Introduction: Create a Computer Game With RPGMaker

RPGMaker is software from Japan that allows creation of role-playing games. The battle and reward systems are built in, as are many events that can be used in your game such as speaking to NPCs, finding items and treasure, and moving through doors and portals in addition to many other things. You may also add code and custom graphics to your game, so it is quite a robust development tool. I use it to teach my students game design, character design, and game flow.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Above is a video showing elements we will be adding in this Instructable. The possibilities are many, and you will be amazed at what you can create!

Materials for this project are simple:

  • A computer.
  • RPGMaker - game design software available from The RPGMaker Website. This software has a completely adequate free version.
  • Your Imagination!
  • It helps to also have a plan - I like to have students storyboard their ideas and plan all of their events before they sit down to work.

Step 2: Open RPGMaker and Start a New Project

  • Select 'New Project' from the file menu.
  • Choose a name for your game and the name of the folder where it will reside.
  • Click 'OK' and your project will be created. Your new project will contain one map that is all blue with your main character standing in the middle. We will look at changing the main character in a future Instructable.

Step 3: Make Your First Map

  • The map icon (circled in the picture above) allows you to add tiles from the box on the left side to your game screen to create the spaces that your characters will walk around.
  • There are many options to customize the look of your map.
  • The tabs at the bottom of the tile selection box will bring you to more tiles.
  • If for some reason you can not add tiles to your map click the map icon to make sure you are in map editing mode.
  • Experiment with all of the map elements to see what you like and what you want to add to your game. Keep in mind that some of the elements will be barriers for your characters. For example, you can not walk in lava or water. These elements can be used to build puzzles and mazes.

Step 4: Make Your Next Map

For this very simple game we will need a second screen for our character to travel to when he/she goes through the portal/door.
  • Right-click the map in the bottom left screen and select the 'New Map' menu item.
  • A new map will be created and will open with a blue empty screen like your first map.
  • The 'tileset' option pictured circled in red above will give you different tile options.

Step 5: Add an Event

The first event we will add today is a transfer to our second map.

  • Click the 'Event' icon (circled in red above).
  • Right-click the spot you want to be the event. A menu will open.

Step 6: Transfer to a New Map

Choose the 'Transfer to a new location' option.

Step 7: Click the Circled Spot to Select a New Map to Transfer To

Click on the triple dot icon and select the second map you made.

Step 8: Choose a Location on the Map

When the new map opens select the spot where you would like your character to be when they transfer.

Step 9: Add a Treasure Chest and Make It a Little Tricky!

  • Right click the top corner of your map and choose 'Quick Event Creation' again.
  • Choose 'Treasure Chest' and choose whether you want gold, a weapon, or armour and what type in the dialogue box that opens.
  • When adding your events make sure the 'same as character' option is selected for priority.
  • Right click the square just below the treasure chest and at a quick event to transfer the character to the centre of the screen.
  • Repeat this event creation for the square immediately to the right. Now the player has to figure out how to get to the treasure chest without getting warped to the middle of the screen.

Step 10: Playtest!!!

At any time you can press the 'Playtest' button to see how your game is working. I usually test between each step.

Step 11: Add a Combat Event

  • Right-click the square to the left of where you started.
  • Select 'New Event' from the menu
  • Right click the contents window and then select 'Battle Processing'.
  • Choose the enemy you would like.
  • .Double click the blank graphic pane at the lower left corner and choose a look for the NPC.

Step 12: Use the Transfer Quick Event to Make a Portal Back to the Starting Screen

I just do this to move around easily in the game.

Step 13: Enjoy What You've Created!

In my next RPGMaker Instructable I will show you how to create a boulder sliding puzzle.

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Bio: MakerQueen is a mother, a wife, a maker, a martial artist, a software engineer, a biochemist, a cat lover, a cosplayer, a gamer, a nerd ... More »
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