, it is a good start and I am sure that HTML5 and mobile support will yield quality RPG games in the future.

 

RPG Maker MV Steam page

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